Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Divya Nama Bhajan

RADHE KRISHNA 05-08-2009
INTERNATIONAL DIVINE CENTRE

Email to(R.Narasimhan)


INTERNATIONAL DEVINE CENTRE (THENNANGUR)
RADHE KRISHNA | RADHE KRISHNA | RADHE KRISHNA |
DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM
DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM

(By Achala Bhakthan)
PADDHATHI BHAJAN

From the
Paddhathi Kramam given in the Sampradaaya Bhajan
section, we notice that though the entire
sampradaaya is included in the above Paddhathi
Krama, we normally refer to Paddathi (Basic) as
the Paddhathi Bhajan and Divyanaamam onwards as
Special Bhajan Paddhathis. This is because
Poojopachaaram, Poorna Ashtapadi, Deepa
Pradakshinam, Unchavrutthi, Kalyaanams,
Vasanthothsavam etc. necessarily are preceded
by Thodaya Mangalam, Guru Keerthans and
Daasarvaal Krithis (including Ashtapadi and
Tharangam ).
Hence this has stayed as PADDATHI BHAJAN. color=brown>. Dhyaana Bhajan may be performed
without the Paddathi Bhajan
(Basic).

Importance of PADDHATHI
BHAJAN (Basic):

Why Paddhathi and what
is the importance of performing Bhajan in
the given order? Every activity is preceded
by a planning of the objective, how to
approach the goal, the method, the steps to
go through, etc. There is a discipline to be
followed in each of such activities. Even in
serving food or the method of intake, there
is a step by step process - what to serve
first, what next and what last etc. The taste
of food, if all the dishes are mixed together
and taken, is different from tasting each dish
separately. We enjoy more by tasting each dish
separately. Are we not following these in our
daily life? What do we do when we want some
great personality to visit us? First we praise
him and invite him to our house. He may not
agree as we are strangers. So we go through
someone best known to both of us, who prevails
upon him to accept the invitation. When he
comes, we receive him with pomp and show and
make him comfortable. After washing his feet,
we make him seated and host him by offering
fruits and other eatables and something to
drink or eat. Then we mix with him and chat,
be friendly with him, enjoying his company.
We pray to him for his blessings/seek from
him what we want. Then we make him rest for
a while and wake him up and then he leaves.
When we seek someone's favour, we have to
go through these formalities to please him
first.Similarly, in Bhajan Sampradaaya, we
have an order of performance for proper
enjoyment.

First we think of God
by praising his qualities and gunaas and
do vandanam (Thodaya Mangalam).
To get him with us, we seek the grace and
help of Guru for which we sing in praise
of Guru (Guru Keerthanam). Guru preaches
the attainments of Daasarvaals like Jayadeva,
Naaraayana Theertha, Badraachala Ramadaas
etc. etc. who have got the grace of God
through Naama Sankeerthanam and we follow
their method by singing their keerthans
(Daasarvaal Keerthanams).
This is because, it is easy to approach
God through the footsteps of Gurus and
bhakthas. Then, we invite him to come to us
and on his appearance, we perform Pooja and
Archana (Pooja Paddhathi and Upachaara
Keerthanam). We cannot stand the site of
formless, nameless, omnipotent and
omniscient God and we need Divya Chakshus
to visualise the vision of God. Our Guru
teaches us as to how to prepare for it. He
prepares us to do meditation on
Swaroopa Dhyaana (seeing God in different
roopaas). As we fondle a child by bedecking
it with different costumes and make-ups and
enjoy its varied appearances, so we venture
to get God's vision in the form of Ganapathy,
Saraswathi, Subramanya, Ayyappa, Siva,
Parvathy, Rama, Krishna, Vittal,
Govinda, Hanumaan etc. etc. by singing in
praise of them (Dhyaanaam). This is because
Swaroopa Dhyaana is easier compared to Aroopa
Dhyaanam (formless). Paddhathi Bhajan thus is
the first stepping stone for
spiritual evolution through Bhakthi Marga.

Paddhathi Bhajan can
be equated to Swaroopa Dhyaanam of the
Vedantic method, since through
Paddhathi Bhajan, we are meditating on
various forms of God (Swaroopa Dhyaanam)
through songs, which give us more
opportunity to go near the
God. Paddhathi Bhajan, if performed well,
with the right bent of mind, following
the given order, will lead to perfection
and higher heights in Bhakthi marga.

While dealing with the
Attavanai topics, I have dealt with the
paddhathi & songs. Hence, to avoid
duplication, I am not dealing with any
songs or the method of
performing Paddhathi Bhajan here.


:SAMASTHA
SANMANGALAANI SANTHU :


INTERNATIONAL DIVINE CENTRE


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RADHE KRISHNA | RADHE KRISHNA | RADHE KRISHNA |

DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM


Gist of By Achala Bhakthan)


GEETHA GOVINDAM (POORNA ASHTAPADI)


Gist of Raadha Maadhava
Sallapam:


Ashtapadi is the divya
Kaavyam: "GEETHA GOVINDAM", which describes the
Raadha Maadhava Sallapam with Sringaara Rasam. I use
the word Ashtapadi everywhere since this has come to
stay among the Bhagavathaas and is in that term easily.
The Bhagawatham in 10th skandam describes Raasa
Kreeda, where at one palce, it only states that Sri Krishna
enjoys with one particular Gopi in seclusion to all other
Gopis and this Gopi becomes too Egoistic and to bring
her ego down Sri Krishna goes away from her and
mingles with all other Gopis. Then this Gopi gets angry
and blames Krishna for such acts.Her sakkhi acifies her
and unites them through her advice to both.
The Bhaagavatham never states about Raadhika. No
other puranam explains about Raadhika, except the
Brahma Vaivartha Puraanam. In the 10th Skandam,
there is a description about Golokam where the Lord
in the form of Maadhava ever exists with Raadhika
Devi as his consort.Due to a curse from Sudhaama,
one of the body guards of Sri Maadhava (Sri Krishna),
Sri Raadhika Devi had to take birth in the Bhoolokam
as a girl. Sri Krishna assures Raadhika that He would
take birth as Krishna in Bhoolokam, where she would
take birth as the girl child of Vrushabhanu Maharaaja
and then both can enjoy the life in Bhoolokam. This is
the basic story of Raadha Krishna Jananam.

The poorva slokaas of
Ashtapadi paddhathi starting with
"Meghair Medhuram Ambaram"is
nothing but the Kalyaana Choornikai in a summary form.
describes the scenerey where Nanda Gopa, carrying the
child Krishna to the carttle's gracing field, finds the sky
becoming dark with clouds and the arrival of thunder
storm and rain. He feels that the child may get afraid
and searches for someone to fetch him home. There
comes Sri Raadhika Devi, who is handed over with
the child when Nanda Gopa asks her to take Krishna
Home. She fondly hugs the child and goes. Sri
Krishna Bhagawan thought it the right time to
remind Radhika Devi about her status and wishes to
show her their earlier abode, i.e. Golokam. He brings
before her the scenery of Golokam which reminds
her of her original nature and all of a sudden in
ectasy she tries to hug the Lord (seen in Golakam)
with both her hands open wide and she rushes
towards Madhava (Krishna in Bhoolakam).At that
time, the child disappears and Krishna thought that
before accepting Radhika, the usual Vivaaha Karma
should be performed and as the eagerness of
Raadhika cannot be controlled he orders Sri Brahma
Deva to perform the marriage, which he does with
Pravaram, Lagnashtakam, Kanyaka Daanam,
Panigrahanam, Laja Homam etc. Raadha Kalyaanam
is said to have taken place in Brahma Muhurtham,
that around 3.30 a.m. or so. This is the meaning of
this slokam which is elaboratel stated in Raadha
Kalyaanam as Choornikai. This shows that
performing Poorna Ashtapadi is equal to performing
Raadha Kalyaanam.

The theme in Ashtapadi
and the Author:

The Ashtapadi songs are
called "GEETHA GOVINDA MAHAA KAAVYAM", color=brown>
which is said to be the ancient form of Sringaara
Kaavyams. These are full of Sringaara
Rasapravaaham. In short, These songs describe
the celestial love between Raadhika Devi and
Krishna, The Egoistic nature of Raadhika, Her
Anger towards Krishna, Her viraha thaapam
(sorrow in separation), reunion and their
Sallapam. This Kaavyam is composed by Sri
Jayadeva Swamigal, from self experience of the Godly principle within. Sri
Jayadeva was said to be living in the 12th century in the village "Kindu
Bilwam" near Puri Jagannath in the present Orissa State, born to the
saahtwic brahmin couple known as Sri Narayana Sashtri (also called
Bhojadevan) and Smt.Kamala Devi (also called Radha Devi). In his early age
Sri Jayadeva lost his parents and was staying in a Kutir in the forest,
composing songs and singing them with music in praise of Sri Krishna. Sri
Jayadeva is said to be the avathar of Sri Puri
Jagannath.

Padmaavathi was born to
a devoute Brahmin Deva Sarma, who,during his prayers longed for a child
and promised to present the child after growth to the Lord Jagannath
Himself. When she became of marriageable age, Sri Deva Sarma, in
fulfilment of his promise, offered her to Lord Jagannath, who ordered the
chief priest in his dreams to take the child to Sri Jayadeva and get her
married to him. Lord Jagannath informed the priest that Jayadeva is none
other than Himself. Thus, the girl was left at the Kutir of Sri Jayadeva,
against his wish, who refused to enter into Gruhasthaasrama. Due to the
stead fastness of Padmaavathi & her Bhakthi and service to him, he
considered it as God's will and ultimately married her in the normal way.
Sri Jayadeva enacted the scenes of this Kaavyam while composing it along
with Padmavathi dancing to the tunes. Thus, this Kaavyam is a living
monument of Srigaara Rasa Bhaava.

The summary of contents
of Ashtapadi:

Like Bhagawatham
describing Krishna Leela and Raasakreeda in 12 Skandams, Ashtapadi also
has 12 Sargams, containing 24 Ashtapadi songs. Each song comprises mostly
of Eight stanzaas with the exception ofone or two Ashtapadis which are
less or more than 8 stanzaas. (This kaavyam was placed before the Raja
Sadas and this has been named as Ashtap0adi by the Pandits and Raja. The
contents of Sargams, in short, are:

1. Picturisation of
Dasaavathaarams of Krishna and the prabhaavams of the Lord in various
avathaars are described in priase of Lord in the first two Ashtapadis. The
third & fourth Ashtapadis are the description of Vasantha Kaala
Varnanai & Raasa Leela of Krishna with other Gopis in Brindaavan
described by the Sakkhi.(1 to 4 Ashtapadis- 1st Sargam
called: "Samoda Damodarah")

2. Raadhikaa's grief as
Krishna is enjoying with other Gopis, ignoring her totally and getting
herself annoyed, being too possessive of Krishna and staying alone in the
kutir made of plants and requesting Sakkhi to go and explain to Krishna
Her plight and to fetch him to Her to accept Her. (5th and 6th Ashtapadi -
2nd Sargam called: "Aklesa Kesavah").
color=brown>

3. Krishna's
realisation of his mistake of ignoring Raadhika & spending his time
with other Gopis.(7th Ashtapadi-3rd Sargam called:
"Mugddha Madhusudhanah").

4. Sakkhi explaining
the Viraha Thaapam suffered by Raadhika and pleading to God to please
Raadhika by His presence before Her.(8th & 9th Ashtapadi - color=blue>4th Sargam called: "Snigddha Madhusudhanah").

5. Sri Krishna asking
Sakkhi to pacify Raadhika & fetch Her to Him. (10th & 11th
Ashtapadis - 5th Sargam called: "Abhisaarikaa Varnane
Saakaamksha Pundareekakshah").

6. Sakkhi explaining
the aweful condition of Raadhika due to Viraha Thaapam and Her inability
to move & requesting Lord to go to Her.(12th Ashtapadi - 6th Sargam
called: "Sothkkhantta Vaikunttah").

7. Shri Raadhika's
plight of suffering due to Viraha Thaapam and started blabbering like a
mad person in imagination of Krishna being in company of other
Gopis.(13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Ashtapadis - 7th Sargam called: color=blue> "Vipralabhdha Varnane Naagareeka Naaraayana").

8. In the dawn Sri
Krishna arriving at Raadhika's Kutir and Raadhika, in anger, drives away
Krishna saying 'YAAHI MAADHAVA".(17th Ashtapadi - 8th Sargam called: color=blue>"Kkhanditha Varnane Vilaksha Lakshmipadi:").

9. Sakkhi, criticising
about Raadhika's angry mood which mades Krishna disappear. The Sakkhi
advices Her to behave well when He comes next. Raadhika realises Her
faults and repents.(18th Ashtapadi - 9th Sargam called: color=blue>"Kalahaantharitha Varnane Mugddha Mukundah").

10. Sri Krishna
reappearing before Raadhika and pacifying Her with His sweet words like:
you are my Jeeva, you are my ornament, you are my Pearl etc. and pleads
for Her forgiveness and goes away.(19th Ashtapadi - 10th Sargam called
: "Radha Varnane Mugddha Maadhavah").

11. Sakkhi, pointing
out to Raadhika about the kindness of Krishna and His behaviour and that
She should now go to Krishna's place and unite with Him & please Him.
Raadhika visits Krishna Mandir(where Krishna was waiting to receive Her)
and gets thrilled in his darshan. (20th, 21st and 22nd Ashtapadis - 11th
Sargam called: "Saanada Govindah").

12. Both enter the
house & become united.Krishna does alankaaram to Raadhika, whose
dresses were crumbled and displaced during the Union.Thus ends the
Sringaara Rasa Kaavyam.(23rd and 24th Ashtapadis - 12th Sargam called:
"Swadheena Barthrukaa Varnane Supreetha
Peethaambarah").

The sanctity of
Ashtapadi:

It is said that the
Ashtapadi Kaavyam of Sri Jayadeva has been blessed by the Lord Himself,
about which the 19th Ashtapadi vouchsafes. In this 19th Ashtapadi, in the
seventh stanza, he wrote as if Lord has suffered from Kaamam (passion)
& only Raadhikaa's feet kept on His head will bring down the Thaapam
and the Lord pleading to Raadhika to place Her feet onto His head.
Suddently, Jayadeva realises his mistake and feels how he could think of a
lady's feet being kept on the Lord. He repented and erased the stanza and
tried to re-write it. Having no ideas to pour he thought he could do later
and gave the Kaavyam to Padmavathi to keep it safe and that he would go
for oilbath. After some time, he came and called to Padmaavathi to bring
the Kaavyam as he had some good idea and wanted to fill up where he left
the song. With the oil soaked hand he wrote some lines and gave back the
Kaavyam to her and went for bath. After meals while taking rest, he opned
the Kaavyam and saw, to his surprise, the seventh stanza having got filled
up with what ever he originally wrote. He got wild and scolded Padvaavathy
for being negligent, for someone else has come and written what he did not
want to write. Padmaavathy in sheer surprise, narrated what happened when
he went for bath. Jayadeva realised that God has come in Jayadeva's form
and filled up the unfinished stanza with the same idea that occured to him
originally. This means that Lord himself has accepted the stanza, and
finally the Kaavyam itself.After this, the final Charanam of some
Ashtapadis are all ending with "Jayathu Padmaavathi Ramana Jayadeva Kavi"
because Jayadeva considered her as the blessed Bhaktha of the Lord &
he wanted to be known through her, since Padmaavathy got the Darshana of
Lord and not Jayadeva. Thus, this Ashtapadi has its acceptance by the Lord
Himself. The 22nd Ashtapadi is said to be the Kalyaana Ashtapadi, since it
is here that Raadhika comes to Krishna and Krishna accepts her and makes
her happy. To indicate the reunion, this is called Kalyaana
Ashtapadi.

Philosophical Improt of
Ashtrapadi:

Our scriptures declare
that for every Manthra/Sloka/Song, there is an inner import, which should
be taken up as the guide by evey Jeeva. Our seers have all given the
Brahma Thathwaas in the form of prayer songs,slokaas,Puraanaas,
scriptures, Srutis, Smritis and various bashyams for them. Everything
relates to the behaviour of human beings, their relations with nature and
God. They prescribe various methods to regain our lost status, i.e.
reunion with the Ultimate Truth. For instance, take tha Puranam:
Raamaayana. What is the moral we have to learn from there?

PITHRU VAAKYA
PARIPAALANAM, EKA PATHNI VRUTHAM, SAHODARA SNEHAM, SADHU SAMRAKSHANAM,
DHARMA STHAAPANAM, BHAKTHA PARIPAALANAM, DUSHTA NIGRAHAM, PATHIVRUTHA
DHARMAM, SARANAAGATHI THATWAM, BHAKTHA LAKSHNAM etc. etc.

Let us consider
Krishnavathaaram. What is conveyed through Bhaagawatham &
Bhaaratham?

DHARMA
PARIPAALANAM, SHARING WITH OTHERS, SARANAAGATHI THATWAM, AHANKAARA
DAMANAM, KARMA YOGAM, BHAKTHI YOGAM, GNANA YOGAM, HATA YOGAM, BHAKTHA
LAKSHNAM, BHAGAVATH KRUPA, DUSHTA NIGRAHAM, SISHTA PARIPAALANAM, JEEVAATHA
PARAMAATHMA BANDHAM, MAAYA, STUDY OF NATURE, UNITY IN DIVERSITY etc.
etc.

We have learnt
the principles one should adopt in leading a Dharmic life. We are handed
over with the practices one should adopt in leading a Saahtwic life. We
are also taught that we have the right to work and the result is left to
the Super Power, which is already fixed according to the equations
pre-determined depending on the quality and characteristics of each
action. We call this as VIDHI.

Similarly,through
Ashtapadi songs and slokaas,we have been shown practically


( 1) the value of relationships,

( 2) the falsehood of Ahamkaar and Mamaakar,

( 3) the existence of Truth in all forms,

( 4) Jeevaathma Paramaathma relationship,

( 5) God's Krupa towards Bhakthaas,

( 6) Secrets and purpose of Avathaars,

( 7) Bhaktha Lakshnam,

( 8) one-ness of all,

( 9) Principles of Bhakthi Maarga for salvation,

(10) Guru Sishya Bhaavam,

(11) Paraa Bhakthi,

(12) community living principles,

(13) strength of Unity,

(14) value of collective prayer,

(15) limitations of wordly relationships,

(16) Godly principle etc. etc.

Instead of the
Sringaara Rasa in Ashtapadi, we must see Bhakthi Laya Bhava in this
Kaavyam. Raadhika representing all the Jeevaathmaas, Sri Krishna the
Paramaathma and Sakkhi the Guru. All of us (Jeevaas), having separated
from the Paramaathma, have come to this world of matter & got
ourselves entangled in Maaya (Ignorance) and forgot about our origin - the
Permanant Bliss form of ours, we must feel the pangs of separation as
suffered by Raadhika,we must follow the advice of our Gurus, we must curse
our status, we must cast away our Ego, we must crave for the presence of
Lord and ultimately reunite with the Paramaathma, we should realise the
beauty and power of Nature, we must enjoy the happiness within and not
outside,we must enact the Leelaas of God like Jayadeva and Padmaavathi did
and follow the principles therein, we must be aware of the Bhagawath Krupa
when it flows and keep ourselves fit for receiving it. All the Puraanaas
and Kaavyaas are trying to project the way of life one should lead in
order to get re-united with the God.

The essence,
thus, of this Amara Kaavyam is the sorry state of affairs of Jeevathmaas
and the way to re-unite with Paramaathma through Prema Bhakthi & total
surrender to Lord as adviced by Sakkhi (who has played the role of a
Guru). The best bhaava we should possess while doing Ashtapadi is "NAAYIKA
NAAYAKA BHAAVAM" or "GOPIKAA BHAAVAM",which depicts the Bhakthi Layam.We
have stated earlier that Raadhakalyaanam took place in Brahma Muhoortham.
As per the Vendanthic explanations, the best time for Dhyaanam is Brahma
Muhoortham. Thus, Raadhakalyaanam is the Union of Jeevaathma with
Paramaathma & the best time for it, is the Brahma Muhoortham.

The
Paddhathi:

Before a
Kalyaana Paddhathi, it is customary to sing all the Ashtapadis,which
itself form a special Paddhathi called "POORNA ASHTAPADI PADDHATHI".The
paddhathi starts with RaamaNaama, Hari Naaraayana Song,Thodaya Mangalam,
Guru Keerthanams and then the three Poorva Slokams of Ashtapadi:

Narrow>               "Yadgopi
Vadanendu Mandanam Aboodu ....."

Narrow>               "Raadha
Manorama Ramaavara Raasaleela ..."


Narrow>               "Sree
Gopaala Vilaasini Valayasadrathnaadi..."

The third one is
normally sung in Poorvi Kalyaani Raagam as it is followed by a song color=blue> "PADMAAVATHI RAMANAM - JAYA DEVA KAVI RAAJA"
in the same raagam, giving short history of Jayadeva and Padmavathi &
about the origin of this Kaavyam. Then the slokams:-

Narrow>               "Meghair
Medhuram Ambaram",

               "Vaakdevatha
Charitha Chithritha Chittha Sadma",

               "Yathi
Harismarane Sarasam Mana:" etc.

are sung. Now
starts first Ashtapadi with poorva sloka

Narrow>               
"Vaacha:pallava Yathyumaapathidhara:"

. color=brown> Both Poorva Slokaas and Uthara Slokaas of each Ashtapasi must
be sung. Naamavali may be taken up, time permitting, after each Ashtapasi
(after Uthara sloka) or atleast at the end of each
Sargam.

After the 24th
Ashtapadi, Paartha Saarathi Geetham "Bhajatha Prema
Krupaanidhi Maadhavam" in Thodi to be sung after the
slokam: "Nakkhaniyamida Khandoon". This
is followed by:-

Narrow>                 Kalyaana
Tharangam:"Aaalokaye Rukmini Kalyaana Gopaalam"

                 Daasarvaal
Kruthis
                 Pooja
Paddhathi Kramam

                &nbspUpachaara
Keerthanam.

time added, be also may Paddhathi
       Dhyaana>If Poorna Ashtapadi is done
before Kalyaanam, then you can stop at any end of Sargam, as per time
permitting and continue the balance during Paddhathi Bhajan, Dolothsavam
and 22nd, 23rd and 24th on Kalyaanam day.In such case, the Parthasaarathi
Geetham and Kalyaana Tharangam should be sung after the Maangalya
Dhaaranam, but before Anjaneya. After Poorna Ashtapathi, it is customary
to recite the first starting sloka at the end, to indicate that this is a
continuous process and does not end with this programme.

time added, be also may Paddhathi
       Dhyaana>There is a practice of offering
different palahaarams (total 24) at the end of each Ashtapadi. This is
possible only for some people. However, two Kela Fruits and Betal Leaves
& nut Nivedhyam is a must after each Ashtapadi.

permitting. time added, be also may Paddhathi
       Dhyaana>

Narrow>Conclusion:

As the entire
Ashtapadi has to be sung without leaving any sloka or song, I have not
given the Attavanai for this as given for other paddhathis. However, if
anyone wants the Sankrit version of the Ashtapathi songs, slokaas etc.,
they may contact me with a request and I shall forward by email the same
along with the necessary fonts to read them.

Narrow>                                   
SADSANGATHWE
NISSANGATHWAM
                                   
NISSANGATHWE
NIRMOHATHWAM
                                   
NIRMOHATHWE NISCHALA
THATHWAM
                                   
NISCHALA T
HATHWE
JEEVANMUKHTHI:

"Paddhathi Topics:-"
href="http://www.geocities.com/v_achalam/sampradaayam/paddhathi_PB.html"
target=_top>Paddhathibhajan
     href="http://www.geocities.com/v_achalam/sampradaayam/paddhathi_DS.html"
target=_top>Deepapradakshinam
     href="http://www.geocities.com/v_achalam/sampradaayam/paddhathi_GG.html"
target=_top>Gopikaageetham
     href="http://www.geocities.com/v_achalam/sampradaayam/paddhathi_DB.html"
target=_top>Dolothsavam
  


color=brown>===================oOo=============oOo==============oOO===================

paddhathi
       dhyaana>oOo=================color=blue>


 








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DAKSHINA BHANJANA SAMPRADAAYAM


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DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM

DEEPA PRADAKSHINAM


The Process of Deepa Pradakshinam:

Deepa Pradakshinam is
widely spoken as Divyanaamam. As the entire Paddhathi is full of Lord's
Divya Naamam, it is preferable to call this Paddhathi as Deepa
Pradakshinam instead of Divyanaamam. Therefore, wherever the word
Divyanaamam appers hereafter, please read it as Deepa Pradakshinam. Once
we have the vision of God (through Paddhathi Bhajan), our philosophical
knowledge gets ripened and then we are able to go near God and make
friendship by dancing in ecstasy, enacting God's Leela and be in his
company (Deepa Pradakshinam). Once we are fixed thus in our Bhakthi, we
forget our worldly self and enjoy full bliss but our Ego does not get
annihilated. It only gets converted from Rajasic Ego (based on our
materialistic attachments) to Saathwic Ego (possessiveness of God - based
on our philosophical attachment). Now God helps us to cast away this
Positive Ego also by disappearing for a while to make us realise the
importance of His presence. Then when we lament, realising the truth
(Gopikaa Geetham), and totally surrender to Him (Saranaagathi song), Lord
appears and mingles with us in (Raasa Kreeda songs), whereby he makes us
realise that God is present in every human being unattached and unbound
and He again shines separately as the center of activity. Finally we try
to merge with God (Dolothsavam).The process prescribed by our scriptures
for attaianing this is beautifully brought out by the following
sloka:

             SRAVANAM KEERTHANAM VISHNO:
SMARANAM PAADA SEVANAM
ARCHANAM VANDANAM DAASYAM
SAKHYAM AATHMANIVEDANAM

Meaning:

The process of
repeatedly hearing the deeds of God (SRAVANAM), doing Japam or singing in
praise of HIM (KEERTHANAM), dwelling in His Leelaas (SMARANAM) Pouring
Bhakthi onto His feet and serving him (PAADA SEVANAM), performing pooja
(ARCHANAM), prostrating before him (VANDANAM), Serving him without Ego
(DAASYAM), gaining his friendship (SAKHYAM), surrendering totally unto HIM
(AATHMA NIVEDANAM) is aimed at the culmination of human evolution
(Mukthi).

While in Paddhathi
Bhajan, Bhagavathaas sit and sing the bhajan , in Deepa Pradakshinam,
there is also an additional element, where Bhakthaas dance (Nrithya) and
enact the leelaas of the Lord (Abhinaya) around the lit Brass lamp (five
faceted). In the present day situations, Deepa Pradakshinam is performed
on Saturdays, special occasions like Saturdays of Purattasi month,
Gokulashtami, Ramanavami etc. The Lord from Sanctum is brought to the lamp
in the form of Jyothi (by Aavaahana Manthram). We do Deepa Pooja and place
the lamp in the center of the hall and sing in praise of Him. Bhakthaas,
along with the songs, enact the leelaas of God by dancing around the
Pancha Mukha Deepam (placed in the center of the hall), in tune with the
meaning of the song. This is to enable one to concentrate on the theme and
forget one's self during Deepa Pradkshinam and try to tune up with the
Godly principle. It is also necessary to precede special Bhajan with
Paddhathi Bhajan, which is the basic Paddhathi for all other systems.
DEEPA PRADAKSHINAM, compared to Paddhathi Bhajan, gives more chance for
participation by one and all either in singing, dancing, abhinaya etc. ,
wherein we forget ourselves and feel the presence of the Lord amongst us
and prepares us to have Samabhaavana as we are able to mix up with other
Bhakthaas/Bhagavathaas without ego.

Importance of Panchmukha
Deepam:

The lamp (made of
brass) used for Deepa Pradakshinam contains a great thathwa. Symbolically
the round bowl shaped top portion of the lamp (Agal) represents our Mind,
the five facets with five pairs of Wicks represent our Indriyaas (5
Gnaanendriyaas and 5 Karmendriyaas), the Ghee poured in the bowl
represents our Bhakthi, the stoopa shaped short portion (Naaraayam)
pointing upwards and emanating from the center of the bowl represents
Guru. The bowl is supported by a stand with artistic moulds (Body) and
this stand gets the support of a big round shaped bottom plate (World),
holding the body and the top portion. Guru shows the way UP for salvation.
Finally when we light the lamp on all five facets, the Jyothi representing
God is considered as the object of meditation. How?

All thoughts are
emanating in the mind and the thoughts are generated by the Vishayaas that
are brought by Gnaanendriyaas from the world outside. The thought process
culminates in directions addressed to the Karmendriyaas, which perform the
actions in the world outside. Each action depends on the quality of our
thoughts and the results again on the quality of our actions. So if the
thoughts are pure and Saathwic, the actions are also Saathwic and
vice-a-versa . Our Indriyaas (away from worldly thoughts - vishayaaspathi)
are directed inwards and get Knowledge through Bhakthi due to constant
vision of God in Jyothi swaroopa. Thus, our mind becomes thoughtless, is
purified and is empty to receive the Grace of God.

Origin of Deepa
Pradakshinam:

The Deepa Pradakshinam
was introduced first by Bhadrachala Raamadaas. There is another story
behind it: Thaalappakkam Chinnayya, a devotee of Lord Venkateswara, used
to go round the Thirupathi hills on Saturdays and have Darshan of the Lord
in the evening after which only he used to take food. Due to old age, he
was unable one day to do Giri Pradakshinam and could not climb the hills
for the Lord's Darshan. He lamented and went without food that night. Lord
Venkateswara came in his dream and pacified him saying that he need not
feel sorry for his inability to do the Giri Pradakshinam and come to the
hills for His darsan. The Lord explained further that If he places a
Pancha Mukha Deepam (a lamp lit on five sides with Ghee as the fuel) and
comes around it, chanting/singing in praise of Him, it amounts to Bhoo
Pradakshinam and the Lord would give him Darshan in the Bhaktaa's house
itself. Chinnayya did so on every Saturday and could have Lord's Darshan
there. This happened in Purattasi month. Thus, came the importance of
Deepa Pradakshinam Bhajan on Saturdays and particularly on Purattasi
month.

Deepa Pradakshina
Mahima:

In the Pudukkottai
Paddhathi, the slokaas before the Abhang: DHANYA DHANYA HO PRADAKSHINA,
explain the importance of doing Deepa Pradakshinam: (In other Paddhathis,
these slokaas precede Krishna Raama Govinda Hare and which do not have
this Abhang).

              VISRUJJA  LAJJAAM  YOTHEETHE  
MANNAAMAANI NIRANTHARAM
KULAKOTI SAMAAYUKTHA:
LABHATHE MAAMAKAM PADAM

Through the above
sloka, the Lord declares to the Bhakthaas thus: "I safeguard all the Kulam
of that Bhaktha who, discarding Lajja (shyness) fixes his undivided
attention on me and chants (sings) my fame".

              VISHNORGAANAMCHA  NRUTHAMCHA
NADANAMCHA VISHESHATHA:
BRAHMAN BRAAHMANA JAATHEENAAM
KARTHAVYAM NITHYA KARMAVATHU.

What is the value of
doing Bhajan: As a Brahmin attains Brahmathwa by his
Nithyakarmaanushtaanam, so also the one who sings and dances in praise of
God attains the same stage.

              KAALAKSHEPO  NA  KARTHAVYA: 
KSHEENAM AAYUHU KSHANE KSHANE
YAMASYA KARUNAA NAATHI:
KARTHAVYAM HARI KEERTHANAM

Do not waste your life
by involving in daily (material) activities alone. Do perform Hari
Bhajan/Keerthan, for Yamah (the God of death) will not have any compassion
towards you once your lifespan ends - he will have to take you
away.

One may have a doubt.
How are we sure that if we do Bhajan, God will see it and reward us. The
lord has made an unshakable statement to Naarada, who is the embodiment of
Pure Bhakthi, thus:

             NAAHAM  VASAAMI  VAIKUNTE 
NA YOGI HRIDAYE RAVOW
MATHBHAKTHAA: YATHRA GAAYANTHI
THATHRA THISHTAAMI NAARADA

Hey Naarada ! I do not
reside (only) in Vaikunta Loka, nor in the hearts of the Great Rishis
(Tapaswins), but I am ever present at the place where my Bhakthaas are
singing my names with Bhakthi. God says he would rather prefer to be
present in a Bhajan than in other places. If God comes to us when we sing,
are we not elevated, are we not becoming Mukthaas?

The importance of doing
Divyanaama Bhajan is well brought out in the Daasa Charanu portion of the
Paddhathi, thus:

             BHAKTHA: SANGAMYACHA ANYONYAM
DEEPAM MADHYE NIDHAYACHA
JYOTHIR MAYAM MAAM DHYAANTHA:
KEERTHAYANTHASCHA MADGUNANU
PRADAKSHINAM PRAKURVANTHA:
BHOO: PRADAKSHINAJAM PHALAM
LABHANTHE NA ATHRA SANDEHA:
VINATHAANANDA VARDHANA

When bhakthaas as a
group in unity & Bhakthi sings in praise of me and dances around a
Deepam kept in the center, which is adorned with flame, it amounts to
coming round the earth and they are rewarded with punya equal to the punya
gained by those going around the earth. The Lord is promising this adding
"Don't doubt about this". (By going round the earth we come across many
temples & punya kshethras and get the opportunity to have a darshan of
great Mahaathmaas and thus gain punya. This is called
Kshethraadanam).

In Deepa Pradakshinam we
sing the songs rendered by Sri Bhadraachala Ramadas, Purandaradaas, Vijaya
Gopaalar, Naraayana Theerthar, Sri Thyaaga Raaja, Brahmendraal, Kabirdas,
Meerabai, Thukkaram, Uthukkadu etc., followed by GOPIKAA GEETHAM, which is
dealt with in deatil in a separate article, in view of its philosophical
importance.

Gopikaa Geetham is
followed by Kolaattam, Snake Dance, Siddhar Songs, Abhang, Shivan,
Dasaavathaara Krithi: "DARO JAGANNATHA DARO HARE font
size = 2 color = "Brown"> etc. Then Naamaghoshams like: "KIMTHATHA
VEDAGAMA SASTHRA VISTHARAI:" onwards are
made.

At the end of every
religious work, there is a Phalasruthi given, explaining the benefits that
will be derived by the doers. This is like a promise given by the authors.
There is an important sloka at the end of Divya Naama Sankeerthanam as
Bhalasruti :

             Yey! nruthyanthi Hare: pura: prathidinam 
Premnaarudando Muhu:
Gaayanthya: Mudithaanuraaga Hrudhayaa:
Raamethi Krishnethi cha
Theshaam Paada Sarojadhoolimamalaam
Dhruthwa Mahesho Ganai:
Preethyaa Nruthyathi Naaradaadi Sahitha:
Kailaasa Bhoomow Swayam.
This explains that Lord Parameswara, along with his Ganaas and Naarada, do dance in Kailasam by carrying the
Paadadhooli of Hari Bhakthaas who daily sing the naama of Raama and Krishna and dance with prema Bhakthi 
and aananda bhaspam. This brings out the value of Bhakthi. Even Lord Parameswara is bound by Bhakthi and 
Bhaktha Paada Dhooli has that much importance as Parameswara himself is dancing, carrying.

What other pramaanaas
are required or promises are looked at by us for the fine results of doing
Bhajan with para Bhakthi? The God Himself has given promises and
statements as above to his devotees at one time or other, which have been
taught to us. Why not we practice and try for the promised results instead
of arguing about the authenticity of these statements. Every scientific
theory is put to action before proving its efficacy. If it is so, is it
not prudent to act according to the Sastras to reap the benefit. What are
we going to get by arguing and challenging the statements without trying
to prove or disprove it by involving ourselves into the actions, as
prescribed by Sastras?

This is followed by the
song "GAJAANANA PAAHI PAARVATHI BAALA HEY", color=brown> when Bhakthaas do angapradakshinam around the Deepam and hug
each other with the stanza : "PREMA AALINGANA", color=brown>indicating that God is in everyone and all are
one.

Then Deepa Avarohana
Pooja with the song : "KSHEERA SAAGARAANTHA", color=brown> and song explaining Hari Paada Theertha mahima: color=blue> "HARI PAADA THEERTHAMU JEDILO MANCHI".This
is followed by Slokam: "VASANTHE VAASANTHI" color=brown>and Ashtapadi song "LALITHA LAVANGA LATHAA
PARISEELANA" (in Aananda Bhairavi), when the same person
who brought the lit lamp from the sanctum takes it back (dancing) to the
Sanctum . With the Song: "DEHI MANGALAM VAIDEHI
MANGALAM", someone lights camphor from this Deepam and
takes haarathi to the Lord at the Sanctum and the Deepam is then placed
back at its original place at Sanctum. Sumnolically the Lord is taken back
to his original place (Sanctum Sanctorium). Thus we attain the Knowledge
of Self and thereafter we remain in Adwaitha
Bhaava.


Finally, Prarthana Song
: "RATNA JADITHA SIMHAASANA" is sung.
If not followed by Dolothsavam (which is optional), Poorna Mangalam song
and slokams are recited and concluded with
Pundareekams.

In view of the elaborate
description required, the Gopikaa Geetham (though part of Deepa
Pradakshinam) and also Dolothsavam are explained separately. Click on the
appropriate link below and read them.


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DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM

(By Achala Bhakthan)




















GOPIKAA GHEETHAM



Gopikaa Geetham is the
celestial song sung by Vruja Gopis in praise of Lord Krishna. This
projects the depth of Viraha Thaapam suffered by Gopis when Krishna
diappears and their pure Prema Bhakthi and the highest spiritual heights
attained by them. This song also brings out the Sringaara Rasam of Gopis
with Krishna. This finds its place in the midst of DEEPA
PRADKSHINAM, .The same tathwa is given in the form
of RAASAKREEDA in the Tenth
Skantham(middle) of Bhaagavatham. This is to be sung with devotion, in
rapt attention and reverence without any Thaala or sounds. Tears should
flow from the eyes in Bhakthi. Normally this is sung in
CHENCHURUTTI & PUNNAGAVARAALI raagaas which are so
touching and denotes
devotion.

The mythological story
goes like this:- Gopis who enthralled in the presence of Krishna with
ecstasy during the Raasa Leela, thoughtless about their worldly duties,
relations and existence and always longed for Krishna's company, had
developed an EGO, i.e. each Gopi claiming that Krishna is hers and hers
alone and He likes/loves her only. This possessiveness is Saathwic Ego as
it relates to Possessiveness towards Lord. Krishna considers it the right
time to help Gopis caste away this EGO too and give them the Knowledge
(i.e. make them realise the real nature). He disappears temporarily from
there midst and made Himself not reachable by them. At this time, Gopis
felt loneliness and could not concentrate on their work and grieved over
the absence of Krishna. They realised that without Krishna, nothing moves,
nor is it possible to do anything. And it is the presence of Krishna that
made them happy and active. Even Living became a torture without Krishna.
Having realised this, they started wandering in the Kaalindhi River bank,
where they used to be in the company of Krishna and craved for his
appearance by admitting all their ignorance and egotism. The opening sloka
brings out the import:
size=3>
      
              


align=center> size=3>             
size=3>THANMANASKAA:THADAALAAPAA:
                    
THATVICHESHTAA:
THADAATHMIKAA:
           
THADGUNAAN EVA
GAAYANTHYA:
                 
NA AATHMAAKAARAANI SASMARU    


align=center> PUNA:
PULINAM
AAGATHYA 
                   
KAALINDYAA: KRISHNA BHAAVANAA:
      
SAMAVETHA JAGU:
KRISHNAM
          
THADAAGAMANA KAANSHITHAA:


Meaning:

Thinking about THAT,
Singing about the Gunaas of THAT, Remembering about the Leelaas
(Playfulness) of THAT, Concentrating on THAT, Singing in praise of THAT,
without a bit of self-feeling (loss of EGO), (Gopis) kept on visiting
Kaalindhi river banks again and again (repeatedly) always in the memory of
Krishna and finding in every Sthaavara Jangama Vasthus Krishna's figure
only, longing for the return (appearance) of Krishna, of course by singing
the Gopikaa Geetham song. The word 'THAT' used here refers to Paramaathma
Thathwa, i.e. in the form of KRISHNA here.

The Song : color=blue> JAYATHI THEDIKAM KRISHNA JANMANAA VRUJA: is
to be sung in full, in raaga Chenchurutti &
Punnagavaraali
size=3> by sitting
around the Deepam. Despite their cry, Krishna did not appear.
color=brown> size=3>    
 

size=3>        YETHESUJAATHA
CHARANAAMBRUHAM
STHANESHU
         BHEETHA:
SANAI: PRIYA DADHEE MAHI
KARKASESHU
        
THENAAADAVEEM ATASI THAD VYATTHATHE NA
KIMSWITHU 
        
KOORPADIBHI: BHRAMATHI DHEE: BHAVADAAYUSHAM NA:

Then Gopikaas sung the
song of Saranaagathi (total surrender) - (to be sung in raaga color=blue>Sinhendra Mahyamam):

             THWAM EVA MAMA SARANAM KRISHNA
THWAAM VINAA ANYAM NA JAANE

Philosophical Import of
Gopikaa Geetham:

Though Mythology
projected Gopikaa Geetham as the song sung by Gopis, there is a message
for all of us. Gopis are the embodiment of Bhakthi towards Krishna.All of
us, the Jeevaathmaas, must become Gopis to attain Paramaathma (Krishna).
Jeevaathma is a spark coming out of the Paramaatma (self-willed leela of
Paramaathma) but having got entangled in the Samsaara Chakra by Maaya,
forgot about the real nature and is sunk in the materialistic pleasures
which are impermanent. Jeevathma should realise the real nature and try to
attain Mukthi, i.e. the knowledge of the Brahman and ultimately should
reach the abode of Paramaathma. This should be our aim while singing
Gopikaa Geetham. The Poorva Sloka before Gopikaa Geetham is full of
philosophical import and conveys as to how the Bhaktha should address the
Lord and what Bhaava one should have while singing Gopikaa Geetham.

Every human being
entangled by the worldly pleasures possesses Ego, a basic negative
quality, which hinders the human evolutionary process. A Bhaktha may cast
away all worldly pleasures and relationship with the materialistic world
and live an ascetic life but cannot discard the EGO, which the Lord alone
can help to discard. The Gopikaa Geetham song is the way by which God
helps Gopis (Jeevaathma) to cast away the EGO. The Lord helps Bhakthaas
only when they, in total surrender, calls for His help, without AATHMA
ABHIMAANA, i.e. without identification with Deha, Manas, Chittham, Buddhi,
Ahamkaar.

Pleased with the
Bhakthi and total surrender of Gopis, Krishna appears before them.The
following slokas, detail the reappearance of the Lord:

              ITHI GOPYA: PRAGAAYANTHYA:
PRALAPANDYASCHA CHITHRADHAA
RURUDU: SUSWARAM RAAJAN
KRISHNA DARSANA LAALASAA:

THAASAAM AAVEERA BHOOCCHOWRI:
SMAYAMAANA MUKHAMBUJA:
PEETHAAMBARADHARA: SRAGVEE
SAKSHAATH MANMATTHA MANMATTHA:

Meaning:

When Gopis lamented
thus by singing in praise of Him in touching raaga and laya, without Ego
and in total surrender, they visualised the Lord, who appeared before them
with a most beautiful figure, with a smiling face, wearing Peethambaram,
conquering Manmattha (the Lord of Love) in beauty.
color=brown>

               THAM VILOKYA AAGATHAM PRESHTTAM
PREETHUTHPHULLA DHRUSO ABALAA:
UTTHASTTHU: YUGAPATH SARVAA:
THANWA: PRAANAM IVAAGATHAM

Meaning:,p> color=brown>On getting the darshan of the Lord, who appeared before them
(Self-willed), the Gopis got up in a jerk as if their bodies were inert
(dead) and suddenly as though the Praana entered their body
again.
        
 

size=3>             
KRISHNASYA  MUKHA 
LAAVANYA-
              
SUDHAAM  NAYANA 
BHAAJANAI:
              
APEEYA  APEEYA  NA 
ATHRUPYAN
              
SANTHA: THATHCHARANAM  YETTHA

Meaning:

Looking at the beauty
of Krishna's face and the moving eyes in smile, they enjoyed the scene
again and again, as though they are ever unsatisfied and wanted more and
more of it. They never wanted to come out of that Ecstasy and remained in
His presence in total BLISS.

Then Krishna through
Raasakreeda, makes them realise that each one is of Krishna Swaroopa, i.e.
He is in every one and also stays alone (in Fullness) as unattached and
unbound. This is clearly brought out in the song after Gopikaa
Geetham:

          ANGANAAM ANGANAAM ANDHARE MAADHAVA:
MAADHAVAM MAADHAVAM CHA ANDHARENA ANGANAA
ITTHAM AAKALPITHE MANDALE MADHYAGA:
SANJAGOW VENUNAA DEVAKI NANDANA:

This is the description
of RAASAKREEDA Scene in Brindhaavan
wherein Krishna formed a circle by placing in between two Gopis (Anganaam)
One Krishna and in between two Krishnaas one Gopi (Angana) and finally in
the Center of the circle Krishna again and made them all feel the one-ness
and enjoy total BLISS. This shows that Paramaathma is present (unattached
and unbound) in every Jeevaathma and at the same time the Paramaathma, in
fullness, is also in the center of all activities. This is the greatest
Philosophical Thathwa we should learn from this celestial song. In our
scriptures, there is a mantra, bringing out this theory
clearly:
size=2>

             POORNAMATHA: POORNAMIDAM 
POORNAATH POORNAM UTHASCHYATHE
POORNASYA POORNAM AADAAYA
POORNAMEVA AVASISHYATHE

Brahman, the Poorna
Swaroopa is here and there (but unbound and unattached) in Poornathwa and
when thus divided, the divisions are all Poornam and what is left behind
also remains as Poornam. Meaning: God is everywhere in fullness (unbound
and unattached) and also stays as the center of activities in
fullness.

The songs that follow
are all explained in Deepa Pradakshina Paddhathi, which is concluded with
the other sampradaaya songs.

Then we perform
Dolothsavam, the Union with God (Aatma Nivedhanam). Full description of
Dolothsavam is handled in a separate article.


: SWASTHIRASTHU
:

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DAKSHINA BHAJANA SAMPRADAAYAM


(By Achala Bhakthan)


DOLOTHSAVABHAJAN

Dola means Cradle/OOnjal. Dolothsavam,
literally means keeping God in the Cradle/Oonjal and
swinging it. If we consider Sri Raama as a child, then
Dola has the meaning of Cradle. We imagine putting
Sri Raama (in the form of a child) in the Cradle and
make him sleep. Sri Thyaagaraja Swamigal has rendered
a set of songs for this Uthsavam wherein he used to
invite Sri Raama to come to his house with Seetha,
Lakshmana, Bharatha, Sathrugna and Hanumaan and stay
in the Mani Mandapam placed in his house so that he
can have His darshan and perform pooja to Him.
Through his songs he imagined that Raama has thus
come and he did Paada Prushtaalanam and made him
seat on the peettam and offered Milk, Fruits,
various Madhura Palahaarams etc. etc. and Betal
Leaves and Nut. He did haarathi to Him and
requested sri Raama to go to Sayanam with
Seetha Piraatti. While They thus were in Sayana
Gruham, Thyaagaraja Swaamigal rendered songs to
please them and to make them comfortable. Next
day he used to wake up early and sing
Prabhodhana Song in Bhoopaalam to
wake up the couple in the Pooja room. This was
his daily practice. That
shows his nearness to God and the depth of his
Bhakthi.

In Dhakshina Sampradaaya Bhajan, The
Dolothsavam got little widened
with more songs added by Sri Appa (Pudukkottai
Gopalakrishna Bhagavatha Swami), who added
important and befitting songs from Pawwalimbu.
While the theme is same as in Sri Thyaagaraja
Swamigal's Dollotsavam, here there are
more opportunities to involve oneself more
deeply and by enacting the entire episode
according to one's own understanding. As in
Pooja Paddhathi, here also, through the set
songs, we receive God, do Pooja and pray to
him for our upliftment. Normally, this is
interpreted as making newly wed dampathis
(God with Goddess) enter Sayana Gruha in
seclusion and enjoy themselves. This is the
worldly way of seeing it and is the
materialistic way of perception. Let us look
at it with a philosophical bent of mind:

It has been stated earlier hereinabove
that Jeevaathma, having realised the origin
remains in Adwaitha Bhaava. To remain
permanently in Sachidhaananda, we must
practice Nidhidhyaasanam. Even in the
Dhyaana state, there is coming back into
the world periodically, since with the
body we have to perform certain natural
duties and till we caste away the
body, we have to live in the world. To go
into Dhyaanam we have to purify
our mind, arrest the activities of the
Dasendriyaas, and never entertain Ego and
be always in the smarana of the Lord.
This requires Bhakthi &
total Surrender to the Lord within. Then
we can receive the Lord within
our pure Mind in the lotus shaped Peettam,
offer Him Milk, Fruits, Madhura
Palahaarams, Thaamboolam (Betal Leaves
wand betal nut) etc. This indicates
that we pour all our material possessions,
pleasures and pains unto the Lord (Casting
away our materialistic pursuits and making
ourselves Saathwic like the colour of the
Milk). The meaning of offering Thaamboolam
is that we surrender to the one to whom it
is offered. Then we do Mangala Haarathi to
indicate our readiness to be one with Him.

The first song, HECCHAREEKA RAA RAA RAA, color=brown>
is the invocation song praying to Lord to
come into ourselves. This is the
preparatory stage for our evolution.

The next song AARAKIMBAVE PAAL is
offering our
purified mind (Saatwic state indicated by
the whiteness of the milk) as a Peettam
for Him to be seated. as also all our
materialistic pursuits, pleasure and
pains in the form of Maddhura Palahaarams
and request Him to accept them as though
they are offered by Seetha Devi.

By the song VIDAMU SAAYAVE, we offer
Thaamboolam along
with Jaathikkai, Elakkai, Jaapathri etc.
to make the thaamboolam more digestive.
Here I would like to state an interesting
explanation given by Sri Embaar
Vijayaraghavchariyar in his Harikatha.
Through this song, he explained: fearing
that Lord may leave early before
blessing him, he rushed into the
sampradaya of Nischithaamboolam -
exchanging fruits, flowers, Betal
leaves and nuts, Kismiss, Kalkandu etc.
- as a mark of mutual agreement (not
to leave one another). This gives us
the importance of this song and the
manobhaava we should possess at this
time. In our Hindu sampradayam there
is a customs where the bride gives
thamboolam to the groom, whereby the
groom is said to be attracted by the
bride and he becomes hers totally.
Whatever be the bhaava, the Bhaktha
here shows his wish to possess God
with him always.

The song :

SADAA YENNA HRUDAYADALLI VAASAMAADO
SRIHARE

is a prayer requesting the Lord to always stay
in the
Hrudaya of the Bhaktha, filled with
pure knowledge and Bhakthi,
which is the pure seat offered by
the Bhaktha. At this time, a mangala
Haarathi, depicting Bhakthi and purity,
is taken to the Lord. The
stanza:
NINNA NAANU BIDUVANALLA YENNA NEENU
BIDALUBALLI

indicates the steadfastness of
Bhaktha and total
surrender state. The Bhaktha affirms
that he will not leave him at all and
He should also not think of leaving
the Bhaktha. One has to experience
this state and cannot be explained
in words.

The following songs:

     
SEETHA KALYAANA VAIBHAVAME

SREERAAMA JAYARAAMA

NAGUMOMU GALAVAANI

RAA RAA RAAJAKUMAARA

are the Nalangu songs, showing the Bhaava of
the
Bhaktha (Seetha) doing everything
the beloved would do to Her partner.
This is the state where Jeevaathma
enjoys through beautification of Lord
and serving Him in many ways. The
padhyam:

SARANAMBU KARIRAAJA PARIRAKSHNODDHARA

praising about the Lord's daya to His
Bhakthaas like the
Elephant caught by the Crocodile,
Prahlaada, Akroora
etc. etc. and seeking similar Daya
towards the Bhaktha, is to offer
Betal Leaves with Betal Nut,
meaning total surrender.

Then comes the Poopandu Vilayaattu(a bundle of flowers):


POOLA CHENDLADENE SRI RAAMUDU PUSHPA
CHENDLADENE

One Bhaktha puts the bundle on each audience
who should
immediately put back the bundle
to the Bhaktha. Literally, It
is indicating the Pooppandu
Vilayaattu of Lord and Devi.
This reiterates the importance of
madhura bhava (sneha) during this
time. Looking at it with a
philosophical view, this indicates
that the Jeevaathma (Flower
Bundle) is sent back by the Lord to
Bhooloka again and again and the
Jeevaathma bounces back to God again
and again saying, "whatever number of
births and deaths I have, I must
always be in your company and come back
to you after every Jeeva Kaala." The
Bhaktha has to be so stead-fast that
every time he takes birth, his aim
will be to reach God ultimately and he
should always work for this aim.
This attitude should be maintained while
playhing Poochendu. and not throw it
with force on others. Hence, the
Pooppandu sent from one Bhaktha to
another should reach the first
Bhaktha only and not thrown into
the crowd.

Then the Oonchal: "GODDHOOLI DHOOSARITHA" color=brown size=2>etc.
and Laali song : "LAALI
LAALI YENI"
depict the upachaaram to God by the
Bhaktha keeping Him in the Oonchal.

The next "NEELA GHANA NEELA JO JO" and "JO JO
JO RAAMA" etc. are Thaalaattu songs describing
the Dasa
Avathaaram of the Lord, exclaiming
the deeds done by Him during each of
the Ten Avathaarams.
The songs size=2>"ENTHALETHU VAIBHAVAMBU", pleading to
the Lord to go for Sayanam and "KAASU KONNAADATHU GO",

requesting Devi to do Panividai to
the Lord in sayanagruha, and "POOLA PANPU MAINI BHAGA" detailing sayanopachaaram to be
sung.

Then the song : size=2>SHOBHANE and JAYA MANGALAM
with Haarathi to the Lord and Devi
in Sayana Gruha. Then, the Praarthana
Slokams :'VANDE SHOWNAKA", "MAJJENMA",
"SANKARASYA" etc.prayaing for His
Paadaaravinda Bhakthi
in all Jenmaas and to become the
Daasaanu Daasan of the Lord
(Adiyaarkku Adiyaarkku Adiyaan),
to serve the Bhaktas' Bhaktas' Bhakta of
the Lord.

 

A Pattu or Koti
Vasthram is held as therai in
front of the Sanctum Sanctorum
by singing the song : DHRISHTI THAAKU MAAYAYYAKU", color=brown size=2>
to show that the Sayanagruha
door is closed. This is
followed by the song MANJUTHARA KUNJATALA KELI
SADANEpleading
to Raadha Devi to enter the sayana
Griha. THE SONG: "ANTHA KOYAM
NEELA KALEBARA" depicts the anthapura Raadha
Madhava sallapam, imagined by the
Bhaktha. 

size=2>Then Sayanarasam slokaas like:
"SACHITHA SAAYEE", "DWARAKAA
NAGARAVARE", "ANGANAA MANIBHARANA",
"SANAKAADHI MUNIDHEYA", "BHUJAGESA
THALPAVARA", "VITHURUNDINIKI POYI"
etc. are sung pleading to Lord to take
rest.

Then by the song: size=2>SAMAYAME ME SWAMI SAMAYAME, the Bhaktha is
trying to enquire and make sure
from those paricharakaas who are
nearer the sayana gruha than him,
about how the Lord is taking rest
and whether everything is OK.

Now comes the Praakaara Rakshanam,
where literally speaking we are
trying to close the four Gopura Doors
with the four songs, requesting the
guards, in the four doorsteps, to
ensure that Lord's Ekaanthatha in his
YOGA NIDRA is not hindered and no one
enters to disturb him. We request
the people in praakaara to observe
full silence. The wrong interpretation
that Lord and Devi are sleeping should
be avoided. They never sleep, if so
the word will come to an end. They go
into YOGA NIDRA, meaning they are in
MEDITATION. That is the Bhava one
should have.

    
KAAVERI THEERE KAMANEEYA GEHE

INDU BIMBATHARA SUNDARA VADANA

SANAKAATI YOGEENDRA THUMBURU NAARADA

KUMKUMA CHANDANA PANKILA HRUDAYA

If we view this philosophically, it is nothing but our
preparation for Nidhidhyaasanam. i.e. We
should dwell deep in Bhakthi (Raadha),
in total faith and surrender, so that
Lord will accept us. For this, first
of all we should purify our Mind with
Saathwic Bhaavanaas by blocking the
four doors called Manas, Chittam,
Budhi and Ahamkaara, through which we
receive and respond to the stimuli
from the world outside. This is a
stupendous task for which we have
to have strong & experienced
guards. We are praying to Bhakthaas
like Jaya, Vijaya, Chanda, Prachanda,
Sanaka, Sananthana, Kumuda,
Kumudekshana, Prahlaada, Dhruva,
Bhala Prbhalaadya to help us in
guarding against these Vishaaspathis
by giving their grace to safeguard
against these vishayaaspathi, so that
we can dwell in the Sachithaananda
state for ever. As stated earlier,
it is easy to reach Lord through the
grace & help of experienced
Gurus/Bhakthaas and hence this
request to those Bhakthaas who are
always remaining at the abode of the
Lord. Philosophically speaking, we
go in the One-ness with the Lord.
This is called athmanivedhanam. Once
we have lost our worldly knowledge,
we dwell in Satchidaananda state.

One Bhaktha, ringing the handbell, goes round the Mandapam to warn
everybody that the Lord is in YOGA NIDRA with Devi and all should keep
silence and pray for the well being and do Raama Japa/sing Prarthana
Abhang.

Through the songs :
size=2>                
           

colorr="Brown">                                     color=brown size=2>   colorr="Brown">KOUSALYA SUPRAJA RAAMA    
and

                                                 
RANGA NAYAKA RAJEEVA LOCHANA
colorr="Brown">

etc. we are literally waking up the Lord with
Piraatti.
Then conclusion with Mangala Haarathi with the
praarthana song."POORAYA MAMA KAAMAM".

Conclusion:

This can be equatted to remaining in the
awakened state
of Sachidaananda. To sum-up, JEEVAATHMA
PARAMAATHMA AIYKYAM is
the ultimate aim of all of us and
we should follow the path of Pure
Bhakthi in total surrender to the
Paramaatma by grooming ourselves
like Gopis (embodiment of Pure Bhakthi).

    
SARVE BHANVANTHU SUKHINA::
SARVE SANTHU NIRAAMAYAA:
SARVE BHADHRANI PASYANTHU:
MAA KASCHIT DHUKHAMAAPNUYAATHU

OM SANTHI: SANTHI: SANTHI:
color=purple size=2>

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