Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BG 11.19

Kanchipuram has a speciality, that in it are many Divyadesams [Kshetrams]. It is also praised as on of the Seven - Ayodhya, Maya, Mathura, Kasi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwaraka- Kshetrams, which give Moksham. In Tamilnadu, is situated Kanchi. The Lord of Kanchi grants us Moksham. One has to travel via Archiradi marg, to reach Moksham from this World. This has to be accomplished by the Lord only. To cross this [ocean of samsaram] we need a bridge or sethu. The Lord is in this Kshetram, Thiruvekkha [திரு வெஃகா], as Sri Sonnavannam Perumal [ஸ்ரீ சொன்ன வண்ணம் செய்த பெருமாள்], acting as the sethu. In Sanskrit the Lord is called Sri Yatoktakari [श्री यातोक्तकारी ] Perumal. Today's [ 22nd October 2008] lecture is from this Kshetram. It is considered as one of the important Kshetrams of Kanchi and the Lord here is also called Sri Periya Perumal [ஸ்ரீ பெரிய பெருமாள்]. In the Little Kanchipuram [சின்ன காஞ்சிபுரம்], near Rangaswamy tank and Sri Ashtabhuja Perumal temple, is this temple. Among the Alwars, Potgai Alwar was born in this place. It is also famous because of an year long Kalakshepam [காலக்ஷேபம் lecture] on Sri Bhashyam by Swami Manavala Mamunigal. As we enter the temple we see the dwajasthambam and the corridor [பிராகாரம்]. Then we see the maha mandapam, where in one corner is Alwars' sannidhi. On another side we see the sannidhi of Sri Rama and a very beautiful Kannadi [mirror] mandapam. We can see the Lord from many angles. Then we come to garbha gruha, where the Lord Sri Sonna Vannam Seidha Perumal is gracing in the reclining pose. In all temples the Lord is reclining on the Right, while here the Lord is reclining on His Left side. Let us first know why the Lord came to this place and then we will see the reason for the reversal in the reclining posture. The Lord graces with just two hands; the Left arm is used as pillow to rest His head and the Right hand is raised to bless the devotees. At His feet is river Saraswati, worshiping the Lord. The Lord came to this place because of this river. As told earlier, lord Brahma started to perform Aswamedha yagam. Saraswati tried to stop that yagna. First she created darkness, and the Lord appeared as Sri Deepaprakasa and eliminated the darkness. Then she sent a demon and the Lord appeared as Sri Ashtabhuja Perumal, with Eight hands. Thus lord Brahma's yagna could not be stopped and so Saraswati decided to flood the place and submerge the yagna. So she came as a turbulent river Vegavati. In accordance with the prayers of lord Brahma, the Lord immediately came here and by reclining stopped the river from submerging the yagna. This place therefore, came to be known as Thiru Vekkhanai [திரு வெஃகணை], which got transformed as Thiruvekkha. Since He acted as prayed by lord Brahma, that is acted as told by Brahma, He is called Sri Sonnavannam Seidha Perumal or Sri Yatoktakari. Perhaps, in a hurry, the Lord reversed the reclining sides. Thus He came to protect the yagna of lord Brahma and remains as a sethu for the river. Swami Vedanta Desika has praised the Lord in Vegasethu Stotram. He says that the Lord here has the capacity to transport us from this shore [of samsaram ocean] to the other side [Vaikuntam]. The Lord is in Vegavati acting as a bridge for us to cross over. We will now see next sloka 18:
tvam aksharam paramam veditavyam
tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam purusho mato me

"You are the supreme primal objective. You are the ultimate resting place of all this universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion."

This is one of the slokas with larger syllables [trushtup chandas]. Upanishads eulogise the Lord. He is Avyaya [inexhaustible]; He is aksharam [indestrutible]; He is anadhi [without a beginning]; He is veditavya [ realizable by Vedas]; He is sanathana [ Ancient]; He is Purusha [Paramatman]; etc. Arjuna says thet he was able to see those praises, in person. So far Arjuna has been listening to various attributes of the Lord found in Upanishads and in Gita. Now, for the First time Arjuna was able to 'see' those attributes Himself. Once we see and store it in our mind we can never forget them. Earlier, Arjuna believed on the various statements of the Lord and now those beliefs are confirmed to him. Tvam = You [Sri Krishna] are, paramam = supreme, aksharam = never diminishable, veditavyam = realized only by Vedas. Our body as also all objects diminish over time. But the Lord has no such diminishing [either in image or in qualities]. Dve vidye vedidavye - by Two skills [learning], we can meditate and realize, Aksharam paramam narayanam - indiminishable Supreme Sriman Narayana. Arjuna is able to see this attribute of the Lord. Tvam = You [Sri Krishna] are, asya visvasya = this Universe's, param = supreme, nidhanam [निधानं] = support [ஆதாரம்]. The Lord sustains this Universe. Entire Universe is dependent on Him. Univers is a fraction of His body. Tvam = You [Sri Krishna] are, avyaya = always present or inexhausible, sasvata = permanent, dharma = righteousness, gopta = protector. The Lord ensures the protection of permanent dharma in this Universe. He himself is Dharma. In this Kshetram, Thiruvekkha, we can see beautiful Sri Rama. Valmiki says ramao vigrahavan dharma: - Sri Rama is the embodiment of Dharma. Sometimes Dharma is threatenes by evil factors. At those times the Lord takes Avatars like Sri Rama or Sri Krishna and ensures Dharma is well protected. Krishnam dharmam sanathanam - Sri Krishna is the ancient dharma. In fact in Chapter 4, the Lord said in sloka paritranaya sadhoonam....dharma samstapi...Sri Krishna appeares to establish Dharma. At that time Arjuna merely listened to the words of the Lord and now in Chapter 11, he is able to see that in real. That is he is now realizing those words. Tvam = You [Sri Krishna] are, sanatana = always present, purusha =Person, mato me = I [Arjuna have] realized by seeing. Universe is totally established in Him and Universe is sustained by the Lord. Everybody is supported by an atman. But all atman are supported by Prana or the Lord. Thus He is the basic adharam [ஆதாரம் आधारं] for entire Universe. Viswaroopam is so mammoth, that it looks like a long bridge or sethu linking this Universe and Sri Vaikuntam.

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