Gangashtakam and Govinda Pattabhishekam

11 Dec

The eleventh of December 2015 was very auspicious indeed as it marked the ‘Karthika Ammavasya’ which is very propitious for Bhagavatas. One of the proponents of Bhajana Sampradaya, Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Swamigal, out of his divine grace and compassion, made the river Ganges flow down to the south.  River Ganges by flowing in the well of Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Swamigal’s home blessed the whole Bhagavata community. On the Shardha day of his ancestors, he fed a wayfarer with the food that was prepared for the Shardha and the brahmanas which in turn angered the Brahmanas and they  failed to perform the Shardha. The divine lordships, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva themselves partook the offerings of the Shardha. The brahmanas were still displeased that Sri Sridhara had committed a mistake (apachara), and wanted him to undergo expiation by taking a dip in river Ganges. Sri Sridhara Ayyaval, composed Gangastakam, which consists of eight verses invoking river Ganges.  He spoke to the Brahmanas with all humility as compassionate souls, who out of their mercy have asked them to do a repentance and expiation (prayaschitta) by taking a dip in river Ganges.  The beauty of Gangashtakam is that he puts himself in a lowly state. In the first verse, he says , ‘I have been chanting the divine names of Lord Shiva, and the result of Shiva nama is showing itself”. This is in accordance with Bhagavata Dharma that when one chants the divine names, he first experiences a transition within himself.


Evam vratah sva priya nAma kIrtyA jAtAnurAgo drutha cittha uccaiḥ

hasaty atho roditI rauti gAyaty unmAda van nṛutyati loka bAhyaḥ

kham vAyum agnim salilam mahIm cha jyotImsi sattvAni disO drumAdIn

sarits amudrAms cha hareḥ sarIram yat kim cha bhUtam praṇamed ananyaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.40-41]


When one chants the divine name, he starts to experience a transformation within himself ‘jAtAnurAgo drutha cittha uccaiḥ’.  The bhakti [Anuragam]will  begin to spring in one’s heart, which will exhibit through the senses, where one will sing in joy and dance in ecstasy.   This is the first step and as the bhakti progresses, one will perceive Lord in the entire world. Sri  Ayyaval says that with his incessant chanting of Lord Shiva’s divine names, he can only see Lord Shiva everywhere. He says that he saw Lord Shiva in the beggar and so he offered the prasad, and so he asks ‘Is there anything wrong in what I did?

shambO bhavan nAma  nirantha rAnu santhAna bhAgyena bhavantha meva |

yadhEva sarvathra thathAnthyajEdhya pashyanthyahO kOthra kruthOparAgaha ||

He then says in the second verse that the best atonement for any transgression with respect to the ShrAddha ceremony is taking a dip in river Ganges, however  by merely chanting ‘Gange’ the sins are absolved . He sadly says that no one believes that chanting the divine names and simply proclaim it as ‘ArthavAdha’. He then asks if he cannot take this recourse in this situation?

asthvEsha manthuhu pithru yagna nishtE gangAplavO yO vihithOpachithyaihi |

dhoorAthu thannAma japEna shuddihi na syadhu katham mae smrithi artha vAdhaha ||

He ponders within himself and thinks may be he doesn’t believe in Nama Sankirtan.  He compares himself  to Trisanku. He says that if I had strong belief and conviction in Lord’s names, then I don’t have to pay heed to people who say Nama is Arthavadham.  He wishes to have that strong conviction in Bhagavan Nama and not caught in the midst of all rights and rituals. This precept is again mentioned in Bhagavatha Dharma by  Karabhajanar. In Krishnakarnamrutham, Sri Leela Sukar also proclaims this beautiful precept – ‘SandhyAvandhana badram asthu bhavathE’  where he says that since he has tight grip on the lord’s divine names, there is absolutely no need to catch hold onto any other karma.

Sri Ayyaval in his third verse ponders as to whether he has strong faith on Nama but for which he is getting caught in the Karma and questions to how he will be alleviate himself from the thrisanku swarga?

thvan nAma nishtA na hi thAvathO me shaddhA yathaha karmasu na pradhagdhA |

thrI shangavam mae pashu pantha rAyaha muchyeya thasmAth katham Artha bandhO  ||

He then looks compassionately at the Brahamanas  and surrendered unto Lord Shiva and  said that it may be your wish that the Shraddha should not take place and so be. But what about the Brahmanas who are fasting since yesterday and that they will not partake food anywhere else today.   Sri Ayyaval calls the Brahamanas as Sharahalus and Dayalus and if the Sharddha doesn’t take place, it will be an apachara for not serving them food.

yadhadhya  the shrAdhva vinashtirishtA kOham thathOn yachharithum samarthaha .

shArdhe vruthaha poorva dhinO pavAsAhA nAn yathra bhunji yuhu yidham thu kidhyE  ||

Bhagavatam says -‘yatra dandena shudhyathi‘ . He hails the Brahmanas as Dayalus who want him to undergo the expiation in order to be purified.

shrAdhvAlavaha shrAdha vIgAtha bIthvA svAthmOparOgam vignayya dhIraha |

Yath prochu rathrapachitham mahanthaha thathrochitham yadhyayA videhI  ||

Sri Ayyaval then looks at himself and says, ‘Oh Siva, all I know is to chant your name – Gangadahara’. He says he doesn’t even go to Kaveri river to take bath because as soon I set out, I get entangled in worldly thoughts and I stop chanting the divine names. That is verily why I take bath in my own well (koopa).   When I don’t even know Kaveri, how can I know Ganges.

gangAdhara tvad bhajanAntharAya bithvA gruhE koopa kruthavagAha |

jAnena na thirthAntharam adhya gangAyAm aAsAdhayEyam katham Artha bandhO ||

I am not a Tapsvi like Sagara or Bhagiratha who prayed for Ganges to come. I also don’t know who Jahnu is. Jahnu was the great sage who drank Ganges  and spit it out of his ears and Ganges became Jahnavi. I am not Brahma who can ordain you to release Ganges from your matted hair and lo the ganges flow down to the earth.

nAham thapasvi sagaranva vAyaha jAnena na jahanuhu charathi kvavEthi |

shambhO jatAjOta mapAvru nushvaethyamyarthane nAlamayam varAkaha ||

I am a normal being and Oh Shiva, your divine name Gangadhara is my only refuge and I am extremely confident that it will absolve my worldly problems. As he kept on chanting ‘Gangadhara Gangadhara Gangadhara’, he saw Ganges coming in his own well. Oh Lo! Look at Ganges who out of her compassion flows in the well. Akin to Gajendra, Sri Ayyaval prays for the prosperity for the entire mankind.

gangAdharAkyA gathirathra nanyA thAmAshrayE sangkata-mOchanAya |

hantha pravAhaha katham athra koopae vispoorjathIshaha kalu the prasannaha ||

As he kept on chanting ‘Gange Gange’, he was not inundated by the waters, but flooded in Lord’s compassion. The water of the Ganges has flooded the well and flowing out and he asked for a boon for Ganges to remain there in the well forever and thus be a solace for the posterity and all the Bhagavatas who come to take a bath in this well on the auspicious day of Karthika Ammavasya.

gangEthi gangEthi harathi grunhan aAplAvithOham dayayA porArehe |

kupOthi thOyam karunA prahavAhaha gangAshvi rAyAthra janAn punAthu ||

Sri Ayyaval was verily Srikantam (Lord Shiva); ‘Srikantam iva bhAshvantham shiva nama parayanam shreyase gurum ashraye‘ .

Sri Narayananji from Boston continued with his beautiful exposition of Govardhana Leela. The beauty of the lord being crowned with the beautiful name ‘Govinda’ , verily shows the compassion of Lord Krishna – ‘rakshisyati iti vishwasahaand ‘gothrupthva varanam’. 6 different precepts of Sharanagathi are completely seen in Gopas and Gopis.  They surrendered unto the lord, when they  were trembling in cold (seedarthaha) and wanted protection from that and surrendered unto Krishna as Govinda.

‘gopah gopyascha seedharthaha govindam sharanam ayuhu ‘

They had all the lakshanas of Sharanagathi. They had Krishna as the only refugee and were completely confident that he will protect them. The lord witnessed this and immediately lifted the mountain in order to protect them.

tasmAn mach charaṇam goshtam man nAtham math parigraham

gopAye svAtma yogena so yam mE vrata Ahitah   [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.15]


The lord ordained the residents of Gokula to prepare different kind of rice items, dishes with dals, payasam, savories from rice flour (murrukku), appam. The lord being ‘akila kaladi gurunanartha’, is very conversant in cooking and he himself gave the menu for Govindha Pooja


tasmAd gavAm brAhmaṇAnAm adrEs chArabhyatAm makhah

ya indra yAga sambhArAs tair ayam sAdhyatAm makhah

pachyantAm vividhAh pAkAh sUpAntAh pAyasAdayah

SamyAvApUpa shashkulyah sarva dohas cha gruhyatAm  [[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.25-26]

Sri Vallabhacharya  analyzes this phrase ‘sUpAntAh pAyasAdayah’ that the lord ordained them to begin with payasam and end with dishes made with dhal items. The lord not only gives advice on what dishes to prepare but also how to prepare them. The reason the lord gives instructions to first make payasam is that it takes a long time for it be prepared and to make dhal related items at the end. This bhava is just a sample to demonstrated that the lord is indeed a connoisseur of culinary art.  This can be viewed in another way. One needs to  first cook dishes that has to be offered to Devas and Bhagavan and secondly cook food-items that has to be offered to Sadhus and finally make dishes that can be served for the common man.


Then the lord ordains the Gopas to circumambulate the Govardhana hill and offer all the offerings to the hill.

tasmai namO vraja janaih saha chakra AtmanAtmane

ahO pashyata sailOsau rUpI no anugraham vyadhAt [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.36]


Suddenly Lord Krishna took the unprecedented form of a big mountain and partook all the food offerings.

krishnas tva anyatamam rUpam gopa vishrambhanam gatah

sailo smIti bhruvan bhUri balim Adad bruhad vapuh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.35]


The Gopas and Gopis totally believed that it was indeed the mountain who is eating the food and joyfully offered all the food items. Meanwhile, Lord Indra who was waiting for his share of food-items became furious ordered heavy rains to pour down in Gokula. Everyone took refuge in Krishna and he protected them by lifting the Govardhana mountain. He assured them by saying ‘mA baihI’.  The lord took care of all of them and no one felt any pain anymore. It rained heavily for seven days. After the rains stopped, the lord kept back the mountain in the same place.


bhagavAn api tam sailam sva sthAnE pUrva vat prabhuh

pashyatAm sarva bhUtAnAm sthApayAm Asa lIlayA [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.28]


It was indeed lord’s divine play not only when he lifted the mountain but also when he placed it back . Everyone went back home happily not because they were not drenched in the rain or for Krishna protecting them but they now had another leela of the lord to reminisce all their lives.


tato nuraktaih pashupaih parishritO rAjan sva goshtam sa balo vvrajad dhariḥ

tathA vidhAny asya krutAni gopikA gAyantya Iyur muditA hṛudi-sprusaH [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.33]


Everyone in Gokula was truly happy because they could now fondly call the lord as ‘Giridhari’ and ‘Govinda Giridhari’. They could perceive Radha Devi’s friend Chamapakalatha coming down as Meera Bhai and singing the divine glories of  the lord as Giridhari.

Everyone in Gokula were wonderstruck on the lord’s divine play of lifting the mountain. They started to reminisce the lord’s divine plays right from how he drank the poison and the life of Putana and all his other plays all the way to his naming ceremony. They fondly recollected how Garga named him ‘Krishna’ and called the verses from Garga as Garga Geetham.


yah sapta hAyano bAlah karenaikena lIlayA

katham bibhrad giri varam pushkaram gajarAd iva [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.3]


tokenAmIlitAkshena pUtanAyA mahaujasah

pItah stanah saha prAnaih kAleneva vayas tanoh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.4]


iti nanda vacah shrutvA garga gItam tam vrajaukasah

muditA nandam Anarcuh krishnam cha gata vismayAh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.16]


The residents of Gokula realized that the rains were sent by Indra and it is not a feat possible by normal mortals to lift the Govardhana mountain. They then started to perceive Krishna as a divine soul.  Sage Suka does a beautiful Mangalasasanam on Lord Krishna as to how he culled the ego of Indra.


deve varshati yajna viplava rhushA vajrAsma varsAnilaih

sIdat pAla pashu striyAtma sharanam drishtvAnukampy utsmayan

utpAtyaika karena sailam abalo lIlocchilIndhram yathA

bibhrad goshtham apAn mahendra-mada-bhit prIyAn na indro gavAm  [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.25]


All the Gopas and Gopis came and joyfully narrated the events to Nanda Baba and he acknowledged them and inturn mentioned that he knew all about it and reminisced what ever Garga had mentioned about Lord Krishna-‘narayana samO gunaih’ and Krishna’s naming ceremony events.

It was then the turn of Lord Indra to come down. He first sent Surabhi, the cow, ‘ Govardhane drithE sailE’ , who saw that the entire cowherd was protected by Krishna. Then Indra came down. Generally, Indra’s crown’s shines so brightfully akin to hundred sun-rays. The crown touched the holy feet of Lord Krishna as soon as it came in the divine contact of Lord Krishna’s feet, the crown indeed was blessed with Lord’s Tejas and hence began to glow like sunshine.  Vedanta Desika goes a step forward and says that it was Paduka’s tejas that was imparted to Indra’s crown.

viviktha upasangamya vrIdItah kruta helanah

pasparsha pAdayor enam kirItenArka varchasA [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.2]

He came with his face covered due to shame. – ‘drushta shruthA nu bhAvOsya’

Until now, Indra had only heard about the glories of Lord Krishna. Now, whatever he had witnessed whatever he had seen and came to  terms with the fact that Krishna is not a normal person ; ‘krishnasya amitha tejasaha’.

Indra was absolved of his ego that he was the ruler of the three worlds and fell at the feet of the lord and began to speak:

vIshuddha sattvam tava dhAma shAntam tapO mayam dhvasta rajas tamaskam

mAyA mayo ya guṇa sampravAho na vidyate te grahanAnubandhah [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.4]

Indra says to Krishna, ‘Oh Krishna, you never get angry  because  the two qualities ,rajas and thamas are verily the reasons for anger are completely bereft in you. ‘Poornam brahma sannadhanam’ has indeed taken a sattva guna and come down as Krishna. He also says that anger is related to Maya. You only punish at times to establish dharma.  You don’t punish because of anger.’

When Indra showered the rains, Krishna could have immediately stripped off the power from Indra. The reason he didn’t do so was because, Indra was an epitome of Kriya and hence the lord had to do a Kriya in order to subdue Indra’s ego. The lord countered Indra directly  to establish Bhagavata Dharma.

Indra then refers to the lord as Pitha (father), Guru and ruler of the entire earth and that take a form to punish. Here Indra refers to the Dashavataram .

The first Purusha avatar of the lord is considered as the father. Matsya avatar is the form of the lord where he is a Guru ‘paramO guruhu’.  The other incarnations of the lord like Koorma and Varaha are indeed to protect the earth,’jagathathma dIshaha’.  Narasimha and Vamana avatars of the lord are to punish and goes to the extent of killing Hiranyakashipu and punishing Bali.

The ten vitals of Lord Indra became his ten slokas in praise of the lord. The four Purusharthas and six divine qualities which he had possessed earlier and in-turn lost them due to his ego eventually became the ten slokas in praise of the lord.

yaE madh vidhAjnA jagad Isha mAninas tvAm vIkshaya kAle bhayam Asu tan madam

hithvArya mArgam prabhajanty apasmayA IhA khalAnAm api te anushAsanam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.7]

Lord Indra said that it is my ego that the lord enacted this leela to subdue his ego.  Indra did a retrospective analysis for the shoot up of his ego and verily attributed to his wealth (Aishwaryam).

sa tvam mamaIshvarya mada plutasya krutAgasas tE vidushah prabhAvam

kshantum prabhO thArhasi mUdha cEthasO maIvam punar bhUn matir Isha mE sathI  [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.8]

Indra hails lord’s compassion to punish him in order to subdue his pride.

tavAvathAro yam adhokshajeha bhuvo bharAnAm uru bhAra janmanAm

chamu pathInAm abhavAya deva bhavAya yushmac charanAnuvartinAm [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.9]


The lord came down to remove the Asuras who were the burden on the earth.  The lord prostrated to the lord and said  that now being egotic, he was also a burden on the earth and instead of removing him, the lord removed his ego thus reducing the burden of the earth.

Indra finally apologized to the lord that out of his severe anger , pride and ignorance, he caused the entire destruction of entire Gokula.  He then mentioned that the lord’s determination was greater than his pride and anger and corrected him thus vanquishing his pride.

Indra surrendered to the lord and beheld Krishna as Ishwara, Guru and Deivam.

The lord then replied tersely in four slokas to Indra’s stuthi. He imparted four precepts in the four slokas. He blessed Indra in the first sloka  and in the second sloka he told Indra the reason for stopping Indra Yaga. He explained how Indra’s pride was nulled in the third sloka and in the fourth sloka the lord showers his grace on Indra.

The lord beautifully clarified that when he punishes someone it is not that he is angry with that person but only because of his compassion. He ordained Indra to go back and continue his work bereft of any pride.  After Indra departed, Surabhi came and surrendered unto the lord and all of them did a beautiful Pattabhishekam . Surabhi brings her milk and baths Krishna in it, Airavatha brings Akasha Ganga and sprayed it on Krishna and everyone crowned Krishna with a beautiful name called ‘Govinda’. The lord was showered with different kinds of flowers, by different deities (Devas, Thumbaurus, Gandarvas, Kinaras, Siddhasm Charanas and Narada)

indrah surarsibhih sAkam chOditO deva mAtrubhih

abhyasinchata dAsArham govinda itI chAbhyadhAt [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.23]

The satsang concluded with prayers to Govindha to subdue all the pride which is the source of all sufferings in this mundane world and that he delivers us from the sufferings and bless us with Nama ruchi and bhakti.


Govardhana Lila

4 Dec

The first sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam calls everyone to meditate on the supreme truth-’sathyam param dhImayhi’. The purport of meditation (dhyAnam) is to control the mind and dhArana is holding the mind and taking control of the mind. In the  realm of Ashtanga Yoga, the first four steps are about controlling the body by leading a principled life,  following proper rules, controlling the breath [pranA] and mind.

Generally, mind can be defined as a collection of thoughts. When the thoughts go astray, it is difficult to control the mind. Collecting all the thoughts together and fixing it at one point is dhArana.  Akin to how an animal is caught by catching holding of its legs, the mind is controlled through the senses which are the legs of the mind. By tying the five  sense organs , the mind can be easily arrested. Srimad Bhagavatam verily acknowledges this as the means to completely subjugate the mind in the third sloka. The senses act based on the mind and the past vasanas. Controlling the tongue is indeed very arduous when compared to controlling the other senses since the impressions of the vasanas related to the tongue are very strong.  Srimad Bhagavatam in eleventh canto proclaims that one can be considered a winner if he/she can control the tongue-  ‘Jitam sarvam jitam rasae”. Controlling the sense of sight is not easy as well.  On the other hand, controlling the ears are very easy and the easiest way to control the ears is to pour the divine nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam thereby the mind also gets instantly arrested and tie down thereby resulting in the meditation of the Lord ‘sathyam param dheemayi” instantly (thakshanaath). The first sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam talks about the sadhana and the third sloka shows the means to do the sadhana. Once the nectar entered the ears, it yearns for more and more-’bhuvi bhavukaaha’. By the immense grace we bestowed with satsangs almost every day and the word ‘muhuraho’ is truly true for all of us. When listening to Krishna Katha, it is indeed ‘Nithya Nuthana’ which is refreshing and enjoyable every time we get to hear the expositions. Bhagavatam says-’Aklishta Krishnam Aklishta Karinam’, where the Lord doesn’t perform any of his divine plays with any pomp or pride and hence it is so enjoyable. The leelas appear like a sleight of hand.  The way  Sage Sukha recounts the Krishna Leelas with King Parikshit transports all the listeners to Vrindavan the very moment.  Bhagavatam is entwined with divinity and divine love right from the beginning to the end. When Sage Narada explains the form of the Lord to Dhruva, the physical form of the Lord is described bringing out the compassion of the Lord. The Lord has to be enjoyed in his form along with his divine leelas, his compassion (karunyam) and his greatness (Mahatmyam). When Sage Suka narrates Krishna Leela, at every point he shows the compassion, the greatness of Krishna. Sage Suka transforms himself as Yashoda when narrating Damodara Leela. He specifically describes three beautiful leelas of the Lord after Venu Gitam. The order in which he narrates these three leelas is also very interesting.  The first one is that of Gopis doing Pooja to Kathyayani Devi and the Lord blessing (Anugraha) the Gopis.  The second one is the YagnaPatni Uddharanam and the third one being Govardhana Uddharanam.

In Vritrasura’s Chatur sloki,

Ajatha pakshad iva maataram khagah stanyam yata  vatsadhara ksudhartha: |
Priyam priyeva vyushitam vishanna Manoravindaasksha didrukshate tvaam” || (6:11:25)


Vritrasura refers to three kinds of bhaktas and starts from a bhakta who knows that his ultimate goal is to attain the Lord but is not aware of the path akin to the fledglings who want to be with their mother but helpless since they have no wings yet. The second class of devotees are the ones who also want to attain the Lord and also know the path but are tied down by bonds of relationship and are unable to break them and reach out to the Lord akin to the calf which is tied to a pole. It verily knows that it has to go to its mother to drink the milk when its hungry but it is unable to cut asunder the rope and reach out to its mother. The third class of devotees are that of Sadhus and Jnanis who yearn for the Lord’s divine love and compassion and pine for the Lord to come and take them.


But the order in which Sage Suka places these three leelas of the bhagwan is just reversed when compared to Vritrasura’s sloka. The Gopi Vastra Uddharana is placed first. The Gopis are epitome devotees of the Lord and are Jnani. The Gopis aren’t the “Arivondru illatha aayar chirumiyar”. who are very much in terms to the fact that the one standing in front of them is the in-dweller in everyone’s heart. Inspite of knowing this, the Gopis undergo the Kathyayani Devi Pooja praying to the Lord to protect them verily as their husbands – “pathim me kuruthe namaha”.  The Gopis pine for the Lord to take control of their life even though they know that the Lord is with them all the time.

Na khalu gopikaa nandano bhavan,
Akhila dehinam antharathma druk,
Vikhana sarthitho viswa gupthaye,
Sakha udeyivan sathwatham kule.


It definitely makes more sense for someone to do a pooja if they are far from Vrindavan. Gopis, being  Vrindavana Vasis are not satisfied with that relationship; they want a more close relationship and want the Lord to lead their lives.

The second comes the Vrishni Patni Uddharana. There is a famous term – ‘bhaya bhakti’ and this aptly fits the Yagni Patnis. They are scared of their husbands (bhaya) and they  do bhakti to Lord Krishna. Their husbands are very much in Brindavan and they are not with terms to the fact that it is verily the Lord who has come down as Krishna. They perceive  him as a mere cow-herd and they are in search of something superior – “Stanyam yatha vatsa tharA sudhArthahA”.  The Brahmanas are performing a Yaga with the opinion that they will be bestowed with some Amrutha from the Swarga loka, whereas  Lord Krishna’s lips being the moon and the amrutha from the Lord’s  lips is flowing like a river. The fortunate ones to drink this Amrutha are the wives of these Brahmanas. The Lord bestows devotion to the Brahmanas verily through their wives who realized their mistake and were in remorse and thus offered their salutations to the Lord.

tasmai namo bhagavate kṛiṣhṇAyAkuṇṭha medhase
Yan mAyA mohita dhiyo bhramAmaḥ karma vartmasu [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.23.50]

The Yagna Patnis are bound to their husbands even though they know that Lord Krishna who is “Poornam brahma sanAthanam”  is right next door . They are unable to cut asunder their family bondage and they continue to sit in the Yaga Shala and witness their husbands performing the sacrifices.  In this case, the Lord needs to come to them and comes with his friends (sakhya bhAva).

shyamam hiranya-paridhim vanamalya-barha-dhatu-pravala-nata-venam anavratamse
vinyasta-hastam itarena dhunanam abjam karnotpalalaka-kapola-mukhabja-hasam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.23.22]

Lord Krishna along with his brother Balarama and other Gopas took the cows for grazing very closeby to the place where the Brahmanas were performing spiritual sacrifices. The Gopas started to feel hungry and the Lord sent them to the Yaga Shala for food. When the Gopas went and supplicated the Brahamanas they were severely reprimanded and sent them away. They then went to the wives of the Brahamanas and asked for food.  The Lord comes along with his friends and his hand resting on a friend’s shoulder.   He first sends his friends (who are verily Bhagavatas) to the Yaga Shala. He bestows Bhagavata’s (the Gopas) darshan for the Yagna Patni’s and then he blesses them with his darshan.

The wives decided to leave the Patnishala and run unto the Lord  after abandoning their husbands in the Yaga shala – ‘Tyaktva bandhu bhayascha  sarvAn niyamam yuyam samAgachathaa ‘.   They carry with them all the delicacies that they prepared to offer it to Lord Krishna. The Lord along with the other Gopas relished all the food brought by the Yagna Patnis.

aho vayam dhanyatha esham na shA dhishistriyaha
Bhaktaah yaa saam mathir jaathaa hasmAkam nischalA harau

The Brahmanas later realized that their wives  were not present in the Patni Shala and after coming to know that they went see Lord Krishna, they were angry with their wives for not seeking their permission to go and see the Lord.  A thought later strikes them that if they have gone and met Krishna even without getting their permission, they realize that Krishna must indeed be the Lord.

A Mahatma says that the Brahmanas are trying to reach the Swarga Loka which is verily the abode of Lord Indra, whereas the ocean of Amrutha is right in from them.

Amrutha rasa baram thE vaktra chandram mukunda
Dvija vara nikarastE dhristum ichanthi naiva
Visi da niya ma yukta na charantasya yagnan
Amrutham amaraloke pAthum ichanthi hantha

The Lord’s lips are akin to Chandra and the yagna Patnis are bestowed to partakhe the divine nectar [amrutha] coming from the Lord’s lips.  The Lord then bestows devotion [bhakti] to the Brahmanas  through their wives.

The Brahamans realize that Krishna is indeed the Lord and thus offer their obeisance unto hi,.

tasmai namo bhagavate krishnashnAyAkunta medhase
Yan mAyA mohita dhiyO bhramAmah karma vartmasu [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.23.50]

The Brahmanas are Bhagavatas who are trying to reach Swarga, which is verily the abode of Lord Indra. They are tied down by their pride, who verily control their wives.  They being Brahamans, wouldn’t perceive anyone from another race  to be the Lord.  The Lord absolved the ego in all these Brahmanas.

The Lord then did a root-cause analysis. Krishna wondered about the egoistic Brahmanas and realized that the Lord whom they worship, Indra is full of ego and decided to teach him a lesson. He absolves the pride of Lord Indra through yet another divine play – ‘Govardhana Uddharana’.

Diwali was around the corner and one day comes back home after all herding the cows.  The way the Lord protects the cow-herds (Gopas) is akin to the mother-bird protecting its fledglings. Just like how the fledglings have no way to reach to their mother bird, the Gopas have no way out and cannot do anything in that state  and they cry out – ‘Govindam sharanam yayu‘ and the Lord protects them  akin to ‘Ajatha pakshad iva maataram khagah stanyam yata  vatsadhara ksudhartha’.  The Lord shows the true nature of the devotees, the Gopis being true Jnanis and the Gopas are verily ‘arivondrum illadha ayarkulam’. The term ‘Arivondrum’ means ‘abalAnam Ashaktanam’.  The Gopas have surrendered unto the Lord.

‘Aklishta krishnam aklishta kaarinam’- The Lord has various different agendas and he accomplished all of them in one leela.  The Lord had eaten a sumptuous meal cooked by the Yagna Patnis during Yagna Patni Uddharana and wanted to eat his own kind of food with lots of savories and  the food cooked by the residents of Gokula and that was the first reason why he wanted to perform  Govardhana Uddharana. The second in the agenda was to annihilate Lord Indra’s pride and the third reason was to protect the Vraja Vasis. He wanted to keep the Govardhana Mountain on his head and the reason is indeed very beautiful. Lord Krishna loves all the Haridasas and Govardhana Mountain was the greatest Hari dasa as proclaimed by the Gopis – ‘hanthAya madri abalA hari dasya varyaha’.  

Kulasekara Azhwar sings ‘padiyAi kedanthu un pavazha vAi kAnpena’ and Govardhana hill protects everyone and acts like a stone so that people can jump on him, while he enjoys the Lord’s beautiful lips. He provides all kinds of resources to residents of Gokula.

At one instant of time, Lord Krishna went to Govaradhana Hill and sat on the hill. Govardhana hill developed Mathru Bhavam (Vatsalyam) as soon Krishna sat down and started to caress him. He starts to think himself as Nanda Baba since the child comes and sits in the lap of the father.  

“Vatsalya yukto hari sangamena
Nandathi ayam gokula raja varyaha
atmAnam aruyha cha nandasoonou
Kridathyayam nandathi shaila raja”

Krishna, who was seven years old is caressed by Govaradhana Hill, and he massages the Lord’s feet. Here the term ‘Nandathi’ as two meanings. ‘Nandathi’ means happy and it also means that ‘he becomes Nanda’. Govardhana Hill –  ‘Nandathi ayam gokula raja varyaha’ is a loving Nanda who caresses Krishna with all the lush grass and fondles Krishna in a loving manner.  

The Lord during his incarnation as Varaha, when he came out of Brahma’s nose,  he verily became the son of Brahma. But he is supposed to be the father of Brahma and so Brahma was in a state of quandry as to whether he is Lord’s son or his father . He finally perceived the Lord as his son during Varaha avatar. Krishna took Govardhana Hill as his father.  Vasudeva carried the Lord on his head and here the Lord carried Govardhana mountain on his head. He wanted to carry his father. He could  neither lift Vasudeva nor Nanda Baba and so he lifted Govardhana Hill.

Bhagavan api tathraiva baladevana samyuthaha‘– The Lord enacted this divine play with the help of his brother, Balarama .  The other divine play where the Lord enacted on his own was Rasa Leela. Since the Lord performed this divine play, one should not ponder as to how the Lord lifted the mountain.  Sage Suka beautifully expounded this divine play by saying that Lord Krishna along with his brother Balarama(Baladeva) went to the place where Indra Yaga was being performed and enquired about the proceedings to his father, Nanda Baba.  He replied to Krishna that it was Indra Puja-’Parjanya bhagavan Indra’, who is verily the one bestows all goodness. Krishna realized that the worship to Indra was performed out of fear and exhorted Nanda Baba that devotion should not be done out of fear.  

Nanda Baba agreed to what Krishna told, however he mentioned that  it is not correct to stop some ritual that has been done for many years.  Krishna after hearing what Nanda Baba mentioned, convinced him that it is not correct to perform Puja for Lord Indra. Nanda Baba was also convinced at this point and asked Krishna as to what they should do with all the delicious food items that has been freshly prepared.

They have made food items with different pulses, milk items [papayasam] and savories.

pacyantAm vividhAḥ pAkAh sUpAntAḥ pAyasAdayaḥ
SamyAvApUpa-saṣkulyah sarva-dohas ca gruhyatAm [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.26]
hUyantAm agnayaḥ samyag brAhmaṇair brahma vAdibhiḥ
annam bahu guṇam tebhyO deyam vo dhenu dakshinAh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.27]

They had also prepared a lot of special dishes with rice in addition to variety rice. The Lord ordained Nanda Baba to offer worship to Govardhana Mountain by offering all the food items  and cirumambulate the Mountain, Brahamanas and the cows.

svalankṛutA bhuktavantaḥ svanuliptAḥ suvAsasah
pradakshinAm cha kuruta go viprAnala parvatAn  [Srimad Bhagvatam 10.24.28]

After convincing Nanda Baba to offer worship to Govardhana Hill, he tells his father to go ahead with Govardhana Pooja only if he wishes and that it was only his idea. The Lord assured his father that this Pooja is indeed the most favorite for the cows, Brahmanas and Govardhana hill. This pooja is the most accepted one by me as well- ‘mahyaṁ ca dayito makhaḥ ‘ and here Krishna subtly shows that he is indeed the Lord.

etan mama mataṁ tāta kriyatāṁ yadi rocate
ayaṁ go-brāhmaṇādrīṇāṁ mahyaṁ ca dayito makhaḥ  [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.30]
kAlAtmanA bhagavatA sakra darpa jighAmsayA
proktam nishamya nandAdyAḥ sAdhva gruhnantha tad vachaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.31]

All the residents of Vraja performed Pooja to Govardhana Hill as advised by Krishna. The Lord took a huge form of Govardhana Hill (Pitha putrasya jaayathe) and relished all the exotic food offerings offered by the Gopas and Gopis.

krishnas tvanyatamaM rUpam gopa vishrambhaṇam gataḥ
sailo smIti bruvan bhUri balim Adad bṛuhad vapuḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.35]

After the Pooja and offering their obeisances to Govardhana Hill, everyone went back to their homes.

tasmai namo vraja janaih saha cakra AtmanAtmane
aho pashyata sailOsau rUpI no anugraham vyadhAt [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.36]

Back in Indra Loka, Indra realized that there was no Indra Pooja.

indras tadAtmanaḥ pUjAm vijNAya vihatAm nrupa
gopebhyah krishna nAthebhyo nandAdibhyaS cukopa ha [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.1]

He was furious and  called the clouds who are verily the Bhagavatas. The  huge cloud Samvartaka was summoned who are responsible for rains, and ordained them to go to Gokulam.

ganam sAmvartakam nAma meghAnAm chAnta kArIṇAm
indraḥ prachodayat kruddho vAkyam cAhesa mAny uta [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.2]

Hearing this, Samvartaka clouds were overjoyed.  They were doing Tapas in Indra Loka to go and meet Lord Krishna. These clouds have to remain in one place without any job for many eon of time [yugas]. They will be summoned only towards the end of the Yuga. At the end of Chatur Yuga, there is a paralaya and the clouds are ordained to show their presence only at that time and shower heavy rains. There is no way of Bhagavath darshanam for these Samvartaka clouds.  The Lord’s descent to Gokula was also to shower his grace and compassion on these Samvartaka clouds.

The clouds began rumbling right from Indra Loka and were headed to Gokula like how devotees are headed to take part  in Lord’s  Utsavam.

ganA ganEti garjhitE  ganE samA kulam janaM

Indra scolded Krishna for stopping the Pooja to him and thus offended him.

aho ShrI mada mAhAtmyam gopAnAm kAnanaukasAm
krishnam martyam upAshritya ye chakrur deva helanam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.3]

It is a fact that the clouds cannot rain by themselves.  They need someone to trigger them. Only if winds activate them, clouds can rain.  Indra had not summoned the winds so the clouds couldn’t rain. But they were eager to go to Gokula and have the darshan of the Lord.

aham chairAvatam nagam AruhyAnuvraje vrajam
Marud gaṇair mahA vegair nanda-goṣṭha jighAmsayA [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.7]

Lord Indra ordained the clouds to pour torrential rain in Nanda Gopa’s settlement and told them that he will follow them in Airavata along with the wind gods.  The clouds reached Gokula. Even though Indra told them that he will also come to Gokula, he never told them the exact time. Indra sent the clouds, thunder and winds but he was still in Indra Loka. He first sent all the Bhagavatas to have the darshan of the Lord.  The wind-gods poked the clouds and the heavy rains began to flood Gokula.

vidyotamAnA vidyudbhih stanantah stanayitnubhih
tIvrair marud gaṇair nunnA vavrushur jala SarkarAh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.9]

The clouds propelled by winds flinged hailstones.

sthUnA-sthUlA varsha dhArA munchatsvabhreshv abhIkshnasah
jalaughaih plAvyamAnA bhUr nAdrishyata natonnatam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.10]

The whole land of Gokula was inundated with floods and it was water everywhere and only boats could go in the water. An important precept in this sloka – ‘nAdrishyata natonnatam’; there was equality everywhere. There was absolutely no difference between between the high and the low and that is when everyone realized that all are equal.

athyAsArAthi vAtena pasavo jAta vepanAh
gopA gopyas cha sItArtA govindam sharaṇam yayuh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.11]

All the residents of Gokula, along with the cows shivering in the cold went and surrendered to Lord Krishna. They went and requested the Lord to protect the cows from the severe rains.  They had covered the heads of the calves and surrendered unto Krishna.

Siraḥ sutAms cha kAyena pracchAdyAsAra pIditAh
vepamAnA bhagavatah pAda moolam upAyayuh

krishna krishna mahA bhAga tvannAtham gokulam prabho
trAtum arhasi devAn nah kupitAd bhaktha vatsala

SilA varsAti vAtena hanyamAnam acetanam
nirIkshya bhagavAn mEnE kupitendra kritam harih [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25-12-14]

As soon as the people of Vraja surrendered to the Lord, he pondered.

apartv aty ulbaṇam varsham ati vAtam silA mayam
Sva yAge vihatE smAbhir indrO nAshAya varshati [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.15 ]

Krishna lifted the mountain in order to protect his people who verily consider him to be their Lord and who are verily under the Lord’s protection.

tasmAn mac charanam goshtham man nAtham math parigraham
gopAye svAtma yOgena so yam me vrata Ahitah [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.18]

The Lord thus lifted and held aloft the Govardhana mountain with one finger. He lifted as though he lifted a mushroom; ‘chatrAkam iva bAlakah’.  He called out to everyone and asked them to take shelter under the hill. Everyone were scared to go below since they were concerned that the hill may slip and fall from Krishna’s finger.  The Lord assured everyone that the mountain will stay tight in his finger grip and assured them not to worry since they have already surrendered unto him. He convinced them that it will protect them from all miseries and everyone enjoyed being in Lord’s shelter for seven days.

ity uktvaikena hasthena kritvA govardhanAchalam
dadhAra lIlayA vishnus chatrAkam iva bAlakah [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.19]
athAha bhagavAn gopAn he amba tAtha vrajaukasaḥ
yathopajosham visata giri gartham sa go dhanAh [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25.20]
na trAsa iha vaḥ kAryo madh hastAdri nipAtanAt
VAta varsha bhayenAlam tath trAnam vihita hi vah [Srimad Bhagvatam 10.25.21]

The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.

Glory of The Padukas

30 Jan

Namasankirtan and Katha Shravan are verily the two flags of Bhagavata Dharma. The beautiful precept is that by verily listening to Bhagavatam, Bhagavata Dharma, Bhagavan Nama and Bhagavat Gunas one can attain the greatest of the greatest. It is is said in Upanishads – ‘ Bhadram Karnebhih Shrnuyama Devah’- ‘Please protect my ears and may they be good so that they can hear to the auspicious things’.

It is said in Puranas and Ithihasas that listening to the lord’s glories is being underlined and in Srimad Bhagavatam in Venu Gitam, it is said that the cows used its ears  as verily their mouth to imbibe the lord’ venu.

Thriuvalluvar also  glorifies the fortune of listening and how one should deploy the sense organs, especially  the sense of hearing in a satsang- ‘selvathul selvam sevichelvam achchelvam selvathul ellam thalai’.

He repeats the word ‘chelvam’ five times verily because each ‘selvam’ refers to one of the five sense organs. He clearly proclaims that the fortune of hearing is indeed the greatest and extols the asset of listening.  While the ears are indeed the greatest fortune , Tiruvalluvar goes beyond the ears and says ‘selvathul selvam sevichelvam’ which refers to the art of listening is indeed the greatest. Tiruvalluvar signifies the art of listening to the best of the things is indeed the greatest and he glorifies the greatness of satsang.  He further says that the ears are benefited when they are given a choice to listen to the best selvam, which is verily going to a satsang and being bestowed to listen to divine qualities of the lord.

If one does not listen to divine leelas of the lord even when one is bestowed with good ears. He does not enjoy the greatest fortune of listening. The moment one uses his ears to listen to divine glories of the lord, he is indeed a wealthy person as Thiruvalluvar says-’achchelvam selvathul ellam thalai’.

That’s verily the import of GOD satsangs as well. All the sense organs may be used in worldly matters, but the ear is tuned to listen to the lord’s divine glories and the chanting of divine names of the lord.


Sri Narayananji from Boston delivered the satsang lecture

Samartha Ramadas wrote a beautiful abhang extolling the greatness of Sadguru. If there is one thing that can destroy all the three kinds of Tapas namely Adhyathmika, Adibouthika and Adideivika , bestow one with knowledge, usher in peace and bless with bhakti and darshan of bhagvan then it is verily the holy feet of Sadguru. Samartha Ramadas in his Abhang -’trivida thApAsi hAraka hE guru pAya’ glorifies the Sadguru and he beautifully mentions that the holy feet of Sadguru is verily his life-line.

The divine incarnation of Sadguru is for the sake of normal mortals so that just by reminiscing the holy feet of Sadguru instantly cleanses the soul -’sakala jIvAmchI pAvana  hE guru pAya’.

Bhagawan and Mahatmas incarnate in this earth for the sake of satsangs. ‘Sanga’ is something that matters to us. The characteristics of a person is determined by the sanga (company) the person is associated with and that is verily why all the scriptures time and again signify the greatness of a satsang and how being in a satsang for a split second instantly purifies one-’kshnaRdhEnApi thulyaE  na swargam nApunarbhavam | bhagvath sangI sangasya marthyAnAm kimushAshIshaha’.   

For Mahamatas, ‘Sanga’ is not important but their mere presence ‘swayam hi thirthAnI punanthi santhaha theerthI kurvanthi theerthAnI’ is alone enough to purify the entire universe. Mahatmas presence becomes the sanga for us, the normal mortals and so Mahatmas are also here in this universe for Satsangs . They incarnate to give satsangs to all the normal mortal –

’sangI bhAthyatha eva   loKa ithI vA  vaIyasIkam yadvachaha

thasyA  yadhbhutha gouravam vishAdayan sangam thyajan  loukikam

swathmAnandara rasAnubhoodhihi  barithO pApAdhi yasthAdrishaha

srimad chandra kishora  sekhara gurOhO  sri padukamaE gathihI  ’

The above stuti was written by Sri Vidyathirtha Swami of Sringeri Peetham on the greatness of the divine Padukas of his Sadguru Sri Chandrasekarendra Bharathi Swamigal . In the above stuthi, he mentions that one has to leave all the worldly communion and join the company of Bhagavathas.  For Mahtmas who are verily SwathmaRamas satsangs don’t impact them as said by Adi Shankara – ‘Sathsangathve nissangathvam’ . Mahatmas are present here in the form of their divine Padukas to bless all of us with satsangs to make us all pure.


Samartha Ramadas abhangs has references from Ithihasas and Puranas. ‘ nayanIm raghuvIra thAvIti ‘ where he says that the holy feet of Sadguru will bestow one with Lord Rama’s darshan. There are two instances from Ramayana to substantiate this precept. First one is Sabari. Ramayana is one grantha where Valmiki gives the essence in just a handful of slokas. Lord Rama travels along with Lakshmana in search of Sita. He was in a weary state and reached Pampa Saras and he saw Sabari eagerly waiting for Lord Rama. She was a hunter and she had been completely transformed after she had the sanga of her Sadguru, Sri Mathanga Maharishi, who amply blessed her with his darshan . Sabari’s character changes from being an wild uncouth hunter to a gentle women who incessantly chanted the divine names of the lord, and by being in a satsang along with her Guru’s kataksha. By being in a satang she developed so much love for her Sadguru so much so that when her Sadguru Madhanga Maharishi was about to attain his divine abode, Sabari cries and seeks the darshan of her SAdguru and darshan alone-’kAmayE thava eva pAduka sAmibhyam’ . She doesn’t seek anything else but for the divine padukas – ‘kAmayE nAham thIrtha snAnam, kAmayE nAham kshetra yAtra, kAmayE nAham sAkshAthkAram, kAmayE thava eva pAdhuka sAmibyam” . He blessed Sabari with Rama Nama  with the blessing of the Sadguru  she incessantly chanted the divine names with unflinching devotion to her Sadguru. Everyday she would look at the fire that was still burning in the pyre, she would look with reverence, her Guru’s clothes [valkalambaram] which were still wet and would look at all the artifacts that her Sadguru used while she chanted the divine names of Lord Rama. One fine day when all her senses had given up, her eyes still shone brightly just because they could behold the beautiful form of Lord Rama and Lakshmana. When Lord Rama and Lakshmana met Sabari, she introduced herself and spoke about her Guru ‘nayanIm raghuvIra thAvIti’.

The other instance glorifying the divine pAduka is that of Bharatha.  In this case it was not the feet of the Sadguru but the divine Padukas of the Sadguru that brought Lord Rama in front of Bharatha. The moment Bharatha heard about Lord Rama’s departure, he swooned and fell down showing his love for Rama  when Kousalya had misunderstood him. After executing the last rites for his father, he immediately set out in search of Rama. Sumanthra helped him prepare everything and they set out to find Rama and entire Ayodhya populace followed Bharatha in search of Lord Rama. More people set out in search of Rama than the previous exodus, when Lord Rama himself embarked on his journey to the forest. When he left, the entire Ayodhya did come  but the kingly retinue including Vashishta stayed back along with the three wives of King Dasaratha. This time when Bharatha went in pursuit of Rama, the entire army and the people of Ayodhya accompanied Bharatha. Bharatha wanted to have Rama come back and rule Ayodhya and his intentions were completely driven by the chord of love that he had for Rama. They crossed Ganges river and met Guha who initially doubted the actions of Bharatha later realized Bharatha’s devotion to Rama and said that even a hundred Ramas cannot equal one Bharatha.

The Lord depicted how a Bhagawan should be when incarnated in the garb of a human being and Bharatha showed how a devotee should lead a life and how he should always be devoted to the lord.


Bharatha and the retinue stopped at Bharadwaja’s ashram for the night. Bharadwaja provided a sumptuous food and even when the entire retinue had a great feast, Bharatha didn’t eat a morsel of rice and was meditating on Lord Rama and yearning to meet him. After they depart from the ashram, Bharatha along with Shatrugna and Vashista walk faster and reach the place where Rama was staying.  On seeing Rama, Bharatha immediately prostrated unto his brother and he immediately gained all that he had lost, his mind was at total peace and regained his mental condition.  Bharatha pleaded at the holy feet of Rama  and beseeched him to come back to Ayodhya. Lord Rama enquired Bharatha about the welfare of Ayodhya. Bharatha started off by rebuking his mother Kaikeyi and stopped short of upbraid his father, Dasaratha and Rama swooned when he heard the demise of his father. Rama clarified Bharatha’s false belief that Rama’s ordinance to go to forest was not to satiate Dasaratha’s pleasures but only to uphold Dharma. When Dasaratha married Kaikeyi, he had promised unto the king of Kekaya  that the son born to Kaikeyi will indeed become the crown prince. He wanted to keep this vow of his come true and that’s verily the reason why he had sent Rama to forest.  Bharatha pleaded to Rama in various ways urging him to come back to Ayodhya and become the king. Jabali and Vashistha also joined hands with Bharatha to convince Rama but all in vain. Rama didn’t pay any heed to the conversation and went inside his hut.

“Evam bruvanam bharathaha kousalya sutham abravithu”
“thEjasa Adithya sankAsham pratipahath chandra darshanam”
“adIrOhArya pAdAbhyAm pAdukE hembhushithE”
“Yaethe hi sarva lokasya yOga kshemam vidhAsyatha”
“sO adiruhya nara vyAgraha pAduke hy avaruhya cha”
“prAgyagacChath sumaha teja bharathAya mahamtmane”


He presented the pair of Padukas to Rama and said “Oh Rama, you are not going to come back to Ayodhya and not go back on your stand”. Rama was steadfast and adamant like the sun  on his stand (thEja sa Adithya sankAksham), but his face like the moon and by just beholding the lord’s countenance one the mind will be instantly calmed down (pratipahath chandra darishanam).


Bharatha requests the lord to alight on the Padukas and that they will bestow all goodness to the entire populace. He looked at Rama and told them that he will offer the ruling of Ayodhya to the divine pAdukas  and that the Padukas will also be the lifeline for him. He went on and mentioned that he will lead the life of a renunciate wearing the robes of bark and matted hair and will leave on the outskirts of the city.

sa pAduke sampraNamya rAmaM vachanambravIt |
chaturdasha hi varShaaNi jaTAchIradharo hyaham ||
phalamUlAshano vIra bhaveyamra guhnamdana |

Bharatha further added that if he does not meet Rama the following day after the fourteen years he will end his life.

tavAgamanamAkANkSan vasanvai nagarAdbahiH ||
tava pAdukayornyastarAjyatantraH paramtapa |
chaturdashe tu sampUrNe varSe ahAni raghUthama ||
na drakSyAmi yadi tvAM tu pravekSyAmi hutAshanam |


Lord Rama fondly embraced Bharatha and Shatrugna and requested them to take care of all the mothers. He also exhorted Bharatha not to be angry or ill-treat his mother Kaikeyi and requested him to take care of the mothers. He said that this is the Upadesam given to Bharatha from both me and Sita.


tathetI cha pratig NAya taM pariSvajya sAdharam |
shatrughnam cha pariShvajya bharataM chedamabravIt |
mAtaram rakSha kaikeyIm mA roSham kuru tAM prati |
mayA cha sItayaa chaiva shapto si raghusaTama |
ityuktvAshruparItAkSho bhrAtaraM visasarja ha |


As soon as Bhartha was about to depart, Lord Rama’s Gambhirya which was taken over by the love for his devotee, made Rama shed tears. After having blessed Bharatha with the divine Padukas, Rama does not perceive Bharatha as his brother but as a devotee (bhakta). The lord didn’t explicitly show his tears and subtly went inside his hermitage after offering his obeisance to everyone.


sa pAduke te bharataH pratApavAn |
svalamkRitE samparigRuihya dharmavith |
pradakShinam chaiva cakAra rAghavam |
chakAra caiva uTama nAga mUrdhani ||

Bharatha was cognizant of all dharma and lives by it every moment. Bharatha placed the Padukas on his head and circumambulated and prostrated Lord Rama.  He then placed the divine Padukas on Lord Rama’s favorite elephant, Shatranjaya  who also wanted to carry Lord’s Padukas on its head. Everyone alighted the chariots and reached Bharadwaja ashram. Everyone inquired the events that had happened and Bharatha was very happy to share with them that he was blessed with the divine Padhukas of his Sadguru. He said that he sees the holy feet of his dear Rama (his Guru) in the Padhukas and that the divine Padhukas are going to rule the entire kingdom. Saying so he prostrated to Sage Bharadwaja and took leave from him. He crossed Ganga and Yamuna with the Padhukas thereby cleansing them akin to the sloka ‘thirthim kurvanthi thirtani ‘. Vedanta Desikar takes 20-30 slokas and glorifies the dust on the divine Padukas -’paraga pandathi’. Paraga connotes dust. The dust are verily the atoms that can create more atoms . The dust can make a human being out of the thin air as seen in Ahalya Sapavimochanam. When the dust from Lord Rama fell on the stone, it was instantly converted into a feminine form human-being. Dust in sanskrit means ‘rajahah’, and it is capable of destroying the Rajas and Tamas qualities in all of us and bestow us with Sattva.

Everyone reached Ayodhya and at the outskirt they looked at the crestfallen city. Valmiki describes Ayodhya in its current state. The reason he describes Ayodhya as crestfallen is because the Lord’s divine Padhukas are not going to go there and only stay in a village called Nandigram.  He dropped his mothers at Ayodhya and got ready to go  to Nandhigram. He had not lost the sense of guilt that he was also responsible for sending his brother to the forest. He wore the robes of bark and matted hair as he placed the Padhukas  on his head, he requested the umbrella to be raised a little above the divine Padhukas and said that the divine Padhukas are not his dear brother Rama but that of his Sadguru.

etad rAjyam mama bhrAthrA datham samnyAsavat svayam |
yoga kShema vahe cha ime pAduke hema bhUShite ||

He told the ministers and everyone there that his brother Rama bestowed him with two things . Firstly the reign of Ayodhya to take care of the administration. He further added that Rama knows that he is not indeed capable to manage the administration and so Rama bestowed him with the Padhukas to help him. He then ordained them to fan the divina Padhuka with ven chamaram and hold the huge white umbrella (shwetha chatram )on the Padhukas.

chatram dhaarayata kSipramaaryapaadaavimau matau |
abhyAm rAjye sthito dharmaH pAdukAbhyAm gurormama ||

He said that it is indeed the feet of his Sadguru that is placed on the top of his head and that it going to rule Ayodhya for the next fourteen years. He told the ministers that he will take care of the welfare and comfort of the Padhukas which in turn will take care of the welfare of the city.

bhrAtrA hi mayi samnyAso nikSiptaH sauhrIdaadayam |
tamimam pAlayiSyAmi rAghavAgamanam prati ||


Bharatha mentioned that as soon as Rama is back, he will give both the reign and Padhukas to him and he inturn will become the Padhukas for Rama (marayadi ennai Atkolla vendum).

kshipram samyojayitvA thu rAghavasya punaH svayam
charaNau tau tu rAmasya drakSyAmi sahapAduke|


The Padukas have been placed on the royal throne and Nandigrama has become the makeshift kingdom because the entire administration of Ayodhya is  going to be facilitated from Nandigram for the next fourteen years.  On the throne is the royal bided bejeweled Padhuka which has been coronated as the king.

rAmAgamanamAkANakSan bharato bhrAtRuivatsalah |
bhrAturvachanakArI cha pratijJNApAragastadA ||
pAduke tvabhiSichyAtha nandigrAme.avasaTathA |


Bharatha thus made the PAdhukas as the king in the lineage of Kakustha.  

abhiSikthe tu kAkuThse prahrishtamudite janE |
prItirmama yashashcaiva bhavedrAjyAchchaturguNam


Desikan says that Lord Rama wanted to look at his lineage of Raghuvamsa.  From the Surya clan, Raghu was the first king followed by his son Aja and then Dasaratha. The next in the line was Rama. Coming from this great clan, he thought it will be appropriate to have Padhuka Maharaja and his name as a descendant of the divine Padukas and that is another reason for Padhuka Pattabhishekam.  Coronating the Padukas will bring greatness to the clan.

sa vAlavyajanam chatram dhArayAmAsa sa svayam |
bharataH shAsanam sarvam pAdukAbhyaam nivedayan ||

Bharatha carried the  white umbrella (shwetha chatram)  and  fanned (chamaram ) the Padhukas for fourteen long years and offered everything to the Padukas.

tatasthu bharataH shrImAnabhiSichyAryapAduke |
tadadhInastadA rAjyam kArayaamAsa sarvadA ||

Bharatha carried over the administration under the able guidance of the divine Padhukas.  He offered everything to the Padukas  and then dealt with it in proper way only after offering to the Padhukas.

adA hi yatkAryamupaiti kimchidupAyanam chopahrhitam mahArham |
sa pAdukAbhyAm prathamam nivedya chakAra pashchAdbharato yathAvat |
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankritan.

Bhishma’s love

23 Jan

Bhagavath Gunas and Bhagavatha Gunas are the two means to cleanse one’s heart. It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam that any Sadhana is performed with only one intention which is verily the destruction of the mind – “Sarve Mano Nigraha lakshanantah paro hi yogo manasah samAdhih”. A question may arise that if the mind has to be destroyed then why should it be cleansed and purified?  Destruction of vasanas will lead to the complete subjugation of the mind. Until the mind is purified it cannot be destroyed. The mind is made one-pointed by purification. Only a one-pointed mind can be destroyed. The beauty in the path of Bhakti is that the Sadhana is carried out until the mind is one-pointed and the destruction of the mind happens automatically and the end of the Sadhana is itself destruction. The perfect example is Bheesmacharya. Dharmaputra had a little bit of doubt in his mind and was unable to justify the war. Lord Krishna looked at Dharmaputra and advised him to do a Yagna. Interestingly when Arjuna was also in a state of quandary, the lord gave the Bhagavad Gita and ordained him to fight the battle. In the case of Yudishtira, he is ingrained in dharma and Shastras and goes by the book. To absolve the sins accrued during a war, one has to perform Yagnas to cleanse themselves from the bad sins.  Krishna thus helped Yudhistira to perform three Rajasuya Yagas. Even after performing them, Yudistira was not convinced verily because one has to practice Dharma to experience it. When one goes based on logic and tries to explain it, he will go nowhere. One has to go through the experience of Dharma in order to get the benefit of it and hence Upanishads say – “Dharmam chara”; Do the dharma and don’t analyze and talk about it. When the dharma is done with faith and perseverance, one is bound to reap the fruits. These facts are inexplicable and the pramAnam is only in the shastras.  In one of Sri Swamiji’s kirtan – ‘Muzumadhi nilavu nee chakorai paravai nan .. anbhulla nAyagan nee Asai nAyaki nAn ..’- (Karunai ondre adhAramam kirtan”) The Chakora bird always yearns for the moon and desires to drink from the moon, whereas the Moon never cares for this bird and Sri Swamiji sings — “You are the one who can shower only love whereas all I have is only a liking for you!!. The term ‘Asai’ connotes ‘liking to something’ and this always comes with a clause of expecting something in return. Asai is different from love. The lord always wants to shower his grace without any condition. The grace [karunai] always flows from a higher plane to a lower plane. Ramana Maharishi in one of his works begins with the word ‘Karunai’ and he compares grace to a waterfall – ‘karunai endra endra neer vezchi” since grace is always from a higher to a lower plane.


When one adheres to a dharma as prescribed in the shastras and end with ‘Narayananethi samarpayami”, the lord out of his sheer compassion bestows the fruits of that dharma. 


“yatha pankena pankambhaha surayA va surAkrutham”. [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.52]

King Yudishtira confides in the lord that by performing Rajasuya Yuga one cannot counteract the sin of killing men in battle akin to how a wine-bottle cannot be cleansed with wine.

Hearing this Lord Krishna decided that he himself cannot give a solution, verily because the lord is the king of all Dharmas – “Dharmasya prabhur achuyataha”, who bestows the results of all these dharmas.

In order to instill convinction in Dharamaputra’s dharma, the lord decided to take Yudishtira, the epitome of Dharma-Bheeshmacharya.  

“Anva gachan ratair vipraha vyasa boumya dayasthada”

Sage Veda Vyasa and Sage Dhaumya, who are the revered Gurus of the Pandavas accompany them to have the darshan of Bheesma. Since Lord Krishna is Arjuna’s chauffeur, he drove the chariot and took the Pandavas to Kurukshetra where Bheesma was lying in a bed of arrows.

“Bhagavan api viprarse rathe na sae dhanjayaha”

 Sage Suta also comes to witness this great scene along with other great Rishis verily because, the embodiment of dharma, the knower of Dharmas and the fruit-giver of Dharmas all confluence. There cannot be a better way to understand the nuances of dharma [dharma sukshmam]. Bheesma offered his obeisance to everyone out there.

“tam samEthan mahabhagAn upalabhya vasOthama”
“pojayamAsa dharamagnayO desha kAla vibhA gavaith”
 “Krishnam cha that prabhA yagna aAsinam jagadhishwaram”
“hridistam poojayamasam mAyayopAthavikraham” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.9.10-11]

 Bheeshma, is verily the knower of all dharmas [poojayamasa dharmagnya], has to inturn offer his obeisance to everyone who has come to meet him. But due to the constraints of place, time [desha kala vibhagavaith], he cannot prostrate to everyone. Our dharmas have clearly mentioned when, where and how one should prostrate.   So Bheesma offered his prostrations with his hand while for some he showed his respect through his eyes and to Lord Krishna, he offered his respects through his mind [manas]. The window to one’s heart is verily the eyes and Bheesma’s eyes were completely inundated with tears.  He then looks at Lord Krishna and requests him to wipe the tears from his eyes and Krishna carried out his devotee’s request. Bheesma’s eyes then spotted the Pandavas and only after Krishna wiped out the tears from his eyes, which were the “tears of Maya”,Bheesma  perceived the Pandavas as great Bhagavatas instead of looking at them as his own grand-children.

“abhyachakshAn ragadacihi  andhi bhOteshu shakshusha”

pAṇḍu puthrAn upAsInAn prashraya prema sangatAn
abhyAchaṣṭAnurAgAsrair andhIbhUtena chakṣuṣA [srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.11]

Bheema then looked at the Pandavas through his true eyes bereft of the Maya that was covering his eyes.  He then cried looking at their plight. Oh Pandavas, “Despite being the incarnation of Dharmas, You endured (underwent) so much pain. You have always stood by dharma and had so much respect for the Brahmanas and in spite of Lord Krishna being on your side, you all have undergone so much pain”.  The pain you have undergone is due to fate [kala] which verily controls everyone and that it is irresistible and verily controlling everyone.

sarvam kAla kṛutam manyE bhavatam cha yad apriyam
sapAlo yad vase lOkO vAyor iva ghanAvaliḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.14]

Inspite of being blessed with power, knowledge, valor (parakrama) and adhering to dharma the Pandavas had to endure suffering, which was verily due to time [kala].

yatra dharma sutho rAjA  gadhA pAṇir vṛukOdaraḥ
kṛiṣhṇO strI gAṇḍivam chApam suhṛt kṛiṣhṇAs tatho vipat [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.15]

Bheesma, beholding the Pandavas as Maha Bhagavatas, says” Don’t think that the controller of time is somewhere in the sky. He is verily standing in front of you”.  He further added that he was verily the charioteer [sArathim], the one who introduced himself as a younger-cousin [mAtuleyam] to Dharmaputra, as a friend [mitram] to Arjuna, the secretary, well-wisher [sauhrudAd] and messenger[dhUtam] to the Pandavas.

 yam manyase mAtuleyam priyam mitram suhṛttamam
akaroḥ sacivam dhUtam sauhṛdAd atha sArathim [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.20]

 Even though Lord Krishna held all these portfolios, none of them are true. The precept that is true about him is that he is present in everyone’s heart. He is verily the true in-dweller of everyone. He is omnipotent and omniscient but he is perceived as a friend, well-wisher and charioteer due to one’s ignorance.

 sarvAtmanaḥ sama dṛushO hy advayasyAnahankṛuteḥ
that kṛutam mati vaiṣhamyam niravAdyasya na kvacith [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.21]

 All along Bheesma empathized with the Pandavas and then he started to focus on his own self and began to whisper the below mentioned sloka glorifying the lord’s compassion [anukampA] to his unflinching devotees, since Lord Krishna came and stood before him in Kurukshetra when he is about to end his life.  Bheesma’s stuthi is very secretive like Vrithrasura.

tathApy ekAnta bhakteṣu pasya bhUpAnukampitam
yan mesUms tyajataḥ sAkṣhAt kṛiṣhṇo darshanam Agataḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.22]

 bhaktyAveshya mano Yasmin vAchA yan nAma kIrtayan
tyajan kalevaram yogI muchyate kAma karmabhiḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.23]

 The lord came running for the sake of Bheesma and his eyes were flooded with tears beholding the lord in front of him. The tears were not an artifact of Maya but due to sheer love for the lord (Prema) which Bheesma didn’t want to wipe off. With his eyes loaded with tears of Prema he was able to perceive the lord clearly.  Lord Krishna bestowed Bheesma alone with his beautiful four-handed and legs [Chathurbhuja] form with Shanka, Padma, Gadha and Lochana in his arms, with a pleasing face akin to the rising sun that was bound in the northward direction.  This form of the lord was only visible to Bheesma since he perceived the lord with tears of Prema.

sa deva devO bhagavAn pratIkṣatAm kalevaram yAvad idam hinomy aham
prasanna hAsAruṇa locanollasan mukhAmbujo dhyAna pathas chatur bhujaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.24]

 Bheeshma beholding Lord Krishna in this beautiful Chaturbhuja form embarked to expound on Dharma.

Yudhistira cleared his throat and requested Bheesma to expound on various Dharma, who was very glad to enlighten him with knowledge on Dharma.  This marks the beginning of Shantiparva where he began to talk about various Dharma- Dhana, Moksha,Sri and Bhagavath Dharmas and also expounded on the two divisions [lakshanas] of Vedas.

puruṣha sva bhAva vihitAn yathA varṇam yathAshramam
vairagya rAgopAdhibhyAm AmnAthoubhaya lakṣaṇAn [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.26]

 After delineating on the various Dharma, he bestowed Yudhistira with the greatest of the greatest Dharmas – ‘Sri Vishnu Sahasarnama”. The lord witnessed the whole scene and Bheesma looks at Yudhistira signaling the advent of Uttarayanam. For Bheesma, Uttarayanam is verily the auspicious time when Lord Krishna takes Bheesma unto him.

dharmam pravadatas tasya sa kAlaḥ pratyupasthitaḥ
yO yoginas chanda mṛuthyor vAnchitas uTttarAyaṇaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.29]

 Sage Suta mentioned that Bheesmacharya being a great Yogiswara to the world and generally they wait for Uttarayana to shed their mortal coil. After having said this, he immediately para-phrased his statement that it was only for Yogishwaras.

tadopasamhṛutya giraḥ sahasraṇIr vimukta sangam mana Adi pUruṣhe
kṛiṣhṇe lasat pIta paṭe chatur bhuje puraḥ sthite amilita dṛig vyadhArayat [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.30]

 vishuddhayA dhAraṇayA hatAshubha tad IkṣayaivAsu gatA yudha sramaḥ
nivṛitta sarvendriya vṛitti vibhramas tuṣhṭAva janyam visṛujan janArdanam [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.31]

Yogis transcend into Yoga Samadhi in a particular form (AsanA) in meditative state and shed their mortal coil. Bheesma couldn’t get into any particular form since he was in a bed of arrows. He specifically kept his eyes open, started to meditate and enjoyed every bit of Lord Krishna’s four-handed form, who was standing very close to him. He calmed down his senses and started to sing praise on Lord Krishna and said – ‘Iti’-thus.

 iti matir upakalpitA vitṛiṣhṇA bhagavati sAtvata pungave vibhUmni
sva sukham upagate kvachid vihartum prakṛitim upeyuṣi yad bhava pravAhaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.32]

The term ‘Iti’ is generally used as a concluding word. If we ponder why Bheesma used it as the first word, it is a wrap up of his entire life. It is verily the time to look back and offer everything in one’s life to the holy feet of Lord Krishna. He disclosed that everytime he had a wish, he turned it as affection and offered it to Lord Krishna [upakalpitA vitṛiṣhṇA].  Whenever one encountered a desire [trhishnA], Bheesma advises the desire to be turned towards Lord Krishna [Krishna trishnA] and by doing this, one’s mind is bound to become pure. The pure and pristine mind can then be given to the Lord in a divine marriage. The first sloka of Bheesma stuti marks that divine marriage. A true Brahmachari is one who controls his senses and offers them to Lord Krishna. The next seven slokas is Sapthapathi and the remaining slokas refer to Bheesma’s divine darshan of Dhruva star. The Sapthapathi slokas are meant for Arjuna(Sakha).

Bheesma offers his mind, heart and bhakti to Lord Krishna thus making his life complete. By chanting the divine names of Lord Krishna, by reveling in the divine stories and kirtans of Lord Krishna will transform all the worldly-desires (trishnA) to Krishna trishnA. The first sloka of Bheesma Stuthi is the essence of the entire stuti akin to the first sloka of Vishnu Sahasarnamam.

The satsang concluded after reminisicing Bheesma’s Krishna bhakti.

‘Avateerno Jayati’ – 1

14 Nov

Namasankritan and Katha Shravanam are the two rungs of Bhagavatha Dharma. The path of Bhagavata Dharma has three unique qualities, the first one being that this path was indeed given by the Lord himself [Bhagavatha Proktam]. Secondly, it is indeed a dharma that is apt for everyone, be it a learned man [Panditan] or a common man [Pamaran]; -‘Pandithan mudarkondu pamaran varailum andi pizhaithidum keerthanam padirae’, verily the precept for Kavi Yogishwara. Even if the learned man performs the vedic austerities, he needs to come to terms with Bhagavata Dharma, by offering the fruits of all the Vedic austerities to Lord Krishna [ Narayana yethi samarpayami and Sri krishnanu smaranam param] and this indeed marks the completeness of any Vedic ritual a Pandit performs. Bhagavata Dharma becomes an important part in Vaidika Dharma. Karabhajana, the ninth of the Nava Yogis, mentioned that Bhagavatha Dharma is indeed the crux of any learned man’s worship – ‘Yajanthihi sumedhasaha’, which means that Namasankirtan is the main part of any spiritual austerity. Pamaran means one who is not educated. But the actual meaning of Pamaran is one who does not have any path to hold onto and is devoid of any support. Kunti Devi in her stuti mentions who indeed is a Pamaran. She says that a person who possess the qualities of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ in spite of being bestowed with a great birth [janma], wealth [asihwarya] and knowledge [sribihi] is called a ‘Pamaran’, since he is bereft of any virtues – “Janmaishwarya shutha shibihi raedha mana madha puman| naivarhath yabidhatum vai thvam akinchana gocharam”||

Sri Swamiji beautifully conveys the precept that Bhagavatha Dharma is indeed the path for Pamaran, who cannot let go the qualities of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ even for a split second. There cannot be any other path that can come handy for such a person even if he accidentally chanted the divine name once and  slips and falls, or gets injured, being bitten by a serpent and encountered an accidental death, he is instantly liberated because of his chanting of divine name.

patitaḥ skhalito bhagnaḥ sandaṣṭas tapta Ahataḥ
harir iti avasenAha pumAn nArhati yAtanAḥ
[Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.15]


That’s verily why Bhagavata Dharma is the path for both learned and a Pamaran and that is indeed the second greatest precept about this wonderful path. The third precept about this path is that there is no scope of failure when one adheres to this path. An event in general has two outcomes and this is the general theory of probability. The path of Bhagavata Dharma totally defies this theory and can have only outcome which is verily success. Interestingly Bhagavata Dharma says that there are no failures when one treads this path and it explicitly doesn’t mention the word ‘success’. One can go blindfolded on the path of Bhagavata Dharma because it is not dependent on the person following this path but is verily the path that doesn’t let the person fall down, akin to how a child dropped in a swimming pool for taking lessons. As long as the child holds on to the floaters, the child is for sure to remain safe from drowning. It doesn’t matter on the ability of the child but the floater is bound to take care of the child.

Similarly, the path of Bhagavata Dharma is tied on to us by a Guru and there is no way to slip ourselves from this dharma. When one is reveling in this ocean of samsara, as long as we have the divine names in our lips and heart and the very thought [smarana] of our Guru and Krishna in our minds, there is no way one can fall down in this samsara and is always afloat. Bhagavata Dharma is all about celebration of our lives with the Lord being in the driving seat and the way to celebrate the Lord is by chanting the divine names, katha shravanam and utsavs.


Sri Narayananji from Boston delivered the satsang lecture.

Tadeva ramyam ruciram navam navam

Tadeva sasvan manaso mahotsavam

Tad eva shokarnava soshanam nrunam

Yad uttamasloko yashonugiyatE  [Srimad Bhagavatam 12.12.50]


This sloka is present in both Padma Purana and Bhagavatam, which speaks about singing or reciting Bhagavatam. When one listens to the Lord’s qualities, Bhagavatam enters through the ears and directly enters the heart.

The term ‘sanga’ connotes company and the word ‘prasanga’ according to the path of Bhagavata Dharma refers to short lecture or exposition of the Lord’s qualities [gunas]. Mahatmas are always known to be in the ecstatic state of ‘shrunvanthi gAyanthi grunanthi sadhavaha”.

They either keep listening to the divine names of the Lord and to the divine glories of the Lord. They derive happiness by listening and then they become the narrator [vakta] when there is no one to expound on the divine plays of the Lord. They start gAyanthi when shrunvanthi stops and they do narrate the divine glories of the Lord even if there is no listener [shrota] and it is a divine outpour of their bhava takes the form of words. The third quality of Mahatmas is ‘grunanthi’ which means that they are incessantly reminiscing the divine qualities of the Lord and Srimad Bhagavatam and that they verily transform themselves into that bhava which is very natural for them. It takes one immense merits to witness a Mahatma in such sanctity.

There was a Mahatma called Vasudeva Parabrahmam. He used to chant the Gayatri mantra one lakh times a day and would incessantly chant the divine name ‘Sita’ and would be constantly reading Ramayana.  When there is no one to listen to, he would do a discourse on Ramayana to himself and would immediately get himself transported into Bhava. He would become the character he is reminiscing in Ramayana and it is so spontaneous for Mahatamas. He would do it all day and night and there is no question of sleep in the lives of Mahatmas verily because – “tadeva shaswan manaso mahotsavam”; they are in that blissful state within themselves as their minds are always rejoicing, verily because they are always immersed in ‘shrunvanthi gAyanthi grunanthi’. Since their minds are always in the state of ecstasy, they do not need any external paraphernalia to make them happy.


King Parikshit in this sloka beseeched Sri Suka to expound on Lord Krishna’s divine plays, since it is verily enjoyed even by the Mahatmas who are soaked in the ocean of devotion Atmaramascha munayaha  nirgrantha api urukrame kurvanti ahaithukim bhati ittam bhutha guno harihi” . Even Mahatmas and Atma Ramaas yearn to listen to the divine glories of Lord Krishna for their causeless bhakti.


“Nivrutta tarsair upagIyamAnAdh bhava oushadhAc shrotra mano bhirAmAt |

Ka uttamashloka gunAnuvAdAt puman virajyeta vinA paSughnAt || “ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.4]

Mahatmas have crossed the ocean of transmigration and to be in the divine presence of Mahatmas is verily the elixir for normal mortals to cross the ocean of samsara.


Sage Suka embarked on his beautiful exposition of Krishna Katha after hearing the request from King Parikshit. The way Sage Suka begins to narrate Krishna Katha is truly wonderful. He starts with the divine mother. Since Lord Vishnu incarnated as Rama prior to Krishna’s incarnation and since Bhooma Devi had come down as Sita, Sage Suka after narrated Ramayana is still reminiscing Bhooma Devi and hence starts the Krisha Katha with Mother Earth [bhoomi] and the troubles she underwent. He starts with the divine name of the divine mother – ‘Shree’.  She goes and surrenders unto Lord Brahma, who in turn along with Lord Shiva and all Devas went and prostrated to the Lord in Shiradbhi and appealed to him about Mother Earth’s problems.

bhoomir dṛupta nṛupa vyAja daityAnIka satAyutaiḥ
AkrAntA bhUri bhAreṇa brahmAṇaṁ sharaṇam yayau [Srimad Bhagavata 10.1.17]


The Lord came running to save his devotees Gajendra, Dhruva, Prahalada to name a few. However in the case of Mother Earth, he didn’t come quickly, verily because she is an embodiment of endurance –‘ kshamaya Prithivi samaha’.  The Lord capitalizes on Mother Earth’s endurance to do an incarnation as Lord Krishna and the very seed to this incarnation is Mother Earth. The Lord in his language of silence [Samadhi] acknowledged and sent them all back and Lord Brahma deciphered the orders of the Lord in Shirabdhi and thus told the Devas that the Lord is going to incarnate as the son of Vasudeva.


Vasudeva gṛuhe sAkṣAh bhagavAn puruṣaḥ paraḥ
janiṣyate thath priyArtham sambhavantu sura striyaḥ” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.23]


Kamsa the brother of Devaki heard a divine voice [Asariri] and imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki. Six children were born to them and Kamsa slained all of them. The six children of Vasudeva represent the six qualities [hamsa] of the Lord namely Yashas, dharmam, thyagam, jnanam, vairagyam and Aishwaryam. The six qualities of the Lord took birth as six children starting with Kirtiman. The seventh child born is indeed, Tejas the power of the Lord who is born as Sankarshana. Kamsa inspite of killing all the six children feels helpless and turns to his friends, the Asuras [Pralamba,  Baka, Chanura etc]  and they began to oppress the people in Kuru, Panchala, Kekaya, Salva, Vidarbha states. Some of them fled away from the reign of Kamsa unable to bear the harsh treatment, while some of the denizens continued to stay and faced the torment bravely cognizant of the fact that the Lord will incarnate soon. This beautifully goes to show how a Sadhak witnesses many experiences before attaining the Lord and so before the advent of the Lord, there are certain sufferings that need to be undergone.


te pIḍitA nivivisuuḥ kuru panchAla kekayAn
sAlvAn vidarbhAn niṣadhAn videhAn kosalAn api

eke tam anurundhAnA jnAtayaḥ paryupAsate
hateṣhu ṣaṭshu bAleṣu devakyA augraseninA

saptamo vaiṣṇavaṁ dhAma yam anantam pracakṣhate
garbho babhUva devakyA harṣha shoka vivardhanaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2 2- 5]


The seventh child was conceived by Devaki in womb and this fetus gave her both happiness and sorrow. This child was indeed a pure Vaishnava and was indeed Adiseshan, verily the residing place for Lord Vishnu, who is Ananta, the one with no end. She was immensely happy since the Lord’s seat has descended from Shirabhdi. The thought of Kamsa gripped Devaki with fear and in order to absolve that fear from Devaki, the Lord descended down.


bhagavAn api vishwAtmA viditvA kamsajam bhayam
yadUnAm nija nAthAnAm yoga mAyAm samAdhisath [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.6]


He instructed his sister Yogamaya to go to Nanda Gokulam, where Rohini, Vasudeva’s wife resides. The Lord addresses Gokula as Nanda Gokula as a way to introduce Yogamaya to her would-be-father.

He requested her to take the fetus from Devaki’s womb, who is verily Adisesha, the Lord’s divine abode and carefully transfer it the womb of Rohini. It is beautifully said that here the Lord exhibits his ‘mine’ [Mamkara] and claims that Adisesha is indeed his possession. It is believed that the world is going to be greatly benefited when the Lord develops ‘I’ and ‘Mine’.


gaccha devi vrajam bhadre gopa gobhir alankṛutam
rohiṇI vasudevasya bhAryAste nanda gokule
anyAs cha kamsa samvignA vivareṣu vasanti hi

devakyA jaṭhare garbhaṁ seṣAkhyaṁ dhAma mAmakam
tath sannikaṛṣya rohiṇyA udare sanniveShaya [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.6-7]


The Lord advised how to transfer, Balarama who is verily the Lord’s Sankarsana Hamsa.  One may ponder as to why the Lord should take steps to protect Balarama, when he cannot be killed by Kamsa.

Adisesha’s stability determines the stability of the earth verily because he is the foundation [AdharA] for earth. The Lord also ensured to alleviate the burden of the earth by incarnating as Krishna and this incarnation would not be possible without Balarama.


athAham amSha bhAgena devakyAḥ putratAm subhe
prApsyAmi tvam yashOdAyAm nanda patnyAm bhaviṣyasi [Srimad Bhagavatam [10.2.9]


The Lord now shows the quality of ‘I’ [ahankara] in this sloka [ataham]. He addresses Yogamaya as ‘Shubhe’, the one who bestows all auspiciousness. He tries to bring out the identical nature between himself and Yogamaya.  He discloses his plan of incarnation as the son of Devaki and instructed her on the course of actions to be born as the daughter of Nanda and Yashoda. The Lord tries to contrast himself and Yogamaya in terms of incarnation in the above mentioned sloka.


arciṣhyanti manuṣyAs tvAm sarva kAma varesvarIm
dhUpopahAra balibhiḥ sarva kAma vara pradAm [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.10]


The Lord tells to Yogamaya that his mere existence in this world will not suffice and hence wants Yogamaya to be with him. Oh Yogamaya, “You have completely surrendered unto me, I don’t want to leave you in Vaikunta and please be with me.” The Lord says that Yogamaya will continue to exist after his incarnation and that she will have many names and people will do Pooja for Yogamaya in the future [nAmadheyAni kurvanti] for bestowing and conferring all goodness for the people when they give offerings to you  [dhUpopahAra balibhiḥ]


Kama is always a desire with motive which is verily Maya and the Lord ordains YogaMaya to confer boons. Kama is verily Maya since it can be perceived with cause and effect and so if a person worships by giving offerings [dhUpopahAra balibhiḥ], Yogamaya is the one to bestow the person with all goodness [sarva kAma vara pradA]. This is the contrast the Lord draws with Yogamaya, who will bless anyone who comes to trade.


nAmadheyAni kurvanti sthAnAni ca narA bhuvi
durgeti bhadrakAlIti vijayA vaiṣṇavIti cha

kumudA caṇḍikA kṛiṣhṇA mAdhavI kanyaketi ca
mAyA nArAyaṇIsAnI sAradeti ambiketi cha [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.11-10.2.12]


The Lord then speaks about the divine names of the mother and that Yogamaya will be referred to these names Durga, Bhadrakali, Vijaya, Vaishnavi, Kumuda, Candika, Krishna, Madhavi, Kanya, Maya, Narayani, Sharada and Ambika on the earth. The term ‘iti’ means that the Lord destines the names for divine mother in various different places. One can worship the Lord in any temple by calling out the Lord’s divine names, Keshava, Narayana, Govindha etc, but one has to worship the divine mother by calling out her name specific to that place. The Lord consecrated Yogamaya in various places and bestowed her with a   divine name for every kshetra. The divine mother in Kannyakumari is called as ‘Kanya’, the divine mother in Ujjain is referred to as ‘Bhadrakali’, she is referred to Durga in Kasi, Chandika in Assam, Vaishnavi in Kolapur, Vijaya in Orissa, Vaishanvi and Mahalakshmi in Kolapur,  Maya and Sharadha Devi in Uttar Pradesh and Ambika in Ambikavanam to name a few.


The readers of Bhagavatam are thus blessed with the Upadesha of divine names of the divine mother by reading the above slokas. By chanting all the divine names of the mother, one will be blessed with a beautiful nama called ‘Krishna’. After having invoking Yogamaya, the Lord then gives the names of the seventh child who is verily Adisesha in the womb of Devaki.


Garbha sankarṣaṇAth tham vai prAhuḥ shabkarṣaṇam bhuvi
rAmeti loka ramaṇAdh balabhadram balocchrayAth [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.13]


He be called as ‘Sankarshana, as the one who attracted to transfer into another womb, he will be called ‘Rama’ as he will please the entire world, Balabhadra because of his great physical strength.


The divine mother bowed in front of the Lord and transferred the fetus from Devaki and places it in the womb of Rohini.


Everyone thought that the fetus in Devaki was aborted and lamented and was under the thought that Kamsa killed the fetus in the womb.

garbhe praṇīte devakyā rohiṇīṁ yoga-nidrayā
aho visraṁsito garbha iti paurā vicukruśuḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.15]


People were terror stricken thinking of Kamsa and the Lord who verily vanquishes the fear of his devotees enters into the mind Vasudeva [mana Anakadundubheḥ], before entering the womb of Devaki.


bhagavAn api vishvAtmA bhaktAnAm abhayankaraḥ
AviveshAssha bhAgena mana Anakadundubheḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.16]



The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.





‘kam vA dayAlum’ – 2

26 Sep

The Lord’s compassion is ‘Koti Maatru Vatsalyam’ and he exhibits this by even bestowing liberation to someone who came feigning as a mother to kill Krishna. Out of the Lord’s infinite [aneka] leelas, Putana Moksham marks the Lord’s first [prathama] leela.  The reason the Lord chose this leela was because he wanted to show his completeness [Purnathva]. All the Shodasha kalas [Purnam Brahma Sanadhanam], which are the sixteen qualities, are manifested in this leela.  The Lord wanted to show the true personality that was concealed in little Krishna and wanted the fortunate ones to understand his true nature [Jananthi eva jananthou].  It is only by the divine grace of the Lord that the individual can perceive the Lord as the supreme truth who has incarnated to mingle with the normal mortals and this precept was indeed the experience of the Gopis.  The Lord after consuming the milk along with Putana’s life-force didn’t open his eyes.

Sage Suka only portrays the suffering of Putana as the Lord was drinking her life-force. It is verily because the moment the Lord’s grace falls on a devotee, one should only see the devotee’s yearning for the Lord and so Sage Suka only talks about the sufferings of Puthana and the impact of such a devotee to this world. A sinner like Puthana was bestowed with the highest of the highest which is verily liberation. Seeing Puthana being bestowed liberation, the mountains, the trees, water and earth became jealous of Puthana.

tasyAḥ svanenAtigabhIra ramhasA sAdrir mahI dyaus ca cacAla sa grahA
rasA disaś ca pratinedire janAḥ petuḥ kṣitau vajra nipAta sankayA

Putana took a huge colossal form and fell in the entire Gokulam. Akin to how Indra killed Vritrasura with Vajraayudam , here in the case of Puthana, the Vajram is verily Krishna Prema . When one is inundated with Krishna Prema, can they ever come out of it? – ‘Veezhdavar endrum Veezhndavar dan undo’. Puthana completely fell for Krishna’s Prema and never came back.


patamAnopi tad dehas trigavyUthy antara drumAn
chUrṇayAmAsa rAjendra mahad AsIt tad adbhutam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.14]

IsA mAtrogradamṣṭrAsyam giri kandara nAsikam
gaṇḍasaila stanam raudram prakIrṇAruṇa mUrdhajham [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.15]


The mortal remains of Puthana lay scattered on a six mile radius scattering all trees. On a lighter note it is believed that Krishna killed Puthana to create some place for him to play with his friends in Gokula. Since the primary profession in Gokula was to herd cows, Gokula was full of green pastures, shrubs and trees for the cows to graze upon and this gave no place for Krishna to play with his friends and hence he created place for himself by killing Putana and she helped him to do the deforestation with her mortal remains.  He refers to King Parikshit as Rajendra verily to let him know that if one is a king one cannot imagine doing such a heroic act.

Sage Suka then gave a detailed description of Putana’s gory appearance and he verily did that to instill dispassion [vairagya and virakthi] in King PArikshit to not be feared of death. The moment the soul lives a person, the body appears to be very gory. Suka says that the Gopas and Gopis were scared of the gory appearance of Puthana who were first horrified in hearing the shrill voice of Putana.


Lord Krishna was joyfully playing in the chest of Putana devoid of any fear. On the other side, the Gopis became very scared [jAtha  sampramahah].

bAlam  cha tasyA urasi krIḍanhtam akutobhayam
gopyas tUrṇam samabhyetya jagṛhur jAta sambhramAḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.18]


In the above mentioned sloka, there is a ‘cha’ and that has a beautiful reason. The life soul [athma’s] origin point is Puthana’s chest. When the Lord drank the life force of Puthana, her life-force started to play from outside and that life-force has taken a form of a small boy [balam] and was fearlessly playing in her chest [balam cha tasyA urasI]. The Gopis who witnessed Krishna playing on Puthana’s chest had two kinds of fears. Firstly they were terrified seeing the gory form of Puthana and secondly they were frightened to see Krishna fearlessly playing on Puthana and so quickly snapped him away and approached Yashoda and Rohini to consult how they can ward off the evil forces from Lord Krishna.


Since Suka was one of the Gopis he fondly recollects how they went and handed Krishna to Yashoda and Rohini. The Gopis thought it was their duty to protect Krishna and so along with Yashoda and Rohini swayed the cow’s switch around Lord Krishna praying for his protection [samyak].  The point to be noted is that each and every Gopi had a thought of protecting Krishna and that prema takes over Jnana here depicting the Vatsalya bhakti of Gopis on the Lord. Even though they were totally cognizant that the little child is indeed Lord, still they thought that it was their duty to protect the child from evil forces.

yasodA rohiṇIbhyAm  tAḥ samam bAlasya sarvataḥ
rakṣhAm vidadhire samyak go puccha bhramaṇAdibhiḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.19]


The Gopis first prayed for the Lord’s protection [samyak] and prayers are the greatest protection for anyone.  The Gopis would go any far to protect the little Krishna [adhibhi]. Here they only swayed the tail of the cow to protect the Lord, but even if they had to sway the entire cow around the Lord, they wouldn’t hesitate to do it.


Gho mUtreṇa snApayitvA punar go rajasArbhakam
rakṣAm cakrus cha sakṛta dvAdasangeṣhu nAmabhiḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.20]


They scurried to wash the child in cow’s urine, which is an excellent purifier and cleansed his body and then applied the dust from the cows all over Krishna by chanting the twelve divine names of the Lord, akin to how an elephant when first given a bath and allowed to dry immediately takes the mud and put it on itself.

The Gopis then took fresh water from the well and cleansed themselves to remove the negativities that they might have contracted with contact with Puthana [Bhija Shuddhi]. They cleansed themselves not for any personal interest but didn’t want to inadvertently pass it back to Lord Krishna.

gopya samspuha salilA angeu karayo pthak
nyasyAtmany atha bAlasya bIja nyAsam akurvata [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.21]


They first invoked the eleven different parts of the Lord’s body [avayavas] from toe to head [padadikesham] of the Lord to protect Lord Krishna.


avyAd ajonghri maṇimAms tava jAnv athoru  yajNocyutaḥ kaṭi taṭam jaṭharam hayAsyaḥ
hṛut kesavas tvad uraIsa inas tu kaṇṭham viṣṇur bhujam mukham urukrama Isvaraḥ kam

cakryagrataḥ saha gado harir astu paschAt tvat pArsvayor dhanur asI madhu hAjanas cha
koṇeṣu sankha urugAya uparu upendras tArkṣyaḥ kṣitau haladharaḥ puruṣaḥ samanthAt [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.22-23]


The Gopis  performed a Namasankirtan while enjoying the different parts of the Lord’s body and prayed to Lord Aja protect the legs, Maniman protect the knees and Achytha to protect the child’s upper part of the waist, Hayagriva to protect the stomach , Keshava protect the heart, Eshwara protect Krishna’s chest, Sun God protect the neck, Vishnu protect the arms, Trivikrama take care of the face, Eshwara protect the head and just not from toe to head protection but also prayed to the Lord with Gadha and Chakra to protect Krishna from front, Lord Hari protect him from back, may the one with bow and arrow from all sides and the one with shanka ,Lord Panduranga purify from all corners.

indriyAṇi hṛṣIkesaḥ prAṇAn nArAyaṇo vatu|
shvetadvIpa patis cittam mano yogesvaro vatu|| [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.24]


They prayed to Hrishikesha to protect all the Indriyas and may Lord Narayana protect the air, may the mind be cleansed by the supreme Yogeshwara, may the Prishnigarba cleanse the intellect [buddhi], the inner being purified by Gopis.

They continue to pray that Govinda protect the child when he is playing, Madhava [the consort of Mahalakshmi] be with the child when he is asleep, the Lord of Vaikunta protect the child when he walks, let Narayana protect the child when he is sitting and Lord Yagnyabuk protect the child when he is eating.

Keshava means ‘K and esha and va’. The letter ‘K’ connotes Lord Brahma. ‘Esha’ refers to Lord Shiva and ‘Va’ refers to the Lord who fulfills both Lord Brahma and Shiva.  Brahma is the source of intellect and Shiva [Esha] is the source of ego and so when the Lord who is controller of both intellect and ego comes and resides in the heart , both ego and intellect will be under control. Each organ of Lord Krishna is protected by one deity and the Gopis are cognizant of this and hence pray to all the deities to protect Krishna.


pushnigarbhas tu te buddhim AtmAnam bhagavAn paraḥ|
antam pAtu govinda sayAna pAtu mAdhavaḥ||

vrajantham avyAd vaikuṇṭa AsInam tvAm sriya patiḥ|
bhunjAnam yajnabuk pAtu sarva graha bhayankara
ḥ||[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.25-26]


The Gopis continue to do prayer as there are so many other evils because of the bad planetary positions and demons and that all these evil spirits and demons are vanquished by uttering the divine name of Krishna. Here Sage Suka lucidly reveals the knowledge [Jnana] possessed by the Gopis. He first showed the divine love that the Gopis had on Krishna and when one has that pure and pristine love in heart, they also possess knowledge.  The knowledge that the Gopis possessed was that they were aware that Krishna was indeed the Lord and that all the demons and spirits that they prayed to be vanquished was not for Krishna but for them.

koṭarA revathI jyeṣṭhA pUtanA mAtṛkAdayaḥ
unmAdA ye hy apasmArA deha prAṇendriya druhaḥ

svapna dṛuṣṭA mahotpAtA vṛuddhA bAla grahAs cha ye
sarve nasyanthu te viṣṇor nAma grahaṇa bhIravaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.28-29]


Sage Suka also justifies as to why they did Namasankiran even though they knew Krishna needed no protection of any sort. When they took Krishna away from Putana, the Gopis thought that Krishna was looking pale and since he incarnated as Gopala, they wagged the cow’s tail and bathed the Lord in cow’s urine and smeared the dust from the cows on the Lord. After doing all this, they realized that Krishna was all the more sad and then they realized that this birth of the Lord was to glorify the divine names chanting of the Lord and so they performed Namasankirtan and Narayana Kavacham to the Lord. After doing Namasankirtan, Krishna’s face rejoiced. This was indeed a beautiful anubhava of the Gopis.


Sage Suka then wraps up this beautiful episode by conveying the fact that Lord Krishna’s health was fine inspite of consuming the poison from Puthana and that he was hungry and Yashoda fed him well with her milk and put him to sleep. Sage Suka also mentions that the Lord was protected verily because of the Namasankirtan performed by the Gopis.

iti praṇaya baddhAbhir gopAbhiḥ kṛuta rakṣhaṇam
pAyayitvA stanam mAtA sannyaveshayad Atmajam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.30 ]


Nanda Maharaj returns back to Gokula from Mathura and was horrified to see the course of events that had taken place during his absence. He mentioned to other Gopas that Vasudeva was indeed a great Yogishwara and that things happened just like how he had predicted. Nanda Maharaj wanted to immediately clean up the mess and wanted to clear the corpse of Putana.

They pondered on the options that they had before them to destroy Putana’s corpse. Some thought that they can throw her gigantic body in the water while few exclaimed that she may regain life from water. Some wanted her corpse pieces to be the food for eagles and some disagreed saying that the eagles might re-assemble her body and that she might regain her life akin to Jarasandha and so they all unanimously decided to cut her corpse into pieces and made a big mountain out of her body pieces and burned it using logs of wood.

dahyamAnasya dehasya dhUmas chAguru saurabhaḥ
utthitaḥ kṛiṣhṇa nirbhukta sapady Ahata pApmanaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.34]

The moment Krishna’s touch was bestowed on Putana, she instantly lost her sins she was instantly purified and transformed into a pure soul and Krishna had granted her liberation. AS a testimony to this, beautiful fragrance of sandalwood and other fragrant substances emanated from the fire that lit her corpse.


Saying so, Sage Suka melts in compassion thinking about the immense compassion of the Lord. Putana came down to kill Krishna and the Lord inturn bestowed her with liberation. What will the Lord not bestow on his devotees who are forever thinking about him?.The Lord drinks the milk that the Gopis provide with so much love and what then can one say about the Gopis state, who verily incarnated from Vaikunta.

padbhyAm bhaktha hṛudi sthAbhyAm vandyAbhyAm loka vanditaiḥ
angam yasyAḥ samAkramya bhagavAn api tat stanam [Srimad Bhagavatam [10.6.37]

yAtudhAny api sA swargam avApa jananI gatim
kṛiṣhṇa bhukta stana kṣIrAḥ kim u gAvo numAtaraḥ[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.38]


payAmsi yAsAm apibat putra sneha snutAny alam
bhagavAn devakI putraḥ kaivalyAdy akhila pradaḥ

tAsAm aviratam kṛiṣhṇe kurvatInAm sutekṣaṇam
na punaḥ kalpate rAjan samsAro jnAna sambhavaḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.39-40]


The Gopis will not have any re-birth and are absolved of samsara, since they have always lived with the Lord and have always been reminiscing him. The Lord can only bestow them with liberation.

Sage Suka immediately turns back to King Parikshit and tells him that one who does devotion to Lord Krishna will be liberated.


There were few Gopas and Gopis who were outside Gokula and when they came back they could smell the sweet fragrance emanating from Putana’s corpse and they all recounted Putana.

Nanda came and hugged Krishna and fondled him with love.


Sage Suka ends Putana Moksham with a phala stuthi.

ya etat pUtanA mokṣam kṛṣṇasyArbhakam adbhutam
sṛuṇuyAc chraddhayA marthyo govinde labhate ratim [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.644]


The fortunate one who listens to Puthana Moksham with dedication will be bestowed with Krishna Bhakti. One doesn’t have to feel bad that he/she is not born during Krishna’s incarnation and that by listening to this divine leela of the Lord one will attain the highest state, Krishna Bhakti.  The Lord bestowed liberation to Puthana and others who witnessed this episode and blesses one with Krishna Bhakti to those who hear this leela with faith and dedication. This goes to show the immense compassion of the Lord.  In Sangraha Parayanam, it is said – ‘Puthana su paya panaha’ which connotes that the Lord drank the most auspicious milk from Puthana, verily because he grants devotion [bhakti] to those who listen to this leela.














‘kam vA dayAlum’ – 1

19 Sep

Putana Moksham – Part 1

In no other paths/faiths can one have so much variety.  Be it Dhyana, Yaga it is monotonous and more or less a repetition of a single mantra. It is verily through repetition that the mind gets one pointed. Unlike the other paths, the path of Bhagavatha Dharma is so varied and colorful. All the nine rasas [Navarasas] are present in this wonderful path. It is seen that Lord Krishna exhibits the nine rasas while consuming a small ball of butter. The path of Bhagavatha Dharma is very nature of this entire universe since all the actions are offered to Lord Krishna. It is only in Lord Krishna avatar that he exhibits all Rasas simultaneously. In Narasimha Avatar, the lord exhibited one rasa at a time. It was first Roudra Rasam which eventually turned into Vatsalya Rasa and in Rama avatar, the Gambira Rasa is depicted. In all other Avatars of the lord, one can behold one rasa of the lord at a time and only in Krishna avatar can one perceive all the Rasas and Bhavas simultaneously.

It is seen that the lord had weapons in his avatars. When he incarnated as a Matsya, he had horns, in Kurma avatar he had a mace while encountering Hiranyaksha and a Kothandam in Rama Avatar “seetha samaethaihi Akodanda Bhusaihi”. Unlike other avatars, when the lord manifested as Krishna, his only weapon was Prema. If one has to associate Krishna with a weapon, then it can only be lord’s flute [murali].  The reason he didn’t possess any particular weapons in his incarnation as Krishna was because he wanted to use his body parts as weapons itself.  He killed the demon Shakatasura with his own feet, lifted the Govardhan hill with his fingers. The lord used his left hand to relieve Nruga from his curse as chameleon. Nruga was once a king but because of a curse he became a chameleon in the lord’s backyard in Dwaraka.  The lord relieved him from his curse by merely touching him with his left hand and he used the stick which he used to herd the cows as a weapon in Brahma Mohana leela –

naumIḍya tae abhra vapuṣhe taḍidh ambarAya

guNjAvataMsa paripicCha lasan mukhAya” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.1]

When lord Krishna was born, he immediately remembered his previous births – “tvameva poorga sarge buhu prishni swayambuvae sathim”

He immediately recollected his incarnation as Vamana, the younger brother of Indra – “Upendra ithi vikyathO vamathvacha vamanaha”, and the thought of Indra made him remember his weapon, WajrAudam which he made from the backbone of Sage Dadichi to confront Vrithrasura.

While the lord used his body parts to kill the demons, he gave his most powerful weapon, the lord’s heart to the Gopis.


When it came to Poothana Moksham, he didn’t possess any arms when he killed Poothana. He wanted to merely satiate his hunger even though she fed him with poison.  Sage Sukha narrated this leela in the sixth chapter of tenth canto.  This divine play, Poothana Moksham in sixth chapter, also portrays the six characteristics of the lord [Aishwarya/Gunas], namely Yashas, dharmam, thyagam, jnanam, vairagyam and Aishwaryam.  Until the sixth chapter, the leelas of the lord portray him as a small boy and the lord shows that he is indeed the lord in this leela. He enacted this divine play on the sixth day of his birth.  The number six thus has lot of significance in Poothana Moksham where he kills her and relieves her of her suffering.


The way Sage Sukha starts to enumerate Poothana Moksham is indeed very beautiful to behold. Nandabada meets Vasudeva after paying his taxes to Kamsa. Whenever two Mahans meet it is for sure an usher to a leela of the lord. When Sage Narada and Nalakubara Manigreeva met, it led to Damodara leela.  Nandababa and Yashoda are verily Mahatmas as they are none other than Dhrona and Dara.  We got Udhava Sandesham when the meeting between the Gopis and Uddhava happened.  The leela of Kamsa Vadham happened when Kamsa/Krishna and Akrura met.


Vasudeva knew that some harm is going to befall Gokulam and so he warned Nandababa.

Sage Suka introduces Poothana in a very beautiful Namavali in Srimad Bhagavatam.


“kamsena prahitA ghorA  pUtanA bAla ghAtinyaI
sisumsh cachAra nighnantI pura grAma vrajAdiṣhu “[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.2]


Puthana was driven by Kamsa and was known for wicked and nefarious acts of killing small children and consuming them in order to satiate her hunger. She being a demon didn’t have enough merits to enter Nanda Gokulam by feet and thus touch the holy dust of Gokulam [vrajas] and so Sage Suka says in a subtle manner that she reached Gokulam through sky [kechari].

“sA khechari ekadotpatya  pUtanA nanda gokulam
yoṣitvAmAyayAthmAnam  prAvisat kAma chAriṇI “[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.4]


Sage Suka then beautifully describes her countenance. She dressed up in a very elegant way in shimmering silk with a lotus flower in her hand that all the Gopis thought that she was indeed Lakshmi, the very consort of Vishnu who had come to pay Krishna, her husband a visit in Brindavan- “dhrastum ivagatham pathIm”.  Even though she had a pleasing gait and charisma, her smile was indeed wicked.


bAla grahas tatra vicinvatI sIshUn yadṛuchayA nanda gṛuhe sad antakam


She was wandering in the streets of Gokula trying to locate small children to kill them and spotted Nandababa’s palatial house. She entered the house and the house was packed with Gopis who couldn’t stop gazing at little Krishna’s splendor.  Krishna, who was eagerly awaiting Poothana’s arrival, while playing with the Gopis immediately closed his eyes and feigned as if he was sleeping.  She went to the child and carried him and placed on her laps akin to tying a snake around one thinking it to be a rope –“yathOragam suptam abuddhI rajju dhIḥ”. She went and placed the sleeping snake called Krishna on her lap.

The demons are known as NishAchari and it is generally known that they are active only in the night and they don’t have enough powers to be active during the day.  One would ponder as to why the lord closed his eyes on seeing Puthana.  The lord’s eyes are supposed to be the Sun [Chakro suryo ajAyatha]itself and when the eyes are open, then the lord’s true form can be perceived and so when Puthana sees the sun, then it is likely that she might lose the power thinking that it was indeed daytime.

The lord thus closed his eyes and was meditating upon Lord Shiva.


She wanted to feed the lord with deadliest poison and no one in Gokula suspected her true identity  which is seen in the first sloka – “tasmin stanam durjara-vIryam ulbaṇam ghorAnkam AdAya sishor dadAv atha
gAḍham karAbhyAm bhagavAn prapIḍya tatprAṇaiḥ samam roṣa-samanvitO pibat” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.10]


She thrust the poison into Krishna and goaded him to drink the poison. The lord in turn caught Puthana with both his arms [prapIdya] and drank the life out of her. As he drank the life out of her, the lord became very angry at her. The lord was then meditating at Lord Shiva became very angry, a quality of Lord Shiva at the thought of Puthana who in the guise of a mother went around and killed small children.  With that sheer anger, he burned all the sins of Puthana along with her life.


The above sloka can be dissected in two ways. The first half of the sloka shows how a true devotee approaches the lord in a gentle manner and the second half shows how the lord inundates his devotee with his grace.  Puthana was unable to bear the pain and started to cry.


sA muncha muncAlam iti prabhAṣhiṇi niṣpIḍyamAnakhila jIva-marmaṇi
vivṛtya netre caraṇau bhujau muhuḥ prasvinNa gAtrA kṣipatI ruroda ha[Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.11]


Puthana unable to bear the pain began to shout “Enough, Enough, leave me and let me go”. In a philosophical view, Puthana cries out to the lord to save her from the pangs of Samsara.  Her voice was so shrill when she shouted the three words and it appeared as though she was giving a discourse. In Guru Granth Sahib, Puthana is screaming that this samsara is enough for her and cries out to the lord to relieve her from this samsara – ‘muncha muncha alam”.


When the lord was drinking Puthana’s life-force, her voice should have been dying as well and in contrary, her voice became louder and shriller as her life-force was fading. It was verily because she was in contact with the source called lord. The life source drains into the lord who is the infinite source of energy and so she was able to scream more as she was dying.    An example to substantiate is from the life-history of Dhruva.. “Yo antha pravishya mama vacham imam prasuptam sanjeevayathi akhila sakthi dara swadhamna anyamstha hasta charanas shravanaswadhahdim pranam namo bahagvathe purushaya tubhyam” [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.6]

When Dhruva was doing intense tapas, his life-force within was very weak. As soon as the lord touched Dhruva in his cheek, the life-force within Dhruva was rejuvenated and hence all the senses started to function.


As Puthana began to shout, her eyes started to roll, began to sweat profusely and she began kicking her legs.

“kAya vAchA AnI mana” – The sense organs should react to one’s bhakti in the heart and so her eyes started to roll and tears were pouring out akin to a prema bhakta. Her hands and legs began to kick fast akin to how a true devotee would dance in divine ecstasy.


The entire universe and planets began reverberating along with Mother Earth to the shrill cries of Puthana out of her devotion to the lord. The cries of Puthana were heard even in the world below earth.


tasyAḥ svanenAtigabhIra ramhasA sAdrir mahI dyaus ca cacAla sa grahA
rasA disaś ca pratinedire janAḥ petuḥ kṣitau vajra nipAta sankayA [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.12]


The common people started to fall down thinking that it was thunder that was striking. This being the lord’s first leela, the lord was showing everyone that he is indeed the god himself, verily proving that the controller is the cause and that the vibrations are the effect.


NisA carItTham vyathita stanA vyasur vyAdAya kesAmsi caraṇau bhujAv apI
prasArya goṣṭhe nija rUpam AsthitA vajrAhato vṛtra ivApatan nṛpa [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.13]


The lord indeed wanted to show everyone her true form and that very moment she was instantly transformed to a demoniac form. The lord consumed the life-force [prana] of all those who had been consumed by her and he bestowed liberation to all those who were killed by Putana.


When the lord ate the dust from the ground, Yashoda comes running to Krishna to inquire as to what he ate. Krishna , did you eat the dust from the ground and he emphatically denied.

naham bhakshitavan amba sarve mithyabhisamsinah ityatra jarasandhacchaladau casatya


The reason he denied was because it was just not Krishna who consumed the dust but also all the lives whom he consumed and taken unto himself also ate the mud. Had yashoda asked Krishna “did you all eat the mud?” and Krishna would have happily said yes.


Since he drank the entire life force of Putana right into the root of the being, she was in excruciating pain and died akin to how Vritrasura was killed by Indra . Vritrasura came again and again even when he was struck by Indra and then the lord finally advised Indra to use Vadrayuja from Sage Daichi’s back-bone and that he won’t come back again.   Both Putana and Vritrasura attained the lord’s feet and were never born again.   When the lord killed Putana, he did not possess any weapons whereas in Vritrasura’s case he used Vadrayuja and both were liberated forever.


patamAnopi tad dehas trigavyUthy antara drumAn
chUrṇayAmAsa rAjendra mahad AsIt tad adbhutam [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.14]


When Putana fell dead, she had covered an area of six miles and as she fell down, all the trees were smashed and covered her huge body thus making the trees as logs for her own cremation. Sage Suka was one of the Gopis who witnessed the whole scene and thus he admired the leela to the fullest in Gokula.


IṣA mAtrogradamṣṭrAsyam giri kandara nAsikam
gaṇḍasaila stanam raudram prakIrṇAruṇa mUrdhajham

andha kUpa gabhIrAkṣam pulinAroha bhIṣhaṇam
baddha setu bujorvanghri sUnya toyahradodaram

santatrasuḥsma tad vIkṣya  gopA gopyaḥ kalevaram
pUrvam tutanniḥsvanita bhinna hṛut karṇa mastakAḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.15 – 17]


Sage Suka describes the appearance of Putana who lay dead. When she was fell to the ground, the lord was reminded of his devotee, Kumbakarna in his previous incarnation as Lord Rama.


Each baala leela of Lord Krishna was verily for the Pandavas for the future. The lord wanted to see what it would take to destroy “one Akshauhini senai”. He knew that Gadothkajan, would be born to Bheema and would destroy one Akshauhini senai. The lord wanted to know the area that would take for the destruction of one Ashauhini Senai and hence he got that idea that it would take an area of about six miles by Putana’s destruction.


She had a huge nose with huge arms and legs. Gopas and Gopis were first terrified hearing the sound emanating from her and now they were all the more scared seeing her gory form.  This is yet another proof that sound came before the form.


bAlam  cha tasyA urasi krIḍanhtam akutobhayam
gopyas tUrṇam samabhyetya jagṛhur jAta sambhramAḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.18]

But the lord was playing on the chest of Putana. It is known that the lord only plays on the devotee’s hrudaya. He at first induced fear in everyone by showing the gory form of Puthana and then he himself absolved that fear by fearlessly playing on her chest [akutho bayahm]. He is truly ‘Baya kruth baya nAshanahaha’.


It is indeed a beautiful precept that the entire Vishu Sahasarnama can be explained with Krishna Leela itself. The word ‘Damodara’ is “dama Udara’. He indeed has all the worlds in his stomach and hence he is called Damodara.


The Gopis had two kinds of fears. Firstly they were terrified seeing the gory form of Puthana and secondly they were frightened to see Krishna fearlessly playing on Puthana and so quickly snapped him away and approached Yashoda and Rohini to consult how they can ward off the evil forces from Lord Krishna.


The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.