Monday, May 18, 2009

BG 16.9

In Thiruvanparisaram, Sri Kamalavalli Nacchiyar [ஸ்ரீ கமலவல்லி நாச்சியார்] never parts with the Lord Sri Thiruvazh Marban. Today's [19th May 2009] lecture is from the main sannidhi. There is the tall dwajasthambam, built by King Kulasekara. Many Kings have contributed enormous services in this temple. As we enter we come across a mandapam, and another mandapam further inside and then garbhagruha. The Lord is Nine-foot, gigantically seated. While the right arm is showing abhaya, left arm is placed on the knee. Right leg is folded and left leg is stretched. Sri Thayar is gracing from His chest! All the Seven sages [Sapta rishi] are inside the garbhagruha. Outside, we see a sannidhi on right, with Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana gracing. On one side we see Hanuman and Vibheeshana; and on the other side are sage Agastya and Kulasekara Alwar. There are some idols in the temple, for which no poojas are performed, like Agastya and Kulasekara. Kulasekara had contributed services in this temple. He was called kolli kavalan koodal nayakan kozhikkon Kulasekara [கொல்லி காவலன் கூடல் நாயகன் கோழிக் கோன் குலசேகரன்]. We started the visit of Divya desams of Malayala region with the birth place of Kulasekara, Thiruvanjikalam [திருவஞ்சிக் களம்]. It is appropriate that we conclude Malayala Divya desam visit in Thiruvanparisaram and worship Kulasekara. There is nothing like first, second, etc., among Divya desams; but this is purely in our present trip! Agastya is seen along with Kulasekara, because it is believed here that once sage Agastya lectured Ramayana to Hanuman here. Hanuman is always interested in listening to Ramayana. Wherever Ramayana is chanted, there Hanuman arrives with folded hands and tears in eyes! Vibheeshana was returning to Lanka after the coronation of Sri Rama, as the King of Ayodya! When he reached this place, he yearned to see again Sri Rama and Sri Sita in coronation. The Lord, therefore, appeared to Vibheeshana here along with Sri Sita and Lakshmana. Thus all connected with Sri Rama, are in His sannidhi. Nammalwar has praised this Kshetram in a single pasuram in Thiruvaimozhi [8.3], It starts with 'varuvar selvar.. [வருவார் செல்வார்...]'. Nammalwar prays to the Lord. There were a number of pilgrims travelling between Azhvar Tirunagari, where Alwar was, and Thiruvanparisaram, where the Lord was. Alwar says 'en thiruvazh marban [என் திரு வாழ் மார்பன்]' - that is the Lord belonged to Alwar! This could be split as en thiruvazhmarban - meaning Alwar's LordThiruvazhmarban; or, en thiru vazhmarban - meaning Alwar's Sri Lakshmi Thayar, residing in His chest. In the latter, Alwar's proximity to Sri Thayar could be noted and that was what Alwar desired! Alwar believed that these pilgrims were telling about Alwar to Sri Thiruvazhmarban and vice versa! But nothing like that happened. Alwar laments as why they do not tell about Alwar to the Lord? What could be done? Then he gets an idea. The Lord is always carrying discus and conch. Would He not need rest? Alwar offers as volunteer to carry these weapons to give rest for the Lord! He was prepared to accompany the Lord like that on one side. What about the other side? That is taken care of by Lakshmana, who would never leave the Lord unguarded! Why not someone tell the Lord that Alwar was ready to assist Him, like this? Here, the word 'someone' might mean a great devotee, like the Mahatma mentioned by the Lord in Gita; or, it could mean an ordinary and simple devotee! Now we will see sloka 9 of Chapter 16:

etāṃ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya naṣṭātmānolpabuddhayaḥ
prabhavanty ugrakarmāṇaḥ kṣayāya jagatohitāḥ 16.9

Etam = thus these persons', drstim = view. That is these Asura quality persons are of the view that God is not atman to Universe, God does not support Universe and God is not Commander of Universe. Avastabhya = cling violently [to this view], nasta atmana = lose [sight of] soul, alpabuddhaya = and are very obscure minded. Animals do not know who they are. A lion does not know it is a lion. It is disillusioned that its body and soul are same. At least humans are a bit better as they know what species they belonged to! But he should further mature to know atman is what he was and, not the body. If he thinks he was mere human being, then he is disillusioned that soul and body are same. Since he does not sublime his thoughts to higher level, such people who think atman and body are same, are called alpa buddhi by the Lord! When we say it is 'my' or 'our' body, we rightly distinguish between body and soul, represented by 'my' or 'our'. A lion or tiger never tells that it is its body! A man tells, but does not realize that body and soul are different! Knower is atman and known is body. This difference is not realized, because of ignorance. Since these little minded persons think atman and body are same, they are caring only for the body. By doing so, they know only the differences among bodies. The body of every individual is different from all others' bodies. Thus these persons are not trained to see equality or uniformity! Therefore, this thinking breeds hatred and love. Such people, ugra karmana = do violent actions, that is, they would perform deceit, for their own welfare. Ksayaya = destruction of, jagata = world, prabhavanty = take efforts. Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, etc., for their welfare destroyed all others. We see such destructive character in many human beings even now. Because they have the alpa buddhi and never think that atman and body are separate. Such people, asubha = lack auspiciousness [in some editions of Gita, this sloka has a different word here; but Swami Ramnuja has used the word asubha and so this commentary is based on that]. These persons are thus never respected. We should strive to copy Alwar and be a servant of the Lord.

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