Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BG 14.22

Kulasekara Alwar sannidhi is in Kulasekarapuram, near Kodungallur. The stepping stone at the garbha gruha in Tirumala Sri Venkatesa Perumal temple, is named after Kulasekara Alwar and is called Kulasekaran padi [குலசேகரன் படி]. He prayed the Lord that he should serve Him and to always see Him; and so he did not mind being even a stone! As an emperor, he was taken to Tirumala for Darshan! But, he never liked such VIP treatment for him. He wanted to serve the Lord as an humble servant and never wanted to show off his regality! He composed 10 pasurams on the Lord. In them he prays that he could be a flower plant in Tirumala and serve the Lord. But suddenly, he thought that someone would pluck the flower and go away to other place and he might not get opportunity to serve Lord Sri Srinivasa! Why not as a mere wooden pillar? No, someone might use it as log for fire. How about being as a bird? No, it might fly away to other places. What about being a fish in the pond in Tirumala? No, it might migrate to ocean! How about as a rock on the mountain? No, someone might use it elsewhere, where no devotee would ever walk! Finally, the Alwar desires to be the stepping stone so that all devotees' sacred feet would be pressed on it and that stone also would be always seeing the Lord [படியாய் கிடந்துன் பவள வாய் காண்பேனே!]. Here also the Alwar got the fear that someone might cover the stone with gold and that way he might not get his desire fulfilled. So he requests that he might be anything, but should be able to see Him always! Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar says that that was the attitude of great devotess; they would not be bothered as to where and how they would be born, but would want always His darshan and service to Him. This service attitude was shown by Kulasekara Alwar in his Perumal Thirumozhi. In his pasurams, he imagines himself to be Dasaratha and laments over Sri Rama's departure to the forest. He cries at the thought that Sri Rama, who was used to sleeping in comfortable bed, lying down on the ground in the forest, where scorching heat would be unbearable. He then imagined himself to be Devaki, the unfortunate mother who was not gifted to enjoy the pranks of Sri Krishna when He was a child and cries at the various missed opportunities! He sings lullaby to Sri Rama, the Child, imagining himself to be mother Kausalya! These songs were in praise of Sri Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukkannapuram! He then got his daughter Sri Serakulavalli married to Sri Azhagiya Manavala of Srirangam. Great persons say that Thiruvanjikulam brought glory to the country and to the World! All are requested to pay at least a visit to this sacred place. Now we will see sloka 20. In sloka 19, the Lord told that person, with satva quality well developed, sees true nature that action is caused by the three qualities and atman, by nature, does not perform any action. He sees that non-performer atman is different from and superior to the three qualities, which cause actions. We will now see sloka 20 and clarify a doubt, that might have arisen:

guṇān etān atītya trīn dehī dehasamudbhavān
janmamṛtyujarāduḥkhair vimuktomṛtam aśnute 14.20

In the previous sloka, the Lord said that this person [with satva quality] attains His nature. It does not mean that person becomes another Paramatman! It means that person gets the nature of the Lord, which is unadulterated by Karma and by sufferings, and becomes the embodiment of Gyana and bliss. The Lord is unaffected by Karma and is always happy, without oldage, birth-death cycles and diseases! This will be the nature of that person also! Attaining this supreme level, the atman can ever remain serving the Lord. In that sloka, the Lord tells that atman attains atmaprapti or sees the true nature of atman. The Lord now explains what is His nature, which the atman attains. Dehi = atman [who is resident in a body], dehasamudbhavan = emerging from that body or originating from that body, trin etan gunan = these three qualities [satva, rajas and tamas], atitya = crosses. This atman crosses the three qualities, caused by body, which is a transformation of prakruti, which has Three qualities inherent. Atman is imprisoned in a body because of past Karma. Atman is influenced by the nature of the body, having the Three qualities. These we had seen earlier. Now, the Lord says that, after acquiring satva quality, he crosses over the Three qualities. What happens then? Janma = birth, mrityu = death, jara = oldage, dukha = sufferings, vimukta = released from, amrtam = nature of God, asnute = attains. By crossing the Three qualities, that atman attains the nature of the Lord of freedom from birth, death, oldage and sufferings. A doubt might arise. Earlier, the Lord has been advising that symptom for satva quality was Gyana well developed, and so one should have good character and proper food habits. Now the Lord says that the person who has crossed the Three qualities has no birth or no death! It means we have to cross satva quality also. But He has been preaching that we should cultivate satva quality and develop it. Are we to cultivate satva quality or are we to cross over the Three qualities, including satva quality? What is being advised by the Lord? Answer is, both. We have to cultivate satva quality, by having proper food habits and good character. We have to be involved in noble services like donating clothes, food, serving devotees, etc. These actions should continue as a chain and then, one crosses the Three qualities. It is like a person is told that unless he passed 12th he can not enter college; and so, he should complete the 10th standard! We will not raise any doubt here as we know that to reach 12th we have to be successful in 10th and after completing 12th standard, we reach college. This is the same position in what the Lord tells. We have to develop satva quality and continue, till we realize the true nature of atman. Then, we cross the Three qualities, including satva, and attain the nature of the Lord and are free from birth, death, oldage and sufferings! Over a period with sustained satva qualities, one crosses the Three qualities. We should take only satva food and do a number of good deeds. These would develop satva quality and after some time we cross Three qualities. We now take leave of Thiruvanjikalam and start the visit to all the Thirteen Divya desams in Malayala nadu [மலையாள நாடு]!

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