Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BG 8.7


Sri Vallabedhi varadedhi dayaparedhi bhaktapriyedhibavalundana kovidedhi
Nathedhi naga sayanedhi jagan nivasedyalapinam pratipadam kuru mam mukunda
This is a verse in Kulasekara Alwar's Mukunda mala. Here he requests that he should be blessed with mentioning His various names. One of the names mentioned is Nathan, meaning Leader or Protector. Therefore, we are not to worry about anything. The present Kshetram is Nathan urai koil [ Nathan residing temple] or Nathan koil. He is facing West and seated. With discus ever ready for flying [prayoga form], with one leg folded and another stretched down and with the Consorts Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhoodevi, the Lord is gracing. He is called Sri Srinivasan. Almost there are no Kshetram, where Sri Srinivasa is seated. So, here it is unique that Lord Srinivasa is seated. He is called Sri Srinivasa, because He accepted the prayers of Sri Shenbagavalli Nachiyar and gave His right chest as Her abode. Utsavar is called Sri Jagannatha. He is holding all the Five weapons [Panchayudha]. It is to show that He is ever ready to protect any devotee in distress.
We can see the Lord with all the Five weapons. Why this place is known as Nandipura vinnagaram? Nandi is an important servant and vehicle of lord Rudhra or Shiva. Nandi is present in the garbagruha near the Lord and is in the guise of a sage. Once Veda Vyasa stated an important opinion.
'Satyam satyam punassatyam udhrudya nijamuchyate
Vedassastram param nasti na daivam kesavat param'
Vyasa said" I raise my hands and tell the truth, nothing but truth, that Vedas are the best shastra and Sri Kesava is the God, none above Him". But Nandi being an ardent follower of lord Shiva could not accept it and so refuted this statement of Vyasa. Because of this he had a curse and to eradicate that Nandi came to this place and facing East prayed to the Lord.The Lord appeared and as requested remained in this Kshetram and allowed Nandi to be with Him in the garbagruha. Vinnagaram is Vishnu nagaram. So it is Nandipura vinnagaram. The Lord is Sri NandiNathan and the vimanam is Nandi vimanam. There are Five vinnagarams in the 108 Divya desam - Thiruvinnagaam [Oppiliappan koil], Kazhicheer Srirama Vinnagaram [Sirgazhi] and Nandipura vinnagaram, plus Arimeya vinnagaram and Parameswara vinnagaram. Vaikuntam is called Vinnagaram and so worshiping the Lord in these vinnagarams is like worshiping the Lord in Vaikuntam. Many people want to always think of the Lord when alive and when about to die. This is what we have seen in the slokas of Chapter 8. The Lord said that there can be no doubt if a person thinks of Him just before leaving the body [just before death], then he attains a status like His. If we take water in two vessels and then mix them, it will be impossible to distinguish which water was from which vessel. Here,unlike this, atman after leaving the body does not mix nor is impossible to distinguish from the Lord. In the example of water, when mixed, water of each vessel can not be distinguished, but the quantity would have increased. In the case of this atman, he does not become another God or additional Sri Krishna. So integration or union is never talked by the Lord but getting a status like that of the Lord. He still remains jeevatman and the Lord remains Paramatman. What are these different types of devotees should think at the time of death? He has told a common action for all the three types of devotees. But there is difference in the actual thoughts to be made by each of them. Aiswaryarti should think the Lord as the Lord of all wealth. Kaivalyarti should think of the birthless and ageless Lord. Bhagavallabharti, shouild think of the various auspicious qualities of the Lord before the soul departs the body. Now the sloka 6:

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah

"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail."

This sloka is continuity of last sloka. Arjuna asks how it is possible that person thinking of the Lord at the time of death would get the same status. The Lord tells a common thinking in the world that whatever is thought of at the time of death of a person, that person is reborn in those items thought of. In the last sloka, a specific case of a person dying with mind full of Him. Here He generalizes this postulate. Story of Jatabharata is the standing example. Jatabharatha was a yogi and one day as he was meditating, without thoughts going astray, he heard the loud roar of a lion and this made a fully pregnant deer to jump in fear into the river. As it jumped the fawn was born and the mother deer was caught in the flood watter and carried away. Seeing this, Jatabharatha, found the fawn struggling in water and he saved it. He fed the young deer with milk and slowly got attached to it. Later, it was diificult for him to be without this pet and attachment grew very much. Finally, when he was to die, his thoughts were all full of his pet deer and after he died he was born as a deer, because that was what he thought of while dying. Here we should note that though Jatabharatha was thinking of the pet deer he was attached to, he was not born as that pet deer. He was born as another deer like the pet he was attached to. We also, if we think of the Lord at the time of death, we will neither be integrated with Him, nor we will become another Lord like Him; but we will get a status like His. Yam yam = which, which, samaran bhavam = thoughts we have, ante = in the last moments, tyajati = departs, kalevaram = body, tam tam = that, that, evaiti = attains the same, sada = always, tad bhava = with same thoughts, bhavaita = attains similar status. Whatever thoughts we have in the last moments of life, same will be our next birth. We should therefore, always - even when we are healthily alive- think of Him.

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