The Lord is showing abhaya by His right hand and the left hand is on his left lap to assure that He would reduce samsaram ocean to knee deep level! The Lord here was worshiped by Swami Koorattalwan. The temple dates back to some 1700 years back. It is now 1000 years since Swami Koorattalwan was born. Is it that the Lord meditated for so many years, to get such a great Acharya to be born here? ! Here only, Koorattalwar was living. His son was Swami Koorattalwan. Sometimes when we speak, we refer to Lord Sri Krishna, in Tamil as avan [அவன்], normally considered as not respectful. Similarly, some of the Acharyas are referred to with the last letter 'n' [ன் ] instead of 'r' [ர்], giving a doubt that we are disrespectful to them [Mudaliyandan instead of Mudaliyandar or Koorattalwan instead of Koorattalwar]. Why this is so? Certainly we have to show the greatest respect to all Acharyas. Here, Koorattalwar would denote Swami Koorattalwan's father. Also, these names have been used to denote those Acharyas and we have to follow that tradition. Also when refering to Acharyas and Alwars, the Tamil sentence is constructed to show respect [முதலியாண்டான் வந்தார், etc.]; but while talking about Sri Krishna or Sri Rama, the sentences are constructed as used to denote actions of our children, and not the ones used for denoting elders [ eg. ராமன் வந்தான், etc,]. That way we show intimacy with the Lord! Besides the Lord is within us! Alwars and Acharyas are external to us, and so we have to show that respect! As mentioned earlier Swami Koorattalwan, assisted Swami Ramanuja in writing books like Sri Bhashyam. One more incident to explain Swami Koorattalwan's quality is narrated now. Once, a very close friend of Swami Koorattalwan was blessed with a child. Normally, we go to that person and congratulate and offer some gifts. But Swami Koorattalwan, went straight to the sannidhi of the Lord, and prayed with folded hands. Swami Koorattalwan's wife was Andal and she was equal, if not more, in devotion to Acharya and vairagyam. She was an example to all women to emulate. We understand from history that even after her husband's death, she continued with some services. Their children were Swami Parasara Bhatta and Swami Vedavyasa Bhatta. Andal, surprised at her husband's action on hearing the birth of a child to his friend, asked him why he did not go to his friend to greet, but went to the temple. Swami Koorattalwan replied very beautifully. If one is imprisoned, to whom would anyone approach to get one released? asked Swami Koorattalwan. Naturally, we have to request the authority who had imprisined the one, and not the imprisoned oneself! The child was born in this samsaram and was akin to imprisonment! To get that child Moksham or release, he had to request the Lord only and so could not go to his friend! That shows the faith and resolution he had in the Lord. The temple is beautiful. There is a pushkarini nearby. The place and surroundings are a great relief from the mechanical and hurry life in large towns and cities! Swami Koorattalwan was born in Thai Hastam. This is his millennium birth day year. Now we shall see sloka 3 of Chapter 13. In the last sloka Sri Krishna told Arjuna that that was knowledge, by which one understood Kshetram and Kshetragya. All other knowledge was waste. We should know our body is Kshetram or cultivable land, our atman is Kshetragya and the Lord is pervading all Kshetrams and all Kshetragya. Knowing the relationship among these Three entities and knowing that all these Three are different, is considered as knowledge.
'Indriyani manobuddhi: satvam tejo balam dhrithi: |
Vasudevatmakanyahu: kshetram kshetragya ||' [Phalasruti in Sri Vishnusahasranamam]
This sloka tells that Kshetram and Kshetragya belong to Sri Vasudeva. So, Jeevatman and body are the belongings of the Lord. In sloka 3, the Lord says that He was going to tell very important things about body and soul. What are the nature of body and soul? He is not going to tell about these in this sloka, but what all should be known about atman and body are mentioned in this sloka. When we see the sloka we would be wondering the way an entity is to be defined and explained. Definition and explanation or elaboration are different. We can appreciate the definition being perfect in this sloka. Explanation will also be perfect in the later slokas. We can easily deduce that our ancestors have, logically and without contradicting the basic Vedas, argued. Now sloka 3:
tat kshetram yac ca yadrk ca
yad-vikari yatas ca yat
sa ca yo yat-prabhavas ca
tat samasena me shrinu
"Now please hear My brief description of this field of activity and how it is constituted, what its changes are, whence it is produced, who that knower of the field of activities is, and what his influences are."
Me = from Me [Sri Krishna], shrinu = hear, tat = that, samasrenu = briefly! When the Lord says that He was going to tell summarising, it would occupy many slokas; not to mention what His elaborate lecture would be! First half of this sloka is about body; and the later part is about atman. Sri Krishna tells first, the things we ought to know about our body. Tat kshetram = that Kshetram, told in the earlier sloka, [Five things we have to know about the body],
- Yac = what is it made of?
- Yadrk = habitat or residence of what?
- Yad-vikarai = evolution of what? or, what are its manifestations?
- Yatas = for what result or benefit [is the body formed]?
- Yat = What is its nature?
- Yo = Who or what is atman's nature?
- Yat prabhava = what are the eminent qualities [of atman]?