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GeethA and Prabhandham

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Jul 06 1997 - 19:39:48 PDT

Dear Members of the Bahkthi Group :

There  are indeed a number of references to the essence
of GeethOpanishad taught by " Arjuna SakhA " to KaaNdeevan 
on the battle field of Kuru KshEthram . Srimans Sampath
RengarAjan , Ranganathan Venkatesan , Professor VasudhA
NaarAyaNan wrote earlier about some of the connections.

An abundance of " hyperlinks " are in NammAzhwAr's
Thiruvaimozhi paasurams . I was able to identify no less
than 61 elaborations of the thoughts of GeethAchAryan 
in Thiruvaimozhi alone . These links have been cited by 
the poorvAchAryAs like Namjeeyar, NampiLLAi, PeriyavAcchAn
piLLai , Vadakku Thiruveedhi PiLLai and other original 
commentators in  their eedus ( maNi pravALa granthams )
on Thiruvaimozhi . 

It is not surprising that  Thiruvaimozhi has such a rich connection
to the upadesams in GeethOpanishad . Lord ParthasArathy
Himself declared that He is of the form of Saama Vedam
among the vEdAs ; Thiruvaimozhi is generally revered as 
the essence of Saama vEdam . Hence , the connections between 
the doctrines elaborated by the GeethAchAryan and the paasurams
of NammAzhwAr in Thiruvaimozhi appear appropriate .

I will describe two examples of such connections outlining 
the elaborations of the Lord's upadesam in the AzhwAr's 
paasurams .

Example 1 : ThiruvAimozhi 3.2.3:

" kollAmAkkOl kolai seythu BharathappOr 
yellA senaiyum irunilatthavittha  YenthAi 
pollA aakkayin puNarvinai aRukkalaRA 
sollAi yAnunnai cchArvathOr soozhcchiyE "

(Meaning ) : " Oh , Lord ! Even as KrishNA , what miraculous 
feats that You accomplished ! I missed them too . YOU SAT 
WITH . And yet , You carried out the great MahA BhArathA battle ,
slaying all in a design , all Your own ; this physique of mine 
is a heavy load that perpetrates the samsArA chain . Please 
suggest a sure path of overcoming the sorrows of samsArA 
and reaching You . "

The reference here is to the first verse of Bhagavadh GeethA ,
" Dharma KshEthrE Kuru kshEthre SamavethA yuyuthsava: " .

The two opponents were assembled for battle and were 
facing each other .The Lord positioned the chariot of ArjunA
as his charioteer ( ParthasArathy ) in the middle of the two 
armies . ArjunA was overcome by inconsolable sorrow. 
AzhwAr is experiencing a similar mood of grief over the bonds
of SamsAra that has tied him down . He asks for relief from their
overpowering grip and appeals to the Lord like ArjunA .

Example 2 : ThiruvAimozhi 6.7.1

" uNNum sORu paruhu neer thinnum VeRRilaiyumellAm
KANNAN , yemperumAnenruenrE kaNkaL neer malhi
maNNInuL Avan seer vaLam mikkavanoor vinavi
tiNNa menniLa maan puhumoor ThirukkOloorE  "

" Here the mother of ParAnkusa Nayaki decribes the KrishNA-
conscious state of her daughter : " My dear young daughter 
has gone to ThirukkOLoor . She would not have gone anywhere
else. To her , ALL is KrishNA . Food (eaten to satisfy the appetite),
water (drunk to quell the thirst ) and betel leaves (chewed for digestion 
after partaking of food ) are all KrishNA only in her case. Saying KrishNA, 
speaking of His (auspicious ) qualities , thinking (always ) of Him ,
she would feel she has eaten and enjoyed . She would not eat food at all
since  KrishNA-consciousness is enough food for her . Reciting the Lord's 
names and inquiring of every one that she comes across , " Am I on 
the right track for ThirukkOLoor ? How far is it from here ? , 
she would be going. The very thought of the place (of the Lord of
ThirukkOLoor ) serves as her (total ) nourishment in her walking- journey ."  

Sri GeethAcharyan's slOkam , 

bahoonAm JanmanAmanthE j~navAn maam prapadhyathE I
                                                   ---- Srimadh Bhagavadh GeethA

Our Lord says here that rare indeed is that  person , who believes 
that VaasudEvan is the essence of every purushArtham , the goal,
the means , the nourishment and enjoyment . Such  a rare person 
reaches this state of J~nanam at the end of many births and secures 
this level of wisdom that Kannan is his ALL  .

I will list  other selected instances of such echos between 
GeethA slokams and Thiruvaimozhi Paasurams in 
future postings .

Arjuna SakhAya Nama :
AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Kovil VaradAchAri Sadagopan