Thursday, April 30, 2009

BG 15.19

Nammalwar says that the Lord of Thirukkaditthanam is seated in his heart. Normally, if we want the Lord to be seated in a place, we ensure the place is clean. Alwar says, he requested the Lord to drive away all bad elements like anger, jealousy, etc., from his heart, so that the place was clean for the Lord to come in! Kadi [கடி] in Tamil means fragrance. Thanam [தானம்] is the mutilated form of sthanam, meaning place or residence. Thus, this place is the residence for fragrance! A large variety of flowers with captivating scent, are here. This place is famous for flowers. This place was reconsecrated by Sahadeva, the youngest of Pandavas. Sahadeva, who was an expert in Astrology, came to this place. He saw the great compound walls of this temple.

Thrickodithanam MadhiL.
Even now we can see the grand compound wall and the greenary. He wanted to know about the history of this place from the locals. Rukmangadha was a King and he had a garden with many fragrant flowers. He used to offer these flowers to the Lord and worship. Once sage Narada came to the King, who offered a garland made from these flowers. Narada went to Indra. Indra was captivated by the flowers and enquired from Narada, where he obtained those flowers. Narada told that he got the flowers from King Rukmangadha. Indra wanted to have the flowers for him and so he deputed some Devas to daily procure those flowers from the King's garden, unnoticed by others. Thus he was recieving the flowers daily; but on earth, King Rukmangadha was noticing that he could not offer flowers to the Lord as earlier and he was puzzled! So, he reinforced the security of the garden, Still, the culprits could not be found and flowers were disappearing. It was one cold morning in Winter, and watchmen on duty had made fire out of branches from some particular trees in the garden and were basking in the heat! The smoke from those wood was surrounding the garden. This smoke had the capacity to cancel the power of Devas and so those Devas who came to take away the flowers lost their power and were caught by the garden security. They were produced before the King, but the King knowing that they had come from Indra to fetch flowers, took pity on them and released them. But those Devas said that they had lost their power and they could regain only if someone, observing Ekadasi fasting properly, came and offered his punya, and then they could go back to Indra! King searched all over this place to find any person observing Ekadasi fasting. Finally, one old woman was identified and in front of the Lord, she offered her punya to the Devas, who regained their lost power and flied to meet Indra. From that time King Rukmangadha realized the greatness of Ekadasi and decided to observe Ekadasi fasting strictly and regularly. When the old woman offered her punya, the Lord as Sri Adbhuta Narayana appeared to her and to Rukmangadha. Sahadeva on learning this history of the place decided to meditate here and reconsecrate the temple. We will now move to see sloka 18:

yasmāt kṣaram atītoham akṣarād api cottamaḥ
atosmi loke vede ca prathitaḥ puruṣottamaḥ 15.18

"Therefore, I am being glorified in Vedas and Smritis", says the Lord Sri Krishna. The word 'therefore' is the logical conclusion of what the Lord told in sloka 17. That is, as He was pervading in all, as He was supporting all, as He was the Commander for all and as He possessed all, He was different from all Chit and Achit. Therefore, He was the Most Supreme entity or Purushottama, and was praised in Vedas and other scriptures. Apurusha indicates Achit, purusha indicates Bhaddha Jeevatman, uthpurusha indicates Mukta atman and utthara purusha indicates Nitya atman. The Lord alone is Utthama Purusha. In the last sloka, the Lord established by reasoning that He was Paramatma. Therefore, the Lord says in this sloka, that He is being acclaimed by Vedas and other holy scriptures! Yasmat = by which. That is by the quality of all pervading, all supporting, commanding all and possessing all. Ksaram = Ksharam [bhaddhatma], aksara = Akshara [Mukta atma], aham = I [Sri Krishna] am, atita = much, uttama = Superior. The Lord is different from Kshara and Akshara and much superior to them. We have seen that Kshara means Bhaddhatma like us, where atman is in Achit bodies, which decay. Akshara are Mukta atman, who are liberated souls and have no decaying body. Ata = therefore, [that is, being different from all others], asmi = I [Sri Krishna] am, vede = in Vedas, loke = in smrithi, Itihasa, Purana and all holy scriptures, prathita = well acclaimed, purushottama = as Purushottama. In the last sloka He described Himself as Purushottama and Paramatma. Here, He confirms that He was Purushottama. We saw the Lord reasoning why He was superior to all others. We have to see this reasoning from another angle. The Lord is different from and superior to Achit, Bhaddhatma, Mukta atma and Nitya atma. We will see the limitation or defects in each of them. Achit is subject to change in its physical form. Our body undergoes change from birth and finally, gets destroyed in death. It is the nature of all matter without Gyana, which we call Achit, to be in constant change and destruction. This defect is not there in the Lord and so He is superior to Achit. In Bhaddhatma, though atman in a body never undergoes any physical change, its quality changes according to the body in which atman is resident. This Bhaddha atma enjoys, suffers, and does all sorts of things, and so does good and evil, and accumulates papa/punya. This is a defect in Bhaddha atman, not found in the Lord and so He is superior to Bhaddha jeevatma. The Lord is same always. His nature never changes, despite the many forms He takes, whether He is Narayana or Hari or Vamana! What about Mukta atman, who is no longer burdened by the decaying body, as it is liberated? But Mukta atman had a past history as Bhaddhatma! This defect is not in Paramatma, Who is Paramatma always. The Lord never underwent the turmoils of samsaram and so He is superior to Mukta Atman also. How about Nityasuris or Nitya atman like Adisesha, Garuda, Vishvaksena, etc., who never had a birth in samsaram like Bhaddhatma or Mukta atma? Their glories are not from self made, but because of service to Paramatma. It is derived glory for them. Therefore, He is superior to Nitya atma also.

No comments: