Thursday, July 31, 2008

BG 10.1

Vaikuntethupareloke sriya sardyamjagatpati:

Astevishnuraachintyatma baktai hibhagavatasa:

This sloka describes how the Lord is in Vaikuntam. Along with Sri Sridevi, Sri Bhudevi and Sri Neeladevi, the Lord is seated on the serpent Anantha, and served by Nityasuris like Garuda and Vishvaksena and countless Muktatma. This is called Sri Vaikuntam, which means never the knowledge diminishes. Knowledge or gyana is always bountiful. Our Universe is Leela vibhuti [playing property] of the Lord and is considered as wanting in Gyana. But Sri Vaikuntam is flourishing with knowledge and there is no darkness, old age, death, birth nor any disease. We will on some day, from some where and by some how, see that. Alwar says that everyone born in this Universe will surely reach Vaikuntam one day. But that day is unknown. Now, those eager to visit, can get consolation by visiting certain Vinnagaram [Tamil for Vaikuntam or Sri Vishnu Nagar or Nagar in sky] among the 108 Divyadesams. We saw earlier Thiruvinnagaram or Sri Oppiliyappan koil. We also saw Kazhi SriRama Vinnagaram or Sirkazhi, where we worshiped Sri Thadala Perumal or Sri Trivikrama Narayana Perumal. We are now to worship Sri Vaikunta Nathan in Vaikunta vinnagaram, in Thirunangur Kshetrams. Why should this be named Vaikunta Vinnagar? The Lord here is gracing as He is seen in Vaikuntam. We enter the temple and notice the large open air Mandapam. We go round and find palm grove and gardens. We see the Vimanam - Ananta satya varghata vimanam. Ananta satya – infinite truth. Truth is changeless and permanent. This Universe is always changing. It gets destroyed and created. But Vaikuntam is neither destroyed nor created. So, it is called Nitya mandalam or region. Nityam and satyam mean the same. This vimanam is, therefore, nurturing the everlasting truth. We will pray the Vimanam to bless us Satya. There is a sthala puranam [ temple history]. There lived a King Svethaketu. He belonged to the Ikshvaku Dynasty of Sri Rama. Once he wanted to worship Sri Vaikunta Natha and went to the Vishnu Loka. There are two Vaikuntams. The Main is beyond Viraja river. The other, Karya Vaikuntam [akin to branch office] is on our side of Viraja river. This place can be accessed by even Devas. But the Main Vaikuntam can never be reached by all and those who reach there will never return. But Svetaketu could not find the Lord in Karya Vaikuntam and was very much discouraged. His agony was multiplied by hunger and thirst. He was returning and met sage Narada. He asked the sage the reason why he could not see the Lord there and why he was affected by hunger and thirst. Narada replied that the King did not do his righteous duties properly and so Sri Vaikunta Natha was invisible to the King. Narada advised that the King could go to Gajaranya, and worship the Lord of this Kshetram [Vaikunta vinnagaram], after bathing in the pond there and meditating on the Lord. Svetaketu did accordingly and the Lord appeared as Sri Vaikunta Natha. Similarly, the Lord appeared to Uparicharavasu and Udhanka. We are to see Chapter 10. In this it is told the Lord, as Sri Vaikunta Natha, can not be accessed that easily. But we are fortunate to have the Darshan of the Lord in this Kshetram. We will first see Swami Alavandar's Gitartha Sangraha sloka corresponding to this Chapter.

svakaly¯an.a gun.¯anantya kr. tsna sv¯adh¯ınat¯amatih.
 bhaktyutpatti vivr. ddhyarth¯a vist¯ırn.¯a da´samodit¯a [14

Swami Alavandar also known as Swami Yamunacharya, has condensed the essence of each chapter of Gita in each sloka of his Gitartha Sangraha. Dasamo visthirna = explained in the Tenth Chapter. Which has been explained? Bhakti utpatti = for the originated devotion, vivrudyarta = to grow, sva = Self [Sri Krishna's], kalyana guna = auspicious qualities, anantya = infinite nature, svadhinata = in the control and domain of the Lord, krtsna = everything in this Universe without exception, mathi = knowledge. Bhakti begins and grows by these knowledge of two things about the Lord: One, His infinite auspicious qualities and the other, His command and control over everything in this Universe, without exception. These are explained in Chapter 10. The Lord has spoken in detail about Bhakti, in Chapters 7, 8 and 9. If we want to start that Bhakti or to foster that Bhakti, what are we to do? First we have to listen to His greatness. Once listened, we will get unshakable faith and Bhakti in Him. His auspicious qualities are infinite. Each quality is boundless. Every time we see these qualities, they will appear as fresh and make us awe stricken. Then, we think of His power of control over everything in this Universe. Therefore, Tenth Chapter deals with His abundant auspicious qualities and total control of everything. Thirumangai Alwar has praised the Lord of this Kshetram. He saw the Lord as Sri Narasimha, Who killed Hiranyakasipu, as Sri Krishna, Who protected from lashing rains by lifting the hill as umbrella and as Sri Rama, Who killed Ravana and rescued Sri Sita.

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