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Mysterious Madhava, Vaikunthesha –Come

Goda says on 9th day of Tiruppavai

ThoomaniMadathuChchutrumVilakkeriya

DhoopamKamazhaThuyil Anai Mel Kann Valarum

MaamanMagaleManikkadavam Thal Thiravaay

Mameer Avalai-ezhuppeero? Un Magal Than

Oomaiyo! Andri-ch-chevido! Anandalo!

Ema-p-perm Thuyil Mandira-p-pattalo

Mamayan Madhavan VaikuntanEndrendru

NaamamPalavumNavindr-el or Empaavaai

English Poem 9

In a diamond studded palace & amidst bright lamps

And fragrance of Dhoopa, sleeping on a soft bed,

Oh, Uncle’s daughter unlock and open the Bells hanging Doors

Oh Aunt, why don’t you wake up your daughter?

Is she dumb, or deaf or sleepy on silky bed?

Or is she in slumber caused by any magic spell?

Mysterious Madhava, Vaikunthesha –Come,

let us sing His names thousands of times.

One Gopika is in deep slumber on a very soft bed amidst the fragrance of Sugandha Dhoopa incense sticks in a jewel bedecked palace. Yet, she is not waking up. Then she requests her mother: Oh Aunt, at least you may wake her up. Unlock the precious stone-studded, bell hanging door so that she joins us to perform Sri Vrata or Sri Nomu or Tiruppavai.  Nava Ratnas indicate purification. The body, called palace, will lose its brilliance because of many worldly bonds. If a man progresses and matures, he will get rid of action-based consequences and becomes brighter. Nava Ratnas represent Nava dwara or Nava Randhras of body (nine apertures of the body). If one can drive out impurities, he would shine. 

Also read: Kulasekhara Alwar became threshold before Venkateshwara

The Gopi woken up in this verse has unflinching faith in the Lord’s Upaya Bhava. In this regard, she matches very well with Sita who, when Hanuman suggested that he carry her back to Rama, sternly refused and rebuked him saying that he was equal to Ravana,(Ravana-tulya) in this that while Ravana robbed Rama of one of his possessions, Sita; Hanuman is trying to rob Him of another, His “Sarva lokarakshakatvam” (sole right to protect all). Then she added, “With my power of chastity which cooled your burning tail, I could have saved myself; but that would have only destroyed Rama’s reputation. He alone by His prowess should rescue me and establish his valour.Tat Tasya SadrusamBhavet.That alone would be befitting to Him.” Hanuman applauded these words.

So also this girl having transferred her burden to Sri Krishna, sleeps having total faith in His words,” Ananyahchintayanto mam……Yoga kshemamvahamyaham”. Andal teaches us in this stanza that a soul after surrendering to the Lord should be like this Gopi.

“Maman Magale” -Oh, my uncle’s daughter!. Though blood relationship is condemned as it contributes to worldly attachment, the same is most welcome if it helps to do service to God and His devotees.

Dependence on Him

One of the nine relationships of Jeeva with Paramatma is based on dependence. The Paramatma is the basis, and jeeva depends on Him. For any living creature the Paramaatma becomes a body for the soul. Paramatma has original shining with Nava Ratnas.  One can see the devotee in the heart of Paramatma like a thing visible to outsiders also because of the transparent Marakatha Petika, the jewel box. The Gopikaas are praising that the building of Gopika inside is brilliant than that of the Bhagawan, as it was shining with natural Ratnas. This is because of her constant meditation of the Paramatma. 

While our hearts called lamps are located outside, your lamps have enlightened inside us. Gopika from outside asked her, how it is happening. She answered that she kept her halls lit expecting Sri Krishna anytime for lovely exchanges with her. 

Also read: Kulasekhara Alwar became threshold before Venkateshwara 

Here, the light is equated with life. Without the light, the palace (body) is lifeless. The Pramida (bowl of lamp) is the body, the oil in it is the love. If one can lit his life with oil of love, it will throw light on the way to God. The Veda and Commentaries on Veda are like two sticks which should be turned to the side of God in our place of worship. The fire that burns the stick is the Knowledge –Jnana. If Jnana is associated with Love, we can have the Darshan of Lord with utmost clarity.

Nine Kinds of Relations

We have nine kinds of relation with Paramatma: 1. Father-son, 2. Protector, 3. Remainder (Sheshi, one who is a residuary-Jeeva), 4. Bhartha – Husband (One who bears the burden/responsibility like Husband and Jeeva -the wife) 5. Jneya – జ్ఞేయ (He is embodiment of knowledge (Jnathaజ్ఞాత) who imparts Jeeva (Jneyaజ్ఞేయ), 6. Swamy (He is the swamy Ruler, Jeeva is subordinate-Ruled), 7. Dependency (Paramatma is Aadhaara, and Jeeva is the one who depends upon -Aadheya), 8. Aatma (Soul and Body), 9. Bhokthaభోక్త – Bhogyaభోగ్య, one who experiences and enjoys, the Jeeva is vasthu – Bhogya enjoyable thing. The knowledge of these nine relations are symbols of nine jewels, with which the palace is built, wherein a Gopika dissolved herself in Him which gives us the impression that she is asleep. Prajna ప్రజ్ఞ -wisdom lies in meditating upon God in these nine relations. That Prajna is the jewel-studded palace. It’s full of lamps, which symbolize brilliance of knowledge. Fragrance of Dhoopaధూప indicates that besides knowledge, they do practice of worship also.

Also read: Goda’s love letter: A poetic garland

The doors made of precious stones are symbols of ego and self-interests, which can open only with the kind teaching of Teacher (Aacharya). The devotees who always meditate on Krishna, cannot hear or speak anything like the dumb or deaf. Hence, Goda asks the Gopika in that palace, are you dumb or deaf, why are you not listening?

Nammalwarrecommends living with all relations inTiruvaymokhi 8.10, 11. Koorathu Alwar used to remark with a sad heart,” I do not have a blood relationship with Sri Ramanuja. Fie upon me! That good fortune is with Mudali Andan (Swamy Mudali Andan was the foremost disciple of Jagatha Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja)and Embar.[Embar, (also called Govinda Bhattar) born in year: 1026 CE –Krodhana, at place Madhuramangalam of VamsamMaternal cousin of Ramanuja, parents: Sridevi & Kamalanayana Bhattar, disciple of Parasara Bhattar & Srirama Pillai]”

            Bhagavad Raamanuja, who is considered as Jagadguru, gave nine jewels-like knowledge   in the form of writings. 1. Sri Bhashyam, 2. Vedanta Deepam, 3. Vedanta Saaram, 4. Vedanta Sara Sangraham, 5. NitryaGrandham, 6. Geetha Bhashyam, 7. SharanagathiGadyam, 8. Sri Ranga Gadyam, and 9. Sri Vaikuntha Gadyam. In this song Goda refers to Gopika inside as Mothers’ brother’s daughter (Maama’s daughter- Maaman Makale). Aandaal means mother of all. Sri Raamanuja being king of ascetics – Yathi Raja, considered as elder brother of Goda. Thus, Yathi Raja becomes Uncle. Hence the reference as Maaman Makale. This establishes that in this song, Goda is offering her Vandana to Raamanuja in synchronization with “SrimatheRaamanujaya Namah”.

The Gopikaas ultimately plead with the mother of the girl sleeping inside the palace to wake her up. Mother responded and she sang thousand names of the Lord as Maamayan, Madhavan and Vaikunthanan and being a pious and God loving girl, she woke up on hearing the Lord’s names being chanted.

Vaikuntha Ekadashi

Vaikuntha Ekadashi, also known as Mukkoti Ekadashi, falls during Dhanur solar month in Hindu calendar Vaikuntha Ekadashi is observed on Shukla Paksha Ekadashi out of two Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha Ekadashis in a month.

Ekadashi is observed on the eleventh day of every fortnight of the Hindu lunar calendar. According to Hindu mythology, Sagar Manthan happened on this auspicious day and the divine nectar was distributed among the gods and goddesses.

The nectar was then distributed to the gods and goddesses. Keeping fast on Vaikuntha Ekadashi can ward off evils and cleanse our soul. The devotees of Lord Vishnu also celebrate Vaikuntha Ekadashi.It is believed that Vaikuntha Dwaram or the gate of Lord’s inner sanctum is opened on this day and devotees who observe fast on Vaikuntha Ekadashi attain salvation by going to Heaven.Vaikuntha Ekadashi is very important day for Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam.Vaikuntha Ekadashi is known as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi in Malayalam Calendar followed by people of Kerala.

Madabhushi Sridhar

23 December 2023

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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