Friday, January 2, 2009

BG 12.17

Once in Thousands of years Yug Purusha [very great persons] like Swami Ramanuja are born in this World. Their main purpose is to solve all our doubts by correctly interpreting Upanishads and ironing out any apparent contradictions. Swami Ramanuja's appearance also is for the same reason. We saw that he wrote Nine literary works. All are in Sanskrit; if so, what did he do for Tamil? He has performed numerous services to Divya Prabhandams of Alwars. In fact, he wrote Sri Bhashyam, with the help of Divya Prabhandam of Alwars. He had such a deep interest in Alwars' verses, like in Vedanta. That is why he is given the title ubhaya vedantacharya. That is, he was conversent with both Vedas in Sanskrit and in Tamil [Divya prabhandam]. Both were like Two eyes for him. In Ramanuja Nootrandadi, it is said that in two verses, Swami Ramanuja was like an elephant and like a lion. It seems he would walk with the majesty of an elephant, when studying Nammalwar's pasurams; and, when studying Thirumangai Alwar's pasurams he would walk like a lion! This is because he would remember the valuable meanings in those pasurams; and therefore, they helped him in writing Sri Bhashyam. At present Adyayana utsavam [அத்யயன உத்சவம்] is celebrated in Srirangam [and also in many temples]. From the 11th day, Vaikunta Ekadasi onwards, irappatthu [இராப்பத்து ] is celebrated. Adyayana means parayanam [பாராயணம்] or recitation. It means reciting all the verses in Nalayira Divya Prabhandam. Pagalpatthu for tendays and Irapatthu for ten days; and last day. Thus for Twenty days the festival is celebrated. During that festival in this temple at Sri Perumbudur, all Alwars and Acharyas grace in the Swarna mandapam. Today's [2nd January 2009] lecture is from that mandapam. On the roof of this mandapam, Sri Azhagiya Manavala Perumal [Sri Ranganatha] is seen reclining on the serpent Adisesha. Swami Ramanuja was mad after Srirangam. Like Devaki, Sriperumbudur yielded Swami Ramanuja, but he spent most of his life in Srirangam, which is like Yasoda for Sri Krishna! Swami Vedanta Desika says that [Sri Bala] Rama anuja [brother], that is Sri Krishna, was born as Swami Ramanuja! We should therefore, remember that Swami Ramanuja wrote Sri Bhashyam, with both, Vedas in Sanskrit and Divya Prabhandam in Tamil, in his mind. Swami Ramanuja is also considered as the incarnation of the Panchayuda [पंचायुदा] of the Lord. He was born to rescue. Which rescued? Conch, discus, bow, sword and mace. We will now see sloka 19:
tulya-ninda-stutir mauni
santusto yena kenacit
aniketah sthira-matir
bhaktiman me priyo narah
"always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service—such a person is very dear to Me."
Narah = [such a] human, me = to Me [Sri Krishna], priya = is very dear. Bhaktiman = [he is] a devotee. This is the last of the seven slokas in which the Lord listed various desirable good qualities, a devotee should possess. Tulya = [considers] equally, ninda = abuses, stuti = [and] praises. Insults and acclamations are same to the Karma yogi. Mauni = silent. He remains silent in appropriate situations. Yena = whatever, kenacit = obtained, santushta = [he is] happy or contented. Aniketa = not [interested in] house. That is he is happy even if the dwelling place is a mere hut; and does not want to live in palaces nor wants to possess more houses. Sthira-mati = stable mind or unwavering buddhi. He is rock-like steady on atman. Nothing can drift his mind; none can induce him to sensual pleasures. Such a devotee is dear to the Lord. Can we take abuses and praises alike? If someone praises us, either we should possess those qualities or we are flattered with qualities we do not have. But we know that we do not possess any good quality. By acclaimung us with qualities we do not have, both do not gain anything. Thus, praisng us is mere flattering. We praise an illiterate as scholar; a barbaric as Emperor; etc. Karma yogi is indifferent to both abuses and praises. He is silent and goes about his purpose. We can practically feel the power of being silent by avoiding unnecessary talks. It does not mean one has to remain silent when injustice is happening. In fact, when Arjuna wanted to run away from his duties, Sri Krishna pulled him back and advised. We should know that He, Who has sown us in this World, would certainly take care. Contented with what we get or possess is very important. Most of our efforts are for satisfying our greed and ego, and not for the basic minimum needs alone. Some people would complain of worries. But most of them are for acquiring more than their needs. Thus Sri Krishna defines the requirements of a Karma yogi. We will see sloka 20, the last in this Chapter shortly.

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