Friday, August 12, 2022

Neela is the Deepa Rekha of Sri Krishna

Tiruppavai – 19

Tamil Pashuram

Kuthuvilakkeriya-k-kottukkaalKattil Mel

MethhenraPanchaSayanathilMeleri

KoththalarPoonkuzhalNappinnaiKongaiymel

ViththuKidantha Malar MaarbhavaaiThiravaai!

MaiththadamKanninnaai, Nee Un Manaalanai

EthanaiPodhumThuyilezhaVottaaiKaan

EthanaiYelumPirivaatrakillaaiyaal

ThathuvamanruThagav-el or Empaavaai

English Poem 19

Clusters of oil- lamps burning bright,

On a sculpted cot with four-ivory legs,

On cool, white, soft bed of five merits,

On the bosom of Neela with flower- decked plait,

O Krishna, please utter a word at least,

O Neela with wide lively eyes lined black,

Can’t you leave Him for a minute, at least?

It is not your nature or character to hold Him so.

Amidst cluster of lamps, on an ivory cot and soft bed, on the bosom of Neela, Sri Krishna is resting. Poetess Godahas explored the valour, beauty, and romantic personality of Krishna in this song. Having ivory legs for His very wide cot represents his adventurous and courageous deeds. Those ivory legs were made of the tusks of Kuvalayapeedam sent by Kamsa to kill him. The mattress on that cot was filled with white, soft cotton spreading fragrance. After tiresome deeds, Krishna retires to sleep leaning on the bosom of Neela. At times, it is reverse; Neelarelaxes on the broad chest of Narayana. Though she hears the Gopikas’ calls for Krishna, she wants to respond to them without disturbing Krishna.

Also read: The Mother: Neela Devi, NappinnaPiratti

Godapleads with her, “O mother, can’t you endure Krishna’s separation at least for a minute, release Krishna from your hold to meet us. You were very kind, never like this, and this is not your character”.  Neela knew how tiresome Krishna was and how badly He needs rest. Godasays again: “We expect you to take initiative on our behalf to inspire Krishna. At least wake him up for us”.

Gopikas explain further: “We chose to reach you before the dawn with small lamps so that elders do not notice us in dead of night and admonish. You have lit clusters of lamps and brightened your bed-room so much that it looks like mid-day. You are completely enjoying alone the enchanting sleeping beauty of Krishna. Rama had enough of light emanating from Seetha. He never needed a lamp during the nights. Similarly, you are the bright lamp for Krishna also; You do not need any other lamp.  Having separated from us, you ought tohave felt the soft bed hard. But you are enjoying the white softness of the cotton bed, whereas we are not able to withstand the separation from Him”.

Also read: Krisha Tames Seven Bulls to win Neela

Goda is proving her poetic prowess in showing multiple examples of love bondage of Neela for Krishna. Seetha and Rama could not live without the other even for a second. The couple – Neela Krishna too cannot tolerate separation from each other. Gopikasrequest: “Krishna, if you want to give your bosom to Neela, please give it…but give us a word at least. Krishna seems to be convinced; He wants to greet those that came with great love for Him. But Neela tightened her hold and did not allow Him to get up. Gopikas understand it and start praising Neela for her indulgence. O Mother, have a glance at us with your wide eyes darkened by collyrium.  You have bound Krishna with the beauty of your eyes like Rama did to Seetha. He keeps on watching your lotus eyes continuously. We know that you have not decorated your eyes with collyrium, it appears so because of black shades of Krishna. Krishna is shining in your eyes, why do not you allow Him to light up our eyes too. He is not your husband alone; He is Jagannadha (bearer of entire Universe)”. 

Gopikas feel moonlight and lamp are their enemies because theydo not allow them to experience Krishna. They want it to be on a par with Neela.

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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