Monday, July 7, 2008

BG 9.23

When Sri Krishna's name is mentioned, are we reminded of Gita or Mahabharata war? Both will not come to our mind; but the pranks of Sri Bala Krishna will immediately appear in our mind screen. He will be imagined with butter, in the company of Gopikas, herding the cows and calves and running about in Brindavan. He is the One, Who has stolen our hearts. Gita was preached by an Older Sri Krishna. Whatever we understand in Gita, we experience with the very young Sri Bala Krishna. We are visiting the Kshetrams in Thirunangur region. Of the Eleven Kshetrams here, in one, the Lord is gracing as Sri Rajagopala, as Sri Gopala Krishna, with a whip in one hand, pole in another hand and along with cow and calf. Thirumangai Alwar has praised the Lord as Sri Krishna and we are in Thiru Kavalambadi [திருக் காவளம் பாடி].


Behind the temple is Thadamalar poigai [தட மலர் பொய்கை], pushkarini of the temple. Thirumangai Alwar mentions this name in his pasuram. Once elephant Gajendra, roamed all over the earth to get a flower suitable for the Lord. It found a pond full of beautiful flowers and chanting His names, the elephant eagerly got into the pond to pluck flowers. But a crocodile seized the elephant's leg by its teeth and elephant loudly cried for help. The Lord hurriedly arrived on the banks of the pond and removed the misery of the elephant [நாகத்தின் நடுக்கம் தீர்த்தாய் nagam in Tamil is elephant]. In many pasurams the Alwar mentions kalai kan [களை கண்], which means the Lord is the Protector or Saviour. Alwar prays that just as He saved the elephant, He should save him also. In Tamil, ka [கா] means garden or grove, valam [வளம்] means beautiful or fertile, padi means place. So this place is famous for beautiful gardens. What does a Protector or Saviour do? He will get what is desired by us and remove what is disliked. In Vaishnava commentaries this is called ishta prapti [इष्ट प्राप्ति] and anishta nivrutti [अनिष्ट निवृत्थी]. This is common to all - wanting to possess desired ones and keep away disliked ones. The Lord facilitates this and it is the substance of today's [8th July 2008] lecture. Till sloka 21, the Lord mentioned the transient and inferior nature of seeking swarga, etc., and cautioned that such persons will have to return back to samsaram. In sloka 22, He is going to tell the greatness of devotees seeking Him alone and explains how He helps them. We can see how this sloka fits the Lord of Thirukkavalambadi:

ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesham nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham

"But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have."

Aham = I, Sri Krishna, tesham = their, yoga - kshemam = yoga and kshemam, vahamy = do. One of our important organization [Life Insurance Corporation of India -LIC] has the words 'yogakshemam vahamyaham' in their logo. Ye jana = those devotees, those who think of Sri Krishna as all for them, ananya = not [desiring] anything else [other than the Lord], mam = Me [Sri Krishna], cintayanto = thinking, paryupasate = meditate on His auspicious qualities, on His Divine beauty, on the good things the Lord has done to them. Such people, nitya = always, abhiyuktanam = desiring to be with the Lord. So, those devotees , who never think of anything else, but meditating only on Him, His auspicious qualities, His divine beauty and His actions, always desire to be with the Lord. For such people tyhe Lord gives yoga and kshemam. When we meet persons we do enquire whether their yoga-kshemam are all OK? It means whether health is alright and whether all are happy. But, here this ordinary meaning is not applicable. Yogam denotes unexpected arrival or possession; and kshemam means possessions are all in tact. Yoga- kshemam is unexpected possession of desired, and retention of possessed. When we enquire yoga kshemam of others, we should mean whether the unexpected Bhakti has been acquired and whether the acqired Bhakti is continued without any reduction. Diseases, quarrels, births and deaths are never permanent and will fade one day. But Bhakti in Him should be acquired and preserved for ever. Unexpected possession of the Lord and possessed Lord never leaves. Sri Krishna says here that to such devotees, the Lord offers Himself and never departs from them. We should therefore, be away from all others and concentrate only on Him. Think only of Sri Krishna. We should clear our mind of all others and in the empty mind we should install Sri Krishna and think only of Him. Thondaradipodi Alwar, in the pasuram 'pacchaimaamalai [பச்சை மா மலை போல் மேனி]' says he did not want even Vaikuntam but should always be worshiping Sri Ranganatha. Thiruppanalwar, in his pasuram says,' en amudhinai kanda kangal matronrinai kanave [என் அமுதினைக் கண்ட கண்கள் மற்றொன்றினை காணாவே]' - after seeing the Lord Sri Ranganatha, his eyes do not want to see anything else. In the end, when Sri Rama was readying to go to Vaikuntam, He took along with Him all; but Hanuman stayed away. When the Lord enquired whether Hanuman was not interested in Vaikuntam, Hanuman said that after seeing Sri Rama, he did not want to see anyother, including Sri Vaikunta Natha. Hanuman said he would remain here itself and meditate only on Sri Rama. For all these devotees the Lord offered Himself and remains with them for ever. In this Kshetram also as Sri Rajagopala, He offered Himself to all the Gopikas and remained in their minds even after the Lord physically left their place.

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