Friday, January 20, 2023

Opened fire-emitting eyes

Madabhushi Sridhar – Tiruppavai – 23

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil

MaarimalaiMuzhainjil Manni-k-kidandhurangum

SeeriyaSingamArivuttru-th-thee Vizhiththu

VerimayirpongaEppaadumPerndhthari

Moori NimirndhuMuzhangi-p-purappattu

PodharumaPoley Nee Poovai-Ppoovanna! Un

KoilNinruInganePondharuliKoppudaya

SeeriyaSingaadhanath-thirundhu Yam Vandhakaariyam

Aaraindhu Arul-el or empaavaai.

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

In a mountain den, the fierce Lion

Spending winter in sleep with lioness

Opened fire-emitting eyes, erect,

Straightened fragrant hair to all directions,

Stretching the mane, with a roar for starting

as blue lotus eyes shine, is stepping out with a bang.

From your abode towards the divine

Throne exquisite, to settle on and bless us.

On 22nd Day, Gopikas wanted the cool and kind glances of Sri Krishna, asked Him to gradually open the eyes. Neela led them to Him. He felt that He should not have neglected them. He saw them and asked “what do you want’. Gopikas said we want to experience the sight of your approach towards the Singhasan like a Lion, and He moves on.

Also read: Shedding Ego, crowding around You

Lord Krishna of eternal enchanting bluish hue and the shine of the Kanuga flower is arriving now like a fierce Lion who just woke up from its four-month-winter-hibernation in the mountain cave. He opened fiery, flashy eyes, shook up limbs vigorously, ruffled mane in the action, stood upright and stepped out with a mighty roar. Welcome from your Bed-Chamber to the exquisite and well carved Throne- Singhasan, and settle on it to consider the purpose of our visit and bless, Krishna. 

Sri Rama, after killing Vaali and handing over the dynasty to Sugreeva, spent all the rainy season in Malyavantha Guha along with Lakshmana.  He comes out to alert Sugreeva to start searching for Seeta.

The Raghava Lion

He is Raghava Lion, who never fears even in sleep. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are Parantapas, who frighten the enemies anytime.  They wake up listening to the cries for help, though they do not know when to wake up, they get up at the right point of time.  When asleep in the lap of Seeta as she was watching the beauty of Rama, Kaakasura attacks her.

Also read: Surrendered at Your Feet and Gate, Helpless and Praising

SomayaabodhitahSrimanSukhaSuptahParantapah. I have awakened Sri Rama, who even suffers no diminution in beauty even in sleep and retains his valor which frightens His enemies. That is what SeriaSingham, the expression of Goda in this pashuram means.  SeriaSingam again is not alone. He is with Lakshmi, the lioness.

Narashaardoola

His Shayana Soundarya is enchanting. Kausalya used to forget herself watching Rama while asleep. Viswamitra enjoyed the sight of sleeping beauty of Rama.  He wakes Him with Suprabhatam.

Kausalya Supraja Rama, Poorva Sandhya Pravarthate,

Utthishta Nara Shardoola, KartavyamDaivaMahnikam.

This is Valmiki Shloka written for Viswamitra. Tirumala Lord’s Suprabhatam starts with this shloka. Not only this, all other suprabhatams in Vishnu Temples in India start with this aadikavi Valmiki Shlokam,  Vishwaamitra calls him narashaardoola — Lion among men. In Ramayana Valmiki admires Rama with expressions like Purusharshabha, Rama Saardulam, Matta MaatangaGaaminam, Simha VikraantaGaaminam.

Also read: Perfect, no less than Lakshmi, wake up! Experience Bliss of Paramaatma

Yashoda watches with admiration Balakrishna when asleep.  Gopikaas also watch Him, His graceful personality, while sleeping in Nanda’s Palace, with Yashoda and then with Neela.  He is called Yadu Simha.

They want to see the transformation of Energy from sleeping posture to kinetic process.  He is Narasimha. Till yesterday, they likened His eyes with lotus. Today they are emitting fire. Gopikas like the fiery looks of Hari against the enemies of the devotees. Other than those who had no other desires, none can watch the sight of His fiery eyes just as one cannot see the bright Sun. 

The Yadu Simha woke up, stretched the body, shook the mane, roared like bursting cloud, breaking the hearts of enemies, stepped out of his Palace, gracefully started moving towards his well decorated Singhasana, even as Gopikas call him O Lion of Yadava Clan, the Valiant Hero, please come and settle on the grand chair and consider our desire and purpose of our vrata.

Chaturgathi

In Vishnu Sahasranamam, one of the thousand names of Vishnu isChaturgati.  His movement is described in four kinds – (1) the gait of an elephant – heavy and stolid signifying ponderous strength; (2) the gait of a lion, majestic and imperious, signifying valour: (3) the gait of a bull, steady and indifferent, signifying hauteur; and (4) the gait of a tiger, fierce and agile, signifying rage, as explained by Sri BhashyamAppalacharya. 

Also read: O Neela with wide lively eyes lined black

In Sri Ranganatha temple, Ranganatha’s palanquin is moved in these four kinds by the bearers.

Narasimha

While all the Avataras of Narayana are pleasant and kind, Narasimha is furious and fearsome.  When Prahlada replied to his father Hiranya Kashipu that Vishnu is all-pervasive and could be found in any thing around him, Vishnu was particular about the veracity of devotee’s word, whereas Prahlada was tense whether God’s all-pervasive character gets established or not. Vishnu resolves to attest the words of his devotee.  But, Hari was not sure which object the King would choose for the presence’s of Sarvantaryami.  He may pick up whatever that comes to his mind at random. The God took care that each and every object and being in the palace and the surroundings would give rise to His form.  When Hiranya Kashipu wanted to find Hari in a pillar, He comes out of a non-living thing, without parents, as soon as the devotee wanted, in a ferocious form unprecedented, which is neither an animal nor man, to protect the good and punish  the wicked immediately, thus making possible the impossible. Narasimha is a unique form of self-manifestation chosen for that occasion.  Brahma, Indra and other celestial personalities fear that kind of Avatara, and could not go nearer to Him seeing the terrific way of killing Hiranya Kashipu with nails on the threshold in twilight – the Sandhya time.  Even His concert Lakshmi was terrified and could not venture to go near Him. Brahma advises Prahlada to pacify Narasimha as He was born for the sole purpose of protecting him from his own father. Prahlada, though frightened, collects courage to prostrate before Him. The anger vanishes and the Lion smiles.  He lifts the boy and blesses with his hand on his head. Bapu (See below) draws a wonderful picture with great imagination. It is really a creative art to bring smile on the face of Simha without losing ferocity.

Also read: Shakti Swaroopini called ‘Radha’

First Godadescribes how Vrata has to be performed. The terms and conditions include pure mind, no indulgences, offerings of flowers and prayers through the Lord’s songs, praise and chanting of His names through our lips and with all enveloping thoughts of the Krishna in our minds.  She says that this kind of worship, the rains and prosperity will be bestowed on the land and the people, in the first five Pashurams 1-5.

In the second part, Goda goes on waking up the ten girls, with unique qualities, showing many signs of the dawn and conveying the objective of worshipping and explaining the glorious attributes, valour, and virtues in songs 6-15.

Then, Goda approaches the abode of Krishna, seeks permission of door keepers, wakes up Nandagopan and mother Yashoda, enlists the support of NappinnaPiratti in six pashurams – 16- 21. Next, Goda and Gopikas pray to Krishna to wake up in Songs 22-23.  In Song 17 the mantra and its artha (meaning) were explained, invoking Lakshmi’s kindness in Song 18 and in 19th song, Goda says there is no alternative to Gopikas other than reaching out to Narayana; in Song 20 Gopikas explain that they have shed self-love; they declare their eligibility in Song 21 and request for considering their prayer in song 22.

Also read: He, the giver of clothes, water and food

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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