[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!