Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BG 16.11

Sri Venkatesa of Tirumala is gracing as the Unique Leader of Universe and to the combined darshan of Upper Worlds and this world. Adding glory to the glorious Sri Srinivasa, is Sri Alarmel Mangai Thayar [ஸ்ரீ அலர்மேல்மங்கைத் தாயார்]. At present we have arrived at Tirucchanur [திருச்சானூர்]. Though it is called Tirucchanur now, in ancient times it was called Tirucchugavanur [திருச் சுகவநூர்]. Here, Sri Padmavati Thayar is gracing. First we enter the temple.

Sri Padmavathi Devi Temple-Tiruchanoor
The Lord and Sri Thayar together grace the devotees. As we cross the gopuram, we see the large prakaram or corridor. We see thousands of devotees always, and are coming in groups to worship Sri Thayar. We worship all these devotees. Then we see the magnificent dwajasthambam.

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In the dwajasthambam itself, Sri Thayar is gracing to bless us, with Her right hand showing abhaya and left hand pointing to Her Divine feet, even before we enter garbhagruha. Sri Thayar is seated on a Thousand petaled lotus flower, known as padmam in Sanskrit, and so She is called Sri Padmavati Thayar. When and why did Sri Thayar arrive here? Though it is a known story, we will see parts related to Her. Just like Sri Varaha Perumal arrived on Tirumala before Sri Venkatesa arrived there, and that is why it is also called Sri Varaha Kshetram, much before Sri Thayar arrived here, Sri Krishna came here in Dwapara yug. We are enjoying Bhagavad Gita, which was sermoned in Mahabharata war, which took place for 18 days. After that, the Lord arrived here and meditated. Therefore, Sri Krishna sannidhi is very important. Sri Balarama is also gracing by the side. The Lord graces with Sri Rukmini and Sri Satyabhama. This sannidhi was the First sannidhi in this temple. The main festival for Sri Thayar is in Karthika, shukla Panchami, Uthrada star. That was the day when Sri Thayar appeared here. This festival, also called Panchami Theertha Utsavam, is the Brahmotsavam in this temple. Sage Brighu once started to find Who was the God with sattva qulaity. He went to lord Shiva, who was with Parvati Devi. They did not notice sage's arrival and so sage got angry and cursed. Then he went to see lord Brahma, who also was indifferent to him and so the sage moved away in anger. Then he came to Tiruparkadal [Milk Ocean], where Lord Sri Vishnu was reclining on the serpent bed! He also did not notice the sage. Sage Brighu got angry and kicked the Lord on His chest. The Lord immediately sprang up and told that He was awaiting for the feet of the sage to press on Him and so He was pretending asleep! The Lord desires to touch the feet of His devotees! Sage Brighu realized that Sri Vishnu was the God with sattva quality. He departed to tell his finding to other sages. Though Brighu's anger was quenched, another Person got angry! Sri Maha Lakshmi, Who is always seated on the chest of the Lord, got angry as to how the sage could disrespect Her and kick at Her residence! So, She left the Lord and came to Kolhapuri [in Maharashtra]. She started meditation there. The Lord, unable to bear the parting of Sri Thayar, came to Tirumala and with the permission of Sri Varaha, meditated and later married Sri Padmavati Thayar. This part of the story we may see while we go to Tirumala. The Lord despatched Sun to bring Sri Maha Lakshmi from Kolhapur and then the Divine couple was united! For the marriage, the Lord had obtained a huge quantity of money as loan - One Crore and Fourteen Lacs [11.4 Millions] of Rama nishkamas! This loan is being repaid from the contributions, devotees make! Sri Thayar mentioned that She would remain at the foot of the hills, so that She would First bless the devotees with wealth, with which the devotees could contribute to the Lord, when they came up the hill! The Lord would thus be able to repay the loan obtained from Kubera! Thus, from the beginning of Kali yug, Sri Thayar is residing here and gracing the devotees. Thus this is Her Third residence! [The other Two residences are Tirupparkadal and Kolhapur]. Festivals are celebrated enthusiastically. Nammalwar in the pasuram 'agalagillen enriraiyum alarmel mangai urai marba [அகலகில்லேன் என்றிரையும் அலர்மேல் மங்கை உறை மார்ப!]', indicates that Sri Thayar never parts the Lord even for a second. Because She is always with the Lord, He overlooks all our misdeeds, and blesses us! In Tirumala, She is on the chest of the Lord and here in Tirucchanur, She is in a separate temple. Now, we will see sloka 11. The Lord has been categorising people as Devas and Asuras, based on their qualities. Deva's qualities would incur Moksham, while Asura qualities would push down in samsaram. The Lord has been telling how persons with Asura qualities behave. All these slokas convey rare meanings. Now sloka 11:

cintām aparimeyāṃ ca pralayāntām upāśritāḥ
kāmopabhogaparamā etāvad iti niścitāḥ 16.11

Sri Krishna tells the behaviour of persons with Asura quality. Aparimeyam = unlimited, pralayantam = even upto pralayam time, cintam = thinking. These persons desire so many things. They think about them without any limit and without an end, even upto the time of great deluge! In spite of thinking and planning for such a long time, their desires would not be fulfilled. In such desires they devote their actions, without any limit. There is no limit to their desires. With such desires, kama = sensual pleasures or lust, upabhogam = experiencing [these pleasures], parama = devoted fully, etavad = with the [wrong] concept [that there was nothing superior to experiencing Kama]. They have the total wrong concept that sensual pleasures were the most superior, little realizing that those were very inferior, and much higher pleasures like serving the Lord and Sri Thayar were all available. Niscita = [they are ] certain [about their wrong concept]. Here, these persons are having thoughts about those, which we should avoid. Swami Koorattalwan says in one sloka that even if these desires were reached, we are not satisfied and our desires grow further. Thus even if worldly desires are fulfilled we are unsatisfied. Also, we desire certain things, knowing well that those desires could never be accomplished. But we never keep away. Thus we are always thinking of worldly desires, whether they are attainable or not. Then, when are we to come away from these cheap desires? Alwar says that our thoughts should be about the Lord. Thirumangai Alwar addresses Lord Sri Venkatesa as 'Chintamani [சிந்தாமணி]'. Chintamani was a jewel, holding which, whatever we desired would be accomplished! So, Alwar asks, when the Lord is there as Chintamani, what is the use in thinking about other worldly desires? For the Lord, Sri Thayar is Chintamani! So, thoughts other than the Lord, would lead us to nowhere! Alwar further says that These Chintamani [the Lord and Sri Thayar], convert night into days, with Their brilliance! Asuras never think of the Lord but think of worldly desires only till pralayam! Sriya kantaya kalyana nidhaye nidhayertinam, sri venkata nivasaya srinivasaya mangalam.

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