Krishna, Rama avathArams are the most enjoyable and divine and they always enchant us with the wonderful deeds of the Lord. AzhwArs and Acharyans have deeply immersed themselves in these avathArams in particular and had seen the same Rama, Krishna in the archA mUrthys in Dhivya Desams. These special Rama Krishna avathArams have got a speciality in them. The Sarvagnan, SarvEshwaran, Sarva shakthan, the Supreme Lord- who is unparalleled and Peerless- who has none equal to or above Him… oppAril appan- ParamAthmA- PurushOtthaman- Jagath kaarNanan; Jagath rakshakan- The Only One who could grant mOksham [mOksha pradhan]; the Ultimate enjoyment for NithyasUris and mukthAs at Srivaikuntam.One can go on describing and extolling His positions, Roopam, Swaroopam, vibhuthi (rulership) i.e. this world [leelA vibhUthi] and Paramapadham [Nithya vibhUthi], His innumerous kalyANa guNas… In spite of such Greatest qualities, His dayA [compassion] is Supreme and the most important One; manisarkaay- padaathana pattu- For the sake of human beings- what all troubles; briths (as avathArams) He undertakes. He took the avathArams in the lowly human forms – and stoops down so low with such east accessibility to illiterate Gopas, GopikAs, pasu (cows), pakshis (jatAyu), monkeys, boatmen- hunters (Guha), et al. His sowlabhyam [coming down so low] and sowseelyam [easily accessible for all] is amazingly true and present in such Greatest Parathvam…
He moved with everyone equally and attracted them all with His sowlabhyam and sowseelyam. He is thus possessed with the most wonderful gunAs –namely Sowlabhya, Sowseelyams. Rama is addressed as Gunvaan- mentioning this gunA especially.
KrishnAvathAra sowseelyam is Ultimate and there is no match for that. aRivonRum illAdha Aykulatthu- He appeared in the group of cowherd folks who were completely illiterate; having no saasthra jnAnam- did not even know how to eat with right hand or left.. [idakkai, valakkai theriyaadha].. He mixed with them as if He had been a cowherd Boy for ages and even Devendran, Chathu mukha BrahmA were all misled. He reared cattle; tendered calves; played with Gopa boys, shared their food, taking a bite from their palms; played with Gopikas and danced with them… He allowed Himself tied down to a mortar by the illiterate Gopa lady (YasodhA) and NammAzhwAr marveled as His such a sowseelyam and fainted for about six months it is told [etthiRam? etthiRam] .
This sowseelya gunA which can not be seen in anyone else in such grandest proportion is the natural swabhAvam for the Lord.. It is His one of His inherent kalyANa guNa for the sake of us- due to His mercy, dayA on us. How many of us understand that? Hardly any. The Lord Himself says in GitA- avajAnanthi maam mUDA! …. Sa mahatma sudhurlabha:
Ravana talks lowly about Rama coming to the forest, leaving His coronation for His younger brother; Sisupalan talked in un-parliamentary language (sudusol) about the deeds of KaNNan- as cowherd Boy.
avyaktham vyakthimApannam manyanthE maam abuddhaya: |
param bhAva majaanantha: mamaavyayam anutthamam ||
I, who was born as the son of Vasudevar, am being considered as if born due to the bondage with Karma; and they do not understand my supreme sowseelya guNaa. The same holds good for all His avathArams. Without understanding His true nature and guNAs, we (people) talk low about His deeds performed during these avathArams. Those who do that are foolish; and who equate Him with them as humans and evaluate His actions in their view point as humans.
Still, it continues. Even today such talking goes on. Even sincere devotees sometimes get doubts on His vaali vandham, Gopika dance etc.. The Lord Himself tells Vaali: sookshuma: paramudhuehEya: Dharmam is very subtle; it is not easily comprehensible. KaNNan played with gopa sthrees – and even today many of us are not able to digest; But we, srivaishnavites, should never get such thoughts about His such grandest deeds. But it is essential to get our doubts cleared so that we reinforce our devotion on Him stronger and it grows from strength. There is no better time that talking about it now on His janmAshthami. Please forgive me if I am again trespassing where fools do rush in where angels fear to tread. This is only to clarify the foolish arguments and thoughts in us.
Swamy desikan himself most mercifully has enlisted the Freqently Asked Questions on this incident and answered to clarify our doubts. It is Swamy who blessed us with the unparalleled abhaya pradhAna saaram to clarify many aspects on Saranagathi during RamavathAram. Swamy mentions in his yaadhavaabhyudhayam about Krishna avathAram and let us enjoy them and get our doubts cleared. [reference: the most brilliant article written by Naavalpaakam SrI U VE Dr Vasudevachariar Swamy, Trivandhrum in Sri Hayagriva Priya and I was so lured by the article that I wished to share with all of you- anything good in these posts is only due to the wonderful original article and Swamy Desikan’s excellent analysis. Mistakes, errors, omissions are entirely mine. Sri Vasudevachar Swamy is the one who wrote the Tamil meanings for Swamy Desikan Dhivya sahasranaamam released and as blessed by Srimad PaRavaakkOttai Andavan Swami. Also, asmadhAchAryan His Holiness Srimad PaRavaakkOttai ANdavan Sri Gopala Desika Mahadesikan Swami had delivered a two hours upanyasam on this subject few years ago on a sravaNam day - wonderfully quoting the very reference which is in this article. It is Acharya anugraham that I am able to find the same reference in this article and we share here now]
It may take a few posts and the article is a bit long and hence we will cover it as a series.
suraanganaabhi: samayE Gruthaayaam swEnaiva gOpAkruthi bhUmikAyAm |
akarmavaSyasya vibhOsthadhAseeth arChAphalasparSanamaathraleelA ||
[from Yadavabhyudhayam- 8.67]
This sloka - a wonderful sloka - has answers for many questions.
Question 1: The ultimate pinnacle of Sowlabhyam [eLimai] – joined hands with Gopa sthrees and enjoyed being with them, united with them. Even some of them were married [to others]. They too were happy being with Him. This is against saasthrAs. Does this deed bring a bad name for KaNNan?
Answer: We should first of all, not think that He [bhagwaan] and us- as one jaathi (one group). He is Iswaran; Lord; ruler of all of us; It is His sankalpam even for our very existence; breathing. He is never touched by punya, paapams; He is akilahEya prathyaneekan (untouched by imperfections; or bad guNAs); He is not bound by Karma at all; His birth is an avathAram for the sake of us. We are all bound always by Karma; We are tied down by our papams and punyams. He is above vidhi nishEdha saasthrAs; SaasthrAs are for us to be on right track for getting rid of our paapams, and accrual of punyas and to please Him as SaasthrAs are His agnyA- instructions. Sage Vyasa also says clearly: aroopavadhEva hi tathpraDhAnathvaath. Bhagawaan DOES not belong to human race; He is in manidha jaathi at all. We can not hold Him down with the rules laid down for us.
Also, We can not compare and equate our actions with his dhivya chEshtithams )leelAs); Can we lift the huge Govardhana mountain with the little finger as a Boy? Can we dance on top of many heads of poisnous snake Kaalingan? Sage Suka takes the example of Rudra himself to explain this in Srimad Bhaagawatham: Bhagawaan’e leelAs are very many. Rudra’s leelas are few; Even them, we can not do or perform. Rudra drank the poison and did not perish [as it was Deva kaaryam and the Lord Sriman Narayanan blessed him to undertake the task]. Can we drink poison and survive? When such is case with Iswaran, why to talk about SarvEswaran?
Hence, KaNNan does not belong to us – human race. Iswaran; Parabrahmam- is He. Veda declares Him as apahathapaapma. Swamy EmperumAnAr Sri Ramanuja comments this as: by His nature, He is not bounded by Karma [apahathakarmathvam, karmavaSyathAgandharahithatattvam ithyarTTha:]
So, if some of His acts appear to us the acts of paapam, He is unbounded and untouched by such acts at all. Hence, will paapam never ever affect or come to Him due to these acts?- the question does not arise at all for Him… Swamy desikan touches upon this aspect in the above sloka with the word.. akarmavaSya.. Thus He does not belong to jeeva jaathi; and also He is our Ruler, Lordship and Isawaran and due to both aspects, He does not get affected by Karma and Punya paapams says engaLAzhwAn in the commentary on Vishnu purANa for the same subject under IswaratvEna apahathapaapmatvaat..
Hence no dhOsham for Him.
Written by Shri Madhavakkannan