Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BG 7.34

Thirumangai Alwar says it is very difficult to go to Ahobilam and worship the Lord there. Today's [23rd April 2008] lecture is also from the sannidhi of Sri Pavana Narasimha, on a cliff, reaching there is a bit difficult. Pavanam [ पावनं] means sacred and pure. So the Lord here is very sacred and pure. Sri Krishna tells that we do not understand Him properly because of our limited intellect and so we imagine wrong things about Him. For example, when Hiranyakasipu was killed, some might ask why should the Lord kill him or anyone? He is the Protector for all, is it not? Why Asuras and Rakshasas are considered as to be eliminated? Why should He favor Devas? Is He not partial? But these are raising because of our limited knowledge about Him. Even when His hands are stained by the blood of Hiranyakasipu, He remains sacred and pure. A child is playing with a stick. Mother sees and she feels that the child might harm itself or others, and so asks the child to drop the stick. If the child does not heed, she reprimands and removes the stick from the child. If she does not do that, the child is sure to get harmed. Similarly, the Lord has tried to persuade Ravana, Hiranyakasipu, etc., to tread on path of Dharma. Ravana was advised by Vibheeshana, Angadha, Hanuman, and others. Hiranyakasipu was advised by Prahalada. But all these went in vain and they continued to do evil things and earned more and more of papa. Finding no other alternative, the Lord removes the atman from their bodies, by killing them to stop the papa earning. It is same as removing the stick from the child. By removung the body, those atman of Ravana, Hiranyakasipu, etc., get another chance to reside in a different body and do good thngs and ultimately reach Him. He has no intention to kill anyone; and by killing, they are prevented from deteriorating further. That is why Thirumangai Alwar in his pasurams refer the Lord as Punithan [Tamil word for Pavana]. Sri Chanchu Lakshmi Thayar is on the lap of Sri Pavana Narasimha. In a cave, there is a separate sannidhi for Sri Chenchu Lakshmi Thayar. Chenchu means hunters and lots of them are there around this place. Alwar also says this in his pasurams. Hunters are carrying bows and arrows. It seems the Lord has appointed them to rob pilgrims, of their wealth, so that the pilgrims would surrender to the Lord! Swami Periavachchaan Pillai, in his commentary noted that the Lord, once decides to bless some one, then He ensures that one's property and wealth are removed from one. [यस्य अनुग्रहम इच्छामि तस्य विथ्थं हराम्यहम ]. When one is having plenty of wealth, he has no time for God. That is why when pilgrims come here, their belongings are robbed, so that pilgrims develop vairagyam and come to Him. During such robbing, the hunters make noise and beat drums. Frightened, the pilgims drop their belongings and surrender to Lord Sri Narasimha, says Alwar. In this community of Chenchus, Sri Thayar appeared and so she is called Sri Chanchu Lakshmi. She is seated on the lap of the Lord. With left lower arm embracing Her, right lower arm in Abhaya mudra and the upper arms holding discus and conch, the Lord graces the devotees. Adisesha is spreading the Seven hoods over the Lord. Now we will see the 28th sloka:

yesham tv anta-gatam papam
jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta
bhajante mam drdha-vratah

"Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination."


Persons whose all papas are expended and are in the last stages of such process, they come to the Lord with a determination. Now the twins mentioned in the last sloka is no longer there. Twins create delusion in the worldly affairs. When the twins are not there, illusions are not there and so they are fully involved in knowing Sri Krishna. In the last sloka, the Lord said that likes and disikes, produce actions which originate papa and punya. Likes and dislikes make us to take some actions. If these actions conform to Shastras, then we earn punya. Otherwise papa. We can not choose the procedure for those actions ourselves as they should agree with Shastras. In Srimad Bhagavatham, it is said vedapranigitho karma: adharmasya viparyaya:, while there was argument between the messengers of Sriman Narayana and Yama, in the story of Ajamila. This reply is given by Yama's messengers that any action in conformity with Vedas is Dharma and actions done aggainst Vedas' teachings are Adharma. Dharma earns punya and adharma earns papa. Punya and papa, repeat birth cycles and so spending away them takes lots and lots of births. If one desires to have immediate result of Moksham, saranagathi [ total surrender] to the Lord is the only alternative. Otherwise the progress is very slow and may take millions of births. Those good actions which earn punya, slowly destroy the papa already accumulated. In our behaviour also, by cultivating good behaviour and speech, satva qualityies grow and rajo qualities decline. The Lord also helps this process. Classic example of this is the story of Jata Bharatha. He was ruling righteously for about Ten million years. He, by his actions earned plenty of punya. Once as he was meditating, found a fawn and started fondling it. In his last breath also, his thoughts were all full of the fawn, and so after death, he was reborn as a young deer. We are going to see this in eighth Chapter that our last thoughts decide our next birth. Though Jata Bharatha had almost exhausted all the papa, some traces were there and so he had to be born as a deer. This was a small reaction for his last thoughts. But even in this birth as a deer, he never mixed with others and spent in isolation eating grass and leaves. After completing this birth as deer, he was again born as a Gyani and attained Moksham. We can note that the vasana of punya continues in every birth. These punya tend to clear the papa. Dvandva- moha = [such persons] from the twins' illusion, nirmuktena = get released. Our likes and dislikes produce twins of joy and sorrow, etc., and we get further involved in worldly bonds. These prevent devotion to God. So to direct ourselves towards the Lord, we have to get released from the illusion of the twins. Bhajante = [after this release from twins] worship, mam = Me [ Sri Krishna] , drdha vratham = with resolute determination. Earlier Sri Krishna talked of four categories of devotees - aspiring to regain lost wealth, new wealth, atman darshan and the Lord alone. By losing most papas, the first two categories are seen. With only one papa still lingering, the devotee seeks atman darshan and gets kaivalyam. But when all papa are totally eliminated, the devotee seeks only Him and reach Moksham.
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/images/Narasimhabhavana.jpg


2 comments:

uhgar said...

Very nice topic. I just wanted to throw add to something mentioned in the first paragraph. When we see Sri Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu and question His actions, it also shows our ignorance in many ways. As mentioned in earlier chapters, the Atman can never be destroyed. The Lord is destroying the body - which in any case is perishable. It can be viewed as the Lord liberating the atman from that body so that it does not commit more sins and repent in other births.

TG Saranathan said...

you are right and that is the intention.