Matsya Avatar is the First [of Dashavatar], followed by Koorma, Varaha, Sri Narasimha and Vamana Avatars. The Lord took Sri Vamana Avatar in Krita yug, when He cadged [begged] Emperor Bali, to grant Him, Three strides of earth and after the grant, took the gigantic Sri Trivikrama form to measure Three strides! The Lord appreciated the generosity or altruism attitude in Bali, and so made him as the Emperor in the Nether worlds [Patal Lok]. This transaction took place in Krita yug and now we can not see that scene! But the Lord is gracing as Sri Vamana and Sri Trivikrama, in Thirukkatkarai [திருக் காட்கரை] Kshetram! It is situated on the outskirts of Ernakulam Town and is about Three KMs from Cochin University.
The Lord is Sri Vamanamurthy or Sri Thirukkatkarai Appan [ஸ்ரீ திருக் காட்கரை அப்பன்]. Nammalwar has presented the Lord with 11 pasurams in Thiruvaimozhi [9.6]. The Lord appears with Four arms, upper arms holding discus and conch, lower right arm holding lotus flower and left lower arm in Kati mudra, placed on His waist. Sri Thayar is Sri Perunchelva Nayaki [ஸ்ரீ பெருஞ்செல்வ நாயகி] or Sri Vatsalyavalli [ஸ்ரீ வாத்ஸல்யவல்லி]. Sri Thayar is always present on His chest. Sage Kapila meditated here. The pond here is called Kapila Theertham. Vimanam is Pushkara Vimanam. Sages like Kapila, never meditate for any worldly desires nor for any selfish reason. He prayed the Lord to appear and show him His lotus feet, with which He storde all the Fourteen worlds! Accepting the prayer the Lord is appearing as Sri Vamana here. Now we will see sloka 2 of Chapter 15. In the last lecture we saw a peepal [aswatta] tree was mentioned. In this temple also we find many peepal trees. Like all Kerala temples, we can see the slopy roofs. In the 9th Century, Kulasekara Varman, was ruling here. He has contributed enormously for this Kshetram. In sloka 2, the peepal tree is further explained. We saw earlier that this tree, representing samsaram, has its roots on the top and branches on the ground. By understanding this tree, one is said to have understood Vedas. Now, the Lord explains the tender leaves [தளிர்], fruits, etc., and why none tries to understand. Sloka 2:
adhaś cordhvaṃ prasṛtāstasya śākhā
adhaś ca mūlāny anusaṃtatāni
karmānubandhīni manuṣyaloke 15.2
We have to divide ths sloka into Two parts. The substance in both parts are different. Let us see the First part. Tasya = that peepal tree's, sakha = branches, adhas = are below, ca urdhvam = and above, prasrta = well spread out. The branches of this Samsaram tree, are spread out below and above. We may get a confusion here. In the last sloka, the Lord told that roots are on top and the branches are on ground. But now He says that the branches are spread out below and above. We will shortly see why the Lord has told like this. For a tree to grow, it needs water, manure, etc. This tree of samsaram is,, guna pravrddha = well grown by the desire in Three qualities [satvam, rajas and tamas], visaya = materialistic or sense perception, pravala = tender leaves [தளிர்]. This tree has many tender leaves sprouting and they are the sense perceptions like seeing, smelling, tasting. etc. Pravala normally means coral [பவளம்], but here it means tender leaves. The Lord says the branches are spread out on top and bottom. Normally, this Universe is created by lord Brahma in Satya loka. Thus the origin or roots are in Satya loka or on top. Branches on the ground are various objects and species, like human, trees, birds, etc. These branches are creations of Brahma after the Naimittika Pralayam [नैमित्तिक प्रलयम], which happens, every 'night' of lord Brahma [One thousand Chatur yug is one day or one night for Brahma]. In the 'day' he creates and in the night all creations are dissolved, called naimittika pralayam. This Naimittika srushti or creation by Brahma, was indicated in the First sloka. In sloka 2, the Lord talks of Nitya srushti or the daily births and deaths we witness in our lives. In the branches of the Naimittika srushti, there could be birds sitting and eating fruits. The dropped seeds grow elsewhere, and thus there will be branches, which are indicated by the Lord in this sloka as spread out above and below. Or, species are created by Brahma. In those species, persons might accrue papa and punya and so might get elevated or degraded rebirths. Thus an elevated birth could be imagined to be a branch above and a degraded birth could be a branch below. These are effects of Nitya srushti and Nitya pralayam. The Three qulaities are like water, nourishing this samsaram tree. If we cross the Three qualities, then there is no water and so there is no tree, either!
We will now see the second part of the sloka. Adhas = below [existing], manusyaloke = world of humans, mulany = the roots are, anusamtatani = are well spread out. One more confusion? In the last sloka, the Lord told that roots are on top. Here He says the roots are below! What type of roots? Karmanubandhini = [our] well binding Karma! We do many Karmas or actions, and we earn papa or punya as consequence. Based on these papa/punya, lord Brahma creates our rebirths. Therefore, our rebirths are all decided by our actions or Karma, and these we do at bottom and so these roots of Karma are also at bottom! In this type of trees down roots [விழுது] drop from branches, which later becomes part of a tree and has its own branches. The cycle goes on and on. Therefore this aswatta tree has to be properly understood and using vairagyam or detachment, as axe, it has to be cut off. This will be told in the next sloka.
Announcement: The conclusion of the current Bhagavad Gita lectures is proposed to be done in Kurukshetra, with His blessings. For this a tour covering Pancha Dwaraka, Pushkar, Kurukshetra and Brindavan, is being arranged between 1st and 15th October, 2009. To enable large participation, the tariff is kept minimal, which, if so desired, could be paid in Three instalments also. Those desiring to participate can contact:
6, BHIMASENA GARDEN STREET,
CHENNAI - 600 004.