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!

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