Kaveri virajaseyam vaikuntam ranga mandiram |
sa vasudevo rangesa: pratyaksha paramampadam ||
In this sloka on the glory of Srirangam, similarities between Srirangam and Vaikuntam are shown. Kaveri is Viraja. Srirangam is Vaikuntam. Sri Ranganatha is Sri Para Vasudeva. Viraja river flows near Vaikuntam. Viraja means without rajas [and tamas] qualities. There is also a pushkarini Airamvadam [ஐரம்வதம்]. An atman reaching Vaikuntam, has to take bath in this river and go to Vaikuntam. Atman is so minute. Then, how atman goes about without legs? How atman percieves without eyes, etc.? How atman is able to accept all the compliments offered? We have seen women folk cleaning rice with water before cooking. In the first cleaning, all major impurities are all cleared. Rice is cleaned again with water. Now, remaining impurities are also cleared. Then rice is taken for cooking. Similarly, jeevatman has a large body, while living in this world. First that is cast away before starting for the journey to Vaikuntam, like in the first wash of rice. Then, atman is accorded a sookshma or subtle body. With this body atman is able to travel the long journey. With this body, atman is able to travel and accept all honours accorded to atman on the way. Now, with that sookshma body, atman takes bath in Viraja river. Here, the sookshma body is removed, akin to second washing of rice! When atman comes out of Viraja river, some other things happen. If a gem falls into dirt, its brightness is diminished. By cleaning the dirt, it regains its lustre. Also, if water is in a container, by removing the block in the exit, water flows out automatically. Similarly, in this samsaram, atman like the gem covered by dirt, is dim in its knowledge. But after dip in Viraja all impurities are cleared and association with prakruti is removed. This side of Viraja river in which moola prakruti and all worlds [including ours] are there, is called prakruti mandalam. The other side of Viraja, where Vaikuntam is there, is called Aprakruta mandalam. It has no contamination with Prakruti and is not created. It exists as such. When atman raises from Viraja river after a bath, Amanava [who has been accompanying from Vidyut lok], helps to cross over to the other side of Viraja river. There is a pasuram at the end in Upadesa Rathnamalai. Swami Manavala Mamunigal is the last of Sri Vaishnava Acharyas. In this pasuram, it is said that he who is touched by the Divine feet of Swami Manavala Mamunigal, is certain to be helped by Amanava, and cross Viraja river. During that instant, the atman gets another body. This body will be in contrast with all the bodies this atman resided in the infinite births in samsaram. It will be an aprakruta body. This body is not made of the pancha bhoota or the five great elements [space, air, fire, water and earth]; but is composed of suddha satvam or pure satva quaity matter, uncontaminated by rajas and tamas. That body will be radiating with brightness. The second thing that will happen after bath in Viraja river, is that the Gyana or knowledge of atman will fully blossom. That is atman will regain its nature with total knowledge. Upanishads say that atman reaches the Lord and gains its natural quality of full knowledge. Atman is no longer bound by karmas; atman does not have to return to samsaram. On the shore of the river 500 apsaras [beautiful damsels] would be waiting to decorate the atman with aprakrutam body. It is called Brahmaalankaram. The decorative materials are also, unlike those of this world, aprakrutam. A hundred persons will decorate with flowers. Another hundred persons will cover with dresses. Yet another hundred would apply cosmetics. This is how Nammalwar describes the entry into Vaikuntam. All of them welcome this atman to rule that World of the Lord! We will see later, how Vaikuntam is inside. Now, we will see sloka 46. The Lord said that he, who followed his varna duties, attained Vaikuntam. To answer the question how, the Lord says that by worshiping Him. We will get the doubt as to how performing one's duty of fighting or chanting Vedas, etc., would be worshiping the Lord? The Lord is going to answer that all these duties and worshiping emanated from Him. All are pervaded by Him within and without. All originate from Him and finally mingle with Him. All are controlled and commanded by Him. Therefore, anything done is worshiping Him. By worshiping Indra or Kubera or anyone else, it is worshiping Him only, as Indra, Kubera and all such, are His bodies only. Fighting for a just cause is Dharma; ruling a country is Dharma. The Lord is pleased by all these acts. Pleased, He grants Moksham. Anyone performing any duty, as long as it is in accordance with shastras, and agrees with one's prescribed duty, such performance paves the way to reach Him. Because all are He only! Now, sloka 46:
yataḥ pravṛttir bhūtānāṃ yena sarvam idaṃ tatam
svakarmaṇā tam abhyarcya siddhiṃ vindati mānavaḥ 18.46
Manava = human, siddhim vindati = attains result [Vaikuntam], sva karmana = by doing one's own duty, tam = I [Supreme Lord Sri Krishna] am, abhyarca = well worshiped. There are two statements here. Attains siddhi by worshiping Him. Fight to attain siddhi. If these statements are to be equal, then one may get the doubt, whether fighting [by Arjuna] is equal to worshiping Sri Krishna? How doing one's own duty is equal to worshiping the Lord? How these two are connected? The connection is in the First line of sloka. Bhutanam = all living beings, yata pravrttir = from Whom originate, sarvam idam = all these are, yena tatam = well pervaded by Whom [without exception]. Atman is inside the body. The Lord pervades atman as well as the body. He is in every person. He is in every activity done. Therefore, whatever we do, is worship of Him. Does it mean killing another or abusing others, etc., are also worship of Him? No. The actions should be in accordance with Dharma Shastras. That is why the Lord tells 'sva karmana' [one's own duty]. Therefore, the doer, the activity, the god worshiped, etc., are all Sri Krishna. Therefore, by fighting Arjuna will attain the result. By fighting Arjuna worships the Lord. By doing one's own karma, it will transform into Bhakti. Bhakti when fully matures ensures attainment of the end result or Moksham.