Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BG 8.8

This temple Nathan koil is under the management of Sri Vanamamalai Mutt. Earlier during a visit to Nanguneri, His Holiness Jeer of Sri Vanamamalai mutt was kind enough to bless us. This temple is ancient and was built by the Nayaks. Their statues are erected in the temple. It is said that once the wife of the ruling Nayak, was suffering from a peculiar disease and finding no remedy everywhere, the Nayak and wife came here and prayed and were blessed with cure of the ailment. The ruler built lots of constructions and donated ornaments and other wealth for the welfare of the temple. We also try to seek protection from various sources, but here the Lord as Sri Jagannatha is there to protect everyone. But during protection the Lord does not do it alone and always Sri Mahalakshmi accompanies Him. Thus,
Lakshmyasaha hrishikesa: devya karunyaroopaya
rakshataha sarvadupyante vedantetica deeyate|
Rakshanam or protection requires Her presence. In Srimad Ramayana, Kakasura did the greatest harm by hurting Sri Sita, in Chitrakoota on the banks of river Mandakini, and created wound on Her chest. She was forced to complain to Sri Rama , Who was asleep, with His head on Her lap. Sri Rama, by chanting mantra, directed a grass to go and attack the mischievous Crow as brahmastra. The crow trying all resorts in all the worlds for safety, found none was able to give protection and so as a last resort came to Sri Rama Himself for protection and pardon. Sri Sita taking pity, even after the crow did the severest crime, recommended smaller punishment and its life was saved. But Ravana for committing a lesser crime was killed, beacause Sri Sita was not nearby. Swami Pillai Lokacharya compares these and says presence or absence of Sri Thayar mkes all the difference in judging the crimes and awarding punishments. That is why not taking any chance, She decided to be permanently with Him, so that all devotees are properly protected. Because of Her, He is Sri Jagannathan and all approach Him for protection. More we worship Him, more His thoughts will always occupy our minds, even after great interval. We will have Bhagavat smaranam always. This is what Sri Krishna is going to tell in sloka 7. In sloka 5 He told that whoever thinks of Him at the time of death attains His status after death. When Arjuna had doubt on this, in sloka 6, Sri Krishna told of the common belief that whichever thoughts are there at the time of death, whoever dies, will be born as that which was thought of at the time of soul departing body. So there are two postulates: 1] next birth is decided by the thoughts at the time of death, and 2] Thinking of Sri Krishna at the time of death, will make the person dying to attain that Supreme level. So, as in logic using the major and minor premises to arrive at a conclusion, we can draw the conclusion here. WE HAVE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. This is told in sloka 7:

tasmat sarveshu kaleshu
mam anusmara yudhya ca
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
mam evaishyasy asamsayah

"Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt."

Tasmat = therefore [from the sayings in slokas 5 and 6], sarveshu kaleshu = at all times, mam = Me [Sri Krishna], anusmara = think of, yudhya ca = and fight. That is without taking any chance never for a moment stop thinking of Sri Krishna, even amidst all our activities. Arjuna got relieved that Sri Krishna was telling to always meditate on Him and so, Arjuna, as told in the very beginning, could abandon war and concentrate on meditation. Seeing this flow of mind, the Lord, suddenly introduces the word yuddha and again encourages Arjuna to fight. Mayy = in Me [Sri Krishna], arpita = dedicate, mano = mind , buddhi = wisdom or resolute, mam evaishyasi = attain My [ Sri Krishna's] staus or level, asamsaya = without any doubt [no doubt]. Sri Krishna firmly states that with both mind and wisdom dedicated on Him, the person surely attains His level and there can be no doubt in this. In all these three slokas 5,6 and 7, Sri Krishna was telling about thoughts one should have ; then, why this word fighting has been suddenly introduced? Sri Krishna tells that to have thoughts of Him at the time of death, one should be always thinking of Him. Arjuna felt, though it was correct, but to have thoughts of Him always is not practical. We have found that even as we sit for meditation on Him for 15 minutes, innumerous other thoughts come and disturb our objective. The Lord is the most beautiful, He is the sweetest, He is the most intelligent, He is the richest, He is the most superior in all desirable qualitues, He is the most helpful in our needs, etc. None can be anywhere near Him in all these. But still, our mind does not go after Him, but go after all worldly things, why? Reason is the dateless karma and the samsaram as a result. We are pulled by the karma on the other side and instead of forcibly detaching ourselves from the pull of karma, we meekly follow its pull and forget the Lord. How to get rid off the influence of karma? This has been advocated by the Lord in earlier Chapters. We have to do our karma with detachment. Then our karma will have no effect. We have to offer our mind to Him. We have to have resolute wisdom, that He is our only protector. Then that person will attain His level. No doubt on this. We have to always think of Him and to ward off the influence of karma, practicing karma yoga, that is doing our prescribed duties with detachment [ without 'I-am-doing' conscience, not desiring on the results], is the solution. We will take leave of this Kshetram now.

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