Tuesday, July 8, 2008

BG 9,24

Thirunangur and the surrounding 11 Kshetrams of Chola region are regarded special. We are in Thirukkavalambadi. After visiting the Pushkarini, we enter the temple and have a surprising pradhikshanam [going around in clockwise]. As we go around we notice beautiful gardens with plants and trees. We have a view of the vimanam -swayambu vimanam. Like the Lord, Who appeared on His own [Swayambu], vimanam also appeared on its own. Why did the Lord appear here and from where? Once the Lord Sri Gopala Krishnan, arrived here along with His consorts Sri Rukmini and Sri Sathyabhama, from Dwaraka. It is told that the Lord in all these 11 Kshetrams arrived here from various other Kshetrams. This is connected with the story of lord Shiva. Shiva married the daughter of Daksha. Daksha performed a grand yagna; but since lord Shiva was not invited properly, he did not attend that. The daughter of Daksha, however came to the yagna and questioned her father for his behaviour. Not getting proper response, she grew angry and destroyed all in that yagna and finished her life also. Lord Shiva became angry on this and performed Rudra Thandavam [ருத்ர தாண்டவம்] - dancing in anger. Whole world trembled in this dance. The place where lord Shiva danced is Thirunangur. At the prayer of all devas, Lord Sriman Narayana, decided to pacify the anger of lord Shiva, by appearing before him. As lord Shiva was dancing, some of his hair fell on the ground and for every hair one more lord Shiva appeared and danced. Like this 11 Rudras were dancing. To pacify all of them the Lord appeared in 11 forms. That is why there are 11 Vishnu Kshetrams in this region. Near each of these Sri Vishnu temples, we can notice lord Shiva temple also. Such an intimacy was there between them. For this the Lord arrived from various other Kshetrams like to Thirukavalambadi, the Lord arrived from Dwaraka; Lord Srinivasa of Thirumala arrived at Thiruvellakkulam; from Thiruvidavendhai [திருவிடவெந்தை] Sri Kalyana Perumal arrived at Thiruthevanarthogai. Thirumangai Alwar mentions Sri Dwarakanatha in his pasuram on this Kshetram. Once Sri Satyabhama desired to have the Parijatham [பாரிஜாதம்] flower in Indra's garden Nandanam and told Sri Krishna to get some. When Sri Krishna requested Indra, he refused and angered by this Sri Krishna destroyed the entire garden, and carried away the tree to Dwaraka. Thus in this Kshetram, the Lord appears with Sri Rukmini and Sri Sathyabhama. Let us now see the sloka 23:

ye ’py anya-devata-bhakta
yajante shraddhayanvitah
te ’pi mam eva kaunteya
yajanty avidhi-purvakam

"Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way."

Arjuna got a doubt. Jyotish homa is performed to seek swarga and Indra is worshiped. To get rain, Varuna is worshiped. Vayu is worshiped to get wealth. Surya is worshiped to get health. These are all specified and many are performing these worships. Are these persons worshiping these gods? The Lord told that all these gods are body to the Lord or Parabrahmam. They are like organs and these worships for these gods ultimately, reach the Lord only. It is like for example, caring for the feet of a person, ultimately pleases the soul or atman of thet person. So, whichever god is worshiped, ultimately the inner soul of them and the commander of all of them, should only be pleased. Here, Arjuna gets the doubt that since, even if Indra is worshiped, ultimately Lord Sri Krishna is only pleased; so, why not grant that person Moksham straight away? Why that person should be granted only swarga? In reply to this the Lord speaks out in this sloka. The Lord expects them to have the conscience while worshiping other gods, that those worships were directed to the Lord Sri Krishna. But unfortunately, these persons feel that the result of their prayers have been awarded by these gods themselves. They are ignorant that their worships ultimately reach the Lord Sri Krishna alone. This gyana that the Lord is the inner soul of all these gods is necessary to obtain greater benefits. This is evident from Upanishads or Vedantha, the latter part of Vedas. But these persons understand only the Karma kanda of Vedas [as told in sloka 20] and are ignorant that the Lord only, ultimately, grants all benefits. We should therefore, when worshiping other gods, realize that the Lord resides in these gods and our worships reach Him only, ultimately. This is what Sri Krishna expects. Of course, when this gyana dawns in us, we will straight away worship the Lord and get the benefits. Ye api = even these persons, who are different from those devotees, who think only Sri Krishna is all for them, anya devata bhakta = devotees of other gods, yajante = worship, shraddhayanvita = sincerely. These persons are very earnest in performing poojas for other gods. But they do it without the gyana that ultimately it is the Lord inside these gods, Who is worshiped and Who is granting the desired results. Te api = even those persons, yajanty = worship, mam evam = only Me [Sri Krishna], avidhi poorvakam = without understanding the Vedas correctly. That is they are ignorant that all worships done for any god, ultimately reaches the Lord, Sri Krishna. Because of this the Lord also grants them only the desired results and not the eternal Moksham.

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