Thursday, January 19, 2023

Goda & all sing the 30 nectar-flowing

Madabhushi Sridhar -Tiruppavai30

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil

VangakKadalkadainthaMadhavanaikKesavanai

ThingalThirumugatthuSeyizhaiyarSenruIrainji

Anga-p-paraikondaVaatrai ani Puduvai

PaingamalaThthanTheriyalBattarPiranKodaiSonna

SangathThamizhMaalaiMuppadumThappame

Ingi-p-parisuraipparEeriiranduMaalvarai-th-thool

SengamThirumugaththuSelvaththirumaalaal

EngumthiruvarulPettruInburuvarEmpaavaai

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

Madhava Keshava helped churning of ocean of milk

For Dharma Worshipped by moon-like women,

Narrating the story of achieving Purushartha in

Divine Srivilliputhur; Daughter of Vishnuchitta

With gold-bright lotus garlands; Sang the 30 nectar-

flowing songs; If recited skipping none; Shall get

Blessings of Shriyahpathi with four-hill like hands

For ever, For All, all through, Raining His bliss.

Sri Ranganatha heard the call of Goda, took all her messages through Manmatha, Tulasi, Flowers and Pashurams and decided to bless her with the bliss of marrying her, as per her profound and strong wish. Ranganatha ordained in the dream the Pandya King Vallabh Raya (Some explain Vallabharaya as disciple) to send a Palanquin in royal way and bring her to Sri Rangam, and arrange for the marriage. Goda arrived along with father Periyalwar, and after marrying Him she is absorbed into Ranganatha, to the dismay of all, especially of her father, who could not stand the sudden disappearance of his lovely divine devotee daughter at the age of 16 years. She, an Ayonija, i.e., self-emerged, and just disappeared without Jara and Marana. As she enjoyed the supreme pleasure with Ranga, today is Bhogi- soul-deep experience.

Goda is not selfish to achieve her goal and leave all like us for our fate. The ritual or Vrata is not an ordinary process, but a thirty-step plan to scale to the highest goal of abode of Paramaatma. As she attained Union with God through her own self-samarpanam of her life as a TualasiDalam basilica leaves or flower; she also laid path for achievement of Rangadhamam/Vaikuntadhamam through this Vrata of Tiruppavai. Not only friends of Goda, who were likened to Gopikas, anybody who performed this Vrata will reach Parandhaamam.

Also read: Krishna: For each of Seven Births, bond us with You

In this PashuramGoda refers to and sings the glory of KsheeraSagaraMathana – Churning of Milk Ocean. Becoming Koorma, Vishnu bears on His back the brunt of this churning, but He benefits with Lakshmi, who was born out of that churning. So is the case with those who churn the VedanthaSashtra and bore the brunt of all kinds of hardship to reach the goal. Just as Vishnu gained Lakshmi through SagaraMathana, Goda earned Ranganatha with churning through Vratha. This thirtieth and ultimate Pashuram not only achieves the goal but also explains the possible fruits that would result, Phala Shruthi.

The Gopiaks, with moon-like beautiful faces, obtained salvation, by surrendering to the MadhavanKesavan, by churning the ocean of milk, under the leadership of Sri Andal who emerged in beautiful Sri Velliputhhoor with fresh fragrant golden-lotus flowers, as the daughter of the Vishnu Chitta. She sang these nectar-flowing 30 songs. Like Goda and Gopikas, all those who recite these thirty-poem-garland daily without missing any song, will gain the grace and derive pleasures from Narayana, with merciful beautiful eyes, and shoulders which can stretch between two pairs of mountains, in association with beautiful Lakshmi.

Also read: We have incessant relationship with you

After climbing 29 steps gradually, Goda is assuring the divine and serene goal of the Vrata – the phala-shruthi, the fruits of efforts of all these 29 days in worship of Narayana.

Sankranthi

Sankranthi means journey into another phase. Goda leads her friends Gopikas into the path of Bhagawan. When the Sun moves towards Makara Rashi, it is called Makara Sankranti. Goda is leading us from darkness of ignorance to the bright path of Bhakti and love for Supreme soul. Goda imagined herself as a Gopika; for her, Sri Villiputtur is Vrepalle; she worshipped Sri Ranganatha through Vatapatrasai as Krishna. She performed the Vrata for one month with one song each, which brings her friends along with her towards Krishna. It is a 30-step road-map to Sayujyam, the abode of Bhagawan. She sent messages of love Ranganatha through the garlands after checking their beauty by decorating her person with them. She made another unique garland of 30 songs called Tiruppavai. Her Vratam resulted in Ranganatha himself sending the palanquin to Sri Villiputtur to bring the bride Goda to him. She won His heart. She proved that the icon is the incarnation of Supreme personality.

Stepping into divinity

Tiruppavai helps the devotees to complete the last month of Dakshinayana with Vratam and enter the divine Uttarayana singing the glory of Krishna. Since several centuries, Goda’sTiruppavai is moving millions of people all over India and wherever Indians spread out, towards the path of Saranagathi to Lord Krishna. She made Sankranti a very purposeful festival, in terms of getting closer to Paramaatma.

Also read: Lord on Banyan Leaf, like lively Blue Sapphire

I remember my Peddamma, mother’s elder sister, Andaalamma who taught me the entire Ramayana like a serial, when I was in bed due to typhoid in my childhood and when there were no TVs at home. My peddammaAndalamma is Godamma for me. I think in every household, there is a Guru like Goda who takes us to Sri Krishna. We need to discover and recognize.

The conversations between Goda and Govinda; Goda plus Gopikas and Govinda were filled in 30 Pashurams. In Dwapara Yuga, Krishna was the destination for KatyayaniVratam for one month performed by Gopikas, siad Vyasa, the rishi who created Bhagawatam. The Vratam was fruitful as they gained the God Himself. A similar Vratam is performed by Goda in Kaliyuga that lead to Ranganatha marrying Goda.

Govindaasks Gopikas a testing question: “Okay, I will accept your personal services, I want to ask you, whether you want others also to try and achieve the success like you in this devotional endeavor?”

Also read: Devaki and Yashoda – the divine mothers of Krishna

Goda and Gopikas: “We could get You after performing the Vrata strictly following its conditions and principles and singing the Songs for last one month. Like Gopikas in Vrepalle and we in Srivilliputtur, everyone who sings and follows the month-long Vratha will surely get the Bliss of Krishna. A mother cow, who lost her calf, looks at a grass shaped calf toy that reminds her child, and it causes the spring of milk. Similarly, those who sing thirty songs without missing any, will surely gain the result expected.

KsheeraSagaraMadhanam, the churning of milk-ocean, a great event of coordinated effort of Devatas and Rakshasas in the interests of universe was referred in last Pashuram. Vishnu descends in the form of Tortoise and holds up on His back, the Mandhara Hill, prevent it from drowning. God helps if people work together for welfare of Universe. Lakshmi emerges out of churning, and she reaches the chest of Vishnu. He became Madhava.

Goda referred to the event of this churning to pray to God to help us in churning and crossing the ocean of this worldly living exercise. Goda suggests singing all the 30 without skipping any, because they are thirty ascending steps to reach the destination of God. Then Lord Krishna, appears with His brilliant lotus-flower-like face and four strong arms to bless them with four Purushartha – Dharma-Artha-Kaama and Moksha. Thus, Goda explained Phalashriti, the fruitful result of the Vrata. 

Also read: Hail thy feet that mapped the entire world in two steps

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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