Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BG 17.14

At present wSee full size imagee are in Joshimath or Joshimutt, on the way to Badarikashram.

Joshimath is now counted as Tiruppiridi, one of the 108 Divya desams. Here, Lord Sri Narasimha is in seated pose. One of the special features of this place is that Sri Badarikashram is closed for Six months during winter. During that time the Lord Sri Badarinath is brought and kept in this temple and all daily poojas are performed. That itself is a great honour for this place. One of the notable characteristic of Tirumangai Alwar is that he would visit personally any temple before praising it. Also, this Alwar has maintained a geographical order in visiting various temples. But in Periya Tirumozhi, in the second decade itself Alwar praises Tiruppiridi, and then in the subsequent decade praises Badarikashram! From this order it appears Tiruppiridi should have been at a higher place than Badarikashram, is it not? But Joshimath, which is now considered as Tiruppiridi, is well below Badarikashram. From Joshimath, one has to cross Vishnuprayag, Pandukeshvar, Hanumanchatti and then reach Badarikashram. Therefore a doubt arises whether the Alwar would have first come here and then climbed up to reach Badarikashram and then would have gone to Salagramam in Nepal. Another doubt is that while praising Badarikashram, Tirumangai Alwar never forgets to praise Ganga also. Perialwar also while praising Kandam known as Kadinagar [Kandam ennum Kadinagar கண்டம் என்னும் கடிநகர்], which is present Devaprayag, praises Ganga river. Because both these places are on the banks of Ganga. But, while praising Tiruppiridi, Tirumangai Alwar never mentions about Ganga, though Joshimath is on the banks of Ganga! Therefore, one wonders whether Joshimath is Tiruppiridi or not. Also in the pasuram on Tiruppridi, Alwar mentions the presence of a great lake. In Joshimath, no lakes are seen and only Ganga is flowing. So, is Tiruppiridi not Joshimath, but a place higher than Badarikashram, away from Ganga but near a lake? This appears to be the opinion of many research scholars. Which could be that place? A possibility is a place near Manasarovar lake, presently in Tibet. Mount Kailash is north of Manasarovar lake. It seems on this lake birds like swans used to fly over. While Badarikashram is at a height of 10,000 Feet, Manasarovar lake is at a height of about 17,000 Feet. If Tiruppiridi was near Manasarovar, then Tirumangai Alwar could have taken the route as follows: First Tiruppiridi at Manasarovar, then coming down to Badarikashram, then proceeding East to Salagramam in Nepal, then to Naimisharanyam and then Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh! Also in the pasurams on Tiruppiridi, Alwar mentions the presnce of forests, wild animals, etc., which are not to be seen in Joshimath! Let us see a couple of pasurams to appreciate the description od nature in them. In those pasurams Alwar mentions frequently the word 'imayatthul [இமையத்துள்= inside Himalayas], which word is not seen in the pasurams on Badarikashram or Kandam ennum Kadinagar. He says in pasuram 1.2.1, 'peeli ma mayil nadam cheyum thadam chunai [பீலி மாமயில் நடம் செய்யும் தடம் சுனை]', meaning that when clouds climb up Himalayas, peacocks on the banks of great lake, dance! In pasuram 1.2.6, 'panangal aayiramudayan nallavaravanai pallikol paramavenru... [பணங்கள் ஆயிரம் உடையான் நல்லவரவணை பள்ளி கொள் பரமாவென்று...], meaning that the Lord is reclining on the Thousand hooded snake, Adisesha, Supreme Lord [Parama Purusha]. The Lord of Tiruppiridi is Sri Parama Purusha [ஸ்ரீ பரம புருஷா] and Sri Thayar is Sri Parimalavalli [ஸ்ரீ பரிமளவல்லி தாயார்]. Vimanam is Govardhana vimanam [கோவர்த்தன விமானம்]. But the Lord at Joshimath is Sri Narasimha in seated pose!


While Sri Narasimha is seated here, Alwar has mentioned reclining Sri Parama Purusha! Back to pasuram 1.2.6, Alwar asks his mind to go to Tiruppiridi, where fragrant 'madavi [similar to jasmine]' flowers are there. Madhavi is also called 'kurukkatti [குருக்கத்தி]', which is a creeper. It seems these creepers were growing up and wanted to cling to something. At that time clouds were passing and so the creeper caught hold of the clouds to further spread. With clouds trying to pass, there was a tug-of-war between the creepers and the clouds! In the process all the buds blossomed and plenty of kurukkatti flowers were seen. Swarms of bees came to suck the honey in these flowers! Bees thanked the clouds and the creepers for their fight, as they had enough honey! But Swami Periyavacchan Pillai does not see mere nature in this pasuram! Sri Thayar is Sri Parimalavalli Thayar, that means Sri Thayar Herself is radiating fragrance! She is the Creeper and the Lord is the Cloud! She stops the Lord and persuades to look at the devotees and pardon them! The Lord, seeing the great many sins committed by the devotees, wants to go away; but He is pulled by Sri Thayar, the Creeper. Devotees are like the bees, benefited and sing songs in praise of the Divine Couple, which is like the humming of bees! In pasuram 1.2.8, Alwar says that there are great serpents in the place, waiting in the dark nights, yawning, and awaiting prey. Buses stop for a short time in Joshimath, for the gates to open to proceed further. In that gap, we also worship the Lord, before continuing our journey! Now we will see sloka 12:

abhisaṃdhāya tu phalaṃ dambhārtham api caiva yat
ijyate bharataśreṣṭha taṃ yajñaṃ viddhi rājasam 17.12

The Lord is describing the Three types of Yagna [according to the Three qualities]. Here He mentions about Rajasa Yagna. Satvika Yagna is performed as prescribed in Shastras, with prescribed materials and with prescribed mantras, with the sole objective of His pleasure and with no other desire in rewards. Abhisamdhaya tu phalam = in results other than His happiness. That is desiring in worldly gains, like more wealth, good children and family, etc. Dambhartham = for publicity. Just to show off, yagnas are performed by some. Yagna should be performed as it is prescribed in shastras and for the happiness of God. Bharatasreshtha = noble among Bharata dynasty [Arjuna], ijyate = any yagna performed like this [for worldly gains and for publicity], viddhi = understand, yajnam rajasam = [they are] Rajasa Yagna! These Yagnas performed for inferior rewards and for fame, are to be avoided. We now leave Joshimath and Tiruppiridi, wherever it is, and proceed to Sri Badrinath!


Conceptual Persistence said...

Never mind all the geographical differences between Joshimath and the landscape described by Thirumangai Alwar. Let us focus the discussion on the Moolavar. With passage of time geographical changes can occur. But can a idol transform though ? How has a bhujanga shayanam Lord become a deity that is sitting ? I do not believe Joshimath is Tiruppiridi.

Conceptual Persistence said...

Please take a look at this URL and see their view of Tiruppidi -