Sunday, August 16, 2009

BG 18.17

In Ayodhya, Sri Rama and Sri Sita had private chambers [anthapuram]. It was called Kanaka Bhavan. We are very fortunate to worship that, now. We can see the majestic appearance of the building.

Pilgrims climb the marble steps, chanting the divine name of Sri Rama. Inside we find a huge courtyard. We can imagine how many days the Divine Couple would have spent happily in this.

Sri Sita Herself says that She and Sri Rama spent Twelve years happily, after marriage. Around the courtyard are many balconies. In each we can find intricate carvings and beautiful pictures. We go further inside. Before the garbhsgruha, where the Lord is gracing, is Ardha mantapa. On one side is the picture of Sri Rama and Sri Sita wedding. At the time of the lecturer's visit, Harati Utsav was going on. In the Gaddi, on the throne are Three pairs of Sri Rama and Sri Sita.

The large one in the middle, is the recently installed pair of Sri Rama and Sri Sita. Sri Rama is seated with folded legs. He is holding an arrow in His right hand and the left hand is on His knee. To His right is another pair of Sri Rama and Sri Sita, which is very ancient. The Mahant here informed that ths pair of idols was installed by Sri Krishna! Yet another pair is near these idols. This pair had arrived from nearby, during some emergency. Lakshmana said that just as a fish could not live without water, Sri Sita could not live without Sri Rama. Sri Sita said that She could never be without Sri Rama, just as radiance [prabha] could not be without Sun! It seems Dasaratha had appointed old persons as guards for this anthapura! About this Valmiki says. Early morning Sri Rama used to get up and come outside. The old persons outside would be wearing saffron dress. They would be appearing with sandal paste and flowers. How saffron dressed persons appear with such cosmetics? It seems, these old persons were so much devoted to Sri Rama, that they did not find time to wash their clothes. That is they would go for a very quick bath and old clothes would be just dipped in water and dried, without wasting time in elaborate washing! Thus their white dress had slowly turned brown! Then how is it that they found time for applying cosmetics like sandal paste and flowers? They never had time for such make-ups, too! Sri Rama used to come out of His private chambers, so that He could perform His morning ablutions! The old persons outside guarding would embrace the Lord. They were accustomed to those actions, right from Sri Rama's childhood. During such embracing, all the sandal paste and flowers on Sri Rama, would be applied on these guards! This is what Perialwar says, 'udutthuk kalainda nin peethakavadai udutthuk kalandadundu [உடுத்துக் களைந்த நின் பீதகவாடை உடுத்துக் கலந்ததுண்டு!]' - we have to adore the flowers and other cosmetics used by Him, and use them for our decoration! This practice was first performed by these guards! When Sri Rama came out of His chambers, Sri Sita would follow Him, till the gate. She would wish Him all auspiciousness [mangalasasanam] and bid farewell. Sri Rama would take His garland and put it on Sri Sita's neck and tell that till He returned, that garland would serve as His memeory for Sri Sita! From His 12th age, till He was 24, Sri Rama spent His time with Sri Sita, in this place very happily! We will now move on to the next slokas in Chapter 18. In the last sloka -17, Sri Krishna told that if one properly followed one's varna-ashrama Dharma, as specified in Shastras, and if one fought or performed one's karma, with the Three types of Tyaga, then even if one were to kill many in the war, no sins would accrue to one; one will not suffer in samsaram. So, none should sacrifice the karma itself, but perform karma and sacrifice the result alone. Till now, He advised how we should never feel that we were the doers. Now on He is going to tell about satva and other qualities. The Lord tells with some suspense, and we have to see Two slokas together. In slokas 18 and 19, the Lord says that with full knowledge of satva, rajas and tamas qualities, performer, karmas and means would vary. In Vedas many karmas are mentioned for performing. Person performing them could be of Three types. Karmas are of Three types. The Gyana of the performer could be Three types. All these Three types are satvam, rajas and tamas based, and Sri Krishna differentiates in these Three types. Now, the slokas:

jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ parijñātā trividhā karmacodanā
karaṇaṃ karma karteti trividhaḥ karmasaṃgrahaḥ 18.18

jñānaṃ karma ca kartā ca tridhaiva guṇabhedataḥ
procyate guṇasaṃkhyāne yathāvac chṛṇu tāny api 18.19

Karmacodana = [Vedas pronouncements] inducing one to do karmas. That is the rules of Vedas are, trividha = three types. Jnanam = the knowledge or Gyana [to perform a karma], jneyam = those karmas [target of our knowledge], parijnata = knower or the person who has knowledge and who is to perform the karmas. Knowledge, karma and doer are mentioned here. Vedas say that one has to eat after bath - snatva bunjita. Here, the knowledge is that we have to bathe and then take food. Karma is bathing and then eating. Doer is ourselves. These are mentioned as Gyana, Gyeyam and Parignata. All rules of Vedas are with these Three types. In the next line, Gyeyam, that is karma is also of three types. Karma sangraha = various types of actions or karmas [specified in Vedas], karanam = implements or tools [needed for performing that karma, like curd or paddy or milk, etc.], karma = [actual] action, karta = performer. Thus any karma is of three types - materilas required to do, actual action itself and the doer or performer. Now we will see sloka 19. Yata vat tan api = about them also, chrunu = listen, guna samkhyane = [satvam, rajas, tamas] qualities, while assessing, procyate = are effected. Jnanam = knowledge, karma = action, karta = doer, gunabhedata = according to quality, tridhaiva = be differentiated into three types, accordingly. When we assess using the Three qualities, we find that knowledge, karma and doers are, each divided into Three categories. Sri Krishna tells that He would tell the true state of these things and asks Arjuna to be attentive. He is going to tell the Three types each of Gyana, Karma and Karta, in the ensuing slokas. It is a coincidence that we also worshiped Three pairs of Sri Rama and Sri Sita! We will see another important spot in Kanaka Bhavan itself.

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