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Koodarai Vellum SEEr Govindan& Bhagavatha Kainkaryam

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Jan 11 1996 - 18:58:37 PST

Yuva Year, Dakshinaayanam, Hemantha Rutu,Dhanur Masam, Marghazi 27

Dear Memebrs of the Bhakthi Group:

In her 27th verse of Thiruppavai (Koodarai Vellum sEEr Govinda),
Gotha Piratti expresses her great joy over the acquirement of the 
boons that she and her freinds begged Lord Krishna to grant  them.
Now that she has BEEN  fully blessed by the Lord , she enters into 
a celebratory mood.She describes her plans for celebrating
his  glorious blessings  that made them realize their 
heart-felt desires.She says: " O Govinda! You have the benign
supermacy that lets you conquer all of your opponents.
 We shall get the Drum (Vrathopakaranam )and  we will
sing your glories. Thus, we get  the reward of great eclat and 
glory of all the worlds. We will adorn ourselves with every ornament.
We will wear new clothes and eat sweet rice prepared in milk overflowing 
with ghee, which will spill over up to our elbows as we  attempt to eat it.
THROUGH THE CONTAT WITH YOU AND THROUGH SERVICE TO YOU,
WE SHALL EVER BE UNITED WITH YOU AND THUS BECOME COOL 
(TRANQUIL AND CONTENTED ) AND JOYOUS".In the next two verses,
She explains the unbreakable relationship between her 
and the Lord this way:"None can untie or cut asunser the ties
 that hold us together. At this small hour of the dawn, we have
 come singing your glories.We desire to be with you
 forever -throughout the births, sevens of generations-as your kith and kin.
Bless us to perform all kinds of Kainkaryam (Thondu) to You and You alone.
May Thou rid us of all other  desires that will take us away from You. "

The joy of  a Bhagavatha (Thondar) and his or her exalted status is
celebrated here. Sri Shuddananda Bharathi summed up the purport of the 
29th verse of Thiruppavai as follows: " Let us always ,even unto our 7th birth
, be with Thee serving Thy will alone! Change all other  desires in us into
this unique aspiration to be Thy humble Servitors ". Sri Ranga Ramanuja Muni
of Srirangam, who wrote the commentaries for the Upanishads summed up 
his intrepretation in Sanskrit this way: " Ita: param Sarveshu Janmasu
Tvatswaamikaa Yeva Bhavaama: Tavaiva Kainkaryam Karavaama: Asmakam 
Vishayaanthara Spruhaam nivartaya ". Lord Narayana"s magnanimity and 
 benign supermacy gives the Kainkarya Saamrajya to those Bhagavathas,
who long for that boon .Sadguru Thayagaraja swamigal celebrated that Rama Bhakti
Saamrajyam in his Suddha Bangala Krithi this way: " The sight of those 
great souls ,who have been blessed with the kingdom of Rama Bhakti itself
confers
Brahmaanandam. This bliss does not admit of any describtion through words
(Eelagani Vivarimpa Lenu); It can only be realized by self-experience
 (Chaalaa Svaanubhava Vedhyameh). " Bhagavathas like Thyagaraja Swamigal
understood the value of Thondar Kuzham and the Sat sangam very well and
craved like Aandaal to be blessed with that boon. Few hundred Years before the
time of 
Saint Thyagaraja , our own Swami Desikan expressed his views to Sri Ranganatha 
in this manner:
NIRASTHA RIPU SAMBHAVEH KVACHANA RNGAMUKYEH VIBOH I
PARASPARA HIAISHINAAM PARISARESHU MAAM VARDHAYA  II

O Ranganatha! "Param iha Kshamam Praarthaya". From here on there is only one 
boon You can bless me with. That is what I long for! I want to spend the rest of
my 
days on your earth at a Kshethram like Srirangam, which abounds in Bhagavathas
deeply immersed in Kainkaryam to You and at the same time solicitious of each
other's
well being (Paraspara Hitaishinaam). Please bless me to be in the company of
these 
Bhagavatas until I reach your abode . " The greatness of Srivaishnava Thondars
and 
the extraordinary value of their Thondu is what  Swami Desikan celebrates here. 

Saint Thyagaraja understood this and celebrated the central doctrine of Sri
Vaishnavas
in his Entaro Mahaanubhavulu kriti set in Sri Ragam. The Symbolism of selecting
 Sri Ragam is transparent to us due to its  association with Maha Lakshmi.
Musically
 also the appropriateness of  the selection  of Sri Ragam for this Kriti can be
understood 
from the observations of an eminent Veenai Vidwan(Sri M.Nageswara Rao):" Sri
Ragam
raises Rishabha Svaram again from the shadow of the powerful Ghandaaram,
where it rested in the case of Varali  Pancha Ratnam. The Rishabham
of Sri Ragam ascends to its natural position and is present in its SIMPLEST ,
PUREST form , an unvaried tone freed from the curves and the implied
directionality,
which it carries in Naattai, Gowlai, Aarabhi and Varali. ..This total PURITY is
the 
melodic correlate of the silence of Nirvikalpa Samadhi and the Aanandam that is
associated 
with it". One can extrapolate and state that the Rishabam of Sri Ragam sounding
in any direction
(Yasyaam Yasyaam Disi Viharateh ) , will be equal in its blessings like the KaNN
Paarvai of
Periya Piratti . 

I will cover in the next posting the  Greatness of Thondars(Bhagavathas)
from the Vedic point of view and add the passages of the Sri Raga
 Pancha Ratna Krithis of Saint Thayagaraja ,
who came to be known as Nada Brahmaananda ,
 when he toook the Sanyasa Asrama 
during the final days of his life on Rama's earth to avoid another birth 
and thereby qualify himself for performing Kainkaryam in  Rama"s  Saamrajyam.

Sri AandaaL thiruvadigaleh Saranam,

Sadagopan