Friday, May 8, 2009

BG 16.2

We have been visiting Kshetrams in Malayala region, in this program Kannanin Aaramudu. At present we have arrived at an important Divya desam. From the history of the place, we can understand how the Lord arrived at this place. There was Bilwa Mangala Swami [பில்வமங்கள சுவாமி], who was performing poojas to some salagrama idols he had. With him was a small Boy. It was an agreement between him and the Boy, that he would not admonish the Boy for whatever act the Boy performed. The Boy was mischievous and was always doing something or other to irritate Bilwa Mangal Swami. One day, unable to bear the mischiefs of the Boy, he admonished the Boy! The Boy got angry and ran away from Bilwa Mangala Swami, who repented for his admonishing and so ran after the Boy. Though the Boy was not visible, the jingling of the ornaments on the Boy was heard. Bilwa Mangala Swami came near a forest, where he found a mother trying to make her child sleep. The mother at one point threatened to throw the child into 'ananthan kadu [அனந்தன் காடு = forest of ananthan]'! Immediately, Bilwa Mangala Swami, remembered this name often mentioned by the Boy! He enquired where the forest was and entered. He again heard the jingling sounds and started searching intensely! At that time he heard one blasting sound and found a huge tree fallen down. It seems the tree was 13 KMs long! The tree appeared as Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy. Bilwa Mangala Swamy worshiped the Lord. This story is also connected with sage Diwakara. Bilwa Mangala Swamy, was so much happy that he offered cooked rice and salted mango to the Lord in a coconut shell! The Lord appreciated and conceding to the prayers of Bilwa Mangala Swami, He shrunk His form to mere 18 feet in length, Which we see even at present. With no beginning and end, the Lord is reclining on the serpent Ananta [aka Adisesha]. One hand of the Lord is stretched to bless a Shiv lingam and the other hand is raised, with fingers spread out like a lotus flower! From His navel, a lotus flower raises with long stalk and Four faced Brahma is seated in the lotus! A very beautiful Seven tiered gopuram welcomes us.

Gopuram at the backdrop of poigaiGopuram - Closeup view
With Seven Kalash [pot] on the top, the gopuram resembles a boat.

Another notable feature is we can view both Bilwa Mangala Swami and sage Diwakara inside the garbhaguha itself as also all the Devas created by lord Brahma. On one side we can see sage Diwakara and on the other we can see sage Kaundinya. Sri Bhudevi also can be seen. All are worshiping the Lord. Swami Vedanta Desika in his drama Sankalpa Sooryodayam, says in the words of Brahma that he [Brahma] as also his son Shiva and all the Devas, and meditating sages, did not know the glory of the Lord Sri Ananta Padmanabha. Swami Desika further says that since Brahma was the child of the Lord, like any other child, he was also chattering. Like any other parents fond of their children's chattering, the Lord was also listening to Brahma and reclining on the serpent! Sri Thayar is Sri Hari Lakshmi. In this temple we have to view the Lord in Three entrances in Garbhagruha. From one gate we can see His head, from the middle gate His navel and from the Third gate His Divine feet. By presenting Himself so, the Lord proclaims, all are equal to Him! Nityasuris view the Lord from the First gate; lord Brahma and all Devas view from the middle gate; and, people like us worship Him from the Third gate. Thus Sri Ananta Padmanabha is regarding us, Brahma and Devas, and Nitysuris as equal. Nammalwar has praised the Lord of this Kshetram in ten pasurams [10.2], starting with sezhumidarayavellam kesava...[செழுமிடராயவேல்லாம் கேசவா!]. Today's [8th May 2009] lecture is from this Kshetram. We will see sloka 2 of Chapter 16:

ahiṃsā satyam akrodhas tyāgaḥ śāntir apaiśunam
dayā bhūteṣv aloluptvaṃ mārdavaṃ hrīr acāpalam 16.2

Some more qualites, qualifying to become Devas, are listed. In all 26 qualities are listed in the Three slokas, by the Lord, as the qualities of Devas. Then He is to list the behaviour of Asuras.
  • Ahimsa = harming no living being. Behaving without any injury to any living being is Ahimsa.
  • Satyam = speaking truth, for the welfare of all living beings. 'Satyam bhuta hitam proktam' - even uttering lie is satyam, if the lie would save a living being. So satyam is not just truth, but truth for the welfare of all.
  • Akrodha = Not getting angry. That is mind is not debased. Our reaction should not cause injury to others.
  • Tyaga = Sacrificing all, which do not contribute to our atman sakshatkaram or upliftment of atman. It is not merely sacrificing materials, but behaviours like satire and mockery speeches, gambling, etc.
  • Santi = Not allowing our senses to wander.Proper control of our senses.
  • Apaisunam = no slander or backbite talks. Sri Andal in Thiruppavai Second pasuram says 'theekkuralai senrodhom [தீக்குறளை சென்றோதோம்]'. We should rerain from talking badly about Third persons.
  • Dhaya bhutesu = being merciful to all living beings. Unable to bear sufferings of others - showing mercy, not merely to our dear ones, but to everyone. Just like Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy shows compassion to all equally!
  • Aloluptvam = lola means playful. That is we should not desire in unwanted matters and keep the mind from loitering.
  • Mardavam = soft natured. It is not about soft body, but being soft to move with by others.
  • Hri = Shyfulness. One should be shy to violate any act of Shastras.
  • Acapalam = Not greedy for materials. If a favourite dish is kept in front of us, we should control and avoid desire to taste or avoid chapalam! We should control ourselves from being downgraded.

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