Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BG 11.4

Srinidhim nidhimaparamarthinam
artitarthaparidana dikshitam |
Sarva bhutasuhrutam dayanidhim
devarajamadhirajam asraye ||
This sloka is in the beginning of Sri Varadaraja Sthavam, by Swami Kooratthalwan. The Lord is nidhi [wealth] for Sri Maha Lakshmi or Sri Perundevi Thayar, capable of granting wealth of Sri to Universe and He is Sri Varadaraja, capable of granting whatever one yearns for. The Lord is gracing in Kanchipuram. He is the best nidhi or wealth. This 'Wealth' has been preserved carefully, by Alwars and Acharyas, and preserved atop Hasthigiri. To worship the Lord of Hasthigiri we are entering the temple. Tall Raja gopuram welcomes us. This is the Western gate. The Lord observes all processions via this gate only. After crossing this we see two Four pillared mandapams. Everytime the Lord arrives after a procession, He is welcomed with honours such as argyam, padhyam and achamaniyam in these mandapams; thereafter, thiruvandhikappu [திருவந்திக் காப்பு] is performed inside. When this lecture was being recorded, an important function was celebrated. Adi [ஆடி] Pooram [பூரம்] is Sri Andal's birthday. So, Sri Andal and the Lord exchanged garlands as part of Kalyanotsavam [கல்யாணோத்சவம்] and entered the temple. It is a beautiful sight.
Thiruvandhi kAppu for ANDAL on vUnjal.jpg

mAlai mAthal.jpg

AttuvithAl yAr oruvar AdAthArEa kaNNA.jpg

Sri Devaraja has captivating beauty and it is said that Swami Ramanuja was totally attracted by His shoulders. King Krishnadevaraya and Pallava Kings have done many contributory works for this temple. We now arrive at Dwajasthambam and Bali Peetam. On the left of Dwajasthambam is the vahana mandapam or hall where all vahanams [vehicles] are stored. In this mandapam Swami Vedanta Desika and Swami Thatha Desika or Swami Thathacharya [தாதசார்யா] are gracing. Now we enter inside the temple. Lord Brahma arrived at Satyavratha Kshetram [Kanchi] to perform yagna. He got constructed the homa kund [where sacred fire is lit] Uttharavedi [உத்தரவேதி], by Viswakarma. He satrted the yagna alone, without his consort Sri Saraswati. Angered by this negligence, Saraswati decided to stop the yagna. First, she put the entire world in darkness. The Lord appeared as Sri Deepaprakasa [ஸ்ரீ தீப பிரகாசர் ] in Chitra Revati [சித்திரை ரேவதி]. Darkness was driven out. Again when lord Brahma wanted to start the yagna, Saraswati sent a demon with bird and beast features to stop the yagna. Immediately, the Lord appeared with Eight arms -Sri Ashtabuja Perumal [ஸ்ரீ அட்டபுயகர பெருமாள்]. This is another separate Kshetram within Kanchipuram. This happened in Chitra Rohini [சித்திரை ரோகிணி] . The demon was driven away and lord Brahma started. Not to rely on others to stop the yagna, then Saraswati decided to stop the yagna herself and took the form of a rushing river - Vegavati [வேகவதி]. The Lord now took the reclining pose and as a bridge stopped the flow of the river. This happened in Vekkha [திரு வெஃகா ] and the Lord is Sri Yatoktakari [ஸ்ரீ யதொக்தகாரி / ஸ்ரீ சொன்ன வண்ணம் செய்யும் பெருமாள்]. This happened in Chitra Punarvasu [சித்திரை புனர்வசு]. Thus the Lord appeared in Three forms in the month of Chitra in Revati, Rohini and Punarvasu as Sri Deepaprakasa, Sri Ashtabuja Perumal and Sri Yatoktakari. Lord Brahma was able to complete the yagna and from the homa kund Utharavedi, the Lord arose. Swami Vedanta Desika has composed a stothram Sri Varadaraja Panchasat. He says that lord Brahma was able to see, the otherwise invisible Lord, the Supreme Cause Sriman Narayana coming out of homa kund. We can see even now that the Lord's face has marks of the fire. That is why the Lord is also called Sri Tyagaraja [ஸ்ரீ தியாகராஜா] and the mandapam is called Tyaga mandapam [தியாக மண்டபம்]. In Srirangam the Lord is enjoying and so it is Bhoga [pleasure] mandapam. Thirumala is called Pushpa [flower] mandapam. Here it is Tyaga mandapam and the Lord is Sri Tyagesa or Sri Tyagaraja. When the Lord appeared from the homa kund, He came along with the Vimanam [canopy] and it is called Punyakoti vimanam [புண்ய கோடி விமானம்]. We might not be able to do koti [10 Millions] punya; but certainly we can view this vimanam and get benefit. The Lord has many names like Sri Devarajan, Sri Varadarajan, Sri Devadirajan, Sri Perarulalan [ஸ்ரீ பேரருளாளன் ], and so on. We will now see sloka 3 of Chapter 11. Lord Brahma saw the Lord as He appeared from the homa kund. Arjuna also prays to see the Lord:

evam etad yathattha tvam
atmanam paramesvara
drastum icchami te rupam
aishvaram purushottama

"O greatest of all personalities, O supreme form, though I see You here before me in Your actual position, as You have described Yourself, I wish to see how You have entered into this cosmic manifestation. I want to see that form of Yours."

He addresses the Lord as Parameswara and Purushottama and desires to see the Lord with His wealth. It is not wrong to pray to see the Lord. We may like to see Him with these ordinary eyes we have. That is why the Lord is standing on the Hasthigiri, so that millions of devotees could see Him. Te rupam = Your [Sri Krishna's] enchanting beautiful image, drastum = to see, icchami = [I, Arjuna, am] desiring. But a precondition is to be satisfied. We should believe what all He told. If we believe all things He told in Chapters 1 to 10, then we should realize that He is the One and Only God. That He is the Prime Cause for everything in this Universe. If we believe in this then the Lord also would agree to be visible. This is Sri Krishna's opinion. Yata = whatever,tvam = You [ Sri Krishna], atmanam = about Yourself [Sri Krishna], atta = explained, etad = let that be [as truth]. Here, Arjuna is not saying that he is permiting the Lord to say so; but Arjuna is fully accepting all those told by the Lord. We should accept all things told about the Lord and believe in them. It is not that we are to believe, even if they were false; but, they are all true and so we have to believe. He addresses the Lord as Parameswara. Paramam means Super most or the most Supreme, with none equal or superior. Iswara means Leader, Who commands and controls everyone. Arjuna feels that the Lord would not have cheated him by any of the explanations He made in all the slokas so far, because He is his Iswara. The Lord has all the knowledge, as He is Iswara. The Lord possesses all auspicious qualities, as He is Iswara. Being Iswara, He is the repository of all good qualities, He would not misdirect Arjuna and would not utter lies. The Lord is close to Arjuna and so he believed as truth or satyam whatever the Lord told. Paramaswara indicates all the eminence of the Lord. This feeling we will get when we have darshan of the Lord Sri Varadaraja, standing with broad shoulders. In fact, we may submit a decree proclaiming our eternal slavery to the Lord! Once agreed, Arjuna desires to see the Lord. Aishvaram = wealth, commanding powers, entire property. Earlier the Lord told that lord Brahma, this Universe, all living beings such as birds, snakes, Asuras, etc., were all His property. When we own something, say, a car, we just own it; but we are not the car. But in the case of the Lord all His property are His body. Everything is a microscopic part of His body. Arjuna wants to see that body. He wants to see viwaroopam. Viswam, that is this Universe, is His body. Then Arjuna addresses the Lord as Purushottama. Purushas [ all atman in all living beings] can be adama = low type, living at the cost of others; or, madyama = middle type, living and letting others also to live; or, utthama, supreme or best, destroying or lowering oneslf to let others live. The Lord, to fulfill lord Brahma's desire, immersed Himself in the Holy fire and then came out; so, He is Sri Purushotthama. Purusha also means he who grants whatever is demanded. That is why Arjuna asked Him. Because He is granting, the Lord is called Sri Varada [ varam dadadi - granting demands]. He wants all living beings should live happily. He is embodiment of mercy. So we have to surrender unto Him only, as told by Swami Kooratthalwan. By mentioning Parameswara and Purushotthama, Arjuna is implying Lord Sri Varadaraja.

Monday, September 29, 2008

BG 11.3

Srirangam Karisailam Anjanagirim Tharkshyadri Simhachalau
SriKoormam Purushtthamam cha BadariNarayanam Naimisam
Seimad Dwaravati Prayaga Mathura Ayodhya Gaya Pushkaram
Salagrama girim nishevya ramate Ramanujoyam muni:
This sloka tells the places Swami Ramanuja visited and served to do good for the people. Though he visited many Kshetrams, he was born in Sriperumbuthur and for learning various skills he lived in Kanchipuram. We are now in Kanchipuram. It is praised as nagareshu kanchi that is, among cities Kanchipuram is top most. Kanchi is well planned with straight roads and beautiful buildings and temples. Kanchi incorporates many Kshetrams. But we are in the main temple of Sri Varadaraja or Sri Devaraja Perumal [ஸ்ரீ தேவராஜ பெருமாள்/ ஸ்ரீ தேவப்பெருமாள் ].
Srirangamangalanidhim karuna nivasam
Sri Venkatadri shikaralaya kalamakam
Sri Hasthisaila shikarotjvala parijatam
Srisam namami sirasa Yadhusaila deepam.
This sloka salutes Srirangam, Thirumala, Kanchipurama and ThiruNarayanapuram. We note these Four important Kshetrams. The First Three are famous as koil, thirumalai and perumal koil [கோயில், திருமலை, பெருமாள் கோயில்]. Perumal koil indicates Kanchipuram, which is also known as Vishnu Kanchi. It is known as Satyavrata Kshetram. This place got the name Kanchi, because 'ka' indicates lord Brahma, 'anchitam' means worship. So it is the Kshetram worshiped by lord Brahma. Lord Brahma performed Yagam here. The Lord Sri Devaraja was worshiped by lord Brahma. Thus this place got the name Kanchi. It is called Satyavrata Kshetram because, the Lord pledged to appear to lord Brahma. He appears as the embodiment of Satyam or Truth, and so it is Satyavrata Kshetram. We are now entering the temple of Sri Devadiraja [ஸ்ரீ தேவாதி ராஜ] Perumal.

Varadaraja Perumal Temple

The Lord is facing the West. So we enter the temple from the West gopuram. A very large temple. As we enter, on the left we notice the Nootrukkal [100 pillared] mandapam [நூற்ற்க்கால் மண்டபம்], built by many Kings and devotees. Many of the sculptures in this mandapam belong to Pallava period.

Hall of 100 pillars - VishnuHall of 100 pillars - dancerHall of 100 pillars - Krishna plays the fluteThe joker of the courtMonkey sculpture at the 1000 pillar mantapKrishna loves to play

Naughty Krishna teases the girlsHall of 100 pillars - Two horsemenHall of 100 pillars - how many people and how many legs?An ancient game etched onto the stone

Pallava Kings who ruled in the 7th and 8th Centuries have done enormous works in this temple. We now come to the Pushkarini behind the Nootrukkal mandapam. This pushkarini is called Anantha Pushkarini or Anantha saras.
Kanchipuram - Sri Varadharajar Swamy Temple

Anantha means endless; so, a very large pushkarini. Anantha is also the name of Adisesha. So, this pushkarini is named after Adisesha, who worshiped the Lord here. This pushkarini has a unique feature not found in other pushkarinis. Here, the Lord is inside the pushkarini. We might have heard of Sri Atthi Varada [ஸ்ரீ அத்தி வரதர்]. The Lord of this Kshetram was once upon a time made of wood. In Srirangam the Lord is made of sudha [சுதை]. In Thirumala He is of sila [சிலா] idol. Here, the idol of the Lord is dharu [தரு or दारु ], which means wood.
aththi  varadhar

But the Lord desired to feel cool in water and wanted the devotees worship His sila roopam. So, He ordained on His devotees to place Him in Ananthasaras; and, further ordered that a new and large sila [stone] idol be prepared for worship. For this, He directed to procure granite from Pazhaya [old] Seevaram [பழைய சீவரம்], village nearby. This happened so many centuries back. Even now, once in every Forty years, Sri Atthi Vardar is brought out of the pond and placed outside, for devotees' worship for one mandalam of 48 days. This happened last in 1979; and, the next such viewing will happen in 2019. Sri Atthi Vardar is placed in a well like construction in the mandapam in the pushkarini. He is guarded by many serpents. This pushkarini has thus a privillege of holding the Lord. There is yet another importance for the pushkarini. When Swami Ramanuja decided to renunciate all worldly relations [துறவறம் மேற்க்கொள்ளல்], he cast away the white robes peculiar for Grahastasrama [ those in household affairs] and took on saffron robes intended for ascetics or sanyasi. He also took the tridandam. This incident took place in the sannidhi of Lord Sri Varaha, on the shore of this pushkarini. On another side of the pushkarini is the sannidhi of Sri Chakkarathazhvar [ஸ்ரீ சக்கரத்தாழ்வார்]. On another side, is the beautiful Dasavatara mandapam [தசாவதார மண்டபம்]. Opposite Sri Varaha sannidhi is Sri Ranganatha sannidhi. Among cities Kanchi has a reputation. Among hillocks, Hasthigiri [elephant hill] has a reputation. We are going to study Gita in this temple for next few days. We will now see sloka 2 of Chapter 11:

bhavapyayau hi bhutanam
srutau vistaraso maya
tvattah kamala-patraksha
mahatmyam api cavyayam

"O lotus-eyed one, I have heard from You in detail about the appearance and disappearance of every living entity and have realized Your inexhaustible glories."

Arjuna tells that He learnt about the eminence of the Lord, from Himself. He believed in all. All the worlds are created, sustained and destroyed by Him. Agreeing with what the Lord told, Arjuna speaks. In the sloka 1, Arjuna told that the Lord did him a great favour by explaing matters regarding atman and thereby deleted Arjuna's illusion and confusion. We can ignore Chapter 1, as it was Arjuna's lament and his decision not to kill his kith and kin. From sloka 12 of Chapter 2 till end of Chapter 6, Sri Krishna told about Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. By understanding all those, Arjuna's confusion was removed. In sloka 2 of Chapter 11, Arjuna tells Sri Krishna that what all He told in Chapters 7,8,9 and 10, were understood by Arjuna. Thus by the sloka 1, Arjuna tells he had understood Gita Chapters 1 to 6; and, by sloka 2, Chapters 7 to 10. By Chapters 7.8 and 9, Arjuna understood Sri Krishna's natural Majesty and grandeur. This way he understood Bhakti yoga was the best and learnt how to do. In Chapter 10, Arjuna got a glimpse of the Lord's property listing. He learnt that everything and everybody were in His Command and Control. Bhutanam = all living beings', bhava = [both] origin, appyaya = disappearance, srutau = was heard, vistarasa = in detail, maya = by me [Arjuna], tvatta = by You [Sri Krishna] Yourself. Kamala patraksha = Lotus eyed [Sri Krishna], avyaya = infinite, mahatmyam = eminence. Arjuna tells that everything in this world emanated from Him or get created by Him; and, everything got destroyed by Him or merged with Him. This he learnt from Him; thereby he learnt the limitless eminence of the Lord. In Chapter 7, Sri Krishna told that the Universe originates from Him and ends up in Him. Arjuna addresses the Lord as the Lotus eyed, while talking of creation and destroying. There is a sentence in Upanishad: He is the Creator of the world, Who has Lotus eyes [ kapyasam pundarikamakshinau..] and meditate on Him. Thus Lotus like eyes are an important identity for the Lord. Thus Sri Krishna is the Creator, we search for. The Lord told about His infinite eminence. All the worlds are strung by Him, like a thread strings various pearls. Remembering all these words, Arjuna tells that he is aware of His boundless eminence. Arjuna confirms whatever he heard in Chapters 7,8,9 and 10. We are also at Anantah saras -endless pond!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

BG 11.2

In the Sri Vaishnava parampara, the last Acharya is Swami Manavala Mamunigal. He was born in an Aippasi [ஐப்பசி ] month, Moola [மூலம்] star. Swami Nampillai wrote a detailed commentary Eedu Muppathi Arayirappadi [ஈடு முப்பத்தி ஆராயிரப் படி], on Nammalwar's Thiruvalmozhi. Swami Manavala Mamunigal had the privilege of explaining in deatail the interpretation of this commentary, in the temple of Srirangam. Thus, Swami Manavala Mamunigal is praised as Acharya of Sri Ranganatha. Swami Manavala Mamunigal is glorified as the Avatar of Adisesha. Adisesha was born earlier as Lakshmana; then as Sri Balarama; then as Swami Ramanuja; and, as Swami Manavala Mamunigal. His greatness can not be easily told. Upadesa Rathnamala, Thiruvaimozhi Nootrandhadi, Yatiraja vimsati, Arthiprabhandam, etc., are the works of him. Apart from these, he also wrote commentaries for Swami Pillai Lokacharya's, Sri Vachana Bhooshanam, Tatva trayam, Acharya Hrudayam and Mumukshupadi. This Acharya was born in the same place as Nammalwar - Alwar Thirunagari. He grew up and lived in Srirangam. He was blessed with Sesha Peetam by Sri Ranganatha. This is important information. Swami Manavala Mamunigal was always seated in the Sesha Peetam, wherever he was. We came to enjoy thr glory of Adisesha, in Thiruvahindrapuram. We completed the worship of Lord Sri Devanatha. Outside the temple, in the North mada street, in a private temple is gracing Swami Manavala Mamunigal. Today's [29th September 2008] lecture is from that sannidhi.
With folded hands, he is gracing. We can see the Sesha Peetam also. The luminiscence of Adisesha is reflected in the idol of Swami Manavala Mamunigal. His fame is that he was Acharya of Sri Ranganatha and preached Him Eeedu and the interpretations of Thiruvaimozhi. He was an ascetic or sanyasi and remained detached from worldly affairs. He lived to serve. We can say Aippasi Moolam was glorified by him. In Aani Moolam [ஆனி மூலம்], he completed his lectures on Thiruvaimozhi. We are previleged to worship him. Compared to the Lord we are negligible. We are fortunate to have Sanskrit and Tamil as two eyes for us to understand the Shastras. He has taught us to have faithful devotion to Alwars and Acharyas. In his Upadesa Rathnamala, he tells that we should seek the Divine feet of the Lord. But even before that we should seek the feet of Acharyas. The Lord is percievable easily, if we approach with the help of an Acharya. Without devotion to Acharya, any amount of devotion to the Lord, will not reach us to Moksham; in other words, devotion to Acharyas is enough to get anything. He says that by adhering to an Acharya well versed in Gyana and Anushtanam [ knowledge and practice], the Lord would grant anything we seek. There are astika, nastika and astik-nastika [ theist, atheist and theist-atheist]. Atheists could be identified and we can avoid them. We can also identify theists and associate with them. But in astik-nastika, it is difficult. They may agree with existance of God and also deny. They will talk one thing outside and another inside. He says that we should never follow nastika and astik-nastika. We should follow only astika. We should have that astika's quality. It means we should believe in His existence; His glory and eminence are true and what He preached are true. In Sanskrit asti means is or existing; and. from that the word astika. We should believe in His existence; in His greatness. He only protects us. He sustains us. In the path shown by Swami Manavala Mamunigal, we will see sloka 1 in Chapter 11:

arjuna uvaca
mad-anugrahaya paramam
guhyam adhyatma-samjnitam
yat tvayoktam vacas tena
moho ’yam vigato mama

"Arjuna said: By my hearing the instructions You have kindly given me about these most confidential spiritual subjects, my illusion has now been dispelled."

By three slokas Arjuna claims he was a devotee of Lord Sri Krishna, an Astika and faithful to Sri Krishna. Arjuna says gratefully, that his illusion was dispelled. Mad anugrahaya = to bless me [Arjuna], paramam = top most, guhyam = secret [that is not easily understandable or not easily instrutible]. Adhyatma = about atman, samjitam = embedded, vaca = teachings. That is, the Lord has blessed Arjuna with important secrets incorporating atman. Tvayoktam = told by You [Sri Krishna], mama = my [Arjuna's], ayam = that [regarding atman], moha = illusion, vigata = dispelled. Arjuna tells that by the words of Sri Krishna on atman, all his illusion and confusion on atman were resolved. This sloka is not about Chapters 9 and 10. Arjuna starts to convey his gratitude for all teachings the Lord made right from the beginning. Now, Arjuna has reached a stage [to which he is transformed]. By conveying his devotion to the Lord, he proclaims he is an astika or theist, who believes in the existence of God and that He would do only good. Astika leads to Bhakti, which after maturing, reaches one to Moksham. We saw earlier that Bhakti was the only requirement to understand, see and reach the Lord. Desire to see Viswaroopam; which emanated from Bhakti, which is based on astika, which is based on belief. We have to be grateful to all good done. What is the good the Lord did to Arjuna? We have to start from Chapter 2. Arjuna says that in order to bless him [mad anugrahaya]. What type of Arjuna he was? He was totally confused. With no idea about soul, Arjuna was thinking that atman and body were one and the same. Swami Desika says that when Arjuna says that the Lord had blessed him [anugrahaya], it is evident that Arjuna is not talking about the War. It was incidental, to induce him in war; the main purpose was to dispel his confusion about atman. While showing the right path of Dharma, Arjuna was made to realize that fighting was his duty. Arjuna prayed to the Lord to consider him as His disciple and tell all about atman. Sometimes we are confused in some matters. At least if we realize we are in illusion, we could avoid sufferigs. But we do not realize and so we suffer. We take good people for bad and vice versa. But we never realize our confusion. Arjuna wanted to run away and avoid fight. But Sri Krishna, diagnosed Arjuna's proplem and starting from the sloka 12 of Chapter 2, the Lord told that atman was eternal, body might be born and get destroyed, but not atman; Karma yoga was important; Karma yoga itself would get atman sakshatkaram. So, Arjuna should become an Yogi; and the Lord taught how to practice Yoga, in detail. Sri Krishna sincerely and affectionately taught Arjuna. It was like teaching a child in school. Therefore, Arjuna felt that the Lord was kind enough to bless him with all such important teachings. All these, the Lord did, because Arjuna was His cousin. Was it not due to this reason, He agreed to be his charioteer? By listening to the very important teachings of Sri Krishna, Arjuna's illusion was dispelled. What did he learn? That atman and body were different, That, atman was the property of the Lord; that, atman was ruled and commanded by the Lord; that, atman behaved as decided by the Lord; that, atman existence was under the control of the Lord; that, origin, sustenance and destruction were all under His control; that, the Lord had atman as His body. So much Arjuna had learnt! We also have to repeatedly listen to Gita to reform ourselves. Arjuna is going to further pray the Lord to show him, His Divine Form - Viswaroopam. We should follow such astikas or theists. We will take leave of Swami Manavala Mamunigal. Recently, samprokshanam was performed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BG 11.1

In the programme of lectures on Gita in Kannanin Aramudu [கண்ணனின் ஆரமுது], we are now in Thiruvahindrapuram Kshetram of Nadu nadu. Today's [26th September 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Thayar.


We are fortunate to worship Sri Thayar and the Lord. Ahindrapuram is the Kshetram built and worshiped by Adisesha. We will see the connection between the servant [சேஷ] Adisesha and this place. From the sthala purana, it is evident that the Lord appeared to sage Markandeya and Sri Bhudevi. The Lord here has many names: Sri Devanatha, Sri Trimurthi, Sri Dasa Sathya, Sri Adiyavarku Meyyan [ஸ்ரீ அடியவர்க்கு மெய்யன்] and Sri Achyuta. Thirumangai Alwar has praised this Kshetram in Ten poems. Once a war broke out between Devas and Asuras. As advised by lord Brahma, Devas approached the Lord Sri Maha Vishnu for help. The Lord helped and destroyed Asuras and so He is called Sri Devanatha. Thirumangai Alwar, while praising, has considered Him as the Trinity. So, the Lord has incorporated, the Trinity in Him. The pasuram is 'eralum iraiyonum, thisaimuganum, thirumagalum, kooralum thani udamban..' [ஏராளும் இறையோனும், திசை முகனும், திருமகளும், கூறாளும் தனி உடம்பன்]. Thus He is called Sri Trimurthi. During the war, Devas felt thirsty. The Lord also wanted water. Garuda went in one direction to fetch water from Viraja river near Vaikuntam. But Adisesha knew this place thoroughly and so by a blow of his tail on the ground created a water source. It is now called Sesha Theertham [சேஷ தீர்த்தம்]. Adisesha gave water to the Lord. Soon, Garuda also returned with Viraja water and requested the Lord to accept that also. That water is flowing now as Garuda nadhi [கருட நதி]. Today the name has mutilated to Gedila nadhi [கெடில நதி]. We can worship Sesha theertham in the temple itself. It is in the form of a well. Devotees pray for all happiness and curing of their ailments; and, drop salt, jaggery and pepper in this well. We can also see Adisesha in a serpent form. Indra once started to kill Vrittarasura. But he could not succeed. He came to Aushadagiri, on top of which Sri Hayagriva is gracing, and hid himself in the stem of a lotus flower in the pond there. The Lord taking pity on Indra, presented weapon Vajra, made from the back bone of His devotee, sage Dadichi. Indra was able to vanquish the enemy. We will now worship the Lord.


u39%2fsvami%2fsmall%2f35051731.Dsc00252.jpgp71&72.jpg (14506 bytes)

Moolavar is large and is in standing pose, with upper arms holding discus and conch, lower right arm in abhaya mudra and left arm on His lap. Utasavar displays abhaya and holds the mace and is accompanied by Sri Ubhaya Nachiyars. Every Saturday the Lord is in procession; and every Friday, Sri Thayar is in procession. Swami Vedanta Desika has praised the Lord's every organ like the face, the Divine feet, the Crown, etc. While praising the Crown, he says that the radiance of the Crown, which is like a billion Suns luminescence, should remove the darkness of ignorance in his heart. Sri Thayar is Sri Senkamalavalli, aka Sri Hemabjanayaki. Her Divine grace will remove all our sins. Sri Thayar is also known as Sri Bhargavi. Sage Brighu, meditated for long and prayed that Sri Thayar should be his daughter, and so She is called Sri Bhargavi. Thirumangai Alwar addresses the Lord as Sri Adiyavarku Meyyan [ஸ்ரீ அடியவர்க்கு மெய்யன்]. In Sanskrit this is called Sri Dasa Satya. He is always supporting the devotees. We will now see the introduction to Chapter 11. In Chapters 7, 8 and 9 Bhakti yoga was explained. To answer what stimulates Bhakti, the Lord explained His eminence and His wealth. In his Gitartha Sangraha, Swami Alavandar gives the essence of Chapter 11:

ek¯ada´se sva y¯ath¯atmya s¯aks.¯atk¯ar¯avalokanam |
dattamuktamvidipr¯aptyoh.bhaktyekop¯ayat¯a tath¯a || [15]

Ekadase = in Chapter 11, sva yathatmya = the Lord's eminence and magnificence, His wealth and auspicious qualities, sakshatkara avalokanam = to understand it as it is and properly. Here, the word avalokanam means not scene but eyesight. In order to see properly the Lord's greatness. Dattam uktam = [Arjuna was] blessed with appropriately. Arjuna was blessed with the Divine power to see for himself the Lord's grandeur. What is the necessity to grant Arjuna this power? Was he not seeing Sri Krishna with his ordinary eyes? Uktam means it was stated. That is Divine eyesight given was stated. Because, Arjuna did not possess the superior eyesight to view the Lord's real form; the eyes he had could see only earthly ordinary things. This new superior eyesight was needed to see all the great things he heard from the Lord in Chapter 10.
When normal humans tell about their wealth, we might like to verify by seeing them. But if a King boasts of his enormous wealth and troops, one would be eager to have a glimpse of it. Like this Arjuna had the eagerness to see the wealth of the Lord. He wanted to see Adityas, the stars, the Vedas, etc., as part of the Lord. His normal eyes would only reveal the Lord's human form as Sri Krishna. Our eyes have limitation. But to view the Lord in His true perspective, superior eyes were needed. After granting, Arjuna could see the mammoth form of the Lord -the Viswaroopa. Arjuna had seen the Lord as a Cowherd, as teaser of Gopikas, as the mischivous Boy of Gokulam, etc; but what he saw after the Divine power of sight was granted, was something one could not imagine. Sanjaya, who was narrating the battlefield happenings to Dhridarashtra, also got this power to see, with the blessings of his Acharya, Vyasa. Vidi praptya = knowledge [about the Lord] obtained [it is also called gyana darsana parapti, or understanding the Lord, seeing the Lord and reaching Him - para bhakti, para gyana and parama bhakti stages]. Bhakty = devotion, eka = only, upayata = means. To understand, to see and to reach Him, Bhakti is the only means. Thus in Chapter 11, Arjuna got the divine vision to see the Lord with all the wealth and auspiciou qualities, and further, he was told that Bhakti alone was the only means to understand, to see and to reach Him. We will now take leave of the Kshetram.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

BG 10.43

Sriman venkatanatharya Kavitarkkika keasri |
Vedantacharya varyome sannidattam sadahrudi ||
Today's [25th September 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi of Swami Vedanta Desika, in Sri Devanatha Perumal temple. After crossing the dwajasthambam, we arrive at Swami Desika sannidhi. There is intimate connection between him and this temple. He lived in this Kshetram for more than 40 years and worshiped the Lord. He was confered with the title 'sarvatantra swatantrar' [ஸர்வ தந்த்ர ஸ்வதந்த்ரர்] , meaning he can do anything and knows past, present and future. Some wanted to test this power in him. That time he built a well himself, in which water never dried up.

thirukkinaru constructed by svami desikanWell topinformation on the well-wallSvami desikan thirumaligaiInside Thirumaligai

Can a person skillful in Vedanta, build a well? Everyone was astonished. Like donating wealth to others, building ponds, wells and temples, are also important social service. People realized he was skillful in everything. We can see the well built by Swami Desika. We now worship Swami Desika.

By one hand he is preaching and in the other hand he is holding book. This idol was approved by Swami Desika himself. Like the idols of Thirumangai Alwar and Swami Ramanuja in Sriperumbuthur are famous, this idol in Thiruvahindrapuram is very famous. Swami Desika every year arrives at the top of Aushada giri to worship the Lord Sri Hayagriva, on his birthday Purattasi - Shravanam. That day he is decorated with diamond studded kavacham. Swami Desika imagined himself to be the sweet heart of Lord Sri Devanatha and composed Achyuta sathakam. It is in parakruta language. It is a derivative of Sanskrit, minus harsh sounds and suitable for ladies. He also composed another sthotra Devanayaka Panchasat. We can worship Lord Sri Rama in the temple. Swami Desika composed Raghuvira gathyam on the Lord. Similarly on Sri Krishna here, Swami Desika composed Gopala vimsati. In his 28 stotras, he has praised this Kshetram in 6. Our lecture is connected with Swami Desika. He composed a detailed commentary Tatparya Chandrika. First Swami Alavandar wrote Gitartha sangraham in 32 slokas. Next Swami Ramanuja wrote a commentary Gita bhashyam, on Bhagavad Gita. Tatparya Chandrika further explained Gita Bhashyam. Like the Moon reflecting Sun's light, we can enjoy Swami Ramanuja's Gita Bhashyam in Tatparya Chandrika. For the past one and half years or so, our lectures are based on Tatparya Chandrika. We will now see the completion of Chapter 10. We have seen the last sloka also. Gitartha sangarha gave a summary of Chapter 10. The Lord's auspicious qualities, His command over everything and His infinite property, were all listed in all the slokas. Why should anyone know His wealth or His greatness? Then only devotion or Bhakti will evolve and develop in us. Therefore, to practice Bhakti yoga we should know about the Lord. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that in Arjuna's interest, the Lord again and again was going to mention about His greatness. Arjuna was eager to know His wealth. He wanted in detail. The Lord started telling from sloka 19 and mentioned some important groups in which He was the more important. From that what Arjuna and we should learn? In all those groups all of them and the more important mentioned, were all deriving their eminence from Sri Krishna. In the last Three slokas, the Lord concluded saying that those, mentioned and not mentioned, micro and macro matters, born and unborn, with life and lifeless, movable and stationary, everything without exception, were all in His command and control. The entire Universe was but a micro fraction of Him and was supported in creation, sustaining and destruction. This sermon should stimulate to reach the Lord. At the end of each Cjapter we have been seeing the conversation between Parvati and lord Shiva, on the magnificence of that Chapter. Parvati asked what was great about Chapter 10; and, lord Shiva narrates what Sri Narayana told Sri Maha Lakshmi. There lived one Dhirati. He was helping many devotees of the Lord. Lord Shiva told that there was a swan and it was reborn as Dhirati. Once there lived a Brahmin, who learnt everything from his master. Once, he tripped on the leg of his master who was sleeping; but, he did not express apology and so the master got angry and cursed him to be born as a Swan. This Swan was travelling many places. Swan came acrossa a pond in which five lotus flowers had blossomed. When the Swan wanted to fly over the pond, it could not. And, it fell down helplessly. The white Swan turned black. When the Swan was perplexed, a female voice was heard and it said it would tell the reason. All the Five lotus flowers in the female voice spoke. That she was called Padmini and lived a happy life; but she had a bad habit of caging birds. Her husband never approved it and once he cursed her to become a bird. This bird was a pet of some children of sages. Those children used to chant the Chapter 10 daily and the bird was listening and it got a divine woman form. She was bathing in a pond without any cloth [ We should never bathe without any cloth, according to shastras]. Seeing this Durvasa cursed her to become flowers and she existed in this pond. Swan was asked to take those flowers and offer to lord Shiva and pray. Lord Shiva got their [ lotus and swan] curses removed. That Swan was now born as Dhirati and now worshiping the Lord and His devotees. Thus the greatness of Chapter 10 was explained.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BG 10.42

Gyananada mayam devam nirmala spatikakrutim |
Adaram sarvavidyanam hayagrivam upasmahe ||
This sloka was composed by Swami Vedanta Desika. This sloka tells the glory of Sri Hayagriva, the Lord of all Vidya [knowledge]. Sri Hayagriva is Horse faced and He reclaimed the lost Vedas and taught lord Brahma. Whether we want to know the Brahmam or other worldly matters, Sri Hayagriva is the Lord of such knowledge. We need not go far off in search of Him. He is available in the mid-region of Tamilnadu. Kshetrams of Nadu nadu are Two. Of these, we have already visited Thirukkovalur. Now, we have arrived at Thiruvahindrapuram [திருவகீந்தர புரம்], to worship Sri Hayagriva, Sri Devanatha and Sri Thayar, with the blessings of Swami Vedanta Desika. It is called Thiru + Ahindra puram. Ahi means serpent, and ahindra indicates the leader of all serpents- Adisesha. Ahindrapuram means the Kshetram built by Adisesha and the abode of the Lord, requisitioned by Adisesha. Thiru suggests the association of Sri Thayar always with this place. Sri Devanatha is at the bottom of a hill, Aushdagiri [ஔஷத கிரி] . On top of the hill the Lord Sri Hayagriva graces. Surroundings of the hill is very beautiful and gives an appearance of about to rain, always. Many springs are seen. We climb 74 steps to reach the top of the hill.


This is like the 74 Simhasanathipathis. We now reach Sri Hayagriva sannidhi.


We will first worship Sri Hayagriva.


The Lord is Sri Lakshmi Hayagriva. He is seated with right lower arm in Upadesa mudra, left lower arm holding book and the upper arms holding discus and conch. Sri Maha Lakshmi is seated on His left lap. His foot is on lotus. Near the Moolavar is Sri Venugopala. On the left Garuda is there. Utsavar is seated like Moolavar. Swami Vedanta Desika has described the Lord in his Sri Hayagriva sthothram. In the last sloka, vyakya mudram..., Swami Desika says, the Lord as the Leader of speech, Sri Hayagriva should appear in his heart. He appears as though He is teaching all the Vedas and other religious books. Palms resemble lotus. Like the whiteness of a freshly broken white marble, the Lord Sri Hayagriva appears. Seated on a lotus, the Lord should grace us to ward off the heat of samsaram. Swami Vedanta Desika meditated on this hill. Garuda appeared to him. He praised Garuda and Garuda taught him Garuda mantram and Sri Hayagriva mantram. He also gifted Swami Vedanta Desika, a small idol of Sri Hayagriva. That Lord is called Sri Yoga Hayagriva and is in the sannidhi of Sri Devanatha. In all Swami Desika composed 28 sthotras, of which many are in praise of this Kshetram. With the blessings of Sri Hayagriva we will see the last sloka of Chapter 10:

atha va bahunaitena
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat

"But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe."

Athava = therefore. That is after explaining by the previous slokas that He was everything, micro or macro, movable or stationary, animate or inanimate, and everything was His property. He controls evertything. Bahunaitena = listening to all, kim = what, jnatena = additional knowledge, tavarjuna = to you, Arjuna? The Lord asks what benefit is to Arjuna by listening to more. What is implied is, He has given examples of His eminence in 18 slokas. By saying more in another 100 or 1000 slokas, Arjuna is not going to understand the finality of the property of the Lord. Arjuna can not derive the benefit that he has understood all His properties. What He told was a glimpse and that was enough for Arjuna. Idam = the perceptible, jagat =Universe, krstnam = without anexception all, aham = I [Sri Krishna], ekamsena = by a miniature fraction of, vishtabhya = supporting. Without any exception, whatever was percieved in this Universe, are all supported by a microscopic fraction of Him. For the word entire, Swami Ramanuja gives an explanation. It is all movable and non-moving, chetanam and achetanam, differing by appearance, magnitude, etc. What is supporting? Especially, when the Lord says He supports all what we percieve in this Universe and other invisible worlds; how is it possible? When we lift a book, we can clearly see the hand supporting the book. But the Lord is supporting from inside, as antharatman. He is inside and at the same time surrounds - antar bahischa tad sarvam vyapya narayana sthitha:. It is not mere holding, but by supporting it is meant that the Lord is the cause for our origin, presence and destruction. Every action like being born or living or dying, are all in His domain and control. All atman - baddha, Mukta and Nithya - and all achetanam or lifeless matter are all under His control. Summarising the Lord says all actions of everything without exception is in His control. He supports everything by a fraction of Him. In Vishnu Purana, Parashara says that He prostrates to the Lord, whose millionth fraction of a millionth fraction supports this Universe. The Lord wants Arjuna to realize the eminence of the Lord. In the entire Chapter the Lord tells what His greatness is. There is no use in further telling this. Now Arjuna should realize the glory of the Lord. We should also realize that every action of ours is in His control. To get this knowledge we should worship Lord Sri Hayagriva, as mentioned in the beginning.

BG 10.41

Thiruvenkadam [Thirumala] and Thirukkovalur are closely connected. That connection, not only is in Alwar's pasurams, but even now continues. Today's [23rd September 2008] lecture is from H.H. Emperumanar Jeer mutt in the sannidhi street. At the end of the long street is the tall Raja gopuram. As if competing with Sri Trivikrama, the gopuram is tall with 11 tiers. The Emperumanar Jeer mutt is near the gopuram. This mutt was established some 500 years back. In Sri Vaishnava sampradhayam, Swami Ramanuja is the prime Acharya. It is an unshakable faith that all his predecessors and his successors reach Moksham because of their association with him. Swami Ramanuja formed 74 Simhasanathipatis. In that there was one Swami Thirukkovalur Alwan. He had many disciples and was serving in the temple. There was a village Munpadir, north of Thiruppathi in Andhra Pradesh. There a Vaishnava couple lived and had no children. Once they prayed to Sri Venkatachalapathi to bless them with a child and that they would engage the child in His service. Their wish was to transfer their bhakti and gyana to the child. The Lord blessed them and in the year 1452, in Thai [தை] month and in Mrigasirsha star, a child was born and was christened Ilayazhvar [இளையாழ்வார்], one of the names of Swami Ramanuja. The child grew and learnt all good things. There was the Periya Jeer mutt, established by Swami Ramanuja nearly 1000 years back, in Thirumala. At that time the Jeer was H.H. Yettur Sundaracharya Swami. Swami Ilayazhvar approached the Jeer and learnt everything in sampradhyam, shastras, prabhandam, etc. By a peculiar design, the Jeer died. The Lord ordained on all those present, to appoint Swami Ilayazhvar as the next Jeer. Accordingly, Swami Ilayazhvar was Jeer for 16 years and served the Lord of Thirumala. Meanwhile, in Thirukkovalur, a stone wall was erected to hide Sri Trivikrama and a Shiva Linga and Nandi were erected; and, it was widely publicized that the temple was a Shiva temple. There was no Sri Vaishnava and it was regarded as a Shiva sthala. In the dreams of Swami Thirukkovalur Alwan, the Lord ordered him to go and stay at Srirangam and return only when the Kshetram became Vaishnava Kshetram. At the same time, Lord Sri Venkatesa ordered the Jeer to visit Thirukkovalur. The Jeer tried to argue with people in Thirukkovalur, to return the temple to Sri Vaishnavas, but in vain. Then, he thought that arguments might not yield results and wanted to prove by some other action. He asked people to constrct a lime kiln and challenged that he would enter the burning kiln and meditate inside. If he came out alive, it should be proof that the Lord inside the temple was Sri Vishnu. He accordingly went in and remained there for a long time. The Jeer came out alive. By that time the King who hated Sri Vaishnavas was succeeded by another King, who was not so cruel. The King saw the Jeer coming out radiant with success. All people agreed that the Jeer was divine and with his supervision, all the idols of other gods were respectfully returned to their original places and the stone wall was opened to find Sri Trivikrama. One was reminded of the pasuram thirukkanden, ponmeni kanden,... of Peyalwar. But in spite of efforts, the Nandi could not be displaced. When others reported this, Jeer came to the spot. After observing, he ordered for green grass and when the Jeer displayed it in front of the Nandi, it got up to eat the grass. The Jeer requested Nandi to go to its Master lord Shiva. Nandi told that it wanted to meet the Jeer and then walked its way to the temple where lord Shiva was. From that day all the old [Sri Vishnava agama] poojas were resumed. The Jeer from there went to Thirukkannamangai and did service to the Lord. Then he served in Sri Mushnam. He also visited Nava Thiruppathi and did many notable services. He also visited Srirangam. Again he visited Thirukkovalur, to ensure all pooja were in proper order and then decided to return to Thirumala, where his mutt was. But the Lord appeared in everybody's dreams and ordained that the Jeer should stay, henceforth, in Thirukkovalur as the Head of Sri Emperumanar mutt. A new Jeer was appointed in Thirumala. We are in Sri Emprumanar mutt. The Lord here is Sri Bhogaraja. He is considered to be the reincarnation of the Lord of Thirukkannamangai. We can also worship the First Jeer [Sri Ramanuja (Ilayazhvar) Jeer] in a sannidhi here. This mutt was established in 1521. Now the 25th Jeer is the Head of this Mutt.
Thirukkovalur jeeyar

About 10.000 disciples are there. By performing Pancha samskaram, he is establishing the association wit Swami Ramanuja. Only being a servant of the Lord is important and not his caste or creed. He has performed samasrayanam to about 3,000 thirukkulathars [திருக்குலத்தார்]. Jeer of Sri Emperumanar Mutt, Thirukkovalur says:
Sri Krishna preached Bhagavat Gita to Arjuna in the previous yug. In this yug the greatness of Gita has been told by great elders. In that order, lecturing on Sri Krishna's Gita in this Krishnaranya Kshetram by Sri Krishnan Swami [sri Velukkudi Swami], is very appropriate. This temple has been praised by Four Alwars. This Mutt is being administered by Jeer for the past 500 yeras. I pray the Substance of Gita, the Lord Sri Ayanar, to bless all with prosperity.
Now, we will see sloka 41:

yad yad vibhutimat sattvam
srimad urjitam eva va
tat tad evavagaccha tvam
mama tejo-’msa-sambhavam

"Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor."

The Lord tells Arjuna that by now he would have understood all were His wealth. None of them could remain without Him. Yad yad sattvam = those which are [existing in this Universe], vibhutimat = everyone of them might be under the control of some. That is the control of some over all the existing entities in this Universe. Srimad = those which are having radiance or prosperity, urjitam = resoluteness [in all efforts], tad tad eva = all such things, mama = My [Sri Krishna's], tejo = eminence, amsa = fraction, sambhavam = originate, tvam = you [Arjuna], avagaccha = know. So, the prosperity, wealthiness,and resolution are all a mere fraction of the eminence of the Lord. Parents order children. King orders subjects. Teacher orders stydents. All these ordering power of all emanate from a spark of His eminence. That is when He said He is Vishnu among Adityas, Vishnu or Adityas have some ruling power over people. This controlling power has originated from a fraction of His power. The eminence of Margasirsha [Margazhi] month, is a part of the eminence of the Lord. He mentioned that among luminous entities, He is Sun. This luminance is a fraction of the Lord's luminance. Like this everyone's eminence, determination, wealth, etc., are all but a fraction of the Lord's qualities. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.

Monday, September 22, 2008

BG 10.40

We will see how the First Three Alwars worshiped Sri Trivikrama. This is a well known story. Each Alwar was wandering in various places and singing in praise of the Lord. By a peculiar design of the Lord, the Three Alwars assembled in Thirukkovalur. They came to the same Ashram of sage Mrigandu. It was raining very heavily and Poigai Alwar entered the Ashram, for shelter. It was pitch dark inside. No one was inside the narrow place, and so thinking on the Lord, he laid down. After some time, Bhothathalwar came and knocked on the door to open. He was let in; but the space was sufficient for two to sit only. Next, Peyalwar came and knocked at the door to let him in. He also came inside and now all the three had to stand. All the Three were thinking of the Lord only; and the rain was still pouring outside. They were standing in the verandah [Tamil Idaikazhi இடைகழி , Sanskrit Dehali देहली ]. Suddenly they felt a Fourth Person occupying space and pressing them. They had not opened the door for anyone else. Then who could be that? Since it was dark, they thought they could find only with the help of light of a lamp. Poigai Alwar lighted a 'lamp'. He lighted a lamp with Earth as the container, oceans as the oil and bright Sun as the flame [வையம் தகளியாக, வார் கடலே நெய்யாக, வெய்ய கதிரோன் விளக்காக] . It formed the First pasuram of Mudhal Thiru Andhadhi [முதல் திரு அந்தாதி]. But that 'lamp' light was not enough to find the Fourth person. So, Bhoothathalwar lighted another 'lamp', with love as the container, enthusiasm as oil and his thoughts as wick and lighted 'gyana' deep [அன்பே தகளியா, ஆர்வமே நெய்யாக, இன்புருகு சிந்தை இடு திரியா, ஞானச் சுடர் விளக்கு ஏற்றினேன்]. This was the start of Irandam Thiru Andhadi [இரண்டாம் திரு அந்தாதி]. With this light now Peyalwar was able to 'see' Who was the Fourth Person. He saw Sri Maha Lakshmi. He saw the gold hued Lord. He saw the discus and conch [திருக் கண்டேன், பொன் மேனி கண்டேன்...பொன்னாழி கண்டேன், புரி சங்கம் கண்டேன்,]. This became the First hymn of Moonram Thiru Andhadi [மூன்றாம் திரு அந்தாதி]. All of them saw the Person, Who was pressing them in the same form as He is in this temple. So, in the garbha gruha, all of these Alwars are always present. What was seen by them First? Alwar says he saw Sri Nachiyar on the chest of the Lord. This is the Unique identity for Sriman Narayana. Upanishads describe the Lord in golden hue, with hair and moustache golden. These Three form the First Three Prabhandams in Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. Therefore, we can say that Thirukkovalur is the nursery field for Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. Today's [ 22nd September 2008] is from Sri Nachiyar sannidhi. In the sannidhi of Sri Trivikrama, Sri Maha Lakshmi is gracing; but here in the separate sannidhi Sri Pushpavalli Thayar also known as Sri Poonkodhai Nachiyar [ஸ்ரீ பூங்கோதை நாச்சியார்] is gracing. Thirumangai Alwar has praised Sri Thayar here. Thus Four Alwars have praised the Lord here. We can note how much the Lord is eager to mingle with His devotees, setting aside all the discomforts, like narrow space. The Lord is also called Sri Dehalisan [ஸ்ரீ தேதஹளீசன் श्री देहलीस:]; dehali means verandah. It is another Sri Krishna Ksheram, besides Thirukkannapuram, Thirukkannangudi, Thirukkannamangai and Kapisthalam, forming Pancha Krishna Kshetrams. While going round the temple, we can also worship Sri Durga. We know the story of Sri Krishna's birth. In the jail of Mathura Sri Krishna was born as the Eighth Son of Devaki, in Ashtami. About the same time, but in Navami, was born a female child to Yasoda in Gokulam. Vasudeva interchanged the Two, as ordered by Sri Krishna. After bringing the Female child to jail in Mathura, the child cried and Kamsa came to collect the Child. Though it was a female child, Kamsa tried to kill the infant by hitting against rock. At that moment the child escaped and in the Yoga Maya form, chided and announced that Kamsa's enemy was growing in Gokulam. Thus, like a sister Sri Durga as Yoga Maya saved Sri Krishna and she is honoured in this temple, with a separate sannidhi. Sri Pushpavalli Nachiyar is showing protection by Her right hand. In front of the sannidhi are Navarathri mandapam and Oonjal mandapam. In Panguni Uthram festival, on the Seventh day, the Lord and the Sri Thayar grace together [சேர்த்தி]. The Lord also goes out for Fifteen days, in festival for Theerthavari in the Ocean. We can worship the Utsavar Sri Ayanar [ஸ்ரீ ஆயனார் ].

Utsavar (AyanAr)Ulagalandha Perumal UtsavardEhaleesar (Aayanar) on Thanga Pallaku

The Lord Utsavar is adoring Gold armour [தங்கக் கவசம்]. Right hand is in abhaya mudra, left arm is on the hip. No amount of descrption of His eminence could fully describe. And, this is what the Lord says in the sloka 40:

nanto ’sti mama divyanam
vibhutinam parantapa
esa tuddesatah prokto
vibhuter vistaro maya

"O mighty conqueror of enemies, there is no end to My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulences."

There is no end to His auspicious wealth. Na anta = no end, asti = is, mama = My [Sri Krishna's], divyanam = auspicious, vibhutinam = wealth or property, parantapa = destroyer of enemies [Arjuna]. Arjuna feels that the Lord detailed His holdings in the last 19 slokas; so, how there can not be end to His property list? Esa tu = already, uddesata = approximately, maya =by Me [Sri Krishna], prokto = told, but, vibhuti = [Sri Krishna's] wealth, vistara = details, have no end. What the Lord told Arjuna in the last 19 slokas, was only a glimpse, to understand the infinite wealth He possessed. What He told can not be taken as the entire list. There is no end to His eminence and wealth. The Lord Himself or the Vedas or the Alwars do not know His emeinence and property. Though it is impossible for us to know the extent of His wealth, we should know that all are His property. One might ask how all can be His property, when He listed only a few? To answer such questions and to prevent anyone else claiming propriet0rship, the Lord strode over the entire length and breadth of all the Fourteen worlds and established His ownership over all of them. One doubt may arise. Mahabali grabbed Indra's property of the Three worlds [Bhu, Bhuva and Suva] only; then, why the Lord strode to measure all Upper Seven Lokas, including Satya Loka of lord Brahma? It was to avoid another Avatar to reclaim the other Four lokas, if another demon grabbed them! This temple is administered by Swami Emperumanar Jeer of Thirukkovalur. We will see Jeer's glory and other related topics in the next lecture.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

BG 10.39

We have now arrived at Nadu nadu [நடு நாடு] - middle region. And, in Gita also we are in the middle! We are in Thirukovalur [திருக்கோவலூர்] one of the Nadu nadu Kshetrams. The Lord is gracing here as Sri Trivkrama. This Lord strode to measure all the Universe. We all know the story of the Lord returning to Indra the Three worlds, grabbed away by Emperor Bali, from Indra. We have seen in Gita in Chapter 10, from sloka 21, the Lord has been mentioning various groups and He is representing the more important among them; He established that the entire Universe is His wealth, is under His control and administration. As if to prove this, the Trivikrama Avatar happened. When all are His property, could He simply watch and keep quiet when someone forcibly grab? Therefore, the Lord took the form of the Dwarf Sri Vamana, and solicited Emperor Bali to give Him land measuring Three by His feet. He then grew into the gigantic Sri Trivikrama and strode the entire Universe by first step; then, by the Second step strode all the Upper Worlds. There was no more place for the Lord to stride the Third step. Thus Mahabali was humiliated and the Lord got back the lost Kingdom to be returned to Indra. So, if we all can realize that we are all His property, He would not be interested to lose us. Even by begging He would establish His right on His property. We can therefore, see Sri Trivikrama as the 10th Chapter personified. Thirumangai Alwar has praised this Kshetram in his Thirunedunthandakam [திரு நெடுந்தாண்டகம்]. He tells his mind to ponder over the Eight syllabled Ashtakshra [திரு அஷ்டாக்ஷர] mantra and thereby, enjoy the Lord's beauty and His eminence. For this, his mind replied that it was unable to visualise with only the letters of the mantra as they were abstact, and wanted concrete form to visualise. Alwar thought over this request and searched for that image which could convey the Magnificenece of the Lord. He then decided to go to Thirukkovalur, where the Lord Sri Trivikrama was gracing. By worshiping Him, we can realize that we are all His belongings. To realize that noble feeling, we have come to Thirukkovalur. Kovalan is the Tamil equivalent of Gopalan. Sri Krishna is Sri Kovalan. Therefore this place is Thirukkovalur. Long back Sri Krishna was here. So, we first visit the Kshetra Purusha Sri Venugopala Krishna. Moolavar is Sri Venugopala. Utsavar is Sri Rajagopala with Two hands, with one hand holding a stick and the other holding a whip. It is seen in many Kshetrams that they might have a Kshtradipati or ruling Deity, but more importance is accorded to the later Entrant Deity !! Thirumala is Adi Varaha Kshetram. Sri Adi Varaha is the ruling Deity; because of Him, Sri Venkatesa came to meditate. Similariy, here also, a sage came and meditated because of Sri Venugopala; and, the Lord appeared to Him as Sri Ayanar [திரு ஆயனார்] and Sri Trivikrama. Sage Mrigandu desired to have a glimpse of the Lord. He travelled all over North and meditated. Finally, lord Brahma appeared to him and asked him to go to Thirukkovalur and meditate on the Lord. This place is called Dakshina Pinakini and in Tamil, Then Pennai aru [தென் பெண்ணை ஆறு]. The sage meditated on the Lord sitting on the banks of the river. In his ashram [hermitage] the Lord appeared to the sage and that ashram itself became the present temple. The Lord appeared on a shravana [திருவோணம்] star. He appeared as the huge Sri Trivikrama.

M.Mgam1.jpgOngi ulagaLanda utthaman

We can notice the unique feature, that the Lord is holding the conch and discus in the reverse order. Unlike the usual discus in right and conch in the left, here the Lord is holding conch in the right hand and discus in the left. Two reasons are attributed: The Lord got back the lost property; and so, in an exuberent mood, the Lord blew the conch and to do that He held the conch in the right hand. Another reason is that after Sri Krishna Avatar, the Lord had eliminated all wicked persons. So the Lord felt there was no neceassity to use the discus again and so the discus was changed to the left hand. And, He was to infuse Gyana in Alwars and to do that conch was to be kept ready in the right hand. We can see a number of persons near the Lord. Here, the right leg is lifted up. We can see Emperor Mahabali and Prahalada [grand father of Bali]. Near Prahalada is Sri Maha Lakshmi. They are all on the right of the Lord. On His left, we can see Namuchi, son of Bali, sage Sukracharya, Markandeya and his wife. We can also see the Three mudhal Alwars [Poigai, Bhootham and Pei - முதல் ஆழ்வார்கள், பொய்கை, பூதம், பேய் ]. Infact the first among these Three Alwars, Poigai Alwar was also born in Shravana star. And, His composition Mudhal Thiruvandhadi [முதல் திரு அந்தாதி] composed here, is the First compilation in Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. His growth from a small Dwarf to Gigantic Trivikrama, is what we are to see in sloka 39. The Lord says He is the seed for this Universe:

yac capi sarva-bhutanam
bijam tad aham arjuna
na tad asti vina yat syan
maya bhutam caracaram

"Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being—moving or nonmoving—that can exist without Me."

Yad = whatever, bijam = seed or origin of, sarva-bhutanam = everything [in this Universe], tad = that [seed or origin], aham = I [Sri Krishna] am, arjuna = [listen] Arjuna. For all the clothes we wear, like dhoti or shirt or saree, cotton is raw material and cotton seed is the origin. Similarly, for the various ornaments gold is the material and ore is the origin. Thus for everything we see, we realize that some origin is there. The Lord is the origin of all of them. Once we know the cause, we can realize all effects [karya-karana bhava]. In Chandokyopanishad, father Uddhalaka tells his son Swetaketu. By understanding mud, one can realize all articles like pot or toy. By understanding Bramham, everythig in this Universe can be known. The Lord mentions this here to drive home the point that just like He was Vishnu among Adityas, Sankara among Rudras, Sama veda among Vedas, etc., whatever items Arjuna or we can imagine, He represented all. Here, Sri Vamana can be considred as karana and Sri Trivikrama as the karya. Caracaram bhutam = in all things in Universe [chara = movable, achara = non-movable], maya vina = separated from or without Me [Sri Krishna], yat syat = if searched, na tad asti = there is nothing. If one were to search for any item in this Universe, which is different from the Lord or which is not controlled by the Lord by being in that, one would not find that item. Without any exception, there is nothing which is not His nor conrolled by Him. Uddhalaka says ' idam sarvam tad satyam sa atma tatvamasi swetaketo' [ entire Universe is, with the Lord as antharatman; He pervades all without exception]. Once this is realized we can see all as equals. Till this sloka the Lord had mentioned groups of entities in which He represented the more important ones.