Sunday, August 2, 2009

BG 18.7

We are at the entrance of an important sannidhi in Salagrama [Muktinath]. Swami Ramanuja had visited all over our country from Himalayas to Tiruppullani, in the South corner! He had visited Badarikashrama and Muktinath. Many years after his visit, his idol has been installed here.

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SrI Bhagavath Ramanuja

We first worship Azhvars and Acharyas. We see Prapanna jana kootastha, Nammalwar. He is seated with upadesa mudra. Next we see the last among Alwars, Tirumangai Alwar, in standing pose. On one side is Garuda. When the Lord wants to see His reflection, He would look at Vedas and Garuda is Vedas, personified! Therefore, Garuda stands in front of the Lord to look at His reflection! Then we see Swami Ramanuja, who came here and did lot of renovations and service. He preached all over, that only the Lord could grant us Mukti and so came to Muktinath! below, is Swami Manavala Mamunigal. The Adisesha incarnation, Swami Manavala Mamunigal, is seated on Sesha Peetam! He had also visited this place and did lots of service. When all these devotees are there, can Sri Andal be away? Sri Andal, Who was born in Srivilliputthur, is also gracing here. With their blessings, we will now go inside to have darshan of the Lord.

Have the darsanam of Mukti Narayana with Sridevi, Bhu devi
The Lord is seated at the center, with Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhudevi standing on His sides. The Lord Sri Muktinath or Sri Mukti Narayana is seated in Padmasana. The idol is made of Salagrama stone. Swayam vyakta or spontaneously appeared Kshetrams are 8:
  1. Vanamamalai [Nanguneri or Totadri]
  2. Srirangam
  3. Sri Mushnam
  4. Tirumala or Tiruvenkatam
  5. Pushkaram
  6. Naimisharanyam
  7. Badarikashram
  8. Salagrama or Muktinath.
The Lord here is with Four arms. Upper Two arms are holding Discus and Conch. The lower arms are on His knees, with right arm holding a well blossomed lotus flower and left arm holding mace. Here we can notice a difference or wonder. Unlike at other places, we can touch the Lord and worship. Even one can hug the Lord! We ourselves can perform pooja. It is said that worshiping Salagrama is the easiest and simplest. In our house, keeping big idols and performing strict poojas as prescribed in Agamas, is very difficult. We have to daily prepare some quantity of prasad and offer. These are difficult for household persons. Salagrama aradhana is simple. With only water [and if possible milk] for abhishekam and tulasi for offering, tiruaradhanam could be completed within Half an hour! To demonstrate this simplicity, the Lord here is very simple to be worshiped by us. Now, we will proceed to sloka 7 0f Chapter 18. In this sloka the Lord mentions Tamasa tyaga, which is to be avoided. Sacrifice or tyaga should be of satvika type and not rajasa nor tamasa types. We have to sacrifice the results of the karma, the thought that we did the karma and the feeling that it was our karma. Some, wrongly understood that sacrifice means, the karma itself could be sacrificed; that is, not performing the karma itself. When we do sandyavandanam or yagna, we should not feel that we were doing nor expect any rewards. Then why not forgo the karma itself? The Lord disagrees and insists that we have to perform the karma, with those sacrifices or tyaga. In this sloka, the Lord says how with tamo quality, people avoid doing karmas. In the next sloka, He explains how with rajo quality, people do not perform karmas. And, in the next sloka, the Lord says that with satva quality, people sacrifice and perform karmas. Now, sloka 7:

niyatasya tu saṃnyāsaḥ karmaṇo nopapadyate
mohāt tasya parityāgas tāmasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ 18.7

If one does like this, one would have abandoned karma out of tamo quality. Tamo quality will induce delusion and wrong perception. Both Swami Vedanta Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika and Swami Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam, have explained the result of tamo quality here. Tamo quality will induce delusion, laziness, sleepiness or drowsy and carelessness. By this wrong perception will be formed. We may mistake rope for snake and pillar for thief, etc. All poojas and aradanas for the Lord are righteous courses of action, according to Vedas. But this person in tamo quality wrongly understands and thinking these actions or karmas, hurt self and others, and so they have to be altogether avoided. This wrong perception is called vipareeta gyana. He mistakes dharma as adharma! Niyatasya = routine or nitya, karmana = duties [as prescribed in Shastras], samnyasa = sacrifice, tu na = also not, upapadyate = agreeable. Avoiding our nitya karmas is not agreed upon. Because, mohat = due to delusion, tasya parityaga = sacrificing the karma itself, parikrita = is believed to be, tamasa = out of tamo quality. We should remember previous advice of the Lord in BG 3.14 [sloka 3.13], that even those in gyana yoga have to live and continue in Gyana. He had told that even if a person had decided to do only Gyana yoga and not do karma yoga, karmas can not be abandoned. Because, he has to look after his body to do Gyana yoga. We have no authority to starve and die. So we have to eat, and food has to be earned in honest ways. That means some effort and work have to be done. These are all karma. Also, we have to eat food offered to the Lord in a pooja or yagna. The Lord said that such food only enable one to reach Moksham. That means karmas have to be performed. Thus even if we decide to perform only Upasana, karmas can never be abandoned. Performing karmas, pleases the Lord and enables the body to concentrate on Upasana or Bhakti. Therefore, thinking karmas is adharma only shows tamo quality. Let us therefore, perform poojas to Salagrama and avoid tamo quality.

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