Veda Vyasa wrote Mahabharata epic and in that the episode of Sri Pandavadhoota is very important. Today’s [21st October 2008] lecture is from Sri Pandavadhoota sannidhi. The vimanam is Chakra vimanam. Chakra is the weapon discus the Lord is holding in His hand. This vimanam is also as famous as the discus. Swami Parashara Bhatta says that by viewing vimanam all our blemishes are eliminated. Sloka 17 we are to see also mentions that we can identify the Lord by His Chakra or discus. These are exclusive identities of Sri Krishna. Arjuna says that Sri Krishna Himself has taken the huge form of Viswaroopam. In this sloka mace and crown are also mentioned. We have to learn about an important Acharya’s sannidhi in this Kshetram. He is Arulala Perumal Emperumanar. His original name was Yagnamurti. Later he became Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar. He was born in Karthigai month in star Bharani. He was one of the important disciples of Swami Ramanuja. It is interesting to know how he became a disciple of Swami Ramnuja. Advaitam philosophy says that Paramatman and Jeevatman are one and the same and excepting Paramatman all are illusions and not real. But in Visishtadvaitam, propagated by Swami Ramanuja, everything we see is real and not imaginary; Paramatman and jeevatman were separate, but are inseparable like soul and body. Swami Yagnamurti was a staunch follower of Advaitam. He was able to win many scholars in debates. He came to argue in a debate with Swami Ramnuja. This debate continued for 17 days; Swami Ramanuja could not defeat Swami Yagnamurti in all these prolonged debates. This showed that Swami Yagnamurti was a very capable person. On the Seventeenth night, Swami Ramanuja was to go for bed and he was very much worried as to how to win in the debate. The Lord Sri Varadaraja does not allow His devotees to suffer and He grants everything to them even without their asking for anything. He appeared in the dreams of Swami Ramanuja and comforted him not to go despondent, but to use Swami Alavandar’s Siddhitrayam work to argue. Swami Alavandar had very clearly established Visishtadvaitam and so Swami Ramanuja could rely on that to defeat Swami Yagnamurti. Waking up fresh in the morning, with the course shown by the Lord, Swami Ramanuja got himself ready for debate in the morning. Seeing a confident Swami Ramanuja arriving at the debate hall, Swami Yagnamurti realized that his opponent was armed with very strong arguments and so without any further debate, conceded defeat and fell at the feet of Swami Ramanuja, and prayed to take him as his disciple. Swami Ramanuja agreed and after explaining the Visishtadvaitam philosophy, from Siddhitrayam, included Swami Yagnamurti in his group. He was rechristened as Swami Arula Perumal Emperumanar [Arulalaperumal denotes Sri Varadaraja and Emperumanar denotes Swami Ramanuja]. Swami Arulala perumal Emperumanar was born in Vinjimur, near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. His descendents are called Vinjimurars, who are maintaining the sannidhi of Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar in this Kshetram. Swami Ramanuja was in the habit of closely associating his disciples in all his services. Everyone was given a duty like maintaining cow shed, maintaining accounts or upkeep of library, etc. Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar was given the duty of performing aradhana [daily pooja] of the personal God of Swami Ramanuja. Later, Swami Anantalwan was deputed to work with Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar. Though, he was a great scholar and debated very skillfully with Swami Ramanuja, he was very humble and wanted to be always simple. Once a stranger asked a local resident [of Srirangam], where the mutt of Emperumanar was. That is he wanted to go to Swami Ramanuja’s mutt. The resident asked as to which Emperumanar mutt, he wanted direction. That is whether he wanted to go to Swami Ramanuja’s mutt or Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar residence. Overhearing this conversation, immediately Swami Arulala Perumal Emperumanar got his house demolished. He did not want any doubt in anyone to know which Swami Ramanuja’s mutt was! There could not be a second mutt in Srirangam, was his conviction. They were all real great Acharyas, who were very staunch disciples. From his biography we have to learn that whatever be one’s learning one should know one was a server to the Lord and to one’s Acharya. With his blessings we will now see sloka 17:
kiritinam gadinam cakrinam ca
tejo-rasim sarvato diptimantam
pasyami tvam durniriksyam samantad
"Your form is difficult to see because of its glaring effulgence, spreading on all sides, like blazing fire or the immeasurable radiance of the sun. Yet I see this glowing form everywhere, adorned with various crowns, clubs and discs."
Pasyami = [I, Arjuna] am seeing, tvam = You [Sri Krishna], durnirikshyam = [ordinarily] can not be seen, samantad = even a part, dipta = well burning, anala =fire, arka = the Sun, dyuti = their brightness, aprameya = beyond intelligence. Arjuna exclaims that he was able to see the splendor of the Lord. Kiritinam = crown, gadinam = mace and, cakrinam = discus. These are the unmistakable and exclusive identities of the Lord. Other attributes could be used for others also. These unmistakably point to Sriman Narayana only. Tejo = brightness, rasim = concentrated, sarvato = everywhere and in every direction, diptimantam = illuminating, pasyami = am seeing. Samantad means part by part and durniriksyam means can not be seen. That is even one part could not be seen fully. Earlier Arjuna said that he was unable to see beginning or middle or end of the image of the Lord. So, is it possible to see part by part? Say, crown, could it be seen fully? Or, His limb, could that be seen completely? Even this was not possible. It is like infinity and could not be measured. A portion of infinity also is infinity only. Next, Arjuna says that he saw the Lord’s image like the brilliant Sun and well ignited fire. Aprameya means beyond his intelligence [prama]. Prameyam means understandable by intelligence. The Lord is Aprameyam or beyond intelligence, could not be described by words nor thinkable by mind. Arjuna imagines brightness to be concentrated or brightness multiplied. He imagines the brightness of all brilliant objects brought together. The Lord appears brighter than this integrated brightness. This brightness is not in a single direction; but all over in all directions. Alwar says the Lord appeared as a flood of brightness. Arjuna says he was seeing and also says He could not be seen. Is there a confusion? This image could not be seen by our ordinary eyes; but with the gift of the Lord, Arjuna was able to see somewhat. He sees the Crown, discus and mace. Swami Kooratalwan says that the Lord Sri Ranganatha is reclining with one palm on the Crown. It is to say that He is the Lord of lord Brahma and lord Shiva. The Crown proclaims that He was the Lord of the Universe. The mace is Kaumodaki and He is holding that. In another arm He is holding the discus Sudarshana. We will now take leave of Thirupadakam Kshetram.