Sunday, April 27, 2008

BG 8.1

It is believed that the 6th Jeer of Sri Ahoila Mutt, Shashta Parankusa Yatindra Mahadesikan, is still performing pooja in the cave, where he entered in Aangirasa, Masi month, Krishna Panchami.
Shravanam keerthanam Vishno smaranam pada sevanam
archanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma nivedanam
This is a sloka from Srimad Bhagavatham. Prahalada describes the nine methods by which one can worship the Lord, to his father. Shravanam = listening to His names and histories, keerthanam = singing His names, smaranam = continuously meditating, pada sevanam = worshiping His feet, archanam = performing pooja with fresh flowers, vandanam = prostrating to Him, dasyam = serving Him, sakhyam = developing friendliness wth Him and atma nivedanam = realizing our atman as His property. But Hiranyakasipu did not heed to this advice of Prahalada and after some years, he asked him to show Sriman Narayana in a pillar and got killed by the Lord. Afterwards, cooling off His anger, the Lord came near Prahalada. This is depicted in the present sannidhi of Sri Yogananda Narasimha, the 9th sannidhi from where today's [28th April 2008] lecture is being made. Yogaananda can mean anandam [happiness] in performing yoga or anandam in preaching yoga. The Lord is seated in a yoga posture with legs crossed and folded and the lower two arms placed on the knees. Prahalada was taught all the yoga and raja needhi or administrative skills for maintaining kingdom, as he was to succeed Hiranyakasipu. With eyes closed the Lord graces as He taught Prahalada. By yoga one can have the same peacefulness as at the center of the ocean. Thirumangai Alwar describes the heat [due to the Sun] in the region, in his pasurams. But lots of comforts have been arranged presently by the Sri Ahobila Mutt, for which we have to be grateful to the Jeer.
Thirukkallam U.Ve. Sri Narasimha Raghavachaya, an eminent Vidwan of Sri Ahobila mutt had published commentary on Bhagavad Gita in three volumes and had mentioned the greatness of each Chapter by a story as told by lord Shiva to Parvati. When Parvati asked about the greatness of Seventh Chapter, lord Shiva said that this question was raised by Sri Mahalakshmi and that he would narrate the reply given by Sriman Narayana. Sankukarna lived in Pataliputra. He was a brahmin. Though he was well learned, he had great passion in amassing wealth. He had married three wives and wanted to marry fourth one also. One day he was travelling with lot of gold coins. On the way, while he was resting he was bitten by a snake and was about to die. He hurriedly buried the gold coins in the ground and with the snake bite in mond, he died; and so he was born as a snake. This snake remembering the place where the gold coins were hidden, came to the place and guarded. This did not give the mental peace and suddenly he remembered the good advice given to him by a noble person and he thought he should come out of this snake body and reach nobler places. He appeared in the dreams of his three sons simultaneously and told the same to all. That they should all do good last rites to him and then come to this place where the gold treasure was hidden and where as a snake he was guarding. All the sons woke up and debated their dreams and afraid of snake, they decided not to venture in this effort. But within their minds each one schemed to grab all the wealth for himself and so without others' knowledge, each went to the place to take the treasure. But the snake would not allow them to touch. Each described he was his son; but the snake said they were to come after performing the rites. The sons decided to perform the rites, but did not know what to do. Normal rites were not enough to clear the sins their father had accumulated. The solution was given by the snake itself. Snake told them to engage a brahmin, who was in the habit of studyiing 7th Chapter of Gita regularly [parayanam], and by feeding that brahmin, the sins could be absolved. The sons did accordingly and the snake also got a superior stage of life. Sons later took the treasure and spent it for noble deeds.
We will now begin studying the Eighth Chapter. This Chapter's essence has been condensed by Swami Alavandar in his Gitartha Sangraham. It is:

ai´svary¯aks.aray¯ath¯atmya bhagavaccaran.¯arthin¯am
 vedyop¯adeyabh¯av¯an¯am as.t.ame bheda ucyate 12

Bheda ucyate =The differences in the Eighth Chapter are told. That is the differences among the three types of devotees. Aisvarya = those seeking wealth or worldly pleasures, akshara = everlasting or never destructible [atman] [ different from worldly matters including our body], yatatmya = real and true meaning of this [atman]; that is those kaivalyarti who want to enjoy only atman and do not want to be reborn. Bhagavaccarana = [differing from the earlier two types] The Lord's feet, arthi = seekers [of those divine feet]. Vedya = things or objectives they should know, upadeya = means to realize those objectives. These are explained in Eighth Chapter. In Chapter 7, in slokas 29 and 30, Sri Krishna made an introduction to the various knowledge, objectives and means for the three types of His devotees; but did not elaborate what they were and now in Chapter 8, He is going to give all those details. We will see all the Nine Sri Narasimhas tomorrow along with a short discourse by Srimad Azhagiyasingar of Sri Ahobila Mutt.

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