Saturday, June 14, 2008

BG 9.3

In Thiru Indhalur, the Lord Sri Parimala Ranganatha graces. There is a sannidhi of Anjaneya in the street. Anjaneya blesses all with their wishes. He induces Sri Rama bhakti in us and after worshipjng him, we walk along the street to reach main Sannidhi of Sri Perumal. Tall Raja [main] gopuram [tower] welcomes us. Renovation works are going on and so shortly samprokshanam is to take place and all are requested to attend. Crossing the Rajagopuram, we reach the Dwajasthambam and prostrate before the Lord. Turning left and again right we are welcomed by Sri Thayar sannidhi. She graces with full of mercy. Today's [10th June 2008] lecture is from Her sannidhi. She is called Sri Chandra sapa vimochana valli or Sri Sugandha vana Nayaki or Sri Parimala Ranganayaki. Vimanam of this temple is called Vedha aamodha vimanam. Aamodham means happiness [aamodham, modham, pramodham and anandam convey same meaning]. By recovering lost vedas from Madhu- Kaitapa, Vedas, which proclaimed Sri Narayana as the Supreme Lord, were happy. By recovering Vedas from the demons and clearing all the filth and dirt on vedas and re-establishing its original scent and fragrance, the Lord became Sri Sugandha Nathan. Since Chandra got his curse relieved, Sri Thayar is called Sri Chandra sapa vimochana valli. She is gracing with upper arms holding lotus flowers and lower right arm is guarantying protection and lower left arm directing to surrender. We will now see sloka 2 0f chapter 9, which is linked with this Thayar:

raja-vidya raja-guhyam
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakshavagamam dharmyam
su-sukham kartum avyayam

"This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed."

The Lord is the destination and bhakti yoga is the means. We have to examine whether the means is easy, comfortable and without obstacles. All the advantages are there in Bhakti yoga, states the Lord. Idam = this Bhakti yoga, raja-vidya = king among all knowledge, raja-guhyam = king among all secrets. There are umpteen things to learn and Bhakti yoga is the King among them. There are many secrets by knowing which one might get wealth, health and power. But Bhakti yoga is the King among secrets. This is one interpretation. Swami Ramanuja says that raja-vidya means, knowledge to be sought after by Kings. Raja-guhyam means only Kings need to know secrets. So, Bhakti is to be known by Kings and is secret to be known only to Kings. This may raise a doubt in us. Then, what about common people like us? But here King does not mean the Royal power to reign kingdom, but all those who think that the Lord is the Master and we are His servants. We, the common people also reign the Kingdom of Service to the Lord and so we can also be regarded as kings. So we are all eligible for Bhakti yoga. This Chapter is called Raja-vidya Raja-guhya yogam. Pavitram = capable of removing dirt, uttamam = best. Bhakti yoga is the best to remove all the dirt in us. That is removal of papa/punya and samsaram. In this Kshetram also the Lord recovered, and removed all the dirt on Vedas because of bad contact with the demons. Arjuna asked as to what is his gain by following Bhakti yoga? Pratyaksham = perceptible, avagamam = feel of Me [Sri Krishna]. Person practicing Bhakti yoga can have the vision of the Lord. Arjuna felt that he was seeing the Lord and so he has practiced Bhakti yoga. Sri Krishna denies this and says this view of the Lord would not obtain Moksham for the viewer. Only by practicing Bhakti yoga one could reach Vaikuntam. Just because Arjuna listened to the Gita from Sri Krishna, Arjuna can never reach Vaikuntam. He had to undergo the Bhakti yoga as prescribed. Bhakti yoga alone can bring the Lord for perception. Vedas say we can not see the Lord [ with our present eyes], nor can converse [with our mouth], etc. Dharmyam = is the means [to reach the Lord]. Kartum = while performing [Bhakti yoga], su-sukham = most comfortable or pleasing. Avyayam = never diminishing [ even after granting all the benefits]. When we reach this temple, we never remember the road or vehicle which made us to reach. But, in Bhakti yoga, after reaching Moksham, Bhakti continues. All services we were doing here to reach the Lord , like preparing garlands or Bhajan, would continue in Moksham also. So here the means are useful even after reaching the destination. With all these advantages of Bhakti yoga, can we think of any other?

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