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Sri GodhA Sthuthi: part III (SlOkam 1)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Jul 04 2000 - 19:58:14 PDT

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 
fast approaching sounds of the mangaLa vaadhyams .

He was observing mounam (silence ) befititng
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 rerouted 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 . 

The first slOkam 

Sri VishNu chittha kula nandhana kalpavallIm 
  Sri RangarAja harichandhana yOga dhrusyAm
SaakshAth KshamAm karuNayA KamalAmivAnyAm
  GodhAm ananyasaraNa; SaraNam prapadhyE 

(meaning): Oh GodhE! adiyEn performs prapatthi
at Your sacred feet as one, who has no other recourse !
adiyEn has no one else for my protection . You are
the KalpakA creeper adorning the Lord standing as
the auspicious Harichandanaa tree in the flower
garden of the kulam of VishNucchitthar , Your father.
The darsanam of the celestial Harichandanaa tree 
united with You as the KalpakA creeper is a blessed 
sight to see . In Your limitless patience with
the aparAdhis , who transgress Your Lord's 
commands , You appear verily like BhUmi Devi ;
in Your limitless compassion , You resemble 
MahA Lakshmi Herself . AdiyEn offers my prapatthi
at Your sacred feet as the one , who has no
other means . 

The Inclusion of Sri Sabdham at the outset
Recognizing the most auspicious , unanticipated
occasion , Swami Desikan started the first slOkam 
with the parama mangaLa "Sri " sabdham (Sri VishNu
Chittha Kula--) .In the second line was also started 
with the "Sri" sabdham ( Sri RangarAja Harichandana--). 

The first word of this first slOkam is "SriVishNu"
and not plain "VishNu". Lord VishNu , who is never
without His consorts is what Swami had in mind . 
Desika Bhaktha Rathnam , Sri U.Ve.SevA SwamigaL
has explained the uniqueness of each of the Consorts 
of this VishNu NaarAyanan. MahA Lakshmi (Periya PirAtti ) 
blesses us with Her KaruNA katAkshams ; BhUmi Piraatti 
pleaded with Her Lord to bless us with a laghu upAyam
(easy means ) for our mOksham and received the revered
VarAha Charama slOkam ; Nappinnai PirAtti (NeeLA dEvi)
enchanted Her Lord so that His angry glances (nigraha
dhrushti) will not fall on us , who trespass His 
commands repeatedly; ANDAL has the uniqueness of 
performing upadEsams for us , preparing us to
come near Her Lord and reminding Him of His sworn 
duties to save us inspite of our aparAdhams ,
once we perform prapatthi.

The Choice of VishNu naamam following "Sri" nAmam

The first slOkma starts this way :" Sri VishNu chittha 
Kula nandhana kalpavallIm ". Let us reflect on the choice
of "VishNu " and "VishNu Chittha " by Swami Desikan
at the very beginning of this sthuthi .

ParAsara Bhattar has reminded us as to who is
VishNu and what His significance is in the first two 
verses of his ashta slOki , where he elaborates on 
the greatness of AshtAksharam :

"akArArthO VISHNU: jagadh-udaya-rakshA-praLaya kruth"
--First line of Ashta slOki(1)

(Meaning ): The Supreme Lord , who creates , protects
and destroys the Universe is VISHNU and He is 
denoted/dscribed by the letter "A" of PraNavam. 
He is therefore the "akaarArthakan " , the meaning of 
the first letter of Pranavam .

In his second slOkam of ashta slOki ,ParAsara
Bhattar describes his relationship to this 
Sarva SEshi as His sEsha bhUthan and states that 
he is not for himself , but is for performing 
kaimkaryams to " Sri VishNu" at all times ,
places and states as the most natural thing to do
(reminiscent of ANDAL's ThiruppAvai Vaakyam:
" unakkE naamAtccheyvOm ".

akArArAthAyaiva svamahamaTha mahyam na nivahA:
--ashta slOki : slOkam 2 passage

(Extended Meaning ):  adiyEn , the meaning of makAram , 
the second letter of PraNavam  (MakArArthan)is 
the sEsha bhUthan of Sri VishNu and no one else . 
The relationship between Sri VishNu , the akAra -
vaachyan and adiyEn the Jeevan ( the MakAra Vaachyan) 
is denoted by the third letter of PraNavam , 
the UkAram , which states that the sambhandham (bond)
between the Lord , the Sarva Seshi and the Jeevan,
the sEsha BhUthan is inseperable and that bond does not
belong to anyone else.

Such are the deep meanings that come to adiyEn's  
mind , when adiyEn reflects on the choice of
"Sri" padaham and "VishNu" naamam as the first words
chosen by Swami Desikan in his first slOkam .For
additional elaborations on the significance of
the name "VishNu " and what it stands for ,
the reader is referred to the articles of
Sri U.Ve.MukkUr LakshmI NrusimhAcchAr Swamy
about Manthra Raaja padha SthOthram that are 
being serialized in Sri Nrusimha PriyA magazine.

Sri VishNucchittha Kulam

VishNucchitthar is the name chosen by the AzhwAr ,
who is the father of ANDAL .He gave us ThiruppallANNDu,
where he wished benedictions to the Lord out of
his pongum parivu . VishNu and the chinthanais
about His anantha KalyANa guNams was always on
his chittham (mind) and hence he was known as 
VishNucchitthan . 

The name also in a generic sense represents all
BhaagavathALs including the AzhwArs , who are 
said to belong to the anjukkudi. These all are 
VishNucchitthALs . ANDAL was the santhathi 
(descendant ) of this anjum Kudi , the kulam
that is afraid of trespassing the injunctions of
Sriman NaarAyaNan and commititng any apachArams
to His bhaagavathALs.That is an anjum kudi 
(God-fearing group ).ANDAL was the unique 
progeny of this anjum kudi.Sri SevA Swami 
points out that these VishNucchitthAs have
on their mind the commands of GeethAchAryan :

mayyEva mana aadhathsva , mayi budhdim nivEsaya,
nivasishyasi mayyEva , atha Urdhvam na samsaya:
Geethai: 12.8
( Focus your mind on Me alone;and let your
buddhi enter into Me. Then, you will live
in Me alone;there is no doubt about this.    

manmanA bhava madh bhakthO madh yaaji maam namaskuru
mAmEvaishyasi yukthvaivamAthmAnam mathparAyaNa;
--Geethai : 9.34
(Focus Your mind on Me, be My devotee ,be My 
worshipper. Bow down to Me .Engaging your mind in
this manner and regarding Me as the supreme goal ,
you will come to Me ).   

sarva dharmAn partithyjya maamEkam charaNam vraja
aham thvA sarva paapEbhyO MokshayishyAmi maa sucha:
Geethai: 18.66
( Completely relinquishing all dharmAs , seek Me
alone for refuge. I will release you from all sins.
Grieve not .

VishNucchittha Kula Nandhana KalpavallI :ANDAL

It is in this VishNucchitha Kulam , ANDAL incarnated.
She appeared as an infant with illustrious beauty 
under a TuLasi tree in VishNucchitthar's nandhavanam 
(Flower garden) on an AadippUram day. Sri VishNu-
chitthatr was a god-fearing Munkudumi ChOzhiyar and
Saama SaakhA adhyAyi ( Saama veda Kulam ). Kulam is
very important to ladies. SeethA PirAtti as the avathAram
of BhUmi davi had described Herself earlier as:
" Kulam samprApthayA PuNyam kulE mahathi Jaathayaa "
Mahathi kulam is Janaka Raaja Kulam for SitA PirAtti.
here , it is Sri VishNucchittha Kulam . The whole
Kulam is a nandhavanam (NandhayathI ithi nandhanam).
She became the kalpavallI , which delighted that
whole VishNucchittha Kulam .She was the wish granting
KalpakA tree in that auspicious VishNucchittha Kulam .

Thus ends the salutation to GodhA in the first line of
the first slOkam . Swami Desikan goes on to salute 
ANDAL's other kalyANa guNams in the other three 
paadhams of the slOkam set in Vasantha TilakA metre.
We will cover those salutations in the next posting.

ANDAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
Daasan , V.SatakOpan  




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