Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BG 18.20

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmy aham 4.7
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge 4.8
These are the words of Sri Krishna. He told about His time of Avatar and its purpose. Whenever Dharma was humiliated or disgraced and when Adharma was at its peak, the Lord descended on this Earth. To protect sadhus or noble persons, and to destroy evil persons and to establish Dharma, the Lord takes an Avatar, and such Avatars have been countless. In such Avatars, as He Himself, with complete auspicious qualities, the Lord was born as Sri Rama. He was a personification of all auspicious qualities, and it looked as though such qualities were coronated, when Sri Rama was crowned as King. He was born in the month of Chaitra, in star Punarvasu, in Navami Tithi and in Kataka Lagna. He was in Kausalya's womb for Twelve months. To have this Avatar, all Devas went and prayed to Sriman Narayana that He alone should rescue them from the tyranny of Rakshasas. Accordingly, Sriman Narayana made Sri Rama Avatar in this Earth. To kill Ravana and to protect noble persons and to establish Dharma, Sri Rama was born in the middle of Treta Yug, in Ayodhya. After He was born, within Twelve years His Gurukula vasam [learning] was over and His marriage was also performed. King Dasarata was planning with his ministers to coronate Sri Rama. That time sage Viswamitra, entered and he had planned for the marriage of Sri Rama. When Viswamitra entered, Dasarata welcomed him and paid respects, and offered to grant anything he wanted. Viswamitra asked for the help of Sri Rama to protect the yagna he was performing. Though Dasarata declined, after recommendation of sage Vasishta, he despatched Sri Rama and Lakshmana with Viswamitra. After guarding Viswamitra's yagna, they all went to Mithilapuri, where King Janaka was ruling. There the marriage of Sri Rama and Sri Sita was celebrated. Then all of them returned to Ayodhya, in palanquins. The place, where Sri Rama & Sri Sita alighted from their palanquin, is called Ram Durbar. Today's [20th August 2009] lecture is from Ram Durbar in Ayodhya. As in a Durbar, all are seated. In the center, are the large idols of Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Lakshmana. Below, are very ancient small statues of Sri Rama and Sri Sita. There are many idols of Sri Rama and Sri Sita in this Ram Durbar. The mahants here narrate an interesting episode. In North India, it is customary for the new bride, who is going to be the administrator of the house henceforth, to first see the faces of her father -in-law and mother-in-law. This is celebrated as a function. At that time the bride has to present something to her parents-in-law, and they would also reciprocate. Near this Ram Durbar, is a large kitchen, belonging to the palace. Well cooked, tasty food was brought from here in Four plates. Sri Sita first served one plate to Kaikeyi. Accepting, Kaikeyi presented Kanaka Bhavan, which we already visited, to Sri Sita. Sri Sita presented food, next to Sumitra, who presented Sri Sita with Choodamani [ornament worn on the head]. Next, Sri Sita presented food to Kausalya, who presented Sri Sita, a long diamond necklace. When Sri Sita presented the Fourth plate to Dasaratha, he did not find anything to offer. He said that since he was contemplating to crown Sri Rama as the King of Ayodhya, he did not have anything to present Sri Sita. Sri Sita requested Dasaratha that She did not want any property or costly present, but anything, to remember the occasion. Dasaratha said that in Kruta yug or Treta yug or Dwapara yug, people would chant 'Sri Ram' only; but in Kali yug, they would always chant 'Sri Sitaram'! That was his present to Her! We can, thus, see everywhere in Ayodhya, Sri Sitaram! If we seek His blessings through Sri Sita, we are sure to accomplish everything in life. We will now see an important sloka, 23, in Chapter 18. From this sloka, in Three slokas, Three types of Karmas are being explained. They are Satvika Karma, Rajasa Karma and Tamasa Karma. We have already seen Three types of Gyana - Satvika, Rajasa and Tamasa Gyanas. Now we are to see the Karmas which are to be performed with the help of Gyana acquired. Thereafter, the Lord is going to explain Three types of Karta or the performer. We have to see now, how a Karma could be regarded as Satvika type:

niyataṃ saṅgarahitam arāgadveṣataḥ kṛtam
aphalaprepsunā karma yat tat sāttvikam ucyate 18.23

Yat = which [karma is as per these conditions], tat = that [karma] is, ucyate = called, sattvikam = Satvika [Karma]. What are the conditions? Niyatam = [that karma should] conform to [varana asrama of the performer]. Shastras specify various karmas for various varanam and asrama. The karma taken up for performing should conform to Shastras. Can one perform such Shastra conforming karma, in any manner? No. Sanga = attachment, rahitam = devoid of. That is karma should be done with sacrifices or Tyaga [here, Kartrutva tyaga and mamata tyaga are indicated]. I-am-doing and I-am-the-beneficiary feelings should be discarded. Aragadvesata = without raga [likes] and dvesa [dislikes]. One should perform a karma without likes and disikes. Here like and dislike are not for the rewards, because in the next line of the sloka, Sri Krishna tells about Phala tyaga. Here, likes and dislikes should not be for name and fame! That is a karma should not be done with the objective that it would make the performer famous. Also, one should not hate any abuses hurled at, in performing or not performing a karma. Liking for Brahmam or God and hatred in being in samsaram, are, however, permitted! Krtam = [karma] should be performed. Aphalaprepsuna = with no desire in results and rewards. Such a Karma is Satvika Karma. Thus Four conditions are to be fulfilled:
  1. Should conform to Shastras.
  2. Should be free of attachment.
  3. Should be without likes and dislikes.
  4. Should be free of desire in results.
Sri Rama ruled the Kingdom, without the feeling He was Ruler. Lakshmana served Sri Rama, without any attachment. Bharata obeyed Sri Rama and remained in the Kingdom and took care. Bharata always considered himself as servant of Sri Rama, as long as the Sun and the mountains existed. We should serve the Lord without any attachment in the rewards nor with any selfish feeling.

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