Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BG 16.4

Nammalwar tells in one pasuram that we, the residents of Bhuloka [this World] also should go to Thiruvanantapuram. He asks us to look at the people who come to worship there. Amararai thiriginrar [அமரராய் திரிகின்றார்] - all wandering Devas', Adi [ஆதி] - leader, that is Brahma, is at Thiruvanantapuram, sitting on the lotus flower. Then, Amarar kon [அமரர் கோன்] - leader of Nityasuris, that is Vishvaksena, archikkinnu [அர்ச்சிக்கின்னு] - is performng pooja, at Thiruvanantapuram. We can see a sannidhi for Vishvaksena, aka Senapathi Azhvan [ஸேநாபதி ஆழ்வான்]. We can see a sannidhi for Lord Sri Narasimha. Whenever this sannidhi is opened, nearby there will be chanting of Srimad Ramayana. When the sannidhi is closed, this chanting of Ramayana also will be stopped. It seems this is practiced to reduce the ugram [anger] of the Lord by the soothing Ramayana chanting! We can also see the sannidhi of beautiful Sri Krishna, dancing for butter! At the dwajasthambam, near balipeetam, is large statue of Hanuman, listening to Ramayana! Balipeetam and dwajasthambam are kept bright and have wonderful carvings. Hanuman is covered with butter [vennai kappu வெண்ணைக் காப்பு]; the butter neither melts away nor we find any insects near it! This is unique feature of Hanuman here. Thus Devas and their leader Brahma, and Nityasuris and their leader Vishvaksena, come here to worship the Lord. We can note the word archikkinnu [அர்ச்சிக்கின்னு] used by Alwar, for worshiping! It is a Malayalam word used by Alwar, as his mother was from this area! Therefore, Alwar calls the people of this World, also to join the worship! Thus, Three categories of people – Nityasuris, Devas and people like us – are to worship the Lord from the Three gates of garbhagruha. But all of them worship the same form of the Lord. It is not that Nityasuris worship very superior image of the Lord, Devas worship a slightly inferior image and we worship much inferior image! No, never. The Lord displays the same image to all! This quality of saamyam [साम्यं ஸாம்யம்] - equality, is exhibited by the Lord to Alwar in this Kshetram. In Acharya Hrudayam, Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar says 'sa sainya sukra sishya sadhya suddha bhusurarkku .. [ஸா ஸைன்ய சுக்ர சிஷ்ய சாத்ய சுத்த பூசுரர்க்கு..]' - that is Nityasuris' leader Senapati, Vishvaksena, then leader of siddhas lord Brahma and disciples of Alwar, Bhusuras of this World, '..mukha, naabi, padangalai dhyana trayattale kattum saamyam [முக, நாபி, பாதங்களை தியான த்ரயத்திலே காட்டும் ஸாம்யம்]' - equally reveals face, navel and Divine feet to all Three class of devotees. Now, we will see sloka 4 of Chapter 16. In slokas 1,2 and 3, the Lord listed 26 qualities attributable to Devas or those with divinity. Let us list all these once again:

  1. Abhayam = fearless.

  2. Satva samsuddhi = concentarting on atman, with satva quality developing.

  3. Jnanayoga vyavastiti = To perform Karma, Gyana and Bhakti yoga, meditating on atman.

  4. Danam = donating honestly earned wealth to deserving persons.

  5. Dama = control of sense organs.

  6. Yajna = performing Pancha maha yagna.

  7. Swadhyaya = chanting Vedas with interest.

  8. Tapa = following fasts and meditations prescribed in Shastras, for the pleasure of the Lord.

  9. Arjavam = maintaining mind, words and action in unison and be righteous. All these Nine qualities were listed in First sloka.

  10. Ahimsa = Not hurting any living being.

  11. Satyam = truth, spoken for the welfare of all living beings.

  12. Akrodha = never getting angry. Anger is a deformation of mind.

  13. Tyaga = relinquishing all, which are not useful for atman development.

  14. Santi = remaining always calm.

  15. Apaisunam = not talking about Third persons.

  16. Daya bhutesu = compassionate to all living beings.

  17. Aloluptvam = never after materialistic desires.

  18. Mardavam = be soft to move with others.

  19. Hri = shy of violating Shastras.

  20. Acapalam = remaining without desire, even when favourite items are very near. These Eleven qualities were listed in Second sloka.

  21. Teja = possessing capacity, that others can never conquer.

  22. Kshama = remaining patient even when provoked.

  23. Dhrti = resolved to complete the job in spite of obstacles.

  24. Saucam = purity of mind, speech and body.

  25. Adroha = never harassing weaker persons.

  26. Natimanita = never display excessive pride.

All these are properties of those with Divine nature.

Now the Lord tells about the qualities of Asuras or wicked persons, precisely. It is a caution for us not to acquire any of them. Sloka 4:

dambho darpobhimānaś ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
ajñānaṃ cābhijātasya pārtha saṃpadam āsurīm 16.4

Asurim abhijatasya = those born with wicked qualities, sampadam = these are their properties.

  • Dambha = donation for publicity. Spending Hundred rupees on advertisement, for a few paise worth cause.

  • Darpa = becoming haughtier, with enjoying more and more materialisic pleasures. We should never go near things prohibited by Shastras. Even in Shastras permitted actions, we should be moderate and never exceed. By using forbidden things we get a feeling of haziness. That is darpa. In old Gurukula vasa, by students to acquire knowledge from Acharyas, students would not use scents and cosmetics. They would not use ghee in meals. All, to cultivate humility, while learning. A great deal of tolerance is needed while learning.

  • Abhimana = pride and ego, because of wealth, education, personality, etc.

  • Krodha = excessive anger, causing harm to others.

  • Parusyam = being harsh with noble persons. One might be harsh with culprits like thieves. But these persons with Asura qualities, are harsh with good persons. Prahalada was calm even when provoked. Hiranyakasipu showed Parusyam on such a good person like Prahalada.

We will now take leave of this Kshetram.

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