Friday, May 15, 2009

BG 16.7

Alwar asks us to surrender unto Sri Thiruvaattatran! He says he did not know what good things he had done, for the Lord to reside in his mind! In this temple we can see lots of buildings, corridors, halls, etc. The praakaram [பிராகாரம்] or corridor is on all Four sides and has 224 pillars, each is sculpted with a lady with a lamp! If we add oil or ghee and light the lamp, it would burn for about Four hours. This temple also is connected with the Royal family of Travancore, like Sri Ananta Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Thiruvanantapuram! Once King Marthanda Varma could not remain in his Kingdom and after lots of struggles reached this place. He was very thirsty and hungry and was praying God. At that time an old woman came and offered him water and cooked rice and uppu mangai [உப்பு மாங்காய்], salted mango, in a coconut shell! After eating, the King took leave promising to do great things for the place. He regained his Kingdom and got many constructions made in this temple. In the Aarattu festival, on both Aippasi and Panguni festivals, even today, the Lord is taken on procession, with the Royal representatives leading with swords in their hands. Also a carpenter from the family of a carpenter appointed by the King in olden days, makes a bow, called onavillu [ஓணவில்லு], for Onam celebrations. These show the connection between the King and this temple. The auspicious quality exhibited to Alwar, by the Lord, in this temple, is Pranata Paratantraya [प्रणत पारतंत्र्यम ப்ரணத பாரதந்த்ரம்] or obeyng devotees! In Acharya Hrudayam, Swami Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar says ' moksha dhanatthil, pranata parathanthriyam valam mikka nadhiyile karai puralum [மோக்ஷ தானத்தில் ப்ரணத பார தந்த்ரம் வளம் மிக்க நதியிலே கரை புரளும்!]' ! The river is flowing profusely! But it seems that it is not water, something else! What is it? His auspicious quality of Pranata Paratantriyam. Pranata is devotee. Paratantriyam means dependent. The Lord is extremely dependent on His devotee! This He displays during the grant of Moksham! Alwar composed pasurams on this Kshetram, when he was about to conclude Thiruvaimozhi and depart for Vaikuntam! The pasurams of this Kshetram are in 10.6. Thereafter, in another 40 pasurams, Alwar would complete Thiruvaimozhi and raise to Vaikuntam. The Lord had arrived to grant Moksham and Alwar was ready to recieve! Both of them were looking at each other and nothing else happened! Then, suddenly Alwar remembered that his body was to be cast away to reach Moksham. When the Lord came to know this, then He told that He wanted Alwar to come with the same mortal body! But Alwar never liked that idea. After all, Alwar was praying all those days only to get rid of the earthly body and reach Vaikuntam. This conversation took place in Thirumaliruncholai, near Madurai. The Lord insisted that Alwar should come with the same body only. Later, the Lord relented and setting aside His desire, He told that He was more interested in fulfilling Alwar's desire. This Alwar tells in these pasurams and is carried away by this quality of the Lord to act according to the desire of His devotee, which is called Parathanthriyam, as opposed to Swathantriyam [ஸ்வதந்த்ரம்]! If we also go to this place and worship the Lord, He would certainly act according to our wishes. Such a great Lord, Who is reclining on the large 22 feet serpent bed, is simple enough to obey His devotees' command and desire! Now we move on to sloka 7 of Chapter 16:

pravṛttiṃ ca nivṛttiṃ ca janā na vidur āsurāḥ
na śaucaṃ nāpi cācāro na satyaṃ teṣu vidyate 16.7

What qualities would be absent in Asuras? The Lord tells them here. Asura jana = people with Asura qualities. It was told that during creation, two types of people are created - Deva type and Asura type. Such Asura behaviour people, na vidhu = will never know, pravrttim ca nivrttim = pravruttim and nivruttim means or methods. Pravruttim methods are for acquiring wealth and material benefits, prescribed in Vedas, as mentioned by lord Brahma. Like for example, by performing Jyotish homam, one could reach heaven or by performing Vayavya yagna, one could get more wealth, etc. That is by performing in Vedic karma, one gets more comforts in life in this Universe. These persons with Asura qualities would not know these Pravrutti methods. Nivrutti method is mentioned by Sriman Narayana Himself. To seek His divine feet and do only service to the Lord, to reach Him in Vaikuntam. This is also not known by Asura type of persons. Even if Pravrutti marg was known, people would have followed Vedas and slowly, such Vedic Karmas might induce and refine them to Nivrutti marg. To do Vedic Karmas these persons would make themselves disciplined as required in Vedas. But these persons do not believe in Vedas and Shastras and so even Pravrutti marg is unknown to them. Na saucam = no cleanliness, to perform any Shastras prescribed duties. Here both internal and external cleanliness are implied. When we go to temple we go after cleaning our body and with a serene mind. If we want to offer Prasadams to the Lord, should we not prepare them after cleaning our body? Thus, these persons, do not even prepare themselves for doing any pious actions. Na api ca acara = also not even the basic discipline, prescribed for every individual in Shastras. Performing elaborate pooja without doing, say, sandyavandanam is against achara or is anachara. Na satyam = never speak truth. The minds of these persons are occupied by schemings, prejudice and deceit. They are always scheming to grab others' properties or create trouble in society, etc. Thus their words will never have truth and would deploy exaggerated words. Their words are not helping any living beings also. If we want to avoid all these bad qualities, then we have to visit Kshetrams like Thiruvattaru and worship the Lord. His Divine feet would avoid hell for us. In olden days, this Kshetram was part of Chera region; but in the last 50 years or so, it is part of Tamilnadu. We now take leave of this Kshetram.

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