Friday, August 14, 2009

BG 18.16

Tamil poet Kamba in his Ramayanam epic praises Bharata's greatness in the words of Guha. 'Will Thousand Ramas be equal to one Bharata?', Guha asks. What greatness Bharata had to be compared like that? To understand that, we reached Nandigrama, outside Ayodhya. We already saw one incident. In the basement we can see Sri Rama's Padukas! In Chitrakoot, Sri Rama gave His Padukas and Bharata carried them on his head. After paying his respects to Sri Rama, Bharata along with Shatrugna, came to Nandigrama. He placed the Padukas on a throne and performed Pattabhishekam to the Padukas! Swami Vedanta Desika wrote a brilliant work called Paduka Sahasram, in which he described the glory of Sri Rama's Padukas, which were same as Sri Ranganatha's Padukas, in 1000 slokas. He says that none was capable of writing, in full, the glory of Sri Rangapati's Padukas. It might be possible to describe the greatness of Sri Rama, but never about the greatness of His Padukas! Even if the open sky was paper and all the Seven seas were full of ink, and if the 1000 hooded Adisesha were to write, Padukas' glory could never be completed! Normally, when we pledge a more valuable article, then we get as loan a lesser valuable money or article. Thus mortgaged article is much more valuable than the bargained money. Sri Rama mortgaged His Padukas, so that He could be let off by Bharata, in the bargain! Thus Padukas are more valuable than Sri Rama! When Padukas were ruling, Bharata obeyed the orders of Paduka for income and expenditure. Not a moment he felt that he was ruling Ayodhya. Daily Bharata used to perform Abhishekam to the Padukas, with water from Sarayu river. In the Padukas preserved here, we can note Royal features in them. We find the markings of Chakra, Shanka, Dwajam, Ankusham, Kamalam, Sun, Moon, etc. We worship the Padukas. They are so shaped that the top [front] and bottom [back] are wide and the middle is narrow. We also notice, while wearing sandals, that the foot presses in the front and in the back; and the middle is not pressed. Similarly, when Sri Rama was wearing the Padukas, His toes pressed the front and heels pressed the back. Because of this, the Paduka grew in joy in both at front and at bottom! But the middle portion did not feel the touch of His Divine feet and so yearning for that touch, middle portion pined and grew slimmer! This is how Swami Desika praises Padukas. After Bharata performed Abhishekam for the Padukas, the water drained and mingled with the river, which merged with the Ocean in the East. In the same Eastern shore of the Ocean, at Tiruppullani, Sri Rama surrendered to the Samudra Raja and was lying waiting for Three days. Samudra Raja did not turn up. So, Sri Rama decided to evaporate the waters of the Ocean and He took bow and arrow! Just at that moment Samudra Raja came running and pleaded apology. Swami Desika asks a question here. Never Sri Rama's arrows have gone waste. But here had Sri Rama shot the arrow, it would not have been able to evaporate the waters. Because, in the same Ocean water was the Abhisheka Theertam of Sri Rama Padukas. Hence, He could not have dried the Ocean! Near the Padukas is the idol of Bharata, shining. We can notice sparkles of light on the idol! Bharata's idol is opposite Padukas; and by his side is Hanuman. Hanuman looks angry in darkness, while in light he is all happy to bless us! We should note an important aspect in Paduka Rajyam, conducted by Bharata. Did Bharat rule the country or not? In the 14 year rule, the Kingdom prospered and Nine times the revenue was presented presented to Sri Rama! Bharata would say that he did not rule, only Padukas ruled the country. The answer to the question is both yes and no! This is the same meaning in the sloka we are to see. The Lord says that while Arjuna is going to kill all the enemies in the battle field, yet he was not killer. Bharata ruled the Kingdom, without the feeling that he was the ruler. He considered himself as representative of Padukas, and ruled. This is the spirit of what the Lord says in all these slokas. One had to act, no doubt in that; but, with a feeling that one did not act on one's own, but with the Lord motivating from within. This can be very clearly understood in this Paduka Rajyam episode. We will now see sloka 17 of Chapter 18, and note the proximity to rule by Bharata:

yasya nāhaṃkṛto bhāvo buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvā.api sa imāṃl lokān na hanti na nibadhyate 18.17

Hatva api sa= even if he was a killer of, imam lokan = all [the people] in this world, na hanti = he is not a killer. In the war, Arjuna is going to kill Bheeshma, Drona, Duryodhana and his brothers; yet, Arjuna will not be the killer! Because, Arjuna is going to fight sacrificing the feeling that he was fighting. He should abandon the feeling that he was fighting and he was killing. I-am-the-doer feeling would be abandoned in fighting the enemies. Also would be abandoned the ego feeling that Kingdom was got reclaimed by Arjuna. And, would also abandon the possessive feeling that Kingdom was Arjuna's. Thus all the Three Tyagams are going to be done by Arjuna, while fighting. Na nibadhyate = [he] is not immersed [in the papa of killing]. It is like, though Bharata ruled, yet he was not the ruler. He ruled as Padukas' representative and as his duty, entrusted by Sri Rama. He never considered it as his kingdom [mamata tyagam]; he never thought he was ruling [kartrutva tyagam]; and, he never for a moment thought all comforts of good Kingdom was his [phala tyagam]. In fact, all those Fourteen years, he was also like Sri Rama, with the outfit of a saint and never wore any royal dress! Thus, Bharata is a fine example of the Three types of Tyagam. Thus, though he ruled, he was not the ruler. Similarly, if Arjuna fought the war with these Tyagams, then he would not be regarded as killer of enemies. This way, sins will not accrue to him for the killings, and he need not worry that he would have to struggle in samsaram. Yasya bhava = whose mind or behaviour is, na ahamkrta = was not the result of ego or ahankaram [that is not a result of I-am-doer] [kartrutva tyagam], yasya = [and] whose, buddhi = intellect, na lipyate = not touched [by possessiveness and rewards] [mamata tyagam and phala tyagam]. Thus a person, with these Three types of Tyagam, according to Shastras, even if he kills all the people in this World, still he is not regarded as killer and no papa will stick to him, to press further into samsaram! In our independence struggles, many heroes killed and harmed many. They are not abused as killers, but praised as Tyagis and accolades are granted to them. Because, they did not fight for selfish reasons.

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