Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BG 17.31

After worshiping Sri Badri Narayana, we have reached Deva Prayag. After taking bath in this confluence of Bhagirati and Alakananda rivers, we are now on the steps. Perialwar, while praising this Kshetram says that the green color of Tulasi on Sriman Narayana mixed with Ganga; also, the brown color of Konrai [கொன்றை] flower on lord Shiva mixed with Ganga! That is how Bhagirati is green and Alakananda is brown! He says further, that Ganga brings with its flow precious stones and valuables from Himalayas and presents them at the Divine feet of the Lord Sri Purushottama here! From time immemorial this place has been haunted by Devas and so this is Deva Prayag. Here, Pithru Tarpanam [rituals for the deceased ancestors], yagnas, etc., were being performed regularly. Now also, pilgrims on their visit to Sri Badrinath, bathe and after worshiping the Lord, perform such rituals. Perialwar says in his pasuram that the smoke from the Yagnas' agni kunds, used to spread on both the shores of the river Ganga here. There is a witness to the Lord here. Sri Rama after killing Ravana, came here and meditated to wash off the sin arising out of killing Ravana.As we proceed to the temple after a bath in the river, we can notice the Footprints of Sri Rama on a huge rock. Ganga flowed from the Divine feet of Lord Sri Trivikrama; and, Lord Sri Rama's Divine feet are on the banks of Ganga! We now get into the temple, whose staircase is quite steep and high. In the temple we see Sri Purushottama, Sri Rama, Sri Maryada Purushottama, Sri Raghunatha, etc. We are surprised to see the rock seat on which Sri Rama meditated. It has a backrest also! We also see a big Vata vruksham [banyan tree]. This tree is existing for many thousands of years. This Divya desam and Sri Rama are connected and Perialwar does not forget to mention in his pasuram! He mentions 'em dasarathi and em purushottama எம் தாசரதி, எம் புரோஷோத்தமன் '[my Dasarathi and my Purushottama]! He says, "He, Who disfigured Soorpanaka and killed her brother, is my Dasarathi" This place is surrounded by Dasaratha parvat [hills]. Lord Sri Dasarathi is gracing as Lord Sri Purushottama. By calling the Lord as Sri Dasarati, Perialwar praises the simplicity of the Lord in being born as the Son of a human, King Dasarata! Immediately, he also calls the Lord as Sri Purushottama, as otherwise some might think that being simple, the Lord might not be having any glory! He is the Most Supreme among all! In Gita the Lord says about Him [BG 15.19, sloka 15.18]. In the World or in Vedas, the Lord says that He was acclaimed as Purushottama! We can worship Sri Purushottama here. He graces as the simple Sri Rama and displays His unparalleled glory as Sri Purushottama. After slaining Ravana, the war was over. All the Devas assembled over the sky and praised the Lord! 'Bhavan Narayanodeva:' [You are Sriman Narayana]! But Sri Rama never accepted and wanted to be as King Dasarata's Son and one among humans - 'Atmanam manusham manye. Ramam dasaratatmajam'! Since the Lord wanted Him to be counted one among us, Perialwar also says 'em dasarathi' [my Dasarathi].

Kandam ennum Kadinagar (dEvaprayAg)

That shows intimacy! We will now glance the greatness of Chapter 17. What is the essence of Chapter 17? We should develop satva quality and be satvikas. Let us see the summary of this Chapter:
  • It started with a question by Arjuna as to what rewards awaited a person performing non-vedic karmas, but with involvement. An irritated Sri Krishna said that non-shastra karmas are never to be performed; otherwise Asura quality will be obtained.
  • Vedc karmas, in turn, are of Three types, according to the Three qualities satvam, rajas and tamas.
  • Slokas 8,9 and 10 deal with satva, rajasa and tamasa type of foods.
  • In slokas 11, 12 and 13, satva, rajasa and tamasa Yagnas were explained.
  • Tapas performed by body, mind and speech were described in slokas 14,15 and 16.
  • Satvika tapas, rajasa tapas and tamasa tapas were mentioned in slokas 17, 18 and 19.
  • Slokas 20, 21 and 22 described the Three types of danams [दानम्] .
  • In sloka 23, it was told that OM, TAT and SAT words were created along with Vedas, Vedic scholars and Vedic karmas at the time of Creation.
  • In sloka 24, the Lord told that every Vedic karma, whether performed to obtain Moksham or other worldly rewards, had to be associated with OM, in common.
  • TAT word is to be associated with all Vedic karmas by those desirous of Moksham and performing them without any desire for results. This was told in sloka 25.
  • In slokas 26 and 27, it was told that for reward other than Moksham, whether enjoyment in other worlds or in this world, Vedic karmas were to be associated with SAT word.
  • Finally, in sloka 28, the Lord said that doing any Vedic karma without involvement or interest would neither get Moksham nor other worldly rewards.
Parvati asked about the glory of Chapter 17. In reply lord Shiva told that as mentioned while describing the glory of Chapter 16, it was told of king Katka Bahu, whose elephant's madness was cured by a person meditating on Chapter 16. Our organs are like a mad elephant, uncontrolled. Study of Chapter 16 controlled organs. Lord Shiva said the glory of Chapter 17, is connected with the same elephant! When the elephant was mad, it was tried to be controlled by one, Ducchasana; but in the process he was crushed by the elephant and was killed. While dieing, his mind was after the elephant. As told in Gita, earlier, he was therefore, born as an elephant! This elephant was able to recognize freinds and relatives of the past birth, but showed no interest in them. As this elephsnt grew older, it slowly started sinking. The owner of this elephant was worried. At that time, the elephant spoke to the person in human language, that he should read Chapter 17 before the elephant. Listening to that the elephant would reach Moksham, said the elephant. The owner did likewise and the elephant got Moksham. Thus we have to read Chapter 16 to control our senses and read Chapter 17 to get Moksham!

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