Tuesday, April 7, 2009

BG 15.2

Perumal Thirumozhi, consisting of 105 pasurams, was composed by Kulasekara Alwar. In one decade dedicated to Thiruvitthuvakodu, Alwar reveals Ananyagatitvam, and says that there is none as refuge to him, excepting Sri Vitthuvakkottu Amman [வித்துவக்கோட்டு அம்மான்], the Lord here. Not to forget His Divine feet, Alwar cites certain examples in the pasurams. Even when a mother scolds or beats or even kicks her child, the child would cling to the mother only and cry, and will not go to neighbour! Child will always think of its mother's mercy. A dependent wife would not desert her husband on quarrels; but would always make peace and remain with the husband. A subject can not leave the King, just because the King punished the subject. He would remain with the hope that the King would protect him. A patient does not leave the doctor, just because the doctor was about to carry out surgery to cure him. In fact sometimes the patient pleads for severe treatment to cure him of the illness! For a comfortable future, we do not mind bearing troubles in the treatment of the patient. In pasuram 5.4 [vaalal arutthu chudinum வாளால் அறுத்து சுடினும்], the Alwar says just like the patient to the doctor, he would bear any sufferings for the sake of the pleasure with the Lord. It is like a mother bearing all the sufferings during pregnancy and delivery, just to fondle the child and attain happiness. In the pasuram 5.5, vengan thinn [வெங்கண் திண்], Alwar says that just like a bird on a ship, which is in mid sea, can not go anywhere but to remain in the ship only, Alwar, in this samsaram ocean, can not ever think of leaving the lotus feet of the Lord! The crow in Srimad Ramayana, tried to go everywhere and all over the Three worlds, but could not find a refuge and so returned and fell at the Divine feet of Sri Rama! In this decade, finally, the Alwar says that even if he were kicked out by the Lord of Vitthuvakkodu, he would not seek any other as asylum, and cling on to the Lord's Divine feet! He says that those who know these Ten pasurams will always be happy with the Lord! Alwar says he would not go to any other. Why so? Because, there is none superior to the Lord, Who is Purushottama! Chapter 15 is there to publicize that the Lord is Purushottama. This name indicates that there are inferior Purusha [atman] and others not even purusha! Let us see our fingers. Our thumb is the Lord or Purushottama. The little finger is Achit or without gyana! It is like no-purusha. The remaining Three fingers are Bhaddhatma [like us], muktatma [those liberated] and Nityaatma [those who are permanently in Vaikuntam and serving the Lord]. This Thumb [the Lord] is different from the little finger [Achit], and the other Three fingers [Bhaddha, Mukta and Nitya atma]! We can notice that all the Four fingers can not independently act and always need the assistance of the Thumb! Thus we have to infer that Paramatma is different from all others and superior to all others. We may wonder why the Lord Himself is publicizing that He is Purushottama, when others are supposed to publicize? We have failed to do so, and so the Lord had to take up that responsibility! We will now see sloka 1 of Chapter 15. Here we have to imagine a tree with roots up and the branches are on the ground [inverted tree]. Branches are having leaves, buds and fruits. Samsaram has to be imagined to be this tree. Since lord Brahma is in the top most of the worlds - in Satya loka-, the roots of creation, should be imagined to be at the top! In this samsaram tree, we find all non-living and living beings like animals, humans, Devas, etc., as branches. This tree is a peepal tree [Tamil arasamaram அரச மரம்]. He who understands this peepal or aswatta tree well, is considered to have understood Vedas properly. This is explained in the First sloka. Yes, by understanding this tree of samsaram, Vedas are properly understood. This tree has to be cut off, by using an axe, which is detachment or vairagyam! Once the tree is cut off, then we can reach Moksham! From Vedanta, we can infer that vairagyam is the axe to cut the samsaram tree! Upanishads clearly tell this and so it is necessary to understand the tree. Part of this concept is in First sloka and the balance is in the Second sloka. Now sloka 1 of Chapter 15:

XV. atha pañcadaśodhyāyaḥ. (puruṣottamayogaḥ)

śrībhagavān uvāca

ūrdhvamūlam adhaḥśākham aśvatthaṃ prāhur avyam
chandāṃsi yasya parṇāni yas taṃ veda sa vedavit 15.1

Ya = [he] who, tam = this [tree], veda = understands, sa = he, vedavit = understands Vedas. He who understands this tree of samsaram, has understood Vedas! Urdhva = high up, mulam = are roots, adha = below are, sakham = branches, asvattam = peepal tree. Peepal tree is regarded as the king of trees. Aswattam means never permanent. Avyayam = never decaying, prahu = so [people] say, chandamsi = Veda mantras or sentences, yasya = to this [tree], parnani = are leaves. Thus Veda sayings are all leaves of this tree! Person understanding this tree thus, is said to be knowing Vedas! Why Veda mantras are compared to leaves of this tree? When we see leaves we should understand Three things:
  1. Leaves cover or obscure the tree.
  2. Leaves take energy from Sun and nourish the tree.
  3. Whithering of leaves indicate that the tree is dead.
Veda mantras obscure our life in this samsaram, in the sense that some of the veda mantras ask us to perform certain actions to get wealth, etc. For example by performing Vayavya Yagna as prescribed in Vedas, we can get wealth. Jyotish homam will get us Swarga or heaven. Sena yagna will destroy enemies, etc. These are called Kamya karma or actions to realize materialistic desires. These obscure the real and everlasting benefit of Moksham. At the same time, Veda mantras are necessary for us to flourish in life. Therefore, by understanding this imaginary tree, one understands Vedas. Kulasekara Alwar has taught us that the Lord is indispensable refuge for us. Praying for his and the Lord's blessings, we now take leave of this Kshetram.


rekhs said...

awesome work
cn i hv ur email id or ph# to rch u?
pls mail me as to how to communicate with u @ rekhs_h@yahoo.com

TG Saranathan said...

I can be contacted on saranathantg@yahoo.co.in.
Thank you Sir.