It is about 30 Miles from Chennai city. Sri Adi Kesava Perumal [ஸ்ரீ ஆதி கேசவ பெருமாள்] is gracing here. In Sanskrit, this place is called Bhutapuri [भूतपुरी]. We will see in due course of time the history of Swami Ramanuja in this place. Swami Ramanuja was born in Thiruvadirai [திருவாதிரை] star in Chittirai [சித்திரை] month. The recording of today's [25th december 2008] lecture was also done on Thiruvadirai star! We will see, listen to and experience Swami Ramanuja from various angles. We first visit the temple pond called Ananta saras. It was built by Adisesha -Ananta [அனந்தன்], and so Ananta saras. Swami Ramanuja is the incarnation of Adisesha. Ambarisha was a King in the Ikshvaku dynasty. We understand the greatness of observing Ekadasi-Dwadasi, through the history of Ambarisha. In his family was Haritha. Once when he went to forests to hunt wild animals and protect his subjects, he heard the help call from a cow, which was about to be hunted by a tiger. To save the cow, Haritha shot an arrow from his bow on the tiger. Before the arrow could hit the tiger, the tiger pounced on the cow, which got killed. The arrow also hit the tiger, which also got killed. Haritha felt sorry as he could not save the cow. He thought the sin of go-hatham [घो हथ] would befall on him. Cow is sacred and killing a cow is considered as a grave sin. He prayed the Lord, Who asked him to go to Bhutapuri and after bathing in the pushkarini, to perform Pooja to Sri Adikesava Perumal. Haritha did accordingly and got absolved of go-hatthi dosha. It is , therefore, believed that by bathing in this pushkarini, all our sins would be eliminated. We will now see sloka 13. Till now, in Four slokas, the Lord suggested alternatives to get Bhakti in Him. He started from a very difficult method and suggested easier alternatives. He asked Arjuna to choose anyone method and try to reach Him. He first suggested the superior Bhakti marg. Arjuna found it difficult to follow. Then, the Lord asked him to meditste on His auspicious qualities. Arjuna felt that thinking was not habitual for many and so wanted any method involving physical labour. The Lord then suggested activities in service of God. Arjuna felt that most of the people were not used to serving others, and so serving God might be diificult;perhaps, service involving self would be better. Then the Lord suggeted to do dhyanam or meditation on one's own atman. By doing so one could realize that atman was a servant of the Lord. That would induce service to Him. Service to God would make one to appreciate His great qualities. Thinking about His qualities, one would get Bhakti in Him. Thus, in Four stages - Bhakti, otherwise meditating on His auspicious qualities, otherwise kainkaryam, otherwise atman dhyanam and Karma yoga, the Lord advised Arjuna to practice Bhakti in Him. Now, from sloka 13 to sloka 19, in 7 slokas, the Lord lists all the good qualities a Karma yogi should possess. These Seven slokas are very important. We have to bring into our life, every quality listed. Living such life is beneficial to us. Guide to practical life is explained. It is a wonder that we are going to study all these in the place, where Swami Ramnuja was born and lived practicing all the qualities listed by the Lord. Therefore, we have the list and the history of a person who practiced them; we have to just emulate that person. Our life is very simple, but we are making it complex. Aspiring for too much, we miss what is to be really achieved. The Lord lists the qualities to be cultivated in us to redeem from samsaram. Each sloka lists a few qualities. It is recommended that these qualities may be noted separately to be followed practically in our lives. Now sloka 13:
maitrah karuna eva ca
One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant.
We will list serially all these.
- Advesta = not hating, sarvabhutanam = any living being. It is no use in not showing hatred to those whom we like; but even to our so called enemies. To those whom we consider as having done harm to us, we should not show hatred. Here we may have the doubt as to how we can not show hatred, when someone blatantly accuses us or hurts us physically? We should think that such insult or injury, was to be experienced by us and so that person was used as a tool by the Lord and so he is not to be blamed. This type of behaviour is very, very difficult to practice. We should think that because of our past karma we are experiecing such hardships and so it is not others' fault.
- Maitra = be friendly to all. Even those who cause hardships to us to be regarded as friends.
- Karuna eva ca = also to show mercy. Even if one does harm to us, we should pity one and show mercy. We should show pity, because by harming us, that person might be committing a sin and so we should worry about the consequences. If someone blamed us, we might suffer because of our past karma; but, by blaming us, that person would incur papa and we have to pity that person for that.
- Nir mama = without mamakaram. We should not reagrd anything as ours. Even our body is not ours. The Lord has given us a birth and as such we own nothing, should be the attitude.
- Nir ahankara = without ahankaram or ego. We should never regard the body as us. It is said that the poisonous tree samsaram is grown from two seeds: ahankara and mamakara.
- Sama -dukha-sukha = considering sorrow and happiness equally. Is it possible? We jump with joy when we are happy and brood over when sorrow strikes us. Whether happiness or grief, it would last for a few days. Then they would be forgotten. Have we not seen many such happy and sorrowful occasions? We do not even remember many. So, why did we jump with joy or cry, when those occasions happened?
- Ksami = tolerent to everything happening. We should not lament over the natural happenings like torrential rain or scorching summer. The Lord advises to bear such things with a smile. Are not others showing tolerance on us? We shoukd be able to take in stride happenings.