- Tiruppavai – 26
Transliteration of Tamil Pashuram
Maaley! Manivanna! Maargazhi neeraaduvaam
Melaiyaar seivanangal venduvana kettliyel
Gnalath-thai ellam nadunga muralvana
Paalanna Vannathu un Paanchajanyamey
Polvana sangangal poi-p-paadu udaiyanave
Saalap-preum paraiyey pallaandu isaipparey
Kola vilakkey kodiyey vidhaaname
Aalin ilayai! arul-el or empaavai
Lord on Banyan Leave, like lively Blue Sapphire,
We came doing best practices for Margali Bath,
If You listen, We tell our desire: Grant the Conches
Like your milky white, resounding Panchajanya
That send spine-chilling terror in enemies and
Free your devotees from fear; Big Drums to
Attract many; melodious Singers; Bright Lamps
Flags & Decorative cloths to hail your glory.
Oh Vishnu, You are shining is like the blue sapphire, resting on the leave of Banyan tree, when the whole universe is at the edge of devastation, capable of making possible those impossible things. We want to have your divine association like holy bath during Marga Shirsha month of winter mornings. Following the path of elders, we came to You to tell what we want, if You are willing to listen to us. Grant us such conches like milky white Panchajanya that can send spine chilling terror in enemies and make the devotees feel assured and fearless- Abhayam; big drums (parai) which can give notice and attract many; melodious musicians who can sing praising Your glory and hail You; the bright lamps that guide us; flags, decorative cloths so that we all worship You as part of this Vratham.
Goda addresses Krishna as Maale… the Supreme Being, which explain the unbounded affection of Krishna for his devotees, over and above the love of devotees. Rama is known for accepting and protecting those seeking his help. Vibheeshan was apprehending whether Rama would suspect him because he was brother of Ravan, while Rama was thinking why Ravana is not coming to me, at least his brother is expected. Sri Krishna’s character loves his associates, friends, Gopikas, Cows and every being and non-living thing that is around Him.
Maale Mani Varna= one who love us most. His love for those who take shelter under Him is self-shining light like blue sapphire which gives light on its own. His affectionate character is reflected in His bodily colour. Krishna always will be thinking how to help the devotees. Being an unparalleled warrior Krishna did not hesitate to do small job like a charioteer for his five Pandava devotees. Alwar means one who strongly loves Vishnu. But Vishnu loves Alwars many times more than Alwars. More than Alwars desire to have Perumal, Perumal desires to have Alwars.
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Maale Manivanna is the pet name which Yashoda used to call Krishna. When thoughtfully Gopikas addressed Him with this lovely name of his mother, He was pleased but hiding that lovely pleasure he smiles and asks them to come out with their desires. There is no reciprocate bargain with God, like I break coconuts, you grant this, etc. Gopikas know that. We have not performed Vrata with some expectation. You said you would give something. Okay. If you think that should be given to us. We will take. But we have not come for that. We want You, Your association, Your affection, to bath in glory of you, to sing to hail you.
Krishna has born to one and came to other mother only to associate with Gopikas, who were thinking how to get Him nearer. He is mad of Gopikas, makes Gopikas mad for Him, and makes them to compare themselves with Him. He is mad of these feelings, says the great interpreter of Tiruppavai, Sri Bhashyam Appalacharya. Krishna is embodiment of love. Lakshmi who is born out of lotus, loved the colour of Hari and settled permanently on His chest. He is like a precious stone, whoever has it feel Krishna Mani is his life, without Him there is no life at all. The Mani – diamond will always help others, cannot do anything for self.
Goda proposes three principles of Vrata, and also for our general life. One- we should follow the path suggested and tread on by elders, and should not do what they have not done. Do not do such works prohibited by the experienced elders. Two- from those good deeds of elders, you can do some having agreed to them in your context and for your welfare. And three- If someone questions you why are doing so, you can have enough courage to say that I am convinced with this elders practice and hence doing. It does not mean that you have to do all those better practices of the elders of their times.
Gopikas and Goda asked for Conch – the Sankh. Not the Chakra – a sharp disc which cannot be handled by anybody except Krishna. Once his childhood friend Sri Malikudu, insisted to have Krishna’s Chakra. He warned friend about risks with Chakra. He still wanted. Krishna gave it to him, but he mishandled it resulting in his death. It is like risking life by mishandling the dangerous weapons like AK 47. One should deserve to hold the weapons of mass destruction. Brahmastra is one such weapon, which in the hands of Ashwatthama, an undeserving person, created havoc. When Vishnu appears before Subhrahmanya Swamy who did penance on the banks of Pushkarini in Tirumala, (That is why it is called Swami Pushkarini), Shiva also appeared to meet Vishnu. Attracted by environmental beauty of Tirumala Hills, Shiva has expressed desire to stay over there. Vishnu says that entire Tirumala Hills is the Adishesha, his cot and bed and Shiva can reside at the serene end point of Tirumala Hills, which is now known as Kapila Teertham. This place is very sacred with the spring of divine water flowing from Tirumala Hills, where Alwars used to stay and take bath. It is also called Alwar thirtham. Shiva being a great friend of Vishnu, desired to have Disc of Vishnu. Vishnu did not give because of the risky issues. Sankh and Chakra of Vishnu generally cannot be handled by others. Sankh is so dear to Vishnu, that He cannot imagine life without it. Hence Gopikas wanted it, as that makes Vishnu to be always with them.
When they asked for Conchs, Parai (drum), bright lamps, Singers, Flag and Decorative Cloths, Tents to protect their heads from snow, God doubts, do I have so many with me to give you all? Then Goda says, you contain the several families of Universes within you and sleep like a pretty baby on banyan leave as if you do not know anything, can’t you give us these small things?
Krishna then thinks that he should give them some things like what they asked for. Gets on conch from Vishnu temple, offers a music instrument, which was used when he was eating butter in Nanda Vraja. A singer Nammalwar was given. For flag, asked Garuda to join Gopikas. For Umbrella he gave the Shesha Vastram, a cloth he has worn. And above all, to meet their demand for light, He asked the Mother Lakshmi to be with them. Mother is such a great light and life for all, equal to God Himself. It is said as He cannot be everywhere, He has created Mothers. These are all closely related to and associated with Vishnu, which was desired by the Gopikas.
This 26th song of Goda symbolizes the Charama Shloka – Sarva Dharmaan Parityajya Maam Ekam Sharanam Vraja, Aham Twa Sarva Paapebhyo Moksha Yishyami Maashuchah. He says give up everything, surrender totally, I will take care of everything. Holy bath in Marga Shirsha means the association with Krishna.
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