Wednesday, May 28, 2008

BG 8.23

Every Sri Rama Navami, Sri Rama along with Sri Sita and Lakshmana comes in procession in the chariot, to grace the devotees. Sri Sita on His right and Lakshmana on the Left, Sri Rama is in procession. Car festival or chariot procession is very important for a temple. All devotees participate in pulling the chariot, with voluntary service. In Surya prabha festival, Sri Rama is decorated as Sri Krishna. What Sri Rama practiced is preached by Sri Krishna. After the festival is over, to remove tiredness the Lord is given a special abhishekam [ vidayatri utsavam விடாயாற்றி உத்சவம் ]. We can see the enchanting beauty of the Lord without the external decorations. On chariot festival, though the chariot starts procession from 6 O’ clock in the morning and returns to the starting point by 2 PM in the afternoon, the Lord remains in the chariot till evening 8 PM to grace all devotees. Sri Rama’s coronation, as well as His birthday, are in the month of Chithirai. Sri Rama navami festival is on Chithirai Punarvasu star. While returning to garbhagruha from the chariot, Sri Rama halts at the idols of Raghunatha Naik and his consort and after all honours are done, the Lord returns to garbhagruha. Four Hundred years back this temple was built by Raghunatha Naik. The Lord never forgets even the smallest service done to Him, at the same time never keeps in His memory the evils done by persons to Him. We should cultivate this type of mind. We will now see the 22nd sloka, where He says that by devotion or bhakti, one can reach Him. We have seen that to enjoy achit is inferior and has to be experienced in this world. Which means rebirths are unavoidable. Enjoying chit means one will have no rebirth and all associated samsaram, hunger, old age, etc. Sri Krishna does not recommend both these. He recommends Isvara anubhavam.

purushah sa parah partha
bhaktya labhyas tv ananyaya
yasyantah-sthani bhutani
yena sarvam idam tatam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion. Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading, and everything is situated within Him."

Para = supreme and the most exalted, purusha = Sriman Narayana, the Lord, labda = is reached or attained. Ananya = not diverted in other things, bhaktya = devoted, labda = attained. Without diverting the mind in other things, the Lord is attained. Here purusha does not mean males only. Our body is called a puram and the Lord resides in the heart and so He is called Purusha. Our heart resembles an inverted lotus bud. He lies in this in very heart. Poornathva possessing all auspicious qualities in total – also implies Purusha. Most ancient –purana- and so Purusha. He is Purusha also because He grants anything desired. Hunter Guha and monkey Hanuman were all able to reach Him, because of undiverted devotion. Yasya = in Him [Sri Krishna], anta sthani = are established inside, bhutani = all living matters. That is He is the supporter of all. We are supported by atman and that is why we are able to stand. The moment atman departs this body, it will simply fall without support. The Lord supports even that atman also. He supports each and every item in this Universe. Yena = by Whom, sarvam idam = all things we see, tatam = are pervaded. That is He is inside all and all are inside Him. Normally, in worldly matters the supporter is external. But here the Lord is supporting both from within and without. Antharbahischa tat sarvam vyapya narayana sthitha: says shastras. Inference of this sloka is that instead of approaching and attaining Him, why all these wealth and atmanubhavam or kaivalyam. Never aspire for pleasure of this body nor this atman; but perform bhakti to reach Him and serve Him for ever and attain everlasting bliss.

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