Monday, June 30, 2008

BG 9.16

We are entering the sannidhi of Sri Annan Perumal. After we cross the Gopuram, we come to Thiruvaimozhi mandapam. We can see on the top Sri Rama gracing in the Pattabhishekam pose. We can also see Swami Manavala Mamunigal along with Ashta Dhikgajangal [disciples]. After crossing the dwajasthambam, a long mandapam is there and crossing that we come to ardha mandapam. Then the garbhagruham of the Lord. In the month of Thai, after Amavasya, on the prathama and dwithiya days, the Eleven Garuda seva of Thirunangur Kshetrams, assemble and grace Thirumangai Alwar together. That time the Alwar arrives here. From this mandapam the Alwar presents himself to the Lord. Moolavar is in standing pose with right arm pointing to His feet, while the left arm is on His left lap, confirming removal of all sins of the devotees who fall at His feet. Utsavar is a copy of Moolavar, and shorter.But His fame is very great. Nearby is Sri Padmavathi Thayar. Thirumangai Alwar calls the Lord here as well as the Lord of Thirumala, as Anna! By visiting the Lord here we can get all our miseries removed. Our relatives are all temporary, but our relationship with the Lord is permanent. He is like father creating us and like Mother protecting us. So, He represents all possible relatives for each of us. In the sloka 14, the beginning phase of Bhakti, with singing, performing pooja, prostrating and meditating always, was mentioned. Now sloka 15:

jnana-yajnena capy anye
yajanto mam upasate
ekatvena prithaktvena
bahudha vishvato-mukham

"Others, who engage in addition, sacrifice by the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, as diverse in many, and in the universal form."

The Bhakti matures. Anye api = some others, that is different from the devotees mentioned in sloka 13, who were practicing sadhya bhakti, and different from the devotees mentioned in sloka 14, who are in the initial stages of sadhana Bhakti. These devotees, jnana yajnena ca = by gyana yagna also, yajanta = perform pooja [aradhana]. The word 'also' implies that besides doing some other, these persons, perform pooja by gyana yagna. That is these persons perform gyana yagna, besides the other forms mentioned in sloka 14, viz, sankeerthanam, namaskaram, bhakti, always wanting to be with the Lord, etc. By this Lord Sri Krishna removes certain wrong conceptions we have. He told that singing His names, namaskaram, blind faith in Him, performing various services like collecting flowers and making them as garlands, sweeping the floor of temples, helping to organize festivals, etc., are all initial stages of bhakti. Se we should not conclude that gyana yoga is advanced stage of bhakti and we need not do the initial actions nor we are to continue them after practicing gyana yoga. We should not ignore them as mere rituals and practice gyana yoga only. The Lord approves bhakti only if it is blind faith, and the devotees sing and dance in praise of Him. Going around temples and doing small services like lighting lamps, cleaning and decorating, etc., are all to His liking and without these, mere Gyana yoga, the Lord does not approve. But with these initial stages, if the person also performs Gyana yoga, then he is in the advanced stage of Bhakti. Even great philosophers like Adi Shankara or Swami Ramanuja or Sri Madhwacharya, did not leave nama sankeerthanam, just because they were great intellectuals. Adi Shankara says mere knowledge will never grant Moksham. Only Sri Govinda nama sankeerthanam would redeem us. Unless even a gyani melts at the listening of His stories and shed tears, he can never qualify to become a Bhakta. Ekatvena = in unison, here we have to add the word mam upasate [worships Me, Sri Krishna] of last sloka. Here in unison means, He is always One with everyone of us. Just as a person has many organs and parts of the body. He is regarded as one with many parts. Bahuda = in many, prithaktvena = but in separate,vishvato mukham = appear in the entire Universe. The Lord is One, but appears separately in many forms in the entire Universe. Again we have to bring that word from last sloka - mam upasate. This Bhakta worships the Lord as One appearing as many, many separate entities in this Universe. This the ultimate stage of Bhakti, when the devotee sees the Lord everywhere and in everything, though they are all separate. He is in the advanced stage of sadhana bhakti. Viswatomukham means everything is body to the Lord.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

BG 9.15

Parithranayasadhoonam vinasayachadushkrutham
Dharmasamsthabanarthaya sambavami yugeyuge|
These are the words of Sri Krishna. Born in every yug, protecting good people and destroying evil people, the Lord establishes Dharma. The Lord Himself is Dharma. By removing all miseries the Lord offers Himself to devotees. This happened during avatars; and now as a representative of those Avatars, He is gracing in various temples. We have been visiting temple by temple and understanding their greatness. At the same time we are understanding the substance of slokas of Gita. We have come to an important Kshetram. In Avatars, the Lord appears as single or with other kins. In Sri Rama Avatar, He had three brothers - Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shatrugna. The Lord was the elder brother to all. He desired to be born as younger brother, and so in Dwapara yug, He was born as Sri Krishna, younger brother of Sri Balarama. What the Elder brother Sri Rama practiced is preached by the younger brother Sri Krishna. Similarly, in Divya desam also He is present as Elder brother. In the Kshetram we are to see the Lord is the elder brother of Sri Venkatesa of Thirumala. Thirumangai Alwar has sung in praise of the Lord of this Kshetram and Sri Venkatesa, together; and calls the Lord here as Anna [அண்ணா]- elder brother! We are at Annan koil [அண்ணன் கோயில்], where the Lord is Sri Annan Perumal. The Kshetram is also known as Thiruvellakkulam [திரு வெள்ளக் குளம்]. He is also known as Sri Srinivasa. Thirumangai Alwar says 'thinnaar mdhil soozhthirvellakkulatthu anna' [திண்ணார் மதிள் சூழ் திருவெள்ளக் குளத்து அண்ணா]. He prays to get all his obstacles removed. Just like an elder brother has the duty to remove the sorrows of younger or a master clears the obstacles for the servant, the Lord should remove his miseries, prays the Alwar. The pushkarini here is called swetha [white] pushkarini [pond] and in Tamil this got the name vellai + kulam. Filled with lots of flowers the pond is very beautiful. On the shore of the pond is a sannidhi of Anjaneya. There lived a King, Swetha, who bathed in this pond and worshiped the Lord to remove his fear of early death and so this pond got this name. In Ikshvaku dynasty - of Sri Rama- there was a King Bindhumaran. His son was Swetha. It was predicted that this son Swetha would die at the age of 9; and as a remedy suggested by the family Guru sage Vasishta, Swetha was asked to take bath in this pond and worship the Lord, for a month. He did accordingly from Aippasi shukla Dasami to Karthigai shukla Ekadasi. The Lord appeared before him and asked what boon Swetha desired, who requested long life to serve the Lord. Vimanam is Swetha vimanam. Another name is Tatvadyodhaka vimanam [exposing the true entity].

In sloka 14, the Lord describes how a Bhakta like the Alwar, worships and yearns for Him. In sloka 13, the Lord told how great devotees [mahatman] worship Him. We can notice a commonality in slokas 13, 14 and 15. All the three are explaining the greatness of devotees. Of these 13th sloka tells of one type of devotion and 14 and 15 slokas tell of another type. A devotee may request the Lord for material benefits or for Moksham. Former is inferior. It is like commercial transaction. We will leave this type of bhakti. The other type is to request for Moksham as the end result. This is called sadhana bhakti. But, some perform bhakti and they do is for bhakti sake. This is called sadhya bhakti or swayam prayojana bhakti [ devotion for its own, that is for devotion itself]. That is even Moksham is not the goal, but bhakti for His pleasure. One leaves everything to Him and even Moksham He will grant whenever He thinks it should be granted. Sloka 14 talks of Bhakti in its initial stage, while sloka 15 describes Bhakti at its fully matured stage. But, when we see the sloka 14, we will be wondering if the initial stage is like this, how to imagine the matured stage in sloka 15. This is the rating by the Lord. Sloka 14:

satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate

"Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."

All these people upasate = worship [the Lord], with the purpose of, nitya yukta = being always with the Lord. Satatam = always, kirtayanta = singing and chanting names, to heart content, mam = of Me [Sri Krishna], drdha vratha = with firm determination [ that He alone is the Lord], yatanta = perform archana, pooja, etc., namasyanta = prostrate to, mam = Me [Sri Krishna], bhaktya = along with devotion. With love or bhakti, these people with a determined firm belief worship the Lord by singing His divne names, perform various poojas, prostrate, so that they will be with Him always. Here the Lord mentions activities a bhakta does: Keertanam [singing], yatnam [performing yagna and other pooja], namasyanta [prostrating], bhakti [ love] and nitya-yukta [always being with the Lord]. All these should be with a firm determination. This is the state of the bhakti in the initial stage. We are nowhere near this. But we publicize ourselves as devotees or bhaktas. While singing His names the voice would tremble and tears will flow like stream. All flowers are meant for the Lord. Prostrating should be sashtanga; that is eight parts should be placed before the Lord [two hands, two legs, one head, mind, intellect and faith]. Such a bhakta is going to become a mahatman, says Sri Krishna.

BG 9.14

Aapadhamapa hartharam dhataram sarva sampatham
Lokapiramam sriramam bhuyobhuyo namamyaham.
From this sloka we understand the nature of protection of all, by Sri Rama. Though there might be many Kshetrams for Sri Rama, this Kshetram of Sri Trivikrama [Kazhi SriRama vinnagaram] is called by Sri Rama's name. Who will grant Vinnagaram [Vaikuntam] for us? Sri Rama will, as evident from Ramayana and Azhwar's pasurams. We know that those who perform Bhakti yoga or saranagathi are granted Moksham. But Sri Rama took along with Him, to Vaikuntam, evrything in Ayodhya, like a grass, tree, insect and what not? Dust from His feet fell on them to qualify for Moksham. Therefore, it is apt that this Vinnagaram is associated with Sri Rama and worshiping Him, we can also aspire for Vaikuntam. We are at the sannidhi of Sri Kothanda Rama, gracing with Sri Sita, Lakshmana, Anjaneya and Kulasekara Alwar. This place is also called Siddhasrama. In BIhar, on the banks of river Ganges is a place called Bastar. Here iddhasrama is there. Viswamitra while taking Sri Rama and Lakshmana along forests, shows this place as Sri Vamana's place. So, here also in this Siddhasrama, Sri Rama is gracing in the temple of Sri Trivikrama. Without the guidance and direction of Acharyas we can never understand the Lord properly. Some Acharyas exist only to serve the Lord in various Kshetrams and observe pious discipline. This Kshetram is under the administration of Cholasimhapuram [Sholingar, near Arakkonam] Swami Dhoddayacharya. He is called Koil Kandhadai chandamarutham Dhoddayacharya Swami Vedanthacharya. We are to see sloka 13, and the substance of it could be understood from the history of Thirumangai Alwar. He had composed 10 pasurams on the Lord here and in the last pasuram he has mentioned all his titles. In the pasuram 'senkamala..' [செங்கமல..], he mentions his titles: aalinadan [ஆலிநாடன்], arulamari [அருள்மாரி], arattamukki [அரட்டமுக்கி], adayarseeyam [அடையார் சீயம்], mangai vendhan [மங்கை வேந்தன்], parakalan [ பரகாலன்] and kaliyan [கலியன்]. We may wonder why Alwar mentions all his titles. Thirugyana Sambandhar [திருஞான சம்பந்தர்] came to this place and met the Alwar. Both of them were good in composing Tamil poems. Sambandhar asked Alwar whether he could compose a kural. ['ஒரு குறள்' பாட முடியுமா?]. Kural in Tamil poetry consists of two lines poems, like the famous Thirukkural. Immediately, Alwar composed his pasuram starting with the words 'oru kural'. He intelligently used the word kural to mean Sri Vamana. He won the appreciation of Sambandhar and Sambandhar presented his spear to Alwar as a gift. Alwar started life as a robber but turned into a great devotee. Similarly we can also become His devotees. In the last sloka the Lord said that people attain rakshasa and asura character and never realize Him. Arjuna got doubt whether there was no purpose of the Lord's avatar? If we all have thses evil qualities we can never appreciate the real Lord in all temples and by all His avatars. But Lord says that what He told was about the majority; there are a few who do understand Him. These people do not know anything but Bhakti and yearn to be with Him for ever. They consider singing in praise of Him as the sole purpose of their lives. In Vedas it is said that though all are His creations, the Lord selects a couple and appear as their Child. Dasaratha or Vasudeva are His children, like everyone of us. But He chose Dasaratha and appeared as his son Sri Rama; He chose Vasudeva and Devaki as parents and appeared as their son Sri Krishna. Sri Vamana appeared as the son of Athithi and Kashyapa. But majority feel that the Lord has really parents. Such people do not realize the correct meaning of Vedas. Person understanding Vedas properly would know the secret of His avatar. In the last sloka He told that Veda ignorant persons do not understand properly. In sloka 13, He talks of persons understanding Vedas:

mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakritim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam

"O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Creator of all and inexhaustible."

Partha = Arjuna!, mahatmanas tu = whereas mahatman [ great devotees]. That is different from the muda [fools], He mentioned earlier, or these great devotees have understood the Lord properly, Mam = Me [Sri Krishna], daivim = divine, prakritim = qualities, asrita = attained. That is they are different from rakshasas [ with more tamo qualities] and asura [ with more rajo qualities]. Davim suggests more of satva qualities. How do they treat the Lord? Bhutatim = as the Cause or Creator of entire living beings, avyayam = non-destructible, jnatva = understand. They understand that He, Who is the cause for the existence of everything, is appearing as simple Sri Krishna. Ananya manasa = without concentrating mind on anything else, bhajanti = perform bhakti. Alwars pity the Lord, Who undergoes all turmoils and abuses, just to redeem us. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.

Friday, June 27, 2008

BG 9.13

We are at the sannidhi of Sri Lokanayaki, the Queen and Consort of Sri Thadalan. She is also called Sri Mattavizhkuzhali [ஸ்ரீ மட்டவிழ் குழலி]. Alwar says that the flowers decorating the hair of Sri Thayar is fragrant and honey oozes out of them. She is closely associated with Sri Trivikrama. We may have a doubt. Emperor Mahabali acquired all the three worlds from Indra. Indra prayed to the Lord for regaining his lost wealth. The Lord appeared and decided to regain the property by donation from the Emperor. He was in the bachelor [பிரம்மச்சர்யம்] stage as begging for donation was undignified for married ones. Swami Vedanta Desika says that since Sri Lakshmi never leaves Her place on the right chest of the Lord, He used deer skin to cover His chest. Brahmacharis or bachelors, are expected to use deer skin on their sacred thread [பூணூல்]. This way the Lord hid His identity as a married one and also avoided the grace of Sri Lakshmi on the Emperor, as he was to lose all his acquired wealth. Sri Vamana arrived at the yagna site and demanded three steps length of land, from the Emperor. So, His right arm was extended to recieve [ dhana hastham]. When the Emperor agreed, He grew to gigantic form and with the right foot, first step, He covered all the Universe. Then He raised His left foot upwards to measure entire upper worlds as the second step. With one more step remaining, the Lord asked which was the place, for the next step. We can see Sri Thadalan, asking for that remaining one step by showing one by His left arm. Thirumangai Alwar traces this in his pasuram 'oru kuralai' [ஒரு குறளாய்..]. We can appreciate the numbers 1,2,3,etc., in this pasuram. Utsava Moorthy graces with upper arms holding discus and conch, lower right arm in abhaya mudra and left lower arm holding the mace. He is accompanied by Sri Lokanayaki Thayar. Pushkarini is Sanka Chakra pushkarini. Vimanam is Pushkalavartha vimanam. Now we will see the 12th sloka. In the 11th sloka, the Lord mentioned how people mistake His simple appearance of human form and deride Him, without understanding His true Majesty. He further explains in sloka 12, that such people are not going to attain any benefits. What is the result? is explained:

moghasa mogha-karmano
mogha-jnana vicetasah
rakshasim asurim caiva
prakritim mohinim sritah

"Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated."

Mohinim = capable of confused or deluded; that is wrong impression about the Lord will be in them. Sritah = attain, rakshasim = rakshasa behaviour and rakshasa births, asurim = asura behaviour and asura births. That is those who attain these behaviour or births will not understand the true image of the Lord and will get confused. Arjuna asks, but there are many who perform yagna and pooja, will they not attain their desires? Vicetasa = true understanding will not be. That is in the last sloka He mentioned some as muda or fools. They will never get the proper understanding of the Lord. How are they? Mogha= wasted desires [amogham = utilised or not wasted]. Sri Rama's arrows are called amogham, as they were never wasted and every arrow did its assignment without fail. But here these persons' desires will never be fulfilled. Because they have no true understanding of the Lord. But they do some karmas like yagna or pooja. Every karma we do, we should know for whom that karma was dedicated to and who would grant the desired results. Our actions also should be sincere. For example, jyotishtahomam is being performed. The person doing should know it is dedicated to Indra. But he should also realize that the results are to be granted by the Lord residing as Antharyami in Indra. Without this knowledge that karma will never get the person attainment of the desired result, namely status of Indra. Here not properly understanding means understanding with great contempt or maliciousness. Mogha karmana = wasted karma. They do not understand He is the yagna, He is the holy fire, etc. Mogha gyana = wasted knowledge; that is wrong and mistaken understanding. Greatest person is mistaken as ordinary; Donor is mistaken as beggar. Emperor mistook the Lord as a bachelor. We should know that the great Sri Trivikrama appeared as Sri Vamana. These people thus do not properly understand because of rakshasa and asura behaviour.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BG 9.12

Thirumangai Alwar is the last among Alwars. From today [23rd June 2008] onwards, we will be in Alwar's region. That is, we have entered Sirkazhi [சீர்காழி], which along with other Kshetrams of Thiru Nangoor, are all praisedr in his pasurams by this Alwar. This place is known as Kazhi Srirama Vinnagaram [காழிச் சீராம விண்ணகரம்]. This is a popular place and finding it is not difficult. Here the Lord Sri Trivikrama, graces as the famous Sri Thadalan [ஸ்ரீ தாடாளன்].

Sri Trivikrama measured the entire Universe with His foot, for which He begged King Mahabali to grant land. He requested for land of length Three steps by His feet. When it was granted, He took a gigantic form and by His first step He covered the entire Universe and by the second step covered all the upper worlds. With nothing more to cover by the third step, He asked Mahabali as to where was the place for third step. This scene is depicted in this Kshetram and the Lord graces in that pose. What one would get by reaching Vinnagaram [Vaikuntam], will be attained by coming to this Kshetram. We normally are proud of our birth, education and status and this is called ahankaram or ego. Arriving at this Kshetram, would remove this ego. This humble feeling would be felt in Vaikuntam also. That is why this place is called Sirkazhi and reversing the words it becomes Kazhi seer. Sri Rama followed sage Viswamitra to guard the yagna the sage was to perform for six days in Siddhasrama, in Bihar state. This Kshetram also is known as Siddhasrama and since it is connected with Sri Rama, it is called Sri Rama vinnagaram. Thus the place is called Kazhi Sri Rama vinnagaram. Later on we will see why the Lord appeared here. In the Vimanam we can see Thavittuppaanai Thadalan [தவிட்டுப் பானை தாடாளன்] [thavidu = husk, thavittu paanai = pot for containing husk]. How can such a gigantic Lord come into a pot? Yes, that is His greatness. Setting aside His eminence, He takes simple forms to mingle with us; but we are never caring for Him. This idol of the Lord was once worshiped by an elderly woman and she used to store the Lord in a pot. Daily she used to offer pooja and was greatly attached to the Lord. She protected the Lord from external threats and after those threats vanished, the Lord was established in the present place. Thadalan splits as per grammar into thaal [தாள்]= feet, aalan [ஆளன்]= measurer [அளப்பவன்]. Since He measured the land by three steps He is Thadalan. The Lord wanted to publicize His presence as Sri Thavittupanai Thadalan and so He enacted a drama. Once He hid Himself in the palace of Nawab of Arcot. Not finding the Lord in the usual place, all started searching. In the dream of Sudandhram Padayachi, the Lord appeared and revealed His hiding place. That devotee did not know how to bring the Lord; the Lord solved that problem also by asking him to call Him as Thavittupanai Thadalan, from near the palace compound and He would jump and come to them. They also did likewise and the Lord came back to this temple. Instead of admiring these simple appearances of a very great Person, we are confused and think that the Lord is after all like one of us and do not pay the respects due to Him. This is what is explained by Sri Krishna in the 11 th sloka:

avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-maheshvaram

"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."

Swamy Alawandar had condensed the entire Chapter 9 in one sloka in his Gitarthasangraham. Till the sloka 10, the Lord mentioned His greatness. While appearing as a human, He establishes He is the Ultimate God, in the subsequent slokas. None recognize Him as the Lord Sriman Narayana or Paramatman, and contiue to ridicule Him. Avajananti = without knowing, mam = Me [Sri Krishna], mudha = fools, manusi tanum = human body, asritam = appearance. Mama = My, Sri Krishna's, param bhavam = great qualities of, bhuta maheswaram = Leader of entire living beings in this Universe, ajananta = ignorant. Without knowing that the Lord is the Leader of each and everyone in this Universe, people are assuming that He is like one of them as He has a human form. So, they ridicule and chide Him as a cowherd, a thief stealing butter, lier, bind Him and abuse. They have never understood that the Lord has cast off all His greatness and has come in the simple form. As Sri Vamana, the Lord appeared a Dwarf; but next moment He showed His gigantic form also. Should we deride Him as the simple Sri Thavittupanai Thadalan or admire Him for His infinite great qualities? So, we have to properly understand Him, as first impression lasts, always. We have to first understand that He is the greatest and then look and admire simple forms He is appearing. The Creator of the entire Universe, Leader of entire Universe, Administrator appointing all various gods and Granter conferring Moksham, is not understood by fools, as He appears in human form like them. Then, why can't He appear as Sriman Narayana? With the limited power of our eyes and other organs, we can never perceive Him in that form. So, He has been kind enough to appear in a form that could be conceived. That way He exhibits His noble qualities of Simplicity, Oneness with commoner and easy approach, for our benefit. Instead we think God is simple or God does not exist. The Lord appeared here to wipe out the ego of lord Brahma, who was proud that he had the longest life cycle. Sage Romasareera, prayed the Lord to remove this pride. The Lord gave a boon that, with the falling of every hair from the body of the sage, the life time of lord Brahma would reduce; and this way Brahma's ego was clipped. We should also avoid ego and understand the Lord's greatness and worship Him here. He is the Lord in Human form.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BG 9.11

Thirumangai Alwar has sung in praise of 86 Kshetrams, of which Thiru Kandiyur is one, from where we are listening to today's [20th June 2008] lecture. We are having the grace of Sri Hara sapa vimochana Perumal and Sri Kamalavalli Thayar. Alwar has dedicated one song in Thirukkurunthandakam [திருக் குறுந்தாண்டகம்], on the Lord here. Yerar muyal vittu kakkai pin povadhe [ஏரார் முயல் விட்டு காக்கை பின் போவதே]? Will anyone discard [easily available] rabbit and go after crow [for meat]? Asks the Alwar. This he says with reference to the Lord in Sri Vaikuntam. We do not know where He is and is most difficult to see Him. What type of experience we will have there also we are not aware. Instead, we can pleasantly visit all these Kshetrams and worship the Lord to our heart's content. This is also very easy. He says that only those who worship the Lord in these temples on Earth, redeem themselves and others' efforts are wasted. In the pasuram ' pindiyaar mandai yendhi [பிண்டியார் மண்டை ஏந்தி]..', this Kshetram is mentioned along with Srirangam, Thirumeyyam, Kanchi, Thiruppernagar and Mamallapuram. But he says with an adjective 'ulagam yetthum [உலகமேத்தும்], meaning world famous. We are now in Ardha mandapam, after crossing Dwajasthambam and Maha mandapam. The Lord is gracing from the garbha gruha. Utsavar is along with Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhoodevi. In the Maha mandapam there is a sannidhi of Sri Narasimha and Sri Sudarsana. Almost in all Kshetrams we can worship Sri Narasimha and Sri Sudarsana. To compensate for the very short duration [one muhurtam = 48 minutes] Lord Sri Narasiha appeared in this world, He is present along with Sri Sudarsana in all temples permanently, perhaps. Sri Sudarsana blesses the devotees with health, wealth and success. Now we will see 10th sloka:

mayadhyaksena prakritih
suyate sa-caracaram
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

"This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."

In the last sloka the Lord said that in all actions like creation, sustaining and destruction, He is disinterested. Though the Lord creates all, depending on individual karma, His will power creates living beings and others. Since He is not directly involved in every creation, no faults could be hurled at Him. Arjuna gets a doubt. Prakruti is a part of Brahmam, the Lord's body. Prakruti undergoes transformation. From prakruti, mahan, then ahankaram, then pancha bhhotha, pancha tanmatra, etc. are formed. So moola prakruti becomes the material cause. Doubt may arise, then why not the transformation take place automatically, depending on each karma? Where is the necessity for the Lord's role in this? Without His interference, why not prakruti transform itself? Today we say atoms are the basic and from them molecules and other matters are formed. From mud, pot is made; but it requires a potter to do that. At the same time, we find so many vegetations are growing from earth. But here also some interference of a human effort is required. So, who is the interfering force in the creation of the Universe? A child is born from a couple. Are they the only cause? If it was so, every couple should have child. Children will be born according to the wishes of the parents. This is not so. Similarly, according to one's desire death does not occur. Therefore, we can deduce there must be some other cause. So bearing a child by a couple depends on their karma; marriage between a couple happens according to their karma. Then, the question may arise. If that is so, why not all creations be done by atman, prakruti and individual karma? Where is the role of Paramatman, the Lord? This is replied here. We do not see God; then how are we to believe that He has a role? Cow eats grass and yields milk. green grass has become white milk. We try to convert milk to curd, by adding a drop of curd in warm milk and overnight, that milk becomes curd. Though we put the drop of curd in milk, we ourselves know that we alone are not responsible for conversion. Like this we see so many transformations. If we carefully examine, we can conclude that the Lord is responsible for everything. Maya =by Me [Sri Krishna], adyaksena = as Leader, or in His supervision, prakruti = this prakruti, sa caracaram = this world [ of moving and non-moving], suyate =is created. So only under the supervision of the Lord, prakruti transforms into what we see in this world. With His will power along with the karma of individuals, creations take place. According to every individuals karma, the Lord determines the birth, growth and death, and this determination or will power transforms prakruti. So prakruti can not transform itself and it requires the Lord's determination or will power. Then, why all the variations and differences among all created? This is because of individual karma, which aides the will power. So atman exists. Its karma helps the Lord's will power. The will power, under the supervision of the Lord, transforms the prakruti and world gets created. We should remember prakruti is achit and it has no intellect to transform itself and needs the Lord's will power to change.Anena hetuna = this reason, that is atman's karma and consequent will power of the Lord. Jagat = world, parivartate = transforms. Transforms means created, sustained and destroyed. All activities we see in this jagat are included in the word transformed, here. So, the points Sri Krishna establishes are:

  • The Lord can not be blamed for differences we see in this Universe.
  • At the same time all transformations take place under His supervision only.
  • His supervision or will power is aided by individual atman's karma.
  • In no way He can be blamed of partiality or mercilessness.
  • Praying Him alone and getting the karma destroyed, we can redeem our lives.
Let us pray Sri Hara sapa vimochana Perumal to annihilate our papa [sins] also and we take leave of this Kshetram.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BG 9.10

According to a sloka, Sri Krishna as a cowherd, milked the cow- upanishads, to get the milk -Gita, using Arjuna as a calf. In Gita the greatness of Bhakti yoga is explained. Especially, in Chapter 9, the eminence of Bhaktas and bhakti yoga are stated. We are to see the 9th sloka of Chapter9 and today [19th june 2008] we are at Thiru Kandiyur, one of the Kshetrams in Chola region.

Kamalavalli Thayar sametha Kamalanathan Koil - Thiru Kandiyur
Here the Lord is Sri Harasapa vimochana perumal and graces along with Sri Kamalavalli Thayar. This place is also called Kamala Kshetram. Here the Kamala pushkarini, Kamalakruth vimanam, Kamala kshetram, Sri Kamalavalli Thayar and Sri Kamalanathan, make up Pancha Kamala kshetram. Moolavar is called Sri Bali natha perumal, as He was worshiped by Mahabali, who was begged by Sri Vamana for land. Utsavar is Sri Hara sapa vimochana perumal. It is possible that the present name is a mutilation of Kandana + oor. Kandana means breaking. Here breaking happened or the curse on account of breaking the neck, was removed. Kamala pushkarini is outside the temple in the front. At the back Kapala pushkarini is there. Once lord Brahma had Five necks and lord Shiva broke one of them. This might have been done here and so since the breaking happened here, this place was called Kandana+ oor. Another reason is, kantam means neck and lord Shiva is famous for his blue neck [ Neelakantan] and so he is known as Kanti and his curse was removed and so this place became Kanti+oor =Kantiyur. Because lord Shiva broke one neck of his father lord Brahma, the broken neck skull stuck to lord Shiva's hand. So, he became Kapali, and with the dhosha [fault] of Brahmahathi [ப்ரம்மஹத்தி தோஷம்]. To remove this skull, lord Shiva wanted anyone to offer food to fill the skull. Earlier, we have seen Thiru Karambanur or Uthamar koil [near Srirangam], where Sri Poornavalli Thayar offered food to relieve lord Shiva of the skull. That place also has Bikshandar koil and a sannidhi for lord Brahma. Lord Shiva to get removed the brahmahathi dosha, came to this place [Thiru Kandiyur] and after a bath in the pushkarini, prayed to the Lord, Who removed the dosha and got the name Sri Hara sapa vimochana perumal [ஸ்ரீ ஹர சாப விமோசன பெருமாள்].
Lord Shiva told His Consort Parvati 'vishnu prasadat susroni tatra narayana sriman maya diktyam prayachita:' - ' I [lord Shiva] was relieved of curse by Sri Narayana'. Therefore the Lord here will relieve anyone of any curse or sin. One doubt may crop up in our minds. After all He is responsible for our errors and He alone removes the ill effects. So, why at all both? He resides as Antaryami in lord Brahma and in lord Shiva. Why, He should cause lord Shiva to break the neck of lord Brahma? Why should He make lord Shiva to go around to get the dosha relieved and finally come to Him and get relieved? Curse as well as relief could have been avoided. By creating a problem and by doing good to relieve, will the Lord also be subjected to good and bad actions? The reply lies in sloka 9 and further. Till sloka 8 He told that by His will power everything happens in this Universe. Creation, sustaining and destruction are all by His will power. Arjuna felt that if all happenings - good and bad - are all due to His will power, will not He be affected by these activities? Will He not be accused that for some He is good and for others He is bad? Differences in living create problems. This fault is called vaishamyam. Next fault is naidhrunyam or merciless. Differences we see are due to the Lord and so He could be accused of both these faults. Answer is in sloka 9:

na ca mam tani karmani
nibadhnanti dhananjaya
udasina-vad asinam
asaktam tesu karmasu

"O Dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral."

He tells Arjuna that thses actions do not affect Him. Tani karmani = all these actions [ like creation, destruction and sustaining], na nibhdhanti = do not affect [or, tie], mam = Me [Sri Krishna]. Here, affected does not mean involving in samsaram nor bound by karma nor produce happiness or sorrow. Because such effects are for us when we do a karma. But, not affected means the Lord can not be accused of the faults vaishamyam and naidhrunyam. Though there are differences in creations, He can not be faulted of partiality or mercilessness. Arjuna immediately asks that by saying that these faults did not affect Him, was He not escaping from the accusations? How they do not affect Him? Tesu karmasu = in those activities - that is in creation, sustaining and destruction, asaktam = [Sri Krishna has] no attachment. Because every atman by his own actions, decides his fate and birth. The Lord does not do anything in this on His Own. This should be very carefully understood. Many ask questions that when the Lord is responsible for all our actions, how we could be held responsible to face the results? Let us see the reply. Everyone does some karma and he experiences the consequences. Our papa/ punya decide our birth. Once born with a body, the happiness and sufferings are to be experienced alternately. So karmas decide to get a body at our birth. Happiness and sorrow are to be experienced by that body. Therefore, our own karmas are responsible and not the Lord. So He creates, sustains and destroys depending on our karma. Differences are created because of our karma. Therefore, His actions are based on our karma. He has no interest in these. What is He to benefit from this creation? Bodies are given to us as a means to sublime to higher levels and reach Him. So, if we do not act in that way and go in the wrong direction, how can He be faulted? Udhaseena-vad = disinterested. That is, He is not on His own responsible for all actions. and remains disinterested.

Monday, June 23, 2008

BG 9.9

When viewing Sri Krishna's Viswaroopam [Great grand form], Arjuna is excited and says, ' pitasi lokasya characharasya....'. In this Universe with moving and non-moving matter created, He is the Father. He is the Guru [Teacher]. None to equal or greater than Him. Arjuna says that He salutes such a Person. This sloka comes in the Chapter 11, when Sri Krishna exposes Arjuna to His mammoth form. This sloka aptly reflects the Lord of this Kshetram Oppiliappan koil, as there is none equal or greater and He is the Father. There is no father equal to this Father. Though everyone has a father, none can be father for all. Similarly there is none without a father. But these qualities are attributable to the Lord. He is the Father of everyone and He has no father. Father created us; father advises us on the right path; father moulds us; father is proud if we get good name. Here the Divine Couple is the Parents for everyone. Nammalwar says, he is not bothered whether the Lord is the Father of Brahma and others, but He is Nammalwar's Father, and that makes him proud. Because they are all very great people but Alwar regards himself as lowly and being father of him and made him an Alwar, is so great. Parents also get themselves attached more to the weak child and care more for that. We also should be more considerate to physically challenged people as that would please the Lord; and this is reiterated by Alwars and Acharyas. Unlike the mortal parents, this Divine Parents are never partial to anyone. Everyone of us can feel that these Parents are special to everyone of us. That is what Alwar also repeatedly says as Ennappan [my Father]. Like Alwar all of us can claim that the Lord is Ennappan. Today's [18th June 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Ennappan. This Lord holds the discus in the ready-to-fly pose [prayoga chakra]. Now we will see sloka 8;

prakritim svam avastabhya
visrijami punah punah
bhuta-gramam imam krtsnam
avasam prakriter vasat

"The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end."

Prakrter vasat = bound by prakruti, imam =this, krtsnam = without any exception, bhuta-gramam = living being groups, visrijami = [ I, Sri Krishna] create, puna puna = again and again, svam = my [Sri Krishna's], prakrutim = prakruti [ as My, Sri Krishna's body], avastabhya = manifests into Eight entities. We had already seen these Eight entities, in Chapter 7: [ moola] Prakruti is the raw material and it is transformed into prakruti, mahan, ahankaram and pancha tanmatras [ shabda, roopa, rasa, gandha and sparsa - sound, light, taste, scent and touch]. Such a transformed prakruti is all what you [Arjuna] sees. All kings and relatives, animals and every one without exception are all bound by prakruti. Every atman resides in matter formed by prakruti and expends the accumulated karma as papa/punya. Atman can not remain without a body, except for a short time. Even in Vaikuntam it takes a body to serve the Lord. But the body formed by prakruti is out of the past papa/ punya and so is dependent on karma we do. An Atman in a fish body can swim but can not roar like lion and an atman in a Lion's body can not swim like a fish. These activities are peculiar to the body in which an atman resides. If the same atman resides in a cat's body it can only mew and not roar like lion. So atman behavior is dependent on the body it is residing. So in a way atman also is bound by prakruti. Atman thus is not independent. All these happen out of the will power of the Lord. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BG 9.8

Thirumangai Alwar also has sung in praise of the Lord here in Oppilappan Koil. He says if he could get darshan of the Lord, then he does not want the life here. In Vaikuntam the Lord is known as Eka deva amrutam dhrushtva trupyanti, according to Shastras. He is embodiment of amrut and Thirumangai Alwar also says He is amudam in Tamil. It is a wonder that this Amrut, churned for amrut in the ocean. By doing He took out an inferior amrut, capable of prolonging life, and was distributed to the devas. But the Lord took for Himself an unique and superior Amrut, Sri Mahalakshmi. Asyesana jagata : vishnupathni. Swami Parasara Bhatta says that the Milky ocean became the father of Sri Sridevi as She was obtained by churning. Such a Lord is gracing in this Kshetram with Sri Bhoomidevi, says Thirumangai Alwar. He graces as Gold, Pearl and Diamond [பொன், முத்து, மணி]. We are now worshiping Sri Maniappan. The lower right arm shows protection and left arm points to His feet. Upper arms are holding discus and conch. We will now see 7th sloka in Chapter 9:
Main gOpuram-distant view

sarva-bhutani kaunteya
prakritim yanti mamikam
kalpa-ksaye punas tani
kalpadau visrjamy aham

"O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them again."

Here He says that with His will power [sankalpa shakti] He creates, destroys and after lord Brahma's life time, all the worlds are all dissolved and again creates when lord Brahma's lifetime begins. He does not move any limb to do all , but everything is done by this will power. In the previous sloka He said He is supporting all by His will power. Here, He says besides support, pervading and commanding, He creates, sustains and destroys and all are dependent on Him. He addresses Arjuna as His aunt Kunti's son, so that he would listen to Him. Sarva bhutani = all living beings and objects, kalpa = Brahma's life time, ksaye =when ends. So we should note that there is end to Brahma also and only the Lord is endless. Other than Vaikuntam, all other Universe and all living and non-living objects are created on a particular time and destroyed at another time. So all atman, be of a tiny grass or Brahma or devas or animals or birds, get dissolved at the end of Brahma's lifetime. Mamikam = in My [Sri Krishna's] body, yanti = attain. That is all these atman and other matters, at the end of Brahma's life time get dissolved and merge into the Lord's body or moola prakruti. Kalpadau = again when Brahma's life time starts, puna = again, stani = all these [atman and other matter mingled in moola prakruti], visrujami = get created by, aham = Me [Sri Krishna]. So both creation and destruction are all His deeds. In Vishnu puranam, sage Parasara says that all creations, sustainment and destruction are all done by the Lord by mere thinking or will power. In Brahadaranya Upanishad there is an important portion Gargi prasnam. The sage preaches Gargi. that Sun or Moon are all supported by the Lord by His will power. Initially, He decides to create the Universe. Similarly, He decides to dissolve the Universe. So, His will power decides creation, support and destroying. Layam or dissolution is talked here. Pralayam or end, is in many categories. Every living being dies and this is called Nitya pralayam or daily occurance. It affects individuals. We have seen that Brahma has one day equal to 1000 chatur yug or 1000 X 4,320, 000 [our, human] years. At the end of Brahma's one day time, the three worlds bhu, bhuva and suva are dissolved [upper worlds like maha, jana, tapa and satya lok or worlds are not affected]. This is naimittika pralayam or occasional. This lasts till the night time of Brahma [ another 1000 X 4,320,000 years] is over. There after, again these three worlds -bhu, bhuva and suva- get created. When the Life of Brahma ends - that is after 100 Brahma years of 365 Brahma days [ equal to 2 X 1000 X 4,320,000 human years], there is yet another pralayam. That pralayam is what Sri Krishna mentions in this sloka. At that time all the worlds, including that of Brahma -satya lok- are dissolved and merge into the body of the Lord, which is moola prakruti. We have seen in Chapter 7, how this Universe and all are created from moola prakruti. [Moola] prakruti---> mahan--> ahankaram--> Pancha bhoothani--> Pancha tanmatra--> Pancha karmendriya --> pancha gyanendriya--> manas. All these emerge from the body of the Lord during creation. In pralayam all get dissolved and there is no form or name. All will be in subtle form as contrasted from our present gross form. This happens at the end of lifetime of Brahma. Again when Brahma's life time begins, creation of all, starting from satya lok is effected. Every living being gets a body craeted. All creations and destructions are carried out by the Lord out of His will power alone. This pralayam is called prakruta pralayam. There is yet another pralayam, the Fourth one is called, Adyantika pralayam. This is when an individual soul reaches Moksham.

BG 9.7

In the pasuram 'ennappan..', Nammalwar says that the Lord is without equals. Such a Lord, Alwar happily says, has given shelter under His feet to him. By doing so he is protected from the heat of samsaram. Shastras proclaim that He has no equals. 'Ekameva advideeyam' says Upanishad – there ir no second like Him. Sri Oppiliappan is also called Sri Uppiliappan. From pushkarini as we enter the temple we first come across Garudazhwar sannidhi. We further proceed inside. We are at the maha mandapam entrance. There was a sage Mrigandu. Markandeya was his son. Markandeya meditated here for long time. He desired to have the Lord as his son-in-law. Sri Thulasi Nachiyar was also praying the Lord to be with Him for ever like Sri Sridevi, seated permanently on His chest. The Lord appeared before Her and asked Her to go to this Kshetram and remain as a forest of Thulasi plants. Sri Sridevi, one day appeared as a small child amidst the Thulasi plant with the name Sri Bhoomi devi. Sage Markandeya found this two year old female child. He brought Her up as his daughter. The Lord wanted to marry Her and He enacted a drama. He came in the guise of an old man and demanded marriage of Sri Bhoomi devi. Markandeya was puzzled as to how to get his very young daughter married to an old person. After praying to the Lord, with his yoga power he discovered the old Person was the Lord Himself. But still hesitating, the sage told the Old man that his daughter was too young and did not know even to add salt [Tamil uppu] in the food. The Lord immediately agreed that He would not mind that and He would henceforth take food without salt. From that time He was known as Sri Uppiliappan [uppili = without salt]. Then the marriage of Sri Bhoomidevi, incarnation of Sri Sridevi and the Lord was celebrated. The Lord appeared in Tamil month Panguni, star Shravan and after a lot of arguments the marriage was done in Tamil month Aippasi star Shravan [nearly Eight months]. But in the marriage the Lord took His usual Youth form and married Sri Bhoomidevi. Markandeyar prayed the Lord to grace with single Wife and the Lord agreed. Both in Moolavar and in Utsavar, the Lord is with Sri Bhoomidevi alone. Here the Lord appeared to Alwar in Five forms. Sri Ennappan, Sri Ponnappan, Sri Maniappan, Sri Muthappan and Sri Thiruvinnagarappan. Sri Thiruvinnagarappan is the Moolavar. He graces as a large Icon in the standing pose with right arm in Dhana hastham or receiving the bride in marriage. Upper arms are holding discus and conch. Utsavar is Sri Ponnappan. He also graces with Dhana hastham. In every procession the Lord is always accompanied by Sri Nachiyar. Moolavar has golden armour. Now, there is a proposal to offer Golden armour to Sri Bhoomidevi also. To His left, sage Markandeya is also gracing. Sri Bhoomidevi is seen with folded hands. An important work of covering the Suddha Ananda vimanam with gold, has been undertaken. All are requested to participate in all these noble works. Since this is Akash nagar, the sloka 6 of Chapter 9 also is with Akash [sky] as the analogy:



yathakasa-sthito nityam
vayuh sarvatra-go mahan
tatha sarvani bhutani
mat-sthanity upadharaya

"Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me."

Yata = how, nithyam = always, akasam = space. We have seen earlier that in the evolution of the Universe first space is created and then Vayu [air]. Then Fire, water and finally Earth. Akash or space is infinitely large. But what is supporting this Akash? There is nothing seen as supporting space. But it is supported as many worlds are in it and move about. If space is not there we can neither imagine nor answer many questions. Earlier the Lord told that He is invisible yet supports all, by His will power [sankalpa shakti]. When Arjuna wanted clarification, Sri Krishna cites the analogy of space. Maha vayu = the great air, sarva pradha = is breezing all over. Air is breezing inside the space. Sri Krishna asks whether the space is supporting air to flow all over? So, Arjuna [ and also we] should understand that space, air and all are supported by the Lord. A bird flying is not supported by the air or the space, but by its atman, controlled by Him. Just because air is there does not make the bird to fly but its atman. If atman were not there the bird would just fall down. Therefore, every thing in this Universe is supported by the Lord as atman residing inside. Tata = similarly, sarvani = all, bhutani = living beings, mat sthani = depend on Me [Sri Krishna] for support. It yupa dharaya = believe so or have faith so. People doubt the Lord supporting all, as He is invisible. But they should look at the air flow in an apparent supportless space. Many occurences in Nature can not be answered. Why and how lightning? How waves of oceans raise so much, yet are contained within the shores? Why earthquakes? How seeds germinate? Many and many are without answers, yet occuring daily. We have to have faith that all are supported by the Lord for such happenings. Being festival time near the Lord and Sri Thayar, Swami Vedantha Desika also is gracing the devotees.

BG 9,6

Is there anyone like Sri Krishna? Is there anyone as great as Sri Krishna? Vedas, Vedanthas, Ithihasa and Puranas proclaim, there is none equal to Him. He is the most Supreme and Purushottama. We are all baddhas and Mukthas are better than us. Nithyas are superior to Muktas and the Lord is better than Nityas. So, there is none equal or superior to the Lord and so in Tamil, He can be called Sri Oppili Appan. This is what we are learning in this Chapter 9. Therefore, which other place is more appropriate than Thiru Vinnagar, the abode of Sri Oppiliappan? We are now in the sannidhi of Sri Oppiliappan or Sri Uppiliappan. This is a popular Kshetram near Kumbakonam. Thousands of devotees on normal days and lakhs of devotees on Saturdays and on Shravan days, come here and worship, Sri Lavana varjita Venkatesa Perumal. Four Alwars have sung in praise of this Lord. This place is also called Akasa nagar, Markandeya Kshetram and Thulasivanam. First we go to the Pushkarini called Ahortahra Pushkarini. Aho is day and rathri is night; and so whenever one bathes in this pond, one is blessed with all benefits. Vimanam is called Suddha Ananda vimanam. The Lord here is considered as the elder brother of Sri Srinivasa of Thirumala. So, many people submit their vows for Thirumala here itself. In Thirumala the vimanam is Ananda nilaya vimanam and here it is Suddha Ananda vimanam. Vin [விண்] in Tamil means sky or akash. The Lord graces as He does in Sri Vaikuntam, which is Vinnagar. There are a few Vinnagars in the 108 Divya desam. Kazhi Sri Rama vinnagar [Seerkazhi], Paramehvara vinnagar near Kanchipuram, Arimeya vinnagar andVaikuntha vinnagar in Thirunangur [near Chidhambaram] and Nandipura vinnagar [Nathan koil] near Kumbakonam. But this Kshetram is called simply Vinnagar and this is unique. Like Viraja river flowing near Vaikuntam, here Dakshina Ganga is flowing. We will now see the Fifth sloka in Chapter 9.

na ca mat-sthani bhutani
pasya me yogam aishvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho
mamatma bhuta-bhavanah

"And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation."

Bhutani = all living beings, mat sthani na = do not reside in Me [Sri Krishna]. In the previous sloka, the Lord told that all living beings are residing in Him and now He says just the opposite, why? We see water in a pot or ghee in a container. We think pot is supporting the water or the container is supporting ghee. Similarly, if all living beings are residing in Him, then the Lord is supportiong them. But we are unable to see or perceive that as we see a pot or container supporting the material inside. So, what the Lord implies is we can not see or perceive that the Lord is supporting all living beings. The Lord is supporting all by His will or sankalpam. He can do anything and everything by mere thoughts, which we can not. This is called sankalpa shakti or the will power. This support is not physical as pot supporting water. Me yogam aiswaram = this great will power of Me [ Sri Krishna], pasya = [you, Arjuna] can see. But just now we interpreted that His support is not visible; then how can Arjuna see? If the Lord desires to show we can certainly see and not by ourselves. Here, it means Arjuna can understand and realize. Mind has more power and it can realize what the sense organs can not do. Arjuna wants further explanations on this power. Bhutabrit = [Sri Krishna] supports all living beings. Support also includes commanding and pervading. The Lord pervades inside all and is able to command and support. Na ca bhutastha = But [Sri Krishna] is not supported by all these living beings. That is the living beings are not supporting the Lord nor commanding Him. Normally, we think what is inside is supported by the outside one. A flower supports the bee inside. But here the Lord though inside all, is not supported by them. He is not dependent on them. Classic example is ourselves. Our body is supported by atman inside and atman is not dependent on body. We see the body only and never atman. A minute atman is supporting the huge body. Arjuna might see all the living beings but it is the invisible He, Who supports all. Mama atma = My [Sri Krishna's] will power, bhuta bhavana = is responsible for the creation, sustaining, destroying, growing, living,etc., of all thsee living beings. The Lord is the Reason or Prime factor for all living beings' various activities including their creation and destruction. His will power does all these. All are in Him and He is in all. But He supports all and commands all. Yet, He is invisible. Thus the Lord tells His greatness in the slokas 4 and 5. Nammalwar says thet when he saw the Lord here, he saw pairs. He saw the pairs not seen in this universe together: poverty and wealth, enmity and friendship, poison and amrut [elixir]. But Alwar sees all these together in the all pervading Lord. The pasuram nalguravum, therefore conveys the same meaning as in this sloka 5.



Sunday, June 15, 2008

BG 9.5

We are at the Sthala vruksham [temple tree] of panneer tree, in Thiru Indhalur. In every Kshetram, the place, tree, pushkarini and vimanam are important. In this temple the Ekadasi mandapam is famous for its sculpted pillars. Dasavatharam and Sri Krishna's child life pranks are well sculpted. Thirumangai Alwar has praised this temple in his Peria Thirumozhi [4.9]. In his sannidhi we can see the Alwar with folded hands and spear, worshiping the Lord Sri Parimala Ranganatha. Once the Alwar came all the way to worship the Lord; but it was noon and so the temple doors were closed and the Alwar was frustrated. After all, he was a great Bhakta and with eagerness he came to have darshan of the Lord and so shut temple doors frustrated and this frustration was exhibited in the ten pasurams dedicated for the Lord here. False anger is seen among male-female lovers. But here, Alwar , as a male exhibits his anger and disappointment. In the first pasuram nummai thozhudhom [நும்மைத் தொழுதோம்....], Alwar demands what is lost to the Lord if He gave darshan? He says that others would laugh at him for worshiping the Lord, if He were not to show Himself now! As told earlier, this is the outcome of Bhakti in its extreme stage. The Lord wanted to further test the Alwar and so He told from inside that after all He is always present in Alwar's mind and so he should not complain. Alwar is enraged and said that he was not like others to be satisfied with such talks and he wanted to have a feast for his eyes by viewing the Lord in His form in this temple; and if the Lord was not willing to show Himself, well let the Lord 'live' in the temple and he would go [ வாசி வல்லீர் இந்தளூரீரே வாழ்ந்தே போம் நீரே!!]. We can imagine the disappointment and irritation of the Alwar. All the ten pasurams are treat to read and enjoy. As the Alwar tried to go back, the Lord got the doors opened and gave the Alwar treat for his eyes and mind. Now we will see the Fourth sloka of Chapter 9:

maya tatam idam sarvam
jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sarva-bhutani
na caham tesv avasthitah

"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."

Means and destination should be excellent. Idam = this [ what we see and perceive], sarvam = entire, jagad =Universe, maya =by Me [Sri Krishna], tatam = is well pervaded. That is the Lord is in every conceivable matter, without exception, and is ruling. This is called Vyapakatvam or everywhere present. Avyakta murtina = [the Lord's form is] imperceptible image. We see so many objects but not the Lord present in them. Vyapakatvam is for ruling and supporting, those objects. Mat sthani = Keeping Me [Sri Krishna] as dwelling place, sarva dbhutani = all living beings [ without exception]. Earlier He said He was present in all and now He says all are present in Him. Tesu = in those living beings, aham = I [Sri Krishna], na avastita = not there. It may look contradictory that just after telling that He was present in all
[maya tatam], immediately He says He is not in them [na avastita]. Here we have to carefully note the difference. He said that by being inside all, He is controlling and supporting. On the same logic we should not conclude that all living beings are inside and so they control and support Him. He supports and rules whether they are in Him or He is in them. So to note this difference only the last line tells that He is not controlled nor ruled by these living beings just because they are in Him. A bhakta understands this clearly. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.