Saturday, May 18, 2024

Simhasanappaattu: Inviting Krishna Simha to Singhasan

  • Tiruppavai – 23. Maari malai muzhanjil

On 22nd Day, Gopikas wanted the cool and kind glance 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 arriving towards the Singhasan like a Lion, and He moves on.

Transliteration of Tiruppavai Song 23

Maarimalai muzhainjil manni-k-kidandhurangum

Seeriya Singam arivuttru-th-thee vizhiththu

Verimayirponga eppaadum perndhthari

Moori nimirndhu muzhangi-p-purappattu

Podharuma poley nee poovai-p-poovanna! Un

Koil ninru ingane pondharuli koppudaya

Seeriya singaadhanath-thirundhu yam vandha kaariyam

Aaraindhu arul-el or empaavaai

Translation from Tamil

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 mane, with a roar for starting

With a bang, Bilberry-shined is stepping

From your abode towards the divine

Throne exquisite, to settle on and bless us.

Lord Krishna of eternal enchanting bluish hue and the shine of the Kanuga flower is arriving now, like a fierce Lion just woke up from its four-month-winter-hibernation in the mountain cave. He opened fiery, flashy eyes, shook up limbs vigorously, ruffed 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, 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 during sleep. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are Parantapa’s, that means frighten the enemies anytime.  They wake up listening to cry for help, though he does not know when to wake up, he gets up at a right point of time.  When asleep in the lap of Seeta, who was watching the beauty of Rama, Kaakasura attacks her. So mayaa bodhitah Sriman Sukha Suptah Parantapah. I have awakened Sri Rama, who even when asleep suffers no diminution in beauty and retains his valor which frightens His enemies. That is what Seria Singham, the expression of Goda in this pashuram means.  Seria Singam again is not alone. He is with Lakshmi, the lioness.


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

Kausalya Supraja Rama, Poorva Sandhya Pravarthate,

Utthishta Nara Shardoola, Kartavyam Daiva Mahnikam.

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 nara shaardoola — Lion among men. In Ramayana Valmiki admires Rama with expressions like Purusharshabha, Rama Saardulam, Matta Maatanga Gaaminam, Simha Vikraanta Gaaminam.

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

Also Read : Power brings Ego: Then Power goes, but not the Ego!

They want to see the transformation of the 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. Except, other than those who had no other desires, none can watch the sight of His fiery eyes like 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.


In Vishnu Sahasra namam on of thousand names of Vishnu is Chaturgati.  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 Bhashyam Appalacharya. 

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


While all the Avataras of Narayana are pleasant and kind, Narasimha is furious and fearsome.  When Prahlada answered his father Hiranya Kashipa, that Vishnu is all pervasive and could be found in any thing around him, Vishnu was careful about veracity of devotee’s word, while Prahlada was tense whether His all pervasive character gets established. Vishnu decides to prove it.  But Hari does not know the choice of the King to find the Sarvantaryami.  He may pick whatever that comes to his mind random. He made sure that each and every thing and being, present in that palace and surroundings would give rise to His form.  When Hiranya Kashipu wanted to find Hari in a pillar, He comes out of a nonliving thing, no parents, as soon as the devotee wanted, highly valiant, so furious that in no manifestation, it was shown, a form which in unprecedented, neither animal nor man, getting on to the duty of protecting good and punishing the bad immediately after the manifestation, making impossible possible. Narasimha is a unique form exclusively created by Himself for that occasion.  Brahma, Indra and other celestial personalities fear that kind of Avatara, could not come nearer to Him. The terrific way of killing Hiranya Kashipu with nails on the threshold at the conjunction of day and night – the Sandhya and tearing off the demon into pieces.  Even His concert Lakshmi was terrified and did not venture to reach Him. Brahma advises Prahlada to pacify Narasimha, who is born for the sole purpose of protecting the boy from his own father. Prahlada, though frightened, collects courage to prostrate before. The anger vanished and the Lion smiles.  He lifted the boy and blessed keeping his hand on the head of Prahlada. Bapu (See below) draws a wonderful picture with great imagination. It is really a creative art to bring smile on face of Simha, without losing ferocity coupled with generosity.

Simhasanappaattu: Inviting Krishna Simha to Singhasan

First Goda described 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 tells that this kind of worship, the rains and prosperity will be bestow on the land and the people, in first five Pashurams 1-5.

Also Read : Govinda, who lifts Goverdhan as an umbrella

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 Nappanee in six pashurams – 16- 21. Next, the Goda and Gopikas pray the Krishna to wake up in Songs 22-23.  In Song 17 the mantra and its artha meaning was explained, invoking Lakshmi’s kindness happened in Song 18, and in 19th song, Goda says there was no alternative to Gopikas other than reaching out Narayana, in Song 20 Gopikas explain that they have shed the love for the themselves, they declare that they became eligible in Song 21 and request for considering their prayer in song 22.

Simhasanappaattu: Inviting Krishna Simha to Singhasan

Also Read : Replace Ego with Namah to Experience Bliss of Paramaatma

Also Read : Neela is the Deepa Rekha of Sri Krishna

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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