In this Divya Desam, the auspicious quality, which the Lord exhibited was kruthagya [कृतज्ञ க்ருதக்யை or நன்றி] or gratitude. 'Sadya hrudityanayum, sadhana perukkedutthum, kruthagyatha gandham thanap padhiyile' [சாத்ய ஹ்ருதித்யனாயும் சாதன பெருக்கெடுத்தும் க்ருதக்ஞத கந்தம் தானப் பதியிலே!], says Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar. Gratitude means not forgetting help recieved. We have to always remember the help we recieved and try to return by suitable help [prati upakaram பிரதி உபகாரம்]. The Lord of this Kshetram, thus remembers the help He recieved! What? How could the Lord recieve any help? We only recieve help and so we should have gratitude to the Lord. Is it not so? It seems the Lord is so grateful to this place, that even now He is gracing here as a mark of gratitude! The Lord desired to get into the heart of Alwar! Alwar praised this Lord in Thiruvaimozhi decade 8.6. But in the earlier decade, that is 8.5, starting with the verse 'mayak koottha! vamana! vinaiyen kanna! [மாயக் கூத்தா! வாமனா! வினையேன் கண்ணா!]', Alwar prayed the Lord to come to him at least for one day [oru naal kaana vaaraye! ஒரு நாள் காண வாராயே!]. Seeing Alwar crying to see Him, the Lord decided to immediately bless Alwar. Thinking that if He suddenly entered Alwar's heart, Alwar might be choked, the Lord decided to await Alwar's arrival in this Kshetram! Sri Andal also in Thiruppavai says 'chenkan sirich chiride emmel vizhiavo [செங்கண் சிறிச் சிறிதே எம்மேல் விழியாவோ!]' - 'could not You please slowly grace us!' As the Lord came to this Kshetram, all devotees started visiting and recieving His blessings. The Lord tried to impress them that He had arrived to bless King Rukmangada, for his Ekadasi fasting! But the devotees had a doubt that the Lord was using this Kshetram, to go elsewhere! The Lord standing as though in meditation, revealed that He was awaiting for Nammalwar and Alwar's heart was His destination! One day Alwar arrived and the Lord reached the heart of Alwar. The locals in this place got fear that the Lord might leave this Kshetram. The Lord pacified them that He would not kick off the ladder used for climbing, and so He would remain here, in gratitude for ever, as this place was responsible for Him to reach Alwar's heart! Thus the Lord spread the fragrance of gratitude in this Kshetram! Here we see the sannidhi of Sri Adbhuta Narayana and Sri Narasimha. There is also a sannidhi of Dakshinamurthy. We can worship Sri Utsavar during Sriveli procession daily. Potthi [போத்தி], temple priest, carries the Lord and goes round the temple Three times. In Kerala, temple priests are always in wet clothes and afresh after a bath; and this bathing is done many times a day! In this temple sprinkling water as we go around, is a custom. In Karthigai, another festival is celebrated. Sahadeva, who reconsecrated this temple, was the son of Madri, the Second wife of Pandu. After Pandu's death, Madri also got herself immolated in the pyre. To commemmorate that incident, banana leaf is spread and lamps are ignited in it. This festival 'deepakkazha தீபக் கழா' can not be seen anywhere else. Behind the temple is Sri Narasimha sannidhi with another dwajasthambam, kept in dazzling brightness!
We are unable to maintain a small brass lamp so brightly in our house, but here the plating of the very tall dwajasthambam, is kept polished! Sri Ashta Lakshmi is engraved at the base of the dwajasthambam! We worship Lord Sri Adbhuta Narayana, Who is always in the heart of Nammalwar, gracing here. Now we shall see sloka 19. In sloka 17, the Lord reasoned out why He was the Purushottama. Next in sloka 18, the Lord revealed that He was described as Purushottama in Vedas and other holy scriptures! In Chandogya Upanishad, it is told that the Lord known as Paranjothi, was the ultimate goal of jeevatman and reaching Him, jeevatman becomes Muktatma and He is the Purushottama! In Valmiki's Srimad Ramayana it is told that without Lakshmana, Sri Rama, the Purushottama, never slept! Thus everywhere, the Lord is described as Purushottama. Purusha sooktam, which is in all Four Vedas and which is always recited during Thirumanjanam, is a poem in praise of Purushottama! Now, in sloka 19, the Lord says that he who understood Him as Purushottama, is said to have known every means to reach Him. He is said to have practiced all the different methods of Bhakti. This way the glory of Purushottama Vidya is mentioned.Once we understand Him as Purushottama and have no more doubts, then we will know that all pervading is not space, but He; commanding is not by our boss, but by Him; and supporting us not the Earth, but He! Once we have understood these without any more doubts, then we have realized that Purushottama is Sriman Narayana or Sri Krishna! This Gyana will acquire us all the benefits arising out of every form of Bhakti performed to the Lord! Does it mean that with a mere Gyana that the Lord is Purushottama, we no longer have to carry out our usual ways of devotion like Sankeertana, lighting lamps, going to temples, offering flowers, etc.? The Lord says that all these acts of devotion are after all for His pleasure. So, by understanding that He is Purushottama, same happiness is attained by the Lord! Also, by realizing He is Purushottama, we will do more of these acts of devotion! Now sloka 19:
yo mām evam asaṃmūḍho jānāti puruṣottamam
sa sarvavid bhajati māṃ sarvabhāvena bhārata 15.19
Ya = he, who, mam eva = Me [Sri Krishna] alone, purushottamam janati = understands as Purushottama, asammudho = without any doubt, sa = he, sarva vid = knows everything. Here everything means, this person knew all the means to reach the Lord. That person, sarva bhavena = by all methods, bhajati = worships, mam = Me [Sri Krishna]. Here, the Lord emphasizes that one should understand Him as Purushottama without any doubt. It is possible we might have doubts initially and we should seek clarification with an open mind. After clearing such doubts, one should no longer have any more doubt. Bhakti or worshiping the Lord can be by so many methods like Sravanam, Keertanam, etc., told by Prahalada and others. By realizing Him as Purushottama, without any doubt, then we get the benefits of worshiping the Lord by all the methods! This is His opinion!
With this lecture today [4th May 2009], about 600 lectures have been performed. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.