Today's [2nd April 2009] lecture is also from the temple of Sri Narayana or Sri Mukunda, in Thirunavai [திருநாவாய்].
Earlier it was mentioned that Sri Mukundan means He, Who can grant Moksham place. Mu = mukti, ku = place and da = grant. Or, it can also be interpreted to mean He can grant Moksham as well as all the comforts in this place on Earth! This place was once the place for Nava yogi [nine yogis]. Nava yogi got transformed into Navai. Nine yogis were performing pooja to the Lord here. Of them Eight attained siddhi. Heeding to the prayers of the remeining single yogi, the Lord appeared as Sri Mukunda and gracing. The Lord appears with Four arms holding dscus, conch, lotus and mace. An important news about the Nava yogi is being told here. It appearsas when each yogi attained siddhi, that idol worshiped by that yogi also would disappear. It seems after installing an idol by an yogi, who would ask the doors to be opened only on the Eighth day, people used to find the yogi and the idol disappear as the doors were opened. After the disappearance of Eight idols, the samprokshanam or the installing ceremony, was done for the Ninth idol. But instead of waiting for Seven days, people opened the doors on the Third day itself. They found the Lord appeared only upto the knees [not fully immersed]. It was inferred that all the previous idols had all disappeared by immersing into the Earth. It is believed all the other Eight idols are beneath the ground. But heeding to the prayers of the Ninth yogi, the Lord appeared fully and presently we also worship the Lord fully. Nammalwar has praised the Lord in 9.8 decade, in 11 pasurams. Thirumangai Alwar also has praised the Lord. In 9.8.1 pasuram 'arukkum vinaiayina [அறுக்கும் வினையாயின]', in the last line Alwar says kurukkum vagai [குறுக்கும் வகை], instead of kurugum vagai [குறுகும் வகை]. An anecdote is attributed to Swami Ramanuja in this Kshetram. Swami Ramanuja came to worship the Lord here. As he neared Thirunavai, he asked how far was Thirunavai? Being Malayala desam, he was replied, "kurukkum [குறுக்கும்]", meaning very near! Swami Ramanuja immediately remembered this pasuram and concluded that Nammalwar, had mentioned the word kurukkum instead of kurugum to suit the place! Also Nammalwar's mother hailed from Malayala desam and so Malayalam words were found in his pasurams! Whoever captures the Lord in his mind, the Lord cuts off their sins. But are we nearing Thirunavai? Wonders Nammalwar! It seems Swami Alavandar liked these 11 pasurams very much! In pasuram 9.8.4, Alwar did not know how long he was to live, but prays that before the last day, he should serve the Lord of Thirunavai! In 9.8.7, Alwar wants the Lord to say, " Yes! This is the person!' and grant him Moksham! Now we will see sloka 25. In sloka 24, we had not seen a portion. Arjuna asked the Lord as to what were the external and internal identifications of that person, who had crossed the Three qualities. Internal identifications were indicated in a sloka and half upto sloka 24[part]. External identifications are indicated partly in sloka 24 and in sloka 25. In sloka 24, tulya ninda atma samstuti, ninda = abuse, samstuti = praise, tulya = are [considered] equal. Can anyone take abuse and praise in the same way? Yes, that is the start for the external identifications. If a person is inert to abuses, we can infer that he was tryng to cross the Three qualities. Otherwise normal, he bears with smile abuses, which means he has crossed Three qualities. Similarly, he is indifferent to praises. This stage is very difficult to attain. It will be reached, when one realizes that abuses and accolades are for the body and not for the atman. Such a person, treats abuses and praises in the same way. We find in a particulr time of the year it is warm or cool. Are we not accepting that as Nature? Similarly, we should regard abuses and praises as natural, with respect to body and nothing to do with atman. Once Swami Parasara Bhatta was seated in his lecture assembly. A few persons came and abused him. After they finished, Swami Parasara Bhatta honoured them with his shawl and gold chains! His disciples thaought that they also would be rewarded if they abused their teacher, instead of praising him! Swami Parasara Bhatta replied that every person had Two duties to be performed: one to praise the Lord's abundant auspicious qualities; and, the other was to publicize one's own defects and blemishes. Swami Parasara Bhatta found not enough time to complete the first task of praising the Lord. Naturally, he could not do the other task. But, now these persons had helped to publicize Swami Parasara Bhatta's defects and so for the service rendered they had to be honoured! To get this attitude, we have to remember atman and body are different. Such persons are called dhira [hero] by the Lord in the last sloka. Now sloka 25, which also shows the external identifications:
mānāpamānayos tulyas tulyo mitrāripakṣayoḥ
sarvārambhaparityāgī guṇātītaḥ sa ucyate 14.25
Mana = respect, apamana = disrespect, tulya = [regarded] equal. Even abuses could be tolerated; but how can one bear disrespects shown? Parikshit was a King and while hunting lost his way. He found a sage in meditation, but the King thought he was disrespeted by the sage and so adored the sage with a dead snake. The sage was still in meditation. After the King left, the son of the sage came and got furious seeing dead snake on his father and cursed the King to die in Seven days! The sage, waking up from his meditation reprimanded his son for cursing and said that disrespect was only to the body and not to the atman. What is the harm when one body is put over another body? Atman is unaffected by that act. In our daily life also we see children fight vehemently on one day and next day they forget and play as comrades! They never bother about respect and disrespect. Only, when we grow up, ego or ahankaram develops and we are worried about respects shown to us! Mitra = freind, ari = enemy, tulya pakshya = [are treated as] equal parties. He does not regard one as freind because one was favourable to him; nor, one is traeted as enemy, because one was unfavourable to him. No favours can be equal to Moksham, which is the goal of atman; and, none can harm the atman by pushing it into hell. Then why treat persons differently? All should be treated alike. Prahalada told this to his father. When same Parabrahmam [God] dwells in all, where is the question of treating persons differently? Sarvarambha = origin of all [actions of body], parityagi = renunciated. That is, when one abuses or disrespects, we try to take revenge and it is the start of actions by the body. This has to be abandoned. Gunatita = [such a person is having] crossed the [Three] qualities, sa ucyate = [and] he is praised.