Friday, June 26, 2009

BG 17.11

Today's [25th June lecture is also from Hardwar. How Ganges came on earth? We have to see some episodes in Puranas. In Raghu dynasty, in which Sri Rama also was born, there was a king Sagara [सागर ஸாகரன்]. Once he performed Ashwamedha yagna. The holy horse was allowed to wander as was the custom. None should capture the horse and horse should return back to the yagna and would mark the completion of the yagna. But this horse was stolen and the King could not find where the horse was kept. He dispatched his 60,000 sons in search of the horse. They went to Patala lok and found the horse tied. Near it was the sage Kapila meditating. Without any enquiry, they decided that sage Kapila had stolen and tried to harm him. The sage was infuriated and cursed the sons of King Sagar to be reduced to ashes. The King was worried that his sons had not returned. He sent his another son Asamanjan, who was also not successful. Then he sent his grand son Amsuman to search for the horse and his other sons. Amsuman found the horse and sage Kapila. After gathering the news that all 60,000 sons of Sagar were reduced to ashes, he respectfully approached sage Kapila and requested for the horse and also to make the 60,000 sons to be alive! Sage Kapila gave back the horse, but said that by bringing Ganga from upper worlds, the 60,000 sons could be salvaged. Amsuman returned and did penance for bringing Ganga. But he could not succeed. In the Seventh generation of King Sagar was born Bhagiratha and he started the penance sincerely.
We have to see another story. Emperor Bali was performing one yagna on the banks of river Narmada. Completion of that yagna would make Bali powerful and so Indra requested the Lord to save him. The Lord was born as the dwarf Sri Vamana and went to the yagna and begged for Three steps of earth from Bali. When Bali promised to grant, the Lord took the gigantic form of Sri Trivikrama. In one stride His first step covered entire Universe. He lifted His left leg high up to stride and cover all the upper worlds. Seeing the Foot of the Lord in Satya lok, lord Brahma, as was the custom, tried to welcome the Lord by washing His foot! From his Kamandalu, lord Brahma washed the foot of the Lord and that water became Ganga, most sacred water!
When Bhagiratha requested lord Brahma to allow Ganga to flow down to earth, he asked Bhagiratha to ensure Ganga was received properly. Bhagiratha prayed lord Shiva and he agreed to receive Ganga. Ganga came down with force and in order to suppress Ganga's pride, lord Shiva received her on his head and later kept her captured within his hairdo! Again at the request of Bhagiratha, Shiva released a small portion of Ganga to flow out! At the request of Bhagiratha, Ganga agreed to follow him so that he could guide Ganga to the ashes of his ancestors. While flowing, Ganga submerged many villages and washed away many huts. Sage Janu's ashram also was washed away and the sage, to teach a lesson to Ganga, swallowed her fully in one gulp! Bhagiratha again requested the sage and so the sage released her. That is why Ganga is also called Janavi!
Now we will see sloka 9, where the Lord describe the food habits of persons with rajo quality:

āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkhaśokāmayapradāḥ

These people with rajo quality like these types of food. Or, by taking these types of food rajo qualities become dominant in us. Too much of bitterness or too spicy or too sour are the food liked. Food which are too cold or too hot are liked by them.

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