We can worship Sri Thayar to our heart's content. With Her blessings, let us see the path followed by Swami Koorattalwan. We will see the Ten principles he followed. These have been extracted from his life history. Before we see that we will see an incident in his life, which is intimately connected with the sloka of Gita we are to see. Sri Krishna preached that atman and body were different. Atman is subtle, ever lasting, embodiment of Gyana, etc; while body is percievable, destroyable and has no Gyana. Body is composed of the Five great elements. Atman has no organs. Thus if we research into atman, we will find two categories of character: One is the Gyana and bliss, which make it eminent. The other is it is subservience to the Lord or Paramatma. Both these characterstics, viz. Gyana and Subservience, are necessary to understand atman properly. If we think atman is mere genius, then we will have ego and pride and start thinking that we were independent. We should know that the knowledge atman possessed was that atman was subservient to God. This is true knowledge and such people are called Vedanti. Serving God is atman's duty - this knowledge is the true gyana, atman possesses. If we study vedanta, we will find this aspect of servant to the Lord is told very mildly; while the aspect atman is genius, is talked about very loudly. Badarayana, that is Veda Vyasa wrote Brahma sootram, condensing Vedanta. For this Swami Ramanuja wrote commentary - Sri Bhashyam. As he dictated Swami Koorattalwan was recording. In one place, Swami Ramanuja emphasized the Gyana aspect of atman. Swami Koorattalwan refused to write further, and he politely told his master that it was contradicting the subservience nature of atman, which he had been learning all along. Swami Ramanuja reiterated and asked Swami Koorattalwan to record what he told. But Swami Koorattalwan refused. This dispute went on for Three days and Swami Koorattalwan never relented. Finally, Swami Ramanuja conceded and the service nature of atman was given emphasis. That determination was in Swami Koorattalwan, that we were all servants of the Lord. We have to remember this great quality of Swami Koorattalwan, in spite of having noble birth, high education and vast wealth. In his life history we can find many such great qualities he possessed. We will now see Ten qualities for which he is remembered:
- Humanity, compassion and honesty. On should not live by cheating and by illegal methods.
- Swami Ramanuja was refuge. He firmly believed that the world would be redeemed by Swami Ramanuja alone.
- Never to hurt anyone by mind, words or action.
- Be away from those intending to harm. If possible, help them.
- Regard Sriman Narayana alone as Paramatma and worship. This is as per shastras.
- Feed as many poor as possible. In his place, Kooram, he used to feed hundreds of people. No guests should part with hunger.
- Patience. We should not get provoked even for great insults. In this fast world we are living, we find this quality is disappearing. People hoot horns while driving vehicles; no one wants to follow queue and wait for his turn. Swami Koorattalwan, was so patient that even when his eyes were plucked, he never cursed any one.
- Pride of birth, education and wealth should be avoided.
- Follow elders' path. We should emulate great persons and our ancestors; and not to ridicule and start new habits.
- Always ponder over the auspicious qualities of the Lord. This will refine our mind and thoughts.
rsibhir bahudha gitam
chandobhir vividhaih prithak
"That knowledge of the field of activities and of the knower of activities is described by various sages in various Vedic writings. It is especially presented in Vedanta-sutra with all reasoning as to cause and effect."
So many persons had elaborated on this subject. Rishi = Many sages, bahuda = in many ways, gitam = have sung [in praise of this subject]. Here by mentioning Rishi, it is intended to denote sage Parasara, who made the Vishnu Puranam. Veda Vyasa, Parasara, Tanka, Dramida, Bodayana, etc., have all praised this subject of atman, body and the Lord as Three separate entities and their relationships. Chandobhi = also by Vedas, vividhai = from different angles [researched], prithak = separately [explained]. Brahma-sutra padais caiva = also in the words of Brahma sootram. It is a very strange coincidence that we are seeing this sloka in this Kshetram, in which was born the person, Swami Koorattalwan, who recorded the commentary on Brahma sootram by Swami Ramanuja! We are fortunate! It is also to be appreciated that Sri Krishna wants to mention His great devotee Veda Vyasa, whose name was Krishna Dwaipayana! Hetu = reasonings, like logic and intelligence, viniscitai = established [by great Acharyas]. Vedas, puranas, Brahma sootra and commentaries, with logic and intelligence, by great Acharyas, all reveal that this subject had been reieterated, apart from what the Lord told Arjuna. All of them have unanimously commented about Achit, Chit and Iswara, and their relationships. Iswara is the Antaratma of both Chit and Achit. Arjuna seemed to say that while he appreciated the words of the Lord, he was a bit sceptical to believe that Sri Krishna was Antaratma of Arjuna, when both appeared to be separate! He was able to percieve that atman was in the body; but he could not easily accept the fact that God pervaded atman. Sri Krishna explained thus. In a big vessel full of milk, if we added some drops of water, we could not notice the water by eyes nor by tasting. But the fact remained that water was added! That is the limitation of our senses or the organs of intelligence! Similarly, because Arjuna [as also all of us] was pre-occupied by a combination of the three qualities of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. If, only Satva quality were there, then understanding that the Lord pervades all would be easily understood! But Sri Krishna was not going to stop preaching to His dear cousin Arjuna. Persons like great Rishis, whom Arjuna held in great esteem, have all told the same aspects. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.