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.
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.