SRI VIDYA RAJAGOPLASWAMY
Vasudevasuthandevam kamsachanoora mardhanam |
Devaki paramanandam krishnam vande jagatgurum ||
Worship Vasudeva's son, killer of Kamsa and Chanoora, Devaki's delight, Universal Guru Sri Krishna.
Sri Krishna was born as the son of Vasudeva and so He is also called Vaasudevan. We are studying Bhakti yoga in 7th Chapter in Gita. We are to see 19th sloka. In this sloka, Sri Krishna tells that His devotee considers Sri Vaasudeva as everything in life - food, water, etc.- and he can not live without Him for a second. This intimate relationship is explained here:
bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma su-durlabhah
"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."
He calls that type of a devotee as Mahatma, and is so difficult to find. There are many ardent devotees, but to find a devotee among them, who considers Sri Krishna is his life, breath and everything, is very rare. When planning from where this sloka could be explained, it became obvious that it should be from a kshetram of Sri Vasudeva and so we have come to this place, famous for its vast lake like pushkarini. It is Mannargudi. The Lord here is Sri ParaVasudeva and also called Sri SriVidya Rajagopalan. In this pond, all sacred rivers' and ponds' waters are available. It is called Haridra Nadhi [Haridra river], though it is a very vast pond. In the centre of Haridra nadhi is a sannidhi of Sri Gopala. On the various banks of this pond, are the sannidhis of Sri Srinivasa, Sri Rama and Anjanea. Long ago, one could travel by boat to reach the sannidhi at the centre. Haridra nadhi and the Lord are closely connected. Haridra means turmeric [Tamil - Manjal]. Though the pond looks greenish blue, why it is called haridra nadhi? When Sri Krishna took avatar, it was His habit to bathe in this with gopikas and play. The Lord used to gargle this water, and that sanctified this water. Like Sri Andal praised Yamuna as thooya peru neer [sacred great water]. While bathing Sri Krishna and the gopikas used to cleanse their bodies with turmeric and also sprinkle turmeric powder on each other. Thus this was called Haridra nadhi. Sri Krishna as a Child used to like competition and He liked more to win in those competitions by hook or crook! Flouting rules was a delight to Him. Once there was a competition as to who appeared first after a bath in Haridra nadhi and comes fully dressed with all ornaments in proper place. Sri Krishna and the gopikas plunged into the pond and started the competition. Everyone came up ashore and started picking up their respective dresses and wearing them. Ornaments were all collected and each started wearing them also properly. One gopika was very quick and she had almost completed all and about to wear the ear rings and finish as first. Sri Krishna would not allow that girl to come first, and so He took one of her ear rings [in Tamil thodu] and wore it on His ear. Males have a different type of ear rings and they are called in Tamil kundalam. The girl could not find her one thodu and so she could not complete and was not declared winner. Sri Krishna, on the other hand, however, had His regular kundalam on one ear and a thodu on the other. Seeing this all gopikas cheered Him and declared Him as the winner. Beacause even this type of different rings on different ears gave the Lord a new look!! This is how Sri Rajagopala graces here. Yet another story also is there. Yasoda was in the family way and Nandagopa and Yasoda were discussing what child is going to be born. Yasoda felt a son would be born, while Nandagopa thought a daughter would be born. Were they to make and keep ready ornaments for a male child or for a female child? They decided to have both made ready. Later, Sri Krishna appered as their Child. While decorating the Child, Yasoda picked up the ornaments for a male child. But she felt that Nandagopa, perhaps, wanted to see a daughter and so to please him, she took some ornaments for female child. Thus on one ear the Lord was decorated with a kundalam and on the other a thodu! Samudrika lakshanam, which details the requirements for a beautiful girl or a handsome boy, suggests that for a male to look handsome, he should have slightly female face. [the converse, females having slightly male face will be disastrous!]. Sri Krishna perfectly fitted in this and so both kundalam and thodu multiplied His charm. For the Gopikas, Nandagopa, Yasoda, Vasudeva and Devaki, Sri Krishna was everything; but it is so difficult to come across one such. Ignorant of Vedas and Shastras and living with daily eating and sleeping -such people are in Millions. Some among them know God, but have no interest. Out of these a few try to search atman and want to experience it. Further rare among them, are devotees who want to be associated with God only. Now, the devotees, who consider everything in life is Sri Vasudeva only, are the rarest among rare. Gyanavan = person fully matured in Gyana [ Bhakti], bahunam janma = in many births [having practiced this bhakti], ante = finally, vaasudeva sarvam = [the gyana of] everything is Sri Krishna only, prabadyate = reach, mam = Me [Sri Krishna]. Iti sa mahatma = Such a great soul, su-durlabha = is very, very difficult[ to find]. Such persons are there, but it is exceptionally difficult to locate them. Nammalwar, Perialwar, Sri Andal, Prahalada are all in this category. Alwar says in a pasuram on Thirukkolur [ birth place of Madurakavi Alwar, near Alwar Thirunagari], that Sri Krishna is unnum soru [eating food], parugum neer [drinking water], thinnum vetrilai [chewing betel leaves]. Water is essential or Dharakam, to live; food is necessay for nourishment [ poshakam ]; and chewing betel [pan], is luxury [bhogyam]. For Alwar all are Sri Krishna.