Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BG 18.24

Sri Rama in His Avatar in this world, ruled for 11,000 years. His people followed His footsteps and it was a glorious Rama Rajyam. After His Avatar mission was over, He was to return to Sri Vaikuntam. Before that, Lakshmana who could not bear separation from Sri Rama, departed for Sri Vaikuntam from Lakshman Ghat, earlier. After some days, Sri Rama decided that His time for departure had come. With all His people, He came to this place, which is about 10 Miles from Ayodhya. This place on Sarayu river banks, is called Goprachara Teertham. Today's [26th August 2009] lecture is from that place. Charam means jumping and pracharam means making good jump. Jumping from this world to Sri Vaikuntam, is not an easy task. But, Sri Rama made all His people to jump to Vaikuntam, very easily! That is why this place is called Prachara Teertham. Here, Sarayu flows very calmly and steadily. Ghats here are very famous. The place where Sri Rama departed for Sri Vaikuntam, is known as Guptar Ghat.

Gupt means secret or disappear. Here Sri Rama disappeared from this world. After His departure, there was none in Ayodhya. Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna had, each, two sons. Sri Rama's sons were Lav and Kush. Dividing the Kingdom into two halves, Sri Rama coronated each of them as King of each part. But with Sri Rama all people had gone away, there was none in the city. The task of again bringing fresh people into Ayodhya and establishing a new city, fell on His two sons. The sons of other brothers were made Kings of various Kingdoms. Sri Rama left His place, in white dress and with darbha [a type of grass] in hand, came here with all people. He performed all rites, with sage Vasishta chanting Mantras, and then departed for Vaikuntam. Nammalwar asks 'karpar ramabiranai allal matrum karparo? [கற்பார் இராம பிரானை அல்லால் மற்றும் கற்பரோ?]' - will those wanting to learn [good behaviour], ever learn others? Kulasekara Alwar says that on that day, He despatched all moving and non-moving beings to Vaikuntam. Here, we have to note an important point. The Lord's Thousand names are described in Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam Chapter, in Mahabharata epic. Parvati asks lord Shiva whether any name equal to all these 1000 names was there and which could be easily chanted by literate and illiterate, alike? Lord Shiva replies that Divine name Sri Rama was equal to the Thousand Divine names. Why did he not mention the names of Sri Narayana or Sri Vasudeva or Sri Vishnu? Because, we should observe what was the result of chanting the Thousand Divine names. It was attaining Moksham, by chanting His names and developing Bhakti. It was Sri Rama, Who got Mpksham for so many, very easily. Therefore, as a means to attain Moksham, Sri Rama was equal to Sahasranamam! Swami Adi Shankara asks lord Shiva as to who else knew the glory of the Divine name of Sri Rama, more than lord Shiva! Though thousands of people accompanied Sri Rama to Vaikuntam, one desired to stay at Ayodhya itself. He was Hanuman. He was very firm that after having seen Sri Pattabhi Rama, Sri Janaki Rama, Sri Kalyana Rama and Sri Dasaratha Rama, he did not want to see any other! He is remaining at Ayodhya for ever. Wherever Srimad Ramayanam is studied, Hanuman would be there. We will now see sloka 29 of Chapter 18. The Lord has been categorising various aspects qualified by Satva, Rajas and Tamas qualities, and describing them. In that series we have to see Buddhi and Dhruti. Buddhi is intellect. Dhruti is determination. These two also vary according to the Three qualities. He says that these aspects are also of Three types in sloka 29:

buddher bhedaṃ dhṛteś caiva guṇatas trividhaṃ śṛṇu
procyamānam aśeṣeṇa pṛthaktvena dhanaṃjaya 18.29

Dhananjaya = Arjuna! It seems when Arjuna visited places [dik vijayam], he used to distribute wealth [dhanam धनम्] to all and thus conquered desire for wealth. So he is called Dhananjaya. The Lord says that conquering wealth was not a great feat, but he must be victorious in Buddhi and Dhruti! Bhuddher bhedam = difference in intellect, dhrte caiva = and also of [difference in] determination, gunata = on the basis of quality [satvam-rajas-tamas], trividham = are Three types, asesena = without any balance [exhaustively], prthakvena = separately, procyamanm = to be told [by the Lord], srnu = listen. On the basis of quality, Buddhi and Dhruti would be of Three types each. The Lord is going to describe each of them, without mixing, separately for Arjuna to listen. What is the difference between Gyana and Buddhi? The Lord had already described the Three types of Gyana, Karma and Karta. What is then Buddhi? Is it not same as Gyana? Buddhi precedes Gyana, is the clarification Lord gives. To understand the difference between Buddhi and Gyana, let us see an ordinary example, in our life. A person, say a student in +2 class, has to decide his career. He has, say, Three options to go forward in life. One is to study further and earn as an engineer or doctor, etc. The second alternative is to think that there was no use in further studies; all in high positions are not learned and all learned persons are not well off; and, so no more studies. The Third choice could be to take up illegal and crooked methods and become rich and great! This person has to make a choice in this broad classification. Here, he has to employ his Buddhi! After this decision, he has to be firm and determined to pursue that course, and that is Dhruti! After selecting he pusues that course and gains knowledge, which is Gyana. Thus Buddhi is the threshold to Gyana. The Lord says that this Buddhi itself varies according to the Three qualities. Like in the example, to follow legal and good learning; or, to follow as things go; or, follow illegal methods. Buddhi, therefore, differs according to one's quality. Dhruti is determination, once a decision is made. This also varies according to qualities. The Lord assures Arjuna that He would tell exhaustively about all these.

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