Monday, June 8, 2009

BG 16.23

The Lord at Vaikuntam thought that He had given the persons there all Darshan and happiness. He also thought His children in the other part, that is in this Universe, needed His blessings more; there only, His auspicious qualities were to be more exhibited; there lived many, after committing sins and so they needed His mercy. Thus, the Lord, with Sri Maha Lakshmi, is gracing in this Universe. Where? 'Sri vaikunta virastaya swami pushkarini thate' - on the banks of the great temple pond Swami Pushkarini! Today's [8th June 2009] lecture is from Swami Pushkarini, to the South of which is the sannidhi of Sri Srinivasa [we can see Ananda Nilaya vimanam].

Swami Pushkarini Lake, Tirupati


The glory of Swami Pushkarini is endless. This pond is of not recent origin; but is existing from Kruta yug! On another bank of the pond is gracing Sri Varaha Perumal, Who is the Emperor of this place and with His permission Lord Sri Srinivasa is gracing here! Theerthavari of the Brahmotsavam takes place in this pond only. Theerthavari means the Lord takes a dip in the water; but normally, the Sri Utsavar idol will not be dipped and Sri Sudarsana idol would be dipped. Kulasekara Alwar says 'koneri vaazhum kurugai pirappene! [கோனேரி வாழும் குருகாய் பிறப்பேனே!]' - let me be born as a sparrow in Koneri! Swami Pushkarini means, this pushkarini is the leader of all pushkarinis in the World! Or, the Swami's or Lord's pushkarini! Or, those devotees who bathe in this pushkarini, become lord or swami, and so Swami Pushkarini! In Tamil, this is called Koneri [kon =king, yeri = lake]. Many great persons have bathed in this sacred pond. Yearly once, it is believed that all sacred waters of all rivers assemble in this pond! It is said that about 66 Crore [660 Million] theertham [waters] are there around Tirumala. That is why Alwar prays to be born as a bird in Koneri! Nammalwar says that by being the Lord of Vaikunta, He gets, after all, the title Iswara! But His greatness is because He is available on the banks of Swami Pushkarini and is avalable for poor and ordinary people like us to surrender at His Divine feet! It is customary to bathe in Swami Pushkarini, worship Sri Varaha Swami on the banks and then worship Sri Venkatesa! While climbing up, we should chant the name Govinda many times and we should with folded hands [as in namaskaram] say 'nama: [नम: நம:]'. Nama: means 'I am not owner of myself!' That is 'I am His [property]'! If one says nama: at the bottom of the hills, the Lord recieves it on His head and would be uncomfortable like a debtor! Till He granted Vaikuntam, He would not be satisfied with having repaid the principle or interest of the debt! So, He drives away all our papas committed till we started climbing up Tirumala! He further ensures that papas to be committed in the future do not affect us! By dipping ourselves in this pond, all papas are destroyed like a spark of fire destroys bales of cotton! But after worshiping the Lord, it is possible we might commit some sins, knowingly or unknowingly! A regret would ensure that such sins do not stick to us, like water droplets on lotus leaf! All these are accomplished by just mentioning nama:! No, just sprinkling water of Koneri, is enough! We will now see sloka 23:

yaḥ śāstravidhim utsṛjya vartate kāmakārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṃ na parāṃ gatim 16.23

He, who does not accept Shastras as basic principle or axiom, will never get any happiness. Earlier the Lord talked about persons opposed to the Lord, who do not accept the Lord, who are jealous of the Lord, and living with ego and pride, with full of lust, greed and anger, and said that they were with Asura qualities. Now, in this sloka He tells Arjuna that worse than all the behaviour told earlier, is their refusal to accept Vedas, and that is the prime reason. We have to accept Vedas as axiom and live accordingly. With haughtiness, these persons ask why should they follow Vedas? Such persons are never happy, says the Lord! Ya = [he] who, mostly with Asura qualities, utsrjya = violates, sastra = Vedas, vidhi = rulings, but, vartate = lives, kamakarata = to his liking. These persons do not want to follow Vedas rulings of do's and don'ts, and live as pleased to them! They do not mind doing any heinous crime as long as it pleased them! They do not care that those actions were forbidden by Vedas and so, violate Vedas. Sa = he [that type of person], siddhim = higher form of life in heaven, na avapnoti = will never attain, na sukham = never happiness [in this life in this world], na param gatim = never the highest level [of being in Vaikuntam and reach the Lord]. Thus he does not attain happiness in this world nor in Swarga or heaven and never reach Vaikuntam and have eternal bliss! This is the fate of not believing in Shastras or violating provisions in Shastras. It is therefore, requested that we should all follow Vedas and live accordingly. Vedas preach good life in ths world and in upper worlds. Vedas guide us how to be content with what we earn, how to be happy with our family, how to avoid diseases, how peace should prevail in the world, etc. Are Vedas that great? Yes, because Vedas are not created by any human; they are the words of the Lord. The Lord says that those who do not follow Vedas [Shruti] or Smriti, are His enemies! Vedas are the base for great sages to preach Puranas and Itihasa, and Alwars to sing pasurams. Vedas are more compassionate than the compassion of a Thousand parents! There is a saying that he, who, either not accepts Vedas or misinterprets Vedas, would never reach good life. Tiruvarangathu Amudanar says that Swami Ramanuja was born to crown Vedas its due position, for the benefit of all.

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