Translation and summary by Sri V.SatakOpan
Index of Slokams:
Dear BhakthALs :
We will salute the first line of the first slOkam of GodhA sthuthi in this posting.Origin of the GodhA Sthuthi
The first slOkam of GodhA sthuthi arose from Swami Desikan spontaneously as he stood on a side street at SrivilliputthUr on a PradhOsham evening to find out the origin of the fast approaching sounds of the mangaLa vaadhyams .
He was observing mounam (silence ) befitting the occasion of the PradhOsham evening . He was planning to go to ANDAL Sannidhi later for MangaLAsAsanam . When he heard the sounds of Koil vaadhyams , he stepped out from the inside of the house, where he was staying to find out as to what was happening .To his greatest surprise and joy , he saw the archA moorthy of ANDAL being carried by temple servants approaching him , as it was being carried on the backs of the temple servants.
ANDAL's normal processional route did not include the street, where Swami Desikan was staying. On this special day, there was some theettu on the main street and the temple priests had re-routed the procession to include the street where Swamy Desikan was staying as an alternate route. Swami Desikan's astonishment at this unexpected bhAgyam and his parama bhakthi for ANDAL poured out in the form of 29 slOkams in two beautiful Sanskrit poetic metres known as Vasantha Tilakam and Maalini .ANDAL's special affection for Swami Desikan
ANDAL seems to have created a situation to receive MangaLAsAsanam from Swami Desikan as soon as possible instead of waiting for Swami Desikan to come to Her Sannidhi inside the temple.Hence , She came to where Swami Desikan was , as if to welcome him to Her dhivya dEsam as soon as She could. In the case of AchArya RaamAnujA , She left Her sanctum (Garbha graham ) and rushed to welcome him as Her elder brother for fulfilling Her pledge to offer 1000 vessels of akkAra-adisil to Lord SundararAjan of ThirumAlirum ChOlai. After that reception to AchArya RaamunjA , the ThiruppAvai Jeeyar , She never went inside Her sanctum and stays even today at the ardha manTapam . In the case of Swami Desikan , She engineered to arrive in front of the house outside Her Thiru MaaLikai Veedhi , where Her parama bhakthan was staying during his visit to Her city. Moved by that exraordinary display of Vaathsalyam and dayA of ANDAL , the LOka MaathA , our Kavi Simham poured forth in rapture his eulogy of Her anantha KalyANa guNams .Thus originated the GodhA sthuthi and its 29 slOkams .
GodhA Sthuthi First SlOkam :
Sri VishNuchittha Kulanandana Kalpavalleem
Sri RangarAja Harichandana yOga dhrusyAm
SaakshAth KashamAm KaruNayA KamalamivAnyAm
GOdhAm ananya Sarana: SaraNam PrapadhyE
(Meaning): GodhA Piraatti is the wish-granting Kalpaka tree in flower garden of the kulam of Sri VishNu Chitthar; She is most beautiful as She gives us Her darsanam as the Karpaka creeper united with Her Lord Sri Rangarajan standing majestically as the Harichandana tree in that Nandavanam ; She is the incarnation of BhUmi Devi known for Her auspicious qualities of forbearance ; indeed ,Godhai is the embodiment of forbearance; When it comes to the quality of Her Mercy, Godhai is a veritable MahA Lakshmi (KamalA). AdiyEn , who has no other refuge seek Her as my sole refuge.
1. SRI SRIRAMA DESIKACCHAR'S ANUBHAVAM :
The pleasure (flower ) garden in the deva lOkam of Indran is known as Nandavanam(nandayathi ithi Nandanam ). In that pleasure garden is found a tree known as KaRpakaa tree, which has the power to grant all that one wishes for. That tree is always associated with a gentle creeper . PeriyAzhwAr's kulam is that Nandavanam (Nandanam) and Godhai is the golden KaRpakA creeper , who blessed that Nandavanam (Kulam of PeriyAzhwAr) through Her avathAram. Lord RanganAthA is like the Harichandana tree (One of the five varieties of KaRpakA trees) there , which grants the wishes of His adiyArs , who seek refuge at His sacred feet . Godhai is united intimately with that HarichandanA tree as the dependent KaRpaka creeper and blesses us with Her eye-filling , soul-satisfying darsanam with Her Lord .Godhai is like the embodiment of forbearance as the incarnation of BhUmi PirAtti.Godhai appears at other times like another incarnation of Sri Devi ,when one thinks of Her dayA for us. AdiyEn (Swami Desikan )performs SaraNAgathi at Her feet as One , who has no other recourse .
SRI SEVA SWAMIGAL'S ANUBHAVAM :
GodhA Sthuthi is a SthOthra Kaavyam.ANDAL's avathAram and ThirukkalyANam are summarized in the first two lines of the First slOkam .
Swamy Desikan indicates in the first line that ANDAL , the golden KalpakA creeper adorning the kulam of VishNucchitthar was born at the Nandanam at SrivilliputthUr (Sri VishNucchittha Kula Nandana Kalpavalleem ). in the second line , Swamy Desikan describes the joyous marriage scene of ANDAL standing united with her Lord (Sri Ranganathan ): "Sri RangarAja Harichandana yOga dhrusyAm" . ANDAL gives us Her blessed darsanam embracing Her Lord standing as the glorious HarichandanA tree in that nandanam of VishNuchitthA . Nandanam is also a name for the Lord saluted by one of the Sri VishNu Shasra Naamams : "aanandhO nandhanO nandhi --"
A creeper reaches its fulfilment, when it is united with a supporting tree .It is customary for the poets to describe men as supporting trees and the women as the dependent creepers .KaaLidAsan compares the union of Sakunthalai with King Dushyanthan as the Union of a creeper (Sakunthalai) with the Mango tree (Dushyanthan) in his famous drama known as Saakunthalam .
One meaning of Yogam is union . Andal"s yOgam is with Sri RangarAjan , who is the Harichandana tree at Srirangam.That Hari has chandana yOgam . He has chandana yoga dasai due to that union . That cooling chandanam for Hari is ANDAL .Through Her union (samslEsham ) , She cools down the heat (taapam ) of seperation for Her Hari , who waited and waited for Her avathAram .
She is "Yoga DhrusyAm ". When Godhai unites with Her Lord , She offers her darsanam as a Mithunam (dampathi) .She does not become adhrusyAm (invisible).On the other hand , She becomes immensely visible (dhrusuyAm) in her state of blessed union as a kalpaka creeper with Her Harichandana tree of Srirangam .
Third Line:" SaakshAth KshamAm , karuNayA KamalAmivAnyAm "
Here Swamy Desikan identifies Godhai as "SaakshAth KshamA ". She is BhUmi Devi Herself and not an amsam like SitA piratti , who is traditionally considered as a daughter of BhUmi devi. "KshamA " is a name synonomous with BhU Devi since She is "Sarvam sahA " ( One who bears with all aparAdhams of ours and yet pleads with Her Lord on our behalf). She prayed to Her Lord to show the easy way for the upliftment of the suffering jeevans (Laghu UpAyam vadha: prabhO ).She was the cause of the VarAha Charama SlOkam .ANDAL as SaakshAth BhUmi Devi argued with Her Lord and revealed to us the laghu (easy to practise) UpAyam to get the blessings of Her Lord in her ThiruppAvai : "senRu naamm sEvitthAl , aavaavenRu aarAyntharuL " " umakkE naamm aatccheyvOm " .
When one assesses the limitless DayA of Godhai , one wonders whether She is another form of MahA LakshmI .PeriyAzhwAr described his raising of Godhai this way: "ThirumahaL pOl valartthEn " . Swamy Desikan saluted Godhai as " Thooya ThirumahaLAi Vanthu" in his Prabhandha Saaram . These are the supports for saluting Godhai as " KamalAmivaanyAm ".Fourth Line: GodhAm ananya saraNa: saraNam prapadhyE
The etymology of the name GodhA has been discussed extensively in the earlier articles on ANDAL's Vaibhavam . The emphasis here is in Her power to bless us with Vaak (divine speech).ananya SaraNa : SaraNam prapadhyE : Swamy Desikan follows here the path shown by AchArya RaamAnujA in SaraNAgathy Gadhyam , where he performed SaraNAgathy at the feet of Sri RanganAyaki : " asaraNya SaraNyAm ananya saraNa: saraNam PrapathyE".
Swamy Desikan follows this path shown by AchArya RaamAnujan in his performance of Prapatthi for the three devis of the Lord in his Sthuthis ( Sri Sthuthi, BhU sthuthi and GodhA Sthuthi). We hear the echos of Udayavar's SaraNAgathy Vaakyams in his pleas for Prapatthi :
" Sriyam asaraNa: thvAm SaraNyaam prapathyE"..Sri Sthuthi
" VisvambharAm asaraNa: SaraNam prapathyE "..BhU Sthuthi
" GodhAm ananya saraNa: saraNam prapathyE "..GodhA Sthuthi
In his SaraNAgathy appeals , Swamy Desikan recognizes Sri Devi as SrEyO Moorthy ( Sarva MangaLa Moorthy) , BhU Devi as VisvambharA ( the One , who bears the weight of the Universe) and GodhA devi as Vaak giver according to Sevaa SwamigaL.ANDAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
In the first slOkam , Swami Desikan performed his SaraNAgathi at the lotus feet of GodhA PirAtti. In the second slOkam , Swami Desikan points out that the many KalyANa GuNams of Godhai spurred him to eulogize Her .The Second SlOkam
VaidEsika: sruthigirAmapi bhUyasInAm
varNEshu maathi mahimA na hi maadhrusAm tE
ittham vidhanthamapi maam sahasaiva GodhE
mounadhruhO mukharayanthi guNAsthvadhIyA:
(Extended Meaning): Oh Godhaa PirAtti! There is no limit /boundary to Your glories. Even the illustrious VedAs start eulogizing You and then give up , when they recognize the impossibility of their task. If that is so for the mighty VedAs , can people of meager intellect like adiyEn cover adequately your countless glories through sthuthis ? AdiyEn is aware of these limitations of mine and hence am keeping quiet . Your KalyANa guNams however will not let me be silent . Those auspicious attributes of yours have the power to end the silence of anyone , who is reticent about eulogizing You . Those GuNAs of Yours have now pulled me forward and are empowering adiyEn to engage rapidly in the composition of Your sthuthi. Thus propelled , adiyEn has commenced my eulogy .
First Paadham : VaidEsikA: Sruthi giraamapi bhUyasInAm
Our ThAyAr's mahimai is " bhUyasInAm Sruthi girAmapi vaidEsika:". Her glories are beyond the comprehension and description of the great assembly of the VedAs. "VidEsE Bhava: VaidEsika:" is the clue given by SevA SwamigaL. Sva dEsam and VidEsam concepts are hinted here. The VedAs feel that they are from a foreign land and have no clue as how to go about praising Godhai's glories. Infact , they are stumped . The situation is like , "YathO VaachA nivarthanthE " . Seva Swamigal also points out the importance of "api " seen at the end of the word "Sruthi girAmapi". That "api" emphasizes the cluelesness of EVEN the assembly of VedAs.
Second Paadham : VarNEshu maathi mahimA na hi MaadhrusAm tE
Swamy Desikan says to Godhai that how his loukika >>vaaku(speech) can attempt to praise Her Mahimai, when >>the Vaidhika Vaakku of Vedams had given up such an effort. >>Swamy is confining his reference to one glory (mahimai >>in singular ) here. He is conceding his inability to tackle even adequately the description of ONE of Her kalyANa gunams . One meaning of "VarNA" is sthuthis. Swamy points out that one can pile up sthuthis , but they will not be able to house/capture Her mahimai in them . Swamy states : " tE mahimA maadhrusAm varNEshu na hi maathi" . Even one of Your kalyAN guNam is out of reach for people of our kind (maadhrusAm) and can not be captured (na hi maathi) in our sthuthis (varNEshu).
Third Paadham: ittham vidhanthamapi sahasiva GodhE
Swamy says here that he is fully aware (ittham vidhanthamapi )that he can not capture the greatness of even one of the limitless auspicious atributes of Godhai in his sthuthi .Swami uses another "api" at the end of "vidhantham " to say that even if he knows about his helplessness , some thing happened next very quickly (sahasiva)to change the situation .
Fourth Paadham : MounadhruhO mukharayanthi guNAsthvadhIyA:
That unexpected event was the shattering of the self- imposed silence (mouna dhruha:). The cause is the power of Godhai's kalyANa guNams. They broke open the gates of the dam for Swami's speech and let the flood of sthuthi rush out in a torrent . The conspiracy of the GuNAs played havoc with the mouna sankalpam adopted by Swami Desikan for that PradhOsham evening . SevA SwamigaL invites our attention to the use of the word " Mukarayanthi" here . In one slOkam of Sri VaradarAja PanchAsath , Swami Desikan stated that he was emboldened to sing the praise of Sri VaradarAjan because of the Lord's affection (Vaathsalyam )for him ( VaathsalyamEva bhavathO MukharIkarOthi). In GodhA Sthuthi , Swamy Desikan says "tvadhIyA: guNA: mukharayanthi".It is the power of Your GuNAs that made adiyEn's mounam shattered and to realize this sthuthi about Your anantha kalyANa guNams.
In his third slOkam, Swami Desikan prays to Godhai for the blessings of
(SubhAshitham or auspicious speech) to salute Her .
thvath prEyasa: sravaNayO: amruthAyamAnam
thulyAm thvadhIya MaNi noopura sinjithAnAm
GodhE thvamEva Janani thvath abhIshtavArham
Vaacham prasanna madhurAm mama samvidEhi
(Meaning ): Oh Mother GodhA ! You should bless me with the boon of speech that befits this occasion of eulogizing You. If You bless me with this boon, it will also be very pleasing to the divine ears of Your Lord Sri Ranganaathan . Just as Your Lord's heart is gladdened by hearing the approaching sound of Your gem-studded ankle bells , He will be equally delighted to hear the sthuthi composed by adiyEn in Your honor. That would be the end result of Your boon granting the power of auspicious speech . Please grant me this boon to compose a poem that would be sweet to listen by Your Lord.
First Paadham: Tvath PrEyasa: SravaNayO: amruthAyamAnam
"Thvath PrEyasa:" means Your dear One ( Sri RanganAthan). "Thvath Preyasa: SeravaNayO : amruthAyamAnam " means that speech , which would be like the taste of nectar for the ears of Your Lord. "AmruthAyamAnam Vaacha: mama samvidhEhi" is the prayer of Swami Desikan(Please bless me with that nectarine speech ).
SevA SwamigaL reminds us here of appropriate Smruthi passages that are the basis of Swamy Desikan's choice of the word "PrEyasa:" and "SravaNayO:". Our Lord has admitted that " BhakthAsthE atheeva mE PriyA:". That is why Bhumi PirAtti introduced Herself as His Bhakthai and disciple ,whenShe asked for the boon of a laghu upAyam for the upliftment of the suffering chEthanAs ( aham sishyA cha daasI cha prEshyA cha thvayi Maadhava).Thus arose the varAha Charama slOkam .
SevA Swamigal points out further that Swamy Desikan uses the word "SravaNayO:" instead of KarNayO: , when He refers to the ears of the Lord as He listens to the nectarine sounds of the approaching ankle bells of His consort . One of the nine ways of Bhakthi is SravaNam . That is most appealing to the Lord. Therefore , Swami Desikan chooses the word , "SravanayO:" and appeals to Godhai to bless him with sweet speech that would be delectable to Her Lord , who enjoys the praise about ANDAL than ANDAL's own speech . That would double ANDAL's own happiness , when She sees Her dear consort happy ( PuNyAm asyA upasruNOmi Vaacham --Sruthi).
Second Paadham:ThulyAm thvadhIya MaNi nUpura sinjithAnAm
As a little girl , ANDAL used to accompany Her father to the Sannidhi of VaDapathra Saayee with Her ankle bells jingling as She walked . Lord used to enjoy listening to that sweet sound of the nUpurams . Swami Desikan prays to Godhai to bless him with the boon of composing "amruthAyamAnam VaachAm" similar to the delectable sounds of the ankle bells of Godhai's Kolusu (nUpurams).
Third Paadham: GodhE thvamEva Janani thvadhabhIshtavArhAm
Here Swami Desikan addresses Godhai as Janani or Mother . The Mother knows exactly as to what Her child wants. Therefore , Swamy says : " Jannani THVAMEVA Vaacham samvidEhi ". He points out Godhai alone can give the right kind of auspicious speech for the occasion . He also prays for that kind of speech , which will be multi-fceted in the depth of meaning it conveys ( abhitha: sthava:) .That should capture Her glories from many angles . SevA SwamigaL reminds us of Swamy Desikan's usage of " abhishtoumi niranjanAm " in DayA sathakam in a similar context .
Fourth Paadham: Vaacham prasanna madhurAm mama samvidEhi
Swami Desikan prays for the boon of clear and delectable speech (Prasanna Madhura Vaak).Swami also prays for the boon of excellent (sam ) execution (vidhAnam) of his kaimkaryam . He asks for the boon of " Prasanna MadhurAm Vaacham mama samvidEhi ". Godhai grants Him the boon. How can She refuse Her child's request that will delight the heart of Her Consort as well ?SlOkam 4:
KrishNAnvayEna dhadhathIM YamunAnubhAvam
Theerthair yathAvath avagAhya SarasvathIM tE
GodhE vikasvara dhiyAm BhavathI katAkshAth
Vaacha: spuranthi makarandhamucha: kaveenAM
(Meaning): Oh GodhE ! Your Lord KaNNan performed many adhbhuthams(miracles) on the banks of YamunA river. As a result ,Yamunai acquired enormous fame.Your two Prabhnadhams , ThiruppAvai and Thirumozhi, extoll the glories of YamunaitthuRaivan , KaNNan. Hence , Your Sri Sookthis have also attained the same level of fame as Yamunai . The common factor behind the fame of both Yamunai and Your dhivya-Sookthis is their association with the glorious deeds of KaNNan.In Your dark complexion ,You (GodhE) resemble the hue of Yamunai's waters. The poets are engrossed in the enjoyment of the tattvArthams housed in Your Sri Sookthis as learnt from their AchAryAs . That enjoyment makes their JnAnam blossom forth . At that juncture, You (Godhai)cast Your most benovolent glances on them (the poets). Those cool glances falling on the poets results in the birth of dhivya Sookthis that resemble nectar in their anubhavam and cause much happiness to the citizens of this world. Swamy Desikan uses the words --KrishnA, YamunA, Sarasvathi and GodhAvari--with double meanings in this slOkam and excells as a Kavi Saarvabhouman.SevA SwamigaL's anubhavam is a special one for this slOkam.
First Paadham: KrishNAnvayEna dhadhathIM YamunAnubhAvam
"GodhE! KrishNa anvayEna (tE Sarasvathi ) YamunAnubhAvam dhadhathIm" is the prose order here . KrishNa anvayam means KrishNa sambhandham . Swami Desikan suggests that the Sri Sookthis of Godhai eulogizing Krishnan have acquired a status equivalent to that of the anubhavam of Yamunai. Swami hints that the two Sri Sookthis of Godhai are indeed Yamunai .They are majestic like Yamunai's flow.They are most enjoyable to taste like the waters of Yamunai drunk by KrishNan during His vana bhOjanams . Yamunai unites with the antharvAhini ( flowing underground) Sarasvathi , the river of clear waters at ThrivENi . This union is no event of great significance to Yamunai compared to Her Yogam of sanchAram (travel) through Gokulam . That is Yamunai's KrishNa Yogam. There is no Sarasvathi Yogam here. Swamy points out that Godhai's Sarasvathi ( Sri Sookthis) have attained the celebrated status of "KrishNa Yogam " enjoyed by Yamunai at Gokulam . KrishNan's other name is Yamunai ThuRaivan. The antharvAhini Sarasvathi has attained now an exalted status by union with KrishNA (Yamunai )at ThrivENiSecond Paadham: Theerthai: YathAvath avagAhya SarasvathIm tE
The anvaya kramam is:
"(KrishNa anvayEna YamunAnubhAvam dadhathIM ) tE SarasvathIm,, Theerthai: YathAvath avagAhya. SevA Swamigal relates "YathAvath avagAhya" to the words found in ThiruppAvai: "Kudainthu neerADi" . One enters the different patitthuRaikaL on the two embankments of Yamunai and immerses oneself in the cool and rejuvenating waters of Yamunai . The expeience is the same as one bathes deep into the Sri Sookthis of Godhai and experience the joy of understanding the subtle meanings of the passages . Swamy Desikan hints that the river Sarasvathi may not have padikkattukaL on its embankments , since it flows underground. On the contrary , the Vaak (prabhandhams) of Godhai like Yamunai has many distinct and beautiful ThuRaikaL(ways) to enjoy Her Sri Sookthis. The word Theethai: means the AchAryAs and with their help, we appreciate the miracle of Sarasvathi becoming Yamunai ( The Vaak or Sri Sookthis of Godhai becoming Yamunai with its many Thurais).
Here , Swami Desikan explains as to what bhAgyam comes the way of the poets , who dipped into the Sri Sookthis of Godhai with the help of their AcAryAs . Godhai's KaruNA KatAksham falls on them and the speech(vaak) of these poets blossoms forth immediately as a result of that bhAgyam .In the final paadham , Swamy explains the result of that blossoming of the Vaaks of the blessed poets .Fourth Paadham: Vaacha: spuranthi makarandhamucha: KaveenAM
Once the karuNA KatAksham of Godhai's glances fell on them , the Vaak of the poets transformed instantaneously into a delectable , nectarine speech. Things which were beyond their comprehension before becomes clear to them spontaneously due to the acquisition of visEsha Jn~Anam arising from Godhai's anugraham . They experience spUrthi like experiencing the flash of lightning. SevA Swamigal points out that SpUrthi is quite differnt from Smruthi ( rememberance of some thing experienced before ). SpUrthi is entirely different .It is sudden and spontaneous . It is novel and has never been experienced before . Swami Desikan also implies here that Sarasvathy ( the river and Vaak) which is antharvAhini on earth became BahirvAhini (transparent ) as Godhai's Vaak ( Prabhandhams) and transformed into Yamunai (Prabhandams) with many beautiful bathing ghats for our upliftment .The bath in sacred rivers like Yamunai causes spUrthi and that is why Godhai in Her NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi appeals to Her friends to take her to the banks of Yamunai for immersion ( Yamunai Karaikku yennai uytthidumin) to overcome Her viraha tApam . In the next SlOkam , Swamy Desikan describes further the redeeming power of the Sri Sookthis of Godhai.
In the Fourth slOkam , Swami Desikan referred to the many ThuRaikaLs by which we can descend down to enter the cool waters (Prabhandhams )of Godhai and quench our samsAric thApams (sufferings). In the fifth slOkam , Swamy delves deeper into the miracle of Godhai's KatAksham , which enables even great sinners to receive the anugrahm of Her Lord. He reveals the two approaches that Godhai takes to win Her Lord to our side .Fifth SlOkam :
asmAdhrusAM apakruthou chira dhIkshithAnAm
ahnAya Devi dhayathE yadhasou Mukundha:
Tanniscchitham niyamithstava MouLidhAmnA
tanthrI ninAdha madhuraisccha girAm nigumbhai:
(Meaning): Oh GodhE ! We are well known for Saasthra Ullankanam ( trespassing the Saasthraic injunctions of Your Lord, who is SaasthrapANi). We offend Him and generate His anger at us. It appears that we have this long term vow not to obey His Saasthrams and thereby generate heaps of Bhagavath and BhAgavatha apachArams .Your Lord forgives even us with such abundant bundles of ancient paapams . When we reflect on why our Lord suddenly blesses us inspite of our powerful offenses, two reasons for His transformation --from erstwhile nigraham to the present anugraham state-- become clear. The twin reasons are: (1) He is under Your spell as a result of the way in which You have bound Him with Your flower garlands that You Yourself have worn first as Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr (2)Further , Your eulogy of Him with Your sweet prabhandhams holds Him tightly in Your grip; when He hears Your delectable Vaak , which are like the captivating naadham arising from the VeeNA strings , He has no way to free Himself from Your spell. Therefore , He accepts Your appeals on our behalf and forgives us for our trespasses. This for Sure! The tribute here is to Godhai as PoomAlai Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr and PaamAlai paadikkoduttha NaacchiyArFirst Paadham: asmAthdhrusAm apakruthou chira DhIkshithAnAm
Here, Swami Desikan refers himself as belonging to the assembly of those , who abandon kruthya-KaraNam and devoutly relish in perfoming akruthya-KaraNam . SevA Swamigal comments that Kruthis (actions) are of two kinds:apakruthi(unfavorable ones ) and Upakruthi (Favorable Ones recommended by the SaasthrAs).
Apakruthi is PrAthikoolyam and has to belong to the catgory of varjanam ( to be avoided); Upakruthi is Aanukoolyam and has to be sought after. Swamy has us in mind and says that "asmAdhrusAm apakruthou chira DhIkshithAnAm".
For people like us apakruthi is the most natural one to practise and we have been experts in the performance of apakruthis for long , long times. Our taste for akruthya KaraNam is deep . It appears that we have taken a DhIkshA (vow) to perform ceaselessly all the acts prohibited by the SaasthrAs.We are not only DhIkshithALs in this regard , but "chira DhIkshithALs" ( vowed to do apakruthis over aeons).The end is not in sight for our apakruthis and that angers our Lord.
Second Paadham: ahnAya Devi dhayathE yadhasou Mukundha:
That angry Lord disgusted over our repeated offenses suddenly shows His dayA to us. That happens over the time period of one morning (AhnAya dayathE).His shower of DayA engulfs us. Here Swamy Desikan , who has been addressing the daughter of VishNuchitthA as "GodhE" until now switches and addresses Her as " Devi". Seva SwamigaL points out that Swamy Desikan wants to hint at Her Leela Rasa Pushti (strength of Her as BhOga Moorthy for her Lord). The Lord of Hers , who showers the DayA on the offenders is addressed as "Mukundhan". He is the one , who has been defined as the conferrer of Mukthi and Sukham in this world ( Mum cha Kum cha DhadhAthi ithi Mukundha:). The One who had turned His face away from us in disgust over our incorrigible nature suddenly looks at us with compassion and blesses us. That is a miracle made possible by the power of Godhai, His Devi.Third Paadham: Tanniscchitham niyamitha: tava MouLi dhAmnA
This is for sure ( Tanniscchitham)! He has been bound by the flower garland that GodhA had worn earlier on her tresses.Under that influence, Mukundhan is helpless and obeys Her commands without resistance.DhAmnA means the rope. She had the garland tied on Her head ; the One who got tied next with that fragrant and enchanting "rope" is Mukundhan. Our Lord , who is the SarvaLoka NiyanthA (Commander) has now been bound by Godhai and is helpless.Fourth paadham: TanthrI ninAdha Madhuraisccha girAm nigumbhai:
The Lord was also tied by another factor : The sweet naadham of Goddhai's Vaak sounding like the melodious Naadham arising from the strings of the VeeNA tied Him down further. He( Sarva Loka NiyanthA) became niyamithah by the power of the assembly of Vaak (girAm nigumbhai:) arising from Godhai.Seva SwamigaL poins out the Use of NishAdha Sabdham (Svaram) thrice by Swami Desikan in the third and the fourth Paadhams of this slOkam: Niscchitham, Niyamitham , NinAdham and Nighmubhai: NishAdham has close ties to Veda Naadham .Godhai's Vaak is the essence of VedAs.
In the fifth slOkam , Swami Desikan described the gains obtained by us from
(garland of verses) and PoomAlais ( garland of flowers ) of Godhai. Here, Swami Desikan visualizes Godhai as Six puNya (sacred) nathikaLs (rivers) flowing swiftly and majestically . These sacred rivers are :SONA , Thungabhadhrai, Sarasvathi , Virajai , GodhAvari and NarmadhA .Swamy Desikan once again uses his samathkArAm (clevenrness))as a kavi- Saarvabhouman to achieve the comparsion of the limbs and attributes of Godhai with the specific features of the six individual rivers.
sONAdharEpi KuchayOrapi ThungabhadrA
VaachAm pravAha nivahEapi SarsavathI thvAm
AprAkruthairapi RasairvirajA svabhAvAth
GodhEapi Devi kamithurnanu NarmadhAsi
(Meaning ): Oh Devi GodhE ! Thou art like rivers SONA ,ThungabhadhrA , Sarasvathi with its swift currents, the clear VirajA of Sri Vaikuntam , GodhAvari and NarmadhA . The inner meaning is that Godhai's lips ar red like the waters of SONA river . Her breasts have a majestic appearance as ThiungabhadrA river. Her necatarine speech is like the veritable Sarasvathi river also known as Vegavathi (One with speedy flow ).Her Prabhandhams are full of anubhavams based on the Satthva guNams like a veritable VirajA river , which is outside this prakruthi mandalam. She is like GodhAvari in being naturally gracious and is like river NarmadhA , which gladdens the heart of Her Lord through teasing speech. There is a double meaning behind the name of each of these six rivers.adiyEn has added special meanings beyond the vykhyAnam of Seva SwamigaL know as ParimaLam .The Vedic aspects of the names of the rivers have been added especially.
(1) SoNai is a river , which has red colored waters. It originates in Gondavana and merges with GangA near Pataliputra.SONathi means to move , to go forward and to become reddish in hue. Godhai's lips are referred to here , when the image of SONai is invoked. The red color symbolizes the Raagam ( longing , desire) of Godhai for Her Lord expressed beautifully in NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi.Typically the beautiful red lips are equated to ripe (red) BhimbhA fruit or red coral . Swamy Desikan equates them here to the red river,SONai.
(2) Godhai is also Tunga-bhadra, a river resulting from two separate streams in KarnAtakA . One is Tunga and the other is BhadrA . Godhai's two majestic sthanams are invoked by the imagery of Tunga-bhadhrA . Tungam means high, elevated or lofty. It is saamudhrikA lakshaNam for Padmini ladies to have lofty breasts as a mark of beauty. Bhadra(m) is a celebrated Vedic word( Bhadram KarNebhi: SruNAyAma:). Bhadra means happiness, prosperity , welfare and auspicousness. The saying is " Bhadram bhadram vithara BhagavAn bhUyasE mangaLAya". The Vedic significance of Bhadram is celebrated in atleast half a dozen Rg Vedic Verses. Let us enjoy one of them , which happens to be the shortest Rk in the whole of Rg Vedam ( Bhadram nO api vaathaya Mana:/Rg .X.20.1) with ten syllables. Bhadram here is meant as a propitiation according to Saayana BhAshyam ( Sambhandi sthOthra karaNE prEraya / Let us be inspired to eulogize you and Your associated auspicious attributes). One who has Bhadram is BhadrA or BhadrAvathi. Godhai is clearly BhadrA with utthunga sthanams .Hence , She is aptly addressed as TungabhadrA.
Seva SwamigaL says that the people of ShimOga call TungabhadrA as "PaalARu" . He extrapolates the meaning as Jn~Ana Paal AaRu ( the river of Jn~AnappAl or the milk of Jn~Anam).
(3) Sarasvathi: " VaachAm PravAha nivahE Sarasvathi Thvam " is the salutation of Swamy Desikan . He says that Godhai is indeed Sarasvathi (Sarasvathi Thvam) due to the pathinettAm Perukku like flow of the assembly of Her speech . Sarasvathi again is a Vedic metaphor . She is one of the three Speeches: Sarasvathi , ILA , Bharathi . Near Kaanchipuram, She flowed with immense speed and got the name of Vegavathi and the Lord had to take the role of a Sethu (dam ) to control Her fury. Sarasvathi generally refers to the Goddess of speech and learning. It is also a antharvAhini river, which is flowing hidden under the sands of the great desert .During the Vedic age, Sarasvathi was BahirvAhini. Sarasvathi is also the name of a plant mentioned in Atharva Vedam as JyOthishmathi or the One with supreme JyOthi .Such are the rich connotations of the word Sarasvathi.
(4) VirajA River: "aprAkruthai: rasai: VirajA" is the mangaLAsAsanam of Swamy Desikan. VirajA is not of this world and it flows at the border of Sri Vaikuntam. Viraja means free from dust or passion. Viraja is also an epithet for Lord VishNu. The river that flows in Sri Vaikuntam is suddha satthvam and is totally devoid of RajO or TamO guNams . The soul ascending to Sri Vaikuntam takes a dip in the VirajA river to cleanse itself and transform itself to be"akarma Vasyan" (beyond the influence of KarmAs . A dip in the VirajA river makes the Jeevan manifest in its own nature ( SvEna rUpEna abhinishpadhyathE-ChAndOgya Upanishad ). A dip in the VirajA like Prabhandhams of Godhai makes us qualified to become Muktha Jeevans traveling in the archirAdhi maargam.
(5) GodhAvari River: "SvabhAvAth GodhEapi thvam " is the mangaLAsAsanam of Swamy Desikan. The many meanings of GodhA have beeen covered in earlier articles of adiyEn. GodhAvari is the name of the river in Andhra PradEsh , which has been mentioned in Srimath RaamAyaNam. SithA Piratti sported with Her Lord on the banks of GodhAvari. "Varivas" is a Vedic word meaning wealth, pleasure and Happiness . "Variman" means excellence , superiority and pre-eminence . Swamy Desikan seems to say that Godhai is by Her very nature (svabhAvAth GodhAvari) because She is Varivath and Varivas . Because of blessing us with pre-eminent Prabhandhams , She is GodhAvari.
(6) NarmadhA River: " Devi Kamithu: nanu NarmadhAsi" is Swamy Desikan's salutation. Kamithu: means the Lord, EmperumAn. "Kamithu: NarmadhA asi nanu" queries Swami Desikan . Are not You the NarmadhA river for Your Lord ? NarmadhA is a river ,which rises in the VindhyA mountain and joins the ocean at the gulf of Cambay . The other meaning of NarmadhA is ParihAsam or Jestful or amorous past time . Narma is also a kind of Vaak , ParihAsa Vaak. Godhai's skills in wining over Her Lord through Her amusing ways is symbolized by the choice of NarmadhA-suhrudh svarUpam .
SevA SwamigaL points out that the first two lines of this Sixth SlOkam includes three rivers(SONA, ThungabhadrA and Sarasvathi) and the the last two lines house three more rivers ( VirajA , Godhavari and NarmadhA). The first three rivers dealing with the Adharam (lips), Sthanams and Vaak represent PrAkrutha rasam and the other three rivers deal with AprAkrutha (other worldly) rasam . Thus ,Godhai shines with apraakrutha rasam in archai and vibhavam and is by the side of Her Lord as Narmadhai always.
In the sixth paasuram , Swami Desikan compared the dhivya svarUpam and the anantha KalyANa GuNams of ANDAL with the six rivers . In the seventh slOkam, He hints at the reason why Adhi Kavi Valmiki's speech in Srimath RaamAyaNam is sweet and elaborates on the sambhandham between Godhai and Sage VaalmIki.SlOkam 7:
(Meaning): Oh GodhE ! Vedams declare that the ant hills are the ear of BhUmi pirAtti . Since You are the amsam of BhUmi Devi , the anthills are also Your ears. The sage , who originated from those anthills is Adhi Kavi VaalmIki. He is saluted as the foremost among poets because of his creation of the immaculate ithihAsam , Srimath RaamAyaNam . Is it any wonder therfore that the Sri Sookthis that arose from Your sacred mouth being like the divine nectar in their enjoyability ?
Here Swamy Desikan salutes those , who have the sambhandham with Her.One such sambhandhi is Adhi Kavi VaalmIki.The first two lines recognizes the relationship between the Adhi Kavi, who arose out of the ears of BhUmi Devi ( the ant Hills) and Godhai , who is VasudhAthmanA . Swamy says that " Valmikatha: SravaNayO : VasudhAthmaNasthE Jaatho sa muni: " That Muni born out of the anthills, which are Your ears as the amsam of Vasudhai (Bhumi Devi) is the meaning of this passage ." Valmikatha: Jaatha: sa Muni: Kavi Saarvabhouma: BhabhUva" . Swamy Desikan points out that sage arising from the ant hills became the supreme poet and created Srimath RaamAyanam.
In the second paadham of this slOkam explains the reasons for Sage Valmiki becoming a supreme poet because of his relationship with Godhai as the amsam of BhU Devi and pays tribute to the matchless sweetness of Godhai's own prabhandhams.
Swami says that Sage ValmIki rose out of the ears of Godhai . If that were to be the reason for his IthihAsam to be so sweet to enjoy , Swamy asks what would be the status of the Prabhandhams that arose out of the lotus face of Godhai and answers it:" kimadhbhutham idham yadh-amI svadanthE
Swamy Desikan answers his own question and says it is no wonder that the Prabhandhams that arose out of the lotus face of Godhai are very sweet and delectable.Slokam 8 :
AzhwAr's imitation of GodhA
bhokthum tava priyatamam bhavatheeva gOdhE
bhakthim nijAm praNaya BhavanayA gruNantha : I
ucchavachai : viraha sangamajai : udanthai :
srungArayanthi hrudhayam gurava: tvadheeyA : II
(Meaning ) : O GodhA dEvi ! Your elders like Your father wanted to enjoy the Lord , who is very dear to You , just as You did .In this context , their hearts were fileld with SringAra Bhavam ( love sentiments ) and they enhanced their true Bhakthi for the Lord through conversations with Him , which reflected their moods of bliss , while united with Him and intense sorrow , when separated from Him .
(Comments ) : O GodhE ! You by birth are a woman and as such it was NATURAL for You to relate to and enjoy the Lord as a Man . Your elders like Your father had intense desire to enjoy the Lord as their lover , just as YOU did . It was however not easy for them , since they were born as males . They thought of a trick to overcome this limitation . They dressed as women , gave themselves the names such as ParakAla Naayaki and ParAnkusa Naayaki and enhanced their love for the Lord through expresion of the Samslesham--Vislesham sentiments in their Paasurams. The mood of sorrow from their separation with the Lord , " their consort " and elation on union with Him as " their husband " came out in their thoothu vidal and Madaloorthal acts. They sent birds and bees as messengers to the Lord for appraising Him of their sufferings and to beg Him to come to their side . They threatened to embarass Him by publicly exhibiting themselves as abnadoned women . Such acts were impressive anbd yet did not ring as true as in Your case , because You were born as a woman and Your sentiments of relating to the Lord as a Purushan were much more realistic and thus rang true .SlOkam 9:
In this slOkam , Swamy Desikan salutes Godhai as Lakshmi Sahajai or the One who is a sibling of Periya PirAtti.Maatha: SamuthtithavathIm adhivishNu chittham
(meaning): Oh Mother GodhE! You are like the other form of Chandran . Vedams declare that Chandran was born out of the mind of VishNu( Chandramaa ManasO Jaatha:). You incarnated as the darling daughter of PeriyAzhwAr (VishNu Chitthar).Chandran delights the heart of every one through His cool rays. You uplift the people of the world independent of their status through the nectar of Your dhivya Prabhandhams and Your dhivya svarUpam .The learned souls recognize Your similarities to Chandran and comprehend You as the sibling (Koodap PiRanthavaL) of Periya PirAtti, who arose out of the milky Ocean. You are recognized as Lakshmi Sahajai just as Chandran is a Lakshmi Sahajan for having born out of the very same milky ocean.
" AdhivishNuchittham SamutthathivathIm " are the words chosen by Swamy Desikan. He thus indicates that Godhai was born out of the Sankalpam of the Lord (VishNuchittham ) as a daughter of AdhivishNuchitthar. SevA Swamigal points out that the amrutha Sahajai aspects of Godhai . During Periya PirAtti's vivAha MahOthsavam , nectar was distributed to the DevAs and became DevOpajeevyam. Amrutha Sahajai Godhai distributed the nectar of Her prabhandhams for the upliftment (ujjevanam) of the world (visvOpajeevyam) .
Like the cow yields from its full udder the milk for its calf , Godhai blesses us with the nectar , which removes the samsAric ThApams .This act of blessing has been described by Swami Desikan as amrutha- duhAnam ( Surappathu in Tamil or to yield milk/nectar). She is Lakshmi Sahajai and thus distributes nectar also but in a different way. MahA Lakshmi is PayOdhi Duhithu : or the daughter of milky ocean .VishNu thus becomes the payOdhi Duhithu: pathi . That VishNu's sankalpam was behind Godhai's avathAram as the daughter of VishNucchitthaa .Both Chandran and GOdhai have the common trait that they were born from the mind of VishNu (VishNuchittham). MahA Lakshmi and Godhai have the saamyam of blessing DevAsand people of the world respectively with nectar. This is their common glory. Thus Godhai becomes amrutha sahajai as well as Lakshmi Sahajai.Slokam 10 :
The Glory attained by VishNuchitta through His daughter, GodhA
thaathasthu madhubidha: sthuthi lesa vasyAth
karNAmruthai : shtuthi sathai : anavAptha poorvam I
tvanmowli ghandha subhagAm upahruthya maalaam
lEbE mahatthara padhAnuguNam prasAdham II
(Meaning ) : O GodhE ! Your Lord is easily pleased by even a small eulogy . He becomes overcome as a result with affection for the one , who sings His praise . Your father , Bhattar PirAn and the other AzhwArs before You had sung His praise through many pleasing songs . He did not however respond to them too much . Your father however took the garlands worn by You and presented them characterised by their divine fragrance . He immediately became very much attached to Your father . He praised Your father for his welcome kaimkaryam and honored him with the name , "PeriyAzhwAr " or the senior most AzhwAr and became his son-in-law later . Thus , Your Lord"s great affection for You , GodhE , inspired Him to confer the honorofic title of PeriyAzhwAr on Your father . He had heard Your father's Paasurams before and was not sufficiently moved to do something extraordinary such as conferring the title befitting Your father's unique kaimkaryam .Slokam 11:
The Distinction conferred on the Southern Disai
dhik dakshiNAapi paripakthrima puNya lAbhAth
sarvottarA bhavathi dEvi tavAvathArAth I
Yathriva RangapathinA bhaumAna poorvam
nidhrALunA apniyatham nihithA; kataakshA : II
(Meaning ) : O GodhA dEvi ! The southern direction has also excelled over the northern direction as a result of the ripened puNyam arisng from your birth in the south (at Srivilliputthur ) . Your Lord Sri RanganaathA's glances were directed there with great respect even when He was engaged in Yoga NidrA (at Srirangam ) .
(Comments ) : Srivilliputthur in the south was at a stage of ripened puNyam , when You incarnated there under a Tulasi plant . Your Lord sleeping at Srirangam in Yoga NidrA is looking in the direction of Your place of birth out of His great affection for You . The hidden meaning is that Sri RanganathA , the bride groom was eagerly looking at His bride-to-be , the moment She was born. He woke up from His Yoga NidrA time and again to cast His glances in that direction to see the growth of AndAL . It appeared as though he could not wait for Her to finish Her Thiruppavai and NaachiyAr Thirumozhi , which needed to be done before She could join Him at Srirangam .
The other hidden meaning centres around the choice of the Word , UttarA ( Dhik DakshiNa api sarva UTTARAA bhavathi ) . Uttaraa has double meanings . In one context , it means the Northern Direction , where Sri Rama and KrishNa were born . Hence the northern direction is venerable for us. As a result of GodhA's birth , the southern direction became more venerable than the Northern direction. In another context , the words , " Dik DakshiNA sarvOttharA bhavathi " suggests that the southern direction became the northern direction known for its superior glory as a result of the avathArams of RamA and KrishNA there . In one context , the south exceeded in glory and in the other , the distinction between south and the north directions disappeared .SlOkam 12:
This slokam deals with the glories that came by the way of the river GodhAvari by having the same name.prAyENa dEvi bhavathI vyapadEsayOgAth
In the earlier slOkam , Swamy Desikan described the glories that came to the Southern direction thru the avathAram of Godhai. Here , he describes the glories attained by the river GodhAvari by having the name of Godhai.
(Meaning): Oh GodhA Devi! The river GodhAvari seems to purify the world with its waters by bearing Your name.Is it n't it so that the great rivers like Ganga reside in GodhAvari for a long time to become PuNya nadhis ?
When we call ourselves "RaamAnuja Daasan" , we announce our relation as the servant of RaamAnujA. That is the purpose of adorning Daasya naamams. GodhAvari river takes on Your Naamam and gains thereform the power to cleanse the whole world with its waters including the puNya nadhis like GangA et al.
"BhavathI vyapadEsa YogAth" means by virtue of adorning Your name (ThirunAmam
as mukhya vyavahAram).
All the puNya nadhis cleanse the sins of people, who dip in them and become impure over time. Swamy Desikan says that these soiled rivers resort to the bath in GodhAvari at specific times of the year to destroy their sins accumulated from the bathers .By having the name of Godhai , GodhAvari has the power to annul all these sins and restore the puNya nadhis to their pristine glory , while not being affected by their assembly of accumulated sins .
The teasing of the friends of Godhai during the occasion of marriage to Lord RanganAthA is covered in this slOkam.
NaagEsaya: sutanu: Pakshiratha: Katham tE
Jaatha: svayamvarapathi: Purusha: PurANa:
Yevam vidhA samuchitham praNayam bhavathyA:
Samdarsayanthi ParihAsa Gira:SakheenAm
In traditional marriages , the lady friends of the bride join together and sing teasing songs about the poor qualifications of the groom and question his fitness to receive the hand of their friend in marriage. These are called ParihAsa GirA: and fit well with the overall joy of a wedding celebration.Here, Swami Desikan becomes one of the Sakhis of Godhai and teases Her about the fitness of the Groom she has chosen.
(meaning of the slOkam): Oh Godhai of the most beautiful and tender limbs! How did it happen that this old man , who sleeps on a bed of snake and has a bird for his transport become the man of Your choice as Your husband ? Your dear husband of choice does not even have a proper bed for You; further , if you wish to travel to a destination of Your desire, You have to sit with Him uncomfortably on a bird . You can not go round the town on a procession on foot. You can only use the bird to fly way high up. The worst of it all is that Your husband is an ancient(old) one, when it comes to His age , while You are of tender age. How come You overlooked all these negative factors , while making Your choice of Him as Your future husband? What happened? Thus Your friends tease You.
In actuality, the sakhis are congratulating Godhai for the Bhagyam of obtaining the PurANa Param Purushan who has Adhi Seshan as His bed and Garudan as His vaahanam .SlOkam 14:
The theme of this slOkam is about the recognition of the superiority of the Godhai's flower garland over Vyjayanthi maalai . The honey bees, the experts on fragrance make their selection and announce the victor.Thavth Bhuktha maalya SurabhIkrutha ChArumouLE
(Meaning): Oh IsvarI , who controls the Lord , who Himself controls the entire world ! Oh ANDvanai aaLum ANDALE ! Your Lord has the famous , never fading vana maalai known as VyjayanthI on his shoulders and chest .The divine fragrance of that garland attracts the honey bees.They hover around there .
At this time of morning , Your father brings the flower garland , which was worn earlier on Your tresses and presents it to the Lord. Your Lord bends His neck , receives it and wears that special garland with the sambhandham of Your kesam on His head as Kesavan. Immediately , there is a big rushing by the bees from VyjayanthI maalai to the garland of Yours on the head of the Lord. They jostle each other to get there first and circle around and thus form a black umbrella as it were over the head of the Lord. The honey bees seem to vote to indicate the superiority of Your garland over that of the VyjayanthI maalai from their expert perspective .
The commentators have pointed out that Swamy Desikan refers here to the Vratham observed by a bride groom with umbrella and flower garland during one phase of His wedding before PaaNigrahanam.SlOkam 15:
Swamy Desikan continues with the theme of Vyjayanthi maalai having a status lower than that of the flower garland with the dEha- sambhandham of the garland with Godhai.aamOdhavathyapi sadhA hrudhayangamAapi
(meaning): Oh GodhE! The famous garland Vyjayanthi worn by Your Lord is indeed full of fragrance. It is desired by Him and hence given a prominent place on His chest. It is indeed constructed from tender forest flowers, which never fade.Inspite of all thse glories , it is worn on the chest and not on Your Lord's head over His KirItam (Thiru AbhishEkam). The garland that You wore and presented to the Lord is accepted by Him with joy and worn with love on His KiriTam (sarvEsvara Chinnam ) to demonstrate Your garland's superiority over Vyjayanathi maalai. Your Lord's respect by wearing the garland worn by You earlier at a high place (over His crown) indicates His affection and reverence for it over the Vyjayanathi maalai.
Swami Desikan uses five "api" sabdham to decribe the special attributes of Vyajayanthi Maalai here to build up the climax to declare how Godhai's SooDikkoduttha Maalai won over it in status. He says "What if (api) Vyjayanthi Maalai has splendid fragrance (aamOdhavathI api), What if it is worn with desire on the chest (HrudhayangamA api) , What if it has the color of love/red) (raaga anvithA api), What if it is tender (laLithA api), What if it has few more special favorable attributes (guNa UttharA api) , Vyjayanathi Maalai is not worn on His crown by the Lord. That superior position is reserved for the Soodikkoduttha Maalai of Godhai.SlOkam 16:
Here , Swami Desikan describes how the honey bees served during the svayamvaram of ANDAL through their kaimkaryam of playing the MangaLa Vaadhyams.
thvanmouLi dhAmani VibhO: sirasA gruhIthE
savcchandha kalpitha sapeethi rasa pramOdha:
manjusvanA madhulihO vidhadhu: svayam tE
svAyamvaram kamapi MangaLathoorya GhOsham
The auspicious sounds of MangaLa Vaadhyams associated with the wedding of Godhai are visualized here by Swami Desikan.
(Meaning): Oh GodhE! Your Lord wears with relish Your sooDikkoduttha Maalai on His crown. The honey bees are attracted by the divine fragrance of the Maalai and gleefully enter the garland and drink the honey to their heart's content. Their joy over that lusty feat rises and comes out in the form of sweet reenkAram. Those sounds appear like the MangaLa Vaadhya GhOsham raised especially for Your svayamvaram.
In the previous slOkam , the svayamvara mahOthsavam was concluded.The next step is VivAham sealed by PaaNigruhaNam. At that time, Mangala Vaadhyams ( Ghetti mELam ) has to sound and naadhasvaram has to play. Swami Desikan suggests that important aspect of generating the auspicious sounds form MangaLa Vaadhyams is taken care of by the elated honey bees.
SevA SwamigaL connects the thought of Svayamvaram with Vedic rk and EmperumAnAr's mangaLAsAsanam based on that manthram :
yamEvai Yesha vruNuthE --Vedam
Priyatama yEva hi VaraNIyO Bhavathi ,
yasyAm niradhisaya Priya:-- EmperumAnAr
ANDAL chooses Lord RanganAthA as Her Lord in this context.
Seva SwamigaL has a wonderful group of words to describe the Kaimkaryam of the Bramarams (Honey Bees ) taking part without distraction/confusion ( bhramamam ) in a joyous mood (sambramaram ) :
" BramarangaL brahmamillAmal sambramatthODu seytha Sevai ithu ".
Seva SwamigaL also points out that the commentators have identified the two words (ManjusvanA and MadhulihO ) used by Swami Desikan in the third paadham of this slOkam refer to NammAzhwAr and other AzhwArs , who raised MangaLa thUrya GhOsham thru their prabhandhams. May we enjoy this svayamvara MahOthsavam and the MangaLa thUrya GhOsham ,Slokam 17 :
The Lord's high regard for the Garlands worn by GodhA dEvi
viswayamaana rajasA kamalEna naabhou
vaksha: sthalE cha kamalA sthana chandhanEna I
aamOdhithOapi nigamai : vibhurangriyugmE
dhathtE nathEna sirasaa tava MowLi maalaam II
(Meaning ) : Your Lord has the Lotus in his Naabhi . The pollen dusts from that sacred lotus have a divine fragrance that fill the air . MahA Lakshmi is seated on His chest region. The fragrance of the sandal paste worn on Her breasts is enjoyed by Him as well. The divine frgrance of the Arya Vedhams and the TamiL marai saluting the glory of His sacred feet is also enjoyed by Him . Thus , His whole body is covered with these divine fragrances and Yet , He seems not to be fully satisfied . He waits eagerly for the garlands worn by You and receives them from Your father with his head bent out of love for You and becomes filled with a superlative fragrance that finally satisfies Him .Slokam 18 :
Auspiciousness acheived by the Lord
chooDApadhEna parigruhya tavotthareeyam
maalaamapi tvadhaLakairadhivaasya dhattAm I
prAyENa rangapathirEsha bhibharthi GodhE
sowbhAgya sampath abhishEka mahAdhikAram II
(Meaning ) : O GodhE ! Your Lord , RanganAthA wears with great affection Your upper garment as Parivattam on His crown . Next , He wears with great affection , the divinely fragrant garalnds associated with Your curly , black tresses . Through these two acts , He enhances His auspiciousness and achieves the capabilities to confer auspiciousness on His devotees . His enrichment is a direct result of the vaibhavam of Your upper garment and the flower garlands worn by You !SlOkam 19 :
tungairaruthrima gira: svyamutthamAngai:
ym sarvagandha ithi saadharam udhvahanthi
AmOdham anyam adhigacchathi maalikAbhi:
sOapi tvadhIya kuDila aLaka vaasithAbhi:
Here Swami Desikan describes how RanganAthan adorned the SooDikkoduttha Maalais and gained a wonderful kind of fragrance .
(meaning):GodhE ! The apourushEya VedAs declare reverentially through their siras ( head =Upanishads) that Your Lord is the possessor of a divine fragrance that surpasses any thing found in Prakruthi maNdalam ( sarva Gandhan ). That Lord adorns the garlands that drew their fragrance from Your curly , dark hair and enhances His sarva gandhathvam. He becomes joyous over the enrichment of His own divine fragrance through the association with Your SooDikkoduttha Maalai. How can one therefore describe adequately the power of the garlands worn by You first and then presented to Your Lord ?
SevA SwamigaL points out that VedAs unlike Kaavyams and Naatakams created by humans is akruthrimam. The apourushEya Veda Vaaks are never untruthful , they do not exaggerate or suppress truth and perform krithrimams ( devious and dubious deeds)like Naatakam and Kaavyams.
Godhai Herself is the giver of Veda Vaak. She is a veritable Vedam .Her Siras is equal to the Upanishads in that context. The garlands worn on Her siras are therefore akruthrima GirA:Vedas praise the Lord as "Sarva Gandha: Sarvarasa: SathyakAma: Sathya Sankalpa:". In this slOkam , the enhancement of this Sarva gandhathvam through association with Godhai's SooDikkoDuttha Maalai is saluted.
Slokam 20 :
The effect of GodhA 's glances falling on the Lord
dhanyE samastha jagadhAm pithurutthamAnghE
tvanmowLimAlya bhara sambharaNEna bhooya : I
indeevara srajamivAdhadhithi tvadheeyAni
aakEkarANi bahumAna vilokithAni II
(Meaning ) : O GodhA pirAtti ! Your Lord is the father of the universe . His siras becomes blessed by wearing the garlands worn by You earlier . You become joyous over His expression of affection rsulting from Your Kaimkaryam . You cast Your shy glances at His crown decorated with Your garlands .At hat time , it appears as though an additional dark blue lotus garland has been overlaid on the existing garlands there .
(Comments ) : Swami Desikan hints that the charmingly beautiful and dark eyes of GodhA piratti rested on the garland-decorated crown of Her Lord and appeared as though another garland of blue lotusflowers were added .Slokam 21 :
Exchange of Garlands between GodhA and RanganAthan
Rangeswarasya tava cha pranayAnubhandhAn
anyonya maalya parivrutthim abhishtuvantha : I
vaachalayanthi VasudhE rasikAstrilokheem
nunoodhikathva samathA vishayai: vivAdhai : II
(Meaning ) : O GodhA dEvi , the amsam of Bhoomi Piratti (VasudhE ) ! Those fortunate rasikAs , who attended the wedding between RanganAtha and You and had the joy of witnessing the exchange of garlands during that occasion fill this earth with the sound of their noisy debates even today . At that time , RanganathA bent His head to receive the garland worn by You and You reciprocated in the same way during the time of the exchange of Garlands . Both of You wore each other's garland with great affection and joy due to your mutual love. Those , who were blessed to be part of this joyous occasion are divided into three categories based on the sides that they take about the relative superiority among both of You . One group avers that You are superior because of His regard for You born out of His immesauarable love for You ; the second group believes that You are His obedient and affectionate wife and therefore , Your Lord is superior to You . The third group is convinced that both of You are equal to each other in every measure . All these three groups advocate their positions loudly and the din arising from their debates on the subject echo loudly around the eight directions of the Universe even today .SlOkam 22:
Swami Desikan states here that the ThirumEni of Sri RanganAthan gains a rare multi-hued state similar to the neck of a peacock due to the proximity of Godhai and Sri Devi.DhUrvAdhaLa prahtimayA tava dEha kaanthyA
(Meaning): Oh GodhE! The darsanam of Your Lord's SubhAsrayam (ThirumEni) confers on all His adiyArs sarva mangaLams ( madhuvairi Gaathram praNamathAm MaangaLyatham).That SubhAsrayam has the bluish hue of dark rainy clouds. When You stand next to Him, Your light green hue ( like aruham pul ) reflects on Him. MahA Lakshmi has HiraNya VarNai (Golden hue).She is resident on Your Lord's chest (ahalahillEn YenRu). When His own dark bluish hue has the confluence with the green hue of Your ThirumEni and the golden hue of Periya PirAtti's ThirumEni,His ThirumEni achieves a rare multi-hued effulgence like the beautiful neck region of the peacock. It is a rare and unforgettable sight.
In the previous slOkam, the exchange of garlands between RanganAthan and Godhai as dampathis was described. Godhai is now standing next to Him and MahA Lakshmi is sitting on His chest. SevA SwamigaL visualizes the performance of MangaLa haaratthi for the newly wedded couple, who had just exchanged garlands. The jyOthi from that hAratthi falls on the Lord's ThirumEni and integrates the light green color of Godhai (dhUrvA daLa prathimai) and the golden yellow color of MahA Lakshmi ( gOrOchana Prathimai) and creates an integrated , eyefilling spectacle of a multihued ThirumEni reminiscent of the neck of a peacock.SlOkam 23:
In the previous slOkam , Swami Deikan described the presence of Godhai right next to Her Lord . He pointed out that Sevai would confer limitless auspicousness on the SaraNAgathAs. He recognized the transformation in the color of the ThirumEni of the Lord. Here, Swami Desikan covers the aspect of Godhai attaining archA nilai.archyam samarchaya niyamai: nigama prasUmai:
(Meaning): Oh Loka MaathA GodhE ! How did the great kings like Manu and MaandhAthA rule their kingdoms with joy for many , many years ? It was possible because of Your grace. You are the amsam of BhUmi Devi. RanganAthan stands in union with You and Sri Devi. These kings worshipped well RanganAthan with both of His consorts (ubhaya- NaacchimAr ) with various niyamams and attained the boon of long life as emperors .
SevA SwamigaL's insightful observations are very enchanting. We will hence follow his commentary for that reason entirely.First Paadham: archyam samarchaya niyamai: nigama prasUnai:
With the first word of this slOkam, "archyam" , Swami Desikan hints at the soulabhyam of Archai among the five states of the Lord and ANDAL joining in that archA state . "archithO dEva: priyathAm mE Janardhana:" is the saying. Archanam of the Lord with His devis is the recommended route to please the Lord.This archanam has to be samarchanam ( superior and saasthrEic archanam with true devotion and niyamams ). That is why Swami Desikan says: " Archyam samarchaya niyamai:"
Next Swami Desikan refers to " Nigama prasoonai: niyamai: samarchaya ". Nigama prasoonai: means flowers prescribed by the aagamAs . It could also be SvarNa pushpams or the eight aathma guNa pushpams ((ahimsA, indriya nigraham et al). Such a proper worship of the Lord with His ubhaya NaacchimAr will confer emperorship over the land for a very long time.
Second Paadham : Naatham thvayA KamalayA cha samEyivAmsAm
Here Swami addresses Godhai with the word "thvyaa" . He recognizes the Lord as " ThvayA samEyivAmsAm " ( YOur Lord accompanied by You). Then Swami includes Sri Devi : "ThvayA KamalayA cha samEyivAmsAm Naatham" ( Your Lord associated with You and with Sri Devi as well). Such a Lord with His two consorts needs to be worshipped for long soverignity over the kingdom . Swami Desikan gives prAdhAnyam (significance ) to Godhai over Sri Devi here , when he refers to the Lord, who is generally known as Sriya:pathi to indicate the importance of Periya PirAtti. Swamy Desikan follows the directions given by Purusha Sooktham here: "Hreesccha tE LakshmIsccha pathnyou ". Bhumi Piratti comes first here . Godhai is the amsam of Bhumi Devi and hence She is given prAdhAnyam over Kamalaa (Lakshmi) in Swamy Desikan's salutation.
Third Paadham: Maatha: chiram niravisan nijam aadhirAjyam
Swami says here that Manu and others enjoyed long term rulership as Kings by worshipping GodhA Naathan with niyamam .He hints that the stability of that long term state of emperorship is only possible with the grace of Godhai , who is almost like the DayA devi. SevA SwamigaL reminds us of the AadhirAjyam (rulership) mentioned by Swamy Desikan in dayA sathakam in this context . There Swamy Desikan says that dayA devi's anugraham was instrumental in realizing a different kind of emperorship for long times :
anithara SaraNAnAm AadhirAjyE abhishinjEth
samitha vimatha PakshA Saarnga dhanvAnukampA ".
In the next slOkam , Swamy Desikan describes how Godhai intercedes with Her Lord to forgive the trespasses of their Children and protects them .Slokam 24 :
GodhA's pleading with Her Lord on behalf of Us
Rangesvarasya ramayA vinivedhyamAnE I
paarsvE parathra bhavathi yadhi tathra naaseeth
prAyENa dEvi vadanam parivarthitham syAth II
(Meaning ) : O GodhE ! The assembly of ChetanAs trespass constantly the saastraic commands of Your Lord .They continue to committ these trespasses . The most compassionate MahA Lakshmi pleads with Her Lord to forgive these repeated trespasses of the Jeevans and begs Him to heed Her appeals . Your Lord gets disinterested some times with Her appeals and turns His face away from MahA Lakshmi in semi-disgust . What does He find there ? He sess You there with compassion for the Jeevans even a shade more than MahA Lakshmi , engaged in pleading the cases of these erring chetanAs . He gives up resisting the appeals of MahA Lakshmi and responds favorably to Her earlier appeals . If MahA Lakshmi and You do not stand in each side of Him to plead for and save the erring jeevans from the wrath of Your Lord , What would be their plight ? How could they be redeemed ?slOkam 25:
GOdhE guNairapanayan praNathAparAdhAn
BhrUkshEpa yEva Tava BhOgarasAnukUla:
karmAnubhandhi phala dhAna rathaya bharthu:
SvAthanthrya dhurvyasana marmabhidhA nidhAnam
Here, Swamy Desikan describes how the independent nature of the Lord was interfered with by the gesture of the knitting of the brows of Godhai.
(meaning): Oh GodhE! Your Lord hands out impartially the fruits of the good and bad karmAs for the chEthanans. If He did not do so, He would be considered as the One , who is partial to some and erratic in His treatment of the chethanams. Oh GodhE !Your overflowing compassion for the suffering jeevans is such that You find it difficult to look at the punishments meted out by Your Lord even , when the chEthanams deserve such punishments. You devise a method to interfere with the Lord's duties of punishing the jeevans , deserving such punishment . You charm Your Lord with various gestures of affection towards Him and He loses His sense of independence and becomes completely under Your influence .The end result is that You protect the Jeevans -that erred-from the wrath of Your Lord. The bhOga gesture of Godhai that makes the Lord lose His svathanthram is the knitting of Her beautiful brows ( BhrUkshEpam).That gesture intrigues the Lord with its BhOga Rasa aanukUlyam. It enhances His affection for Her.He comes under Godhai's spell and thus becomes Paaratantryan to Her Charms.The aparAdhams of the Jeevans are then overlooked by the Lord.Such indeed is the influence of Godhai over Her Lord.SlOkam 26:
RangE TaDithguNavathO ramayaiva GodhE
KrishNAmbhudasya gaDithAm KrupayA suvrushtyA
dhourgathya Dhurvisha vinAsa sudhAnadhIm ThvAm
Santha: prapadhya smayanthyachirENa thApAn
Here , Swamy Desikan describes how Godhai becomes the nectarine river that removes all the SamsAric afflictions of the suffering jeevans.
(meaning): Oh GodhE! The Lord Of Srirangam is an auspicious , intense blue rain bearing cloud (KaaLa mEgam). MahA Lakshmi , who never leaves His side is the lightning flash inside that rain cloud. You (Godhai) are the river that flows with life-saving nectar created by the rain of dayA from that Karu muhil , KaaLa mEga VaNNan. As that river of nectar , You destroy the deadly poison of SamsAram. Those MahAns , who seek refuge at Your sacred feet immerse themselves in that flood of Your nectarine Sookthis and have all of their samsAric afflictions destroyed. PerumAL is NeelamEga ShyAmalan.On His chest, the HiraNyavarNai, MahA Lakshmi resides.She appears like a flash of lightning. Only the rain cloud with lightning can yield copious rains.That rain of KrishNAmbhudam (karu muhil) is the KrupA(dayA) of the Lord of Srirangam. That rain takes shape as a mighty river that flows swiftly and washes away all the sufferings of the SamsAris. Such is the power of the nectarine river, GOdhai!Slokam 27 :
GodhA as the Mother of the Universe
jaathAparAdhamapi mAmAnukampya GodhE
gopthree yadhi tvamasi yukthamidham bhavathyA : I
vAtsalya nirbharatayA jananee kumAram
sthanyEna vardhayathi dhashta payOdharAapi II
(Meaning ) : O GodhA piratti ! It is fititng indeed that You protect me out of Your limitless mercy , even if I have committed many aparAdhams ( acts not sanctioned by SaasthrAs ) . Is it not true that a Mother nourishes her baby out of the great affection for it , even if that baby bites the breast of the very mother feeding it ? The mother does not get angry at the child that she loves and does not stop feeding it . Thus, it is appropriate that You protect me , the undeserving one .SlOkam 28:
The DhyAna SlOkam for Godhai
Sathamakha maNineelA chAru kalhAra hasthA
sthanabhara namithAngi saandhra vaathsalya sindhu:
aLakavinihithAbhi: sragbhirAkrushta NaathA
vilasathu hrudhi GodhA VishNuchitthAthmajA na:
(meaning): Godhai, who incarnated as the daughter of PeriyAzhwAr has the bluish hue of sapphire (indra neelam). In one of Her hand , She adorns a red lotus (Senkazhuneer malar= kalhAra pushpam or karuneithal malar)).She is slightly bent from the weight of Her lofty breasts . She overlooks all of our aparAdhams(trespasses) and showers us with Her matchless dayai. She removes the flower garlands worn on Her tresses and presents them to Her Lord and thereby brings Him under Her spell .May Godhai of these auspicious attributes reside in our hearts always!
SevA SwamigaL points out that Swamy Desikan always includes a dhyAna slOkam in his sthuthis. Examples are :KalyANAnAm avikala nidhi:(Sri Sthuthi), VyAkhyA mudhram (Sri HayagrIva SthOthram ) , VyAtanvanA ( Sri VaradarAja PanchAsath), icchA meena vihAra kacchabha (Dasaavathara Sthothram) .The most compassinate Acharyan , Swami Desikan wanted us to have the fruits of the recitation of the full sthuthi by reciting the dhyAna slOkam alone.
Regarding the other groups of words used in this dhyAna slOkam , the first paadham recognizes the deep bluish hue of Godhai originating from her close association with Her Karu muhil VaNNan , KaNNan ( Sathamakha maNi neelA ).
The second paadham is : "Sthana bhara namithAngi saandhra vaathsalya sindhu:". She is saluted as the ocean of deep vaathsalyam for us , Her children. One of the 32 saamudhrikA LakshaNams is saluted with the choice words: "sthana bhara namithAngi". In Sri Sthuthi , Sawmy Desiakn described Sri Devi standing slightly bent by the weight of Her sthanams( tanvI thungasthana bhara nathA). In an earlier slOkam of GodhA sthuthi itself , Swamy Desikan compared the loftiness of Her sthanams (kuchams) as "KuchayOrapi TungabhadhrA".
The third paadham is " alavinihithAbhi: SraghbhirAkrushta NaathA ". She wore first the flower garlands to check whether She was beautiful enough to be the consort of Her Lord and then presented those flower garlands to Him . With those flower garlands ,She "bound" Her Lord completely (kattuNNappattAn) and enjoyed Him .That is what ParAsara Bhattar says in his dhyAna slOkam:" svOcchishtAyAm srajinigalitham
(meaning): May this obesiance of ours last forever and ever to GodhAi , who forcibly won Her Lord's favours by binding Him with the garland worn and discarded by Her.
Swamy Deikan stops short and says : " aLaka vinihithAbhi: sragbhi: aakrushta NaathA" Once aakarshaNam is accomplished , then Her Lord becomes Her Paaratantryan(dependant). He is then totally under Her spell .
In the final paadham of this dhyAna slOkam , Swamy Desikan prays for Godhai to take permanent residence in OUR hearts. Instead of praying for Her residence in his heart (mama hrudhayam ), our most merciful AchAryan prays for Her vaasam in all of OUR hearts including his (na: hrudhi GodhA vilasathu). The key word therefore is "na:".
Phala sruthi SlOkam
ithi vikasitha bhakthE: utthithAm VenkatEsAth
Bahu guNa ramaNeeyAm vakthi GodhA sthuthim ya:
sa Bhavathi bahumAnya: SrimathO Rangabharthu:
CharaNa Kamala sEvAm SaasvathIm abhyupaishyan
Sri MuraLi Rangaswamy has described beautifully the purport of the last paadham of this Phala sruthi slOkam earlier today.
Swamy Desikan states that GodhA sthuthi rose from him as a result of fully blossomed Bhakthi for Her (Vikasitha BhakthE: utthitham). All sthOthrams of Swamy Desikan blossomed forth from his Bhakthi .For example , he says Sri Sthuthi arose from "upachitha Guru BhakthE:". Guru here does not mean AchAryan , but huge . In GodhA sthuthi , Swamy says that the flower of his Bhakthi has fully blossomed like the Senkuzhuneer Pushpam in Godhai's hastham.
SevA SwamigaL points out a subtle prayOgam of Swami Desikan , when he says in the second paadham , " Bahu guNa ramanIyAm VAKTHI GodhA sthuthim Ya:". With the use of "Ya: Vakthi" in his 29th slOkam , Swami Desikan according to the Desika Bhaktha Rathnam reminds us of Godhais words "ingu parisuraippAr" in Her 30th paasuram of ThiruppAvai. Swamy Desikan hints further that One will get the Kaimkarya Sri of nithya Sevai at the lotus feet of Sri RanganAthan, whether one understands the meaning of the slOkams of GodhA sthuthi or not. The mere recitation by One (Ya: vakthi) will confer such an exalted boon .That reciter will also become very dear to the Lord of Srirangam, the dearst consort of Godhai ( Ya: vakthi , Sa: Sreematha: Rangabharthu: bhaumAnya: bhavathi, Sa: Sreematha: Rangabharthu: SaasvathIm SaraNa Kamala sEvAm abhyupaishyathi)besides attaining Kaimkarya Poorthi.
Vikrama Varsha AadippUram season has been a blessed one for adiyEn in that Godhai blessed adiyEN to write about the anubhavam of Swami Desikan going back to seven hundred years. Hearty thanks are to Desika Bhaktha rathanm, SevA SwamigaL and Sri Vaikunta Vaasi , U.Ve.Oppiliappan Koil Srirama DesikAcchAr Swamy .
adiyEn's sister and her friends were blessed to recite Swamy Desikan's sthuthi on Godhai at Godhai's own ThirumALikai in front of the five PerumALs seated on GARUDAN saluted by Swamy Desikan in Sri Garuda PaanchAsath's FIFTH slOkam as " Saptha Svara Gathi " (NishAdha , Rishabha, GhAndhAra , Shadja , Madhyama , Dhaivatha ,Panchama svarams constituting Saama Vedam ).DhanyOsmi , DaasOsmi , AnugrihIthosmi!
Adiyen will conclude this series on GodhA sthuthi with a slOkam from SevA SwamigaL's sthothram on GOdhA:
kim Saasthram , kimu kaavya rathnam
athavaa bhakthi pradhAnA sthuthi:?
kim vaa naaDakamanyadEva
rachanam PourANikI kim kaThA?
aascharyaamala sEmushI vilasitham
kim vaaa rahasya thrayam ?
GodhA gIthamidham paDanthi
Bhuvi yE tE dhanyadhanyA janaa:
(meaning): Why (study ) Saasthrams or Kaavya rathnams or other sthOthrams laden with Bhakthi or PurANams or for that matter even the most auspicious and blemish-less Rahasya Thrayam? For the One who recites GodhA sthuthi given to us as our Kula dhanam, that blessed person becomes the wealthiest of the wealthy people on this earth. His Aisvaryam has no match.
Such indeed is the power of GodhA sthuthi!
Let us recite these 29 slOkams tomorrow and receive our ThAyAr's paripUrna anugrahms.
Godhai ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam,
Daasan, Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan