Friday, October 30, 2009

BG 18.70

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After worshiping all Dwarakas in Gujarat and Rajasthan, we have arrived at Pushkaram Kshetram in Rajasthan.

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This is one of the swayam vyakta Kshetram. Long ago, this entire place was full of water. Now only, we see houses and streets. In those days, only Pushkaram lake was existing. Here, the Lord is appearing in the form of Water. Lord Brahma wanted to do meditation in this place. That time, there was a rakshasa by name Vajranatha. He was habitual, in killing the children of this place. Realizing that only after destroying the rakshasa, he could perform meditation or yagna, lord Brahma, threw the lotus flower he held, on the rakshasa. It killed the rakshasa and the petals fell on 52 places, in about 5 miles around this place. At each of these 52 places, theerthams or sacred ponds were formed. All those 52 ponds became one lake and was called Pushkaram. Pushkaram means water fromed by lotus flower. We know that water does not stick to lotus leaf. But lotus itself becoming water, is in Pushkaram only! Later, at the request of Rishis, the Lord agreed to be present, as the water in the lake. Water and the Lord are closely connected. 'Aapo narayiti prokta: aapovai narasunara:'. Aapa – water, naara: - water, ayanam – residing place. Since the Lord is having water as His residence, He is Narayana [नारायण]. While creating, the Lord has given great importance to water. He might be seated on land or standing on hills, but He is never separated from water. It is not that the Lord is reclining only in Paarkkadal [Milky Ocean]; wherever water is there, the Lord is reclining in all those waters, be it saline ocean, or ghee ocean or even milky ocean. In all oceans, the Lord is reclining. Here also, the lake is vast and appears like an ocean. Presently, the lake is being repaired and cleaned. But once upon a time, this entire city was full of water. Presently, Pushkaram is made of Three lakes – Jyeshta Pushkaram, Madhya Pushkaram and Kanishta Pushkaram. Madhya Pushkaram is the main pushkaram, place where Sri Vishnu resides. Away, outside the town is Jyeshta Pushkaram, for lord Brahma. Each of these Pushkarams is large like an ocean! Kanishta Pushkaram is the residence of lord Shiva. There is another important incident, which we will see next day. We will also see why there is temple for lord Brahma in this place. Now, we will see summary of Chapter 16:

dev¯asura vibh¯agokti p¯urvik¯a ´s¯astrava´syat¯a
tattv¯anus.t.h¯ana vij˜n¯anasthemne s.od.a´sa ucyate || (20)

In Chapter 15, the Lord established that He was Purushottama. We have to see only Chapters 16, 17 and 18. Theses are mentioned in Chapter 16: all of us are bound by Shastras [we have to perform pooja according to Shastras; we have to follow Shastras while doing Karmas].While mentioning this, Sri Krishna tells another aspect.There are some who obey and follow Shastras. And, there are others, who do not obey Shastras. So, the Lord classifies all those who obey Shastras into one group; and those, who do not obey and violate, as another group. He calls those obeying as Devas and those not obeying as Asuras! Thus, in Chapter 16, He groups people as Devas and Asuras. Thus, this Chapter is called Devasura vibhaga adyaya. But this classification is not the theme of this Chapter. People should obey Shastras, is the main purpose. Therefore, using this classification, the Lord says that we are all bound by Shastras. We should get the Gyana about Tattvam – that the Lord is the Most Supreme God. We also need Anushtanam or practice, in accordance with that Gyana. Once we realize the Lord is the Supreme Leader, then we have to follow His orders. So, anushtanam has to be in accordance with Shastras and we can not independently do whatever we like or think. He, who does not obey Shastras and violates, is Asura. We should tell truth, not because we like to do so, but because Shastras say so. If we tell truth, just because we like it, then there could be instances, when we might not like to do what Shastras say. So it is fundamental to obey Shastras, whether we like or not. Shastras stipulate that one should observe fasting on Ekadashi. But one can not say that one would observe fasting on Sunday, being a holiday! That is, we can not choose at our will any day for fasting. If we do, we will not be obeying Shastras. Those observing fasting in accordance with Shastras are Devas. The Lord indicates the identifications of Devas and Asuras; He mentions the means of Devas and Asuras. [16.1]. Gyanam, Yagna, Tapas, Swadhyaya, etc,. are identifications of Devas. Abhayam- person called Deva is not afraid of anyone; because he is straight forward and follows Shastras. His mind should be clear. That is , he is always thinking of atman. He should be always in Gyana Yoga. Dhanam – he should donate in accordance with Shastras. We should control our sense organs. We should perform the daily Pancha Maha Yagnas. Swadhyayam – chanting Vedas regularly. Arjavam – living honestly. These are all qualities of Devas group of persons. When the Lord was to describe the qualities of Asuras, Arjuna got the fear as to in which group he belonged to! To know whether one was Deva or Asura, it is not physical outlooks like cruel face, canine teeth, horns on the head, etc. The Lord says that if Deva quality was there, it would fetch Moksham; and, Asura quality, would make the person to be reborn again and again. The Lord comforts Arjuna and asks him not to be despondent. He assured that Arjuna was certainly, a Deva. How did the Lord classify Arjuna as Deva? Simple! In all these preceding 15 Chapters, the Lord has been proclaiming about His supremacy. Had Arjuna been an Asura, he would have objected to that and stopped further lecture! Asuras will always think that whatever they had, were all earned by their efforts alone. They would claim, they were the lords, and all belonged to them. Such people with Kama, Krodha, etc., are made to be reborn again and again. The Lord asks Arjuna not to acquire any qulities of Asuras. He should go by Vedas, to know what should be followed and what should be abandoned.

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