37. TIRU MANIKKOODAM திரு மணிக் கூடம்:
We have been visiting various Divya desams and learning the slokas of Bhagavad Gita. With visit today [29th September 2009], we visit Four more of the Eleven Tirunangur Kshetrams and complete visit of all the Forty Divya desams of Chola region. We visited Manimadak Koyil; but here it is Manikkoodam. The Lord here is Sri Manikkooda Perumal or Sri Gajendra Varadan. Alwar praises Him as Sri Manikkooda Nayakan. The Lord is in standing pose, facing East. Sri Nacchiyar is Sri Tirumaamagal Nacchiyar, in separate sannidhi. Chandra Pushkarini. The Lord appeared to Garuda and Chandra. Kanaka Vimanam. Tirumangai Alwar praises the Lord as 'our' Lord among the Trinity!
38. TIRUVELLAKKULAM - ANNAN KOIL திரு வெள்ளக் குளம்:
We now arrive at a prarthanai sthalam, where the Lord is considered as Elder Brother of the Lord of Tirumala. Swetha Pushkarini. Swetha means white, and so this place is Vellai [white] kulam [pond]. There was one Bindumadan, who had a son called Swetha. Understanding that the son had a danger for his life at his Ninth year, he came to this place and worshiped the Lord with mantras. Thereafter, in his son's name this place and pond got their names. The Lord is Sri Srinivasa, in standing pose, facing East. He is gracing with Sri Alarmel Mangai Nacchiyar. The Lord is also known as Sri Annan Perumal, by which Tirumangai Alwar addresses Him. This place is considred as the birth place of Kumudavalli Nacchiyar, wife of Tirumangai Alwar. She was one among many Deva women, who came to bathe in the pond; while all others left, she alone remained plucking Kumudam flowers and she was looked after by a local person. She was christened Kumudavalli. Tirumangai Alwar, once on a visit to this place, fell in love with her and requested for marriage. She agreed on condition that he should feed devotees of the Lord. He should get Pancha samskarams from an Acharya. Alwar agreed and married her.
39. TIRU PARTHANPALLI திரு பார்த்தன் பள்ளி:
Gita and this Divya desam are closely connected. Parthan means Arjuna and Parthan palli means Arjuna's place. This is the place, where the Lord gave Darshan to Arjuna. The Lord is Sri Tamarayal Kelvan [ஸ்ரீ தாமரையாள்கேள்வன்]. The Lord faces West and is in standing pose. Sri Utsavar is Sri Parthasarathy. Sri Thayar is Sri Tamarai Nayaki. Varuna prayed the Lord to appear as Sri Parthasarathy. Kadka pushkarini. We can see the long sword [kadkam] with the Lord here. According to legend, the sword was used to get the pond. There is separate sannidhi for Arjuna, to whom the Lord preached Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna not only got the Kingdom, but also the kingdom of Service to the Lord.
40. TILLAI NAGAR TIRU CHITTIRAKOOTAM தில்லை நகர் திருச் சித்திரக்கூடம் :
After completing visits to Tirunangur Divya desams, we now arrive at Tiruchittirakootam aka Chidambaram. In this temple both Vaishnavas and Shaivaites worship. This temple is famous for Nataraja temple. The Lord as Sri Govindaraja, adjudged Nataraja as winner in a competition between Shiva and Parvati. The Lord is in reclining pose. Though Chidambaram is a popular name, Alwars called it Tillainagar Tiruchittirakootam. Kulasekara Alwar has praised the Lord in Ten pasurams. Sri Utsavar is in seated pose. Sri Thayar is Sri Pundareekavalli Thayar. Sri Govinda is Sri Krishna. Pancahka, Gajamuka and Dandaka were Three asuras. Their sisters were Tilli and Villi. Tilli was the guard woman in Sri Mushnam. She was born in this Kshetram as Tilli tree and so this place is called Tillai Nagar. When Shiva and Parvati wanted to compete in dancing, an artful [chittira] hall [kootam] was made by Devas' carpenter. Thus, this place got the name Chittirakootam. Ambalam means dancing place. With this we complete Chola region temples and enter Nadu Naadu [நடு நாடு] temples.
41. TIRUVAHEENDRA PURAM திருவஹீந்திரபுரம் :
The Lord here is Sri Devanathan. The Lord, as Sri Hayagriva, appeared to Swami Vedanta Desika in this place. Swami Desika also composed Achyuta satakam in praise of the Lord. When Devas and Asuras fought, the Lord helped Devas. At that time, Adisesha created water in this place, by striking the ground with its tail. So, it is ahi [snake] created place - Ahindrapuram. In Tamil it is called Ayindai [அயிந்தை]. Sri Thayar is Sri Hemambujavalli Thayar aka Sri Bhargavi Thayar. The Lord is also called Sri Adiyavarkku Meyyan [ஸ்ரீ அடியவர்க்கு மெய்யன்] or Sri Dasa Satya [true to devotees]. Sri Hayagriva is gracing on Aushada Giri, near the temple. Sri Hayagriva is the Lord empowering us with Gyana.
42. TIRUKKOVALUR திருக் கோவலூர் :
The Lord here is Sri Ayanar [ஸ்ரீ ஆயனார்] aka Sri Trivikrama. At the request of sage Mrigandu, the Lord appeared as Sri Trivikrama, striding over all the worlds. The Lord is gracing with His right leg lifted up, right arm lifted up and with discus and conch reversed in their usual positions. This is one of the Pancha Krishna Kshetrams. Sri Thayar is Sri Pushpavalli Thayar and Sri Poonkoval Nacchiyar. In this Kshetram on river South Pennar, the Three Mudal Azhvars assembled and sang Mudal [first], Irandam [second] and Moonram [third] Tiruvandadi poems. Tirukkovalur Emperumanar Swami is conducting all festivals.
Now we will see sloka 56. Sri Krishna told Arjuna about Parabhakti, Paragyana and Parama Bhakti. By this we understand that we could reach the Lord by Bhakti. But a doubt might arise that while by Bhakti one could reach Him, Arjuna was involved in war. How then, the Lord asked Arjuna to fight? It is a Kamya Karma. We had earlier seen Nitya, Naimittika and Kamya Karmas. Nitya karma is what we are to do daily. Naimittika karma is to be performed with reference to a special events, like eclipses, etc. Kamya karma is that which is performed with a particular result desired. Arjuna wanted to regain Kingdom and so it is Kamya karma. How Kamya karma could obtain Moksham? Here, Sri Krishna clarifies that even Kamya karma, if done with the Three Tyagas, could get Moksham. Now, to sloka:
sarvakarmāṇy api sadā kurvāṇo madvyapāśrayaḥ
matprasādād avāpnoti śāśvataṃ padam avyayam 18.56
Avyayam = without any difficiency, sasvatam = everlasting, padam = stage or place, avapnoti = is reached or attained [certainly]. He reaches Paramapadam. That is he, who performs karma reaches Paramapadam. Sarvakarmany = [performing] all karmas. By mentioning all karmas, not only Nitya and Naimittika karmas, but Kamya karmas are also, indicated. Sada kurvana = performing always [these karmas], madvyapasraya = dedicating to Me [Sri Krishna]. That is performing the karmas, with the Three sacrifices, dedicating the karmas and their results in Him. Madprasadad = with My [Sri Krishna's] mercy and blessings, avapnoti = attains. He attains Sri Krishna sayujyam or His Divine feet or Sri Vaikuntam. This everlasting and faultless place is reached by him performing karmas, which include Kamya karma also, by sacrificing and dedicating them to the Lord. The sacrifices are abandoning the feeling I-am-doing and it-is-for-me and discarding desire for inferior rewards. Thus even Kamya karma will enable one to reach the Lord.