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Wake-up calls of Chirping birds before dawn

Madabhushi Sridhar -Tiruppavai – 6

Tiruppavai by Godadevi from Tamil

Pullum SilambinaKaann Pull AraiyanKoyilil

VellaiViliSanginPeraravamKettilaiyo

Pillaay! EzhundhirayPeymulaiNanjundu

Kallla-ch-chagadamKalakkazhiya-K-kaalochi

VelllaththuAravilThuyilAmarndaVitthinai

UlllathuKkonduMunivargalumYogikalum

MelllaEzhundu Hari Enra Per-aravam

UlllamPugunduKulirndhu-el or Empaavaai.

English Translation from By Madabhushi Sridhar

Wake-up calls of Chirping birds before dawn

Hear that sound of snow-white Conch from temple.

Young Girl, get up, Krishna who sucked poison and life of Pootana

Whose casual leg-move destroyed demon Sakata

Meditating of creation while on serpent in ocean,

in the mind and words of Yogi and Muni

gently rising up chanting Hari Hari

that resound with peace in the minds of girls.

The sky represents the spreading nature of NaaraayanaTatwam. In that sky birds fly with the help of two wings. Their chirping sounds indicate it is about to dawn. The winged bird symbolizes Aacharya who shows the path to disciples. One wing is Jnana – the knowledge, and the other, its practice. Without two wings none can fly.

Goda got up early to reach another young girl. She asked: “Are you not hearing the chirp of birds, are they not waking up all of us? Listen to the beckoning sound of the white conch Sanka from Temple of Vishnu who moves on Garuda, the king of birds. Vishnu is none other than Krishna, who as a baby sucked the poison, milk and life of Pootana too, who disguised herself as mother and when He casually moved his leg, the demon of Sakata has broken into pieces. He meditates upon the next creation while leaning on five hooded serpent – Adishesha, who is the cause of regeneration of Universe, who also resides in the minds and hearts of Yogis and Munis, who gently get up without disturbing the Vishnu residing in their heart, chanting “Hari…Hari”. That Hari Chant is resounding in the minds of Girls of Vrepalle.  In this PaashuramAndaal is showing the proofs of sunrise through chirps of birds, sound of Conch from temple, Hari Harinamam chanting by Munis and Yogis while getting up to tell others that it was dawn and time to get up.

Poothana and Krishna’s kindness

Several Bhagawata stories and incidents from the Raamayana are referred to along with some more stories here. While Nanda Maharaja was returning home, he considered Vasudeva’s warning that there might be some disturbance in Gokula.

Also read: The bonds of affection, not ropes, bind Krishna

After consulting with his demonic ministers, Kamsa instructed a witch named Pütanä, who knew the black art of killing small children by ghastly sinful methods, to kill all kinds of children in the cities, villages and pasturing grounds. Such witches can play their black art only where there is no chanting or hearing of the holy name of Krishna.

Poothana, the demon was commissioned by Kamsa to find and finish the boy who was born a few days ago in Kamsa’s Jail and escaped, but he does not know where he is growing up. Obeying Kamsa’s order to kill any infant of a few days age all over his kingdom, Poothana among others, came to Vrepalle. She came to know that in Yashoda -Nanda’s house, a child was recently born. She daubed poison on her milky breasts reached their house.

Putana entered the county of Gokula, the residential quarter of Nanda Maharaja, without permission. Dressing herself just like a beautiful woman, she entered the house of mother Yashoda. She appeared very beautiful with raised hips, nicely swollen breasts, earrings, and flowers in her hair. She looked especially beautiful on account of her thin waist. She was glancing at everyone with very attractive looks and smiling face, and all the residents of Vrindavanawere captivated.

Also read: Gracefully raining knowledge equally on all

Pretended to be a mother, she requested Yashoda to allow her to breastfeed little Krishna. Krishna in her lap, sucked her milk, and poison also, but as He went on sucking, she could not tolerate the pain and fell dead. Lord Krishna relieved the demon of the vicious circle and liberated her soul. He was very kind towards her because at least for a few minutes she thought of herself to be His mother.

When all the inhabitants of Vrindavanasmelled the good aroma from the smoke of the burningPutana, they inquired from each other, “Where is this good flavor coming from?” And while conversing, they came to understand that it was the fumes of the burning Putana. They were very fond of Kåñëa, and as soon as they heard that the demon Pütanä was killed by Krishna, they offered blessings to the little child out of affection. After the burning of Pütanä, Nanda Mahäräja came home and immediately took up the child on his lap and began to smell His head. In this way, he was quite satisfied that his little child was saved from this great calamity. ShutakaGosyamihas blessed all persons who hear the narration of the killing of Pütanä by Kåñëa. They will surely attain the favor of Govinda. (Thus, ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixth Chapter of Kåñëa, “Pütanä Killed.”)

Destroying Sakataasura

Once, Yashoda took Him to the banks of River and safely placed him underneath the bullock cart before she got into her routine works. Another Demon sent by Kamsa invisibly entered the cart and was trying to kill Him.  At that time young Krishna was flashing his hands and legs crying for milk. The effect of that automatic movement was so severe that the cart flew up and has broken into pieces. The cart is a symbol of body that runs on two wheels of two different consequences of Good (Punya) and Bad (Paapa) deeds. Once that person realizes that God is the driving force, touches His feet and He would be liberated. Krishna showered mercy over Sakata just by touching the cart, and the latter attained the abode of Lord.

Also read: Bhagavan lives in NaaraayanaTatva

Twelve Aalwaars (Azwars)

Andaal wakes up each Gopika/Alwar from Paashurams 6 to 15. There are Ten Alwars prior to Goda: 1. Poyigai (Saro Yogi). 2. Poodatta (Bhootha Yogi), 3. Peya (Mahayogi), 4. Thirumazhishai (Bhakti Saara), 5. Nammaalwaar (Sathagopa), 6. Kulasekhara, 7. Periyaalwar (Bhattanatha, Vishnu Chitta), 8. TondarAdippodi (BhaktaanghriRenuvu, or Sri Pada Renuvu, or VipraNaaraayana), 9. Tiruppani (Yogi Vahana) and 10. Tirumangai (Parakala).

After scripting Tiruppavai and NaachiyaarTiruvayiMozhi and herself merging with Ranganatha, Goda became the 11th Aalwaar and then another great devotee Madhura Kavi joined the Aalwaars. Goda is invoking the kindness of ten Aalwaars in these ten Paashurams.

Unless the Aalwaar is kind, it is not possible to attract the benevolence of Bhagawan. Aacharya Kripa comes first and then only Bhagavan Kripa.

Also read: No perfect being on this earth: say Seeta and Goda 

JaanaShrithi Story

JaanaShrithi is a king, pious, and good donor. One day, two swans were flying over his palace. One of them said to the other, ‘King is a good dharmika, righteous person, but he has less interest in Brahma Jnanam. Let us not fly over the king and disrespect him by allowing our shadow to fall over him. The other swan asked, “Why are you afraid of him so much? Is he Raikwudu?” JaanaShriti understood their conversation, wanted to know that person who was referred as greater than him, located Raikwudu with all efforts. His emissaries found him under a bullock cart behaving like a maverick. The king left the kingdom, offered all the wealth to Raikwudu and got lessons of Brahma-Jnaana from him. This story establishes that the Aachaarya in the form of Swan cautioned about his lapse and showed the right path to reach Parabrahma.  Goda’s reference to chirping birds refers to this Upanishadic story.

In this Paashuram, Goda specifically explained how Yogi is different from Muni. Muni maintains silence always thinking about Bhagavan who the cause of the whole Universe is. Unlike him, Yogi does all activities in service of God but meditates on His deeds. Lakshmana is Yogi who served Lord Raama throughout especially the period of 14 years of exile. Whereas Bharata though far off from Raama deeply and silently thinks about Him always. Bharata is Muni.  In Nanda VrajamMunis and Yogis used to wait for the Darshan of Sri Krishna at the cowshed expecting that Lord Krishna would come there to feed the cows and lay them to rest before He went home.

One who feels the presence of Paraamatma in him, will be very careful; Like a pregnant lady, Yogis and Munis get up cautiously feeling His heaviness in their minds, chanting Hari and Hari. Prahlada is considered such a Yogi, who held his heart strongly with his hand when soldiers threw him down from the hill-top lest Naaraayana in him should be injured. Prahlaada did not mind any harm to himself. The devotees like Yogis, Munis or Prahlada think that they have a duty to protect Naaraayana, though He does not need it. 

Goda’s sixth Paashuram has such depth of meaning with such allusions. 

Also read: Aiming to reach ultimate Lord Naaraayana

Translated by Madabhushi Sridhar.
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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