Geetha Saram 18-7 to 18-11..

..sloha 18-7..Azvaars/acharyars/Andal darsaam pani mukthi natha perumalai sevikirom..padmasana eruntha thiru kolam..sri devi/boo devi nintra thiru kolam..swayam vyaktha shedram..

  1. Vanamamalai [Nanguneri or Totadri]
  2. Srirangam
  3. Sri Mushnam
  4. Tirumala or Tiruvenkatam
  5. Pushkaram
  6. Naimisharanyam
  7. Badarikashram
  8. Salagrama or Muktinath.

..thottu annaithu sevikalaam..tamo thayagam patri aruluhiraan..

niyatasya tu saṃnyāsaḥ karmaṇo nopapadyate
mohāt tasya parityāgas tāmasaḥ parikīrtitaḥ..

Tamo quality will induce delusion, laziness, sleepiness or drowsy and carelessness…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…munbey 3-13 gyana yogikalum karma pannanum yentru arulinaan..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-7..

Prescribed Vedic activities are niyata or eternal. Some are daily duties such as chanting mantras or sacred incantations for the benefit of all creation at the three junctures of the day. Some are occasional duties such as fasting from all grains twice a month on ekadasi which is the 11th day of the waxing and waning moon. Still other prescribed Vedic activities such as a Vishnu yagna which is ritualistic propitiation and worship of the Supreme Lord are performed during extraordinary celebrations such as the installation of the vigraha or authorised deity form of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures. Ceasing to performed such sanctifying and purifying Vedic activities which benefit all creation would be unrighteous and cause unimaginable degradation to humanity specifically and evolution in general. Lord Krishna already confirmed in chapter three, verse 8: That bodily sustenance cannot even be maintained without appropriate actions otherwise it is not possible. . Even if one is able to assimilate bodily sustenance from sunshine or by air alone as some elevated yogis do that is still performing action.

Food not first consecrated unto the Supreme Lord is considered sinful and such food produces delusion and bewilderment in thinking. It is confirmed in Chandogya Upanisad VI.V.IV beginning anna mayam hi somya mana states: The mind is verily composed from food. The purifying vestiges of sanctified food ingested after the performance of the holy yagna is capable of imparting sacred knowledge conducive to atma tattva or soul realisation. Cognition of the Supreme Lord and communion with Him is dependent upon internal and external purity which are mandatory pre-requisites. Purified food purifies the mind, a purified mind has the ability to access the esoteric spiritual reality that assures moksa or liberation from material existence. So the reality is that prescribed Vedic activities and obligatory duties are to be performed all throughout one’s life even up to the last day of departing the present existence as they guarantee one is able to fulfil the goals of human existence. So abstinence from performing them is not in one’s best interest. Those that desist, ignore, disregard and blaspheme are influenced by illusion and are locked in tama guna the mode of ignorance. For it has been traced by the enlightened that the idea of abstinence of prescribed Vedic activities was induced by tama guna and governed by illusion. Ignorance is that which is hostile to wisdom and exists as perverted knowledge. So abstaining from prescribed Vedic activities is in the category of perverted knowledge. Lord Krishna will illustrate this futher in verse 32.

..sloham 18-8..meley yeri ponaal narasimhar sevai. colourful perumaal..nintra thiru kolam. thirumangaiyaarum narasimhanai saligramathaal..He says further that, the Lord is in each and every object we could perceive. Entire Universe is His body. He says ‘thanai [தானாய்]’, meaning that He has everything, like air, fire, earth, etc., as His body..hough, the Lord is as air, water, etc., we will not feel satisfied to worship them. Understanding the desires of ordinary devotees like us, Tirumangai Alwar, therefore, adds the word ‘thanum aanan [தானும் ஆனான்]’, meaning He is also available in idol form to worship…rajasa thyaham patri ethil aruluhiraan..tamasa gyana is vipareetha gyanam.. rajasa gyanam is anyata gyanam..

duḥkham ity eva yat karma kāyakleśabhayāt tyajet
sa kṛtvā rājasaṃ tyāgaṃ naiva tyāgaphalaṃ labhet

..Tyagaphalam = result of sacrifice, naiva = never, labhet = obtained. Karma = [this person, affected by rajo quality, thinks] actions, dukham ity eva = these are only sufferings, kayaklesabhayat = are only hurting the body, tyajet = [and so] abandons [karma], sa krtva = he does, rajasam tyagam = rajasa sacrifice. So, he does not reap any rewards for sacrifice! Both tamasa and rajasa tyaga are therefore, unacceptable, the Lord says…

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-8..

Undoubtedly prescribed Vedic activities are conducive to achieving moksa or liberation form material existence but as they also include penance and austerities they may cause discomfort, difficulty and even pain to accomplish. Sometimes fasting is required putting the physical body under duress causing fatigue which is agonising to the mind. Dreading such inconvenience one may limit themselves solely to the practice of astanga yoga with its numerous exercises, or pranayama maintaining strict breath control or sit for long hours in meditation to achieve moksa. All of these activities may have merit but if they keep one refraining from performing prescribed Vedic activities and obligatory duties then such abstention is known to be contrary to the conclusions of the Vedic scriptures and is situated in raja guna the mode of passion. The benefits that one thinks they are gaining by abstaining from prescribed Vedic activities to perform other works are factually never accrued. It is just a figment of the imagination like a mirage for without supplicating everything to the Supreme Lord Krishna through the medium of the bonfide spiritual master in disciplic succession it is not possible to receive His grace. This topic will be addressed further in verse 32.

..sloham 18-9..Thyirumangaiyaar sees this perumaal as Sri Ramar also in Periya Thirumozil 1-5-1..Lakshmar peyarai solla villai. nizal thaaney avar..sara sarangalai vaikunthathukku yetriyavan mukthi naathan thaaney..thara yentra paravaiyaiyum paaduhiraar ethil..satvika thyagam patri ethil aruluhiraan.

āryam ity eva yat karma niyataṃ kriyaterjuna
saṅgaṃ tyaktvā phalaṃ caiva sa tyāgaḥ sāttviko mataḥ

..sa tyaga = that sacrifice is, satvika = satvika, mata = [in My – Sri Krishna’s and great persons’] opinion…Niyatam karma = prescribed [by Shastras] karma. Pancha maha yagna is one such prescribed karma..These Pancha maha yagna are Brahma yagna, Deva yagna, Bhuta yagna, Pitru yagna and Manushya yagna.Niyatam karmas are Nitya and naimittika karmas. Karyam ity eva = [these niyatam karmas are] to be performed actions. That is, we have to do these karmas, as they are prescribed in Vedas, without expecting any result. This is basic in our philosophy..Sangam = attachment, phalam caiva = and also result, tyaktva = sacrifice. Attachment is I-am-doing [mamata] buddhi. Such tyaga is Satvika tyagam, according to the Lord…Shastras say ‘ ahara suddhau satva suddhi: satva suddhau dhruva smriti: smritilambe sarva grantinam vibra moksha:‘ – good and satvika food will grow satva quality; satva quality enables unperturbed meditation; with continuous meditation, mind is cleared of all doubts and sins. By performing karmas with satvika tyagam, our mind is cleared of doubts and sins, and such performance becomes the means to reach Moksham.

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-9.

It should be understood and clearly comprehended that all prescribed Vedic activities both nitya or eternal and naimittika or occasional are obligatory duties for aspirants seeking moksa or liberation from material existence and communion with the Supreme Lord. These prescribed activities devolve into the specific duties varna and asrama or the stage and class one is situated in. This may be initiated by birth but it is established inherently and qualified by deeds. Actual renunciation is performing such prescribed Vedic activities free from egoism, without any attachment or desire for any rewards. This is real renunciation and is situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness where the source of spiritual realisation commences; properly situated in correct knowledge, untainted by delusion and free from illusion. This theme will appear again in verse 30.

..sloha 18-10.. Salagramam means, sala means rejoice [kondattam கொண்டாட்டம் in Tamil], and gramam means community or group; that is, group of rejoicing. Or, many rejoices!..A worm Vajrakireeta, resides inside a Salagrama stone and carves out to form patterns and marks. Similar stones are found in Dwaraka and they are called Dwaraka shila…Lord Shiva told Parvati that considering these Salagrama as mere stones or selling or buying Salagrama in exchange of money, would push one into hell. We have to worship Salagrama as a priceless possession…there are many types.. sri GadhadhaaraPradyumna is small chakara in size.. Anirudra is long and  elliptical with hole on top..Narayana is black with garlands and rekas..Narasimha is brown  with gadha reka in center, also with large chakara with three holes..Varaha is with two unequal chakaras..Matsya is fish and lotus shape with hole and rekas..Vamana is round with chakara on left..Anantaka is multi coloured.. Hayagreeva is with five rekas on all sides..in one house if there are 12 or more salagramams it is considered as Divya Shethram..

na dveṣṭy akuśalaṃ karma kuśale nānuṣajjate
tyāgī sattvasamāviṣṭo medhāvī chinnasaṃśayaḥ

..Na dvesty = not hating, akusalam karma = actions producing undesirable results or papa, kusale = good results or punya, na anusajjate = never desires. That is he does not desire punya nor hates papa. Why? Tyagi = he has already sacrificed [results and feeling of self doing], satvasamavista = satva quality in exalted position, medhavi = well understood about entities, samsaya = doubts, chinna = destroyed. For this person with Satvika tyagam, satva quality is flourishing, and so this person has learnt all good things and cleared all doubts…Just like we view neighbour, we [our atman] should view our body. If this is properly felt, then we will remain aloof from whatever happens to the body. Thus this person having satvika tyagam is unaffected and remains without any change…

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-10..

The aspirant who renounces both the desire for rewards as well as any ego- sense as the doer is fully in sattva guna the mode of goodness. Situated in correct knowledge and hence free from all doubts such a one is neither besieged by unrighteous acts nor relieved from righteous acts. Righteous acts are those that bestow positive reactions such as progeny, cows, entry into the heavenly planets, etc. An unrighteous act is that which one may accidentally or unintentionally commit that will accrue negative reactions such as misery, pain, entry to the hellish planets, etc. It should not be misconstrued that final emancipation applies to anyone who deliberately engages in unrighteous activities for the Katha Upanisad I,II.XXIV beginning na virato duscharitanna shanto states: One who has not desisted from evil unrighteous actions or who is of unrestrained mind can never achieve final emancipation even if one is a paragon of intellect and knowledge.

In as much as the ego-sense is absent there is no impetus to exhibit aversion or attraction for either one or the other and since all other goals have been relinquished and resigned with the exception of moksa or final emancipation from material existence and communion with the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as revealed in Vedic scriptures then one is truly established in ultimate renunciation. Thus the conclusion is that relinquishing all ego-sense of authorship and abandoning any desire for rewards is actual renunciation and not mere abstention from actions.

..sloha 18-11..Sri ayodhya vanthullom..An old sloka summarizing them says that even monkeys would help an honest person; but even own brother would desert dishonest person!..Gita can be taken as Sri Rama’s life history..Ayodhya is also known as Saket, Koshal, Uttar Koshal, etc. Ayodhya means unable to fight – yodhya asakhyam iti ayodhya. Can not be wrecked; can never be invaded. Ayodhya aparajita – Ayodhya can not be won. In Sri Vaikuntam also known as Saket, the capital city is called Ayodhya..Ayodhya is First among the Seven Mukti yielding Kshetrams – Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwarika. In North, importance is not only given to the temple, but to the entire Kshetram, its Earth and river are considered sacred. Many do parikrama [going around chanting Lord’s names] of the place…Two parikramas are observed. One is going around entire city outskirts, nearly Nine miles. The other is internally, going around places, which may be about Six miles…Ayodhya is part of Koshal desh. Because Sri Rama was born, it is very sacred to all.

.na hi dehabhṛtā śakyaṃ tyaktuṃ karmāṇy aśeṣataḥ
yas tu karmaphalatyāgī sa tyāgīty abhidhīyate

..Dehabhrt = supporter of body or atman, na sakyam = can not, asesata = without leaving any, karmany = all actions, tyaktum = to be abandoned. That is, no atman with a body supported [ie. any living person], can ever remain without doing any action.Upanishad saying: ‘na karmanana prajayat anena tyagenaike amrutatvamanavasu:‘ – only by tyaga, moksham could be reached. What about this? This is replied by Sri Krishna in the latter part of the sloka. Ya tu = who, karma phala = results of actions, tyagi = sacrifices, sa = he is, abhidhiyate = commended as, tyagi =Tyagi. Therefore, he who sacrifices or does not aspire, the results of karma, and not abandon the karmas totally, is Tyagi and this is the interpretation for the Upanishad‘s saying also..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-11..

It should be clearly understood that whether confined to a physical body or a subtle body it is virtually impossible to entirely give up all action completely. In the physical body the heart is beating, the lungs are breathing, water must be drunk, some form of nourishment must be ingested. If it is a subtle body then sunshine must be absorbed or prana or energy must be assimilated. These things are indispensable for life in a physical or subtle body. Thus while residing in a physical body the observance of prescribed Vedic activities are essential and must be performed. It is the renouncing of desires for the rewards of actions that is factual renunciation and not the mere abandoning of activities. Such renunciation also includes idea of authorship and the bane of attachment. It may be argued that prescribed Vedic activities have rewards automatically associated with them such as entry to Svarga the heavenly planets so by such inseparable relationships they are clear incentives. This is also applicable to the merits accrued from nitya or daily duties and naimittika or occasional duties as well. These actions can be compared to planting a mango tree and the fruits can be considered the rewards thereof. But motivation for the rewards of actions opposed to bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to Lord Krishna and is inimical to moksa or liberation from material existence. Verily this is true. So all rewards whether or not desirable or undesirable must be renounced as only activities performed without motive and hankering for rewards are to be enacted and this is actual renunciation.

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