கற்றுக் கறவைக் கணங்கள் பலகறந்து,
செற்றார் திறலழியச் சென்று செருச்செய்யும்
குற்றமொன் றில்லாத கோவலர்தம் பொற்கொடியே!
புற்றர வல்குல் புனமயிலே! போதராய்,
சுற்றத்துத் தோழிமார் எல்லாரும் வந்துநின்
முற்றம் புகுந்து முகில்வண்ணன் பேர்பாட,
சிற்றாதே பேசாதே செல்லப்பெண் டாட்டிநீ
எற்றுக் குறங்கும் பொருளேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
You prosperous (selva) girl (pEN)!, You are beautiful like a golden (pOn) creeper (kodi), among the flawless (kutram onRillaadha) caretakers of cows(kOvalar), who are capable of destroying (azhiya) the strength (thiRal) of the enemies (setraar) by going (senRu) to war (cheru cheyyum), who in their childhood have milked (kaRandhu) many (pala) youthful (katru) herds (kaNangaL) of cows (kaRavai)! You who has a waist (alkul) like that of a cobra (aravu) in his nest (putru)! You who are free like a forest (puna) peacock (mayil)! Come out (pOdharaay)!. while we, all (ellaarum) your relatives (sutram) and friends (thOzhi) have come (vandhu), entered (pugundhu) your (nin) living room (mutram) and are singing (paada) the names (pEr) of the Lord, who is dark like the color (vaNNan) of clouds (mugil); you are sleeping (uRangu) without even moving a bit (sitraadhE), ignoring (pEsaadhE) us. For what (etrukku = edhukku) purpose (poruL) are you sleeping (uRangu) so?
Oh, beautiful damsel, the pride of the guileless cowherd community! Our menfolk are justly famed for their energy for milking ever so many milch cows at a stretch and for their valor in going all out to destroy powerful foes. You charming peacock-like darling with your waist resembling the hood of the snake! Is it proper for you to lie motionless and without response to so many of us, your relations and friends who have gathered in the court-yard of your house, when we sing the praise of our Lord Naarayana in chorus?
In this pasuram a gopi reputed for her exquisite beauty like a golden creeper (POR KODI) and born of a very noble family, is being woken up. Her father and kinsmen are known for discharging the duties pertaining to their cowherd caste, which entails milking an endless number of cows. So Andal seems to say that performance of one's duty as enjoined in the Scriptures is calculated to bring happiness to the Lord and thereby falls into the category of His Service. One should hence never discard one's duty.
SETTAR TIRALAZHIYA is noteworthy. SETTAR means enemies. Who are the enemies meant here? Not those who despise them but those who want to harm Sri Krishna. For a Sri Vaishnava there is no direct enemy; he will not mind or may even welcome (as it will take away his sin) someone trying to harm him. But he considers him his enemy who intends harm to the Lord.
SUTTATTU THOZHIMAR - the girl-companions of this gopi who are they? They are those who even after performing all kinds of services to the Lord, do not expect anything in return except His Supreme Satisfaction and Happiness. Praharshayishyami sanatha jeevitah"-I’ll make my life worthwhile by pleasing Him- says Sri ALAVANDAR.
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam: Huseni, Talam: Misra chapu)
Sunday, May 15, 2005
கற்றுக் கறவைக் கணங்கள் பலகறந்து,
Saturday, May 14, 2005
நோற்றுச் சுவர்க்கம் புகுகின்ற அம்மனாய்!
மாற்றமும் தாராரோ வாசல் திறவாதார்?
நாற்றத் துழாய்முடி நாரா யணன்நம்மால்
போற்றப் பறைதரும் புண்ணியனால் பண்டொருநாள்
கூற்றத்தின் வாய்வீழ்ந்த கும்ப கரணனும்
தோற்றம் உனக்கே பெருந்துயில்தான் தந்தானோ?
ஆற்ற அனந்தல் உடையாய்! அருங்கலமே!
தேற்றமாய் வந்து திறவேலா ரெம்பாவாய்.
Oh lady (amman), who is entering (puguginRa) the heaven (suvarkkam) through penance (nOtru)! those not opening (thiRavaadhaar) the doors (vaasal)! Won't you at least give (thaa) a reply (maatram)? Kumbakarnan (kumba karaNan), who one (oru) day (naaL) long ago (pandu) fell (veezhndha) prey to death (kootraththin vaay) due to benevolent (puNNiyan) Lord Narayanan (naraayaNan), who wears (mudi) the fragrant (naatram) garland of 'thulsi' (thuzhaay), who is praised (pOtra) by us (nammaal), who blesses (paRai tharum) us; Did he (kumbakaraNa) appear (thOtru) in your dreams and give (thandhaan) you (unakku) his grand (perum) sleep (thuyil). You utterly (aatra) lazy (anandhal) girl! yet a rare (arum) jewel (kalam), wake up and come (vandhu) without loosing balance (thEtram), and open (thiRa) the door.
Oh Dear! You? Striving to enter heaven through practicing austerities? If you can't open the door, can't you at least respond to our call? Have you, by any chance, taken on the habit of Kumbakarna, of virtually interminable slumber, the Rakashasa who was felled by Naarayaaa (in the incarnation of Sri Rama), the protector and the benefactor of all living beings, who is bedecked with fragrant tulasi leaves on His head? Come on, our precious gem! Shake off your inertia and come with a clear head! Do open the door!
There are two addresses in the vocative case in this pasuram - NOTRU SUVARGAM PUKUKINRA AMMANOY! and ARUN KALAME! - both bring out the excellences of this gopi and thereby imply the excellent characteristics of good Sri Vaishnavas.
1. SUVARGAM here means only union with God. Sita says, while pressing Rama to take her with Him to the forest," If I am with you that is heaven for me. Separation from you means hell." The girl here has completed all her rites by surrendering to the Lord and hence is enjoying His company. So also for a Sri Vaishnava there remains nothing to be done by way of "Upaaya" after accepting Him as the sole refuge(SARANAGATI).
2. ARUNKALAME! "Kalam" has two meanings (a) vessel and (b) ornament; A Sri Vaishnava is the vessel to contain His Grace.A Sri Vaishnava possesses superior ornaments in the form of virtues;or he himself is the best ornament embellishing the gatherings of other Sri Vaishnavas. SUVARGA can also be broken up into SU+VARGA (SU=good VARGA = gathering).If a man possesses all good qualities he will be taken into the fold of Sri Vaishnavites.
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam: Thodi Talam: Adi)
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 9:42 PM
Sunday, May 08, 2005
தூமணி மாடத்துச் சுற்றும் விளக்கெரிய,
தூமங் கமழத் துயிலணைமேல் கண்வளரும்
மாமான் மகளே! மணிக்கதவம் தாள்திறவாய்;
மாமீர்! அவளை எழுப்பீரோ? உம்மகள்தான்
ஊமையோ? அன்றிச் செவிடோ அனந்தலோ?
ஏமப் பெருந்துயில் மந்திரப் பட்டாளோ?
மாமாயன், மாதவன், வைகுந்தன் என்றென்று
நாமம் பலவும் நவின்றேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
Hey, daughter (magaL) of my uncle (mamman), you who are sleeping (kaN vaLarum) on (mEl) a mattress (thuyil aNai) in a palace (maadam) with flawless jewels (thoo maNi), with lamps (viLakku) burning (eriya) all around (sutrum) and surrounded (kamazha) by incense (dhoopam), open (thiRavaay) the latch (thaazh) of the jewelled (maNi) door (kadhavam). Hey auntie (maameer), will you wake (ezhuppeerO) her (avaLai) up. Is your (un) daughter (magaL) indeed (thaan) dumb (oomaiyO), or (anRi) deaf (sevidO), or lazy (ananthalO), or is she cursed (mandhira) and captivated (Ema pattaaLo) into a coma (perun thuyil). (Hurry up). We must benefit (navindhu) by repeating (enRenRu) the many (pala) names
(naamam) of the great Mayan (maa maayan) Madhavan, Vaikuntan.
Dear maternal cousin! How long are you going to be asleep on your luxurious bed in the gem-studded mansion, surrounded by lights all around and bathed in fragrance of incense? Open the lever lock of that ornamental door. Aunty! Won't you wake her up please? What is wrong with her? Is she gone dumb or deaf or is she just exhausted? Or has she fallen into a deep trance as a result of our Lord, some magical incantation? Shall we chant the thousand and odd names of our Lord-God of the great mystic power, the spouse of Goddess Mahalaksmi, the supreme Lord of Vaikunda and so on and on and get her to wake up?
The gopi woken up in this verse has unflinching faith in the Lord's UPAYA BHAVA. In this regard she matches very well with Sita who,when Hanuman suggested that he carry her back to Rama, sternly refused and rebuked him saying that he was equal to Ravana,(Ravana-tulya) in this that while Ravana robbed Rama of one of his possessions, Sita; Hanuman is trying to rob Him of another, His "Sarva loka rakshakatvam" (sole right to protect all). Then she added, "With my power of chastity which cooled your burning tail, I could have saved myself; but that would have only destroyed Rama’s reputation. He alone by His prowess should rescue me and establish his valour. Tat Tasya Sadrusam Bhavet. That alone would be befitting to Him." Hanuman applauded these words.
So also this girl having transferred her burden to Sri Krishna, sleeps having total faith in His words, "Ananyah chintayanto mam...... Yoga kshemam vahamyaham". ANDAL teaches us in this stanza that a soul after surrendering to the Lord should be like this gopi.
"MAMAN MAGALE!" - Oh, my uncle's daughter! Though blood relationship is condemned as it contributes to worldly attachment, the same is most welcome if it helps to do service to God and His devotees.
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 10:21 PM
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
கீழ்வானம் வெள்ளென்று, எருமை சிறுவீடு
மேய்வான் பரந்தனகாண்; மிக்குள்ள பிள்ளைகளும்
போவான் போகின்றாரைப் போகாமல் காத்துன்னைக்
கூவுவான் வந்து நின்றோம், கோதுகலமுடைய
பாவாய்! எழுந்திராய்; பாடிப் பறைகொண்டு
மாவாய் பிளந்தானை, மல்லரை மாட்டிய
தேவாதி தேவனைச் சென்றுநாம் சேவித்தால்
ஆவாவென் றாராய்ந் தருளேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
The eastern (keezh) sky (vaanam) is whitening (vEL). The water buffaloes
(eRumai), which started grazing (mEyvaan), just a little (siRu) while
(veedu) ago, have spread all over (parandhana) the place. Look! (kaaN). The
children (piLLai), who are serious (mikkuLLa) about 'maargazhi nonbu', are
going (pOvaan). We have stopped (pOgaamal) those people who are going
(pOginRaarai) and have come (vandhu) standing (ninROm) and are waiting
(kaaththu) and calling (koovuvaan) you (unnai). You happy (kOdhugalam
udaiya) girl (paavaay), wake up (ezhundhiraay) If we (naam) sing (paadi),
observe the 'paavai nOnbu' (paRai kondu) and go (chenRu) and worship (sEvi)
the Lord of the devas (dhEvaadhi dhEva), who split (piLandhaan) the Asura
who came as a horse (maavaay), who conquered (maattiya) the wreslers
(mallar), he will examine (aaraayndhu) our requirements, and bless (aruL) us
with plenty (aa aa enRu).
Wake up you vivacious young girl! The Eastern sky has already brightened. The buffaloes have already set out to feed themselves on the dewy grass We have even kept the other girls from moving ahead, for your sake and here we are, at you doorstep. Come, let us march singing the praise of our Lord of Lords who killed the demon Kesi who came in the guise of a horse by cleaving his mouth and who slew the wrestlers sent by Kamsaa. Our Lord will surely bestow His grace on us after due consideration for our devotion.
Here a girl who is Krishna's particular sweetheart is being woken up. She can be compared to NAMMAZHWAR (Krishna- trishna tatvam) the very embodiment of deep devotion to Sri Krishna. Her company is certain to accomplish their desire. KOTHUGALAMUDAYA PAVAAI is a most beautiful form of address.
"The horizon has become bright. Get up." say the girls. But she astonishes them by replying, "It is the luster from your moon-like faces which has brightened the Eastern quarter. The day is yet to dawn."
The second sign of daybreak mentioned in this stanza indicates that Andal has indeed been transformed into a gopi - "The buffaloes are fast dispersing in the fields searching for the tender green grass with the dew drops of dawn clinging to them. If we delay, Krishna would have followed them into the forest and our purpose would be lost." This statement could not have come out of the lips of anyone other than a true cowherdess. So Andal has totally identified herself with a gopi, living with the cowherds and taking part in all their daily chores.
Her father Sri Vishnuchitta was a learned Vedic authority and had even written a rule book for conducting sacrifices called Kalpa Sutra. He too assumed the role of Yasoda to the extent of participating in every childish activity of Krishna. For this his daughter affectionately calls him, "Bhogattil Vazhuvada Puduvayarkon"(one who has not missed a single opportunity to enjoy Krishna). Now his daughter does the same.
The conclusion is this: Only that caste is desirable, which is congenial for the enjoyment of God and which is calculated to bring down His Grace on us.
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam:Dhanyasi Talam:Khanda Chapu)
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 10:41 PM
Thursday, May 05, 2005
கீசுகீ சென்றெங்கும் ஆனைச்சாத் தன்கலந்து
பேசின பேச்சரவம் கேட்டிலையோ? பேய்ப்பெண்ணே!
காசும் பிறப்பும் கலகலப்பக் கைபேர்த்து
வாச நறுங்குழல் ஆய்ச்சியர் மத்தினால்
ஓசை படுத்தத் தயிரரவம் கேட்டிலையோ?
நாயகப் பெண்பிள்ளாய்! நாராயணன் மூர்த்தி
கேசவனைப் பாடவும்நீ கேட்டே கிடத்தியோ?
தேசமுடையாய்! திறவேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
You dumb girl (pEy peNNE!), the 'aanai chaaththan' birds are humming (keesu)
together (kalandhu), everywhere (engum). Don't you hear (kEttilaiyO) the sound
(aravam) of these birds talking (pEchchu)? The cow girls (aaychchiyar) with
fragrance (naRum) spreading (vaasa) from their hair (kuzhal), wearing garlands
of gold coins (kaasum piRappum), are skimming the yogurt (thayir) using a
skimming gadget (maththu), with their ornaments making (paduththa) a jingling
(kala kala) sound (Osai), tiring (pErththu) their hands (kai). Don't you hear
(kEttilaiyO) the sound (aravam)? Hey leader (naayaga) of the girls (peN
piLLaay)! while we are singing (paadavum) the praise of the Lord Narayana
Murthy and Kesavan, you are still sleeping (kidaththiyO) while listening
(kEttE). Glamourous (dhEsam) as you are (udaiyaay), open (thiRa) the door.
You, deluded girl! Don't you hear the screeching chatter of the king-crows? And the sound of the cowherd women wearing fragrant flowers in their locks of hair churning the curd in the urns, using both their hands, with their bracelets and other ornaments clashing against one another and producing that jingling sound? Oh, prominent damsel! How can you keep on sleeping even after you have heard our singing of our Lord Naarayana (who is also called Kesava for having slain the demon Kesi in his incarnation as Sri Krishna)? Dear girl of radiant presence! Come on open the door!
In this stanza, from the two addresses in vocative case PEY PENNE and NAYAKA PPENPILLAY which are diametrically opposite in meaning, we are to understand that they are said out of love and affection for the sleeping girl. Whatever may be the apparent contradiction, the inner feeling is most important while moving with Sri Vaishnava vas.
Having woken up a handful of girls Andal could have proceeded on to Krishna. Why go to EVERY house? If one is a Sri Vaishnava he should think of the welfare of ALL- not just a few. Not even a single girl should lose the golden opportunity of getting the grace of Sri Krishna. A man's relationship with Sriman Narayana is true only if he rejoices at the good luck of another man as if it were his own son's. If he fails to feel that way he is no Sri Vaishnava.
ALKONDAVILLY JEEYAR, a sincere pupil of SRI RAMANUJA once met in Srirangam NANJEEYAR, the disciple of PARASARA BHATTAR. The former exclaimed," O Jeeyar! Really I have not developed a taste for Bhagavad Vishaya (i.e., God)." Nanjeeyar was amazed and asked "How is this possible? You are the faithful student of Sri Ramanuja, serving him assiduously - still you say this?" The former said," If a man has real taste for Bhagavan he must enjoy the sweet company of His devotee. If not he is no Sri Vaishnava. Have we developed that pleasurable attitude towards Sri Vaishnavas? Hence I say so."
Unless the meeting, mingling and deriving supreme satisfaction and happiness in the company of Bhagavatas are secured here in this world (which is the intensive training ground for our life in Sri Vaikuntha),the Moksha will not be delectable. NAMMAZHWAR says at the end of Tiruvaymozhi, ADIYAARODU IRUNDAMAI. He aspired not for the mere union of the Lord but for the same in the company of His devotees, which alone would make it delectable.
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam: Bhairavi Talam: Mishra Chapu)
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 11:27 PM
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
புள்ளும் சிலம்பினகாண்; புள்ளரையன் கோயிலில்
வெள்ளை விளிசங்கின் பேரரவம் கேட்டிலையோ?
பிள்ளாய்! எழுந்திராய், பேய்முலை நஞ்சுண்டு,
கள்ளச் சகடம் கலக்கழியக் காலோச்சி,
வெள்ளத்தரவில் துயிலமர்ந்த வித்தினை,
உள்ளத்துக் கொண்டு முனிவர்களும் யோகிகளும்
மெள்ள எழுந்து அரியென்ற பேரரவம்
உள்ளம்புகுந்து குளிர்ந்தேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
Hey children (piLLaay)! See (kaaN) the birds (puL) are chirping (silambina).
Don't you hear (kEttilaiyO), the loud (pEr) sound (aravam) of the white
(veLLai) conch (sangu), used for callings (viLi) the people, at the temple
(kOyil) of the king (araiyan) of the birds (puL); The yogis (yOgi) and the
saints (munivar) who are slowly (meLLa) waking (ezhundhu) with (kondu) the
thought of Lord in their minds (uLLam) and uttering the name of the Lord. The
Lord who ate (uNdu) the poison (nachchu) from the breast (mulai) of the
raakshasi Bhutan (pEy); who kicked (kaalOchchi) and destroyed (kalakkazhiya)
the asura Sakatasura, who came as a fake (kaLLa) wheel (chakatam); the source
of all life (viththu), who is in yogic sleep (thuyil amarndha) over the snake
(aravu) on the ocean (veLLaththu) of milk. The big (pEr) sound (aravam) of the
name of the Lord (ari) has entered (pugundhu) our hearts (uLLam) and made it
Young girls, don't you hear the chirp of the early birds? The beckoning sound of the white conch from the temple of Vishnu who rides on the king of birds, Garuda? Wake up, innocent girl! The sages and ascetics with their minds ever focused on the great Lord, who sleeps on the serpent-couch in the ocean of milk, have risen. These sages have started chanting the name 'Hari' over and over again, in a rising crescendo. While they chant His name, no doubt, they are reenacting in their own minds the deeds of the child-God who sucked the poison from the breast of the demoness Putana and who kicked to death, with his little toe, the demon that came to destroy Him in the guise of a cart. Don't you hear all the loud chanting which enters our hearts and makes them rejoice?
The girls approach the mansion of a gopi and wake her up by indicating signs of early dawn, "Even the birds are up and chirping. Get up." The sleeping girl rejects this reason, "oh girls, you never allow the birds in your town to sleep, with your chanting of His names and making them chant too. This is no sign of dawn!" Then they mention a noteworthy sign," PULLARAYAN KOIL etc... The blowing conch in the temple of Vishnu for early morning worship, is inviting us all for His service. Get up."
Here the phrase PULLARAYAN KOIL brings out an excellent quality of the Lord: PUL is bird, here Garuda; ARAYAN king; KOYIL temple. The temple of Vishnu. But why this circumlocution? There is a reason. In Ramayana while narrating to Hanuman her abduction by Ravana, Sita says, "On that fateful day I was lured by that demon disguised as a deer, and was separated from Rama's younger brother and Lakshmana's elder brother (RAMANUJAM LAKSMANA POORVAJAM CHA)." Such phraseology is used for a purpose. The Lord feels happy when His name is coupled with His devotee's and so does the devotee when he is referred to as being subservient to the Lord. The message of Sita (Sri Devi) and Andal (Bhu Devi) to us is that when a Sri Vaishnava names his child he should follow this principle.
ULLATHU KKONDU etc in this verse is noteworthy. The munis and yogins get up in the morning very slowly from their beds so that the Lord, taking eternal abode in their hearts may not be disturbed. Prahlada was pushed down from the top of a huge mountain, and while falling he held fast his bosom with great concern for Sri Hari living there never bothering about what was happening to himself. But the Lord waited for him at the bottom of the mountain and received him in his spread arms.
Parasara Bhattar used to embellish his body with silken robe, ornaments, sandal paste etc, and when asked about its propriety in respect of the despicable body, he said in his view it was not despicable but adorable being the sanctum sanctorum of the Almighty.
Andal also leaves this lesson in this verse: When you get up in the morning; chant the name of Hari (HARIR HARIR HARIRITI VYAHARET VAISHNAVAH PUMAN). Let us do so.
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam: Shankarabharanam Talam: Mishra Chapu )
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 12:37 PM
Monday, May 02, 2005
The first five pasurams of Tiruppavai form one section and pasurams 6-15 the second section. These 10 stanzas describe the sleeping girls being woken up by those who are already up. These two groups represent KAINKARYA NISHTHA (those impatient to serve God, like Lakshmana) and GUNA NISHTHA (those who are content to meditate on the glorious qualities of God, like Bharata). Nammazhwar speaks of their presence even in Vaikunthaloka – VAIKUNTATTU AMARARUM (service minded) MUNIVARUM (enjoying His Virtues). Poison acts on different people in different ways – some faint and some run here and there; so do the attributes of Sri Krishna. Hence the sleeping girls are not a bit inferior in their longing for Krishna to those who wake them. Though one could go to Krishna on one's own, it is not advisable "VEDAM VALLARGALAI KKONDU,VINNOR PERUMAN TIRUPPADAM PANINDU " says Nammazhwar. We should always approach Him through some godly person; because we have sinned against Him and being a SWATANTRA (free to act as He pleases), He may punish us. Hence a Recommending Authority is very much needed. Moreover His virtues are like a huge river in spate during rains, and so if a man wants to cross it surely he needs the help of others. Further unlike in the case of carnal company, enjoyment of His Company will be sweeter in the company of Bhaktas.
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 10:10 AM
மாயனை மன்னு வடமதுரை மைந்தனை,
தூய பெருநீர் யமுனைத் துறைவனை,
ஆயர் குலத்தினில் தோன்றும் அணிவிளக்கை,
தாயைக் குடல்விளக்கம் செய்த தாமோதரனை,
தூயோம்ஆய் வந்துநாம் தூமலர் தூவித்தொழுது
வாயினால் பாடி மனத்தினால் சிந்திக்கப்
போய பிழையும் புகுதருவான் நின்றனவும்
தீயினில் தூசுஆகும் செப்பேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
Let us (naam) come (vandhu) with a clean (thooya) body and mind, spraying (thoovi) clean flowers (thoo malar), and worship (thozhudhu) the Lord Damodara (dhaamOdharan); who is a magician (maayan); who is the son (maindhan) of the northern (vada) madhurai; who is the hermit (thuRaivan) on the pure (thooya) and great (peru) river (neer) Yamuna (yamunai); who appeared (thOnRum) in the cowherd (aayar) community (kulam) as a sacred (aNi) light (viLakku); who brought maternal honour (kudal vilakkam sey) to his mother (thaay). Let us sing (paadi) orally (vaayinaal) and think (sindhikka) mentally (manaththinaal) about the Lord. Our past (pOya) sins (pizhai) and the the future unintentional sins (pugutharuvaan ninRanavum), will become (aagum) like sawdust (thoosu) on a flame (thee). Let us say (cheppu) his names.
Our mysterious Lord, born at North Mathura, who sports in the pure deep waters of the great river Yamuna and who is the veritable jewel-light of the race of cowherds, gloried his mother Devaki by being born to her and transported his foster mother Yasoda into a world of joy by showing her his little belly with the imprint of the tiny ropes with which she bound him to put him out of mischief. If only we approached Him with pure mind and body and worship Him with fresh and fragrant flowers, singing His praise and meditating on Him, we can be certain that our sins of the past births and those which ensued without our intentions, will all be extinguished the way cotton is reduced to ashes in a fire.
Among the assembled gopis, one expressed a doubt, "we are planning elaborately for getting the company of Krishna. But remember, we are sinners and our sins will throw obstacles in our path. It always happens when a good deed is contemplated. It is the way of the world. Take the case of Dasaratha who planned the coronation of Rama; the great omniscient sage Vasishta fixed the date; the citizens clamored for him and applauded the decision. But what happened? Rama went to the forest forsaking the city and it was His Paduka (holy sandals) which sat on the throne for fourteen years. So what is the surety that we will succeed?"
The answer is given in this verse: Recite the name of Krishna; think of him; offer flowers; and all obstacles will vanish. All sins committed before taking Refuge with Him, as well those unwittingly accruing after Surrender (Saranagati) will perish. The Purva Agha (earlier sins) will be burnt to ashes like cotton bales in a fire; and the Uttara Agha (Subsequent Sins) will not stick to the person like drops of water to a lotus leaf.
Milk is both a pleasurable food as well as a medicine to cure bile. The same is the case with Him. (Maruttuvanai ninra mamanivanna)
Click title to hear the song by Sudha Raghunathan (Ragam: Shree Talam: Adi)
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 10:00 AM
Sunday, May 01, 2005
ஆழி மழைக்கண்ணா! ஒன்று நீ கைகரவேல்
ஆழியுள் புக்கு முகந்துகொ டார்த்தேறி,
ஊழி முதல்வன் உருவம்போல் மெய்கறுத்து
பாழியந் தோளுடைப் பற்பநா பன்கையில்
ஆழிபோல் மின்னி, வலம்புரிபோல் நின்றதிர்ந்து,
தாழாதே சார்ங்கம் உதைத்த சரமழைபோல்
வாழ உலகினில் பெய்திடாய், நாங்களும்
மார்கழி நீராட மகிழ்ந்தேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
Oh Lord (KaNNaa) of rain (mazhai) and oceans (aazhi), please do not
discontinue (kai karavEl), any thing (OnRu). Diving (pukku) into (uL) the
ocean (aazhi); fetching the water (mugandhu kodu), causing thunder (aarthu);
going up to the sky (ERi); darkening (kaRuththu) your body (mey) like (pOl)
the form (uruvam) (uruvam) of the prime Lord (mudhalvan) of the universe
(oozhi); standing (ninRu) and roaring (adhirndhu) like (pOl) the shining
(minni) conch (valamburi) and the chakram (aazhi) of Lord Padhmanabha
(paRpanaaban) with broad (paazhi) and beautiful (am) shoulders (thOl);
please do cause it rain (peydhidaay), like a torrential rain (sara mazhai)
like (pOl) shooting (udhaiththa) with the divine bow (saarngam), without
delay (thaazhaadhE); so that we (naangal) may live (vaazhndhida). Let us
enjoy (magizhndhElor) the maargazhi nonbu (maargazhi neeraada).
O Lord Varuna (God of Rains), please do not hold back your gift of rains. For the sake of the prosperity of the world and for our sake so that we can gleefully bathe in the river during this scared month, plunge into the sea, gather as much water as there is, make thunder, and rise into the sky in the form of a cloud mass which would resemble, in its black color, the body of our primordial Lord (Vishnu). May you then pour down your bountiful showers! You will then become resplendent with lightning like the discus held by Lord Padmanabha. Your thunderous roar would reverberate like the couch called Panchajanya held by our Lord in his left hand. May you bring forth rains in abundance without a pause in the manner of the flow of arrows from the bow of Sri Rama called Sarngam!
The Presiding Deity of Rain was keenly observing the happenings in this world. He saw his master Sriman Narayana serving all the gopis. So he thought that taking orders from the gopis and carrying out their commands was the best and easiest means of pleasing his master. So approaching Andal who was in the guise of a gopi he requests her to command him; and she does so in a detailed manner in this verse.
The inner significance is as follows: Just as the heir apparent to the throne is always feared and respected by all ministers and officers so are the Sri Vaishnavas by inferior gods. Hence When a Sri Vaishnava worships other deities like Indra, Rudra Varuna etc, he is doing something inappropriate as well as ridiculous. It will only cause his downfall and ruin his chance of getting salvation. So Beware!
So here the Rain God who has come to hear her command is told, "Go to the middle region of the sea, drink the entire water leaving not a drop, and then pour it out in its entirety without discriminating between the places where the good and bad live. The rain, which resembles the arrows shot by Sri Rama to shatter the demons to pieces, should instead bring forth happiness and prosperity to the entire land."
A Sri Vaishnava is one who always thinks of everything good for everyone in this world.
Posted by Giridhar Prasannan at 12:09 PM