Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BG 15.17

In Thiruvaimozhi, 6.1.7, oruvannam senru pukku [ஒரு வண்ணம் சென்று புக்கு] pasuram, Alwar [as Parankusa Nayaki] deputes a bird [parrot] as messenger to the Lord Sri Rama, Who is gracing here as Sri Pambanaiappan! Alwar wants the bird to convey to the Lord that here was a 'woman' suffering and He had to rescue 'her'. The bird did that duty and brought the Lord and pacified Parankusa Nayaki! In this Kshetram the auspicious quality, which the Lord exhibited to Alwar, was 'rakshana sthairyam [रक्षण स्थैर्यं ரக்ஷண ஸ்தைர்யம்]'. It is the resolve of the Lord to rescue His devotees. Alwar tells that though he had, heard of this resolve, in Ramayana, he was yet to be rescued and did not want that name He had tarnished! Sri Rama as also Lakshmana were well trained in fighting and they would never let down those surrendered to them. Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar, calls Thiruvanvandur as Pampottara desam - region North of Pampa [river]. If we remember the Lord here we need not feel any fear from anybody, as the Lord is here to rescue! Especially, Sri Rama is known for His determination to protect His devotees. In Srimad Ramayana, Sri Rama along with Sri Sita and Lakshmana, is wandering in the forests. Sages in the forests surrendered at the Divine feet of Sri Rama and prayed for rescue from Rakshasas! Sri Rama assured them full protection. Time was running, and Sri Sita got doubt whether Sri Rama had forgotten His assurance. She wondered whether the bow and arrows in the hands of Sri Rama were mere toys! To test His mind, Sri Sita told Him to keep away dangerous weapons like bow and arrows, as they may tempt Him to harm others! Because Sri Sita had heard of a story of a sage turned killer! One warrior wanted to go on pilgrimage; he wanted to keep his sharp sword safely with someone. He found a sage meditating and requested the sage to take care of the sword till he returned. The sage agreed and kept the sword in a corner. As the sage started his meditation, his mind was on the sword and so he kept it close to him. Slowly, he started trying the sword and later became a killer! Thus even a person like a sage became a killer, because he was having a dangerous weapon. Similarly, Sri Sita feared that Sri Rama might deploy His weapon on others! But Sri Rama was able to know what Sri Sita meant, and at that time He said that He might let down Sri Sita or Lakshmana, but He would never fail in His assurance to those surrendered to Him! He says that He would never betray His promises! Alwar as Parankusa Nayaki, reminds those words to the Lord through birds and bees! We see the daily festival of Sriveli, as in most of the Kerala temples. In the evenings, temple priest would offer food to the Lord and place them on bali peetam. A small idol of the Lord would be carried in procession and the priest would go round the temple Three times. It is different from the Sri Utsavar we normally see in Tamil Nadu temples. Here the Sri Utsavar will be in procession only during Sriveli [it is Sri Bali transformed]. At the entrance of the temple we can see the dancing Sri Krishna! He is dancing with one foot on the hood of Kalinga and the other foot raised! We also see Gajendra Moksham. Around the temple we see the Lord in Dasa avatars! Inside is Sri Rama! Vimanam is Vedalaya vimanam. In the last sloka we saw that the Lord is the soul of all Vedas. In sloka 16 the Lord explains further. Other than the Lord who else would be preaching Arjuna? Because, the Lord alone knows all the Vedas. He is only described in all Vedas. Then, who else could preach Vedas to Arjuna? Sloka 16:

dvāv imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni kūṭasthokṣara ucyate 15.16

He tells about two types of people. Imau = these, dvav = Two [types], purushau = people, loke = in Shastras [ loke does not mean world here]. Two types of peaople are mentioned in Shastras or Vedas. Who are they? Ksara = decaying, ca = and, aksara = non decaying or everlasting. Kshara means bhaddhatma, who are in decaying bodies. These atman are in bound bodies or achit, which decay. Akshara means atman, which are not in decayable bodies, but are Muktatman, who are liberated and would never come to this samsaram nor would ever get bonded in decayable bodies! Akshara could be those in Vaikuntam or in Kaivalya Moksham. Thus Kshara [bhaddhatma] and Akshara [Muktatma] are mentioned by the Lord. But we see only Bhaddhatma and not the Muktatma. Ksara = decayable, sarvani = all, bhutani = living beings [we see]. That is whatever we see with our physical eyes are all destroyable. Again we should remember that the bhaddhatma does not decay but the achit body gets decayed. Aksara = [while] the Muktatma is, ucyate = regarded as, kutastha = leader. Kootastha means the foremost or the First or leader of a group. Nammalwar is regarded as prapanna jana kootastha or the leader of all those desiring Moksham! But here the Lord talks of Kootastha in another context. Muktatma has got liberated from bhaddhatma like us, and so any Muktatma is foremost or the First. Another way of looking is, kootastha means anvil in a blacksmith shop. The blacksmith keeps the hot iron to be transformed, on the anvil and hammers the hot iron into knife or other articles. While the iron piece gets transformed, the anvil does not undergo any change. Thus the anvil which does not undergo any change, but changes the articles beaten on it, is called kootastha. Bhaddhatma undergoes change, while Muktatma never changes, like kootastha or the anvil! According to Shastras, Two types of people we come across - Kshara and Akshara. All we see in this Universe are Kshara or Bhaddhatma; but leader or never changing is Akshara or Muktatma! The Lord is going to describe further about Bhaddhatma and Muktatma, and finally the most Superior Paramatma or Purushottama! He is our saviour and has resolved to rescue us as mentioned by Sri Andal as 'Ootramudaiyai [ஊற்றமுடையாய் = resolved to rescue]. Now we will take leave of this Kshetram.

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