Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BG 17.9

When we see dark clouds, we might think whether they were the clouds sent as messenger by Sri Andal, Who wanted to marry Lord Sri Venkatesa! The Divine Couple were gracing happily at Sri Vaikuntam. In Bhulok, our World, some sages decided to perform yagna. At that time sage Narada came to them and inquired who was going to be invoked in the yagna and who was to be offered havis or the sacred food? After discussion among themselves, they said they would offer to that God, Who was satva. How to identify the God with satvam? Fortunately for them, sage Brighu came to them. They requested him to find the Satvik God. Sage Brighu first went to Kailash, where lord Shiva was there. Lord Shiva was indifferent to Brighu and was in happy moments with Parvati! Sage Brighu was angered and he cursed that henceforth, none would take prasadams in lord Shiva temples. Next, he went to Satya loka, where lord Brahma was. There also lord Brahma was with Saraswati and did not look at sage Brighu! Again angered, sage Brighu cursed that lord Brahma would not have any temples! Finally, he went to Vishnu loka, where Lord Vishnu was with Sri Maha Lakshmi. Thinking that They were also neglecting him, sage Brighu kicked Sri Vishnu on His chest, the abode of Sri Maha Lakshmi. Jumping immediately, the Lord held the sage's foot and massaged saying that the sage might have been hurt while kicking Him! Seeing that the Lord was not angry and never bothered about the insult, the sage decided that such action reflected satva quality and so Sri Vishnu was the Satvik God! The Lord told that He was pretending not to look at the sage, so that the sage's foot would be pressed on Him! Though Brighu's anger was quenched, Sri Maha Lakshmi was very angry, as Her abode was insulted by the sage! She immediately left the place and came to Karaveerapuram, in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, to meditate! The Lord also came to Tirumala, and after taking permission of Sri Varaha, started meditation here. Seeing the Lord was meditating without food and water, lords Brahma and Shiva went to Sri Maha Lakshmi and requested Her, to abandon Her anger. Agreeing, She took the form of a cow seller; lord Brahma and lord Shiva became cow and calf. She took the cow and calf, to this region, whose capital was Narayanapuram. She sold the cow and calf to the King. The Lord was meditating so long that He was covered by mud. The cow and calf daily used to come to that place and the cow would shower milk right on the spot, where the Lord was meditating! The cowherd who was managing the cow, found that he could not get any milk from the cow; and on further investigation, found the cow was draining all milk in a spot. Angered by the act of the cow, the cowherd threw a stick on the cow; but the Lord wanted to protect the cow and so He emerged from the ground and so, the stick hit the Lord, Who started bleeding! Seeing this the cowherd ran away; but the cow went to the palace and complained to the King. He followed the cow to the forest and found the Lord bleeding. The King decided to take on the Lord, Who was angered at the audacity of the King and cursed him to become a ghost. Realizing his mistake, he sought pardon. The Lord said that he would have to spend some time as ghost, but later he would be born as King Akashraj and would be blessed with a daughter, Who would be Sri Maha Lakshmi, with the name Sri Padmavati. Accordingly, after some years he was born as King Akashraj and had a daughter Sri Padmavati. During Sri Rama's time, one Vegavati wanted to marry Him, but since it was not possible in that Avatar, She was born as Sri Padmavati. Vagulamalika was the mother of the Lord. She was connected with Sri Krishna Avatar! The Lord told His mother Vagulamalika, that He desired to marry Sri Padmavati, daughter of the King! Once when the Lord as Sri Srinivasa was hunting, He accidentally met Her and both fell in love with each other. Vagulamalika was sent as messenger to the King and she met the queen Dharini Devi. The Lord was restless and to avoid any undesirable results, took the form of a gypsy girl [kuratthi குறத்தி] and claimed 'She' could forecast future! 'She' holding princess Sri Padmavati's hand, predicted that She would soon get married to a handsome person! 'She' also predicted that someone [Vagulamalika] would be coming to propose marriage of her Son to the Princess; and King and Queen should readily agree. Saying these, the Lord came away and Vagulamalika met the queen. Her proposal was accepted and marriage preparations were made. Lord Yama took charge of law and order! Vayu looked after the guests! Agni, god of fire, took care of the kitchen! Indra was in charge of the overall management. Kubera gave 11,400, 000 Ramanishkama as loan for the marriage. Marriage was celebrated in a grand manner. The Couple exchanged garlands. From that time the Lord is gracing devotees as Sri Srinivasa. Now, we will see sloka 7 of Chapter 17:

āhāras tv api sarvasya trividho bhavati priyaḥ
yajñas tapas tathā dānaṃ teṣāṃ bhedam imaṃ śṛṇu 17.7

The Lord tells Arjuna that He was going to tell how dhanam, tapas and yagna are classified into Three types based on the Three qualities - satvam, rajas and tamas. For all these the foundation is food habits. According to our food habits, our quality would flourish. Satvika food would create satva quality; rajasa and tamasa foods would develop rajo and tamo qualities in us. In Chandokya Upanishad, a sage advises his son that the mind developed according to the food taken. Shastras say ' ahara siddhau tattva siddhi: tatva siddhau dhruva smrithi:'. If food is pure, satva quality would develop, which would permit dhyanam or meditation. In meditation if we remember the Lord, then all our doubts would be cleared. Aharas tvapi = even food, sarvasya = for everyone, bhavati = are, priya = liked, trividho = in Three types. Earlier the Lord had told that shraddha is of Three types. He is going to tell later, that dhanam, tapas and yagna are of Three types. And so, He says that even food is also liked in Three types. Tatha = similarly, yajna = yagna or sacred Karmas, dhanam = donation or charity, tapas = penance or meditation, tesam bhedam = [three types of] difference among them, imam srunu = now listen [from Me, Sri Krishna]. We are to learn that food is of Three types and respective qualities are developed and also learn which type of food should be taken. If satvika food is taken Lord Sri Venkatesa would ever remain in us. Swami Prativadhi Bhayankaram Anna composed Sri Venkatesa suprabhatam, which also consists of Venkatesa Prapatti and Venkatesa Mangalam. This is being chanted daily and is popular. He was one of the Ashta Dik Gajams of Swami Manavala Mamunigal. He says that the Lord, Who is in all minds, is always in the thoughts of Swami Manavala Mamunigal, the last of Poorva Acharyas of Sri Vaishnavas. This clearly demonstrates that the Lord remains for ever in minds of satva people.

sriyakkanthaye kalyana nidhaye nidhayerchinam |
srivenkata nivasaya srinivasaya mangalam ||

With this mangala sloka, we now take leave of Tirumala and proceed to visit Northern Kshetrams.

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