The Gopuram welcomes us to experience the treasure inside! We go round the temple which has broad corridors. We look up to see Srinivasa vimanam. Sri =Thiru in Tamil and nivasa = residing or staying [in Tamil ninra], and so Srinivasa vimanam. Near by we see a large godown for vahanams. We can see the Garuda vahanam of the Lord.
Thirumangai Alwar came to this Kshetram. He used to compose 10, 20, 30 and more pasurams in many Kshetrams he had visited. But, when he came here, the Lord was busy with Sri Ennaipetra Thayar and did not notice the Alwar. Alwar thought that the Lord was not there and so left for the next Kshetram, Thirukadalmallai [Mahabalipuram]! Sri Thayar noting the departure of the Alwar, reminded the Lord that if Alwar did not compose any verse on the Kshetram, it would not qualify to become a Divya desam and so urged Him to go to Alwar and get verses composed on the Kshetram! Alawr wqs at Thirukadalmallai and praising Sri Stalasayana Perumal. Standing befoer the Alwar, Sri Battharavi Perumal [ஸ்ரீ பத்தராவி பெருமாள் another name of the Lord of Thiruninravur], asked the Alwar about pasuram on Thiruninravur. Immediately Alwar composed and sang. He says that in Sthalasayanam, he saw 'ninravur nitthila thotthai [நின்றவூர் நித்திலா தொத்தை]'. Thus this Kshetram name got included. Happily, the Lord returned to Thiruninravur and showed Sri Thayar, the new pasuram of Thirumangai Alwar. While appreciating the pasuram, Sri Thayar felt that more verses could have been obtained from the Alwar. The Lord again came to Alwar, using the opportunity to be with Alwar once more. But by that time Alwar had reached Thirukkannamangai [திருக்கண்ணமங்கை] in Chola region. Feeling some what shy to ask for more verses in another temple, the Lord Sri Bhaktavatsala, stood at a corner to have a glimpse of the Alwar! Alwar was singing in praise of the Lord of Thirukkannamangai; but at one point he noticed the Lord of Thiruninravur, and so introduced that Kshetram in a pasuram on Thirukkannamangai! He said that he saw 'ninravur nitthila thotthinai [நின்றவூர் நித்திலா தொத்தினை]' in Thirukkannamangai! Both the pasurams are engraved on stone panels. His sannidhi also is there, where the Alwar is holding sword. Alwar says that the Lord gives His devotees all comforts here, as well as, amushmika [ஆமுஷ்மிக] benefits like Moksham. The Lord has such vast capacity. We will now see sloka 11. In sloka 8, the Lord advised Arjuna to practice Bhakti with determination. If that was not possible, the Lord suggested an alternative of meditating on His auspicious qualities, in sloka 9. If that were also difficult, the Lord commended yet another alternative of involving in His service. But, though the Lord tried to suggest easier methods, all were in respect of the Lord. We are not used to do anything around the Lord, but everything pertaining to us alone. Our activities are all centered on us. We say about a person that he has interest in temples or Godly matters. When we say someone is interested in reading or playing or listening to music, books, games and music are different from oneself. This is justified. But we can not say similarly that one is interested in God or temple. Because God is not different from us. He is residing in our body and atman. We live because of Him. Instead of realizing this, we see God as different from us. Arjuna's seemingly question was on this basis. Arjuna seemed to ask that since he was not used to think about the Lord, but always about himself, he desired to have suggestion pertaining to activities he was accustomed to. Sri Krishna, sensing this, suggests another method. He asks Arjuna to do karma yoga with three types of sacrifices [tyagam]. He, thus returns to the place in Chapter 1! The Lord is interested in inducing Arjuna to action, which Arjuna tried to avoid. Arjuna should do his duty of upholding Kshatriya dharma and fight in the war. He should find ways for Moksham, through Karma yoga. Sri Krishna told, that was the only way to atman sakshatkaram. Therefore, the Lord repeats and asks Arjuna to do Karma yoga. Is Karma yoga concerning us? Yes, Karma yoga is performed to get atman sakshatkaram, to realize atman. Karma yoga will lead to Gyana yoga, then atman sakshatkaram. Therefore, Arjuna should perform Karma yoga, which concerns him and attain atman sakshatkaram. This will result in realizing the true nature of atman. That is we will understand atman is not independent. Atman is dependent on the Lord. Ignorance of this only makes Arjuna to differentiate between him and the Lord. Once he realizes that atman is servant of the Lord, Arjuna would know that he has to live for Him. This, the Lord very cleverly teaches Arjuna. He is asking Arjuna to do Karma yoga to get atman sakshatkaram. Attaining that he would realize that everything is the Lord only. He would realize that he had to live for the Lord and not for himself. Then he would try to serve the Lord. Service to the Lord would make Him to appreciate the auspicious qualities of the Lord. That way he would meditate on those qualities. This would induce confidence in the Lord. With such resolute mind, Arjuna would practice Bhakti. Bahkti would result in siddhi or final goal. Now sloka 11:
athaitad apy asakto ’si
kartum mad-yogam asritah
tatah kuru yatatmavan
"If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated."
Yata atmavan = controlling the mind, controlling senses, kuru = do, sarva'karma'phala-tyagam = sacrificing results of all actions. We have seen this sacrifice of results earlier. Kartrutva buddhi tyagam, manasa tyagam and phalatyagam - avoiding the thought that we were doing tha action, action is oursattitude and the thought we are doing the action for an inferior result should all be abandoned. Do only to realize atman sakshatkaram. What the Lord told earlier is now termed as srva karma phala tyagam. It means, with this determination, doing karma yoga is Karma yoga anushtanam. Atha =if, tad = that [service to God - mad karma in sloka 10], apy = even, asakto'si = is not capable of , kartum = doing, mad-yogam =Bhakti yoga in Me [Sri Krishna], asrita = attain. That means, person, incapable of doing even the initial actions like going to temples, singing His names, etc., meant for the very beginning of Bhakti yoga, should indulge in Karma yoga, to realize atman, with Bhakti in Him, and then the Lord. We should be careful here. The Lord says that with devotion to Lord, one should do Karma yoga. Because, if the person does Karma yoga only for atman sakshatkaram, then it would lead him to Kaivalyam or experiencing self atman. The Lord's objective is not that. He wants Arjuna to have Him as the objective. He wants Karma yoga to be praciced with Bhakti in Him. That is Karma yoga, then Atman sakshatkaram, then atman's true nature, then service to the Lord, then meditating on His aurpicious qualities, then confidence in Him and then finally realization of Him. Now, Arjuna seems to have another doubt: whether easening of efforts would also result in lesser benefits? The Lord assuages that doubt also in sloka 12.