Tuesday, April 1, 2008

BG 7.19

Thirumangal Alwar was the last of the Alwars. When he came to worship Sri Devadiraja, he was confused. The Lord was so great and he was after all a human, and so he started leaving the place without any poem on the Lord. Normally, Garuda sannidhi is in front of the Lord's sannidhi; but here Thirumangai Alwar sannidhi is in front of the Main sannidhi, but at the end of the street, near Darsa pushkarini. Today's [2nd April 2008] lecture is from Alwar sannidhi. When the Alwar started leaving and came as far as the present sannidhi of Alwar, he realized something was pulling his feet towards the Lord. When he turned back to see the Lord, He appeared to Him as Sri Narasimha. Immediately, he got the feeling of a woman in deep love with the Lord and started singing poems on the Lord. There is a sannidhi of Sri Narasimha by the side of Alwar's. Even now in the festival, the Alwar is dressed up like a woman -Nachiyar Thirukkolam. Alwar sent bees as emissaries to tell the Lord about 'her' plight at the separation, in his Thirunedunthandakam. What we are to see in the 17th sloka and the Alwar's action of sending the bees as messengers, are the same in essence. He prostrates to the six legged bee, which has been collecting honey from flowers. Since bee is going to carry message, Alwar has no hesitation to prostrate. He asks the bee to go to the Lord Aamaruviappan, the Lord of Devas, and to tell that it had come from Alwar. Bee wondered, how a small insect will be heard amidst all great persons near the Lord, such as Prahalada, Markandeya, etc? Alwar allays that fear by saying that if it shouts it came from His 'beloved' Alwar, He would be certain to listen. When He calls the bee near Him, Alwar tells the bee that it should just tell Him that Parakala 'Nayaki', is longing for Him and He should not further allow 'her' suffering. Bee said that it would go after a couple of days; but Alwar says that before that 'her' life would be gone. So, bee should go instantly. Alwar further reminds, the messenger of Sri Sita episode in Ramayana and bee is bound to get supreme reward. In Ramayana, Hanuman acted as emissary of both Sri Rama and Sri Sita. When he went as messenger of Sri Rama, the reward he got was fire in his tail! But, when Hanuman came as the messenger of Sri Sita, he got an embrace of the Lord. So the bee as messenger of Parakala 'Nayaki' will be rewarded properly. Then the Lord blessed the Alwar. This is the transaction between a Bhakta and the Lord. Naturally, such devotees stand much higher than those who approach Him for material wealth or atman anubhavam. These supreme devotees are called Gyani by the Lord. Now the 17th sloka:

tesam jnani nitya-yukta
eka-bhaktir visisyate
priyo hi jnanino ’tyartham
aham sa ca mama priyah

"Of these, the one who is in full knowledge and who is always engaged in pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me."

Tesham = among them [ the four classes of devotees mentioned in previous sloka], jnani = the person who seeks only association with the Lord, nitya yukta = always wanting to be with [Sri Krishna], eka bhakti = with the singular objective or devotion only in Sri Krishna, visisyate = is the best [of all the four types]. Jnanaina = to this devotee or Gyani, aham = I [Sri Krishna], atyartham = most, priyam hi = loved. Ca mama = to Me [Sri Krishna] also, priya = [he is ] loved. We should see the subtle difference. For Gyani, the Lord is the most loved, while for the Lord, Gyani is a loved one. The Lord places Himself slightly inferior to the Gyani, in love. He feels that He is not able to reciprocate the love in the same degree. For Gyani, the Lord is the single entity to be loved. But the Lord has multiples of devotees. In reality, though, we can never equal the love and care of the Lord for us, but here, the Lord praises the devotee wanting Him alone, as the greatest. If devotees like the Alwar could think of sending insects as emissaries, we can judge the devotion they had for the Lord. Other types of devotees might forget the Lord after they got the material happiness or the atmanubhavam; this Gyani, on the contrary, is constantly devoted to Him. Bhaktas like these approach the Lord to cure them of the disease of samsaram, as a patient would go to a doctor. But after the treatment, a Gyani, wants to remain always with Him. For the other three types of devotees, their objective is different from the means. Whereas for Gyani, objective and means are the same. He is phalam and phalapradhayina.

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