Thursday, January 28, 2021

To know Limitless Love and Unbounded Affection for Krishna

  • Tiruppavai – 24
  • Immerse in thoughts of Goda’s 24th Pashuram

Background:

As Goda and Gopikas desired, Sri Krishna comes out of his abode of rest towards the decorated crown, moving like a Lion and sometimes like an Elephant. Neela Devi stepped forward to invite Him, took Him and then sat by His side. He kept one leg on the thigh and the other on footrest. Then Goda and Gopikas saw strain marks on pink lotus like foot of Lord and felt sad. He never cares for his own strain for helping devotees. Krishna served like an ordinary charioteer and obeyed Arjuna, who asked him to take his Ratham in the midst of two large armies of Pandava and Kourava in Kurukshetra. 

After watching his stained foot they forgot their purpose of visit (to seek fruits of Vrata) and wanted to pray for His welfare, hail Him and remove the evil effects bad sights to ward off the dangers. They want to protect Him from evil forces. They know that He is omnipotent, but forgot all that in anxiety to secure Him. They transformed from the phase of knowledge Jnaana to phase of unbounded love- called Bhakti, a unique mix of knowledge dominated by love.

C Rajagopalachary says: “The way of devotion, is not different from the way of knowledge or Jnana. When intelligence matures and lodges securely in the mind, it becomes wisdom. When wisdom is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes Bhakti. Knowledge, when it becomes fully mature is Bhakti. If it does not get transformed into Bhakti, such knowledge is useless tinsel. To believe that Jnana and Bhakti, knowledge and devotion are different from each other, is ignorance”.

Simhasanappattu is the name of previous Pashuram, and present is the Mangalasasanappattu. This appears to be climax of 30 songs. There are 108 Narayana Divya Desha, which are so called, because the Alwars sang there in praise of glory of the Paramatma. They hailed glory, wished Jayam, desired the security, protection and welfare of God – the meaning of Mangalam. After ten alwars sang the glory, Goda chose Tiruppavai to sing the Mangalam, in this 24th Pashuram and that made her an Alwar.

Transliteration

Andri ivvulagam alanday, adi pottri

Sendranguth thennilangai chettray, thirall pottri

Pondrach chagadamudathaai, pugazh pottri

Kandru kunila verindhaay, Kazhal pottri

Kundruk kudaiyai edutthay, gunam pottri

Vendru pagai kedukkum nin kaiyyil vel pottri

Endrendrum un sevakame aethi parai kolvaan

Indru yaam vandhom irangelor empavai.

Translation from Tamil

Hail thy feet that mapped entire world in two steps

Hail thy valor that vanquished Lanka king in south

Hail thy fame, kicked off the demon-cart

Hail thy pose throwing calf at fruit killing two demons

Hail thy generosity that lifted a hill like umbrella

Hail thy spike that destroyed the enemies

Hail thy bravery, to obtain the desired parai

Came now, for Bliss and Blessing, for our Vrata

Meaning:

Once you have measured the whole world,we praise thee feet, You went down south to Lanka and destroyed the King of demons there, we praise thee valour. You have destroyed a demon, who came in the form of a cart, we praise your fame. In one stroke you vanquished two demons in the form of a calf, and fruit, we praise to thee posture. You have lifted up a hillock like an umbrella to protect your people from the thunderstorm, we praise your kindness. Our praise to the sharp spear in your hands that killed your enemies. We all came here to praise your valour and offer our worship. Kindly hear our pleas and bless us with your grace.

Jnana yoga

The divine knowledge is that a Jeevi understands the all-pervasive power of Supreme Self, and how tiny element is he on this earth. He is the savior of entire Universe, only protective power. With that knowledge, devotee surpasses that stage too and in the unbounded love he thinks that he has to greet, hail, praise and wish for His welfare. He is worried about safety of the Supreme Personality, who protects all.

The Vaman

Vaaman is a pretty small boy who begs three feet of land from Bali, the King of three Lokas. Once granted, He raises His leg to measure the uneven surface of the Universe that might have injured His delicate feet. When His leg measured the upper Universe, Brahma washed the feet that became Sri Pada Tirtha- Akasha Ganga, which landed on the head of Rudra making him Shiva.  None hailed his feet. We do it now.

Rama

While Vamana pained by two steps of measure, Rama walked all through the forest and suffered most. He goes to the place of enemy which is the strong fort within the ocean. He crossed Vana durgam, Sthala Durgam, Jala durgam and then attacked Lanka Durgam. Rama breaks Ravan’s  strong and high compound, kills each of his brothers, supporters and sons, his charioteer, horses, flag, chariot, bow, crown, and makes him to stand bare foot, and to walk down back home all through the main streets of his own capital. His entire ego should have been vanished by this great insult. He tried to invoke wisdom in Ravana and gave one more chance to correct, surrender and return Seeta. But he does not, hence, killed. But none hailed Rama’s strength of arms. Lanka is symbol of human body, ten heads – ten Indriyas, his mind – the ego and that is the demon Ravan. The Antaryami goes into the place of that mind and destroys the ego.

Viswamitra knows Rama’s valour, gives him divine weapons Bala and Ati Bala, and when he gets into war with Taataka, He says Swasti Raghavayorasthu.

When Rama accepts the hand of Seeta in marriage, Janaka sings ‘Bhandranthe’. This slokam ‘Iyam seeta mama suta … is recited in every marriage even today. On the way to Ayodhya, just married Rama, confronts destroyer of rulers – Parashuram. Father Dasaratha was worried and tense until Rama has safely comes out of conflict with Parashuram.

Seeta know the power of Rama but when King Dasaratha summons him through Sumantra, Seeta asks all rulers of eight sides to protect him. (Rama was called to convey Kaikeyi’s wish to go to forest). Sribhashyam recalls several episodes in Ramayana when loved ones prayed for security of Rama.

Jatayu knew valiant Rama who single handedly killed 14 thousand demons led by Khara and Dushana. Jatayu looks at Rama, after severely injured in battle with Ravana to save Seeta, and says “Ayushman Bhava”. Rama could demolish seven strong Saala trees and kill Vaali with one stroke, and thrown out the heavy body of Dundubhi with the thumb of foot. Sugreeva knows all this, but when Vibheeshan wanted switched to the side of Rama he was worried about safety of Rama. It shows Sugreeva’s affection.  Rama takes trouble of walking all the way on Sethu built with uneven stones bound by rough ropes etc, and even when he walks in forest all through. Gopikas and Goda sing for welfare of His arms-strength that killed Ravana, during Tiruppavai.

Krishna’s adventures

Krishna descends as an infant with four arms, holding Sankhu and Chakra. He plans the smooth exit from Kamsa’s prison to Nanda Vrajam for his father. Yet Vasudeva and Devaki were worried about safety and pray for his security. Nanda and Yashoda tie bonds to secure the life of Krishna many a time during his childhood.

Rama faced enemy demons after growing up. Krishna had to fight demons while he was a child itself. He kills Poothana on his 21st day. As seven months baby, he kicked his leg while crying, and that killed the Sakatasura who was broken into pieces. The deeds of jeevi is compared with Sakata getting into birth and death cycle by his deeds called Karma, it’s an obstruction to experience the glory of Paramatma. That cycle breaks only with the divine touch of His feet.

Krishna found one demon in the form of calf and another hidden in a fruit. He picked up the calf, after spinning it several times with great speed and hit the fruit-formed-Kapitthasura, killing both instantly. Krishna puts forward one leg and slightly bends another to gain strong footing and then has spun the calf to hit fruit. That pose is hailed by Gopikas.

When Indra thought that he commands the dynamics of nature and he is entitled to receive the offerings in Sacrifices, forgetting that it was for the ultimate Parabrahmam. He thinks he was havirbhokta (receiver of fruits of sacrifice) and Phala-pradaata (=provider of the results). Krishna taught a lesson to him, that a hillock does the job of Indra, by making the clouds to rain. Environment cycle naturally nourishes the crops and not by the generosity of an administrator like Indra, and that Nature is Parabrahman. But Indra’s mind is blocked because of the ego. He wanted to punish the people of Nanda Vraja, for worshipping Govardhana Hills ignoring him. He orders Varuna and Vayu to shower thunderstorms and lightning on their village. Yet, Krishna does not get angry, considering him as an adamant hungry child throwing stones or things at others, and he will stop it when tired. Krishna takes the pain of holding up the Govardhana as an umbrella. He does it with a great ease, just a little finger was enough. He protects the Gopala, Gopika, Go (=cows) for seven nights and days. All the villagers call Him Govinda. He loves this title most, because it was attained with great effort. Gopa Gopikas’ think that they should support Krishna, with their sticks to hold up the hill. When Indra stopped the assault, Krishna asks all to go out from the cover of Govardhana. They refuse to withdraw the sticks saying it will be difficult for Krishna to hold. Then He slightly brings the hill down and all the sticks break into pieces. Then they realize and get out. They sing for the good of His hand. They think it was His weapon that protected Him and hence worship the Vel- weapon.

Sri Bhashyam Appalacharya described this 24th pashuram with great details and clarity explaining the mutual love between Krishna and residents of Vrepally.

Vishnu Chitta

Once, the Pandya King invites Pandits for a debate on establishing the Bhagavat Tatwa (the Nature of God) for a big prize. Narayana inspires Periyalwar (Vishnu Chitta, father of Goda) to participate. King and all members of Royal Assembly were pleased as Vishnu Chitta wins the debate. He was felicitated with Gajarohana (Sitting on Elephant) and Gandaperundam (golden ornament of ankle) was taken in procession in the main streets of Madhura city. Narayana appears sitting on Garuda Vehicle from the sky to watch the glory of his Victorious devotee. Periyalwar was ecstatic and emotional at the sight of Bhagwan, and immediately apprehends Drishti Dosha (effect of evil sights) and starts rendering Mangalam for Vishnu. It is called famous Pallandu Pallandu Pallayirattandu.. (Pal andu means many years, Pal Ayiram means several thousands of years), for His safety for thousands of years to come. Vishnu shows Vishnuchitta, the Sankhu and Chakra, indicating that he is well protected with conch and disc. Then Vishnu Chitta sings for the strength and prowess of Sankhu and Chakra. He also finds mother Lakshmi with Vishnu and wishes for her security too. Like her father, Goda too binds the Protective Bond (raksha) for Vishnu.

There is another ardent devotee of Ranganatha –Dhanurdasu. He used to carry a small hand-knife with him, when the Rangamannar was brought out with full decoration for procession. The reason is if something untoward happens to Him, he wants end his life immediately with knife.  Gopikas also reflect this unbounded love and affection for Krishna. Jaya Mangalam to Krishna.

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is former Central Information Commissioner and Professor of Law at Bennett University

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