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Bharath was sure that Ram will not return

12. Tiruppavai

27.12.2023

Goda’sTamil Paashuram

KanaithuilamKatrerumaiKanrukkIrangi

NinaitthuMmulaiVazhiyeNindruPaal Sora

NanaitthIllamserarkkumNarchelvanThangay

PanitthalaiVeezhaNin VasarKadaiPattri

SinathinaalThennilangai-k-komanai-ch-chettra

ManatthukkiniyanaiPaadavumNee VaayThiravaay

InitthanEzhunthiraayEedhennaPerurakkam

AnaithuIllaththuaarumArindh-elor Empaavaai

English Poem 12

Thinking about absent calves, the mother cows

Releasing flows of milk flooding the floors

Your brother is serving Krishna, skipping chores,

We are holding your door frame, but no word from you,

Ram destroyed Lanka and Ravan for abducting Sita,

Though we all sing for Raama, you are unmoved and dumb,

All in Vrepalle knew about your deep sleep habit,

O dear wake up and Join us for Sri Nomu.

Goda Devi Pashuram refers to Om Pundarikakshanamaha as part of Guru’s Parampara.

Pundarikakshan Perumal

The Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple or Thiruvellarai Temple in Thiruvellarai, is near Tiruchirappalli of Tamil Nadu. The God in this temple is dedicated to Vishnu who is one of 108 DivyaDeshas. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the NaalayiraDivyaPrabandham 4000 Pashurams scripted by 12 Alwars, the saints of Sri Vaishnava, the early medieval Tamil from the 6th–9th centuries CE. It is one of the 108 DivyaDesams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Pundarikakshan and his consort Lakshmi as Pankajavalli.

Also read: Jnana Soundarya, the beauty of wisdom attracts Krishna

According to legends, the temple is said to have been built by Sibi Chakravarthy, king of Ayodhya in Treta Yuga 15 lakh years ago. This temple is older than Srirangam temple. The temple has three inscriptions in its two rock-cut caves, two dating from the period of Nandivarman II (732–796 CE) and the other to that of Dantivarman (796–847). It also has Pallava sculptural depictions of Narasimha and Varaha, two of the ten avatars of Vishnu.A swastika shaped temple tank built in 800 CE by KambanAraiyan during the reign of Dantivarman is outside the temple complex.

Pundarikakshan is believed to have appeared and showered his divine grace to Garuda (vahana of Vishnu), Sibi Chakravarthy, sage Markandeya and Hindu gods Bhoomadevi, Brahma, Shiva, Indra and Chandra. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Chaitra (March–April), is the most prominent. The festival is unique in the state as a community feast is offered, a custom stretching back many centuries. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Vipra Narayana or Thondaradipodi or BhaktaghraRenuvu

Thondaradippodi Alvar or Vipra Narayana was one of the twelve Alvar saints affiliation to Vaishnava tradition. The verses of Alvars are compiled as NaalayiraDivyaPrabandham and the 108 temples revered are classified as Divyadesam. Thondaripodi is considered the tenth in the line of the twelve Alvars.

As per Hindu legend, he was born as Vipra Narayana and got devoted to Ranganatha of the SrirangamRanganathaswamy temple. Since he worshipped even the dust from the devotees of Ranganatha, he attained the name Thondaradipodi.

His works are the Tiruppallieluchi having ten verses, and Tirumālai having forty verses, both of which are counted among the 4000 stanzas in the NaalayiraDivyaPrabandam. The works of Thondaradipodi and other Alvars contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism. Along with the three Saiva nayanmars, they influenced the ruling Pallava kings of the South Indian region, resulting in changing the religious geography from Buddhism and Jainism to the two sects of Hinduism.The verses of Thondaripodi and other Alvars are recited as a part of daily prayers and during festive occasions in most Vishnu temples in South India.

Also read: Vishnu descended to see three aalwaars together

Vipra Narayana, was lived in a hermitage on the banks of the river Kaveri along with his disciple Rangaraju. He worships Vishnu in the form of Ranganatha, the presiding deity of the nearby Srirangam temple. Every day, Narayana makes garlands out of flowers from his garden and offers them to Ranganatha and sings hymns in praise of him.

One day, Devadevi, a devadasi,performs a dance recital at the court of the Chola King and is on her way back to home along with her sister Madhuravani. When Devadevi passes through the hermitage, Narayana does not notice her; this hurts Devadevi’s vanity. She mistakes his devotion towards Ranganatha as arrogance and decides to teach him a lesson, ignoring Madhuravani’s advice.

Devadevi enters Narayana’s hermitage as an orphan and narrates her woes, requesting for a stay to support herself. Narayana agrees despite Rangaraju’s objection and Devadevi becomes the former’s disciple. In a turn of events, Rangaraju is expelled from the hermitage when he tries to send Devadevi away after realising her intentions. As time passes, Narayana finds himself attracted to Devadevi and falls for her charms.

Once her ego is satisfied, Devadevi begins to regret her act. Madhuravani asks her to return and Narayana follows them. Devadevi’s mother Rangasani, upon knowing that Narayana is penniless, throws him away. To help Narayana win, Ranganatha visits Devadevi’s house in the disguise of Rangaraju. He presents a golden vessel from the kitchen of Srirangam temple as a gift from Narayana to Devadevi.

The next day, the priests at the temple complain that the golden vessel is missing and find it at Devadevi’s house. Narayana is accused of stealing the vessel and is produced in the court. The King orders that Narayana’s hands be amputated as a punishment for theft. Ranganatha appears at the scene and reveals the truth. Ranganatha adds that Narayana is an incarnation of Vyjayanthi, a garland that adorns him at his heavenly abode Vaikuntha and that Devadevi is a gandharva who took a human birth due to a curse. Narayana and Devadevi visit Srirangam temple and sing praises of the deity, before attaining salvation.

Vipra Narayana is a 1954 Telugu-language biographical film. The film is based on the life of Tamil Vaishnava saint Vipra Narayana. He led his life in devotion to Lord Narayana and worked for the Lord by dedicating him with garlands. He is one of the twelve Alvars.

Also read: Mysterious Madhava, Vaikunthesha –Come

13thTiruppavaiPashuram explained:

The milk that flows out of mother-cows indicate abundance of unlimited compassion of the Mother. They are showering streams of milk, imagining their loved ones unasked and the floors are flooded with overflowing milk.

The 7thGopika who is being awakened today is the sister of a devotee. He ignores his daily chores totally, including milking of cows and immersed in serving Krishna. He belongs to a class of devotees who does all karmas for Krishna only and does no other work for his purposes. As he is fully immersed in service of Krishna, he forgot or skipped the daily duty of milking cows. Imagining calves suckling, the mother cows flooded the floor with milk. It refers to the mother’s love, Acharya’s commitment and Bhagavan’s unconditional affection, extended without kids/disciples asking for it.

They are like Lakshman, who never bothered about his personal requirements and family, but thinks only of serving Raama which firmly believes to be real devotion. Goda believes that if they take this Gopika with them, Krishna will easily recognize her as sister of Bhagavatottama, who is always with Him and bless them. She says, your brother is enjoying service to Krishna, we are also serving Krishna, and then why are you not joining us. Goda’s expression “Nar ChelvanTangay (=sister of Krishna Sevaka) indirectly refers to Sri Raama Mishra, another Aalwaar, who loves the Ram most.

Sri Raama Mishra

            Raama Mishra was serving his Aacharya very obediently. When his Acharya’s daughter was hesitating to cross a small slushy pond on the way, Raama Mishra entered in that slushy water to serve as a base for her to cross the pond without stepping into the muddy water. That shows his deep love for Acharya and his family.  Goda indirectly refers to this AalwarRaama Mishra in this song.

Lakshmana serves his brother without bothering about his chores and duties. He does not even perform Sandhya Vandan etc. For him service to Ram itself is worship of God.  Lakshmana is a Yogi, whereas Bharatha performs all his poojas, duty and administersAyodhya, without being a King. Bharata rightly expects that Raama willsurely not come back to Ayodhya to rule for 14 years because he would not violate the promise. Hence, he brings a pair of Paadukaas from Ayodhya to Forest. When Ram refuses to take back the kingdom, Bharat requests Him to step intoPaadukaas, which he wants to place onSimhasan of Raama and he will take care of administration as His representative. Bharat performs the duties very well, but never forgets Ram, whom he would be silently meditating upon forever. Hence, Bharath is a Muni. Lakshmana is Yogi and Bharath is Muni.

Goda chose to praise Ram, by narrating how Ram was very angry because Raavan abducted Seetha. Ram reached Lanka and destroyed Raavan.  He does not sleep or take food ever since he was separated from Seeta. Ram did not feel pain when arrows struck him in battle. But when Lakshman, Anjaneya or Vibheeshan etc were injured, he used to be very angry. He is also so kind, that though he could kill Ravan with one arrow, he gave him several opportunities to realize his mistake.

Goda says: “Oh dear Gopika, we are standing at your doorstep in these early hours, and singing the praise of Raama, who destroyed the King of Lanka, but you are not even responding at all. Everyone can see us here that you are in such deep sleep, wake up girl and join us for the worship”.

UttishthataJagrataPrapyaVaranNibodhata

The KaṭhaUpaniṣad (1.3.14) also says, uttiṣṭhajāgrataprāpyavarānnibodhata“, (Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached – Swami Vivekananda). “O living entity, you are sleeping in this material world. Please get up and take advantage of your human form of life”. “The sleeping condition means loss of all knowledge”

Through Bhagavadgita, Krishna explains about SthithaPrajna, who is not disturbed by any attractions or distractions around him. They have no desires even in heart of hearts. He observes many pleasant things but never thinks to have them for his happiness. One who does not worry about losses or troubles, and not get excited about the pleasures he could get is SthithaPrajna. Though he knew things around him, he does not get involved in them and continues to meditate on God. Such a person is the second type of devotee. The Gopika referred in this Paashuram belongs to that category.

Also read: Kulasekhara Alwar became threshold before Venkateshwara

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is Dean, Professor of law at Mahindra University at Hyderabad and former Central Information Commissioner. He published a number books in English and Telugu.

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