Monday, June 15, 2009

BG 17.4

The Lord jumped from Vaikuntam, on a hill! Today's [16th June 2009] lecture is from the spot where the Lord set His first step on Tirumala. This is the spot where His Divine feet [Sri Padam श्री पादम] are seen. The footprints are available on a hill top, in a small building.
Swami Padalu

From this spot, we can have a beautiful panoramic view of nature! From the temple on the way to museum, at about 5 KMs, we come across Narayanadri and Dharmadri hills. In Dharmadri, TTD run great patasala is there. Before that is Narayanadri, where we have to cross a long and steep place with steps. If we climb up, on the top, we see a cage in which we can see these foot prints of the Lord. People worship this and after prostrating, paint their forehead with the kumkum. People also go round this foot print. Alwar, while conveying his saranagati in Ten pasurams, in each of them, he mentions, about His divine feet! In the pasuram 'ulagam unda peruvaaya [உலகம் உண்ட பெருவாயா]', he asks where to join His feet. Then in the pasuram 'koorai, neerai [கூறாய், நீராய்]', he prays the Lord to bless him to join His Divine feet. In the pasuram ' vannamarulkol [வண்ணம் அருள் கொள்]', he says that the Lord should appreciate and grant him His Divine feet! Like these, Alwar talks about His Divine feet in every pasuram. The Lord descended from Vaikuntam on this spot. From here, we can have a view of the Sapta giri! Instead of coming to Tirumala, only to have darshan of the Lord in the temple and returning, we should visit these places also. If the Lord had chosen this place, how beautiful it should have been! After His arrival, its beauty would have multiplied! Now, we will just learn about the Utsava Murthys in garbhagruham [of the main temple]. Sri Utsavar is called Sri Malayappa Swamy and Sri Malaya Kuniya Ninna Perumal [ஸ்ரீ மலையை குனிய நின்ற பெருமாள்]. He is the main Sri Utsavar, Who graces all processions and Sri Kalyanotsavam. By His auspicious qualities, He is spread everywhere in the hills and so He is Sri Malayai Kuniya Ninra Perumal! He is gracing with Sri Ubhaya Nacchiyar, with His right hand pointing to His Divine feet and left hand on His knee. He is on the right side of Sri Moolavar. By the side of Sri Utsavar, is Sri Chakkarattalwar [ஸ்ரீ சக்கரத்தாழ்வார்] or Sri Sudarsana. The Lord dispels the sufferings of His devotees using Sri Sudarsana. On the left of Sri Moolavar, a number of idols are there. On the upper platform is Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana. There lived one sage Viswambara in Madurai. He was performing poojas to these idols, some 1000 years back. As mentioned earlier, Swami Periya Tirumalai Nambi was teaching Srimad Ramayana to Swami Ramanuja in Alipiri [Adippuli], under a tamarind tree. That time, on one day, Viswambara presented Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana idols to Swami Ramanuja. Apart from these idols, he also presented idols of Hanuman, Sugreeva and Angada! We have to imagine a scene in Ramayana. Sri Rama was on the shores of ocean, when Vibheeshana arrived by sky and waited for Sri Rama to grant him asylum. When Sugreeva conveyed Sri Rama about Vibheeshana's arrival, Sri Rama called for discussion with all and finally, asked Vibheeshana to be brought to Him. All like Hanuman, Sugreeva and Angada were anxiously looking at Sri Rama, as to what His next step would be. This scene was remembered by Swami Ramanuja; at the same time, in Srimad Ramayana lecture, Swami Periya Tirumali Nambi also was explaining Vibheeshana saranagati! Seeing this coincidence, Swami Ramanuja thought that Sri Rama had arrived with His troupe! He decided, therefore, to install those idols in the garbhagruham itself, along with Sri Srinivasa. At present Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana are in garbhagruha, while Hanuman, Sugreeva and Angada are in the Vimana pradikshanam. In another platform is Sri Krishna as the Boy dancing for butter [Sri Vennaikkadum Pillai ஸ்ரீ வெண்ணைக்காடும் பிள்ளை]! He is accompanied by Sri Rukmini and Sri Satyabhama. During month of Margazhi, Sri Krishna graces sayanam [sleeping]. Next to Sri Krishna is Sri Koluvu Srinivasa, Who supervises. Then is Sri Ugra Srinivasa, with Sri Ubhaya Nacchiyars. Being Sri Ugra Srinivasa, He is never taken out, except on one day, when He is hurriedly taken in procession, before dawn, as He should not be exposed to Sun, to avoid His ugram increasing! Near the Divine feet of Sri Moolavar, is Sri Bhoga Srinivasa, Who graces sayanam daily, excepting in Margazhi month. With the blessings of the Lord, now we shall see sloka 2 of Chapter 17:

śrībhagavān uvāca

trividhā bhavati śraddhā dehināṃ sā svabhāvajā
sāttvikī rājasī caiva tāmasī ceti tāṃ śṛṇu 17.2

The Lord Sri Krishna now replies to Arjuna. The Lord was apparently irritated by Arjuna's question, but instead of answering that immediately, He says something else. It is like the common sight. If a lecturer is explaining some subject and at the end, if one of the students, ask a question which shows as though he had not understood anything, the lecturer would be irritated and after a pause of a couple of minutes tries to answer the student! Similarly, Sri Krishna also does not answer Arjuna's question in slokas 2, 3 and 4; but in slokas 5 and 6, his question is replied. Though it might appear that the Lord is telling something unconnected with Arjuna's question, in slokas 2, 3 and 4, we will see the connection, as we progress. Tam srunu = [Arjuna] listen to them. Dehinam = [body possessing] souls, sa svabnavaja = according to their nature. It means every individual's taste [ruchi ருசி] or inclinations. Trividha = three types of, sraddha = involvement, bhavati = happens. This involvement happens because of his taste or inclinations. If we get involvement in a matter, then we are eager to apply all our efforts. Shraddha means that if we have taste in a particular matter and believe that a particular method was means to achieve that matter, then we put in all our efforts with eagerness to achieve it. This is shraddha. Atma [dehi] also gets taste or liking. Then it gains shraddha. This is of Three types. If our liking or inclination is for satva matter, then our shraddha will also be satvam. For rajasa tastes, shraddha will be rajasam. Similarly, for tamasa liking, shraddha will also be tamo type. Thus shraddha will be of Three types depending on what our tastes are. Why the tastes should be different? They are, because of the Three quality in each. Satviki = [if we have predominantly] satva quality, then we will have satva tastes and satva shraddha. Rajasi = [if our dominant quality was] rajas, taste and shraddha would be rajo type. Tamasi = [similarly] tamo quality. Thus, according to the quality in a person, his taste and efforts will also be in the same quality. So, if we cultivate satva quality, then our tastes would be satva and shraddha would be satva type. Likewise, rajo quality and tamas quality would induce respective tastes, and efforts also will be of same type. We may get a doubt. Dehi refers to atman, and so how the Three types of qualities of body could be attributed to atman? It is like cooking a vegetable. As such its taste might not be agreeable. But after adding all ingredients and cooking, the vegetable is tasty. Similarly, atman by its association with body, develops qualities of the body.

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