Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BG 17.5

In the forests on Tirumala hills, many wild animals like elephants, deers, peacocks, cuckoos, etc., are there. Tirumangai Alwar describes a scene in his pasuram. One male elephant selects tender bamboo shoots with double joints, and after plucking them, soaks them in honey in honeycombs and feeds to a female elephant! Such is the natural beauty in Tiruvenkatam, admires Alwar! He says this hill belongs to the Lord, Who has color of the sky! Swami Anantalwan, about whom we had seen earlier, had interpreted this pasuram with deeper meaning. On the surface, we might think Alwar is just mentioning nature. But, according to Swami Anantalwan, the male elephant is Swami Ramanuja and his devotees are female elephants. The double jointed bamboo is Dwayam mantram. He teaches that with other mantram of Ashtaksharam and Charama sloka, compared to honey! Swami Ramanuja is called Sri Bhashyakara in Tirumala and has a sannidhi in the vimanam pradikshanam. This is the only Acharya sannidhi in the temple. He represents all Acharyas! We had seen that Swami Ramanuja had come to Tirumala, thrice! Even after Swami Ramanuja, Swami Anantalwan was serving the Lord. He was having an idol of Swami Ramanuja and performing pooja. Once he told the Lord Sri Venkatesa that He should accept certain requests, as Swami Ramanuja had served a lot to the Lord at Tirumala. When the Lord enquired as to what Swami Anantalwan wanted, he replied as follows. One, He should extend the adyayanotsavam from 21 days to 22 days. In the Twenty one days all pasurams of Nalayira Divya Prabhandam are chanted. Though Ramanuja Nootrandadi, praising Swami Ramanuja, is also a part, Swami Anantalwan wanted a separate day, 22nd day, for Ramanuja Nootrandadi, so that his services are given better recognition. The Lord accepted. The Lord also accepted for installing an idol of Swami Ramanuja, in His temple. Just opposite Swami Ramanuja's sannidhi is the hundi, as though Acharya ensures the safety of devotees' contribution! Swami Ramanuja is gracing with right hand in upadesa mudra and left hand in blessing mode. Swami Ramanuja also graces procession, supervised by Periya Jeer Swami. In this Kshetram, Divya Prabhanda Ghoshti is very important and is headed by Periya Jeer Swami. There are about 206 pasurams about Tirumala in the Divya Prabhandam. Excepting Tondaradipodi Alwar and Madurakavi Alwar, all Alwars have praised Sri Venkatesa. The Divine sandals of the Lord are called Sri Satari or Sri Satakopa. Similarly, the sandals of Swami Ramanuja is refered as Mudaliyandan; but in this Kshetram alone, divine sandals of Swami Ramanuja are known as Anantalwan! Swami Korattalwan had praised the victory of Swami Ramanuja, in establishing the Lord as Supreme, etc. We are able to enjoy Bhagavad Gita, because of the commentary of Swami Ramanuja. Now, we will see sloka 3 of Chapter 17:

sattvānurūpā sarvasya śraddhā bhavati bhārata
śraddhāmayoyaṃ puruṣo yo yacchraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ 17.3

Sri Krishna tells that just as the shraddha is in a person, likewise he develops. If one has satva quality mind, and pursues satva matters with satva shraddha, then he develops accordingly. But if he is with rajo or tamo qualities and pursues rajo or tamo matters, with respective shraddha, then he develops in the same rajo or tamo way! That is shraddha develops a person. Bharata = Arjuna [of Bharata dynasty], sarvasya = for everyone, sraddha bhavati = shraddha develops. We had seen that shraddha means, when a matter could be achieved in a particular way, the eagerness with which we take efforts in those methods to achieve the matter. Shraddha decides the type of the person. Sattvanurupa = according to the mind [will shraddha be]. Shraddha closely follows mind. If mind is having satva quality, shraddha will be satva; if mind is rajo type, shraddha would also be rajas type. Purusa = this person, sraddhamaya = is developed by shraddha. Every person's character is moulded by shraddha. Yo = [he] who, yacchraddha = whatever shraddha is displayed by him, sa eva sa = he is accordingly. If a person has satva shraddha, his rewards also would be accordingly. If another person shows shraddha in reaching heaven, his results also would be similar. To achieve a result, the person shows shraddha, which depends on his mind, which is in body! Atman is the owner of mind and organs. Atman is in body. Body with its organs, and matters to be experienced, are of Three qualities, which determine the person's tastes. According to his taste, shraddha will be formed. Shraddha brands the man's character. If one commits sins, his taste for sins comes from the beginningless 'scent' he carries in innumerous births. We can try to think why we have liking or hatred for a particular thing. It is because of the 'scent' we have been carrying from the past! We have to apply mid-course correction, else we might go in the wrong way for ever. We have to see more in this sloka. We will also see all the festivals the Lord graces in Tirumala.

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