Tirumangai Alwar in his pasuram praises the Lord Sri Badri Narayana and Ganga river, on whose banks His temple is there. From when the Lord is here, gracing the devotees? When did He preach Tirumantram? Nobody knows, though Puranas indicate to some extent. But the Lord, Badarikashram, Badari tree and all have been in existence for Thousands of Centuries! The Lord Sriman Narayana has no beginning nor end; was never born and would never die. But when He took avatar as Sri Rama, Kausalya was His mother. Devaki was the mother of Sri Krishna. Similarly, there was a mother of Sri Narayana and Sri Nara, and there is a temple for her. We may recall that we have worshiped Vyasa cave, then Bhim pul, then Draupati temple and then Sathopanth and Swargarohini. All these were on one side of river Alakananda. On the other side of Alakananda, we can see Mata Murti temple.
We can see the temple here. The idol is of the woman, who gave birth to this world, Sri Nara and Sri Narayana! The idol is small. During the month of Avani, on Shukla paksha Dwadasi, Sri Badrinath arrives here to pay respects to His mother! This festival is celebrated annually, and the Lord is taken on a grand procession! It is celebrated as Sri Mata Murty mela and Badarikashram wears festival look! After a day's stay in this temple, the Lord returns to Badarikashram by evening. Usually, this festival is celebrated a few days before Sri Krishna Jayanti [Gokulashtami or Janmashtami]. By saying that she delivered Sri Nara and Sri Narayana, we should not infer that Sri Nara and Sri Narayana were also Jeevatma like us! It is an alibi for the Lord to appear in this World! This place is a bit difficult to reach. Normally, pilgrims arrive by evening at Sri Badrinath and after worshiping Him on the next day, on the Third day they return back. But if we want to see all these places, very much connected with Badrinath, then we have to make available, clear Three days! Now, we will see next sloka, 24. In this sloka the Lord tells when Pranavakaram, that is OM, has to be chanted. In the earlier slokas, the Lord mentioned Yagna, Tapas and Dhanam and the various types, when associated with satvam, rajas and tamas qualities. Then, in sloka 23, He said that any Vedic karma being performed, has to be associated with the Three words OM, TAT and SAT. At that time He also mentioned that during Creation, He created these words along with Vedas, Vedic karmas like yagna, and the persons performing such karmas. Now, in the next Four slokas, He is going to explain, when OM or TAT or SAT has to be deployed. It is requested that good attention is to be given in understanding these. Now, sloka 24:
tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yajñadānatapaḥkriyāḥ
pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṃ brahmavādinām 17.24
Here Brahmavadinam indicates those who believe Brahmam [God] is Vedas, and who act and perform karmas, according to Vedas. Vidhanokta = such karmas [performed by Brahmavadinam] should have been prescribed in Vedas. Yajna dana tapa kriya = [such Vedas prescribed] actions like Yagna, Dhanam and Tapas. How are they to be performed? Om ity udahrtya = by chanting OM [ all such karmas are performed]. OM is chanted to commence any Vedic activity. Why so? Tasmad = [because of the reasons mentioned in sloka 23, and] therefore. Sri Krishna told that He had created all Vedas, Vedic karmas, performers and these words together and so they are all inseparable. Therefore, those realizing Brahmam and Vedas, perform various actions prescribed in Vedas, satam = always, pravartante = perform, with OM in the beginning and OM at the conclusion. OM, though is mono syllable, could be separated as A [अ], U [उ ] and M [म]. Its glory and auspiciousness in unlimited. In Katopanishad, 'sarve veda: yatpada mamananti tatamsi sarvani vadanti' [सर्वे वेदा: यत्पदा मामानंती तताम्सी सर्वाणि वदन्ति]. It means that what was the unique thing told by all Vedas, what all words of Vedas point to one unique thing, and which unique thing is pursued by yogis and sages, that would be told very precisely. It is OM. Upanishads very clearly say that all Vedas' essence is OM. Further, its prakruti or the First letter A, represents the Lord Sriman Narayana. Thus, OM, which encapsules the Lord, would always do good only! We would have noticed that whenever Vedas are chanted, First 'Hari: OM' is mentioned and then Vedas chanting starts. At the end again Hari: OM is chanted. OM is Pranava and it should be learnt properly from an Acharya and then only chanted. Mantras can not be broadcast and learnt. To learn Ashtaksharam one has to approach properly an Acharya and learn it after Pancha samskara [Five rituals]. By chanting OM, the Lord is praised and worshiped. That is why it is called Pranava. Swami Manavala Mamunigal says 'vedattukku om ennuvadu pol ulladukkellam than mangalam adalal [வேதத்துக்கு ஓம் என்னுவதுபோல் உள்ளதுக்கெல்லாம் தான் மங்களம் ஆதலால்]'. Precious Vedas can be compressed into OM. Hence, it is chanted before and after. OM presents sanctity and auspiciousness to Vedas. Hence, it is chanted before and after. OM grants auspiciousness to the person chanting Vedas. Hence, it is chanted before and after. OM protects the person remembering. Hence, it is chanted before and after. We preserve a precious jewel in a box, which has bottom container and top lid. If container is removed, jewel falls down. If lid is open, jewel can be stolen. Thus to avoid dispersal and slippage, OM has to be chanted before and after Vedas. In fact, when we perform any Vedic karma, if we are diverted to any other activity or due to any carelessness or due to sleepiness, if the Vedic karma is interrupted, then OM TAT SAT is chanted and karma is resumed. Thus, Pranava has the capacity to remove obstacles and grant us supreme reward. Therefore, by chanting OM, Vedic activities are performed. It seems Dharma Devta was the husband of Mata Murti! We worship this divine parents and take leave of this place.