Saturday, March 2, 2024

Gracefully raining knowledge equally on all


Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil

Aazhi Mazhaikkanna! Ondrum Nee Kai Karavel

Aazhiyull Pukku Mugandhu Koda Aatthu Ari

Oozhimudalvan Uruvam Pol Mey Karuthu

Paazhiy Am Tholudai Padmanabhan Kaiyyil

Aazhipol Minni  Valampuripol Minru Adhirndhu

Thazhaadhe Sarngam Udiatha  Saraamazhai Pol

Vazha Ulaginil Peydhidaay Nangalum

Margazhi Neerada Magizhndu-el or em paavaai.

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

Rain God Varuna, continue to shower and

the cloud comes down to usurp ocean water to fill itself

to pregnant with water becomes dark, like Krishna.

Lotus in the navel, weapons in His two strong hands

Lightning Disc and Thunderous Conch

Like his bow fast releasing stream of arrows.

raining heavy to enrich and rejuvenate the world,

Come on, friends, let us bathe in Margali Rain.

Also read: No perfect being on this earth: say Seeta and Goda

Goda’s Explanation

Goda repeats her sermon about bathing in Margali month. Tiruppavai is also called SnanaVrata, the mission with many baths at early hours, without fearing the morning cold and shedding the laziness to praise and pray to God not for any selfish gains but for rains to help whole the countryside to prosper.

Goda says, no, the cloud is God Himself, God of Cloud or Varuna. Be benevolent and rain on all without any dearth of your kindness. God of Cloud, you will go nearer to Ocean, absorb the salty water, fill the belly full, move heavily in the sky, and as Vishnu bears on his two strong arms – on the right, the lightning Chakra – the Disc and on the left –the thunderous Shankha (Conch), while His Shaarnga, the powerful Bow, releasing arrows, you shower the streams of rain.

Vishnu’s navel is the place of a lotus, wherefrom Brahma emerged. Being God of Gods, Vishnu rains bliss all over. Goda calls for her friends to take Margali bath in sacred water rained by Vishnu.  Rain is the real source of wealth of all villages. Rain does not make any difference between the haves and havenots, higher or lower castes or status. It equitably rains on all without any discretion.

Third, fourth and fifth Paashurams symbolise the Sandhya Vandan at three times in a day. Great preacher Sri BhashyamAppalacharya says, pray Mitra (Aruna) in the morning, Varuna in the evening and the Sun at noon. ChinnaJeeyar says Goda penned Tiruppavai to awaken the good qualities among the people and inspire them to work together for betterment of the society and the country. Goda wanted the nation to be prosperous, peaceful, and people help oneanother, with the grace of God and His equal showering of kindness and knowledge. When Gopikaas prayed with all these qualities and sincerity, cloud God rained enough of sacred water as if a good boon was granted to the devotees.

Goda first compares the cloud with Krishna and then explains the characteristics of a true teacher- Acharya by comparing him with Naaraayana and the dark cloud. As the cloud takes inconsumable salt water from the sea and converts it into potable good water showering as rain, the teacher Acharya studies the complex Shastras and converts them into knowledge easily understandable. Like a cloud, Acharya too rains the knowledge equally on all like Raamanuja who climbs up to the top of Temple and discloses the divine knowledge of Tirumantra to all, without any discrimination.

Also read: Bhagavan lives in NaaraayanaTatva

What a divine thought? Naaraayana and Achaarya are compared with dark cloud that rain benevolence and knowledge on allalike. Lightning spreads light of thinking with huge sound like the thunder through Sankha, so that everyone can hear the lessons.

Gopikaas never desired material things but prayed for welfare of all. They sang and danced in praise of God. Goda approached the ultimate God, who appointed different Devathas with specific and distinct duties like Brahma to create, Shiva to destroy, Gods of eight sides (AsthaDikpalaka) to safeguard the sides. All these Gods report to Paraamatma with accountability. They are also afraid of the devotees who chant the name of Paraamaatma.

Madabhushi Sridhar

Also read: Aiming to reach ultimate Lord Naaraayana

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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