We are in Thirunavai. In this Kshetram, the Lord exhibited His quality of Avrutamsyam or mercy towards His devotees, to Nammalwar. Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar says 'vishnu potha avrutamsyam navayile nizhal ezhum [விஷ்ணு போத அவ்ருதாம்ச்யம் நாவாயிலே நிழல் எழும்]'. Potham means boat or ship. The Lord Sri Vishnu, as a boat, transports us from one end of the ocean to the other! On this side of the ocean [of samsaram] we are in Leela Vibhuti [or materialistic Universe]; and on the other end, is Vaikuntam or Paramapadam or Nitya Vibhuti. This ocean is not mere ocean of water; but bhava sagaram or samsaram! In Tamil, another name for ship is Navai [நாவாய்]. As a boat, He transports us from this end of ocean to Vaikuntam. This, He does because of His quality of mercy; otherwise He would be indifferent to the sufferings of people. He is not satisfied to remain alone in Vaikuntam, but takes all effort to transport us to Vaikuntam and wants our comapany! In pasuram 9.8.7, Alwar calls the Lord as Thirumale [திருமாலே!]!, Navai uraiginra en narana nambi [நாவாய் உறைகின்ற நாரண நம்பீ]! In this decade, Alwar addresses in Five pasurams, the Lord as Consort of Sri Thayar! In this Kshetram only, there is a separate sannidhi for Sri Thayar. A grand festival is celebrated on Masi - Shukla Ekadasi, when many elephants are in procession to the accompaniment of variety of drums beating! Thus the Lord is navai or boat and is full of mercy! In the sloka we are to see, sloka 26, the Lord is going to tell Arjuna that He would act as boat to tranship us. Thus we see a connection between this sloka and this Kshetram! He tells Arjuna to worship Him and He would act as boat and transport from the Three qualities. We are studying the external and internal identifications of that person, who has crossed the Three qualities. That person regards happiness and sorrow the same; he regards stone, mud and gold as same; he is inert to abuses and accolades; he treats respect and disrespect as same; he does not differentiate between freinds and enemies; he avods any action by the body. Such a person, Dhira, realizes atman and body are different. He is finding pleasure in atman and does not see other bodies. It is like Thiruppanalwar saying 'en amudinai kanda kangal matronrinai kanave [என் அமுதினைக் கண்ட கண்கள் மற்றொன்றினை காணாவே!]' - after seeing the Lord, the Alwar's eyes do not want to see anything else! We regard gold or platinum as very precious, because we have not seen superior things. If we happen to see something much, much superior to gold, then we might regard gold as mud comparatively! If we realize the glory and superiority of atman, then we might reagrd all things associated with body as trivial and same! That is how great Acharyas like Thirukurugaipiran Pillan, Koorattalwan, Mudaliyandan, Vaduga Nambi, Kidambi Aacchan, Vangipurathu Nambi, Somasiyandan, Arulala Perumal Emperumanar, Anantalwan, etc., considered everything as mere tinsel, comapred to the lotus feet of Swami Ramanuja! Thus unless we see something superior, we might be thinking so many in this world as precious! For this we should listen to great people and understand what Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Prabhandam, etc., have revealed. We should know that we can cross this ocean of samsaram with the help of the Lord. As our thoughts go sublime, we will slowly understand other things as inferior. In sloka 26, the Lord tells Arjuna that even if one tries to cross the qualities, the vasana or the influence of past Karma is so strong that one's efforts might prove futile. Apart from our efforts, therefore, if we worship and pray the Lord, Who would help to cross the Three qualities. To cross, our effforts alone might not be sufficient, and we should seek His blessings and cross. Sloka 26:
māṃ ca yovyabhicāreṇa bhaktiyogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahmabhūyāya kalpate 14.26
Etan = these, gunan = [Three] qualities, samatitya = crossed, brahmabhuyaya = to attain the qulaity of Bramham or the Lord, kalpate = qualifies. Ths person qualifies to attain the quality of Bramham or the Lord. What does it mean? The Lord has unique qualities - Apahatapapma [unaffected by sins or papa], vijara [unaffected by ageing], vimrutyu [unaffected by death], visoka [never affected by sorrow], vividitsa [never hungry], apitapa [never feel thirsty], satyakama [attain all desired] and satyasankalpa [determined to complete all tasks undertaken]. All these Eight auspicious qualities are indispensible character of the Lord. We can also attain thes qualities and reach Kaivalya Moksham. We can cross the samsaram and we wll not be affected by papa, etc. But here we should bear in mind, that the Lord is not telling about the Moksham experience in Vaikuntam; but about Kaivalyam, which is also Moksham or liberation. Such an atman, in Kaivalya Moksham, will never become Paramatman nor serve the Lord, but will have the qualities of the Lord. It will be self experience for atman in Kaivalyam. He qualifies for this experience by crossing the Three qualities. To get this, what this person has to do, is mentioned in the First line of the sloka. Ya = [he] who, avyabhicharena = without [worshiping or seeking other objectives] other [gods or aids as] means, sevate = prostrate or worship, bhaktiyogena = with singular devotion in, mam = Me [Sri Krishna]. The Lord should be worshiped to seek His blessings. It is not after worshiping others or worshiping for other benefits. After worshiping Him, not to seek any other god nor seek any other benefits. Ca denotes also. This should be used not with mam [also Sri Krishna], but should be used with bhaktiyogena, meaning with bhaktiyoga also. It means, by Bhaktiyoga or by Karma yoga or by Gyana yoga, if one worships Sri Krishna, one crosses the Three qualities and qualifies to attain the quality of the Lord. So the anga or organs of Bhakti yoga are Karma yoga and Gyana yoga. We should worship Lord Sri Krishna with Bhakti yoga with these organs, Bahkti yoga unalloyed by worship of other deities or with prayers for other benefits. Vybhicara means adultery, while avyabhicra means faithful or loyal. We can not be loyal to anyone just because he is able to grant material benefits; we have to be loyal to Him, Who grants Moksham! With such a singular Bhakti we should worship the Lord. When the Lord says that the person should worship 'Me [Sri Krishna]', we should understand the status of Him. We should worship the Lord, Who has satyasankalpa, mercy and vatsalyam. By satya sankalpa, the Lord is capable of completing the task undertaken. Everyone can not grant Kaivalya Moksham. We normally say, 'man proposes and God disposes'! But here it is God proposing and notheing on earth can alter it! Thus grant of Moksham is confirmed. Next, mercy is important. Without this noble quality, His determination will be of no use. Third is vatsalyam - ignoring the faults and blemishes of the person praying. The Lord treats such faults as qualities and with mercy, decides to grant Moksham. Nammalwar saw mercy in the Lord of this Kshetram, Sri Mukunda. Sincere performance of Bhakti yoga makes the Lord to help as a boat, in crossing the Three qualities. Alwar sees the shadow of mercy on the image of the Lord! We will now take leave of this Kshetram.