As we enter we see the large mandapam, from where the Lord starts all processions. On one side is the beautiful oonjal [swing] mandapam. Kings of Thondai mandalam, have constructed many structures in this temple. Thirumangai Alwar in his pasuram has acknowledged this service of the King. We are now at Nammalwar sannidhi, near this mandapam. Outside the Lord's sannidhi, is the separate sannidhi of Nammalwar. What is the connection between Nammalwar and the Lord Sri Parthasarathy? What is the connection between the words spoken by Nammalwar and the sloka we are to see in Gita? We have seen upto sloka 20 and studied how atman is bound inside the body. Alwar once pined to see the Divine feet of the Lord, Who drove the Chariot. Ten day festival is celebrated for Nammalwar.
We can see that Alwar is preaching devotees, with his right hand in upadesa mudra. This is the way Acharyas preach disciples. In this the thumb and fore finger are joined. These two fingers are used to select and pick up any item we desire! Similarly, Alwars and Acharyas, select and pick up those precious matter from Vedas, Puranas and other sacred literature and teach them to the disciples so that they are able to grasp and prosper. Nammalwar was born in Alwarthirunagari. What is the connection between Gita and Alwar? The mandapam nearby is also used as Vahana mandapam. For all processions in festivals, all vahanams start from here only. During festivals, the Lord arrives here after 'patthi ula [பத்தி உலா]' [walk to refresh]. Then He mounts the vahanam and graces satthupadi [சாத்துப்படி]. Then He starts in procession in all the Four streets, and returns back here. Alwar was pining to see the Divine feet and the processions of the Lord Sri Parthasarathy. That is why Alwar here, witnesses every procession of the Lord! Madurakavi Alwar was Nammalwar's disciple. Madurakavi Alwar arrived at Alwar Thirunagari, when Nammalwar was in deep meditation or yoga. At that time Alwar did not speak to anyone nor opened his eyes. Madurakavi Alwar came near the tamarind tree, where Nammalwar was seated in yoga. Madurakavi Alwar wanted to know whether Nammalwar was alive and would converse. To test whether he was alive, he dropped a stone near Nammalwar and immediately Nammalwar opened his eyes and saw Madurakavi Alwar. After confirming Alwar was alive, Madurakavi Alwar wanted to test whether Nammalwar was knowledgeable. So he asked one question: 'setthathin vayitril siriyadu pirandal etthai thinru enge kidakkum? [செத்ததின் வயிற்றில் சிறியது பிறந்தால், எத்தை தின்று எங்கே கிடக்கும்?]' Alwar opened his mouth and answered: 'atthai thinru ange kidakkum! [அத்தை தின்று அங்கே கிடக்கும்!]' ....
[Just at this moment there was power break down for about Five minutes and so could not listen to what was told by the lecturer. What was heard after Power resumed, is given; but before that today's sloka 21 is presented from the web]
purushah prakriti-stho hi
bhunkte prakriti-jan gunan
karanam guna-sango ’sya
"The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species."
....The soul in the body has to feel the happiness and miseries as they are inevitable in this World. Now we can see the equation correctly. Atman desires in pleasures and so atman resides in a body. Because of this association with body, atman does so many activities, which make to acquire more and more karma. Thus cause and effect are the same. That is, atman takes a body as residence to spend karma; while being resident, more and more activities are performed, which make atman to acquire more and more karma. It is a cause - effect - cause cycle. Karma causes to reside in a body and enjoy [or suffer] effects. Effects cause more actions and so more karma accumulate as effects. Such acquired karma causes again residing in a body, and so on. Purusha =atman, prakruti-stha = residing in body, gunan = [satva, rajo and tamo] qualities, prakruti-jan = always associated with body. These three satva-rajas- tamas qualities are always associated with the body. Action is propelled by these three qualities. That is why pleasures and pains. Thus atman housed in body, experiences happiness and sorrow, result of the actions driven by satva-rajo-tamo qualities of the body. Sad-asad-yoni-janmasu = [thus, atman] takes variety of births in many bodies [like Devas, human, animal, bird,etc.], karanam = reason being, guna-sangha = [attachment to] the group of [satva-rajo-tamo] qualities. That is the attraction or attachment to the pleasures and miseries, generated by the actions caused by these qualities. This attachment causes more and more births. This is what Nammalwar gave as reply to Madurakavi Alwar's question. Atman again and again takes birth in bodies. That is, atman, experiencing the happiness/sorrow as results of the actions of the body and remaining always in a body, in every birth. Therefore, this sloka is closely connected with Nammalwar.