Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Shedding Ego, crowding around You

Madabhushi Sridhar -Tiruppavai – 22

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil



Sangam Iruppaar pol VanduThalaip-peydom

KinkiniVaaiSeidhaThaamarai Poo-p-Poley


ThingalumAadhityanumEzhundaar Pol

AngandIrandumKonduEngal Mel Nokkudiyel

Yengal Mel ShaapamNirande-Elorempaavaai

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

Under Your Umbrella & Feet, We,

Kings of Large Earth Gathered.

Shedding Ego, crowding around You!

Give a glance of ankle trinket, blooming lotuses,       

With Eyes of Sun & Moon, at a time,

Gradual opening of eyes a little, and a little after

Wash off our sins and curses. Girls’ sans vanity

Please see us and hear our pleas, consider, and bless.

The British believed that Sun would never set in their dynasty. Hitler thought he could win the whole of the world. Alexander was confident of winning the entire Globe. Where are they? Only three have shown no desire for kingdom and dynasty – Rama, Bharatha and Siddhartha among our Indian traditional historical stories. No king will step down easily. They must be pulled down with force.

Bhakta Pothana in Goda’s song

When Narayana comes in the guise of a Brahmin boy seeking Biksha (donation), Rakshasa-Guru Shukra warns King Bali not to give anything to Him. But Bali says many kings come and go. They do not take the wealth with them to a different world… I will give and retain a permanent place in the history. A small king slaps sedition case against BhakthaPothana for not dedicating his Bhagavatham to him. None knows now who that king was.  Pothana has remained eternal. Any king who slaps false cases on knowledge and education or art and poetry with Royal heavy Egos will not remain or remembered forever.

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

If a king thinks that it was his achievement, God will not bother about it. As long as it is comfortable, the King will enjoy his pride. Once the fall starts, God will just watch the fall of that King along with his possessions. If the King thinks that it was given for a purpose as a matter of service, he will not have any problems. Annamayya had similar experience when he joined the royal court. He was happy when he left those egoistic rulers.

All those kings of big dynasties realized futility of their royalty, shed their ego and came under your feet, umbrella and refuge. Goda and Gopikas tell Krishna: We also shed our love or pride for our bodies and came like them to seek Your refuge. 

We seek your kind blessings, please let us see your gradually opening of lovely eyes. If you open the eyes totally all of a sudden, we cannot bear the sight. Just as a lotus opens its lids slowly, Siri SiriMuvva is half-open, with a small ball inside, please present your cool looks. Your eyes are like Sun and Moon- they are hot and burning for the enemies and cool for devotees like us. With the effect of your generous blissful looks all our curses will be burnt and that is the real purpose of our Vratam.

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

Brahma or Ant, Ego is sure

Smallest ant and largest Brahma will have Ego in their own proportions. The ant thinks great and feels everything is created is by her and for her.  Even Brahma has to struggle for Moksha. Brahma thinks that it was he with his energy and effort that created this entire universe. He has to shed all these feelings and surrender all to Him to achieve the liberation. A simple man who has nothing can gain the liberation with greater ease, unlike Brahma. If one thinks all is given by Him and one had no role in it, there are no issues to worry about. He has nothing to give or do. God stands by him. One who leaves everything without abandoning his duties, is doing real Saranagati, and God takes care of him. For the ant it is easy to get Mokhsa.

Kingdom goes, Pride remains.

Once a king, after ruling and enjoying the pleasures of Royal life, lost all his wealth and found it difficult to get food twice a day. Though kingdom is lost, his ego remains. He feels ashamed to beg in the day fearing that people might identify him. He picks up a piece of pot and starts begging in the night. While he walks under the extended roofs of houses to avoid someone identifying him, he steps on a dog which just gave birth to puppies. It bites the former King.  Crying, the King drops the pot making big noise. People around come out with lamps and recognize him. His pride is affected again. You get ego when you get kingdom. Kingdom goes but not the pride. You try to hide the pride, get disappointed, depressed, and defeated.  Desire for kingdom is a disease, for which you do not hesitate to lose wife, brothers and friends, and there is no medicine to cure it.  Kingdom destroys your knowledge about yourself. Surrender to Him, shedding ego, says Nammalwar.

Also read: O Neela with wide lively eyes lined black 

The women generally feel to go to men on their own. They have shed such feelings and reached out to Sri Krishna. And they say, we came like those kings who surrender at your bedside, near your feet.

Bharatha never desired Kingdom. He was not interested in it. Once, Kaikeyi addressed him as Rajan. Unable to bear it, he fell unconscious. Guha and Bharadwaja suspect his intentions when Bharatha went to Rama in exile. He had to take pains to let them know his disinterestedness in the kingdom and his desire to take Rama back to Ayodhya. Lakshman never felt any need to explain to anyone. Because, he has great nidhi with him, that is His sannidhi. He is nearer to Rama, serving him and enjoying it.

Why Jaya, Vijaya stopped Sanaka brothers?

There is an incident similar to that Gopikas wanted Krishna to open His eyes gradually and spread his blissful looks. The door keepers of Vishnu in Vaikuntham knew that like Gopiakas the Sanaka and Sananda brothers may not bear the powerful first looks of Vishnu when he awakes from the Yoga Nidra, and hence they try to prevent their entry.  Gopikas are like the field starved of water. They need small shower and not heavy rain.  His lotus eyes pink in color, are half-open, like ankle’s trinket. Krishna’s eyes are like Sun and Moon. His fiery looks are supposed to punish those who prevent people from reaching Him. And His cool looks would bless the devotees reaching Him. Even then, Goda thinks it is not proper to compare the eyes of Krishna with Sun and Moon who are eclipsed frequently. She concludes finally, His eyes can be compared with His eyes only. 

God gets angry when jeevas approach him with the burden of several wrongs. He will not open eyes fully. Neela keeps a hand on Him and pleads for his generosity, then He opens the eyes. His eyes get closed as Jeeva commits mistakes. Jeevi has to have a strong desire for His blessings, and that effort forms basis for Neela’s recommendation and finally the blessings of god.

Also read: Shakti Swaroopini called ‘Radha’

Ananya Gathi

Gopikas say we have no alternative to pursue. You are the only way for our salvation. We are not fighting with you or with any other. Kings were defeated in wars. Sometimes they were defeated by your arrows. We are defeated by your glory. We may not need any Jnani to guide us. We are Ajnaanis. We are lucky enough to reach your feet. We cannot go anywhere. Vibheeshana left Ravana when he was kicked out. He did not even visit his family to take them along. He flew with his followers to Rama’s camp on this side of the ocean. He stood in the sky and wanted to visit Rama. He says even if Rama does not accept him, he cannot go back and had no other go. It is called Ananya Gathi, total lack of alternative route.

How you do you benefit if I look at you, asks Krishna. They say: we will be relieved of the pangs of separation from you. Separation from you is an inevitable curse.

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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