Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why does he steal butter?

Yashoda was very upset.  Another Gopika had come to complain that Krishna had come to her house and stolen butter and had also broken all her pots.  It had taken all of Yashoda's good charm to pacify that angry Gopika.  Yashoda had had to give the Gopika some of her own butter pots to make up for the ones that Krishna had broken, so that the Gopika had enough butter to sell the next day.

Yashoda called out to Krishna, playing outside with the other boys to come to her at once.  Krishna came running and put his arms around her waist.  As Yashoda looked at Krishna's beautiful face looking up at her lovingly, her heart melted and she had the urge to pick him up and cuddle him.

But then she remembered and toughened herself.  Krishna's behaviour had to be corrected.  What need did he have to go and take butter from the poor Gopikas?  She fed him very well, so there was no need for him to ask for food from other homes. She felt sad and hurt and angry.

Yashoda knelt down to Krishna's eye level and put on an angry expression.

She said, "Krishna, are you hungry?"  Krishna rubbed his bulging stomach and said, "No."

Yashoda said, "When you are hungry, do I ever not give you food or butter?"  Krishna gave her a kiss on her cheek and said, "No."

Yashoda said, "Why do you steal butter from the Gopika's homes?  And why do you break their pots?  You know that they sell the butter to make the money to live, don't you?"

Krishna said, "Mother, some of the Gopikas have hearts like fresh butter.  Their hearts are white, pure and melt easily. They wait for me to come to their homes and steal their butter (and their hearts).  If I did not go to their homes, they would be very, very disappointed.  There are some other Gopikas whose hearts are like spoilt, smelly butter.  I go to their homes and break their pots (and their hearts) to teach them a lesson.  But I love all of them and they all adore me."

Krishna then laughed and ran away to play.  Yashoda stood speechless at her little boy's wisdom.


Source:  Inspired from talks by Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal

Dasaka 5  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  A thousand Namaskars to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 5
O Lord Hari!!  During the time of the great deluge, there was no physical body, nor were there the three gunas (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas), nor Maya, or Death or Moksha.  Even day and night did not exist.  There was nothing other than you - Sat-Chit-Ananda (Truth-Knowledge-Bliss).  (1)

O Lord!  At the time of the deluge, time, forms, action, souls, etc were merged in you and were enjoying the bliss of oneness.  The Vedas do not talk about these (time, forms, action, souls) as non existent or Asat.  Or is it that these (not merged in you and) are non-existent or Asat and will be apparent again (like flowers in the sky) at the end of the deluge?  (It cannot be so.)  (2)

When two Prardhas (lifetimes of Brahma) had passed, you cast a glance that desired creation and this set Maya going with the creation of the three worlds, the creation of time, the three moods or gunas, and the tracking of action.  (3)
O Lord!  You are the power behind Maya, yet the creation is not in you!  In Vedanta, you are said to be the eternal "witness".  You have become the "many" reflected in Maya's creation.  Next, Maya, bound by time, action, forms, created the great "intelligence".  (4) 
O Lord Vishnu!  Intelligence is pure Sattwa, in spite of being of the three gunas (Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas).  This intelligence gives the knowledge of "I am that formless Absolute".  This intelligence also created the sense of "I" and the identification with an individual physical form (when dominated by the mood of Tamas).  (5)
This sense of "I" or the ego divided into three types of moods:  Vaikarika, Rajas and Tamas.  Of these the Vaikarika or Sattwic mood produced the Gods of the senses:  the Directions, Air, the Sun, Varuna, Ashwins, Fire, Vishnu, Mitra, Prajapati, the Moon, Brahma, Rudra and Kshetrajna.  (6)
O Guruvayurappa!! The same Sattwic mood also produced the internal organs called the Chitta, that is "Mind-Intellect-Egoism" combined.  The ten senses were also born out of the Rajasic portion of the ego and the primal sound (Om) was born out of the Tamasic portion of the ego.  (7)

From that primal sound arose the sky, the touch, air, form, fire, taste, water, smell, earth (in sequence).  O Madhava!  In this way, all the elements were created in sequence, and containing characteristics of the previously created element.  (8)
O Vishnu Bhagavan!!  These groups of elements, Gods or senses do not have the ability to create this Universe on their own.  It was only when you entered them and powered them with your energy, that they combined with one other to create the golden egg (the Universe).  (9)
O Lord Guruvayurappa!!  That egg remained in water for a thousand years until it broke and created a form called "Virat" that took the form of fourteen worlds.  This form of Virat was a collection of souls and was brilliant with thousands of feet and heads.  I pray that your form of Virat may protect me from all my problems!  (10)

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!

This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  
Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  
2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The greatness of his flute

With her eyes closed, Radha was immersed in the mesmerizing music emanating from Krishna's flute.  When he had finished his song, she opened her eyes and then asked him if she could have his flute. Krishna handed it to her.  Radha looked at it closely; it looked like any ordinary flute.  Nothing special about it.  Could it be magical, maybe?

So, she asked Krishna who was looking at her with a very amused expression, "O Govinda!  How do you produce such melodious music from this flute?  It looks very ordinary to me.  What is the secret?"

Krishna said, "Dearest, the secret is in what the flute is filled with.  Look carefully."

Radha turned the flute over and looked at it from all directions.  Was this a trick?  She knew what a trickster he was.  After a while, she said in a quiet voice, "Your flute is not filled with anything but air?!"

Krishna laughed and said, "Yes, that is indeed the secret! If it were filled with anything but air, I would not be able to produce any music."

Radha understood.  When people are full of themselves, Krishna is unable to help them.  They are like a flute that is bocked.  But the moment they surrender to his glory, he produces beautiful music through them.

Jai Sree Krishna!!  Om Namo Narayanaya!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dasaka 4  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  I bow down to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 4
O Lord Guruvayyorapa!  Bestow on me the health to serve you.  I can assure you that I will quickly please you by practising the Yamas and Niyamas prescribed by Ashtanga Yoga.  (1)
8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga:  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). 
Yama:  Ahimsa (non violence), Satya (Truthfulness), Asteya (non stealing), Brahmacharya (non excess), Aparigraha (non possessiveness).
Niyama:  Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (self discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender).
O Lord Guruvayoorapa!  The practice of Yama and Niyama will purify my mind and the practice of Asana will provide flexibility to my body to sit in the lotus pose.   (2)
By constantly chanting the Pranava Mantra (Om), by controlling the breath, and by disengaging ourselves from worldly sensual pleasures, we will become purified and will only seek the pleasure of your name and form.  (Pranayama and Pratyahara) or (3)
We will concentrate our intellect on your indistinct form and attain the softness of the mind and the bliss of devotion.  (Dharana) (4)  
After repeatedly concentrating on your form, it will be easy for us to visualize your charming form within our inner eye.  (5)
Our mind will be captivated when we focus all our attention on your entrancing form.  Your form will gradually become clearer (Dhyana) and we will climax with enlightenment and bliss  (Samadhi).  (6)  
O Lord of the Universe!  Having experienced the bliss of Samadhi in which the pure Brahman is realized, we may falter, but we will keep repeating the process of Dharana.  (7)  
O Lord!  Enjoying the rapturous experience of Self-realization through the repeated practice of Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi, we will become free from all attachments and wander around the world like Suka, Narada and others.  (8)
O Lord!  After mastering this process of Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi, we can attain deliverance by bringing the life breath under control (using the techniques of yoga) along the six centers (chakras) and letting it slowly go out from the Sushumna nerve end.  (9)
O Supreme Lord!  Then, we can discard the subtle body and merge with you through the Sushumna nadi. (10)
Your devotees are led to the realm of the Sun by the deities who lord over the fire, the day, and the Uttarayana, from where they pass unto the land of Dhruva.  (11)
Your devotees are then led to the land of Brahma (in Satyaloka) when they cannot bear the heat of the fire that emanates from the mighty snake (Sesha).  (12)  
Those devotees live in Brahmaloka or in Vishnuloka (both are part of Satyaloka) until they are merged with the Supreme at the time of the great deluge, or earlier with the power of their Yoga.  (13)
O Lord!  Entering the macrocosm and passing through it's seven sheaths (earth, water, fire, ether, air, intelligence, illusion), they finally attain your lotus feet.  (14)
Such devotees who merge with you, do not take birth again.  O Lord Guruvayoorappa!! You are the embodiment of Truth-Awareness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda).  Please protect me, who is singing your praises!  (15)  

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dasaka 3  Om Namoh Naarayanaya!  I bow down to Sri Naarayana Bhattadiri who gave us this "Song of Solace"

Dasaka 3
You are the benevolent giver of wishes, O Varada!  Blessed are those people who recite your names, meditate on your form, who discuss your greatness and your life stories. (1)
I am distracted by my physical and mental problems and so am unable to serve at your lotus feet.  Please shower your compassion on me (O Guruvayoorappa!)  and resolve these maladies, so that I can sit in a secluded spot and keep repeating your holy names.  (2)
Nothing is impossible to a person who has your grace!  And the cure of my disease is such an insignificant thing!  How many of your devotees lead unattached, happy lives, because you have blessed them and removed all of their sorrows!  (3)
Well known sages like Narada and others, whose ways are mysterious and who are free from misery because of their constant contemplation of your lotus feet, wander around freely as they have already achieved absolute blissful consciousness.  (4)
May my devotion to you increase and may that alone take away all my afflictions.  I have complete faith in you, in the words of Sage Vyasa and in the scriptures.  (5)
I have been filled with the experience of utter sweetness because I have been reciting your name and your merits.  If this sweetness were to increase a little more, it would destroy all my sufferings and take me to the plane of ultimate bliss.  What more can I ask for?  (6)
Please remove all my pain and make my feet eager to enter your shrine, my hands eager to pray to you, my eyes eager to see your form, my nose anxious to smell the basil leaves and my ears eager to hear your stories.  (7)
May my mind be completely filled with your entrancing form, so that I forget my mental and physical anguish, and instead experience ecstasy and thrill.  (8)
O Guruvayoorappa!  It seems as though even those who are against you, are happy, whereas, I who am so devoted to you is suffering so much.  How can this be fair, O Varada?  Will this not tarnish your reputation?  O slayer of Kamsa, relieve me of my suffering and make me a jewel among your devotees.  (9)
Should I keep praying to you over and over again?  O compassionate one!  I will keep worshipping at your feet with full dedication until you hear my cries and save me.  (10)

Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dasaka 2    Om Namoh Narayanaya!!  Obeisances to Sri Narayana Bhattadiri, who has composed this "Song of Solace"!

Dasaka 2
I pray to you, O Lord Guruvayoorappa, who has a brilliant crown (like the sun) and whose forehead is embellished with the sandalwood Tilak.  Your eyes reflect compassion, your smile is radiant, your nostrils are elegant and your ear ornaments of makara (fish) reflect on your glowing cheeks.  Your neck is adorned with the Koustubha jewel and your body is fragrant and decorated with a garland of wild flowers, clusters of pearl necklaces and the Srivatsa mark (on your chest).  (1)
I forget all my sorrows and cling to your beautiful form:  your four arms, wrists and fingers are adorned with amulets, bracelets, bangles, rings (studded with the most precious gems) and they wield the Shangu, Chakra, Gadha and Pushpa.  You are dressed in a lustrous yellow silk garment, a shining waist belt and your feet are as delicate and lovely as lotus flowers.  (2)
Why would your form not create a eagerness and curiosity in this world, O Lord Vishnu, when it is superior to the most superior form in the three worlds, when it is more infatuating than the most infatuating object in the world, more brilliant than the most brilliant beings, and sweeter and lovelier than the sweetest and loveliest forms in the world?   (3)
O Lord Vishnu (Achyutha)!  Your beautiful form has captured the heart of Goddess Lakshmi so much so that she does not stay long with any of her devotees, but remains close to you (in your heart) and is loyal and steadfast in her devotion to you.  (4)
Here is one more fact to prove Goddess's Lakshmi's fickleness to everyone except to you (O Lord Vishnu). Captivated as she is by your beauty, Goddess Lakshmi takes good care of all of the people who are devoted to you and are engrossed in your glory.  (5)
Listening to a description of your form (Lord Vishnu's form), is like being showered with exquisite nectar and like being bestowed with immense intelligence; it fills the hearts and minds of the listeners with ecstasy and bliss (in the form of being bathed in cold tear drops).  (6)
It is no wonder that great sages have declared that the path of devotion (Bhakti) is far superior to the path of knowledge (Jnana) or the path of action (Karma).  Moreover, having intense love for you, (the embodiment of beauty), is effortless and hence very easily attainable by anyone.  (7)
What is known as the path of action (karma yoga or action without attachment to the result) is only partially attainable; What is known as the path of knowledge (Jnana yoga or knowledge of the Upanishads), is difficult to comprehend; So, the path of devotion (or Bhakti to Lord Vishnu) is enjoyable and praiseworthy (shreyasi).  (8)
Many struggle to perform tiresome actions with a pure heart on the path of Karma Yoga.  Many others are engrossed in resolving philosophical conundrums and in meditating (with a pure mind) on your formless form (Brahman), on the path of Jnana Yoga.  They all do eventually attain Salvation (Moksha), after numerous births of such pursuits.  (9)
O Lord Guruvayyorappa!  Listening to the sweet stories of your exploits, is like plunging into a river of endless pleasure.  It spontaneously brings forth knowledge and effortlessly take you to Salvation (Moksha).  May such devotion (Bhakti) and love rise in me towards your Lotus feet, may my heart melt in ecstasy when I listen to your stories and see your form.  (10)
Om Namoh Naarayanaaya!!
This is a humble attempt to present these verses in English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to correct/comment on anything.  
1.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by Gita Press with Hindi translation  2.  Sri Naarayaneeyam by P.N. Menon

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dasaka 1    Om Namo Narayanaya! Hail to Sri Narayana Bhattadiri for giving us this exquisite "Song of Solace"!

Dashaka 1
How fortunate is it that the pinnacle of bliss and knowledge, who is unlimited by time and space, who is beyond pleasure and pain, who is unclear after reading thousands of scriptures until the moment of enlightenment, is embodied in the holy shrine of Guruvayoor!    (1)
Alas, people do not realize how easily they can access this rare gem.  Instead, they waste their time pursuing impermanent pleasures of the body, mind and speech.  We (who realize this) shall steadfastly serve and worship Lord Guruvayorappa!  (2)
Sage Vyasa has proclaimed that your holy form is truly pure(unadulterated) and sattvic.  Blessed are the people who rejoice in your form that is intensely sweet to the senses and the mind!  (3)
Supremely complete and motionless, you are pure nectar!  And you are like the boundless ocean that hides clusters of pearls in the form of (partial) avatars!  (4)
You are without a birth (infinite) and are without action (not subject to change), yet, the world arose out of your Maya (Ikshaana).  You adorned the pure Sattvik portion of that Maya and took on the glowing form of the Lord of Vaikunta (Vishnu).   (5)
O Guruvayoorappa! I meditate upon your form that is charming as a rain cloud (about to shower), lovely as a bouquet of Kalaya flowers, that brings overwhelming satisfaction to the eyes of good-hearted people, as well as brings intense joy to Goddess Lakshmi and to your devotees.  (6)
O Guruvayyorappa (unconquered)!  I did not appreciate the power of your Maya (since it only seems to bring agony to all living beings).  I was mistaken.  If not for your Maya and for this human form, how can beings enjoy the ecstasy of experiencing your (exceedingly sweet) form with their eyes and ears?   (7)
To those who (merely) bow down to you, you shower desired objects, unasked for.  Moreover, you also bless them with supreme knowledge.  You are that Parijaata (wish yielding) tree that anyone can access and that which everyone yearns to obtain.  (8)
O Guruvayoorappa!  Other Gods (Brahma, etc.) also give devotees their objects of desire (other than Moksha); whereas you, in your boundless compassion, give yourself to your devotees.  Other Gods like to control the world with their power, whereas you lord over all of these Gods. Fortunate beings exult in your sweetness, whereas you exult in yourself.  You are the crux of all virtues and I bow down to you.  (9)
O Guruvayoorappa (slayer of Mura)!  Your prowess controls the work of other Gods and your valor is umatched by any other God.  Your praises are sung by learned people.  Goddess Lakshmi resides in you.  You know everything and yet remain unattached to everything.  You are truly "Bhagavan" (the giver of Bhakti, Gnana and Vairagya)!  (10)
Om Namoh Narayanaya!
This is a very humble attempt to summarize these verses into English.  Please pardon any mistakes and feel free to offer any comments/corrections.
Sources:  1.  Sree Naarayaneeyam - Gita Press Publication with Hindi translation  
2.  Naarayaneeyam with English translation by P.N Menon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

There was a hushed chanting and murmuring of "Naarayana-- Naarayana-- Naarayana" as people waited for the sanctum to open.  No one seemed to care about the sweaty bodies pressing against them on all sides.  People moved, but only so as to position themselves better to view the sanctum when the doors opened.  Suddenly, there was a jingling of bells as the doors opened to reveal the sandalwood paste covered, smiling face of baby Krishna.  At once the chanting changed to cries of:  "Krishna, Guruvayoorappa!!"

The image of the mighty Vishnu or Naarayana that they carried in their minds was replaced by the playful, and charming image of baby Krishna holding butter in his right palm, dressed in a red loincloth and smiling away as though to laugh at them for worrying about anything and taking things seriously.  This sweet picture, they would carry with them as they went back to the daily race of life.

Om Namoh Naarayanaya!!