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GodhA Sthuthi: Part IX: SlOkam 6

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 19:05:46 PDT

Namo Narayanaya !

Dear BhakthAs:

In the fifth slOkam , Swami Desikan described
the gains obtained by us from the PaamAlais
( 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.

The Sixth SlOkam :

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 .

SoodikkodutthaL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
PaadikkodutthAL ThiruvadigLE SaraNam ,
adiyEn, RaamAnuja Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil SatakOpan   


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