Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BG 18.5

On one side is Annapurna hills range and on the other side is Daulagiri range. But Daulagiri is always covered with snow. This can be viewed only from Sri Muktinath temple. Annapurna hills range will follow our travel. It is standing majestically, producing in us at the same time awe, fear, pleasure and wonder! By seeing the pattern of this mountain range, it can be guessed that Gantaki river must have been flowing much above the hills, long time ago! Its speed and depth had eroded the mountain and now it is flowing much below. While Ganga flows in great quantity, Gantaki's flow is less. Here it is mentioned it is the World's deepest gorge!

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This is the deepest between two mountains in the World. Our travel is along the river on the river banks. We can see the beautiful mountains. We can see clouds below the mountain peaks. We wonder at the sight of green vegetation on the hill range. This place is called Kag Beni; Kag means crow, and beni means offering food to deceased ancestors - pindam [பிண்டம்].

It seems annually or monthly, Nepalese people come here and offer food and perform tarpanam [a sort of ritual] to deceased ancestors. Kag or crow is considered to represent Dharmaraj, god of deceased. From below if we look up at mountain, it appears like a huge curtain! From here at about 11 KMs, up hills, we can find Damodara kund or Mustang in Nepalese. From there Gantaki starts her journey. Once Gantaki meditated on Sriman Narayana. When the Lord appeared before her, she wanted the Lord to be her Son! The Lord after a pause agreed to be in salagrama stones and remain in the river Gantaki; He further said that these Salagrama stones will be in houses and people will thus worship Him. Thus this place itself came to be known as Salagramam. Wind blows here forcefully and it will be an experience to visit this place. While we spend huge sums of money in visiting many foreign countries, we can see in our own country and in Nepal, wonderful places and also sacred places glorified by Alwars! Tirumangai Alwar has praised this place. People visiting this place should carry with them enough protective materials like sweater, woolen socks, gloves, etc. Now, we will see sloka 5 of Chapter 18. Sri Krishna earlier told an opinion of a group of persons, who felt that all karmas were to be discarded as they had drawbacks, like hurting animals or others. But in His opinion, those karmas were not having any defects and were to be performed. In this sloka also one might get some doubts. When one is desiring to reach Moksham, why karma is necessary? We have come across many persons, who claim that they had obtained enough Gyana and so there was no need to perform karmas like Tarpanam or Sandyavandanam. They think doing such karmas are very low level and they are at higher level of Gyana! In this sloka, the Lord refutes such opinions. When one is performing Upasana or Bhakti to attain Brahmam, it is Upasana, that takes one to Moksham. It is true. Where is the role of karma in this? If we want to specialize in Commerce, why study Physics? Upasana involves meditation, while karmas mean lots of activities. At a glance, there appears to be two contradicting things. Next, we may get another doubt. Karmas only lead one to Gyana about Brahmam. At least for this, karmas have to be done. But Gyana about Brahmam is obtained by studying Vedas. Performing sandyavandanam or tarpanam, will not lead to Gyana about Brahmam. So, why at all karmas? Thus it might appear that by both these arguments, karmas are not helpful to realize and reach Brahmam. Does karma help in, at least, firming up our Upasana? No. It is our clarity of mind and Gyana, will stabilize our Upasana, and not karmas. Therefore, it may appear karmas are unnecessary. Therefore, those people argue karmas are to be discarded. But Sri Krishna does not agree and tells Arjuna that karmas are necessary. According to Him, karmas like Yagna, Tapas, Danam, etc., help Upasana. 'Sannipatya upakarakam' means, there could be impediments to start an action. Unless they are cleared one could not start the action. By doing something else, those impediments are cleared. Now that the work has been started, can we discard that something else? No. Because, while progressing with our action to reach the desired result, there could be impediments on the way. Those also are to be cleared and we need that something else again to clear and continue our work. Now, taking this analogy, we can explain that we had to start Upasana. But we find impediments, like papa, which are with us from many births. To remove this papa and make us pure, we require to do karmas. Thus doing karmas continuously, will remove the impediments to start Bhakti or Upasana. We have started Bhakti. It is not that the next moment we would get Moksham. Bhakti has to be continued for a long time. During this process, we might encounter impediments now and then. To remove these impediments also, same karmas are required. This is what the Lord tells in this sloka:

yajñadānatapaḥkarma na tyājyaṃ kāryam eva tat
yajño dānaṃ tapaś caiva pāvanāni manīṣiṇām 18.5

Yajna dana tapa karma = karmas like Yagna, Tapas and Danam, na tyajyam = are not to be relinquished. Here categorically, Sri Krishna refutes the opinion of the group, which said that all karmas were to be relinquished as they had defects. Karyam eva = they are necessary duties, [because], yajna danam tapas caiva = even Yagna, Tapas and Danam, pavanani = [are capable of] purifying, manishinam = people. Manishina means those capable of thinking. People think how to perform Upasana or how to get liberated from samsaram, etc. For such people these Vedic karmas are agents purifying them and removing all obstacles. Thus karmas are inevitable. Brahma Sootram and Chandokya Upanishad reiterate this only. In Chandokya Upanishad [8.15.1] it is said ' khalvevam vartayan yaavadaayusham.. [स खल्वेवं वर्तयन यावदायुषं]' - we have to continue with our karma till our journey to reach Moksham, is there. As long as Bhakti is continued, karmas have to be followed. Brahma Sootram says [4.1.12] 'Aaprayaanat, tatraapi hi drushtam [आप्रायणात, तत्रापि हि दृष्टं]' - as long as journey is there or as long as Upasana is practiced, until Moksham is reached, karmas have to be performed. So, nitya- naimittika karmas are necessary as they purify us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BG 18.4

After visit to Sri Badarikashram, we are now visiting an equally high altitude place. We are in Salagrama, in Nepal. There are Two ways of reaching this place. One is to reach Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. From there by flight to Pokhra. From Pokhra to Jomson, one can go by flight again or jeep. From Jomson to Muktinath, one can go by flight or by bus or by pony or by walk. The other route is from Ghorakpur to Sunauli to Pokhara and then Muktinath.

om/t1/95/360595/4/58494689.jomsomtrek.jpg" alt="Location of the long trekking

Muktinath is situated in the Annapoorna hills at an altitude of 3600 Metres. It is one of the dangerous hills, for 40% of the climbers do not survive.

20 View over Himalaya from Pokhara lake

River Gantaki flows and later joins Ganga. Travel to Muktinath can be seen at This river is black in color, just as the saligrama stones it has. It is also called Kali Gantaki river. We will see more about history of Salagrama in the coming days. From here, we will now see sloka 4 of Chapter 18:

niścayaṃ śṛṇu me tatra tyāge bharatasattama
tyāgo hi puruṣavyāghra trividhaḥ saṃprakīrtitaḥ 18.4

The Lord addresses Arjuna as Bharata sattama [most noble among Bharata dynasty] and Purusha vyagra [Tiger among men]. Perhaps, this is to arouse Arjuna to grasp the essence of Sri Krishna's teachings and raise in level! Srunu me = listen to Me [Sri Krishna], niscayam tatra tyage = be sure of that sacrifice [is what He told in Chapter 3 and not to discard any karma, as mentioned in the Second half of sloka 3 of Chapter 18]. Sri Krishna had reiterated doing our karmas, as the path to Moksham. Here, we have to be careful to understand this sloka. It is not that the Lord is giving His decisive opinion here. If that was so, then in slokas 2 and 3, there would have been Four opinions and the Lord is giving His opinion here. This is not the case. The Lord had given the opinions of Three groups and in sloka 3 itself, in the Second line, He has confirmed that His opinion is that all karmas had to be done and this was evident in Chapter 3 also. Tyago hi = even this tyaga or sacrifice, trividah = is of Three types, samprakirtita = as understood. They are Kartrutva buddhi tyagam, mamata tyagam and phala tyagam. Mamata means 'my' or when doing a karma we have the feeling that the karma is done by us, it would beget the result we desired, etc. This feeling that karma is ours, has to be sacrificed or discarded. Phala tyagam means excepting desire to reach Moksham and serving the Lord, no other rewards should be aspired for, while doing a karma. Doing a karma for other benefits, will involve us in this samsaram and would not liberate us. He is going to explain further that all karmas had to be done; but with a different frame of mind. The Lord would never advocate discarding karmas. Coming to such remote places, we continue to do our daily rituals and pitru tarpanam, etc. Can we ever think of renouncing any of them? But while doing those karmas, these three types of sacrifices should always be borne in mind. We will see more as we progress in our journey along Gantaki river.

Monday, July 27, 2009

BG 18.3

Gita is like Amrut; and, studying Gita on the banks of Ganga is much more interesting. Today's [28th July 2009] lecture is from Gita Bhavan, in Hrishikesh.

Bhagavad Gita has 700 slokas. If we want to see all the slokas inscribed at one place, then we should visit Gita Bhavan. Already we have seen Lakshman Jhula on the banks of Ganga. That was the place where Lakshmana did his penance. Now, we have arrived at Sri Ram Mandir and Sri Rama - Gita parayana sthambam. Here, there is facility for bathing in Ganga. It is called Ram Ghat. Many people bathe and chant the Divine name of Sri Rama. Here, we can also see Ram jhula.

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Travelling by that and then if we climb stairs, we are welcomed by Gita Bhavan. We might have heard of the famous Gita Press of Ghorakpur. They print and publish Thousands of religious books. Even today, if Millions of people are able to read Gita, the credit goes to Gita Press. We can see all those books printed and stored, in Gita Bhavan here. After crossing it we came to a beautiful garden and we also see Sri Lakshmi Narayan sannidhi. We can see the gopuram constructed as per Northern architecture. Around this, Sri Krishna's pranks and other plays are painted. More than all these, are the 700 slokas written here. All the 18 Chapters are written in white letters on red stones. Apart from this, every year, for about Four months, from Chittirai to Aadi, many noble persons stay here and conduct Akhanda Parayanam, non-stop recitation, of Gita. We will now study Gita here and it is a pleasant combination! Sri Krishna continues with His reply in sloka 3 of Chapter 18. In sloka 2, we saw Two different opinions about Tyaga. The Lord mentioned that one group felt discarding Kamya karma alone, altogether, was the right thing. But another group felt that it was not necessary to forgo kamya karma, but it should also be done, renouncing only the results of them. We may get a doubt here as to whether Nitya and naimittika karma produce any result. Shastras say 'prajapatyam grahastanam' - Gruhastas [married persons] would get superior positions by performing Nitya karmas. Even though we might not aspire for any result, but in indirect way, they would fetch results. Even this has to be renounced, according to the Second school of thought. A Third opinion and the Lord's stand on these are described in sloka 3:

tyājyaṃ doṣavad ity eke karma prāhur manīṣiṇaḥ
yajñadānatapaḥkarma na tyājyam iti cāpare 18.3

Tyajyam = to be renounced, karma = any type of karma, because, dosavad = [any karma has] defects or blemishes. This group drops a bomb-shell! They say all karmas [nitya, naimittika and kamya] have to be totally renounced! Because every karma has blemish in it. This is the opinion of Sankhya philosophy, preached by Sri Kapila, an avatar of the Lord. Like anger, lust, etc., are harmful, so one should not practice any Vedic karma and cause sufferings. Thus this group advocates giving up sandyavandanam, annual ceremonies for the deceased, yagna, etc. What is the blemish in them? In many Yagnas, certain animals are sacrificed; similarly, other karmas also cause sufferings for the performer and others. For example, observing Ekadasi means fasting and this is inflicting suffering on the self. In performing annual ceremonies for the deceased, the performer has to be in fasting till all have taken food. This is also a sort of suffering. Thus every karma has the defect of causing suffering for someone. Therefore, this group advises renouncement of all karmas. Eke manisina = [advocated by] one type of persons, prahu = say. Since karmas here mentioned are general, does it mean one has to give up all karmas or actions, including eating, bathing, etc.? But this has come in the context of Vedic karmas and so renouncement is for Vedic karmas alone. Also, those desirous of Moksham alone have to renounce such Vedic karmas. Because, karma with blemishes will yield results that have blemishes like happiness in this world or in Swarga. To get blemishless Moksham, according to this group, karmas with blemishes have to be renounced. After telling all these Three opinions about Tyaga, viz.:
  • Kamya karmas alone have to be renounced, while nitya and naimittika karmas have to be continued.
  • Perform all karmas -nitya, naimittika and kamya - but renounce only the results.
  • Since all Vedic karmas have dosha or blemish, renounce all Karmas, including nitya and naimittika,
Lord Sri Krishna gives His opinion about Tyaga or Sanyasa. He is going to explain His stand in detail in the next slokas, but here He gives His firm opinion in one line! Iti ca apare = others are having differing [opinion] as, yajna dana tapa karma = [vedic] karmas like Yagna, Tapas and Danam, na tyajyam = are never to be renounced. All Vedic karmas have to be performed, is His opinion. But they have to be performed without any desire in result and without the feeling that we are doing. This is what we had seen in Chapter 3 and now we have come back in a circle! That is why even Jeers of various Mutts, perform Nitya karmas, like sandyavandanam, in spite of their priesthood. It is said that Swami Ramanuja, even when he was 120 years old, used to go to Kaveri river and with the help of his disciples perform sandyavandanam! This is the person who was guiding millions to Moksham. We should therefore, realize that we can not renounce our karmas, as confirmed by the Lord. We will see more of His explanations in the subsequent slokas.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BG 18.2

In this series of lectures in Kannanin Aaramudu, we have descended from Sri Badarikashram and arrived at Hrishikesh [Rishikesh]. We owe to Rishis, Munis and Kavis [poets] for the greatness of our country! Rishis are Mantra drashta or those capable of visualizing mantras, understanding their significance and glory, meditating on those mantras and making available the rewards of mantras for human society. A Rishi uplifts entire surroundings. He is able to glorify the place he lives. Thousands of such Rishis have been meditating here. Therefore, this place is also called Tapovanam. Many demons lived here to harm such great souls. Heeding the prayers of Rishis, the Lord destroyed all such demons and created Tapovanam. Apart from humans meditating here, the Lord Sri Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrugna also have meditated here. Not caring for severe winter or severe summer, but concentrating only on meditation speaks the strength of their Tapas. Today's [27th July 2009] lecture is from Lakshman jhula in Hrishikesh.

Laxman Jhula 20040105-01.JPGLaxman Jhula 20040118-01.JPG

We saw Bhagirati and Alakananda confluence in Deva prayag. After such confluence, it is always called Ganga, who reaches Hrishikesh. Near Lakshman jhula is the place, where Lakshmana meditated. Jhula means hanging bridge, which connects the two sides of the river. There is small temple for Lakshmana. Once, Devadatta meditated on the banks of Ganga. He was passing time to decide on whom to meditate. When he was meditating on whom to meditate, Indra decided to disturb his meditation. He deputed a damsel to disturb the meditation. Lord Paramashiva advised him to meditate on the Lord, Who had arranged this place for meditation. His daughter Ooru also meditated. The Lord has appeared on this Earth, in many Avatars. Among them, He also took an Avatar of tree here. He appeared as a Dwarf Mango tree, with curved appearance. There was a sage Raipja in Hrishikesh. According to his prayers, the Lord appeared as the Dwarf mango tree! Now, we will see sloka 2 of Chapter 18. In sloka 1, Arjuna prayed the Lord to clarify, whether Sanyasa and Tyaga were same or different, and their interpretations. Arjuna's this query came about because, earlier the Lord had told that Vedic karmas like Yagna, Tapas, Danam, etc., were to be performed with sacrifice to reach Moksham. Such karmas were to be performed sacrificing any rewards or performed without any attachment on the results. Arjuna became eager to know about sacrifice or tyaga. Same karma with Tyaga fetched superior benefits; but obtained inferior results when same karma was done without tyaga! Thus Tyaga becomes inevitable to reach Moksham. This query is now answered by the Lord. His opinion is Tyaga and Sanyasa are same. Now, sloka 2:

śrī bhagavān uvāca

kāmyānāṃ karmaṇāṃ nyāsaṃ saṃnyāsaṃ kavayo viduḥ
sarvakarmaphalatyāgaṃ prāhus tyāgaṃ vicakṣaṇāḥ 18.2

In the First half the Lord mentions Kavaya and in the second half Vichakshana. Kavi means poet; in Sanskrit, this word is derived from kranti darshi - capable of foreseeing future over a period. Vichakshana means, very well learned and has researched to know what is good and bad. Here Two groups of persons are mentioned by the Lord, in this sloka. A Third group of persons is going to be mentioned in the First half of next sloka. Thus about Tyaga or Sanyasa, there are Three groups of persons holding different schools of thought. In the next sloka in the Second half, the Lord gives His opinion. He first describes the opinions of others and then, not agreeing with them, gives out His opinion later! Then, why not the Lord tell His opinion alone? Why this round about statement? The Lord wants to tell the various schools of thought on this slightly controversial subject and then His opinion. He is going to establish why His opinion is correct. Kavaya = poets, vidu = have understood [in the following way] about, sanyasam = sacrice [or tyaga], kamyanam karmanam = [Vedic] acts performed for [fulfilling] desires, nyasam = [should be] renounced or given up. Vedic karmas are of Three types: Nitya, Naimittika and Kamya. Nitya karmas are those to be performed daily as a routine, like sandya vandanam. It is not performed with any desire but performed as a must. Naimittika karmas are to be performed on rare occasions. We perform tarpanam for the deceased ancestors on, say, solar eclipse. It is also not done for any desired results. Kamya karma are Vedic karmas for specific desired results. Putrakameshti yagna to beget children; vayave yagna for wealth, etc. According to poets, these Kamya karmas are to be totally discarded. Because they are impediments to Moksham. This group does not say one should discard Nitya or Naimittika karmas. Because, they are not obstructing Moksham, rather they qualify and help. There is a saying in Upanishad, that to attain Brahmam, Brahmanas search by performing yagna, tapas and danam! That means, these karmas have to be done. Then how can poets say to discard such acts. Here, we should understand that Upanishads do not talk of Kamya karma; but about Nitya and naimittika karmas. This is one school of thought. Vicaksana = well learned scholars feel, tyagam = sacrifice is, sarvakarma phala tyagam = renouncing the results of all [Vedic] karmas. These scholars are of opinion that while one could do all Nitya, Naimittika and even Kamya karmas, one should renounce the results or rewards for performing them. No karma is given up, but only the result. This opinion is because the results of karmas were obstructing reaching Moksham. Here, we should note that Sri Krishna has not differentiated between Sanyasa and Tyaga; but has used both the terms to mean the same. This is logical, because in the First line He talks of Kamya karma alone, while in the Second line He talks of all karmas, which include Kamya karma also. We will now leave Lakshman jhula to go to another place, where we will see one more school of thought!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BG 18.1

We have reached the final Chapter of Bhagavd Gita. It is a long Chapter [with 78 slokas]. We have been visiting many holy places and reached a highly elevated place; and, we have reached an equally elevated Chapter, also! It has got one of the best slokas, but we have to wait for another 66 days' of lecture! Swami Alavandar says that the essence of Gita and shastras, is bahkti and is expounded in this. In the 108 Srivaishnava Divya desams, North Indian [வட நாடு] Divyadesams are 12. Among them is Deva Prayag, where Sri Maryada Purushottama is gracing. Today's [24th July 2009] lecture is from His sannidhi. Perialwar has praised the Lord as Sri Hari and Sri Purushottama [Sri Maryada Purushottama is the name by which Lord Sri Rama is addressed in North India]. In Perialwar Tirumozhi [பெரியாழ்வார் திருமொழி] , all the 11 pasurams of decade 4.7, are about this Kshetram. All these and their meaning in Hindi, have been carved in Devnagari script on stones here! All pilgrims read these inscriptions. Perialwar says that the Lord is Sri Purushottama and is carrying Divine weapons. Here the Lord is gracing standing majestically with bow in one hand. In the right hand He is holding an arrow. On His side is Sri Janaki Mataji. On another side Sri Utsavar is gracing. During festivals, Sri Utsavar is on procession and visits Sri Rama Gati [the rock on which Sri Rama meditated]. We will now see the sloka summarizing Chapter 18, in Swami Alavandar's Gitartha Sangraha:
ı´svare kartr. t¯a buddhih.sattvop¯adeyat¯antime |
svakarma parin.¯ama´sca ´s¯astras¯ar¯artha ucyate || (22)

Isvare kartrta buddhi = the understanding that the Lord only does [and not we]. The Lord is the doer. But we are implements or accessories for the Lord to do. When we do like that, with what quality of mind we should do? Sattvopadeyata = with satvika mind. It is not enough to perform Vedic karmas; but they should be done with satva quality. We should have interest in satva quality. Antime = in the last [18th] Chapter. Svakarma = one's [shastras] prescribed duties, parinamas ca = will transform [to yield Moksham]. Everyone should perform his prescribed duty, with satvika quality and without aspiring result. Such doing, by itself, would get Moksham. He advised Arjuna to fight the war not with the notion that by winning he would get Kingdom, nor with the feeling that he was killing others. He should fight, because he was a Kshatriya and protecting his Kingdom by fighting enemies was his prescribed duty. That was his Dharma. Sastra = [this Gita] Shastra [with 18 Chapters and 700 slokas], sara artha = essence of meaning, ucyate = are described. Therefore, in this Chapter, Four important aspects are described:
  1. The cognition that Iswara or the Lord is the doer of all actions.
  2. All actions have to be done with satva quality.
  3. Doing our prescribed duties, would get transformed to obtain Moksham.
  4. The essence of Bhagavad Gita is Bhakti.
We should see how the previous Chapter is connected with this Chapter. In the Chapter 17, the Lord said how various Vedic Karmas were being performed with satva, rajas and tamas qualities. Many perform yagnas for wealth [Vayave Yagna], for children [Putrakameshti Yagna] or reaching Swarga [Jyotish Homam], etc. These can be performed in Two ways. One is, to perform expecting the desired result. The other is to perform these s, without expecting any result or performing detached from results. While the former would obtain the result desired, the latter would be the means for reaching Moksham. Thus, the very same karmas, are responsible for Moksham, if they are performed without desire for any results but done with satva quality and involvement. We should recollect earlier advice of the Lord, that we should do any action without the feeling that we were doing. We had also seen Three types of Tyaga [sacrifice] earlier: Kartrutva buddhi tyagam, mamata tyagam and phala tyagam. With such sacrifice if we do karma, it becomes the means for Moksham. If we do them without such sacrifices, then we might get the desired result or something but Moksham slips away. Here, Arjuna is enlightened that it was not enough performing such Vedic karmas, but more important was the sacrifice in performing them. Thus he became more inquisitive to know more about these sacrifices. He wanted to know more about sanyasam and tyagam. Are they same or different? If different, how each is defined? This eagerness sprouted because karmas with sacrifice, obtained Moksham. Therefore, we have to look more at the sacrifice, rather than only on karma. In Vedanta, both sanyasa and tyaga are mentioned. Arjuna's doubt was whether these words were one and the same or not. Swami Alavandar says that in this last Chapter, the Lord is the doer. Tyagam and the Lord is the doer, more or less convey the same meaning. Tyagam is sacrificing the feeling that we were doing. Sanyasam is sam [सं] - well, nyasam [न्यासम्] - presented or submitted. That is we present the result of our action at His Divine feet! When we sacrifice the feeling that we were the doers, then, someone has to do that action. Thus logically, it is He, Who does the karma. Thus saying Tyaga or Sanyasa from our side and He is the doer, from His side, are same! This is what Swami Alavandar conveys. Now we will see sloka 1 of Chapter 18:

XVIII. athāṣṭādaśodhyāyaḥ. (mokṣasaṃnyāsayogaḥ)

arjuna uvāca

saṃnyāsasya mahābāho tattvam icchāmi veditum
tyāgasya ca hṛṣīkeśa pṛthak keśiniṣūdana 18.1

Arjuna addresses the Lord as maha baho = Long handed!, kesi nisudana = Killer of Kesi [demon]! and hrsikesa = Controller of senses! Sanyasasya = about sanyasa's, ca = and, tyagasya = about tyaga's, tattvam = truth, veditum = to understand, icchami = I [Arjuna] am eager, prthak = [and their] difference. If tyaga and sanyasa were different, Arjuna wants to know the true meaning of each of them. But, if they were one and the same, then their combined meaning. Upanishads say 'na karmana na prajaya na danena tyagenaike amrutasyamanishu:' - Moksham can not be obtained by more of karmas, or by having children, or by wealth; only tyagam will lead to Moksham. In another place, Upanishad says that one attained Mukti only by sanyasa. Arjuna asks the right Person to clarify! He wants the explanation to be detailed, and capable of Arjuna's understanding and killing Arjuna's doubts! Perialwar says at the end of the decade on Deva Prayag, that mere reciting of these pasurams are equal to visiting Deva Prayag! So, those of us not fortunate to have visited Deva Prayag and worshiped the Lord after a bath in Ganga, need not feel despair. Perialwar says that recitation of these pasurams would fetch them the same punya of going to Deva Prayag and worshiping the Lord after bath in Ganga! Because either way the Lord Purushottama is pleased! We will now take leave of Deva Prayag aka Kandam ennum Kadinagar!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BG 17.31

After worshiping Sri Badri Narayana, we have reached Deva Prayag. After taking bath in this confluence of Bhagirati and Alakananda rivers, we are now on the steps. Perialwar, while praising this Kshetram says that the green color of Tulasi on Sriman Narayana mixed with Ganga; also, the brown color of Konrai [கொன்றை] flower on lord Shiva mixed with Ganga! That is how Bhagirati is green and Alakananda is brown! He says further, that Ganga brings with its flow precious stones and valuables from Himalayas and presents them at the Divine feet of the Lord Sri Purushottama here! From time immemorial this place has been haunted by Devas and so this is Deva Prayag. Here, Pithru Tarpanam [rituals for the deceased ancestors], yagnas, etc., were being performed regularly. Now also, pilgrims on their visit to Sri Badrinath, bathe and after worshiping the Lord, perform such rituals. Perialwar says in his pasuram that the smoke from the Yagnas' agni kunds, used to spread on both the shores of the river Ganga here. There is a witness to the Lord here. Sri Rama after killing Ravana, came here and meditated to wash off the sin arising out of killing Ravana.As we proceed to the temple after a bath in the river, we can notice the Footprints of Sri Rama on a huge rock. Ganga flowed from the Divine feet of Lord Sri Trivikrama; and, Lord Sri Rama's Divine feet are on the banks of Ganga! We now get into the temple, whose staircase is quite steep and high. In the temple we see Sri Purushottama, Sri Rama, Sri Maryada Purushottama, Sri Raghunatha, etc. We are surprised to see the rock seat on which Sri Rama meditated. It has a backrest also! We also see a big Vata vruksham [banyan tree]. This tree is existing for many thousands of years. This Divya desam and Sri Rama are connected and Perialwar does not forget to mention in his pasuram! He mentions 'em dasarathi and em purushottama எம் தாசரதி, எம் புரோஷோத்தமன் '[my Dasarathi and my Purushottama]! He says, "He, Who disfigured Soorpanaka and killed her brother, is my Dasarathi" This place is surrounded by Dasaratha parvat [hills]. Lord Sri Dasarathi is gracing as Lord Sri Purushottama. By calling the Lord as Sri Dasarati, Perialwar praises the simplicity of the Lord in being born as the Son of a human, King Dasarata! Immediately, he also calls the Lord as Sri Purushottama, as otherwise some might think that being simple, the Lord might not be having any glory! He is the Most Supreme among all! In Gita the Lord says about Him [BG 15.19, sloka 15.18]. In the World or in Vedas, the Lord says that He was acclaimed as Purushottama! We can worship Sri Purushottama here. He graces as the simple Sri Rama and displays His unparalleled glory as Sri Purushottama. After slaining Ravana, the war was over. All the Devas assembled over the sky and praised the Lord! 'Bhavan Narayanodeva:' [You are Sriman Narayana]! But Sri Rama never accepted and wanted to be as King Dasarata's Son and one among humans - 'Atmanam manusham manye. Ramam dasaratatmajam'! Since the Lord wanted Him to be counted one among us, Perialwar also says 'em dasarathi' [my Dasarathi].

Kandam ennum Kadinagar (dEvaprayAg)

That shows intimacy! We will now glance the greatness of Chapter 17. What is the essence of Chapter 17? We should develop satva quality and be satvikas. Let us see the summary of this Chapter:
  • It started with a question by Arjuna as to what rewards awaited a person performing non-vedic karmas, but with involvement. An irritated Sri Krishna said that non-shastra karmas are never to be performed; otherwise Asura quality will be obtained.
  • Vedc karmas, in turn, are of Three types, according to the Three qualities satvam, rajas and tamas.
  • Slokas 8,9 and 10 deal with satva, rajasa and tamasa type of foods.
  • In slokas 11, 12 and 13, satva, rajasa and tamasa Yagnas were explained.
  • Tapas performed by body, mind and speech were described in slokas 14,15 and 16.
  • Satvika tapas, rajasa tapas and tamasa tapas were mentioned in slokas 17, 18 and 19.
  • Slokas 20, 21 and 22 described the Three types of danams [दानम्] .
  • In sloka 23, it was told that OM, TAT and SAT words were created along with Vedas, Vedic scholars and Vedic karmas at the time of Creation.
  • In sloka 24, the Lord told that every Vedic karma, whether performed to obtain Moksham or other worldly rewards, had to be associated with OM, in common.
  • TAT word is to be associated with all Vedic karmas by those desirous of Moksham and performing them without any desire for results. This was told in sloka 25.
  • In slokas 26 and 27, it was told that for reward other than Moksham, whether enjoyment in other worlds or in this world, Vedic karmas were to be associated with SAT word.
  • Finally, in sloka 28, the Lord said that doing any Vedic karma without involvement or interest would neither get Moksham nor other worldly rewards.
Parvati asked about the glory of Chapter 17. In reply lord Shiva told that as mentioned while describing the glory of Chapter 16, it was told of king Katka Bahu, whose elephant's madness was cured by a person meditating on Chapter 16. Our organs are like a mad elephant, uncontrolled. Study of Chapter 16 controlled organs. Lord Shiva said the glory of Chapter 17, is connected with the same elephant! When the elephant was mad, it was tried to be controlled by one, Ducchasana; but in the process he was crushed by the elephant and was killed. While dieing, his mind was after the elephant. As told in Gita, earlier, he was therefore, born as an elephant! This elephant was able to recognize freinds and relatives of the past birth, but showed no interest in them. As this elephsnt grew older, it slowly started sinking. The owner of this elephant was worried. At that time, the elephant spoke to the person in human language, that he should read Chapter 17 before the elephant. Listening to that the elephant would reach Moksham, said the elephant. The owner did likewise and the elephant got Moksham. Thus we have to read Chapter 16 to control our senses and read Chapter 17 to get Moksham!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BG 17.30

[Today (22nd July 2009) it was total Solar eclipse. Since this was a rare event of the Century, Podhigai Channel, which is transmitting Bhagavad Gita lectures daily at 6:30AM, had special program on Solar Eclipse, during that time. I was not knowing when BG would be telecast and since Eclipse was ending at about 7:30 AM, I assumed BG might be telecast at 7:30 AM. There was no ticker announcement either, in Podhigai TV, as to when BG would be telecast. So, I shifted the program to Jaya TV, to view SVS program, which was being telecast in the usual time slot. After it was over at 7:00 AM, I casually switched the program to Podhigai. There you are! BG was already on and I had missed considerable initial portion of the lecture. Today, I, therefore, reproduce what I listened to only. Readers might please pardon me for my carelessness!]
[Perhaps, the initial portion of the lecture was about Tirumantram]
Saranagati means that we submit ourselves to Him and we do not consider anything as ours. His Divine feet are the means to reach Him. 'Ananyarha sharanatvam [अनन्यार्ह शरणत्वमl' - other than His Divine feet, there is none to reach us to Moksham. Therefore, nothing is ours and all are His. This is the meaning of 'nama: [नम:]'. We are His servants. He is the only means and way to reach Moksham. What do we do when we get Moksham or remaining here? 'Narayanaya' is the answer. We should serve Him at all times, in all stages, by all means and with all efforts. This is Purushartham [पुरुषार्थं ]. It means the result of our efforts. This should be our prayer that we have to serve Him always. This is the essence of Eight syllabled Tirumantram or Ashtakshara mantra. This is what Alwar said. We should consider Him as the destination, as means and as pleasant experience. We should discard wealth and Kaivalyam. Experiencing Him should be the only objective. Based on 'OM' all Vedas, Vedic scholars and Vedik Karmas were created. The Lord has been telling, in which Karmas OM, TAT or SAT had to be associated, in the last few slokas. We are able to study these in Devaprayag, known as Kandam ennum Kadi nagar [கண்டம் என்னும் கடி நகர்], on the banks of Ganga. When we read Periyalwar's pasurams on this Kshetram, we wonder at the many magnificent interpretations in them. It will encourage us to study all these pasurams, from wherever we are. Of course, coming to these places and understanding these pasurams, would be better still!


Now, we will see the last sloka of Chapter 17, sloka 28. Here, the Lord says that for our worldly pleasures - in this and other worlds, like Swarga - whatever Vaidika karmas we perform, SAT has to be associated. Now, sloka 28:

aśraddhayā hutaṃ dattaṃ tapas taptaṃ kṛtaṃ ca yat
asad ity ucyate pārtha na ca tat prepya no iha 17.28

In slokas 26 and 27, we saw the usage of word SAT. If we do not use these words, and perform without any interest, what sort of benefits would be reaped? We should recollect that in the beginning of this Chapter, Arjuna raised a doubt. One performed a karma not prescribed in Vedas; but one performed with great sincerity and interest. What would be the reward for one, was the doubt. This was replied immediately, that karmas not prescribed by Shastras will bring in Asura quality to the performer. Now, Sri Krishna tells about another possibility. Here, one performs a karma, prescribed in Shastras, but does it without involvement or sincerity. What is the reward for that one? This could have been a latent doubt in Arjuna! Will, mere performing Shastras accepted karma reward the performer? No. The Lord says that any Vedic karma performed without interest or earnestness, is termed ASAT and no reward is granted. We should note the difference between the Two. One is performing sincerely karmas not prescribed by Shastras. This will reward bad results and take to undesirable groups. But, here, not performing Vedic karma with involvement, though would not push into bad groups, would neither yield any higher rewards. Asraddhaya = without interest or involvement, krtam = performed, hutam = yagna like homam, dattam = danam or charity, tapas taptam= performing meditation. When we go to temple or sacred places, we should do with enthusiasm. Bathing in rivers or undertaking pilgrimage should not be mere rituals; but we should be interested in them. Ity = such uninterested performing is, asad = ASAT, ucyate = so called. SAT means good karma; ASAT means not good. Tat = that [karma], na prepya = will neither reward with superior Moksham, no iha = nor this worldly [pleasures]. Therefore, the essence we get, is that we should perform only Shastras accepted Karmas and with involvement! In this beautiful surrounding, where muddy colored Alakananda and green Bhagirati confluence, we will decide to be SAT only!

Monday, July 20, 2009

BG 17.29

Our country is called Bharat, because of King Bharat. In Bharat dynasty were born Pandu and Dhridarashtra. To get relieved of the curse of sage Durvasa, Pandu came and lived here and so this place is called Pandukeshwar. Today's [21st July 2009] lecture is from Pandukeshwar, on the way to Badrinath. This place is situated on Ganga river. We can worship the Lord here on our trip to Badrinath or while returning from Badrinath. Currently, motorable roads are available. But in the past such roads were not there and one had to trek the path. Many have performed pilgrimage like that and have worshiped Lord Sri Badri Narayana. On such trekking path is this temple. Though walking might be slightly difficult, the surroundings present a pleasant scene. This path is along the river and trekking this route, Swami Ramanuja had come here and stayed. Where Pandu meditated and where Swami Ramanuja stayed, there is a temple for Swami Ramanuja. As if this place is connected with him, names here are interesting! The river is called Sesha Dhara; nearby forest is called Sesha Vanam; and, the mountain is called Sesha parvat! Sesha means Adisesha, who incarnated as Swami Ramanuja! In Swami Ramanuja temple, we can see Sri Seshasayi Perumal, reclining on Adisesha! It seems the Lord was in Ganga river for Thousand years and was discovered by a noble person, in whose dreams the Lord indicated the place, where He was lying! A very beautiful idol, with Sri Maha Lakshmi at His Divine feet! Swami Ramanuja is seated with right hand in Upadesa mudra and left arm holding manuscript! He is seated on a Sesha peetam and the hood of the serpent is like umbrella. Nearby is an idol of Nammalwar. There is also an idol of Sri Sakshi Gopal, crawling with butter in one hand! Here a Go-shal [cow shed] is maintained. Since all pilgrims might not be able to come here and worship the Lord, a Sri Raghunatji Mandir is on the main road itself. We can worship marble idols of Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana. In Pandukeshwar, Dhyana Badri and Yoga Badri are there.

See full size image

See full size image

The Lord appeared to King Pandu, when he was meditating here, and so He is also appearing in meditating pose! And so, He is holding the conch in the right hand and discus in the left hand! Beneath Him is Sri Utsavar. Nearby is Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal, seen embracing Sri Lakshmi. On another side we can note Madri, second wife of King Pandu. During winter season, the Lord Sri Badrinath is in Joshi Math for about Six months. In the same time, Uddhava and Kubera from Sri Badrinath, are stationed in this temple. From the spot where Pandu meditated, we will now see sloka 27. In the sloka we saw yesterday and today's sloka, that is slokas 26 and 27, the Lord explains the signficance of the word SAT [सत्]. In sloka 26, the Lord explained where the word SAT was deployed by people. In the meanigs of existence and good quality, the word SAT is used in the world. SAT also meant very good or substantive work. In sloka 27, the Lord tells that Vedic karmas performed by Vedic scholars, were sustained by SAT. Therefore, such karmas have to be associated with SAT. Sloka 27:

yajñe tapasi dāne ca sthitiḥ sad iti cocyate
karma caiva tadarthīyaṃ sad ity evābhidhīyate 17.27

Sloka's first line conveys one meaning and the latter part gives another meaning. Yajne tapasi dane ca = yagnas, tapas [meditation] and danam [charity], sthiti = are sustained [by SAT]. Those who perform Yagna or Tapas or give Danam, are sustained in those acts because of SAT. These Vedic karmas are prescribed in Vedas. Therefore, some people want to perform them. That is, these persons are sustained in such Vedic activities and this is because of SAT. This sustenance is SAT. For a Vedic scholar to perform Vedic activities, SAT is used as sustenance. This is conveyed in the First line of the sloka. There is a very subtle difference between the meanings of First and Second lines and so have to be carefully understood. Karma caiva = even such Vedic karmas or activities. Vedic scholar might be having interest in Yagna and others; but he should also perform them. Then this performance is also SAT. Tad artiyam = such karmas are meant for such Vedic scholars to perform, sad ity eva = is also SAT, abhidiyate = as told. Thus both interest and actual action of Vedic karmas are called SAT. Thus sthiti and karma are SAT. Because SAT was created along with Vedas, Vedic karmas and Vedic scholars. In Chandokya Upanishad it is told that a father preached his son. He says SAT is Sriman Narayana or Brahmam. 'San moola: somya! ima sarva praja: sadaayatana: sat pratishta:' - ' My dear son! All those which are perceived in the Universe, including movables and stationary, have originated from SAT. They are sustained by SAT. And, merge with SAT in pralayam'! Thus Brahmam or God is SAT responsible for Creation, Sustenance and Convergence in the end. Swami Koorattalwan says that Mahopanishad and Subalayopanishad, etc., say that SAT, Brahmam, etc., convey Sriman Narayana! We will now take leave of Pandukeshwar.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BG 17.28

Swami Periya Nambi was the Acharya of Swami Ramanuja. Swami Alavandar was the Acharya of Swami Periya Nambi. Swami Alavandar, aka Swami Yamunacharya, was born in Kattu Mannar Koil, in Tamilnadu [near Chidambaram]. He was also the grand son of Swami Nathamuni and has penned Gitartha Sangraham, which has one sloka each to summarize every Chapter in Bhagavad Gita. Swami Alavandar has also authored Stotra Ratnam. In one sloka he says that this samsaram is a large ocean with unfathomed depth.
Aparadha sahasra bhajanam patitam bhimabavarnavavodare |
Agatim saranagatim hare krupaya kevalamatmasat kuru || (48)
He says that he was struggling in a very deep ocean; and prays that He should save him with mercy. This sloka was written in Srirangam, in South India. But daily in the Sayana Harati, being performed to Sri Badri Narayana, this sloka is chanted! This practice was established by Swami Ramanuja. Not only this, a sloka from Mukunda Mala, written by Kulasekara Alwar, is also chanted. In that sloka the Alwar prays that in his thoughts the Lord's Divine feet should always be there. Listening to these in another corner of India gives great pleasure. Swami Ramanuja had arrived here and chanted many slokas like these and also established certain practices in the temple. There is one Ramanuja Kootam here. It is a separate building, outside the temple. We can worship Sakshi Gopal and Swami Ramanuja, in this place. Swami Ramanuja idol is well maintained. He is praised to be always chanting the works of his predecessors and eyes always showering compassion. We also worship Sakshi Gopal, as Sri Navaneetha Krishna! We can also see the Lord with Chatur Bhujam [Four hands]. In this Ramanuja Kootam, one Swami is performing daily services. Nearby is Sri Rama Sthambam or Sri Rama Sthupa. In 1961, one Jeer Swami came here and performed Sri Rama Krathu yagna. We have heard of Sri Tridandi Jeer Swami of Sita nagar near Vijayawada, A.P. Tridandi Sriman Narayana Jeer [Pedda Jeer Swami] had come to Badarikashram and staying in a cave in meditation for 6 months attained Ashtakshara siddhi. By this he got the power of accomplishing tasks undertaken. He performed 108 Sri Rama Krathu in 108 Divya desams. In that task, he got a building constructed some 47 years back and performed Sri Rama Krathu yagna. This year is his centenary year [he was born in 1909]. This building, built in memeory of that Jeer Swami, is well maintained and is a good place for pilgrims to stay. They were all spreading Swami Ramanuja sampradhayam in these places. This lecture is based on Swami Ramanuja's bashyam on Gita. Now, we will see sloka 26 of Chapter 17. [On some other day we will study in detail the substance of Tirumantram - OM NAMO NARAYANAYA]. We have been seeing slokas in which OM, TAT and SAT words have to be deployed. In sloka 24 the Lord said that all those performing Vedic rituals, whether for attaining inferior places like Swarga or for superior places like Moksham, had to use the word OM. In sloka 25, He further said that those desirous of Moksham alone, should associate their Vedic Karmas with TAT word. In slokas 26 and 27, He is to explain, who are to use the word SAT. Actually, where this word is being employed is told in sloka 27; but in sloka 26, He mentions how this word SAT is famous in this World. This is used an example to explain its usage. We are using the word SAT in our own way; but Sri Krishna tells where SAT is being used by the World in sloka 26 and what His interpretation to use that word in Vedic rituals, in sloka 27. We have to be SAT or good person. Now sloka 26:

sadbhāve sādhubhāve ca sad ity etat prayujyate
praśaste karmaṇi tathā sacchabdaḥ pārtha yujyate 17.26

Partha = Arjuna!, yujyate = [like this] is deployed. In which circumstances and in which meaning the word SAT is being deployed? Sad bhave = in conveying existence [of a matter], sadhu bhave = in conveying good quality [of a matter]. Sadbhavam means existence. But all existing might not be good. Good quality is conveyed by Sadhu bahavam. In this world to convey existence of a matter SAT is used; it is also used to convey the good quality of a matter. Etat = this [word SAT], prayujyate = is used. Thus in the First line of the sloka Two usages of the word SAT was told. Not only these. SAT is also used for something else. Prasaste karmani = [to convey] an act as superior or noble. We have heard of Sat Karma or Sat Karyam. Actions which will reward superior or nobe results. Actions which are full of vigour are called Sat Karyam. Tat = that [word SAT], sacchapda = in that meaning also, yujyate = is used. In Upanishad it is said that he who accepts Brahmam [God] as SAT [existing], he is SAT [existing]! But he who says Brahmam is ASAT is considered ASAT by others!! Here, not existing [ASAT] means, that person is not living as expected. We have to exist as expected. Otherwise, it is non existence only! We say that one made a charity to a SAT patram. It means one gifted to an eligible or noble receiver. It does not mean that gift was made to someone existed! Here SAT is used in sadhu bhavam. SAT karma or SAT shastra, etc., indicate that they are all good. Karmas with vigour are also termed SAT karma. In sloka 27, the Lord is going to tell that karmas in pursuit of attaining Swarga, etc., are SAT karma. What is the difference between the SAT karma mentioned in sloka 26 and SAT karma mentioned in sloka 27? The karmas or actions mentioned in this sloka are laukika or domestic in nature. Karmas mentioned in sloka 27 are Vedic karmas, like Yagna, Tapas, Dhanam, etc. By worshiping Sri Badri Narayana we should become SAT! Tirumangai Alwar in the last, 20th, pasuram on Badarikashram, says that those who chanted these 20 pasurams would rule this world and other worlds. Not only that, they would also reach Vaikuntam and serve the Lord along with Nityasuris! With Sri Badri Narayana's name in our lips and His image in our mind, we now take leave of Badarikashram!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

BG 17.27

The Lord has preached Three [secret] mantras to Three persons at Three places. First was Tirumantram [Ashtaksharam] in Badarikashram, by the Lord Sriman Narayana to Lord Sri Nara. Second was Dwaya Maha Mantram to Sri Lakshmi at Vaikuntam. Thirdly, at Kurukshetra, to Arjuna, the Lord preached Charama sloka [of Bhagavad Gita]. Kurukshetra and Badarikashram are in this world and are considered very sacred places. Badarikashram gets its glory from Alakananda river. It is the Sri Pada Teertham or the sacred water used to wash the Divine feet of the Lord Sri Trivikrama. Today's [17th july 2009] lecture is from Keshava Prayag, situated above Badrinath and Mana village.

See full size image

We can see Two rivers confluence. One is Saraswati river and the other is Alakananda river. This joining is called Keshava prayag. Saraswati river is in pale green color, while Alakananda is in muddy color. Ganga, appearing as many tributaries join at various places. If Two sacred things unite then that place is also sacred. Alwars always desired union of noble persons; of great devotees. When great persons unite to discuss about the Lord, it would benefit us. In Bhagavata Purana, sage Jata Bharata tells King Rahuguna, that our sins could be washed away by the sacred dust from the divine feet of great devotees. If we desire to control our minds from drifting away, then we have to join devotees. That is the greatest reward says Alwar. Great devotees are with clear mind, good character, their minds can not be fathomed and have great sanctity - just like Ganga river has! Thus the confluence of tributaries of Ganga teach us that we also should always be in association with devotees. In this samsaram, we come across many obstacles; but if we are in the company of great devotees, we will be corrected now and then to have a smooth life. It is like when we have physical illness, we like others with us so that we are assisted, to get cured early. In samsaram, when we are afflicted by Kama, Krodha, Ahankaram, Mamakaram, etc., sadhu sangamam or association with great devotees, would help us to get relieved. Therefore, each Prayag should be a lesson for us to live in company of devotees. Unfortunately, we have not realized the merits of joint family and we want to live separately! At least a visit to Badarikashram, should enlighten us on this! Now we will see sloka 25. Here, Sri Krishna tells where the word TAT has to be used. In sloka 24, the Lord told where the word OM had to be used. It is an important sloka:

tad ity anabhisaṃdhāya phalaṃ yajñatapaḥkriyāḥ
dānakriyāś ca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣakāṅkṣibhiḥ 17.25

In this sloka the Lord indicates who all should chant TAT word. Moksakamksibi = those desirous of Moksham or liberation. They should chant or use the word TAT in their Yagna or Tapas or Dhanam. Then, who are to chant the word mentioned in previous sloka and in the next sloka? Let us understand this clearly. Sri Krishna describes Three types of persons. Two types are those desirous of reaching Moksham and those desirous of pleasures in this or other worlds, considered inferior to Moksham. In this sloka Sri Krshna talks of persons desirous of reaching Moksham to use the word TAT in performing Yagna, Tapas or Dhanam. In slokas 26 and 27, the Lord is going to mention that those desirous of inferior rewards like reaching Swarga, have to use the word SAT in performing Yagna, Tapas or Dhanam. But we may get a doubt here. In the last sloka, sloka 24, it was told that all Vedic karmas were to be associated with the word OM. Why this confusion? Actually, OM is common to both. That is, whether a person is performing a Vedic karma for reaching Moksham, or getting inferior rewards like Swarga, OM has to used with both TAT and SAT! Thus sloka 24 is a common condition and slokas 25 and 26 [and sloka 27] are specific for a result! Thus those desirous of Moksham should chant OM TAT; and those desirous of Swarga, etc., should chant OM SAT! Thus this is clarified, thanks to the guidance of our Poorvacharyas! Sri Krishna cleverly stipulates extra condition in this sloka! Apart from using the word TAT, Moksha seekers should eliminatee desires in other rewards! Thus orally OM TAT is chanted and mentally devoid of interest in other results. Tad ity = [saying] TAT like this, anabhisamdaya = without interest in, phalam = [other] results, yajna tapa kriya dana kriyasca = [perform] Yagna, Tapas and Dhanam and other such [Vedic] activities. Putrakameshti yaga could be performed, but without desire to have children! Instead desire to reach Moksham should be there. But, is not Putrakameshti yaga performed to get children? We should perform that karma, as it is ordained in Vedas. Beyond that we should not perform aspiring children. We come to Badarikashram and our papa are dissolved. There might be some, coming only to get their papas washed away. But we should visit to worship the Lord and the place visited by Pandavas and sage Vyasa. A mother does not expect any reward from the child, she is fostering! We should not study Gita with any reward in mind. We should be interested, because it is the sermon of the Lord. Vividha = like this many types [of Yagna, Tapas and Dhanam], kriyante = are performed, by Moksham seekers. TAT [That] indicates the Lord. It is a common name. How a common name could be so beneficial? In Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam, sloka 78 [eko naikas sava: ka: kim yat tat padamanutthamam..] [Divine names 730 to 738], all these words Yat and TAT refer to the Lord only. This is the conclusion of all commentators, be he Swami Parashara Bhatta or others. We will now return back to Badrinath.