Monday, December 15, 2008

BG 12.4

We have now arrived on the top of Thiruneermalai. We worshiped Sri Neervanna Perumal in standing pose [நின்ற திருக் கோலம்] and Sri Animamalar Mangai Thayar, at the foot of the hill. From there we have climbed up and arrived here. Here the Lord is above, just like Paramatman is above Jeevatman. The Lord is thus at a height in Three poses - seated [இருந்தான்], reclining [கிடந்தான்] and walking [நடந்தான்]. As we climb we can notice the surroundings. Beautiful Pushkarini, Pushpaka vimanam, etc., are visible form the top. Place looks green. This place is called Kandava vanam [காண்டவ வனம்], by Thirumangai Alwar and describes it as a forest. Being a feast to the eyes we do not feel the starin of climbing. After climbing, we worship the Lord and it is also delightful. Thus the process of climbing and seeing the Lord, are both delightful. This is the same experience as in Bhakti. Bhakti, when performed is enjoyable. After performing Bhakti and reaching Him and serving Him, is also fascinating. But compare this experience with atma upasanam by kaivalya arthis. Experiencing atman will not be that happy. To experience atman, we have to practice Gyana yoga, which is even more strenuous. In slokas 3, 4 and 5, Sri Krishna explains how the person, wanting to experience atman [kaivalyam], finds devoting on atman is very hard and difficult, and why that experience will not, that easily, be attainable. We are at the entrance to the Three sannidhis on top of the hill. As Ninran [நின்றான்] is Sri Neervannan at the bottom of the hill, As Irundhan [இருந்தான்], we can worship Sri Santha Narasimha, in seated pose. Thirumangai Alwar regards the Lord here as the Lord of Thiruvali [திருவாலி]. Thirumangai Alwar describes the Lord in each sannidhi in Thiruneermalai, as the Lord in Four Divya desams. Sri Neervannan is compared to the Lord in Thirunaraiyur [திரு நறையூர்], aka Nacchiyar Kovil [நாச்சியார் கோவில்]. Sri Santha Narasimha, in seated pose is compared to the Lord of Thiruvali [திருவாலி], where also the Lord is Sri Narasimha, seated. Sri Ranganatha, reclining in Thiruneermalai, is compared to Sri Aravamudan [ஸ்ரீ ஆராவமுதன்] of Thirukudanthai [திருக் குடந்தை ], aka Kumbakonam. The Lord Sri Trivikrama of Thirukovalur [திருக் கோவலூர்] is compared to Sri Trivikrama, in walking pose, in Thiruneer malai. In the same order we will worship the Lord. So, we are at the sannidhi of Sri Santha Narasimha, today [16th December 2008]. Moolavar is in seated pose. He is gracing, after killing Hiranyakasipu, and in the mood of blessing Prahalada. With only Two hands, the Lord is showing abhaya by right hand and the left arm is beckoning the devotees - Ahvana hastham [ஆஹ்வான ஹஸ்தம்]. Normally, Sri Narasimha is seen in yoga posture with folded legs; but here the Lord is seated in a relaxed posture, with one leg folded and resting on the seat, while the other is stretched down. The Lord exhibits santham or peace. Utsavar, though small, is very attractive and brightly shining like gold. To Thirumangai Alwar, when worshiping the Lord here, appeared along with the Lord of Thirunaraiyur [see pasuram oda ariyai.. ஓடா அரியை ...]. He says that he saw the Lord Sri Santha Narasimha in Thirunaraiyur. With this knowledge in background we will now see slokas 3, 4 and 5 together, as all the three slokas convey the same substance. It is like the same Lord in Three sannidhis! All the three slokas convey about the hardship felt by those practicing kaivalyam or meditating on atman, and that they would not reach their goal that easily. Now the slokas:

ye tv aksharam anirdesyam
avyaktam paryupasate
sarvatra-gam acintyam ca
kuta-stham acalam dhruvam

sarvatra sama-buddhayah
te prapnuvanti mam eva
sarva-bhuta-hite ratah

kleso ’dhikataras tesam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham
dehavadbhir avapyate

But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable—the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth—by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me. For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are mbodied."

Sri Krishna tells Arjuna. Dehavadbhi = associated with a body, ordinary people will not be able to meditate on atman that easily. Ye tu = [those] who are, upasate = meditate on, aksharam = not diminishing, that is atman, anirdesyam = not identifiable [ that is atman can not be identified as we identify various objects], avyaktam = not perceptible [by sense organs], sarvatra-gam = in all bodies [same atman takes various bodies in various births], acintyam = can not be comprehended or understood, kut-stham = common [to all living beings], acalam = not slipping [ that is atman never slips from its characteristic], dhruvam = everlasting, that is body is destroyable while atman is not. Here, every attribute of atman is showing it is different from body. Understanding this is difficult. We normally regard atman and body are same and live; but to know the eminence of atman and meditate on it, is very difficult. How are we to meditate? San-niyamya = controlling, indriya-gramam = all sense organs. To meditate on atman, one has to control organs; but to worship the Lord, this diificulty is not there. With wide open eyes we can appreciate the beauty of the Lord or taste the prasadams or smell the fragrance of the Tulasi on the Lord. Worshiping atman like this is not feasible. Sarvatra = all atman in various bodies, sama-buddhaya = are same knowledge. One wanting to meditate on atman has to regard all atman are same or he must have the same attitude to every creature; because one atman can not be distinguished from another and all are identical in every respect. Sarva-bhuta- hite raha = showing same attitude to every living being, te = such a person [ devoting on atman], prapnuvanti = reach, mam eva = Me [Sri Krishna] alone. We might be puzzled here. After all these persons wanted to experience atman, then how they would reach the Lord? We should note that reaching atman is most supreme, like reaching the Lord. The Gyana, atman gets on reaching the Lord, is also obtainable in reaching one's own atman. Thus in Gyana, atman is equal to the Lord. Despite its eminence, the Lord tells Arjuna that the experience will not be sweet [like being with the Lord] and it is impossible [for ordinary persons] to reach that status. Klesam = the sufferings [in reaching one's own atman] are, adhikatara = much more [than in reaching the Lord]. Why so? Because, they are meditating on asakta - cetasam = involved mind in, avyakta = unperceptible [atman, not felt by sense organs]. Dehavadbhi = associated with body, Avyakta = atman, gati = as destination or goal is, hi dukham = also sorrowful, avapyate = in reaching. Uderstanding that atman is different from body and concentarting on an abstract atman, which has no form or which can not be percieved by senses, is very difficult to meditae upon. Therefore, this person, practicing atma upasana, attains moksham very late and with difficulty. On the contrary, by worshiping the Lord, He is reached very easily. This has been demonstrated by Prahalada. We will now move to other sannidhis.

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