Thursday, January 19, 2023

Open this temple filled with love for Shri Krishna

Madabhushi Sridhar – Tiruppavai – 16

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil

NaayaganaininraNandagopanudaya

KoilKaappaane! KodiThonrumThorana

Vaayilkaappaane! Mani-k-kadavamthalThiravaai

AayarSirumiyaromukkuAraiparai

MaayanManivannan, NennalevaaiNerandhaan!

ThooyomaaiVandhom, Thuyilezha-Ppaaduvaan

VaayalMunnamMunnamMaatraadhe Amma! Nee

Neyanilai-kkadhavamNeeku-el or Empaavaai

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

The leader of the leaders, Nanda’s

Palace with flags and Toranas secured by you,

Open the doors studded with precious stones,

Leela Krishna, Mani Varnan promised us-

Gopala, Gopis, to give the Parai, a tool to reach God

We came purified and to sing awakening songs

O DwaraPalaka, don’t say “no” even before, Kindly

Open this temple filled with love for Shri Krishna.

After awakening 10 Aalwars and 10 Leader-Gopikas, Goda takes 5 lakh Gopa and Gopis, (male and female) to the Palace of the Nanda Raja, father of Sri Krishna. It is well-decorated.  In Nandavraja everyone is very rich with similarly designed palaces in Vrepalle village. To make a distinction Krishna got his father’s Palace decorated with Torana (festoon) and Garuda Dwaja. Those doors are very attractive and shining with precious stones. Building itself is imposing and once you reach the main gate and doors, it is bright with lights and attractive designs. 

Goda awakened divine Jnanies, ten Aalwaars and leading-Gopikas with greater qualities and expertise. Father of Sri Krishna – Nanda has to open the doors. Nanda is lucky that Paramatma resides not only in his heart but also physically in his palace. He was worried about securing Little Krishna from the demons assigned to end him by Kamsa, the Ruler of Madhura. Acharyas also do this. Teacher protects and showers affection on disciples. Acharya has to generously permit us to realize the path of liberation.

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Goda is leading all five lakh Jeevas of Vrepalle. She could recognize the Nanda Gopa’s Bhawan with Garuda Dhwaja, the flag with design of Vishnu’s vehicle -Eagle.  Door keepers have to check visitors for security like examining identity and purpose of visit. They are presenting their credentials and pleading for opening of the doors.

Narayana was busy in Vaikuntham governing the entire universe. When descended as Sri Krishna, He is free from this task. He is now peaceful. Krishna loves to refer to father as His identity. He calls it Nanda’s palace.   On the way back to Ayodhya after the war, Rama shows Ayodhya to Seetha from Pushpaka Vimana, referring to it as “My father’s Capital City”.

Also read: Tiruppani is not ‘untouchable’: One of 12 Alvars

Nanda is fortunate compared to Dasaratha, who could not see his son Rama being anointed as Prince of Ayodhya. Nanda saw Krishna growing up, strength by strength and finally killing Kamsa to win Mathura.

Goda and GopaGopies praise the DwaraPaalakas as the responsible protectors of Nanda. Thus, they acknowledge the greatness of the King and his committed servants.  With sweet tongue and nice talk, they want to gain entry into the palace.

Also read: In sweet words you promised to wake us up

Though Dhwaja and Torana establish the identity of the owner of the palace, they are lifeless and cannot help the Gopikas to get into. DwaraPalakas can do it. The main door is very attractive decorated with precious stones. Sumanta, the Minister of Ayodhya, goes to invite Rama but stops at beautifully decorated Dwara and could not step forward. Gopikas request them to allow before they are attracted and diverted by the door’s beauty. The decorated door is like AtmaSoundaryam – beauty of the self. After Atma-Jnana, know about himself, Self-knowledge or to know the soul, he will realize its beauty, but if he continues to enjoy the Atma-soundarya, his pursuit for Paramatma will be stalled. One has to overcome the Aatma Soundarya. This is what Goda is teaching in this 16thPashuram. Dwarapalaka is thus Acharya who opens the next step for God-loving disciple to move forward. It is said mother shows the father, who directs him to Guru and Guru leads him to path of the God. Guru opens the doors of real knowledge.

Only those not distracted by these physical beauties- decorated rich doors, designs and sculptures etc, can aspire to cross these obstacles on the path of Mukthi. The statues of female beauty or sculptures depicting copulation of male and female are also meant for testing the focus and attention of the devotees. The conversation goes on like this:

Goda and Gopikas: Please open the beautiful doors decked with stones.

Door-keeper: Who are you, why did you come at midnight without any fear?

G: God is in our minds, and He removes all fears.

D: We are always threatened by Kamsa’s demons, how can we be fearless?

G: We are ordinary girls of Gopa families. Why fear?

D: Shoorpanakha is also a lady, you know?

G: We are not women demons, but innocent Gopikas.

D: Poothana was also a Gopika. Since then, we fear Gopikas also.

G: Can’t you recognize that we are innocent? We are young and small, loving Krishna and praying for His security.

D: Vatsasura also came like a young person. Being young is no assurance.

G: Krishna promised us to give Arai and Parai after our Vratam. Do not stop us.

D: Krishna might have promised but it is our duty to secure Him. And you are expecting something. Unless we are sure of your intentions, we cannot allow.

G: We want to sing for his welfare. Parai is one excuse. We bathed in the early hours and got purified.

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Purification

To achieve Him, body purification is not needed. When Vibheeshan sought the Sharanu of Rama, he was standing above the sea on the other side of Lanka without dipping in the sea. It was not needed. Similarly, Arjuna listens to the most divine Charama Shloka of Bhagavadgita among the blood-thirsty adamant war-mongers. When Draupadi was humiliated in the midst of royal court hall of Dhritarashtra, she invoked the indulgence of Krishna, though she was YekaVastra wearing just one Sari (long cloth) during monthly period time. God helped them without bothering for physical purity. What one needs is Bhava Shuddi or AntahShuddi, purification of thoughts.

The Sleeping Beauty of Krishna

Goda: We do not want anything. We would like to see the amazing personality of Krishna while he was sleeping, enjoy the graceful posture, sing and awaken him with the praise of His Gunas. Generally, Krishna can be seen in the Royal Court, but He will be in official mood. While asleep, His serenity and grace are totally different. Sita liked sayanasoundarya of Rama. Vishwa Mitra loved it. Aalwars while singing Suprabhatam were ecstatic to witness His sleeping beauty. Please do not stop us and don’t say no to our entry. Now you are our Guru who can show the path. In Gokulam not only humans, even the non-living things love Him. Hence the doors are not opening. We request you to open the doors.

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Here, Nanda King is Guru who protects Sri Krishna from the undeserving hands. His building is Mantra. Flagpost and flag is a form. Toranam – decorative hangings from top of the door are symbols of meditation, meaning Namah. Doors are symbols of Aatmaswaroopa Jnana (Self-knowledge), which gives autonomy. Guru has to open them and Shishya has to enter. Gopikas do not know any alternatives. Para means Godly service. Purity means those who do not have any purpose. Awakening means drawing attention of Guru. KandadaiRamanujacharya says the kind guidance of Acharya is essential for God’s grace. Gurus need not be living human beings. Honey-bee teaches us the lesson that if one collects more wealth than required, it would go to others. Python teaches us to satisfy with what we get. For Gopikas, their devotion to Krishna is the real Guru. Gopikas are Acharyas or Alwars, says DasarathiRangacharya.

Also read: “Krishna’s touch energises, enthuses and enlivens”

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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