Thursday, April 25, 2024

In 27th Song, Goda calls Him Govinda

27. Thiruppavai Stories

Krishna notices the egoistic behaviour of Indra and asks His father and friends to worship Govardhana and offers him the sacrifices instead of giving to Indra. Furious Indra causes hailstorm, thunders, and drops lightnings for a week. Krishna protects His people by lifting Govardhana like an umbrella holding it for seven days and nights on his little finger. Then, He earned the title- Govinda, one who protected Cows. ‘Go’ in Sanskrit also means the earth, which was grabbed by Hiranyaksha, to kill whom Naryana descends in the form of Varaha Murthy.

Goda, for the first time among 30 songs, calls Him Govinda in this 27thPashuram. This refers to the trouble Krishna took for seven long days to save all living beings. Gopikas and Goda desire to have those things, which are closely connected with Vishnu. Though they appear to have asked for ornaments, they were in fact asking for Guru’s extended hand, impressions of Sanka and Chakra on arms- known as Samaasrayanam, the process of admission into Vaishnavaite Guru tradition, ear tops etc mean eight–lettered- mantra – Ashtakshari, two ear studs mean Dwaya mantra – pair of Narayana mantras etc.  This Pashuram is an embodiment of enormous affection for Lord Krishna.

Goda’s 27thPashuram has a deep philosophical meaning, which explains the way one can attain Moksha, the liberation. Reciting His name, Being with Him, Singing His glory, getting immersed in his thoughts, remembering his divine qualities, and enjoying the delicacies of Payasam called ‘Shoru’ (sweet made of milk, rice, ghee, etc) along with the Supreme Being, shall be the ultimate result of the Vrata. It is the ultimate Bliss, called breaking of the birth, death, and rebirth cycle, i.e., Moksha or liberation.

Also read: Devaki and Yashoda are two Divine Mantras

Ramanuja becomes brother of Goda

Goda vowed to offer hundred pots of sweet dish- Payasam to Moola viraat of Tirumaliyum Shore temple if Ranganatha accepts her love. But as soon as Ranganatha sent the panquin to Sri Villi Puthur to bring Goda has His bride, she merges into Ranganatha in Sri Rangam and she could not perform the vow.

Ramanuja who was born hundreds of years after Her merger within Ranganatha, remembers her Vow when he was explaining Tiruppavai to his disciples. Immediately he starts then and there for Tirumaliyum Shore and arranges thousand, not hundred as vowed, pots of paayasam. This made him elder brother of Goda Devi, as such vows of sisters are fulfilled by brothers.

Also read: Rama tried to invoke wisdom in Ravana!

He is ardent fan of Tiruppavai and an authority over the philosophy of Goda that synchronizes with Sri Sampradayam, hence he is called TiruppavaiJeeyar. The incident shows that Lord Narayana is reachable easily to those who completely trust Him.

Abhimukha, Vimukha and Udaara

Goda praises the God saying He can win overthe people who oppose Him, with his valour.  There are three kinds of people who are reluctant to come near the God.

1. Abhimukha…. one who thinks he does not deserve to be associated with God. Yamunacharya is an example for Abhimukha, as he felt very small, having committed several wrongs: Is it possible for me to be with you in your abode? no way, Lord? But God knows the devotion of Yamunacharya, the Guru of Ramanuja, and took Him to His abode.

2.  Second category is Vimukha… who do not like Him but oppose. God will win over them in battle.

3.  Third type of people are the reluctant beings – Udaara. Though lazy and disinterested, they also get inspired by the charms of Krishna.

Also read: Hail the fame of Krishna’s limb that kicked off the demon-cart

Why did He fightKauravas?

Among thousand names- Vishnu Sahasra Nama, He is called Vijitaatma, who is won over by the devotees, and once a soul defeats Him, Krishna becomes Vidheyatma, obedient to that soul.  With his attractive affectionate character, He welcomes those enjoining Him. Regarding rivals, Lord will wage war and defeat them. For instance, He is most obedient to Pandavas who love Him and serves them as a charioteer. He gets all Kauravas killed who were in fact fighting Him.

Whether Kauravas are His enemies? We can understand if Pandavas had inimical to Kauravas. But does the God, Shri Krishna have enemies? Who can be inimical to Krishna? Lord Narayana sees the enemies of His devotees as His enemies. When Lord Krishna reaches Hastinapura,  theKaurava capital, bringing message of the Pandavas to Dhritarashtra, after their completion of 13 years of exile to return their kingdom or at least five villages for five brothers. Duryodhana offers beautiful palace of Dusshasana as the guest house for Krishna and invites Him to have dinner with them. But Krishna reaches out Vidura and enjoys his hospitality along with Kunti.  Duryodhana gor upset and asked Krishna why, Krishna declares that Duryodhana is opposed to the Pandavas and is therefore His enemy and a He should not accept any hospitality from enemy. The Pandavas are devoted to Him, and anyone who is their enemy becomes His enemy too.

The Hindu wrote: ParasaraBhattar explains the complete trust a bhakta has in the Lord by giving an example. Suppose a man who is newly married is taking his wife to his house. On the way, a thorn pricks her foot. Until then, she has been holding her husband’s hand with fondness. But the moment the thorn pricks her foot, she doesn’t cry out to him, but calls out to her mother, who might not even be there at the time! That is because she is used to placing her trust in her mother all these years. She knows her mother will come to her help the moment she knows her daughter needs help. Likewise, the moment he is in trouble, a devotee calls out to the Lord rather than to any human being present on the scene. The Lord is referred to as Bhagavan. The word Bhagavan is used to indicate that He is the One who possesses knowledge (gnana), energy (sakti) and strength (bala), wealth (aisvarya), valour (veerya) and brilliance ( tejas).

Also read: Krishna walks like a lion, towards Simhasan

Krishna convinces Nanda Raja and others to worship GovardhanaGiri which causes clouds to rain in Vrepalle and need not perform any ceremony to Lord Indra. The later gets angry and commands God of Rain and God of Wind to blow away the village and the hill. For seven days he storms lightnings, floods the village with cloud bursts and sends cyclonic winds. Sri Krishna, in His teen age, lifts the Govardhana with his little finger and holds on for seven days and seven nights without retaliating the Indras egoistic assault. He knows that Indra was not that bad but behaving like a mischievous child, and would calm down after realising His power. That happens. He comes down, apologises and felicitates Sri Krishna with the new title Govinda. Sri Krishna likes to be called Govinda as that he could win that title after toiling of lifting it for a week.

He used to send the cows and calves for grazing in forests and spend with Gopikas in Raasleela and Kreeda. Mother Yashoda used to be angry at delayed arrival of Krishna after three or four days. He used pass on the blame to Cows and Calves, saying that they disappeared in forest and it took days to find them to bring back. As Cows helped Him to rescue from anger of Yashoda, He used to love them most and thus called Govinda.

Also read: Vishwamitra Calls Him Narasaardoola

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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