Thursday, April 10, 2008

BG 7.26

We will conclude the detailed explanation of sloka 19, today [11th April 2008]. He is praised as Mahatma, who thinks Sri Vasudeva is everything - dharakam, poshakam and bhogyam. Mahatma means large hearted or broad minded. Their mind and eyes are one with the Lord. Broad minded means, whether we like or not, our mind will be after the Lord. Just like eyes close against obstacles involuntarily, our mind will be filled with His thoughts. Mind will be after Him, unlike the mind with us which runs after inferior pleasures. That is why our elders have been after such festivals so that mind also follows suit. In Alwars' case, the mind tells Alwar, that it is going to the Lord and if he cared he could accompany the mind. If he were to choose to go elsewhere, he could as well forget the mind, tells mind. This shows the great attractive force the Lord is able to exert. Broad mind also means the compassion feelings. When such a person reads that elephant Kuvalayapeetam tried to kill Sri Krishna, or Kamsa and Poothana tried to kill the Lord, his mind is pertubed as though his close kith and kin is affected. But many of us think we are learned and so our doubt would be whether Sri Krishna is God or a mere Child? Is He, Sri Para Vasudeva or Sri Gopalan? If we think He is Sri Para Vasudeva, then we are gyani; but if we think He is Sri Gopalan, then we are Bhaktha. When Gyana matures, it becomes Bhakti and not the other way. When Gyana matures, we will realize that the Lord is so near us as Sri Gopalan. A bhakta's mind is worried when he hears Sri Rama went to forests; Sri Krishna should get butter; He should come safely from the grazing area; and so on. Such a person, who is in deep sorrow if he is away from the Lord and happiest when with Him, is Mahatma. Do we need Gyana about Him or love [prem] for Him? Earlier when the lectures were done from Brindavan, it was told that near Nandagram, there is a place Uddhava shikha. When Sri Krishna left Brindavan and went to Mathura, to assuage the feelings of gopikas, Sri Krishna deputed Gyani Uddhava. When Uddhava came to teach them on meditation, he found that the gopikas had such a great love for Sri Krishna that they had surpassed the meditation he was to teach. Uddhava later, returned realizing he also should convert his gyana to Love. Mahatma thinks that he should safeguard Sri Krishna, while ordinary devotees like us think the He should protect us. But to find such a Mahatma is very difficult. There could be one or two among us like that. We will now move on to sloka 20. To understand that, the sannidhi where we are having lecture and the pasuram of this Kshetram are important. One would have noted that no Alwar's name was ever mentioned for this Kshetram. No Alwar has sung about the Lord here, perhaps the greatness of this Kshetram is beyond words! Very near this place, Mannargudi, on the way to Thiruvarur, is Velukkudi. Velvi + kudi = yagna place, has got transformed to Velukkudi, where the Lord is appearing as Sri Prasanna Venkatesa. We are at the sannidhi of Swami Manavala Mamunigal, where we can also see the portrait of Swami with his eight disciples called Ashta Dik Gaja. Swami Manavala Mamunigal was born in Tamil month Aippasi, in the star Moolam. He came to this place and composed poems in both Tamil and Sanskrit. He felt that Alwars would have certainly composed song on the Lord here and after great research, selected one beautiful song as in praise of the Lord here. The selected song is from Nammalwars Thiruvaimozhi, 4-6-10 : unniththu matroru deivam thozhaal.... Nammalwar worships the Lord here and transforms himself in the guise of a gopika and seeing the beauty of the Lord, faints. When 'her' mother is wondering what to do, 'her' friends advise that this 'girl' will not look at any, other than the Lord and so if 'her' mother could utter words in praise of the Lord of Dwaraka [Mannargudi is called Dakshina Dwaraka], 'she' will become normal! Here Alwar says the 'girl' would not look at others means, will not look to other gods for any favors. The Lord of Dwaraka in this pasuram is mentioned as vanduvarapathi. This can be split as van = prosperous, thuvara = dwaraka, pathi = Leader; or vandu = bee, vara = not coming, pathi = place. Bees do not come to Champaka [shenbagam] flower. Arjuna felt that he could not find any, thinking Sri Vasudeva is everything; people still go after so many gods for various needs. In reply Sri Krishna tells:

kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah
prapadyante ’nya-devatah
tam tam niyamam asthaya
prakritya niyatah svaya

"Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures."

These people are under the influence of immemorial births. Anya devata = other [than Sri Krishna] gods, prapadyante= seek, svaya = their self, prakritya = natural habit [vasana], niyata = unable to break away [from that nature], tair tair = in each [ or such and such], kamais = desires, hrtha-jnana= lost the knowledge [ of Sri Krishna], tam tam = such and such [gods, other than Sri Krishna], niyamam = worship, asthaya = do. All other gods could give very cheap and inferior benefits; while the Lord is capable of granting the supreme, everlasting and suited to the reciever's happiness. Forgetting this by the influence of time immemorial karma and births, people are used to seek inferior pleasures only. Even for such pleasures, they could seek Sri Krishna, Who is capable of fulfilling any desire; but people throng to other gods for these desires also. A husband marries, in Hindu dharma, a woman and pledges in front of Agni, that he would protect her; but if the woman seeks the favor of others, then the husband is disgraced. This feeling is reflected by Sri Krishna. The Lord waits for everyone to realize this and to come to Him one day. From the Pasuram of Nammalwar selected by Swami Manavala Mamunigal, we have to understand that He is here to grant us whatever we need. We now take leave of this Kshetram.

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