Guruvayoor from Narayaneeyam -7
Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly
summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034
sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit.
The whole work is divided into 100 dasakas of mostly ten slokas each. It was completed in 100 days at the end
of which Bhattathiri, who was suffering from chronic rheumatic disease, was
completely cured and also had a beatific vision of the Lord of Guruvayoor as Venugopala
. In the last sloka of each dasaka Bhattathiri cries out his heart, praying to the Lord to end his afflictions
and restore his health. .
below is the collection of last slokas from Daskasmn 61 to 70 of this great devotional work with a
prosaic translation in English. A brief
note on the contents of each dasaka is also given, where possible, to
put the slokas in context.
far away from Vrindvan with idea of
blessing the wives of the brahmins. BY
the time they reached the place it was midday and every one was hungry and
thirsty. Krishna told the cowboys to go
and ask food from the brahmins who were conducting a yagna. The Brahmins
pretended that they did not hear
anything and kept mum. The gopas went
back and reported to Krishna. Krishna
told the gopas to go and tell the wives of the brahmins that Krishna had come and was asking food for him and his
friends. As soon as they heard Krishna’s name, the wives were excited
and immediately went with the gopas with a variety of food preparations and
liquids to drink. They saw Krishna with
the peacock feather on his hair, Kundalas shining on his cheeks, compassion in
his eyes with one hand on the shoulder
of a gopa. Krishna accepted the food
brought with pleasure and persuaded them to go back to their husbands and
complete the yagna though they were reluctant to leave the company of
Krishna. One brahmani was prevented by her husband from going and
she gave up her life then and there with her heart filled with the thought of
Brahmins realised their mistake and appreciated the devotion of their wives.
Realising that you are the incarnation of Mahavishnu, the pure sattwic aspect of Brahman, they sang
your praises. O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my maladies.
Krishna saw the gopas collecting material for a yagna to propitiate Indra. Though he knew this very well he pretended
ignorance and enquired for what purpose these arrangements were being made.
Nanda explained that Indra blesses them with rains every year. Without rains their
cows will not have grass to eat and there won’t be any water for agriculture.
That is why every year they perform this yagna to please Indra. Krishna argued:
“Rains are created by the punya (good deeds) of beings, not by the
whim of Indra. Do the trees in the dense forests offer worship to Indra? Our cows need grazing grounds with grass for
which we should offer worship to the Govardhana mountain. Brahmins are at a higher pedestal than the
devas. Let us also worship them.” Gopas accepted Krishna’s arguments and
arranged to worship the Govardhana Mountain.
Krishna himself accepted the offerings made to the mountain and told the
people that the mountain is accepting the offerings and it can protect all of them
if at all Indra got angry. This daska
concludes with the following sloka:
क्रुद्धश्चेत् द्विजकरुणया शैलकृपया-
मम गदान् ॥६२.१०॥
Lord! You convinced the gopas that If Indra becomes angry they will have no
problems by the grace of the brahmins and the mountain. You then wondered why Indra had not come so
long (after his yagna was thwarted). O Lord of Guruvayur! slayer of Mura! Please free me from my afflictions.
clouds matching the complexion of Krishna, accompanied by thunder reverberating in all directions,
gathered over the sky of Vraja. The gopas, threatened by the continuous
downpour accompanied by hailstones, cried out to Krishna for protection from an
angry Indra. Krishna told them not to be
afraid, the Govardhana mountain was capable of warding off the attack of Indra,
they should not doubt this. Saying thus Krishna, a smile playing on his face, lifted
up the Govardhana mountain from its roots and held it aloft with one hand
asking every one to come and occupy the expanse of fine sand under it, away
from the downpour. He playfully carried
on a banter with the girls and those of his age and scratched the bodies of
cows that nestled up to him with one hand. Indra maintained the downpour
continuously for seven days thinking that Krishna would put down the mountain
when his hand started aching. But
nothing of that sort happened. Krishna
was unmoved even after the lapse of seven days.
But the clouds had exhausted themselves and the rain stopped
automatically. Krishna asked every one
to move out and put the mountain back on its base. This dasaka concludes with
the following sloka:
had held aloft the whole of this earth before (in your Varaha
incarnation); what to talk of lifting
this mountain, it is child’s play for you”, thus praised by the celestials, O Lord of Guruvayur! save me from my ailments
gopas, seeing the superhuman exploits of Krishna, like lifting up the mountain with one hand,
asked Nanda about the predictions in his horoscope. Nanda narrated to them what Garga Muni had
told him about the greatness of Krishna. After hearing that their love and
respect for Krishna increased many times. Indra, mortified in his attempt to
put down Krishna and his conceit deflated, came down from heaven with Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, and bowed at
the feet of Krishna begging his pardon. Kamadhenu, moved by love for Krishna, drenched him with
milk from her udders, calling him “Govinda’.
Indra also bathed Krishna by the waters of the celestial Ganga brought
by his elephant airavata and, taking
leave of Krishna, went back to his world.
when Nanda was bathing in Yamuna, the aides of Varuna took him away. Krishna went to the abode of Varuna who,
excited on Krishna’s arrival, received him with honour and sent back with him
Nanda who narrated the incident to the gopas. They were convinced by now that
Krishna was none other than the Lord of the worlds. They were raring to see his abode and Krishna
revealed to them his sachidananda swarupa,
(ocean of Consciousness and Bliss)
in which they were submerged for long until Krishna brought them back to their
Lord! In which other incarnation have you shown your devotees your real nature
as clearly as a ‘badara fruit on the plam’?
O the Lord of Guruvayur! seen here in the form of a cowboy, you are certainly the sachidanada brahman, save me
from my maladies.
to redeem his promise to the gopis, chose a moonlit night to repair to the
forests on the banks of the Yamuna and played his flute. The melodies from the flute created a
commotion in the hearts of the gopis and they left whatever they were doing ‘
as is where is’ and hastened to meet their sweetheart Krishna. Some came
half-adorned, some wore the ornaments in the wrong places, some forgot to cover their breasts, some left
their children half-fed Some, unable to
come out of the house, identifying themselves with Krishna in their heart of
hearts left their mortal bodies and
became one with the sachidananda brahman. These were the real fortunate ones.
beauties of Vraja who had come there saw you as a sea of limitless brilliance, with
face lit up by a captivating smile and glances tinged with compassion. O
Beloved to the heart of all !, please take away my ailments.
Krishna wanted to satisfy the gopis who were stricken by the arrows of Cupid,
he told them virtues of observing their dharma
as wives to their husbands, as mothers to their children as daughers-in-law
to the parents of the husband, daughters to their parents and so on and asked
them to go back to their homes. The
gopis, however, were not in a state of mind to heed this advice of Krishna.
They beseeched Krishna not to be so unkind and abandon them. Moved by their tears, Krishna started to play
with them on the moonlit banks of the
Yamuna with sweet talks, hand-holdings, kisses, embraces and so on. Bhattathiri
concludes this dasaka with the following verse::
Guruvayur! fond of embracing the raised breasts of Radha! I worship you. Please
cure me of my diseases.
gopis, thus pleased by Krishna, became conceited and each one thought that Krishna loved her
more than the others. Sensing this
conceit of the gopis, Krishna vanished from the scene of their activities,
taking with him only Radha. Now it was
the turn of gopis to lament the disappearance of Krishna. They started searching for Krishna in groups
and unable to stand the pangs of separation they asked every tree, creeper or
plant whether they had seen Krishna who had stolen their hearts. Gopis
completely identified themselves with Krishna and enacted Krishna’s leelas. Again
they started searching and found Radha also abandoned. Then all of them
searched in the forest until darkness set in.
Seeing the gopis steeped in sorrow Krishna, his heart full of compassion
for them, appeared before them again, his
form enthralling all the three worlds.
dasaka concludes with the following verse:
who were doubtful about your darshan ever again, were pleasantly surprised when you
appeared before them and were mad with joy.
What did they not do because of their abundance of love for you? O Lord
of Guruvayur ! save me from my afflictions.
joy of the gopis knew no bounds when they got the company of Krishna
again. They stood still before Krishna
as if they had been bathed in a stream of nectar. One of gopis took Krishna’s hand and put it
to her breasts and stood still with her hairs bristling. Another gopi took Krishna’s soft hands and put it around her neck as if
trying to prevent the exit of oxygen from her throat. Another one received in her mouth chewed areca
nuts from Krishna’s mouth. Another one,
with eyes brimming with tears, looked at Krishna and she would not touch
Krishna who had left her alone mercilessly in the forest. Krishna consoled them all saying that they
should not think that he was heard-hearted, he was deep in love with them and what he had one was only to further
strengthen their love for him. In the last verse of the dasakam given below
Bhattathiri entreats the Lord to relieve him of his maladies:
soft and sweet words you revelled in the company of the gopis and became
interested in the rasa dance with them.
.O Lord of Gruruvayur ! save me from my afflictions.
had peacock feathers stuck into his locks. His ear globes were oscillating, he was wearing gold-diamond necklaces and the vanamala. The sandal paste applied on his body gave out a soothing
fragrance. He was donning a bright
yellow silk garment on his waist and anklets of gold and diamond. Decked out in
all this Krishna stole the hearts of the gopis.
The gopis were also decked out in fine garments and gold-diamond jewellery. Krishna, by his yogic powers, took many forms so that between
each pair of gopis there was Krishna and in the centre of the circle so formed
was also Krishna. When the rasa dance
started the celestials came crowding and from above they were watching the leela of Krishna. The damsels of heaven envied the gopis who
were fortunate enough to get Krishna for company. Krishna played on the flute and all of them
danced to the music of the flute with the tinkling of bangles and anklets. The gopis merged themselves in Krishna
consciousness and forgot the external world.
the last verse of this dasaka given below Bhattathiri entreats the Lord to save
him from his ailments:
परिपाहि माम् ॥६९.११॥
Lord of Guruvayur! Thus did you give to the gopis of Vraja the experience of
being immersed in the ocean of pure bliss, available only to the yogis, so that
they earned the respect of even Brhama and Sankara. Only your devotees can understand your form,
O embodiment of beauty! save me from my ailments. .
went with the gopis to Ambikavana to offer worship at the Siva temple there and
spent the night there. During the night
a python devoured Nanda and in spite of the best efforts of the gopas it would
not leave him. Then Krishna came and
touched him with is foot. Immediately the python was transformed into a vidyadhara.
He bowed to Krishna and told him that he had become the python
because of the curse of a Muni. Once
when Krishna and Balarama were playing with the gopis shankhachuda, a
follower of Kubera, abducted the gopis.
Krishna chased him and recovered the gopis and confiscated the precious
stone on his head. The gopis pined in
separation when Krishna was away and spent their time recalling his exploits and
the rasa dance with him. Arishtaka, sent
by Kamsa, came in the form of a bull to Kill Krishna.
Krishna caught hold of him with lightning quickness and despatched him to the
abode of Yama.
concludes this dasaka with the following sloka:
bulls ! run from here. Here is Krishna
the killer of bulls” saying this the gopas laughed. You returned home along with them. O Lord
of Guruvayur! save me from my diseases.”