Geetha Saram 17-22 to 17-26..

..sloham 17-22..After worshiping Veda Vyasa in the cave, we have now come to a nearby rock. This is called Bhim pul or Bhima’s bridge..When Draupati found it difficult to cross the river, she requested Bhima to help. Bhima gathering his strength lifted a huge rock and placed it as a bridge to cross. We are seeing that rock bridge only. The sight of the huge mountain and the steep valley, and the rushing Saraswati river, all make us nervous! This bridge connects one mountain to another. As they crossed, in the way one after another died and reached Swarga. Yudhishtra was the last surviving of the Pandavas. That is called Swargaarohana. Just above Bhim pul, is a temple

adeśakāle yad dānam apātrebhyaś ca dīyate
asatkṛtam avajñātaṃ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam..

Tat = that [dhanam], tamasam = is tamasa type , utahrtam = as told [ by learned persons]. Adesa = at improper place, akale = at improper time, apatrebhyas = to improper persons, yad danam = such dhanams, diyate = given [is tamasa dhanam]…Asatkrtam = without respect , avajnatham = with disrespect…

Ramanuja’s Commentary  for sloham 17-22..Now Lord Krishna states that danam or charity given at an inauspicious location such as in cities where cows are slaughtered, at inauspicious times such as dark of night and to inauspicious persons such as meat eaters are situated in tama guna the mode of darkness. Also showing disrespect by failing to properly welcome a worthy recipient such as a Vaisnava brahmana who knows atma tattva or knowledge of the immortal soul. As also showing disdain by failing to wash his feet and drink the water, showing dishonour by failing to offer ceremonial etiquette by performing arati of waving lamps, incense and flowers, etc. are all considered to be in tama guna the mode of ignorance even if accompanied with opulent gifts. .
 
.sloham 17-23..crossing Vyasa cave, Bim pul and Draupati temple, we reach this place..We come across Vasudhara…We find many badari [ ilandai இலந்தை in Tamil] trees here..After Vasudhara is Lakshmi vanam [Laxmivan]. It is a glacier.
..From there another road Sat path [commonly known as Satopanth], leads to Swargarohini..
..Path or panth means marg or road. ‘Nanya:pantha ayanaya vidyate‘ – there is no other way to reach [Brahmam, except by Gyana and Bhakti, says Upanishad]. Sat means noble persons. This is therefore, the road of noble persons…To get married to Sri Narayana, Sri Lakshmi meditated here. At this place, Draupati, unable to continue her journey fell down and died and reached heaven. Without turning back, the Five Pandavas continued their journey. Next, they came across Sesha dhara. At this place the youngest of Pandavas and son of Madri, Sahadeva, died. After some distance, Nakula, also died unable to proceed further. The remaining Three – Yudhishtra, Bhima and Arjuna continued their journey. Eight KMs from here Sathopanth glacier starts. Then we come across Balupata. Beyond this Bhimasena was unable to continue and he died here. Then, Yudhishtra and Arjuna continued further. Then we come to Chakra Theertham. Here Arjuna died. Yudhishtra continued and along with him one dog followed. Next, we see Trikona saras, a lake surrounded by hills on Three sides.
..Just before this we can also see Sahasra Dhara, where many water falls could be seen. If we proceed from one side of Trikona saras, we come across Swargarohini…That is the place which was reached by Yudhishtra and left for Swarga! On another side we come across Alakapuri. Earlier, it was mentioned that from Alakapuri, river Alakananda flows.
..yudishtra/dog/puzu kathjai..Badrikashram is the birth place of Pranava

oṃ tat sad iti nirdeśo brahmaṇas trividhaḥ smṛtaḥ
brāhmaṇās tena vedāś ca yajñāś ca vihitāḥ purā

Pura = in the ancient time, that is at the start of Creation, tena = this way [the Lord created]. Om tat sad = OM TAT and SAT, iti nirdesa = these words, trivida = three types. Brahmana = while performing Vedic activities, smrta = are always associated. Vedas ca = and the Vedas, yajnas ca = and the activities mentioned [in Vedas], vihita = were created [by the Lord]…

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloham 17-23..Up  until this time Lord Krishna has elaborated upon the distinctions between yagna or propitiation, tapah or austerities and dana or charity and how they are categorised in the three gunas or modes of material nature. Now the Supreme Lord will illustrate how yagna, tapah and dana become spiritualised by being unified with the pranava OM. The term pranava refers to first breath which is first vibrated as OM commencing all Vedic rites. It is derived from the root word prana meaning breath and is properly pronounced AAH with mouth open OOH with lips puckered and MMMM by pursing them together. The triplicate formula OM TAT SAT is used in reference to the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence which is the impersonal aspect of the Supreme Lord. The brahman also refers to the Vedas which also originally emanated from the Supreme Lords prana. The Vedas denote Vedically ordained activities of which yagna, tapah and dana are essential. All Vedically ordained yagnas, rituals and ceremonies are only bonafide and valid if prefaced with the pranava OM at its commencement accompanied by its auxiliaries TAT and SAT. The absence of the transcendental sound of OM vibrating from the very inception of any Vedic activity automatically disqualifies it and renders it invalid even if subsequent rituals are performed perfect and perfunctory. The pranava OM is an eternal prerequisite for every expiatory rite prescribed in the Vedic scriptures and thus indispensable. The pranava OM is the transcendental sound vibration personally representing the Supreme Lord Krishna. The auxiliary TAT denotes complete perfection and auspiciousness and the auxiliary SAT denotes the source of all creation.The Vaisnavas and the brahmanas are those who have the sole right and exclusive authority to vibrate these transcendental sound vibrations audibly and inaudibly during all rituals prescribed in the Vedic scriptures. Brahmanas are those seminally born in India in the topmost caste of Brahmin families. Vaisnavas are devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures, who are born in any caste, in any country, in any planetary system and who are so attracted to the Supreme Lord Krishna that they make themselves available to receive twice born Brahmin initiation from a Vaisnava acarya or bonafide spiritual master from one of the four authorised sampradaya or bonafide channel of disciplic succession. Only duly initiated Vaisnavas and Brahmins are ordained to perform Vedic rites, no others have this authority and in this matter there is no exception. The Brahmins and the Vaisnavas were originally created by the Supreme Lord along with the Vedas and yagnas to harmoniously evolve and perfect all creation. 
 
..sloham 17-24..when He took avatar as Sri Rama, Kausalya was His mother. Devaki was the mother of Sri Krishna. Similarly, there was a mother of Sri Narayana and Sri Nara, and there is a temple for her. We may recall that we have worshiped Vyasa cave, then Bhim pul, then Draupati temple and then Sathopanth and Swargarohini. All these were on one side of river Alakananda. On the other side of Alakananda, we can see Mata Murti temple.
..The idol is small. During the month of Avani, on Shukla paksha Dwadasi, Sri Badrinath arrives here to pay respects to His mother! This festival is celebrated annually, and the Lord is taken on a grand procession! It is celebrated as Sri Mata Murty mela and Badarikashram wears festival look! After a day’s stay in this temple, the Lord returns to Badarikashram by evening.
tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yajñadānatapaḥkriyāḥ
pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṃ brahmavādinām
..Vidhanokta = such karmas [performed by Brahmavadinam] should have been prescribed in Vedas. Yajna dana tapa kriya = [such Vedas prescribed] actions like Yagna, Dhanam and Tapas. How are they to be performed? Om ity udahrtya = by chanting OM [ all such karmas are performed]. OM is chanted to commence any Vedic activity. Why so? Tasmad = [because of the reasons mentioned in sloka 23, and..satam = always, pravartante = perform, with OM in the beginning and OM at the conclusion…In Katopanishad, sarve veda: yatpada mamananti tatamsi sarvani vadanti‘..It means that what was the unique thing told by all Vedas, what all words of Vedas point to one unique thing, and which unique thing is pursued by yogis and sages, that would be told very precisely. It is OM. Upanishads very clearly say that all Vedas’ essence is OM. Further, its prakruti or the First letter A, represents the Lord Sriman Narayana. Thus, OM, which encapsules the Lord, would always do good only!..வேதத்துக்கு ஓம் என்னுவதுபோல் உள்ளதுக்கெல்லாம் தான் மங்களம் ஆதலால்]’..
 
 

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloham 17-24.. Lord Krishna elaborates the ontology of OM TAT SAT and how they are interrelated. The words brahma-vadinam are those who follow the injunctions and ordinances of the Vedic scriptures and refers to the three higher varnas or castes beginning with the brahmins or priestly class, ksatriyas the royal and warrior class and vaisyas the merchant class. Yagna or propitiation and worship to the Supreme Lord is performed exclusively by the Vaisnavas and Brahmins. Tapah or austerities is performed by the Vaisnava brahmins and the ksatriyas. Danam or charity is performed by the ksatriyas and vaisyas and is offered to the Vaisnavas and brahmanas to be utilised for the service of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His avatars or authorised incarnations and expansions according to vedic scriptures. Thus the relationship between the three higher varnas has been clarified. All prescribed Vedic rituals must be performed exclusively by the Vaisnavas and brahmanas and always commence with the transcendental sound vibration OM. The Vedas begin with OM as well. Thus the eternal connection between OM and the Vedas and OM and yagnas has been demonstrated and firmly established as only in conjunction with the transcendental sound of OM at the commencement are the Vedas recited and the performance of yagnas is bonafide.

..sloham 17-25..keshava prayag..Two rivers confluence. One is Saraswati river and the other is Alakananda river. This joining is called Keshava prayag. Saraswati river is in pale green color, while Alakananda is in muddy color.In samsaram, when we are afflicted by Kama, Krodha, Ahankaram, Mamakaram, etc., sadhu sangamam or association with great devotees, would help us to get relieved. Therefore, each Prayag should be a lesson for us to live in company of devotees..

tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yajñadānatapaḥkriyāḥ
pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṃ brahmavādinām
..Vidhanokta = such karmas [performed by Brahmavadinam] should have been prescribed in Vedas. Yajna dana tapa kriya = [such Vedas prescribed] actions like Yagna, Dhanam and Tapas. How are they to be performed? Om ity udahrtya = by chanting OM [ all such karmas are performed]. OM is chanted to commence any Vedic activity. Why so? Tasmad = [because of the reasons mentioned in sloka 23, and..satam = always, pravartante = perform, with OM in the beginning and OM at the conclusion…In Katopanishad, sarve veda: yatpada mamananti tatamsi sarvani vadanti‘..It means that what was the unique thing told by all Vedas, what all words of Vedas point to one unique thing, and which unique thing is pursued by yogis and sages, that would be told very precisely. It is OM. Upanishads very clearly say that all Vedas’ essence is OM. Further, its prakruti or the First letter A, represents the Lord Sriman Narayana. Thus, OM, which encapsules the Lord, would always do good only!..வேதத்துக்கு ஓம் என்னுவதுபோல் உள்ளதுக்கெல்லாம் தான் மங்களம் ஆதலால்]’..
 ..tad ity anabhisaṃdhāya phalaṃ yajñatapaḥkriyāḥ
dānakriyāś ca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣakāṅkṣibhiḥ
 

 Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloham 17-25..Whatever prescribed Vedic activities performed by the Vaisnavas and brahmanas such as study of the Vedic scriptures and yagna or propitiation and worship by ritual to the Supreme Lord, tapah or austerities by the ksatriyas or royal warrior class and danam or charity by the vaisyas or merchant class are all done out of devotion and dedicated to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures without the slightest desire for material rewards. Such activities devoid of motivation for mundane results are designated as TAT signifying that such acts are for atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul, perception of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and attaining communion with the Supreme Lord. The Vishnu Sahasrasa confirms that: sah, vah, kah, klim, and tat denote the Supreme absolute. Hence the ontology of TAT has been demonstrated to signify its connection to transcendental and eternal activities which independently bestow moksa or freedom from material existence and promotion to the eternal spiritual realms. 

 ..sloham 17-26..In the Stotra Ratnam,in  one sloka Sri Allavandaar  says that this samsaram is a large ocean with unfathomed depth.
Aparadha sahasra bhajanam patitam bhimabavarnavavodare |
Agatim saranagatim hare krupaya kevalamatmasat kuru || (48)
He says that he was struggling in a very deep ocean; and prays that He should save him with mercy. This sloka was written in Srirangam, in South India. But daily in the Sayana Harati, being performed to Sri Badri Narayana, this sloka is chanted! This practice was established by Swami Ramanuja. Not only this, a sloka from Mukunda Mala, written by Kulasekara Alwar, is also chanted. In that sloka the Alwar prays that in his thoughts the Lord’s Divine feet should always be there. Listening to these in another corner of India gives great pleasure. Swami Ramanuja had arrived here and chanted many slokas like these and also established certain practices in the temple. There is one Ramanuja Kootam here. It is a separate building, outside the temple. We can worship Sakshi Gopal and Swami Ramanuja, in this place. Swami Ramanuja idol is well maintained. He is praised to be always chanting the works of his predecessors and eyes always showering compassion. We also worship Sakshi Gopal, as Sri Navaneetha Krishna! We can also see the Lord with Chatur Bhujam [Four hands]. In this Ramanuja Kootam, one Swami is performing daily services. Nearby is Sri Rama Sthambam or Sri Rama Sthupa. In 1961, one Jeer Swami came here and performed Sri Rama Krathu yagna. We have heard of Sri Tridandi Jeer Swami of Sita nagar near Vijayawada, A.P. Tridandi Sriman Narayana Jeer [Pedda Jeer Swami] had come to Badarikashram and staying in a cave in meditation for 6 months attained Ashtakshara siddhi. By this he got the power of accomplishing tasks undertaken. He performed 108 Sri Rama Krathu in 108 Divya desams. In that task, he got a building constructed some 47 years

sadbhāve sādhubhāve ca sad ity etat prayujyate
praśaste karmaṇi tathā sacchabdaḥ pārtha yujyate ..

Partha = Arjuna!, yujyate = [like this] is deployed. In which circumstances and in which meaning the word SAT is being deployed? Sad bhave = in conveying existence [of a matter], sadhu bhave = in conveying good quality [of a matter]. Sadbhavam means existence..Etat = this [word SAT], prayujyate = is used..Prasaste karmani = [to convey] an act as superior or noble..Tat = that [word SAT], sacchapda = in that meaning also, yujyate = is used…The karmas or actions mentioned in this sloka are laukika or domestic in nature. Karmas mentioned in sloka 27 are Vedic karmas, like Yagna, Tapas, Dhanam, etc. By worshiping Sri Badri Narayana we should become SAT! Tirumangai Alwar in the last, 20th, pasuram on Badarikashram, says that those who chanted these 20 pasurams would rule this world and other worlds..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloham 17-26.. The Supreme Lord Krishna explains that the word SAT denotes eternal existence and perpetual goodness. The words sad-bhave exemplifies eternal existence and the words sadhu-bhave exemplifies perpetual goodness. This is the correct understanding in which SAT is to be comprehended in the Vedas as well as its utilisation by the recitation of SAT in prescribed Vedic rituals performed exclusively by the Vaisnavas and brahmanas. Similarly the transcendental sound of SAT may be evoked for any auspicious activity ordained by the Vedic scriptures by duly initiated Vaisnava brahmanas in any of the 480,000 types of humans existing throughout creation.To follow the prescribed Vedic duties of yagna or propitiation and worship by the Vaisnava brahmanas, tapah or austerities by the ksatriyas the royal warrior class and danam or charity by the vaisyas or merchant class are all considerd in sattva guna or mode of goodness because they are conscientiously following the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. Thus all such activities are known as SAT denoting perpetual goodness and due to being dedicated to the Supreme Lord they possess auspicious attributes of an eternal nature and for this they are also known as SAT.

Thus the relationship of OM TAT SAT to the Vedas, the performance of prescribed Vedic activities performed by Vaisnava brahmanas and protected by the ksatriyas while supported by the vaisyas clearly and succinctly demonstrates what is factually Vedic in society and what is actually situated in sattva guna while simultaneously clarifying comprehensively by the logic of opposing parallels what is not Vedic in society and thus doomed to the perdition of exclusion from the ascending orbit of sattva guna.

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