Thursday, June 13, 2024

Surrendered at Your Feet and Gate, Helpless and Praising

Madabhushi Sridhar – Tiruppavai – 21

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil


Maatraadhe Paal SoriyumVallalPerumPasukkal

Aatra-p-padaithaanMagane! Arivuraai!

Uttramudayaai! Periyaai! Ulaginil

ThotramaaiNinraSudare! Thuzhilezhaai!

MaatraarUnakkuValithulaindhu un Vaasarkann



English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

O Son of Nanda Gopala, Owning Many Large Cows that

Generously yield Milk Incessantly; Awake!

Known through Veda; Even Vedas fail to explain You,

Your strength, Resplendent source of Conscience

Embodiment of Entire Light, for the Whole Universe.  

Devoid of their strength, Your Enemies Lost pride in battle

Surrendered at Your Feet and Gate, Helpless and Praising

Similarly, We Came over to Sing Mangalam For You.

The large groups of Cows, the animals that give milk on their own, filling and overflowing the pots, are considered the real wealth of the ancient society in Krishna’s Dwapara Yuga. The cows in Nanda Vraja have grown with regular affectionate divine touch of Krishna. They learnt to be kind and helping others like this lively boy. Krishna always thinks of how to help them and repay for their generous flow of milk. The animals imbibed this kindness from Him. They desire to give as much milk as they could without minding whether pots are filled or overflowing. Krishna showers the milk of his kindness generously in a similar manner. The milching animals have been doubly strengthened with the association of Sri Krishna.

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

From song 21, Goda praises the glory of Narayana. There are four kinds of devotees.

  1. Aarta who seeks relief from the pains and difficulties,
  2. Jijnaasu… who is curious to know the character of the Self,
  3. Artharthi…who desires wealth, and
  4. Jnaani … who wants to serve God, not bothering about worldly pleasures.

All the four are good, but Jnaani is one, who is dear to me, says Krishna in His Bhagavadgita. God is so kind that he considers four kinds are kind-hearted. That is the generosity of the God. The milch animals do not even require someone to squeeze milk from them. They generously yield milk on their own. But one thing is an essential requirement. That is keeping the pot below the jetting milk. You have to turn towards God, go nearer to teacher, and ask for what you want. God has supreme quality of giving without someone asking for. But like a pot, you should be in a receiving position; keeping pot is having desire for feeling about God.

Also read: O Neela with wide lively eyes lined black

Lakshmi is described as “Anapaayini” who is always with Him. Still, she says, ‘I cannot survive without You’. Nitya Suri class of divine souls say we always want to see you… “SadaaPashyanthiSoorayah”, i.e., Acharyas explain the milk called the glory of Bhagawan. They request the God who owns such generous milching cows, to wake up and look at the Gopikas. It is not Vishnu of ocean of Milk, but Krishna under whose control animals yield streams of milk. He has left Ksheerabdi and settled in Vrepalle for these innocent and simple beings. Listen to our passionate calls, O God. Neela, the lover of Krishna, joined Goda and Gopikas in waking up Krishna. Krishna remains unresponsive thinking that they might be waking up some other great personality and not He. The Gopikas found it and start praising Krishna with His exclusive characteristic attributes. The wealth you have inherited from Nanda is to help us, and not to sleep like this. We all think that You had left Ksheerabdi, original residence of Vishnu- the ocean of milk to take birth in a clan which lives on milking animals.

Nandagopa has five great qualities –

  1. He holds Vela to secure and serve Krishna,
  2. Leader of the clan,
  3. generous donor of cloth, food and water,
  4. valiant enough to defeat rogue elephants of enemies and
  5. owner of a huge number of large cows which yield milk incessantly.

Sri BhashyamAppalacharya interprets that these are the qualities of Acharya also.

Also read: Shakti Swaroopini called ‘Radha’

  1. They love Bhagawan so much that they think it is their duty to protect Him, to pray for His welfare (Mangalasasanam),
  2. they want to share their experience they had in mediation to God, like a leader,
  3. for achieving that purpose they gave a tool –Tirumantra- which sustains, nourishes and gives enjoyable experience to all,
  4. strength to defeat elephant like enemies who disturb their meditation on God and getting God under their control, and
  5. training and preparing of disciples who can effectively communicate and spread the experience of meditation of God to many.

God remains obedient to Guru. Great attribute of a good leader is having firm strength, considering that it is their duty to protect those who are dependent on Him. Rama says during the exile, “it is my vow and duty to serve the Saadhus and Sages even if it costs my life, you and Lakshmana”.

Also read: Shakti Swaroopini called ‘Radha’

Sri Krishna is Narayana proposed by the Vedas. “SarveVedah Krishna’, all tools of knowing Krishna are Vedas. It is difficult to know Him completely even through Vedas. He is not reachable by word, voice, or mind. But you can only know Him through the word, mind, and sight. He is embodiment of light. Each can see him as he desires. One can see Him in temple. He is in Pooja rooms in Residences. He is behind doors and within minds. He is in the shape and form as much as you can afford to think of. It is said that He is waiting to bless those who might desire Him at some point of time.

He is kind enough to give shelter to Vibheeshana, who is none other than brother of Ravana who separated Seeta from Him. Though He could have killed Ravana once, he changes his mind and gives him one more day to live and relent. He does not think that He is helping others, for Him it is His routine duty. He feels relieved when he gave Kishkinda to Sugreeva and Lanka to Vibheeshana. He does not, even for a moment, think of merging their Kingdom with His.

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

Story of Kaakasura

When Hanuma wishes to carry back to Rama some sign to indicate that he has met Seeta, she recounts an intimate incident at Chitrakuta, which even Lakshmana was not aware of. Once, tired Rama falls asleep in Seeta’s lap. A crow flies close by and pecks at Seeta’s bosom. It was Indra’s bad son, Jayanth, who took the form of a crow with lusty intentions. Seeta realises that it was no ordinary crow causing deep injury and it could not be warded off by pelting a pebble. While Seeta was thinking so, Rama wakes up and understands Seeta’s injury and found culprit crow with blood-stained nails. He decides to punish him. He picks up a blade of grass, turns it into a Brahmastra and throws it on the crow. None in the three worlds — including its father Indra, the celestial beings or the sages —could rescue the crow from Rama Baana. Finally, the crow surrenders to Seeta Rama seeking forgiveness. Seeta pleads with Rama not to kill it. A true Purushakara, she treats even a wicked creature as worthy of her blessings. But to honour the power of Brahmastra and as punishment for wrong deed of assaulting Seeta, Rama asks him to sacrifice any part of his body. He agrees to lose one eye. Kaakaasura survives with a single eye.

Govardhana episode

Krishna descended on the earth as a Tejo Roopa (an embodiment of bright light) who inspired to blossom the lotus called the universe. Neela, with Goda and Gopikas say:  “Enemies are defeated and they surrender to Him. We also shed our ego, praise your glory, surrender at your feet. We give up our ego-of-beauty and decorative ornaments. Please wake up and protect us. He always looks at the possibility of persons shedding their ego. He teaches Indra a strong lesson without assaulting him. Krishna withstands the heavy downpour of rains with thunder and lightning at Brindavan for seven days and

holding the huge GovardhanaGiri on his little finger. There is an interesting story in the Bhagawata and other Puranas about Shri Krishna lifting the ‘Govardhan Parvat’ when he was only seven-year-old.

Shri Krishna questions Indra Yajna performed by Nanada Raja every year to please Lord Indra for rains. But little Krishna convinces the elders that it is Govardhana and its environment that gives rains, and not any God’s worship. And if they want, they can express gratitude towards the Hill by worshipping it. Having been convinced, the King and people worship Govardhana. Offended by this act of defiance, furious Indra orders the Dikpalakas, the administrators of eight directions, to devastate the land of Vrindavan with torrents of rain, thunderstorms, and lightning.

Krishna lifts the Govardhan Hill at once with His left little finger and holds it up like an umbrella providing shelter to all the inhabitants, along with their cows. Stunned and mystified, Indra realizes the Supreme Soul in Sri Krishna, and surrenders to Him. Thus, Krishna destroys the false pride of Indra. At that time, he was hailed as Govinda. Of all the names, Krishna loves this name, as he gained the title after holding the huge hill for seven days and nights on his little finger.

Also read: Open this temple filled with love for Shri 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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