Tag Archives: bhagavatam

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.

‘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.

‘kam vA dayAlum’ – 2

26 Jan

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.














Jan 10: ‘PAlita Muchukunda’ – 1

10 Jan

The lord on the day of Shukla Margazhi  Ekadasi day opens the door to Vaikunta and anyone who enters the entrance of Vaikunta [Vaikunta Vasal, Uttara Dwaram], on this day is said to reach Vaikunta and be in the lord’s company. Since Vaikunta Ekadasi falls in the Hindu calendar of Maargazhi, the Uttara Dwaram in all Sri Vaishnavite temples is open before daybreak. The lord in Srirangam dresses up as Mohini Devi and goes around the sanctum sanctorum of the divine mother to show that he is indeed more beautiful than the divine mother who never comes out of her sanctorum in Srirangam. She simply disregards the lord who is dressed in the form of Mohini since no one can even dare to compare to the beauty and elan of the divine mother.


Interestingly, it is believed that the lord is the first one to enter the Vaikunta Vasal verily because he always desires to be in the company of his devotees. It is only secondary for the lord to reside in Vaikunta.


Atha vaishnava chiteashu drshtva bhaktim aloukikam
Nijalokam parithyajya bhagavAn bhakthavathsalaha [Srimad Bhagavatha Mahatmyam 4.1]

The Lord comes as Bhakthavatsala, who is verily Muralidhara with a flute wherever he sees his devotees in a divine communion [aloukika bhakti].

Vanamali Ganashyamaa Pitavasa Manoharaha

While the lord desires to be with his devotees who revel in satsang, the human mind wants to be with the lord in a different world.

Andal begins her fasting [pavai nombu].  In her second pasuram – “Vayathu Vazvirgal” she refers to the list of things she would abstain during the fast, ghee, milk, collyrium for eyes, jewelry. She does the Vrata only for 26 days even though she had earlier wanted to do it for the entire Margazhi month and the reason she stopped at 26th day was verily because the lord had already blessed her with his darshan as Manivanna in front of her which is the fruit of fasting; ‘Malae manivanna margazhi ni raduva’.

katyayani mahamaye mahayoginy adhisvari

nandagopasutam devipatim me kuru te namah” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.4]

She prays to the Pavai to bless them with Krishna, the son of Nandagopa as her Prananatha.

She requested the lord to bless with five paraphernalia (conch, flag, canopy, drums and flag) to complete the fasting ritual in a grand manner in her pasuram –

“Palanna vaNnathu un panchajaNniyame

Polvana sangankal poyppadudaiyanave

Salapperum paraiye pallandu isaippare

Kola vilakke kodiye vithaname

Aalin ilaiyaay ! arulelor empavai”


The lord on the 26th day presented himself in front of Andal and wanted to bless her with boons. Since she prays the lord in Srivilliputur, the lord then presented himself as Vadabhatra sayi in Srivilliputur. When Andal prayed to the lord in Srivilliputur, he showed himself as “Aalin ilayai” and on the 27th day the lord showed himself as Giridhari to Andal – “Koodarai Vellum Seer Govindha”.

Kadaravindena padAravindam mukharavinde viniveshayantam

Vatasya patrasya pute shayanam balam mukundam manasa smarami” [Sri Bala Mukundashtakam]


The next day, Andal praises the lord as the one who unites the ones who cannot be united in a satsang [kudArai vellum Seer GovindA]. From the life-history of Lord Sri Krishna one can perceive that he bestowed his grace on many Asura . In addition to the Asura clan, he also showered his grace on Lord Brahma and Lord Indra. In Brahma Mohana Leela , lord Brahma separated the Gopas from the lord and took them to his abode for an year. When Brahma realized his mistake, he immediately asked for forgiveness from the lord and praised the lord in few verses [stuthi] and he perceived Krishna everywhere as Lord Naryana with four arms. The lord however never turned back to Lord Brahma and went away. However in the case of Govardhana Leela, Lord Indra rained cats and dogs in Gokula for seven days. When Indra realized his mistake and pleaded to the lord for forgiveness the lord turned back to him and said – “may Ate kari maghavan makha bhangO nugrnata
mad anusmrithaye nithyam maTtasyendra shriyA bhrisham”
 [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.27.15]

If we ponder as to why the responded to Indra while he simply walked away from Brahma, when both of had committed a mistake, Sri Swamiji beautifully shares a precept for this act of the lord.

It is verily because, Brahma when doing the mistake, separated the Gopas from the lord, whereas Indra  who also committed a mistake, united the lord with the Gopas and Gopis  for seven days by raining cats and dogs. This goes to say that the lord very much likes to be with his devotees all the time.  All the Gopas and Gopis were under one roof for seven days and Indra helped him accomplish this and hence the lord was very happy with him.


So Andal in her pasuram says – “[kudArai vellum Seer GovindA]. Here in her pasuram she refers to the satsang that the lord bestowed to the Gopas and Gopis.  Andal refers to the great Bhagavatas as KudAr who they have their own devotion to the lord. The lord unites them in a satsang .

Each Gopa and Gopi was very possessive of Lord Krishna and they never mingled with other Gopas and Gopis.  They were devoted to Lord Krishna in their own way and they never got an opportunity to be in a Satsang. Sage Sukha in Venu Gitam describes the exalted state of the Gopis that when they come together and start to reminisce the divine exploits of Lord Krishna they would swoon and fall down the next second – “ tadh varṇayithum ArabdhA smarantyaḥ kṛiṣhṇa ceṣṭitam “. The lord wanted to bestow satsang to all Gopas and Gopis and hence united them in a satsang for seven days. Lord Indra helped the lord accomplish this and hence he was very happy with him. It is verily in a satsang that the lord is extolled and his glories are glorified.   The lord also performed Rasa Leela to bless the Gopis with satsang. The Gopis along with Yamuna Devi, being a special Gopi all sang the divine glories of the lord when they were in a satsang.

“tan manaskAs tad AlApAs  tad vicheṣṭAs tad AtmikAḥ
tadh guṇAn eva gAyantyo  nAtmAgArAṇi sasmaruḥ” [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.30.43]

punaḥ pulinam Agathya kAlindyAḥ kṛiṣhṇa bhAvanAḥ
samavetA jaguḥ kṛiṣhnam tad Agamana kAnkṣhitAḥ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.30.44]


Andal prays to the lord to bestow her with a satsang “kudi irudhu kulirdaelo embhAvai” , the very satsang that the lord himself wants to be with his devotees on the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi. In her pasuram Andal also says that she will give up her fasting only when that wish is bestowed on her and that she will also start to adorn herself with flowers, jewelry and consume milk and ghee, the ones that she abstained during the fast.

“Naadu pugazhum parisinAl nandrAga

SOodagame tholvalaiye thode seviPpOove

Padagame yendranaiya palkalanum yAm anivOm

Aadai yuduPpom adhan pinne pAr soru“ 


Mucukunda, prays to the lord to bless with the highest and greatest benediction called Satsang.

“bhavApavargO bhramatO yadA bhaveJ janasya tarhy acyuta sath samAgamaḥ
sat saNgamo yarhi tadaiva sad gatau parAvareSe tvayi jAyate matiḥi “ [Srimad Bhagavatam 10.51.53]


When one is in a satsang, it will automatically turn the mind towards the lord by growing the seeds of devotion in one’s heart and all one needs to do is to park one’s own body in a place called satsang.


The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.


Nov 11: Dhruva Charitra – 1

11 Nov

Ramya from San Jose commenced the lecture on Dhruva Charitra.

Sage Suka was expounding on the lineages of Manu from the fourth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. Manu had two sons – Priyavrata and Uttanapada. He also had three daughters – Aahuti, Devahuti and Prasuthi. It is normally the practice to talk about the lineage of the eldest son, but Sage Suka delineated on Uttanapadan and Devahuti. It was verily because, Devahuti was bestowed with Lord in her womb, who was Lord Kapila, which was Lord’s incarnation and Uttanapada’s lineage talks about the life-history of Dhruva, a great devotee of the Lord.  The charitha of Dhruva shows how Divine name combined with determination can help us achieve everything.

“Jayae Uttanapadasya sunitihi suruchis thayoho”

Uttandapada had two wives – Suneethi and Surichi. Their names go to speak a lot and are loaded with meaning. When the prefix ‘su’ is dropped from both their names, Neethi and Ruchi are left. When one favors comforts and mundane world he may not adhere to dharma [ Neethi] and hence dharma might be lost. Dhruva was the son of King Uttanapada and Suneethi and Uttama was born to Uttanadapada and Surichi. Dhruva was the 5-year-old son of King Uttanapada and his elder queen, Suneethi. But Suneethi was not favored by the king, who preferred his second queen, Suruchi.   Suneethi and Dhruva lived away from the palace. Nevertheless, Suneethi was very devoted to the Lord and she brought up Dhruva by feeding him stories of the Lord every day.

She did not disclose her sorrows in front of Dhurva and her life was centered around Dhruva. He was indeed a great Bhagavatotama and it is said that all Mahans and Sadhus would flock around him. It is also said that Sage Narada came to see Dhruva when he was born and he himself shared lot of stories with Dhruva. He had lot if interactions with Sage Narada even when Dhruva was only two years old.

When Sage Maitreya was expounding on the greatness of Shravanam to Vidura in the third canto,  reminisced Dhruva, since he attained the Lord’s feet by listening to the divine glories of the Lord from Sage Narada.

“Uttanapadasya puthro Munina gitayaarbakah” – says Sage Maitreya.

Dhurva during his early years of child hood was akin to any other kid. His life revolved around his mother Suneethi. Slowly as years passed by, when he was four years, he started to go out of the palace and play with his friends. Uttama and Dhruva were close friends and always played together.

One day while Dhruva was playing, Uttama did not show up. Dhurva was perplexed as to why he didn’t come and enquired with his other friends about Uttama and went in search of him. As he entered the Surichi’s palace in search of Dhruva, the guards were taken aback by his divine radiance. They let him enter Surichi’s palace not because he was the heir to the throne, but by merely being enticed by his divine look. As Dhruva approached the court, he saw Uttaman being seated in his father’s lap and being fondled by him and Surichi standing next to him. Dhruva’s earlier intention was to only take Uttaman along for playing, but as he neared Uttanapada, the urge to sit on his father’s lap crept in him too.

When Dhruva tried to sit on his father’s lap, Suruchi pushed him away and told him that he would be eligible to do so only if he was born to her. She advised him to do tapas to Lord Narayana, and ask for His blessings to be born as her son. Dhruva, being a young child, did not understand all this. He was too shocked and hurt by the turn of events. Bhagavatham portrays Surichi as an arrogant lady – “Maha Garuvitha”.

na vatsa nrupather dhishnyam bhavaan Arodum arhati
na gruhito maya yath tvam kuksav api nrupatmajah
balo si batha natmanam anyasthri garbha sambhratam
nunam veda bhavan yasya durlabhe rathe manorathah
tapasaaradhya purusham tasyaivaanugraheNa me
garbhe tvam sadhayatmanam yadicchasi nrupaasanam [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.11-13]

Surichi in her dialogue with Dhruva conveyed to him that although he is the son of King Uttanadpada [Nrupathmajaha], he is not eligible to sit on his father’s lap since he was not born in the womb of Surichi.

Surichi, made a caricature of herself and scolded Suneethi for all the events that just happened and further added that Dhruva was trying to accomplish a desire that is absolutely impossible to fulfill.

This dialogue between Surichi and Dhruva can be totally viewed in a different perspective. Although Surichi reprimanded Dhruva by citing that he was not born in her womb, this can be perceived as a bhaava, where Surichi was feeling bad that a boy like Dhruva was not born to her. She then advised Dhruva to go to the forest to do penance on the Lord to bestow him with a boon for being born in Surichi’s womb. She also added that she does not possess any good merits to have a divine child like him and by Dhruva’s sheer penance; she will be bestowed with a child like him.

 Uttanapada was witnessing the whole scene with his head down. Dhruva looked at his father once more to see if he will allow him to sit on his lap. Sage Maitreya says –

matuh sapatnyah sa durukti-viddhah svasan rusha daNDa hato yathahih
hitva mishantam pitharam sanna vacham jagaama matuh prarudan sakasam

 Akin to a snake when stuck by a stick, breathes heavily, Dhruva filled with anger was also breathing fast and was holding up. When he saw his father who was silent and did not protest, Dhruva left the place and went to his mother. When he met his mother, his eyes were trembling with fear and cried grievously. Suneethi placed Dhruva on her lap while the palace maid servants who had witnessed the dialogue between Surichi and Dhruva related her everything in detail.

sotsrujya dhairyam vilalaapa soka davagnina dAva lateva bala
vakhyam sapatnyAh smarati saroja sriyA drushA bAshpa kalaam uvaha [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.16]

Suneethi was unable to bear the shock and was inconsolable.

 Suneethi was getting ready to prepare Dhruva for the path that she was about to advocate and thus started –

dirgham svasanthi vrijinasya param apasyati balakam aha bala
mamangalam tata pareshu mamistha bhunkte jano yat para dukhadas tat [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.17]


In spite of Surichi’s harsh words on Dhruva, Suneethi advised Dhruva not to have any hatred against Surichi because a person who inflicts sorrow on others will himself suffer from that pain. She also added that when one goes out in search of the Lord with hatred and bad thoughts, the Lord will turn away from that devotee.

She said “Oh Dhruva, your stepmother Surichi’s words even though they were harsh, are indeed factual. You need to meditate on the Lord to attain him”.

aatishtha tat tatta vimatsaras tvam uktam samatrapi yad avyalikham
aradhayadhokshaja paada padmam yadhicchase dhyasanam uttamo yata [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.19]

The Lord will give himself to the devotee who holds on to his feet – [Athmanam api yachaati] and cited Lord Brahma and Swayambu Manu’s devotion to the Lord’s holy feet.

Suneethi in her instruction to Dhruva, thus asked him to meditate on the holy feet of the Lord and that is the only panacea for all the suffering in this world.

tam eva vatsashraya bhrutya vatsalam mumukshubhi mrugya padabja paddhatim
ananya bhave nija dharma bhavitae manasy avasthapya bhajasva purusham [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.22]


The mother’s love is generally considered to be the highest. However, if we take the case of animals, they go one step beyond. A dog when it gives birth, takes immense care and showers unconditional love on its puppies and it never expects anything in return from them. The Lord’s creation encompasses everything from an ant to a man and the Lord’s divine love on his own creation is incomparable. He is waiting to shower his grace only if one has a thought that the Lord exists and that one has to attain him. Once that earnest desire creeps in a devotee, the path to attain the Lord is verily shown by the Lord himself, says Suneethi when expounding on the greatness of the Lord to Dhruva.

nanyam tata padma palasa locanad duhkhacchidham the mrugayAmi kanchana
yo mrugyate hasta gruhita padmaya sriyetarair anga vimrugyamanaya. [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.23]



Suneethi continuing to expound on the greatness of the Lord told Dhruva that she was unable to find anyone who can mitigate the stress other than the Lord, who has eyes like lotus petals, who is the indeed the real father unto whom one should shower their love.

The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.

Sep 23: Vaishnava Lakshana and Vritrasura Chatushloki

23 Sep

Once a disciple went to Parashara Bhatta and asked him what a ‘lakshana’ (characteristic) of a Vaishnava.  Bhattar could have as well pointed to himself and said, ‘look at me, I am a Vaishnava’, but would a true Vaishnava do that?  He didn’t even reference a grantha/shastras; instead, he asked his disciple to go and see Ananthazhwar in Tirupati, who is a disciple of Ramanuja and had had the Darshan of Lord Venkateswara Himself, for an answer.  The disciple, after several days of travel, reaches Tirupati and in abject starvation, walks to where food is served and seats himself in the first serving (first ‘pankthi’).  He was kicked out of the serving as he was ineligible, by qualifications to sit in the first-serving, and likewise for the second-serving too.  Humbled, he skipped the other servings too, as he deemed himself ineligible, and ended up skipping food altogether. 

Ananthazhwar came out of his house and his sight fell on this man and the former enquired of his roots and learning that he came from Srirangam, sent by Parashara Bhattar, he is elated, exchanges pleasantries  and asks him if he had had his meal.  When the disciple nodded in the negative, Ananthazhwar chided his ‘kainkaryaparas’ for not having taken care of the visitor from Srirangam and asked them to feed him first.  Angered that the visitor has shown them in bad light, the ones who served food, srap leftovers from the utensils, make a small ball of food and present it to the visitor, who eats it as the Lord’s Prasadam, albeit feeling disrespected.  Later, when he met Ananthaazhwar again, he posed the question to Ananthaazhwar about the qualities of a Vaishnava. 

‘kokkaipol iruppaar, kozhiyai pol iruppar, uppaipol iruppaar, ummaipol iruppaar’, casually remarked Ananthaazhwar.  ‘A Vaishnava is like a crane, is like a hen, is like salt and is like you’.

The crane waits on the banks of a lake, and waits for the big fish alone to catch it for its meals, leaving out the rest of the tiny ones.  A Vaishnava is one who waits for the Periya Perumal – Lord Narayana to catch hold of His feet.  From a mass of dust and dirt, the hen carefully picks up the few food-grains and pecks them.  Likewise, a Vaishnava, amdist all the Shastras, granthas and Text, the Vaishnava picks up the essence of it alone filtering out the rest.   Salt gives any food its taste.  Without salt, however carefully prepared, the dish is not palatable.  A Shastra (scripture), Thirtha (holy river), Kshetra  (holy place) – gets its sanctity only by the presence/ benediction of a Vaishnava.  A Vaishnava’s presence is inevitable for sanctification, just like salt is indispensible for taste.  Finally, ‘ummaippol iruppar’  – this part, the visitor did not understand.  He ruminates on it for hours together, and then goes back to Ananthaazhwar again, finding little success in trying to decipher the meaning of the last part.

Ananthaazhwar said, ‘you have passed the test!’ – A true Vaishnava is truly humble – like you, who have disregarded all the ill-treatment  meted out to you and sought only knowledge; who did not claim to have understood everything but came back to me admitting that you have not understood yet!  That is the quality of a Vaishnava, said Ananthazhwar.

After a round of introductions, Nishaji spoke on Vritrasura Upakhyana from Srimad Bhagavatam.

The Lord does not see a disparity to shower his grace in his own creation.  Yet he has a little leaning to his devotees which is perhaps why Krishna crosses his legs!  From stories, it may seem as if He favors the Devas always, and punishes the Asuras even if the devotion of the former is not supreme.  In keeping with  his fame of fairness, the Lord has a few Asura devotees as well, Prahlada, his grandson Mahabali being the foremost.  Another lesser known devotee throughout our scriptures is Vritrasura whose devotion he kept as a hidden secret.  Just like Radha Devi, whose name itself is so sacred to take, Vritrasura’s devotion was such pristine – delicate heart housed in a grotesque form.

Once when Indra was immersed in sensual pleasures of entertainment in his Loka, he ignored his Guru – Brushaspati who arrived there.  An enraged Bruhaspati walk out, and Indra immediately realizes he has lost all his powers, and repenting for his bad-deed, goes searching for his Guru in vain.  He approaches Brahma who suggests Thwashta’s son Vishwarupa.  Indra approaches Vishwarupa but the latter doesn’t wish to take up the position of the Guru of the Devas.  Out of compassion, he finally agreed and teaches the devas, the “Narayana Kavacham” which serves as a shield for one from head to toe.  But however, Vishwarupa, gives a part of the offerings to his uncles, Asuras,              whenever he performs Yagas for the Devas.  Indra, enraged on hearing this, beheads the three heads of Viswarupa, killing his own Guru – a brahmana.  Twashta was extremely angry on hearing this news, performs a fire-sacrifice from which emerges Vritrasura who was gory in appearance.  The mantra was mispronounced  and hence Vritrasura was born as one who would be killed by Indra (rather than one, who would kill Indra).

Vritrasura was strong and daunting to the Devas, who took refuge in the Lord.  The Lord, who knew the real heart of Vritrasura, replied to the devas, ‘a true devotee who hankers for me will get me. One who looks for sensual pleasures is pitiable’ and blessed Indra with what he asked for – He instructed Indra to approach a sage called Dadichi and ask for his backbone with which he would make the ‘Vajrayuda’ – with which Vritrasura can be killed.  Indra does as instructed and confronts Vritrasura at the battlefield.

Vritrasura laughed at Indra – ‘Look at what you went and asked the Lord!’, he laughed, ‘It wouldn’t take me long to go to the Lord and ask for a boon to defeat Indra, and the Lord shall grant it to me! But, Indra, I wouldn’t ask him for that.  I wish for something greater and sublime!’   He very well knew that he was born to be killed by Indra and Indra also wanted victory over Vritrasura.   That was his wish too – to die at the hands of Indra – for the Lord’s will was his will too.

He would keep his prayer soft and secretive.  He had only 4 verses in prayer-
‘aham hare tava pAdaikamUla dAsAnudAso bhavitAsmi bhUyah |
manasmaretAsu pater guNAmste grhNIta vAkkarma karotu kAyah ||’

May my mind think about you and you alone; my hands serve you alone.

‘daasaanudasa’ – all great Mahatmas say this – May I be blessed t o serve the devotee of your devotee’s devotee! Such is their humility!  A bhajan by Kabir ends as ‘raam naam nij amrut saar, sumire sumire bin.. kahe kabir   chado harike charan nivaar‘ – ‘remembering the nectarine Rama Nama, devotees cross the ocean of the world, being a devotee of the devotees of the Lord, I shall not give up God’s Feet!’  Sekkizhar, the author of Periyapuranam calls himself ‘adiyaarukku adiyaar’; likewise, echo the Azhwars, – one of their name being Thondaradipodi (the dust at the feet of the devotees).    Sri Swamiji would say, if you can serve Rama like Lakshmana, serve the Lord/Guru, that is good. If that is not possible, be like Bharata – do what the Guru says.  If you cannot do even that, be like Shatrugna  – serve the devotee of Bhagavan.  Vritrasura asks for servitude to the servants of servants of the Lord.

And then in his second verse, he says,
Na naga prushtam nacha parameshtyam nasarvabhaumam narasadhipathyam
Nayoga siddhir apunarbhavam samanjasatva virahaiya kaankshe || (6:11:25)

Says Vritrasura, ‘I don’t want the pleasures of any of the worlds nor do I want any Yoga Siddhis; not even liberation if it means moving away from you, Oh Lord.  May I be constantly in your Smarana’.  Interestingly, in Uddhava Gita, the Lord uses these same words to describe the qualities of a true devotee.

The third sloka reveals the true nature of Vritra’s bhakti.
Ajatha pakshad iva maataram khagah stanyam yata  vatsadhara ksudhartha: |
Priyam priyeva vyushitam vishanna Manoravindaasksha didrukshate tvaam” || (6:11:25)

When a little bird is born from the egg and the mother is away, it helplessly cries out, and Vritrasura says he is like that bird, crying out for Bhagavan.  Then he goes one step higher and talks about a calf that is tied to a rope and can see its mother, but can’t go unto it.  He says that he is like the calf tied to the world  and hence not able to reach the Lord even though he knows the Lord is there.  Finally he reveals his true devotion when he refers to the love of a wife for her husband – she knows where her husband has gone and is capable of going, but she waits patiently for him to come – a devotee who wishes for Bhagavan to come down and bestow His grace and darshan.

In the final sloka,
“Mamottama sloka janeshu sakyam samsara chakre bramtah smakarmabi: |
Tvan maayayaatmatmaja daara geheshu Asakta chityasa na naatha bhooyaat”  (6:11:26)

He says, ‘Oh Lord!  Please bestow me with Satsang with your devotees. And keep me away from those who keep speaking of the world.’  He underlines that satsang is the root of everything.  He begins with satsang of the devotees of the devotees of the Lord and concludes with Satsang again, stressing the fact that if we are in a satsang, automatically, that which is referred in the other two slokas – staunch devotion towards the Lord comes.

In Pushti Marga, these slokas are the Chatusloki Bhagavatam.  They are indeed the four Purushartas – Dharma( serving the Bhagavan’s devotees), Artha (the Lord who is the greatest wealth), Kama (the greatest desire is to yearn for the Lord) and Moksha (satsang leads one to verily Moksha).  In Papa Ramdas’ words, ‘one whose lips has the Divine Name all the time is indeed a Jivan Mukta’.  Chanting incessantly is indeed Moksha.

After Vritrasura makes this prayer, Indra attacks him with Vajrayuda and Vritra is killed.
The sixth canto – the heart of Bhagavatam – has Ajamila Charitra and this story –showing us the greatest of Bhakti and the grace of the Lord.

The satsang ended with prayers and Nama Sankirtan.

Sep 9: Tiruvonam & Mahaprabhu’s childhood

9 Sep

It is the auspicious day of Tiruvonam and the Vamana Jayanti.  Andal, in Tiruppavai mentions all the 12 names of the Lord; and Trivikrama and Vamana are from the same Avatar.  And Andal gives the adjective ‘uttaman’ (noblest) when she refers to the Trivikrama Avatara.  (‘ongi ulagalanda uttaman peyarpaadi’).  Periyavaachaan pillai explains why, leaving Krishna whom she loved beyond anything else, Andal calls Trivikrama as noblest – it is only in this incarnation where the Lord does not destroy the bad – he rather corrects the evil quality in Bali – and that is a supreme quality – a quality of the Guru/Acharya – just as Madhura Kavi Azhwar says – ‘seyal nandraaga tiruthi paNi koLLvAn’ (the Guru corrects a jiva and employs him in the service of the Lord).  Secondly,  in this Avatara, the Lord descends as a boy, undergoes the ‘Upanayana’ samskara and then goes to Bali’s for Bhiksha, showing that one has to have a qualification to go for ‘Yaachanam’ (seeking alms).  We generally talk about going to temples and having the Lord’s darshan, but truly, it is the Lord who comes down to the doorstep of the devotee – just as Vamana goes to Bali’s doorstep. 

The Devas are in a bad state because the Asuras are in control and Aditi, the mother of Devas, prays to the Lord and the Lord appears to her and asks her to undertake the ‘Payo Vrata’, and Aditi follows as instructed.  In the Abhijeet Muhurta (the most auspicious time), when all the planets take the most beneficial positions, with all the divine souls expect in enthusiasm for His arrival.. the Lord is born to Aditi as a young boy, with a short stature (‘vamana’) as Indra’s brother (‘Upendra’)  and his Upanayana is performed.  Brihaspati gives the sacred thread, Kashyapa gives the Mekhala, Saraswati gives the Japa Mala, the Moon gives the ‘Palasha’ stem, Aditi gives the loin cloth, Indra gives the umbrella, Brahmaji gives the Kamandalu and the first Bhiksha is provided by none other than Uma Devi.  The charming lustrous young boy walks with an audacious gait unto ‘Brighu kachcham’ (today, Brauch) – the place where Bali is performing a Yagna on the banks of Narmada.  Seeing the little boy, everyone raise in respect.  An extremely happy Bali offers to give anything that the Brahmana would ask for.  The Lord extols the virtues of Bali’s entire lineage including Hiranyakashipu and seeks three steps of land.  Insulted by this petty request, Bali mocks at the Lord, ‘Ah! You spoke like an elderly, but you are indeed a little kid, for you approach the master of all the worlds, and ask for three steps of land!’.  A smiling Bhagavan replies, ‘Oh King, if one is not contented when bestowed with what he needs, and seeks more, he will never be contented even if all the worlds are offered to him.  A contented man attains his goals quicker. A Brahmana should, especially be contented with what he gets, and that will enhance his luster and power.’    Shukracharya, Bali’s Guru, at this point, warns Bali telling him that he was a representative of the cunning, end-oriented, Devas who has come to snatch his entire property – ‘maya manavakoharih’ – the ‘cunning – human-like Hari’!  Bali was extremely happy that the very Lord has come down, and with his wife Vindhyavali’s consent sanctions the Lord’s request.  Immediately, the Lord takes a colossal form of Trivikrama spanning all the worlds, measuring the Earth and the skies with two steps.  Brahmaji does a pooja when he sees the Lord’s Foot in his own loka. This water comes down as the Ganges.  Jambavan, the mighty bear, circumambulates this colossal form!  Turing to Bali, the Lord seeks the third step, which Bali is unable to provide and gets captivated.   Bali offers his own head to the Lord signifying the offering of his own self.  The moment Bali offered himself to Bhagavan, the Lord offered Himself to Bali!  He housed Bali at the Patala Loka, the most posh and comfortable place in all the worlds, Himself standing guard at its entrance.

Bhagavatam speaks of twelve people who knows the essence of Bhagavata Dharma, and Bali is one among them.  Bali is an eternal Bhagavata – he is a Chiranjeevi.

Legend goes that it is on this day, Tiruvonam, that Bali comes out and visits every home in his kingdom.  This is celebrated in Kerala in a grand manner.  ‘avaishnavo hato deshah’ – a country is doomed if it does not have a Bhagavata.  And we are fortunate that this eternal Bhagavata comes amidst us on this day.


Following introductions, Aravindji continued to speak on Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji.

Bhagavatam says that the life stories of Bhagavatas have to be listened to – for they purify one and inculcate  Bhakti.  And we are now fortunate to listen to the story of the Lord who descended as a Bhagavata – Mahaprabhuji.

‘Thyaga’ – Sacrifice and ‘Vairagya’ – detachment are the two main pillars to attain devotion.  Prema Bhakti comes forth with sublime devotion and it is beyond Mokhsa – and Mahaprabhuji descended to show this to us.  Sachi Devi and Jagannatha Mishra were delighted to see the little child with curly hair, chubby cheeks and fair complexion – Nimayi born to them.  On the day of the naming ceremony, a few articles like money, food, clothes etc. were placed in front of the baby and the baby was prodded to pick one – to see what it would grow into as – and undoubtedly, Nimayi picked up the Srimad Bhagavatam Grantha.

Soon after, Sachi Mata had a vision where she saw the Devas worshipping the little boy.  She ran down to her husband to convey this and Mishraji consented that Nimayi was no ordinary child as he was born with the great Mahatma – Advaitacharya’s blessings who predicted that he would be an Avatara Purusha, as Bhagavatam says, ‘naaraayana samo gunaih’.  One day, when the little one crawled, Sachi Mata noticed that his footprints were extraordinary with special streaks of ‘shanka’, ‘chakra’, ‘dwaja’, ‘vajra’ etc. on them – as Bhagavatam says when Bhagavan disappeared during Rasa Lila, His footprints could be seen –
‘padAni vyaktametAni nandasUnor mahAtmanah |
lakshyantyehi dwajAmbojA vrajAngushevAdibih ||

Understanding humans as humans is a good deal, as is understanding God as God, but understanding God as human is the greatest deal and that was the case with Nimayi’s parents who had no doubt that Nimayi was indeed Krishna re-enacting all His Bala Leelas.

One day, something upset Nimayi and he cried uncontrollably.  He wouldn’t stop after Sachi Mata’s infinite attempts to passify him, and eventually, losing temper, the mother walked out of the house.  No sooner this had happened than she felt someone pulling the tip of her sari and it was Nimaayi.  She swooned on seeing Nimayi and soon all the villagers gathered.  When Sachi Devi regained consciousness, Nimayi felt very guilty and apologetically promised to his mother that he would never misbehave from then on.  Overjoyed, the mother kissed the little one.

In Bhagavatam, Parikshit asks, what great fortune did Nanda and Yashoda do that they are parenting the very Hari –

‘nandah kimakaroth brahman shreya yevam mahodayam |
yashodAcha mahAbhAgAh papauyasya stanam harih ||

The state was the same with Sachi Mata and Jagannatha Mishra.

It was time for Nimayi to take up education – he was given a slate and chalk for ‘aksharabhyasam’.  The moment he had a chalk with him, he applied a tilak on his forehead and throughout his body and proudly showed it to Sachi Mata, who said, ‘dear child, you are always playful! When are you going to get serious?’  He would go to the neighbors’ and ask them to give ‘sandesh’ (a sweetmeat) and would dance for them in return, just like Krishna did for butter.

Nimayi’s favorite place was the banks of the Ganges, where he would make fun of the young girls.  He would beckon them to worship him and offer flowers at his feet, and would playfully grant them benediction.  One such girl was Lakshmi Devi, whom Nimayi blessed with the words, ‘may you get a husband who would match the Devas in virtue and beauty’, and aptly enough, she ended up taking Nimayi’s hand in marriage later.

Vishwaroopa, Nimayi’s brother, when he was 16, embraced Sanyasa and this put the entire family in gloom.  He decided against sending Nimayi to school because education verily ‘spoilt’ his brother!  Nimayi was extremely sad at this.  He dressed up as a blind boy and went to his own house to beg for food.  When Sachi Mata chided him, he said, ‘Mother, I am indeed blind and being illiterate and hence I am a beggar too!’  The divine parents decided to perform the sacred thread ceremony for Nimayi to send him to Patashala.   During Brahmopadesha, Nimayi swooned the moment he was initiated into the Gayatri Mantra, for he went into a divine trance.  When Nimayi went to his mother begging for his alms, and it looked like verily Vamana Bhagavan had descended!

The satsang concluded with prayers and Nama Sankirtan.


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