Sunday, July 12, 2009

BG 17.23

Vyasaya vishnurupaya vyasarupaya vishnave |
Namovai brahmanidhaye vasishtaya namo nama: ||
Vyasam vasishta naptaram shakte pautramakalmasham |
Parasharatmajam vande shukatatam taponidhim ||
Tamyam nayakalapena mahata bharatena cha |
Upagrnvita vedaya namo vyasaya vishnave ||
Sage Veda Vyasa wrote 18 Puranas and Mahabharata epic, besides segregated Vedas into Four parts. Sriman Narayana is called Bhagavan [भगवान]. This name is used to refer some others also, like Vyasa Bhagavan, Suka Bhagavan, etc. This is because these people also had some qualities of Bhagavan Sri Narayana. Veda Vyasa was also called Bhagavat Badarayana and Krishna Dwaipayana. Veda Vyasa had lived for a long time in Badarikashram. Here, it is said that because of his association with Badarikashram, he was called Badarayana. Today's [13th July 2009] lecture is from the cave where sage Vyasa lived.

At about 3 KMs from Badarikashram, is the place Mana, which is almost near the border of India. This is the last village and after about 40 KMs or so, our neighbouring country starts. In this cave in this village, Vyasa wrote the 18 Puranas and Mahabharata. He also propagated the Four Vedas from here, through his disciples. He spread Vedas through his disciples like Jaimini, Sumantu, Pyla, etc. Vyasa means segregating or dividing. He segregated Vedas into Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana and so he is Veda Vyasa. In spite of all such great works, he had dissatisfaction. Vedas, thugh useful, could not be understood by all. So, he wrote Mahabharata, which is claimed as the Fifth Veda [Panchamo Veda:]. Brahma's son was sage Vasishta, whose son was Shakti, whose son was Parashara, whose son was Vyasa. His son was sage Suka Brahmam. What a great family with lineage! He wrote Mahabharata, which has 125,000 slokas, in 18 Parvas! What is not in Mahabharatha would not be anywhere! Such a great epic was written from this cave! From outside this cave appears as an assembly of palm leaves manuscripts! This is called Vyasa poti.

See full size image

This cave is 5110 years old. That is at the start of Kali yug, this cave must have been formed. We see an ancient small idol of Vyasa. A recent large idol is also installed here. Near him is a white marble idol of Swami Vallabhacharya. In North India, Vallabhacharya sampradhayam is very famous. Some 500 years back, Swami Vallabhacharya had come here. He was fortunate to have had direct vision of Veda Vyasa. Later, Swami Vallabhacharya spread all the Puranas and greatness of the Lord. [There was no clear transmission of sound for a few minutes in the program. Therefore, a few lines of the translation is based on some legible words and inference] While Vyasa was writing Mahabharata, river Saraswati was flowing with great noise. Since that was disturbing him, Vyasa requested Saraswati to flow calmly. She refused, which angered Vyasa and diverted Saraswati's course. We can see Saraswati river upto a point and then she disappears and joins Alakananda at Keasava prayag. Then the river is called Alakananda only. Then she flows as Antarvahini [hidden river] and mixes with Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag or Allahabad. Because of Veda Vyasa's ire, Saraswati river flows as hidden river. Vyasa completed Mahabharata and made available for public. But, instead of being proud of having authored a great epic, Vyasa was in agony. That time sage Narada came. Narada is associated with Badri; he perfroms pooja here every night. During the Six months closure of the temple, it is Narada who looks after here! Narada inquired as to the worry of Vyasa. Vyasa replied that though he completed the epic, he had a dissatisfied mind. Narada answered that other than the Lord, any other topic would not satisfy the mind. So, he advised Vyasa to compose a work only on the Lord and Dharma. Vyasa did accordingly and Srimad Bhagavatam was born! It was with 18,000 slokas in 12 Skandas. The Lord is no different from Srimad Bhagavatam! Since Bhagavan ia all about the Lord, it got the name Srimad Bhagavatam. Thus this cave has the glory of birth of Mahabharatham, Srimad Bhagavatam and the 18 Puranas. Our gratitude to Vyasa can not be completed in words. Vyasa toiled to get the nectar of Mahabharatam from the ocean of Upanishads. He also authored Brahma Sootram, which is collection of aphorisms on Brahmam, exracted from Upanishads. It has 156 adhikaranams, 545 soothrams [aphorisms] in 16 Chapters in Four parts. We can go on listing his glory and there is no end to it. Now, we will see sloka 21. Sri Krishna has been describing the types of Dhanam [charity]. We saw what was satvika dhanam. Now, rajasa dhanam, in sloka 21:

yat tu prattyupakārārthaṃ phalam uddiśya vā punaḥ
dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṃ tad dānaṃ rājasaṃ smṛtam 17.21

That dhanam is understood as rajasa dhanam. Yat tu = [that dhanam] which is, pratyupakarartham = for the sake of return help. It could be expecting a help in the future from a person, or as a token of having received help from someone, if a dhanam is made it is rajasa dhanam. Dhanam done in reciprocation or expecting a reciprocation, comes in this category. uddisya = expecting, phalam = rewards like reaching heaven, etc. That is we donate to someone, which would get us punya and as a consequence we would go to heaven! This type of attitude in dhanam, makes the dhanam, rajasa type. In the first instance the benefits are enjoyed in this world itself. The next mentions rewards of reaching other worlds for happiness. Anyway, both are not good. In the present times, we worship even the Lord expecting some gain or in return of some achievement! We should not worship even the Lord for reciprocal help! Pariklistam = [dhanams] done with displeasure. If we have a type of article in Two numbers; and, we try to donate the less valuable or less desired, then it comes under this category. Or, if we have an article which is costly or very much desired by us, and if we are forced to give it in donation, then also it is given with displeasure. Also comes in this category, dhanam made without any interest or enthusiasm. All these dhanams are thought of as rajasa dhanam. Veda Vyasa had donated a wealth of invaluable works to us to get benefited. What did he expect? Nothing! And he is dwelling in a cave in a not easily approachable place! But without his books, we would have never survived in this world! We will at least learn how a dhanam has to be made from Veda Vyasa!

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