Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BG 18.25

The sparkling and glaring Vimanam we see in Srirangam temple is Pranavakara Vimanam. It is in the form of AUM [ॐ], Pranavam. With nine kalash [pots] and Sri Para Vasudeva in the front, it captivates the viewers. Beneath this Vimanam Sri Ranganatha is reclining, facing Lanka in South, with Head in the West direction, Feet to the East and back to North directions. The Lord in Srirangam, between North Kaveri [Kollidam] and South Kaveri rivers, did not originate in Srirangam. His place of origin is different. He originated from some other place, but has settled in Srirangam! We should necessarily know the close connection between Srirangam and Ayodhya. Sri Ranganatha along with the Pranavakara Vimanam, many, many thousands of years back, during Kruta Yug, appeared from the Milk Ocean [Tirupparkkadal திருப் பாற்க் கடல்]. Lord Brahma carried the idol of the Lord and was performing pooja for a long time. Lord Brahma is in Satya Lok, which is the Seventh world above ours. Ayodhya, which is also in our world, was first ruled by King Ikshvaku. He was so great that he could visit lord Brahma in Satya Lok, many times! In one such visits, he was fortunate to worship Lord Sri Ranganatha. With Sarayu river having brought to Ayodhya by sage Vasisht, Ikshvaku planned to build a temple for the Lord in Ayodhya for its prosperity and for developing Bhakti in his people. Deciding to get the Lord worshiped by lord Brahma, he prayed Brahma to gift the Lord with the Vimanam. Unable to decline his prayer, lord Brahma handed over the Lord with the Vimanam. King Ikshvaku, brought the Lord with the Vimanam, and installed in a grand temple in Ayodhya. Starting from Ikshvaku, every succeeding Kings, like Dilipa, Sakara, Bhagiratha, Ambarisha, Mandhata, Amshuman, etc., worshiped the Lord. Finally after Aja and his son Dasaratha, Sri Rama worshiped the Lord in Ayodhya. While in Ayodhya, the Lord was not known by the name Sri Ranganatha. The Lord was then known as Sri Narayana and Sri Jagannatha. This can be understood from Valmiki's Srimad Ramayanam. Sri Rama was to be crowned as King, next day, selected by sage Vasishta. At that time Vasishta asked Sri Rama to worship the Lord with Sri Sita and pray for proper conduct of the ensuing coronation ceremony! Sri Rama went inside to pray along with Sri Sita. Inside, Sri Rama prayed for early commencement of His mission! Here, Valmiki mentions that Sri Rama prayed to Sri Narayana! After His return from Lanka and after becoming the King of Ayodhya, He was bidding farewell to each and every guest, who had come for the Pattabhishekam! When Vibheeshana took leave of the Lord, He felt that Vibheeshana should be rewarded with some gift, for all the help he rendered to the Lord. Considering no better gift, the Lord gifted away their family treasure [Kula dhanam कुल धनम्] Sri Narayana and the Vimanam to Vibheeshana and requested him to perform pooja at Lanka. Vibheeshana carried the Lord and the Vimanam and flew towards Lanka. That time the Lord was to enjoy Panguni Festival, which was celebrated even when the Lord was worshiped by lord Brahma in Satya Lok! Thus Panguni Utsavam was celebrated in Satya Lok and in Ayodhya! In the midway of his flight, Vibheeshana noted that it was the day for Panguni Festival. He found below, Srirangam, with orchards and gardens aplenty. He found the island bountiful with nature's gifts and, with Lord's blessings he landed in Srirangam and decided to celebrate the Ten day Panguni Festival in Srirangam, and then carry the Lord to Lanka. The festival was celebrated in a fitting manner and on the last day, Vibheeshana wanted to leave for Lanka and prayed to the Lord. But the Lord decided to stay at Srirangam itself. At the same time, First Chola King Dharma Varma, pleaded to allow the Lord to remain in Srirangam itself. Vibheeshana accepted the request. From the time He came to Srirangam, He was known as Sri Ranganatha. The Lord comforted Vibheeshana that He would be always lookig towards Lanka, and bless him. Thus Ayodhya and Srirangam are connected. He was worshiped in Ayodhya by 38 generations of Ikshvaku dynasty, in Treta Yug. With such great devotees of Manu Dynasty, the Lord is now in Srirangam, says Swami Parashara Bhattar. Sri Rama is known as Perumal, while the Lord at Srirangam is known as Periya Perumal [and Sri Utsavar is known as Namperumal]. Sri Rama's walk used to be compared to walks of Gaja [elephant], Simha [lion], Rishabha [bull], etc. Now we see the Lord at Srirangam also exhibiting such walks, while in procession! While emerging from the Moolasthanam [garbhagruha], His walk is like that of a lion! Then He walks like elephant, bull and serpent! Sri Rama trod the length of our country, Bharat. We will be delighted to see all the places Sri Rama set His Divine feet, like Mithilapuri, Siddhashrama, Chitrakoot, Panchavati, Kishkinda, Lanka, etc. While it is certainly be a pleasure to follow the paths Sri Rama walked, it is much more important to follow His conduct and emulate Him. With His blessings now we will see sloka 30:

pravṛttiṃ ca nivṛttiṃ ca kāryākārye bhayābhaye
bandhaṃ mokṣaṃ ca yā vetti buddhiḥ sā pārtha sāttvikī 18.30

Partha = Arjuna!, sa buddhi sattviki = that buddhi is called Satvika [Buddhi]. Which one? That Buddhi, pravrtti = [which guides to] pravrutti marg for worldly happiness, ca nivrttim = and Moksham for eternal happiness, karya akarya = [distinguishes between] actions to be done and not to be done, bhaya abhaye = [differentiates as to which should be] feared and not feared, bhandam = [understands what all make us] bound [in samsaram], moksam = liberation [from samsaram], vetti = understand. Thus Satvika Buddhi should guide one to:
  1. Worldly happiness, in pravrutti Marg.
  2. Eternal happiness, in Moksham, in Nivrutti marg.
  3. Actions which are do's and don't's.
  4. Afraid or not afraid of things or activities.
  5. Things that would bind us in samsaram.
  6. Things that would liberate us from samsaram.
That Buddhi or intellect which would guide the person to true Gyana as above, is Satvika Buddhi. We will now take leave of Ayodhya.

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