Sunday, August 10, 2008

BG 10.10

We have to see sloka 10 of Chapter 10. We are in Manimadakoil, where the Lord Sri Pundarikaksha is gracing along with Sri Pundarikavalli Thayar. Like the Lord, Sri Thayar also is radiating with luminance. She is seated with right arm showing abhayam, left arm is pointing to Her Divine feet. Upper arms are holding lotus flowers. We will see now sloka 10. In sloka 9, we saw devotion at its peak. Bhakti has three stages: Para Bhakti, Para gyana and Parama Bhakti. In Para Bhakti, the devotee understands that being with the Lord is happiness and parting Him is sorrow. This is also called Gyana dasa [ஞான தசை], where the devotee gets knowledge. Next stage is Para Gyana, which is also called Dharshan or sighting the Lord. For him, at this stage, the Lord is seen by him, whether the eyes are closed or opened. Third stage is Parama Bhakti, when the devotee attains the Lord and experiences one with Him. This is also called Prapti [प्राप्ति]. So the stages are gyana, dharsana and prapti. Gyana is realizing the knowledge that parting Him is grief and being with Him is delight. Dharsanam is sighting the Lord everywhere. Prapti is attaining the Lord. Alwars were all in these stages only. The 10th sloka is going to tell the 2nd stage [dharsanam]. Sri Krishna tells that the devotee who reaches the First stage as told in the earlier slokas, gets the Para Gyana from the Lord. We can see the 10th sloka along with previous 9th sloka. In sloka 9, He told that the person who is always thinking of Him, who is unable to remain away from Him and who, with other devotees, always converses only about the Lord, is Bhakta. Thirumangai Alwar in his Thirunedunthandakam [திருநெடுந்தாண்டகம்], describes these three, and is considered a direct translation of this sloka, says Swami Parashara Bhatta. It consists of Thirty pasurams. The First 10 songs are composed by the Alwar as a male Bhakta. Thus the the First ten songs are the meaning for the word chitha, in sloka 9. He says that the Lord is to be always thought of and we should imagine His tender feet on our heads. In the next Ten pasurams the Alwar imagines himself to be the mother of the sweetheart of the Lord. 'She' laments seeing the plight of 'her' daughter suffering at the parting away of the Lord. This indicates the word mad gata prana in sloka 9, when the devotee is unable to bear the parting of the Lord. This girl is simply in tears and she is unconsolable; can not be pacified by anything. She wants to speak out His name, which she had trained her parrot also, but she is unable to raise her voice. She is playing a veena instrument, but imagines that to be the Lord and so she is stroking it, as if the Lord is embracing her. 'Mother' is very much perturbed. In the Third Ten pasurams, Alwar imgines himself to be the Sweetheart of the Lord. 'She' talks to her friend about the Lord and it is the stage mentioned as bodhayanta paraspara in sloka 9. That is the devotees talk only of the Lord always among themselves and in mutual conversations. Thus Thirumangai Alwar's pasurams are like commentary for the sloka 9 of Chapter 10. Now we see sloka 10, which is the stage after Para Bhakti:

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

The Lord says that He gave them His Dharsanam, which is Para Gyanam. Once Para Gyanam is reached, next will be Parama Bhakti and will reach Paramapadam. This stage before Parama Bhakti is also called Darsana samanakara sakshatkaram [தர்சன ஸமாநாகார சாக்ஷாத்காரம்]. It is something like the actual sighting of the Lord in Vaikuntam. This, the Lord grants to the devotees in the second stage of Bhakti. Satata = always, yuktanam = never parting [the Lord], bhajatam = performing Bhakti or in devotion, yena = by which, mam = Me [ Sri Krishna], te = they, upayanti = would attain. The Lord would grant them that, by giving which they would attain the Lord. What will He grant? Tam = that, buddhi yogam = Dharsanam, priti purvakam = with full happiness, dadami = [ I, Sri Krishna] grant. They devote in the Lord with aspiration to be always with Him. To them, the Lord grants happily, that dharsanam which will make them to attain Him. Here buddhi yogam means dharsanam. This is the second stage of Bhakti yoga. So the three stages are Gyanam, Dharsanam and Prapti. In 9th sloka we saw Gyanam or the first stage. The second stage Dharsanam is being granted by the Lord Himself, as revealed in sloka 10. Thirumangai Alwar experienced this as is evident from his poems and from this temple. Alwar is celebrated with three Utsavams. One is Thanana utsavam [தானான உத்சவம்]. This is the Vedupari [வேடுபறி] festival, in which Parakalan beconmes Alwar. It is about his self and so it is Thanana Utsavam. Next is Than ugandha utsavam [தானுகந்த உத்சவம்]. This utsavam is liked by the Alwar. It is the Eleven Garuda seva, celebrated every Thai amavasya [தை அமாவாஸ்யை]. All the Lord from the Eleven Divya desam would assemble in this Kshetram and bless the Alwar. It is a rare sight. Third is Thamar ugandha utsavam [தமர் உகந்த உத்சவம்]. Thamar means the devotees of the Alwar and they celebrate his birth day [திரு நக்ஷத்திரம்], every Karthika month Kruthika star. During the Eleven Garudotsavam, all through out the night one can witness the Mangalasasanam [மங்களாசாசனம்] of the Lord of each temple by Alwar, who is accompanied by Swami Manavala Mamunigal. [Garudotsavam can be viwed on ].

No comments: