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Lakshmana serves Ram, Bharata meditates Him

  • Tiruppavai 12

Kanaithilan kattrerumai kandrukk irangi

Thinking about absent calves, the mother cows

Ninaitthu mulai vazhiye nindru paal sora

Releasing flows of milk flooding the floors

Nanaitthillam cherakkum narchelvan thangay

Your brother is serving Krishna, skipping chores

Panitthalai veezha nin vasar kadai pattri

We are holding your door frame, but no word from you

Sinathinal thennilangai k komanai ch chettra

Ram destroyed Lanka & Ravan for aducting Sita

Manatthukkiniyanai paadavum nee vaay thiravaay

Though we all sing for Rama, you are unmoved & dumb

Initthan ezhunthiraay eedhenna p perurakkam

All in Vrepalle knew about your deep sleep habbit,

Anaithilltharum arindhelor empavai

O dear wake up & Join us for Sri Nomu.

[Transliteration from Tamil followed by translation into English in bold font]

Meaning

The mother cows are imagining their absent calves and showering flows of milk, imagining their loved ones, though none asked for it and the floors are flooded with overflowing milk. It shows abundance of compassion of cows for their calves. The 7th Girl (Gopika) is the sister of a devotee, who ignores his daily chores totally, including milking of cows and immersed in serving Krishna. He belonged to a class of devotees who do all karmas for Krishna only and no other work for them. As he is fully immersed in service of Krishna, he forgot or skipped the daily duty of milking cows. Imagining calves suckling, the mother cows flooded floor with milk. It refers to the mother’s love, Acharya’s commitment and Bhagavan’s unconditional affection, as they give without kids/disciples asking for it.

Also Read : Krishna’s association with cows and cowherds

They are like Lakshman, who does not bother about his personal requirements and family, but thinks that serving Rama itself is the real devotion.

Goda believes that if they take this Gopika with them, Krishna will easily recognize her as brother of Bhagavatottama, who is always with Him and bless them. She says, your brother is enjoying service to Krishna, we are also serving Krishna, and then why are you not joining us. Goda’s expression “Nar Chelvan Tangay (=sister of Krishna Sevaka) indirectly refers to Sri Rama Mishra, another Aalwaar, who loves the Ram most.

Sri Rama Mishra

Rama Mishra was serving his Aacharya very obediently. When his Acharya’s daughter was hesitating to cross over a small slushy pond on the way, Rama Mishra slept in that slushy water to give her foothold to cross it by putting a foot over him, without stepping in to it. That showed his ultimate love for Acharya and his family.  Goda indirectly refers to this Aalwar Rama Mishra in this song.

Also Read : Vishnu descended to see Three Aalwaars together

Lakshmana serves his brother without bothering about his chores and duties. He does not even perform Sandhya Vandan etc. For him serving Ram itself is worship.  Lakshmana is Yogi, whereas Bharatha performs his duty and rules Ayodhya, without being a King. Bharata rightly expects that Rama will not come back to Ayodhya to rule for 14 years because he would not violate the promise. Hence he brings a pair of Paadukaas. When Ram refused to take back the kingdom, Bharat requests Him to step in Paadukaas, which he wants to place in Simhasan of Rama and he will be taking care of administration as his representative. Bharat performs the duties very well, but never forgets Ram, whom he would be silently meditating always and all times. Hence Bharath is Muni.

Lakshmana serves Ram, Bharata meditates Him

Sthitha prajna

Goda chose to praise Ram, by narrating how Ram was very angry because Raavan has separated Him from Seeta by abducting her. Ram reached Lanka and destroyed Ravan.  He does not sleep or take food ever since he was separated from Seeta. Ram did not feel pain when arrows struck him in battle. But when Lakshman, Anjaneya or Vibheeshan etc were injured, he used to be very angry. He is also so kind, that though he could kill Ravan with one arrow, he gave him several opportunities to realize his mistake.

Also Read : Nine kinds of relations between Jeeva and Paramatma

Goda says: Oh dear Gopika, we are standing at your doorsteps in these early hours, and singing the praise of Rama, who destroyed the King of Lanka, but you are not even responding at all. Everyone can see us here and you are in such deep sleep, wake up girl and join us for the worship.

Through Bhagavadgita, Krishna explains about Sthitha Prajna, who is not disturbed by any attractions around him. They have no desires even in heart of hearts. He observes many pleasant things but never thinks to have them for his happiness. One who does not worry at losses or troubles, and not get excited about the pleasures he could get is Sthitha Prajna. Though he knew things around him, but does not get involved in them but continues to meditate on God, is second type of devotee, the gopika belonged to that category.

Also Read : Goda preaches togetherness in good deeds and towards Tirumala

Also Read : Gopika’s Butter Making is Better Penance

Also Read : The divine path shown by paramahamsas

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is former Central Information Commissioner and Professor of Law at Bennett University

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