Sunday, June 28, 2009

BG 17.13

After seeing Haridwar and surroundings, we have started our journey on Himalaya mountains, in this serial Kannanin Aramudu program. Earlier it was told that Haridwar is about 1000 Feet above ground, while our destination Badarikashram is at about 10,000 Feet height. We are accompanied in our journey by Ganga mata. In some places she flows very swiftly; in some other places she falls down from a height. In some places she is unseen. While speaking about glory of Ganga, Ten special attributes are mentioned in Puranas. ' Ganga saraswati komal yamuna sarayu pati iravati neela uttarahi poorva vahini' - according to this sloka east flowing rivers originating from Himalayas are Nine. Ganga is the leader among them! Her attributes are:
  1. Seetatvam - coolness. Those bathing are refreshed.
  2. Swadutvam - doing good for all those drinking Ganga water.
  3. Nirmalatvam - always clear.Those bathing are also cleansed.
  4. Atyanta ruchyatvam - sweet to drink.
  5. Patyatvam - diet like to cure diseases.
  6. Pavanatvam - very sacred and pure.
  7. Papa haaritvam - absolves sins accumulated over many births.
  8. Trishna moha dvamsavatvam - destroys desire and delusion.
  9. Deepamatvam - illuminates well our body, mind and atman.
  10. Pragya dharirvam - develops our knowledge and cultivates Bhakti.
If we do any karma on the banks of such a river, Ganga, the results will be multiplied. 'Yagno dhanam tapa: satyam shraddham cha sthira poojanam gangayam yatkrutam sarvam koti koti gunam bhavet' - By doing yagna, gifts, meditation or poojas for ancestors or devas, on the banks of Ganga would bring billion times rewards to the performer. As we go higher and higher and look down, we find at some places crops are cultivated on the hill slope by cutting steps. As we look up we find many hills adjoining each other. Tirumangai Alwar, while traveling these places on his horse, Adalma, back, has described the beauty in many pasurams. He calls his mind to quickly come to go to Tiruppiridhi [திருப்பிரிதி]. He says that the trees here are tall enough to touch the clouds! On the other side he saw tigers roaming! It seems Devas descend down from heaven to bathe and gather flowers to worship the Lord, with the Thousand divine names! Tiruppiridi is the name of Joshimutt. Alwar says that Ganga flows in Himalayas with fragrance. From Gangotri, she starts and reaches Bindusaras, then as Bhagirathi she arrives at Devaprayag, and then flows to Haridwar and then to Kashi. On one side of Badrikashram is Naraynadri hills. From there Alakananda river flows and joins Bhagirati at Devaprayag. Now, we will see sloka 11 of Chapter 17. In slokas 8, 9 and 10, the Lord mentioned the types of food liked by satva, rajo and tamo quality persons. From that we learn that we should eat satva type of food only and avoid food sought by rajo and tamo quality persons. From now on the Lord is going to mention 9 slokas in Three Triplets. Three types of yagna, tapas and dhanam are mentioned. In them satva type of yagna, rajo type of yagna and tamo type of yagna are going to be mentioned. Similarly, three types of tapas - satva, rajo and tamo tapas would also be mentioned. Again satva dhanam, rajo dhanam and tamo dhanam are to be described. He is also going to explain which tapas are done orally, tapas done by mind and tapas done by body. Thus we are to see all these in 12 slokas. In our sampradhayam Triplets are special. After all, ours is Tatva traya sampradhayam - Chi, Achit and Iswara! Now sloka 11:

aphalāṅkṣibhir yajño vidhidṛṣṭo ya ijyate
yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ 17.11

Ya = this type, yajno = Yagna, sa satvika = is satvika yagna. Yaja deva poojam is Yagna or Yaga. Worshiping Deva is Yagna or Deva pooja. Alwars have talked about Deva pooja at many places. In one place Alwar says that Devas come down and worship the Lord at Badarikashram, with flowers. This pooja could be of many types, like chanting Divine names, or offering flowers, or like offering sacred materials in sacred fire by chanting mantras, and after observing fasts. Each would do that type of yagna, he is capable of doing. Satvika yagna is the best. What type of yagnas are performed by satvika persons? Anksha = desire in, aphala = no reward. That is detachment or no desire in results or rewards. Ankshibi = such desireless persons, yajno = yagna, vidhi = [according to shastras] rules, drsto = as seen. Shastras specify mantras, time, place, materials and kiriyai or actions, for a yagna. Thus yagna has to be performed as seen by shastras. We can not do as we like. Yastavyam eveti = such yagnas are performed for the pleasure of the Lord or for the sole purpose of performing pooja to the Lord. Mana samadhaya = with determined mind. That is not drifting the mind to inferior rewards like more wealth or for parenthood, but for the sake of the Lord. Without this, the yagna could not be satvika yagna. Unless it is satvika yagna, it can not bestow supreme rewards. Our objective should be for the superior benefits. Our only reward should be to perform pooja to the Lord. What we do should be for His pleasure. That is satvika yagna. En route to Badrikashram, we see so many siddha persons performing meditation. They do it for the welfare of the World. We now proceed to Joshimutt, that is Tiruppiridi!

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