Friday, May 24, 2024

Nanda -Acharya, Yashoda – Mantra and Krishna – the Mantrartha

  • Tiruppavai 17, Goda Govinda Geetham

After waking up ten Gopikas and Aalwaars, Goda reached Nanda King’s palace yesterday with five lakh Gopas and Gopikas, convinced the door keepers and entered. Unless you abandon ego and use wisdom (doors), you cannot gain entry at all. Then they peeped through the rooms to find where Krishna and Balarama are asleep. First, they saw Nanda, then Yashoda, after her, Krishna and at last, Balarama. 

Ambaramay, Thanneeray, Soray, Aaram Seyyum

Emperumaan! Nandagopaala! Ezhundhiraai!

Kombanaar-k-kellam Kozhunday Kula Vilakkay

Emperumaatti! Yashodhaai! Arivuraai!

Ambaran Oodaruththu Ongi Ulagalandha

Umberkomanne! Urangaadhu Ezhundhiraai!

Semborkk-kazhaladi-ch-chelvaa! Baladeva!

Umbiyum neeyum urang-El or Empaavaai

(Above is transliteration of 17th Pashuram and below is English Translation from Tamil)

Giver of cloth, water and food

O, Our Swamy, please wake up Nanda

O, Swamini Yashoda, you are bright star

Among all of our clan, arise and awake

Krishna, God of Gods, you grew up tearing sky,

Measured the Universe:  Get up soon,

Balarama, with golden anklet, along with

Brother Krishna, please wake up for us.

Father of Krishna, Nanda is dear king for all people because; he gives clothes to clothe-less, water and food to the needy without expecting anything in return. King has a duty to provide for basic needs of the people. He donates and never denies.

Yashoda is compared with Prabbali plant, which grows on the banks of a stream. This tree has capacity to bend when stream swells and floods, and will rise back after flood cedes. Like a mother she is very affectionate and helpful. She is the bright star of cowherd clan, and the mother of all. She is protecting little Krishna from the wrecked looks of demons. Both Yashoda and Nanda fear those destructive elements, who separate brothers, mother and son, create dissentions among the people to continue to rule etc. Kamsa like demons kidnap and kill the children. Nanda and Yashoda are always worried about Krishna and Balarama because the demons were ruling.

Krishna, the God of Gods, who rose from being a dwarf  to become Trivikrama tearing the sky away to measure Universe with his two steps for the sake of Indra, the King of Angels. After praising Krishna, and Balarama, who is distinct with a golden anklet, Gopikas ask brothers to wake up and grant them the result of their Vratha. 

Yashoda controls Krishna like Tirumantra

Yashoda here means the giver of Yash = fame. There is no greater fame than Paramatma. Yashoda could give Paramatma to us. Among three mantras of Vishnu, Vasudeva and Narayana, Ashtakshari (Mantra with 8 aksharas) is greater one. Yashoda is like that Tirumantra. Our tradition believes that Mantro Maata (mantra is the mother), Guruh Pitha (Guru is the father).

The three mothers possessed God as son – Kausalya, Devaki and Yashoda. But Yashoda is blessed more because she could spend lots of years with Krishna, who could wield complete control over the Paramatma. Yashoda could punish and bind Him with rope with her utmost devotion. Tirumantra (eight lettered Mantra of Narayana) also has the power of tying down Paramatma. That is why Yashoda is considered mantra itself.  Waking up Yashoda means understanding and invoking Narayana mantra. Nanda is giver of Mantra-the Acharya, Mantra is Yashoda herself, and meaning or purpose of mantra is the Krishna. Gopikas are invoking Acharya, Mantra and Mantrartha.

Nanda -Acharya, Yashoda - Mantra and Krishna – the Mantrartha

Vishnu heard the prayer of brother Indra and other Devatas, who were displaced by Bali, the king of Asuras. Vishnu assures them to get back their kingdom. For their purpose, the incarnation of generosity He becomes a beggar, and seeks alms from Bali as Vaman (the dwarf).  When Bali assured the donation, He grew up and further up, tears up the sky, went much above, measured two Lokas with two feet, and asked for the third step to get three-feet land. He obtains Rajya from Bali and gives back to Indra.  His devotee and younger brother Indra prays with devotion completely surrendering to Him.

Also Read : Cross the doors of diversion, to reach goal

Importance of cloth: Ambarame

This Pashuram deals with Cloth, Water and Food. When you have it in abundance, you don’t value the cloth. Draupadi knows it. Her five husbands, great warriors could not protect her, all other elders like Dhritarashtra, Bhishma and Drona become helpless spectators, while Dussasana under the command of Duryodhan was disrobing her. Blind king was hearing it and knows what is happening, but, blinded by the love for his son and jealousy towards Pandavas. Vikarna, younger brother of Duryodhan questions, but he is snubbed. Vidura, the incarnation of Dharma, the Prime Minister of Kaurava King objects and advises the King to abandon Duryodhana for this anti-Dharma conduct. King was silent. Vidura walks out.  Helpless Draupadi does not surrender to Duryodhana, but prostrated Krishna by her mind and heart. She prayed for His Honour to protect her Honour. She recited the following Shloka.

శంఖ చక్ర గదాపాణే ద్వారకా నిలయాచ్యుత గోవింద పుండరీకాక్ష రక్షమాం శరణాగతిమ్

Miraculously Krishna gave her abundant clothes. Dussasana exhausted pulling the clothes out and fell down.  


Second word is Tanneere, means ‘water’. Jala daanam is great deed.  There is an incident involving Sri Krishna. During the Kurukshetra war, the horses were in dire need of water. They are tired and not in a position to move further. Pandava’s had no clue. Then Sri Krishna uses the Vaarunasthra to bring up water from the underground. Not only was the thirst of His horses but of all the horses was quenched. He does not use weapons to kill the rivals but to help all living creatures.

Also Read : The Robber turned Aalwaar: Tirumangai


Next word used by Goda is Shore… which means food.  Munis’ perform Yanja to invoke God and to feed Him with Havya.  Little Krishna is around those Rishis performing Yajna, but they do not recognize Him. The Yajna goes on beyond after noon. The Gopala Gopikas complained of hunger, and they approach Rishis, who refuse to give until Yajna is completed. Krishna approaches the wives of Munis. A lovely boy, with divine looks and ever-smiling face is seeking food. They could not resist, simply gave it without bothering about the completion of the Yajna defying the rules and command of husbands. All children along with Krishna were fed happily. Krishna smiles at Munis who are still bothered about their empty formalities, without recognizing the real God. Every day, Vaishnavas recite a shloka at the time of offering of food, in which they remember the Muni’s wives who fed Krishna with love and affection.  Those wives are more blessed than their husbands.

Duryodhana once offered food to Durvasa Muni and his disciples in a sumptuous manner. Pleased by this, Durvasa asked him to seek a boon. Duryodhan wanted him to bless Dharma Raja similarly with malicious intention that he would surely fail and Durvasa will curse him. During exile, Dharma Raja used to feed all the persons with him, with the help of Akshaya Patra given by Surya. But there is limitation, that it cannot give any food for that day, once it is was cleaned. After washing the Akshaya Patrat Durvasa approached them. It is difficult for Pandavas to feed Durvasa’s team. No way except praying the God. Draupadi prays Krishna to help out. He arrives, asks her to fetch Akshaya Patra and miraculously he finds one grain of rice somewhere and eats it. When the ruler of whole universe feels sumptuous with one grain, whole universe feels full, and so are the members of team of Muni.

Also Read : Goda wakes up Tenth Alwar and Gopika

Cloth, Water and Food are the forms of Brahma. Ambaram also means sky. This 17th song invokes the Parabrahmam through its inner meaning.

Also Read : Tiruppani Aalwar merges into Ranganatha

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles