Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BG 8.22

Today's [ 27th May 2008] lecture is from the bedroom of the Lord in Sri Ramaswamy temple, Kumbakonam. During festivals and on special occasions the Lord graces from this location. With so many mirrors we can view a multitude of Sri Rama here. We can see Sri Rama in every direction. On the cieling of this room, incidents of Sri Ramayana are pictured. Outside this mirror room is a mandapam with astonishing sculptures. On a single pillar, at the four corners, Sri Rama, Sri Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman are sculpted. In another pillar we can see Lakshmana performing the Coronation for Sugreeva. After going on exile to forests, Sri Rama got performed coronations by Lakshmana and not by Himself. As per the boons of Kaikeyi, Sri Rama was not to enter any town nor enjoy the happiness of town dwelling. That is why Lakshmana was sent into Kishkinda town to coronate Sugreeva. Vibheeshana's coronation [as king of Lanka] was also done by Lakshmana. We can see on another pillar the Lord as Sri Trivikrama. We can also see the Lord as the dwarf Sri Vamana. Nearby king Bali is pouring water from his pot to solemnify his promise. On another two pillars we can see Manmada, the love god and his consort Rathi. Manmada is holding a bow of sugarcane and flowers as arrows. The Lord is called Manmada among manmadas. Thus each pillar speaks of a story and the greatness of Sri Rama. Now we will see 21st sloka of Chapter 8:

avyakto ’kshara ity uktas
tam ahuh paramam gatim
yam prapya na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama

"That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns—that is My supreme abode."

Sri Krishna tells about the most supreme place, Moksham. He tells that even the Kaivalyam also is His creation. Some people aspire for kaivalyam and after attaining that they are never reborn. Some desire to have wealth. One might think that those who want wealth are in a different place and those seeking kaivalyam are in yet another place. We should remember that all places - be it in this Universe to enjoy wealth or kaivalyam to enjoy one's own atman or Vaikuntam, the abode of the Lord- are in His reign and in His control. Everything is His jurisdiction; still, why He advises not to go to places like Kaivalyam, means those places are inferior and some are temporary only. But Vaikuntam is the permanent place and so should be aspired for. Kaivalyam also ensures the no-rebirth for atman and these atman are called muktatman. He has got mukti or liberation from rebirths. He is free from karma bondage and is free from taking any body to expend any papa/punya. So unwinding from papa/punya is mukti. Mukti can be in Vaikuntam or in Kaivalyam. Though from both places the person attained is not going to return, kaivalyam is inferior. Sri Krishna tells that even this kaivalyam is granted by the Lord. When one wants to enjoy his own atman, then he has to pray the Lord and get it; because one's atman does not have the power to grant itself. If a property is needed we have to pray the property owner. So also the owner of any atman alone can grant that atman. That is the Lord. He grants both wealth and kaivalyam, just because the person prays for it and not with satisfaction or happiness He provides them. The two syllables in Sri Rama ['ra' and 'ma'] can grant anything including Himself.
He says that the muktatman is praised like this. Avyakta = can not be perceived by the sense organs. Muktatman is not grasped by these sense organs. This atman in kaivalyam does not have either sthoola or sookshma sariram. Aksharam = non- decaying. In this world the intellect possessed varies with person and with time. But the intellect of a muktatman is same as all other muktatman. Our karma bondage changes the quantum of intellect. Muktatman is free from this bondage and so the intellect is same.
Ityukta = like this the muktatman is praised. Tam = reaching that muktatman stage, paramam gathim = a very noble attainment, ahu= so say them [ Sri Krishna excludes Himself from this and says that others recommend this attainment]. In Sri Vishnu sahasrnamam, muktanam paramam gathim is told. For muktas reaching the Lord is the noblest; while it is very ordinary to reach kaivalyam. Swami Parasara Bhatta opines that Bhishma is implying Vaikuntam only in this Divine name. Yam prapya = by reaching which [Kaivalyam ], na nivartante = they do not return back to this samsaram, tad = that, mama = My [Sri Krishna's], dhama paramam = noble creation. He earlier told that all animate and inanimate things are all His properties; all atman are His belongings. So everything is His. This we should realize and once realized we will know that when all are His, why not seek Him and attain the best? Dhama means His administrative control or very bright place. Where is this Kaivalyam? Some opine that it is within this Universe or within the boundaries of the Fourteen worlds including Satya lok. Some others differ and say it is on the other side of Viraja river which separates Vaikuntam and our Prakruthi mandalam. According to them a kaivalyarti, after death takes a sookshma body and bathes in Viraja and remains on the banks of that river without going into Vaikuntam. Those desiring to know more on this maight approach their Acharyas. Bathing in river removes the sookshma sareeram and remains afterwards without a body for ever. That place also is the Lord's domain.

No comments: