You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : September 1999

Sri KrishNa BhakthAs /NaadhOpAsakAs : Part II

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 19:04:22 PDT

Dear Sri KrishNa BhakthAs :

In this posting , adiyEn would cover the life 
and contributions of Sri NarAyaNa Theertha considered
as an aparAvathAram (reincarnation ) of Sri JayadEva Kavi.
He is the author of the most beautiful Sri KrishNa LilA 
TarangiNi ( the river of the LilAs of Sri KrishNA ).
He is also the author of another Naatakam known as 
" PaarijAthApaharaNam ". This deals with the story of
Sri KrishNA  stealing  the PaarijAthA tree from Indra"s 
nandhavanam to please His dear Consort, SatyabhAmA .
SriNaaraayaNa Theethar's sishya paramparai includes 
Sonti Venkata Subbiah and Sonti Venakata RamaNayyA , 
the Guru of Saint ThyagarAjA (1767-1847 A.D). 

Sri NaarAyana Theerthar lived in the early part of
the 17th century .He hailed from a family of Smaartha 
Telegu Brahmins of Tanjore District, who had migrated 
during the time of Muslim invasions of Deccaan . They 
settled down in the villages of Cauveri delta and were 
grat Vedic Scholars . ShyAmA Saastrigal is a member of
one such telegu family and Saint ThyagarAjA hails from
another such family .

Theethar was proficient in Sanskrit already at an early stage in
his life and was also an expert in Karnatic Music and Bharatha- 
Naatyam . He was a keen student of Srimadh Bhaagavatham
as well .He was a grahasthaa , who had to take aapath sanyAsam,
when he thought that the floods of the river Cauveri were 
going to put an end to his life prematurely . 

Once he swam across Cauveri to reach his father-in-law's 
house , where his wife was staying . A swift current 
and a whirl pool knocked him off his feet and 
dragged him down as he was in the middle of the river . 
He was a man of high spiritual disposition and he feared 
that he would lose his life and impulsively , he took 
Aapath sanyAsam using the procedures known to him .
These procedures required him to throw away his sacred 
thread , pluck a hair off his head in lieu of complete
shaving of his head and  utter the PrEksha manthram . 
Soon after this , the swift current pushed him towards 
the bank and he held onto some bush and stumbled out safe .

As he walked towards his father-in-law's home to have 
a reunion with his wife , he was overcome by many emotions . 
He was deeply in love with his young  wife and at the same time ,
the  thought of having taken sanyAsam bothered him .He 
convinced himself that nobody knew about his entering 
the TuriyAsramam thru the Aapath sanyAsam route and hence ,
he can get back to his normal , erstwhile life .

He entered his father-in-law's house and was greeted by
his wife, who was startled to find that her husband
had acquired a divya tEjas as a mahA purushan . She
prostrated before him and was confused about the changes 
in her husband's countenance . She went inside and 
consulted with her parents. They came out and could 
not see any changes in their son-in-law. Only to his dear
wife's eyes , Sri NaarayaNA appeared like an unapproachable 
MahA purushar with a divya tEjas. The wife was frightened .
The parents pressed the son-in-law for any recent happenings
and the son-in-law confided in them about his taking
SanyAsam under duress . NaarAyaNA recognized the greatness
of his wife, who could sense that transformation in him .
The situation was awkward and he had no choice except 
to leave his home and follow his yathi dharmam .He became
a wandering ministrel and spent some time at Challapalle,
KrishNa district. Here , he composed many krithis in
praise of VedAdri Narasimhan , the presiding deity of 
this sthalam . He moved onto Thiruppathi .On the way , 
he was overcome by severe stomach pain and prayed to
Sri VenkatEsa BhagavAn for relief . 

In his dream ,Sri VenkatachalAdhipathi commanded him 
to go to a village near ThiruvayyAru , where an amsam of 
His had established Himself , to get relief form his pain . 
Next morning , Sri NaarAyaNa Theethar started his trek 
south and arrived at the banks of Cauveri few days
later . During his sleep that night in a PiLLayAr koil ,  
he had another dream in which the Lord told him 
to follow two wild boars that would appear 
next morning after his morning prayers 
at the village of NadukkAvEri . 

The Sun rose . After anushtAnam in front of VinAyakA ,
the sanyAsi saw the trunk of VinAyakA pointing
west ward and he saw the two wild boars in front
of the temple to lead him to the temple of VenakatesvarA
in the village of VarahUr . NaarAyana Theerthar followed
the fast moving boars , which stopped at VarahUr temple front
and then disappeared . Once the saint entered the temple and 
had the darsanam of the Lord, his stomach pain vanished .

>From then on , he did not move away from the temple 
and completed the epic dance drama , Sri KrishNa LilA 
TarangiNi ,the essence of Dasama skandham of Srimadh 
BhAgavatham there . He danced in front of the Lord while
singing the krithis that he had just composed .The AnjanEyar
archA serving Sri VenkatEsA kept time with His cymbals .
When AnjanEyar failed to keep time , the saint recognized
that those krithis were not acceptable to the lord and 
cast them aside .As a result of this selective process,
the Sri krishNa LilA TarangiNi is fragmentary in covering 
the story line followed by Srimadh BhAgavatham. At the conclusion
of the composition of the Sri KrishNa LilA TarangiNi ,
the saint had the divya darsanam of Sri KrishNA in 
ThirukkalyANa Kolam and he then decided not to
go on with any further compositions .He taught 
the TarangiNi to his students and conducted Sri KrishNa 
Jayanthi every year .Even today , this tradition is continued
in VarahUr and the TarangiNi is enacted during the Jayanthi
for our Lord KrishNA .

The KrishNa TarangiNi has 12 cantos just like the 12 
sargAs of Sri JayadEvA's Gita Govindham .These are:

1. Sri KrishNa PrAdhurbhAva Varnanam ,
   MangaLaacharaNam : Birth of the Lord in 
   His uncle KamsA's prison .

2. Bala LilA VarNanam : PutanA samhAram,
   YamaLArjuna Bhanjanam , Visvaroopa darsanam
   for YasOdhA , the Mother , when she asked her
   child to open its mouth to test whether He had
   eaten mud .

3. Govatsa Paalana VarNanam : Slaying of AghAsura,
   BrahmA's stealing of the cows , The chastised
   Brahma Devan's praise of the Lord .

4. GopAlana VarNanam : protection of the cows as 
   the divine cowherd , KaaLiya Mardhanam .

5. Gopi VasthrApaharaNam and GovardhanOddhAraNam 

6. Gopi SamAgamana VarNanam : Spiritual communion of
   the Gopis at BrindhAvanam .

7. Raasa KrIdA varNanam : The ankle bells of the Lord
   were heard from inside the garbhagraham , when 
   the Saint Composed the krithis of this sargam .

8. RadhA KrishNa samvAdham : VislEsham and samslEsham .

9. MadhurA PravEsa VarNanam : AkrurA's Misison 
   and the Lord's entry in to the City of MadhurA .

10.Kamsa Nirharnam 

11.DvArApathi PravEsa varNanam : UddhavA's mission ,
   Gopi's sororws , defeat of JarAsandhA , Blessing of 
   MuchukundhA and the Lord's entry of DwArakai .

12.Sri KrishNa-RukmiNi KalyANa MahOthsavam at DwArakai.

The saint was blessed with the vision of the ThirukkalyANam
and after witnessing this scene , he entered Jeva samAdhi
at Thiruppanthrutthi under a Mango Tree , whose branches
are thick in a direction over the samAdhi of the saint 
so that the Sun's hot rays do not fall on his samAdhi.
many miracles are happening even today at this site 
(BrindhAvanam for the saint ). 

Sri KrishNAya Thubhyam nama :
Daasan , Oppiliappan koil Varadachari SadagOpan