5th Aug, 2016
Andal Thirunakshathram and Sravana Friday were celebrated today in Sitanagaram with devotional fervor. This year, it is unique as both festivals came at the same time of the year, making this day even more divine. After thirumanjanam – abhishekam to Goda Devi and Mother Sitha devi, HH performed kumkuma puja while Lakshmi Ashtotthara namavali and Goda Ashtottharavali were chanted by HH Ahobila Jeeyar Swamiji, Nepal Krishnamachary Swami and devotees. HH Swamiji gave a wonderful discourse on the greatness of Mother.
Both Sithadevi and Goda devi are ayonijas – not born from a human womb. While Lord takes all pains to appear as a human being, Mother retains Her original form. Her only purpose to appear on Earth is to remind Lord of the purpose of His incarnation.
We can see that in Srimad Ramayana. Rama was asked to go to forest for 14 years. Sitha devi wants to accompany him. But Rama denies to take her with Him. She tries all ways and even humiliates him indirectly but Rama turns a deaf ear. It was only when she reminds Him that She has to come and walk in the front and make way for him that he understands the purpose of His incarnation and takes her to the forest. Another instance is when Rama promises the sages that He will get rid of the rakshasas who were troubling them. After Rama makes that promise, Sitha broaches that topic when they were inside the cottage and asks as to why He was interfering in someone else’s business. When Rama asserts that it is his duty to protect the sages and that he would do it at any cost. Then Sitha commends Him for being on the right track.
Thus Mother appears on Earth to ensure Lord is saving us and not deviating from that purpose.
Even Goda devi appeared on Earth to remind Lord of His duty. Goda Devi was born 98 years after the beginning of Kaliyuga in Nalanama year. She was found in a thulasi garden by a great saint, Perialwar. In Kaliyuga, when Lord shows Himself only in the archa form, it was Goda devi who showed us how to get the grace of God. She chose Ranganattha, the first archa deity and reached Him by doing a 30 day Thiruppavai vratham.
Mother Goda is a great saint who is the 12th alwar, having inherited the love and devotion of all the 11 alwars. She is the one who established a method of worship in temples which was later followed by Bhagavad Ramanujacharya. Hence, She is considered even greater than Sitha devi. Both were born on earth but while Sitha devi was found where Yajna was to take place, Goda devi was found in divine thulasi garden. Goda devi grew up hearing stories of Krishna from Bhagavatham, while Sitha devi was tutored on warfare and kingly duties.
Sitadevi was bought up by Janaka , a great king who was even praised by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Githa for his karma yoga. But Goda devi was brought up by Vishnuchittha – a great saint who believed in kaikaryam.
A work done for fulfilling our body needs is called vrutthi. When that work is done as per sastras, it becomes karma. Doing karma for the benefit of society not expecting any fruit becomes dharma. When done as service to God it become Kaikaryam. It is the highest step. The work is the same but the feeling behind it makes all the difference. Thus, father of Godadevi was greater than Janaka.
Above all, Sri Ranganattha is the deity of Lord Rama. Rama gave the deity to Vibheshana to persuade him to go back to Lanka and rule the kingdom. Vibheshana placed the Lord on the banks of Cauvery river not willing to place the Lord in the impure place, Lanka where there was lot of bloodshed. Godadevi became the consort of that Ranganattha, which means Sri Rama worships Ranganattha and Godadevi. That was how our purvaacharyas applauded the greatness of Godadevi.
Bhagavad Ramanuja fulfilled the promise made by Godadevi to Sundarabahu Swamy. Breaking the norms of archa form, the compassionate Goda devi, came from the altar to the mandapam in the front and addressed Ramanujacharya as ‘ Anna’. In fact, Ramanuja followed and established all the temple rituals as shown by Goda devi. Thus, the compassionate mother taught the Lord to show mercy on us and also showed us how to get the grace of God.
Hence, the wise dictate that ‘ Whereever Goda devi is worshipped, earth will reap bountiful crops, there will be no famine, people will be happy with health and prosperity.’
The program concluded with thirttha and prasada goshti.
Endowments Minister Pydikondala Manikyala Rao attended the event and received mangalasasanams from HH Sri Swamiji.