- Tiruppavai 28
Karavaigall pin chendru Kaanam serndhunnbom
Arivondrum illadha aaykkulathu un drannaip
Piravi perundhanaip punniyam yaamudaiyom
Kuraivondrum illadha Govinda ! undrannodu
Uravel namakkingu ozhikka vozhiyadhu
Ariyadha pillaiygalom anbinal undrannaich
Chiruper azhaiththanavum seeriyaruladhe
Iraiva nee thaaraay paraiyelor empavai
Cattle lead us to forests for grazing, we eat with them
We, cowherds know nothing, eat and roam around
But blessed to have Bliss called Krishna among us
Govinda, the completeness, without any blemish
The incessant relationship with you
No worldly wisdom, doesn’t know how to call
Please be kind and not angry for calling small names
O, Lord, Give us love, boons and blessings
What Goda and Gopikas desired exactly for this thirty-day Vrat of Tiruppavai? She is yet to spell out. Goda reached Him, had His Darshan and chance to sing His glory. They sought certain things which are closely associate with Vishnu, so that Vishnu will be with them only. They asked for Parai, that symbolize beyond this physical world. We do not know any Vedas or shastras, know no Yoga. We do not know any mantra or tantra. We have no knowledge or studies.
We get up for cattle, they graze and we eat, they do not take bath and we also do not. We return homes with them. They are our leaders. We do not walk in their front but simply follow the animals. Only fortune we have is that You are born amongst us, You are living with us. You are moving, eating with us and talking to us. You give us what we deserve, we don’t even know what to ask. You
Gopikas say, we are the simple cowherds and for us the cattle earn our daily food, we have no intelligence, except wonder fortune of having you. You are the truly blemish-less Govinda, you are short of nothing. You are a complete personality. We have the bonds and relationship with you that can never be broken. Being small and innocent, we might have called You with small names, we might have taken liberties with you addressing you in singular, so please pardon and forgive us. Oh Lord, please grant us the “parai” boon.
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The children are parts of the body of the mother. She shares the milk from out of her body liquids like blood. Next to mother, the cow or other milking animals share the milk meant for their children with humans. They love cattle and cows as their relations by blood, mothers and the wealth unparallel. The cowherds love environment, nature, have love for living beings, no selfishness, and satisfy with a little. It’s enough if they could eat and sleep. They do not harm any. They do not bother about cleanliness, etc. Their entire life is linked with animals and greenery. God Vishnu chose to be with them.
Vishnu was requested by Devatas to born as a human being to kill Ravana. For that he chose the best clan – Raghu Vamsha, reformed the generations gradually to make Dasaratha fortunate enough to have Vishnu as son. Vishnu did not have such history. He fulfilled the boon given to Devaki, Vasudeva, Nanda and Yashoda, born to Devaki but shifted himself to Yashoda, a house hold woman of cowherds clan. Annamayya wonders this boy, is he the father of Brahma or son of a cowherd. Is he Paramatma or cowherd? One who could not be known by Vedas is stealing the butter here. He laced his song with all these unbelievable contradictions of Krishna, which Goda also thought of in 28th Pashuram.
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Krishna and Goda’s Gopikas had an interesting conversation, subtly mentioned in this Pashuram.
Sri Krishna: Unless you follow Karma or Bhakti route for thousands of years you cannot become my devotee, Did you do it?
Gopikas: Absolutely no. Where is that knowledge for us? We have neither Jnana nor Bhakti. We know cattle and forests. All through the life all our knowledge is that alone, nothing else.
Sri Krishna: You went round forests, have you ever stayed in any divine temple, which could be a basis for me to grant you boon.
Gopikas: We stop wherever it is convenient for cattle to graze. That is divine place for us.
Sri Krishna: Could you do something like Vanaprasthashrama. Hope you have done that Karma.
Gopikas: We heard that rishis go to forests for forests. But we go only to graze our cattle. We don’t bath; or turn to east to salute the Sun. If cattle sit and take rest, we also sit. We If they walk, we follow. We share ‘saddi’ yesterday’s remaining food, without throwing it. If this is Karma yoga, we might have done it.
Sri Krishna: Any Karma is fine. But you can also do Jnana Yoga. Even a butcher Dharma Vyadha became great Jnani. Several people like Vidura, Matireyi, Shramani became wise while performing their duties.
Gopikas: If we have some knowledge, we can practice Jnana Yoga. Jnana for us like a big hill while we are at the bottom of sea.
Sri Krishna: You have great love. Jnana of your previous births should have matured into some knowledge in this birth.
Gopikas: We do not know anything about it. We have no information also.
Sri Krishna: Now you may not have Jnanis among you, but in future some of you might become Jnanis…
Gopikas: Can anybody say so watching our present status? The path of adopting Bhakti and Jnana Yogas are very far for us, and we have no hopes to reach you as we are non-starters. We do not have any ability or capacity to seek shelter under you. You alone should help us. You are source of our path of reaching you. We have no other way.
Sri Krishna: How to help you, without Karma – actions, Jnana – knowledge, Bhakti – devotion ?
Gopikas: We are giving milk and food to Supreme Soul, nourishing Him. That should be our great Punya – good consequence of past good deeds perhaps. We might have not attained anything on our own, but our earlier generations might have left us something good for us.
Sri Krishna: You say that you know nothing, but speaking about the fortune, good deeds and Punya.
Gopikas: That is the issue. We do not know even that.
Sri Krishna: Then you should be deserted…
Gopikas: You are a complete personality, without any shortcomings. You please remove our ignorance. Our ignorance should not be your shortcoming. You take care of us and you will be completely perfect.
Sri Krishna: Then you know that Bhagawan is capable of giving energy, jnana and completeness. Thus you have Swa Swaroopa Jnana.
Gopikas: O Krishna, if you have that Swaroopa Jnana, perhaps we also get it. You have left your abode, left Nitya Soori groups and living among the cows and cowherds. If you remember Swa Swaroopa Jnana, if we also have it, we would have not met each other. We are known for committing thousands of mistakes. You are an absolutely independent supreme being. The shastras talk about Saaroopya equality etc. That means those who cannot stand at par will not reach you. That is a major defect of Paratatwa. Sri Krishna, You do not have that deficiency. We are no better than cattle. But you are with us. You have grown with us like a shepherd boy. For us and our cattle, you have lifted Govardhana for seven nights and days. You are known as Govinda, the title you love most. You killed so many demons, but you love Govinda shabda. You have told all of us: Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya, maam Yekam Saranam Vraja,= you can leave all the alternatives, instruments and everything and take me as the source and destination.
Sri Krishna: I am not compelled to fulfill your desires.
Gopikas: If you recall our relationship, you cannot ignore us. This bond is perpetual, cannot be deserted. We cannot leave you; we do not think that you can leave us. You said that ‘I have born as your relative; you should not consider that I am different from you”. Please do not contradict this.
Sri Krishna: You have called me Narayana. It’s the name of a hill. I left it. Now you say I have no shortcoming and I am Govinda, Koodarai Vellum etc.
Gopika: We do not know all that. That shows our ignorance or foolishness. Pleas bear with us. We took some liberty with you out of affection and your affectionate responses with us. Called you in singular, used small names, please forgive us. Calling you Govinda as only Narayana is our great wrong.
After Geeta Lessons in the battle field, Arjuna realizes that he was considering Krishna as an ordinary brother in law. He said: “I slipped the tongue many times. Addressed you as a friend, colleague, and equal, and referred jocularly”. We also feel like Arjuna. Govinda is a brilliant name compared to Narayana. We also addressed each other, o dumb, o deaf or o mad girl, all these are wrongs, we profusely apologetic with each of us. Please do not get angry on this aspect. Forgive and be kind to bless us
Sri Krishna: Okay let us agree that we have mutual relationship, but there should be some effort on your behalf, you know.
Gopika: If you want you can give. Otherwise how can we convince you with our efforts? It is something like one getting angry at his legs or hands for some mistakes done by hands or legs. We belong to you. We are your belongings. Your belongings came in search of you, Will you desert us? You have to prove all pervading character, Omnipotence, by helping us out. Sri Krishna smiles.
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Chinna Jeeyar Swamy explains the philosophy in a very simple manner. He says six points are needed: 1. We should make it clear that we did nothing to seek the fulfillment of desires. 2. We have no eligibility or capacity, we are deficient. 3. We should agree that the Lord has completeness to be benevolent with us, though we have defects. 4. We have non-separable relationship with Him. 5. We should pray for forgiveness. 6. We should show our anxiety and deep desire to have the grant of chance to serve Him. If one does not have these six qualities, he cannot reach Him. Sri Bhashyam proposed six requirements in the following words.
- I have not done anything that can take me nearer to Him
- Not eligible, did many wrongs, very small being, undeserving.
- If I have any Punya, that is the belief that it was because of grace of God
- We have nothing else except relationship with Him.
- I seek apology for my past mistakes.
- We have no other alternative except Him.
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Goda made it easy to attain liberty. She laid these simple steps to reach Lord Vaikuntha Natha.
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