Why is Goda Devi considered a teacher to God ? What do we learn from her?(From the Thiruppavai discourses of HH Chinnajeeyar swamiji 2016-2017)
Goda Devi – The Gem of a lady – The Divine Mother – The Task Master – The Great Poet – The Great Saviour and many more…
We always are thankful to anyone who supports us in need. Aren’t we? The greater the support is, the greater our thankfulness is. Para:sara Bhattar, a direct disciple of Bhagavad Ramanuja:charya felt the grace of Goda Devi in such a magnitude that he could not keep himself from singing in praise of her. He sang: Neela thungasthan giri thati… Para:sara Bhattar gave us this beautiful song which explained three great activities that Goda devi did in order to protect us from the jaws of suffering and to lead us in the path of experiencing ultimate bliss of being with the Divine, Lord Srimannarayana.
She woke up Lord Krishna because he went away from us as he got vexed by our behaviour. He rested in the divine comfort zone of Sri Neela Devi. Goda Devi awakened the God.In fact God is the one who wakes us all up from the darkness of ego, ocean of ignorance covered by maya/prakruthi). How great is our divine mother, Goda Devi!
She taught him and reminded him that it is his duty to protect us even though we may not seem worth it. She is a perfect teacher. The very nature of Goda Devi is to teach. No matter who it is, including God himself – she teaches everyone who need to be taught at any point of time. Let us all be her beloved students and learn to reach God in the path shown by her.
She tied him up with the love filled garlands and got his grace by demand, the demand which Lord fell in love with. Is it really possible to tie up God? Yes, for love filled heart like that of Goda Devi, She not only captivated the heart of God and made him obedient to him, but also shared the grace of God with all of us.
How fortunate are we to be part of her Gosti/group!?
Goda Devi’s two gifts for us are: Thiruppavai and Na:chiyaar Thirumoji. These two gifts are in fact nurturing us with nutritious milk that supports the entire sustenance of life in this creation. We will be singing the songs of Thiruppavai one each day in this auspicious month of Dhanurma:sam.
Let’s dig a bit deeper on the above three things: Waking up Lord Krishna:
Why did Lord Krishna sleep in the divine chest of Neela Devi? Para:sara Bhattar is a srungara chakravarthi (a poet with romantic sense). He described the state of affairs of Lord Krishna as that he is asleep with Neela Devi somewhere in divine chest of Neela Devi. Well, what else can he do?
He came down as Vamana – We all escaped the touch of his divine feet, or we would not have been here. We would have been liberated and reached the abode of Lord Srimannarayana like that of Ahalya with the touch of Sri Rama’s divine feet.
He came down as Rama – As if in search of Seetha, he walked across the forests all throughout wanting to enrich and uplift all of us. But we have been so smart to escape him as well He came down to us as Krishna – As if to teach Arjuna , he assembled the entire world to give us the essence of Vedas through Bhagavad Githa. But we have also managed then to escape by probably closing our ears.
Thesha:vaham samuddhartha: bhava:mi
Mruthyu samsa:ra sagara:th uddhartha: bhava:mi
And so he got vexed and went away to sleep next to Neela Devi, to feel comforted by her. But, Goda Devi woke him up and taught him that the very purpose of his creation is to help/protect others.
Is the fragrance of a beautiful rose for the sake of the flower
Is the pleasant wind for the sake of itself
Is the taste of a fruit for the sake of the fruit
Is the dazzling beauty of a risen peacock for the sake of him
Does the Sun shine for the sake of him
Sruthi satha sira… – There are about 1131 branches of Vedas at the time of Ve:da Vya:s.
The Sruthi (vedas) say that the essence of knowledge is ‘Pa:ra:rdhyam’. Goda Devi’s songs give us the essence of all that Vedas. ‘Pa:ra:rdhyam’ means to be of help for others. Goda Devi taught God and reminded him that ‘Pa:ra:rdhyam’ applies to him also. She reminded him that the very purpose of his creation is to help the jeevathma:s attain the ultimate liberation from mundane, worldly sorrows. All of us might think that we are very happy in this world, we have tasty food, good entertainment, many more luxuries and company of loving people. But, we do not realise the real nature of all these, we forget that they don’t last long. While all these are very much a good part of our life, we forget that we should travel towards ultimate destination using all the nature around us rather than becoming a permanent resident of this world. There is higher glory that we all deserve.
Sorry to compare this way – But, to make it clear, use this illustration. Just like a buffalo that enjoys its sleep/rest in dirty water and thinks that it is the happiest moment for it, we also do not realise the true nature of the world.
There are Devatha:s who are also souls like us but a bit higher in the state due to the good deeds they have done earlier. They look down to us just like we look down to the insects in layers of dirty water that has been stored for a long time. They just receive our prayers, give us back the benefits such as rain, wind, sunlight etc and relish their state and do not choose to be around us at all. Even though Devatha:s or anyone do not care to help us, God forgets his supreme state of being and comes down to us just like a mother would reach out to a child who falls down. God, with his utmost compassion wants to clean us up and give us a better state. God never created the souls, he enabled us to attain bodies that will let us move up from karmic bondage so we can also be free like him and enjoy the real state of glory along with him. God, Souls, Nature are three Nitya thatva:s, real ever existing entities.
Goda Devi thus reminded him of his such duty and awakens him when he laid frustrated with us.
She then tied him up with love filled garlands, her sweet and most pious songs, and ultimately tied him up with herself being completely dedicated and submitted to Lord Ranganatha. People might think that the garlands she decorated on herself, and then submitting those to Lord Ranganatha is actually not a good thing to do. It is important to be submitting and serving God with purest of the pure things. However, If we really think about it even few keerthanas/songs that were sung by you have already been experienced first within your heart and then sung to God, right? Hasn’t that already become a ‘used’ song? So, it is said by various aacharya:s that anything that is impure or used becomes completely pure after you submit it God. Her amazing Love to Lord Ranganatha took her to a level of knowledge that anything she did was considered a practice to be followed. With all such love of hers, God became a humble and obedient husband to her, thereby listening and following all her advises. She never misused his accessibility though. That is why, he knew that he can just follow her advises. She advised him to save us/ protect us.
Aanda:l is referred to as one among the great seers (parama hamsa:s). Have you ever heard of the two great abilities of a Hamsa/Swan?
– Ability to separate milk from the water, take only milk and leave the water behind
– Walk graciously that it is so admirable to watch
Our Aacharya:s that is why are called Paramahamsa:s (great Swans) , ie: they are able to separate the sa:ra from asa:ra (worth learning/receiving from worth leaving/ignoring). They also are in continuous path of learning to give us the best of the best, ie: they walk in the path of serving God’s grace to all of us, like that of Goda Devi. She is the teacher of all these Paramahamsa:s. Bhagavad Ramanuja Acharya also sung Thiruppavai and admired the way Goda Devi has taught us to perceive God, realise God in every aspect and every task we take up. She had taught us to enjoy nature as a small spec of beauty of God.
She sung in the presence of Vatapathrasayi, the presiding diety in Sri Villiputthur, while she was captivated by the beauty of God Ranganatha of Sri Rangam. Her heart was set in the divine feet of God Ranganatha and she made up her mind to only marry Ranganatha.
She showed us the path to reaching ultimate bliss of being in the companionship of God, Ranganatha in the sweetest way possible – through LOVE for God, by seeing his presence everywhere she went and in whatever work she has done.
Aacharya:s seek blessing of Goda Devi to give us the ability to sing like her, feel like her, understand God like her, and be able to submit to God like the way she did. She is referred to as Sudarko:di – a dazzling creeper, a delightful golden creeper. Creeper needs an upaghnam/support, and then it spreads all over the pandiri/trellis. She walked in the path herself first and then led us all in that path.
The capability in her to sing the greatest truths that rule the entire creation in a beautiful way is extremely matchless. Goda devi is greater than the Gopikas because she was able to give the path to all of us while the Gopikas just enjoyed the service to God only for themselves.
Let us look at the intensity or magnitude of Goda Devi’s knowledge:
Bhubhukshu is one who lives for the sake of eating
Mumukshu is one who eats to live and has a goal higher than just to eat The knowledge of Bhubhukshu compared with that of Mumukshu is ‘grain of sand’ to that of ‘a mountain !
A Rushi is one who has given up enjoying the worldly pleasures and working on attaining knowledge to reach that higher purpose Now, the knowledge of Mumukshu compared with that of Rushi is ‘grain of sand’ to that of ‘a mountain!
A scholar who writes scriptures with the knowledge of higher purpose is able to help others Now, the knowledge of Rushi compared with that of Scholar is ‘grain of sand’ to that of ‘a mountain!
These scholars, Rushis try to reach God with their efforts. But, there are some great souls whom God longs to be with. God himself chooses such great souls for carrying his message. They are called A:lwar:s Now, the knowledge of such a:lwa:rs compared with that of all scholars is ‘grain of sand’ to that of ‘a mountain!
Among 12 such a:lwa:rs, there are about 9 a:lwa:rs who sing to God and cannot bear a moment of separation and therefore always singing his glory. But there is an a:lwa:r named Vishnu Chitta (also called Peria:lwa:r) who warns God to not come closer to him because there could be evil eye that may harm God. Out of utmost love, this a:lwa:r sings mangala:sa:sanam/blessing to God – he forgets that God is the ultimate saviour and worries that something could happen to God Now, the knowledge of the 9 a:lwa:rs compared with that of all Vishnu Chitthan is ‘grain of sand’ to that of ‘a mountain!
Now comes our Goda Devi, who has acquired the entire knowledge and love for God from all the a:lwa:rs because Vishnu Chittha is the only a:lwa:r with a successor, Goda Devi. She inherited the love of all a:lwa:rs for God, the biggest sampada/wealth that anyone can possess. So, the knowledge of Vishnu Chittha compared with that of Goda Devi is ‘grain of sad’ to that of ‘a mountain’. This comparison is referred to as ‘Parvatha(mountain) parama:nu(smallest grain of sand) bhedamu’. Now, imagine the teacher that we are working with now, Goda Devi and her incomparable knowledge of the realities of world, and the way to lead a life with the highest purpose set as goal. To the ultimate teacher, our Divine Mother, Goda Devi – Our humble respects.