Monday, May 12, 2008

BG 8.9

Sriman Narayana is the only One. Who can grant Moksham to anyone. If He wishes He can give it to anyone, irespective of sex or animal or bird, etc. To indicate this power of Him, certain instances are available in Puranas and Itihasas. Such an instance is the grant of Moksham by Sri Rama to the bird Jatayu. Sri Sita was abducted by Ravana nad Sri Rama and Lakshmana were searching for Her. They found Jatayu lying down with all the feathers cut and severely wounded. They understand the valiant fight of the bird to rescue Sri Sita. Jatayu was a close freind of Dasaratha. Sri Rama seeing the bird in agony, tried to comfort the bird by embracing and soothening the wounds. He cried for the great sacrifice the bird did. Finally, when the bird succumbed to the injuries, Sri Rama did all the last rites, a son would do to his father. and ordered the soul to reach Vaikuntam. This story gains relevence as today's [8th May 2008] lecture is from Pullamboothamkudi, near Kumbakonam. This Divya desam is under the management of Sri Ahobila mutt. Here, Sri Rama the Son of the Emperor [Chakravarti Thirumagan] is gracing the devotees in the reclined pose. Sri Bhoomadevi is at His feet. In a separate sannidhi, Sri Sridevi is gracing as Sri Potramarayal [பொற்றாமறையாள் ]. In the garbagruha, Lakshmana, Anjaneya and Jatayu are also there. Pul [புள் ] means bird in Tamil and bhootha means body. So this is the place where the bird's body was cremated by Sri Rama and He did the last rites for the deceased bird. Pushkarini is Jatayu pushkarini and the surroundings here are a feast to the eyes. We understand from this place that Sriman Narayana alone can grant Moksham. We will see now the Eighth sloka of Chapter 8. This sloka and this Kshetram are connected. We surrender to get some reward, not necessarily for Moksham alone. Draupati surrendered to save her chastity. Kunti surrendered to rescue Parikshit and Pandavas surrendered to get their kingdom restored. But we should not seek such things from the Lord and seek only Paramapurushaartham, that is Moksham. The Lord also expects this prayer from us. But we do not reach that state instantly and we are in Aiswaryarti stage and then upgrade to kaivalyarti. Then after realizing that both wealth and kaivalyam are not the best, we seek service unto Him. Till then the Lord is waiting patiently. Slowly, He refines our request. Initially, when we seek wealth, He does not reject our prayer; for, that would discourage devotees approaching Him. While granting all such requests, the Lord refines our prayers also. By this our knowledge about the Lord increases and we gradually understand the greatness of Him. Then, we understand the inferior nature of our requests and our prayers are finally for Moksham and eternal service to Him. Our earlier prayers make us to be attracted by His greatness and this is an unique feature of worshiping Him. When He could grant Moksham to a bird, He would certainly grant Moksham to us also; but we have to aspire for that. Swami Koorathalwan in his Athimanushastavam, inquires. The Lord took the human form and went on exile to the forests and like ordinary humans, wandered the forests and ate and lived like any human. Like any man, He acted when Sri Sita was abducted and searched as though He was not aware of Her whereabouts. But suddenly, emerging out of the human nature, He granted Moksham to the bird, which no human could ever do. By this He was exposed as Sriman Narayana. So we also should upgrade ourselves to such a level for Him to grant us Moksham. By constantly doing bhakti to get our worldly needs, we slowly realize the greatness of bhakti and we upgrade our requests. This is the reason, why the Lord reiterates the need for bhakti. Bhakti is the means for attaining wealth or kaivalyam or the everlasting service to Him. Thus from this Kshetram, we can understand the inevitable reason to perform bhakti to attain any of our needs.

cetasa nanya-gamina
paramam purusham divyam
yati parthanucintayan

"He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me."

Partha = Arjuna, anuchintayan = [ at the time of death] thinking [ of Sri Krishna], paramam = Supreme, purusham = Lord, divyam = grace, yati = reaches. By thinking of the Lord in the last moments of one's life, one gets the grace of the Lord, the Supreme Being. Here, we should not interpret that the person gets moksham, but attains what he was aspiring for. If he had been an Aishwaryarti, he would get the greatest wealth. What is this person to do? Cetasa = by mind, na = not, anya gamina = going other places, abhyasa = by constant practice, yoga = yoga, yuktena = together. That is by the mind not wandering elsewhere and thinking only of the Lord, he can remember the Lord at the last hours of the life. Abhyasa means repeated practice. To gain the greatest wealth, this person constantly and repeatedly practices to think of the Lord of such wealth. Yoga here denotes Bhakti yoga. So, a person with constant practice of bhakti yoga, and with mind not distracted by other things, in the last moments of life, if he remembers the Lord, the Most Supreme Being, with no equals or superior, reaches the Lord of the wealth he was aspiring. Though, Sri Krishna's private intention here is, that such a person would refine his prayer from mere wealth to ever lasting service in Vaikuntam, He is not mentioning it explicitly.

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