We have arrived at Kuttanattu Thiruppuliyur [குட்டநாட்டு திருப்புலியூர்] , one of the Thirteen Chera Naadu temples. Thirumangai Alwar and Nammalwar have praised this Kshetram. The Lord is Sri Mayapiran [ஸ்ரீ மாயப் பிரான்] and Sri Thayar is Sri Porkodi Nacchiyar [ஸ்ரீ பொற்கொடி நாச்சியார்]. Bragya saras or Poonchunai Theertham is the name of the pushkarini. The Lord graces under Purushottama Vimanam. It is apt that we are also studying Chapter 15, called Purushottama yoga! In olden days, Divya desams were classified among 12 regions [Nadu நாடு in Tamil], like Kudanadu, Thenpandinadu, Kuttanadu, etc. This region is called Kuttanadu [குட்ட நாடு]. Thiruppuliyur was capital of Kuttanadu. People understand this place by the name Puliyur. This temple was reconsecrated by Bhima, one of the Pandavas. Though Bhima and others won the war, something was disturbing his mind. He felt that he was responsible for the death of Dronacharya. During Mahabharata war, Sri Krishna decided that Drona was to be killed. So, He approached Yudhishtra to tell a lie that Aswattama, son of Drona, was killed. Yudhishtra refused to tell lie. So, the Lord got killed an elephant named Aswattama and asked Yudishtra to tell Drona, "aswattama hata: kunjara: [Killed Aswattama, the elephant]". When Yudishtra told this, Drona did not hear the elephant portion of the sentence and Bhima also shouted that Aswattama was killed! Hearing this Drona dropped his weapons and using this situation, Drashtadymna killed Drona. This guilt was disturbing Bhima and so he came to this place to meditate. He heard about the glory of this place from the locals, that the Lord had appeared to the Saptarishis [Seven great sages] here. He meditated here and got the temple reconsecrated. We have to cross 18 steps as we enter the temple. We see a very large mandapam [500 persons can easily sit].
We also see the tall dwajasthambam and bali peetam. Further, as we enter, we see mandapam with gold plated pillars. None is allowed to go inside the mandapam. Then we see garbhagruha, where Sri Moolavar is gracing. The Lord is in standing pose with four arms holding discus, conch, lotus flower and mace. We will now see sloka 5 of Chapter 15. In sloka 4, the Lord said that we should surrender at the feet of the Lord. By doing so, we get the vairagyam or determination axe to cut samsaram tree. After cutting that tree, we would have crossed the Three qualities, and then we could seek atma prapti and attain atman. Our goal is to reach the suddha atma swaroopam or the image of pure atman. For this, surrender at His feet is necessary. Next, the Lord explains the glory of pure atman and the great qualities acquired by that person. Sloka 5:
dvandvair vimuktāḥ sukhaduḥkhasaṃjñaiḥ
gacchhanty amūḍhāḥ padam avyayaṃ tat 15.5
Tat = that, padam = [very superior] stage [of attainment of atman], gacchhanty = is attained. They seek that superior place and attain. We are now baddhatman or bonded souls. The superior stage the Lord mentions here, is the souls liberated from the bondage of karmas in samsaram. They attain the original nature of atman in its pure form, without births, deaths, oldage, etc. From that place or stage, there is no return [to samsaram], and the place is without any defects, and blissful. While seeking this place, these persons develop qualities in the World where we live. Seeing those qualities, we might also aspire to possess. We have to try to acquire those qualities. Mana = concept [that body is soul], nir moha = delusionless. Without such misplaced concept, these persons have correctly understood that atman and body are entirely different. Jita = won over, sanga dosha = defect of union. They had won over the attachment to the blend of the Three qualities, which cause desire in sensual pleasures. Once these two qualities [atman and body are different, and crossing the Three qualities] are acquired, then that person is always in atman Gyana or knowledge about soul. By realizing atman and body are different, he loses interest in bodily pleasures like tasting, smelling, listening, etc. Crossing the Three qualities, makes him to discard interest in materials. Therefore, his interest is concentrated in atman alone. Adhyatma nitya = always interested in atman, vi nivrtta kama = well discarded interest in pleasures [of the senses]. Sukha dukha samjnai = known as happiness and sorrow, dvandvair = from [these] twins, vimukta = well liberated. Thus these people are freed from happiness and sorrow. Such people are, amuda = have no misconcepts. In the First line by mentioning moha, the Lord said that these persons do not have delusion that body and soul are one and same; now, by mentioning amuda, He says that these persons do not have any other misconcepts also. We have to understand that we are servants of the God. Before that we have to acquire the knowledge that body and soul are different. Therefore, atman is everlasting. Therefore, atman is destructionless. Therefore, atman is defectless. Therefore, atmanubhava or experience with atman is precious. Therefore, should avoid interest in others. Therefore, desire in others should be discarded. Therefore, attachment in others should be avoided. Therefore, ....we can go on drawing conclusions! Thus, the person with these qualities attain the atman in its natural pure form and enjoys for ever. All other enjoyments are temporary and result in sorrows. Atman is not destined to grieve and only body undergoes all sorrows. Since atman is bound by Karmas and is residing in a body and there is attachment to the body, there is a false impression that atman is suffering. If this attachment to body is removed, atman will never feel it is suffering. All our actions to satisfy body requirements and desires, result in sorrow. But if our efforts are directed to please atman, then even the efforts will give us happiness. We will find happiness here as well as there [after death]. This person reaches 'that stage or place' of pure atman image [parisuddha atma swaroopam परिशुद्ध आत्मा]. Though by nature atman is pure, it is clouded by samsaram. Once this samsaram is removed, one sees atman in its nature of purity. That is atman attains its natural stage, when Gyana and Ananda would be limitless. This person reaches Kaivalyam. This stage is also called swaroopa vikasam or, self or soul blossoming. Thus in this sloka, the Lord describes how a Gyani would be. For this vairagyam is necessary. To get vairagyam, we have to surrender to Sri Purushottama. The Lord here is Sri Mayapiran, capable of creating miracles. By worshiping Him, we might also get vairagyam, by miracle!