Monday, April 14, 2008

BG 7.27

We have seen all the Kshetrams of Pandya region, while reading Gita, sloka by sloka. We have also seen many Kshetrams of Chola region. Now we are at one of the Northern Kshetrams in Andhra Pradesh, Sri Ahobilam, aka Ahobalam, Panka Srotha Kshetram, Nava Narasimha Kshetram, Singavezhkunram in Tamil. Thirumangai Alwar has presented 10 pasurams on this Kshetram. It is some what difficult to reach this place and worship the Lord here. But a dedicated devotee may not mind any obstacles and the journey could be a happy one. This hill is amidst Nalla malai mountains range. We can come by train upto Cudappah and from there by road to Ahobilam via Alaghadda, 15 miles away. Lower Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam are there. Today's [14th April 2008] is from the sannidhi of Sri Jwala Narasimha, 4 KMs from Upper Ahobilam. Six of the Noine Sri Narasimha are in and around Upper Ahobilam and Three in Lower Ahobilam. This place is also known as Garudachalam or Garudadhri. Garuda was delighted by Sri Jwala Narasimha. Garuda wanted the Lord to re-enact the scene when He, with anger, killed Hiranyakasipu, in Sri Narasimha avatar. Garuda bathed in the Bava nasini, a sacred river famous for eradicating all sins of those bathing in it, and meditated on the Lord. Granting his request the Lord appeared as Sri Jwala Narasimha, with eight arms. Hiranyakasipu is on His lap. Two arms are holding the head and feet of Hiranyakasipu. Two arms are opening the chest, two arms are engaged in taking out the intestine and wearing as garland and another two arms are holding the discua and conch. We can also see a statue of the Lord as He emerges from a pillar. Standing by the sides are Hiranyakasipu and Prahalada. On to the left of Sri Jwala Narasimha, we can see the Sri Veera Narasimha, chasing Hiranyakasipu. We can see the Asura kula guru Sukracharya. From Upper Ahobilam to reach this place it takes about an hour, crossing rocks and climbing many steps. We will now see the 21st sloka. With the blessings of the Jeer, Srimad Azhagiyasingar, of Sri Ahobila mutt, we will see all the Nine Sri Narasimha in the coming days.
Till 19th sloka, Sri Krishna described the greatness of His devotees. Devotee, who considers Sri Vasudeva, as everything -vasudevamidhisarvam. But such a devotee is very hard to find. Such a devotee was Prahalada and we have come to this Kshetram to see Prahalada's favourite Sri Narasimha. From 20th sloka, in eight slokas, the Lord regrets that while He was there to grant anything, people swarm around other gods to seek favour. Though Sri Krishna could grant anything, He does not grant the cheap desires that easily nor quickly. But many people want such transient and temporary needs and so they seek other gods, who readily grant them. But, this power to grant such needs has been delegated by the Lord to these gods. The Lord resides in every god , and as the controller and commander inside, He makes them to satisfy the needs of people. Now the sloka 21:

yo yo yam yam tanum bhaktah
shraddhayarcitum icchati
tasya tasyacalam shraddham
tam eva vidadhamy aham

"I am in every demigod’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity."

yo yo bhakta = such devotees , yam yam tanum = [approaching] such [gods who are the Lord's] body [or who are controlled by the Lord]. Shraddhaya =with dedication, arcitum = to do pooja, icchati = desires. Devotees approach the many gods , who are all the body of the Lord [just like soul is the master of the body] and desire to perform poojas to them to get their desires full filled. Tasya tasya = such devotees, acalam = unshakable, shraddhaam = faith in those gods, aham = I [ Sri Kishna], vidadhami = establish [ in them]. The Lord says that He ensures that these people have unfaltering faith in those gods. Arjuna got a doubt here. The Lord earlier told that all should worship the Lord as He alone is capable of granting anything and everything, then why should He encourage these people to go to these gods who can never grant the highest reward of Moksham? Sri Krishna is going to clear this doubt in this and the next sloka. Here we have to understand that all gods are body of the Lord. We can worship anyone, but none of them are independent. Inside them the Lord resides and controls and commands them. He delegates certain power to each of them, which they could grant to people approachng them. A servant serves the King. He is not intelligent enough to know that atman of the King is pleased by his services. He only knows that by serving, the King is pleased and he grants some money for his living. Actually, atman of the king is pleased and that atman directs the body to take out money and grant to the servant. Similarly, these gods are mere bodies of the Lord and He commands them to grant certain needs to those who sseek those gods. These people are expected to be loyal to those gods. These gods also do not have total knowledge that the Lord is in them and that they have drawn their powers only from Him. Here this hill, where the Lord Sri Jwala Narasimha is , is called Achala Meru chaya parvatam - shadow of the great Meru mountain. Nammalwar says that in infinite births we have been going after various gods for various needs. They grant only temporary satisfaction.

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