Thursday, January 15, 2009

BG 13.8

Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi, who was Acharya for Swami Ramanuja, was the disciple of Swami Alavandar. He was born in the Tamil month Masi [மாசி] in Mrigasirsha [மிருகசீருஷம்] star, in 1009, to Veeraraghava and Kamalai. Thus we are celebrating his birthday millennium this year. Therefore, this year in Masi- Mrigaseersha [5th March 2009] his birthday millennium celebrations are to be held in Poovirundavalli. All are requested to attend those celebrations. Before that the Ten day festival is also being celebrated. We shall see some of his great qualities. We commit many sins and we have to be purified by eliminating all those sins. Thondaradipodi Alwar in his Tirumalai, suggests a method. By eating the remnants of the food served to great devotees and Acharyas, our miseries and sins are washed and we attain purity. 'Ucchishtam supavanam' [उच्छिष्टम सुपावनम] - taken as Mahaprasadam, such remnants cleanse us. This was in the mind of Swami Ramanuja. He had heard of the intimacy between Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi and the Lord Sri Varadaraja. We have heard of Sri Rama ans Sri Krishna talking, as they were Avatars. But how idols like Sri Varadaraja and Sri Ranganatha, spoke? But Swami Thirukkachi Nambi used to converse with Sri Varadaraja, while serving Him in the Aalavattam Kainkaryam. Swami Ramanuja observing this intimacy, requested Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi to visit his house and partake food in his house. His plan was to consume later, the remnants of the food served to Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi. But the plans of Sri Deavaraja were different and Swami Ramanuja's idea was never fulfilled. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi agreed to visit. On the scheduled day Swami Ramanuja was waiting for Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi to visit. There was no sign of the guest. Swami Ramanuja went to Sri Varadaraja Perumal sannidhi, to look out for Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi. As he left, from another direction Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi arrived and partook the food and departed before Swami Ramanuja could return from the temple. Swami Ramanuja felt disappointed. He could not get the remnants of the food served to his guest. Swami Ramanuja had some doubts in his mind and he wanted to clarify them from Lord Sri Varadaraja. He expressed his desire to Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi and requested him to speak to the Lord. One day after the fanning service, Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi did not leave for Poovirundavalli and hesitated. Sri Varadaraja enquired as to his hesitation to leave. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi expressed that he wanted some doubts Swami Ramanuja had to be cleared. Immediately the Lord Sri Varadaraja spelt out Six sentences [known as aaru varthaigal ஆறு வார்த்தைகள் in sampradhayam]. Without Swami Thirukkachi Nambi having to tell what those doubts were, the Lord mentioned that what He told were the clarifications for the doubts of Swami Ramanuja! Those Six sentences are to be engraved in gold and even today they are useful to us. Those Six sentences are described in a summarised way:
  1. Ahameva param tatvam. Sri Varadaraja is the God.
  2. Darsanam beda eva ca. Veda's policy and siddhanta were not that atman and Paramatman were one and the same. Atman is subservient to God. God was Master and soul was slave. Atman was to serve the Lord. Jeevatman and Brahmam were Two different entities.
  3. Upayeshu prapattitvat. There are many ways to reach the Lord. Among them saranagati or ultimate surrender was best.
  4. Antima smriti varjanam. Person who had surrendered, need not remember the Lord in the last moments in death bed.
  5. Deahavasena muktitvat. It was not necessary to expend all the sins [in this and any more subsequent births] to get Moksham; but Moksham is granted after the present life itself, if saranagati had been performed.
  6. Poornacharya samasraya: Swami Ramanuja was to seek Swami Periya Nambi, as Acharya.
Swami Ramanuja followed these Six directives of the Lord and got into fame as a great Acharya. Therefore, Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi was responsible for Swami Ramanuja's fame. In fact in the sannidhi of Sri Kariyamanikka Perumal, it was Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi, who showed Swami Ramanuja to Swami Alavandar. Swami Ramanuja was then a disciple of Swami Yadavaprakasa. Swami Alavandar had arrived from Srirangam; and Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi had accompanied Swami Alavandar to visit Sri Varadaraja Perumal. Swami Alavandar seeing Swami Yadavaprakasa and his troupe of disciples, enquired Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi, as to who among them was Swami Ramanuja. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi pointed out to the well built and fair complexioned person and identified him as Swami Ramanuja. Swami Alavandar thus graced Swami Ramanuja. Therefore, Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi had done yeomen service to this sampradayam. Once Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi enquired Sri Varadaraja, whether he would get Moksham, as he was fanning the Lord daily. It seems that the Lord replied that his fanning service was compensated by His conversing with him; if he wanted Moksham, then he should approach a graet devotee and serve. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi, then rushed to another disciple of Swami Alavandar, Swami Thirukkoshtiyur Nambi, and with his permission, grazed his cattle and thus served another devotee, to gain Moksham.

If we carefully look at the idol of Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi, we can notice his folded hands and a fan on his shoulders, ever ready to serve the Lord. Moolavar of Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi can be seen with cows nearby, to indicate his service to a devotee to attain Moksham. By worshiping him, we also gain the service attitude in us. We shall now proceed to sloka 8, wherein another Three qualities we should develop, are elaborated by the Lord. With the blessings of Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi we will see sloka 8:
indriyarthesu vairagyam
anahankara eva ca
"renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease;"
The Lord tells Arjuna to develop these qualities necessarily:
10. Indriyarthesu vairagyam = Detachment from senses' desires. Ragam means passion or desire. Vairagyam means the quality of not desiring, or be detached. Our sense organs seek various pleasures, like good food, pleasing music, etc. Each organ desires a particular sense of pleasure. If we allow organs to seek the pleasures they desire, then they are not available for meditation on atman. Along with sense organs, mind also goes away, making it impossible for any meditation. By devoting at least some time for this type of lectures or temples, we are preventing our senses to be drifted away.
11. Anahankara = egoless. Ego means mistaking body to be atman. Akara means body; aham means atman. So ahankara is mistaking body to be soul. They are different. This was preached by Jatabharata to King Rahuguna. Once King was travelling in a palanquin [பல்லக்கு], carried by men, among whom was Jatabharata, a Gyani. While carrying Jatabharata, moved haphazardly, causing uncomfortable journey to the King. The King angrily got down and asked Jatabharata, as to why he was not doing his duty properly. He said that when Jatabharata was well fed and had a sturdy body, why he could not carry the palanquin properly. Jatabharata replied that he never carried the King's palanquin! The King was carried by the wooden palanquin; which was supported by shoulders; which were supported by legs; and, whic were supported by the ground. So. King should question ground only! Thus he drove home the fact that atman and body were different. Our body is made of the Five graet elements [pancha bhoota]. Atman is none of them. Thus atman and body are totally different. Atman is none of the organs. We say 'my eye or my head', clearly indicating atman is different from the body or its organs.
12. Janma- mrityu- jara- vyadhi -dukha - dosha dosha anudarshanam= constant awareness of the defects arising out of birth- death - old age - disease - misery. This alone will make us to resolve not to have further births,etc.
If we devote ourselves in service to God, our mind will never drift. Swami Thirukkacchi Nambi aka Gajendra Dasa, symbolized service. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.

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