- Thiruppavai 29
Shittrum sirukaale vandu unnai sevitthu un
Pottramarai adiye pottrum porull kelaay
Pettram meytthundum kulathil pirandu nee
Kuttreval engalai kolllamall pogadu
Ittrai parai kollvaan andru kaan Govinda
Ettraikkum ezheazh piravikkum un tannodu
Vuttrome yavom unakke naam aatcheyvom
Mattrainam kaamangal mattrelor empavai.
We all came over here at this pre-early dawn
At Your golden lotus feet, for a sole purpose, listen,
Not interested in closing by taking one Parai
We, cowherds rendered personal services to You
Govinda, as long as these Times continue,
For each of Seven Births, make us Your relatives
We seek this boon to serve You and You alone
And pray you to remove all other desires from us
Originally the Vratam begins for rains. Marga Shirsha bath is an important ritual in this Vrata. They wanted bath just to have close association with Krishna. In first pashuram, Narayana was set as the goal and strong desire to reach Him and mention the demand for Parai, a drum like music instrument. The Gopikas wanted such drum. Jeeyar says Krisha is fond of butter and for the sake of Butter he performs Ghata Nritya – dance, keeping seven pots on head, holding some more pots in two hands, with a drum arranged around waist. They value the Parai because it is so attached to Him.
Next step is to develop association with persons nearer to God. Follow certain principles and restrictions, as ordained by elders, receive initiation from Acharyas, understand the Mantra and meditate its meaning, before reaching God, first convince the divine Mother to recommend, then, tell Him that they sincerely are craving for His association and nothing else. Try to attain Knowledge of self and liberation. They seek ornaments which philosophically make you immortal, and through the land marks of these steps complete the journey to reach Him. This is explained up to 27 pashurams.
The God Himself is the means, and they have nothing of their own. These are the two principal rules of faith explained in 28 and 29th songs. In 28, they say Krishna is the means. In first song, they say Narayana would give Parai, but in 28th song she says we deserve to get His association. 30th song concludes with the Vrata Phalam, the fruits of efforts. First they say Naryana give Phalam, and in the last they say Narayana is the Phalam. They sought Conch Sankham, which is very close and always air-filled by mouth of Krishna.
Goda is taking the Gopikas, you and me, through steps gradually leading us to Saayujya, for union with Supreme Soul. Ultimately they are spelt out their desire to be with Him for seven generations, if Krishna descends, they want to be His relatives in each of such Avatara.
They attained purities by avoiding impurities – (1) Thinking of means other than God, (2) Seeking something else rather than God and (3) Serving God for one’s self reason. Seeking the God as means is a purification, which is called ‘purification of means’ (Upaaya Shuddhi) told in Song 28.
In song 29 it is purification of end result- (Phala shuddhi). Parai is just an excuse, their real demand is Service to God, for which they awaken Sri Krishna, request him to walk up to Simhasana, and after He sat comfortably, they hail Him with Mangalam, ask for the instruments or ornaments. When Krishna was about to give them, they say: we did not ask for such ordinary Parai. Krishna is silent. They finally declare “You are our means. We want permanent chance of serving you”. They are not asking for avoiding rebirths, like Acharya demands, but, saying: “if You want to give us many births, no problem, but in each birth, make us Your relatives and allow to have your association”.
They further ask Krishna: “You are born along with us in the cowherd community, who follow behind the tale of cows to live on. Now, You cannot refuse to take our worship or bestow your grace on us. We are asking not just Your grace and boons today alone. We seek forever, in the next seven births, to be privileged to have a close relationship with you in all your avatars. We should be beholden and offer worship only to You and none other. You should give this boon and ensure removal of any other desires from our minds. Unwavering, unquestioning, totally dedicated faith in Krishna at all times and occasions are what should rule our minds”- explained Goda and Gopikas.
Goda: We seek your golden-lotus-like fragrant feet, like Lakshman who did not want to be crowned, as he was happy to serve at your feet. If you do not want our services, why did you take birth in our clan?
Govinda: You want to offer your services to me, fine; I will take whenever I want. You performed Vrata for Parai. I am giving it, please take.
Goda: We asked for Parai, True. But it was only an excuse. We want you and you only. Do not need parai.
Govinda: Then what are you really intending to have, instead of your demand for Parai.
Goda: Whenever you descend on this earth, each of us should be your relatives and servants, like mother, wife, father, brother or any other etc. Seetha and Bharath left you, but we would like to be with you like Lakshmana. Please remove all other desires from our contemplation.
This pashuram reflect the Tirumantra – eight letter mantra. Ashthaakhari. Guru Acharyas desired no rebirth. But Goda said give us births but let us be your associates. For us, taking birth along with you as your relative is essential rather than the Moksha.