Sri Krishna preached Gita; Sri Krishna also listened to Sri Vjshnu Saharanamam, which speaks about His glory. But during both incidents, Sri Rukmini was not present. It is a deficiency. In Srimad Ramayana, Sri Rama listened to Ramayana sung by Lava and Kusha; then also, Sri Sita was not present. To make up this deficiency, the Lord arrived at Thiruvaranvilai [திருவாறன்விளை]. [Since we missed the last lecture, we could have missed details about this temple. Some details are available at http://www.trsiyengar.com/id255.shtml, http://www.srivaishnavam.com/divyadesam108/malai_trip.htm#THIRUVARANVILAI:, http://www.srivari.com/malayalatirupathigal/thiruvaranvilai.htm]
Nammalwar says that the Lord graced this place, along with Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhudevi, to listen to the hymns in praise of Him. The auspicious quality, which the Lord exhibited to Nammalwar was Ananda vrutthi [ஆனந்த வ்ருத்தி]. It is said 'pravana chittharai paratva vimukamaakkum [ப்ரவண சித்தரை பரத்வ விமுகமாக்கும்]'. That is the devotees of the Lord here would not even desire to reach Vaikuntam; but be happy worshiping the Lord here alone! This type of desire is induced by the Lord. Like an Emperor in Durbar, the Lord is happy here with His Consorts and devotees! Alwar saw this happiness of the Lord here and participated in that happiness. The Lord was eager to listen to Alwar's pasurams [7.10.1 to 7.10.11] and Alwar was equally eager to sing before the Lord! Arjuna came to this Kshetram and enquired about thw glory of this place. He learnt that lord Brahma came here and meditated to regain the Vedas lost to Madhu and Kaitapa. He also learnt that Veda Vyasa had come here and worshiped the Lord here. That is why the pushkarini is called Veda Vyasa Pushkarini. Therefore, Arjuna decided that he would also meditate here to wash off his sins here. Arjuna felt guilty that he had killed Karna against rules [yuddha dharma]. Earlier we saw that Bhima washed off his guilt, of haveing abetted in killing of Dronacharya, in Kuttanadu Thiruppuliyur. When Karna was fighting with Arjuna, Karna's chariot wheels got stuck in the mud, and while Karna was engaged in correcting the wheels, Arjuna on the advice of Sri Krishna killed Karna. With that guilt, Arjuna came here and served the Lord to his heart's content and attained peace. The Lord is also gracing happily, and so He was able to bless Arjuna with happiness. From this place, we will now see today's [20th April 2009] lecture on sloka 9 of Chapter 15. Earlier Sri Krishna told that a jeevatma was bound in a body. He also explained that even such a bonded soul was His amsam [indispensable part]. He also mentioned how this atman goes from one body to another. It is like a worm shifting from one leaf or grass to another leaf or grass. It will grip the first leaf with its hind part and move the front part to the next leaf and cling to the new leaf. Then it will loosen its grip on the previous leaf and shift the entire body to the new leaf. Like a worm shifting from one leaf to another, an atman leaves one body and gets bonded in another body. Like a breeze taking with it the fragrance of the flower, this atman takes with it, in microscopic form, all the past karmas, sense organs and mind and gets into the new body. In sloka 9, the Lord tells how the atman devotes itself in each sense organ:
śrotraṃ cakṣuḥ sparśanaṃ ca rasanaṃ ghrāṇam eva ca
adhiṣṭhāya manaś cāyaṃ viṣayān upasevate 15.9
Visayan upasevate = experiences matter. That is atman experiences senses like seeing with eyes, smelling with nose, tasting with tongue, listening with ears, feeling with body or skin, touching with hands, walking with legs, thinking with mind, etc. Can atman remain without doing these? No, atman has to perform all these; but atman should see or hear, what is good for it. We can see the large balipeetam in this temple. The dwajasthambam here is very tall. That also should be seen. All the pillars of the mandapam are gold plated and present a grand view. That also has to be seen. The Lord is gracing like an Emperor in Durbar. We can see the beautiful carvings on pillars and walls. Going around the temple we see the characteristic slopy roof of the temple. The Lord is called Sri ThirukKuralappan [ஸ்ரீ திருக்குறளப்பன்]. Thus eyes are meant to view the Lord; ears should listen to the history of Sri Vamana; nose meant to smell the fragrance of tulasi offered to the Lord; tongue and mouth to taste prasadams; feet to go round His temple; hands to perform pooja to Him. But unfortunately, atman uses these organs for materialistic pleasures. Srotram = organ for hearing, ears, caksu = organ for seeing, eyes, sparsanam = organ for feeling touch, skin on the body, rasanam = organ for tasting, tongue, ghranam = organ for smelling, nose, eva ca = only with [these organs], adhistaya = experiences. That is only with the aid of these organs, atman, experiences various senses. Image, food, music, etc., are the objects and are experienced by atman with those organs. Manas ca = also mind, the leader of all organs. With all these organs and mind, atman experiences. Atman has all the knowledge. Its knowledge is channelised through mind and reaches the organs. Atman's knowledge of sight, is used via eyes. Its hearing knowledge is via ears, and so on. The knowledge of sight through eyes, sees the object and understands the object. Sound waves are understood with ears, etc. Atman with its knowledge makes mind to think. Thus atman experiences all materials, using all these organs. Why the Lord is mentioning these? In slokas 7 and 8, we saw two concepts. In sloka 7, He mentioned that though, even a bhaddhatma was His amsam, due to past Karma, that atman was bonded inside a body; but after liberating from Three qualities, attains Parisuddha Atma swaroopam. In sloka 8, the Lord mentioned what were all carried by atman when transfering from one body to another. In sloka 9, the Lord tells that having entered a body, with aid of organs, atman experiences various senses. This experience itself is because of Karma. Instead of directly saying so, we can deduce that because of our past Karma we get a body, which could be human or animal, or anything else. Having entered the body atman experiences all the materials. What is not understood by most of us, is that atman experiences what is apt to that body. If atman is in human body, it would try to experience all activities and enjoyments apt to human body! A man wants to listen to music and so atman in human body likes to listen to music. Man wants to eat rice and so atman experiences the taste of rice, when residing in human body. Atman in a cow's body would like to taste grass and not rice! If we think deeply, we will find that atman as such does not eat nor listen. But atman desires to experience these senses peculiar to the body in which it is residing. Unless we remove the thought that atman is body, this desire for materilas can not be avoided. If atman thinks it is cow, it desires to eat grass. If atman thinks it is man, it desires to eat rice! If atman thinks it is atman and not the body in which it is residing, then materalistic desires will not be there. Sri Krishna thus tells that atman desires to experience materials, suiting the body in which atman is resident.