Monday, June 15, 2009

BG 17.3

Yatovache nivartyante aprapta manasa sa:
The Lord is beyond words and mind! His anandam is immeasurable. That is how Vedas say about the Lord. If, Vedas, which encompass everything, could not estimate the anandam of the Lord, then how much of anandam the Lord would be having? To get immersed in that great ocean of anandam, every devotee comes to Tirumala! We are presently worshiping Ananda Nilayam vimanam.

In the front is the main gopuram, then the middle gopuram and then Ananda Nilayam vimanam, present a panoramic view. In the gold plated vimanam is Sri Vimana Venkatesa. Right below the vimanam is the garbhagruham, where as a single Murty, is Lord Sri Venkatesa is gracing! Till the last lecture, we had toured all the prakarams and finally reached Kulasekara padi. Kulasekara Alwar was too eager to be born as something in Tirumala, and he composed one decade of Ten songs on this subject alone! It starts with 'ooneru selvatthu udarpiravi yaan venden [ஊனேறு செல்வத்து உடற்பிறவி யான் வேண்டேன்]'. In the First verse he says that if he were to be born again, he did not want to be born as King but as a sparrow! Swami Azhzgiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar, mentions in Acharya Hrudayam that the Alwar wanted to be born as anything in Tirumala such that devotees would use that form of Alwar to worship the Lord! We need not be born wealthy or in famous family or as well educated; but we should be born as anything in Tirumala! Alwar says instead of being born as a King, he wanted to be born as a servant to the Lord. So, he desired to be a sparrow in Tirumala living by the lake Koneri! Suddenly, the thought that bird might fly away and may miss the Lord's darshan at Tirumala, came to Alwar's mind and so he desired to be a fish in the pond in Tirumala. What if pond gets dried up in summer? Then, why not as one of the servants in Tirumala, who are privileged to have daily darshan? They are given priority to serve the Lord. Some carry water in small mouth washing bowl [pon vattil பொன் வட்டில்]. Alwar desires to be one such servant. Then he thinks why not as a flower bearing tree? That also might be taken away. So Alwar desires to be any plant in Tirumala. But being a hill place, it is possible that plant branches might be used to create fire and people might like to feel warmth. After discarding various possibilities, finally in the pasuram 'sediyaya val vinaigal theerkum tirumale! [செடியாய வல் வினைகள் தீர்க்கும் திருமாலே!]' [4.9], Alwar decides that he should be a stepping ஸ்டோன் [படி padi] at the gate of the garbhagruham. After all a stone, with no senses for perception? We might think, what is the use of worshiping the Lord, without eyes to see, or ears to listen? Worshiping the Lord has nothing to do with these senses! If we stand before Him, His sight will fall on us and that is enough. This is what Kulasekara Alwar prays, when he says he wanted to be the stepping stone at His temple. The Lord will be always seeing Him. Crossing this 'padi', if we go inside we see the large image of the Lord, standing majestically! To see this Lord only Tirumangai Alwar composed 40 pasurams, starting with 'thaye thandhai ennum [தாயே தந்தை என்னும்]'. He says that though he was as low as a dog, his enthusiasm to see the Lord, made him to come to Tirumala. He had spent innumerous births in the past; but now, he is happy to see the Lord. We also, stand for hours in the queue and when we reach the garbhagruha, we get just a few seconds of darshan, only. But we never mind the long waiting, just for the few seconds of darshan! The Lord is standing with discus and conch, with long crown, bright tiruman [திருமண்], even brighter face, chin with refined camphor, beautiful eyes ever showering mercy on us, large chest with Sri Thayar on the right and Sri Padmavati on the left, with diamond studded belt, with right hand pointing to His divine feet, while left hand is placed on His left lap. We also see the large salagrama garland, then a smaller salagrama garland, rows of gold chains,and many more. We can see a sword fixed to the golden belt. Every Friday, the garment is changed. On Thursdays, Netra darsanam, when the Lord has smaller Tiruman, and so we can have a better view of His merciful eyes. That day we can see the Lord wearing garment in single color. Next day He graces Tirumanjanam, when new garment adorns the Lord. Thousands of devotees are waiting to offer this silk garment! On both arms the Lord is wearing Nagabaranam [நாகாபரணம்], presented by Akasaraja during His marriage! Swami Ramanuja did great service by adoring the chest of the Lord with Sri Thayar. During Tirumanjanam, for a couple of hours, Sri Thayar would be removed from His image. But the Lord is never separated from Her [agalagillen iraiyumenru அகலகில்லேன் என்றிரையும்]. So, Swami Ramanuja decided that during that brief period, Nacchiyar Tirumozhi by Sri Andal, to be recited. After worshiping the Lord to our heart's content, we will go to sloka 1 of Chapter 17.
thiruvEnkatamudayAnSee full size image

Now sloka 1 of Chapter 17:

XVII. atha saptadaśodhyāyaḥ.

arjuna uvāca

ye śāstravidhim utsṛjya yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
teṣāṃ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa sattvam āho rajas tamaḥ 17.1

In this sloka Arjuna asks the Lord, to clear a doubt. As mentioned earlier, Arjuna classified people into Three categories:
1. Those , who act according to their will and pleasure, caring little for Vedas.
2. Those, not doing anything according to Shastras, but doing actions sincerely, so that they could get at least some benefits.
3. Those, who act according to Shastras, and to get maximum awards.
Arjuna felt that even if one did not act according to Shastras, but was sincere, and so, one should get some awards. It is like a son with true involvement and sincerity, taking his father to the doctor and getting him treated. Shastras have not told that by taking medicines, get cured of the disease. Should not the father get cured? Shastras do not say that we have to toil in our lands to get food and live. Should not we get rewards? For any action did with involvement and sincerity, should not benefits accrue? Sri Krishna was irritated by this question and He is going to reply in another way. We will see the question of Arjuna now. Ye = [those] who, sastravidhim = commands of Vedas, utsrjya = neglected, yajante = perform Yaga and Yagnas, sraddhayanvita = [but] with sincerity. There are persons doing actions not conforming to Shastras, but doing sincerely. Tesam = such people's, nishta = status, ka = what, krsna = Krishna? Krishna means grammatically, He, Who brings pleasure to land [persons living]. Sattvam = [will they be] involved in satva quality? aho = or, rajas tama = [will they get benefits for] rajas and tamas qualities? Arjuna wants Sri Krishna to clarify the position of those who did not conform to Shastras, yet were sincere. Will they be treated as with satva or rajas or tamas quality? Perhaps, Arjuna's question is to find what category of quality these persons would be classified, so that if they were classified as satvam, then they will get Moksham. Or, will they get reward meant for rajas quality, or for tamas quality? Sri Krishna answers this very cleverly. We will wait for His reply!

On 17th June, 2009, a lecture by Sri UVe. Velukkdi Swami is arranged in Sri Ram Mandir, Lodi road, New Delhi, at 7.00 PM.

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