You are here: SriPedia - ebooks - Vedanta Desikan - Works



Sri Goda Stuti is a sweet and mellifluous lyric of 29 Verses on Sri Goda
Devi(Andal). She has a unique place in our religion and Philosophy as one
of the twelve Alwars (Tamil Vaishnavaite Saints) and as a loving Consort
of Bhagavan. On the day of  the star of poorva-phalguni (pooram) in the
month of Aadi(kataka) in the Tamil Year Nala centuries before she appeared
as a baby in the basin of a Tulasi Plant in the sacred garden of Sri
Vishnu-citta(Perialwar) in Srivilliputhur in South Tamil Nadu. She was
taken home by Perialwar and brought up in an atmosphere of devotion and
godly love. When she heard from him the story of Sri Krishna and His
divine exploits, she was drawn towards Krishna more and more. As she grew,
her devotion also to Him grew and brought about a complete change in her.
She was a Gopi-girl in love with Krishna, the Gopa-lad; her girl-friends
were Gopi-girls for her, Srivilliputhur became Gokula., the local temple
Nandagops?s mansion d the god within Sri Krishna Himself. In short, she
lived, moved and had her being in Sri Krishna. She was happy when she felt
He was with her and pined in separation. Her two poetical
compositions-Tiruppavai, a lyric in 30 songs. The Naacciar Tirumozhi a
ballad in 143 verses-give us a real and Soul-stirring picture of Andal in
various moods of love-joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment. She
observes a penance in the month of Maargazhi, she sends the cloud as a
messenger to Krishna, makes an appeal to the cuckoo and the parrot to
bring Him to her.  The intense love lands her in a dream in which she
marris Sri Krishna. She passes through the various rituals in a marriage
in South India in that dream- the reception, the bridal costume, tying of
the sacred thread, the exchange of garland, going round the fire holding
the hand of the groom, the touching of the stone- slab by the bride?s
foot, the offering of fried rice in the ceremonial fire with her hands
placed right on the groom?s hands and the final procession of the happy
married couple on a caparisoned elephant to the tune of music and drum.

The tradition is that under the command of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam,
Perialwar took Andal in the bridal costume in a palanquin. On reaching the
City and the temple, Andal moved swiftly towards Sri Ranganatha in the
Sanctorum. The Lord extended his arms to receive and embrace His long-
expected bride. Andal entered into Sri Ranganatha  and became one with Him
to the enjoy of Perialwar that his foster-daughter Andal?s desires were
fulfilled and that the status of being the God?s father-in- law  has been
conferred on him.

That is the story of Andal, the beautiful divine creeper in the
Tulasi-garden of Perialwar which became entwined with the fragrant tree of
Haricandan, Sri Ranganatha. Sri Vedanta Desika says that out of this
reverent reverie of his about devout life and god ? love of Sri Andal rose
Sri Goda Stuti, the lyric of lovely rhyme and rhythm.

Sri Andal is the incarnation of the Bhoodevi and chose Sri Ranganatha, in
the Arcaavatara as her Consort, like Lakshmi who chose Bhagavan in Milk
Ocean in the Vyooha form and like Bhoomi who chose Varaha in the Vibhava
form. Sri Desika extols the greatness of Andal in weaving two kinds of
garlands, a garland of songs and a garland of flowers (Paa-malai and
Poo-malai) by both of which she was able to bind Sri Ranganatha  so that
He may become inclined to pardon our sins and  redeem us. By the paa-malai
(in 6 slokas from 4-9) she pleased His ear and mind, and by the poo-malai
(in 11 slokas 5, 10and 14 to 20) which she wore first and then adorned His
body, a gift He was longing to get. The hymns of the masculine Alwars in a
bridal form may be said to be a facsimile of the songs of Andal, the real
bride.  Sri Desika also describes the marriage of Andal with Sri
Ranganatha in several verses. He concludes by praying that she should be
pleased to dwell in our hearts and that the reciters of this Stotra will
be honoured by all, including Lord Ranganatha Himself.

There is some difference of opinion about the place where the Goda Stuti
was composed. A Guruparampara states that it was in Srirangam. When Sri
Vedanta Desika was in Srirangam, one day as usual, he went to the Temple
to worship Sri Ranganatha.  It was the day of Tiru-Aadi-Pooram,the Jayanti
day of Sri Andal. Familiar as he was with the life history of Andal and
well-versed as he was in her hymns, his mind was filled with them and he
had a mental vision of the Divine Couple, Sri Andal and Sri Ranganatha and
the highly beautiful Goda Stuti flowed out of the devotion-full Sri Desika
as he himself says in the last sloka for our enjoyment and redemption.
(?Utthitam Venkatesaat bahu-guna-ramaneeyaam Goda Stutim?)

There is some propriety in saying that the Goda Stuti was sung in
Srirangam. The poem begins and ends with a reference to Sri
Ranganatha(Verses 18, 21, 24 and 26). When we read the verse
Rangapathir-Esha (This Ranganatha before us) we feel we stand before the
Lord of Srirangam.

There is a popular tale current in Srivilliputhur even today with
reference to the Goda Stuti. In the course of his pilgrimage to worship
Bhagavans in the various shrines in South India, Sri Vedanta Desika came
to Srivilliputhur, the birth place of Sri Andal . The ever-green sacred
Tulasi garden of Perialwar, and the Divine Couple, Sri Andal and Sri
Rangamannar filled him with devotion and the verses of Goda Stuti flowed
out of him with out his conscious effort. Sri Andal was so much pleased
that she immediately commanded the temple servants and the public to
commemorate the birth of Goda Stuti from Sri Vedanta Desika in a suitable
manner in the form of a festival every year known as Goda Stuti Utsavam by
name. It is conducted in a special pavilion even today while Goda Stuti is

Srirangam or Sri Villiputhur, whatever may be the place of birth for Goda
Stuti, it presents to us a beautiful picture of the queen Sri Andal
attended by Sri Ranganatha standing beside her with pride and delight by
the fragrant garland of flowers and the sweet worded garland of
verses(poo-malai and paa-malai).

[From the Life and works of Sri Nigamantha Mahadesikan- by  Prof Sri A 



Let us start with a tribute in Tamil paid by Azhahiya MaNavALa PerumAL NaayaNAr, which summarizes the essence of what Godhai taught us:

"yettezhutthin iNaipporuLum iraNdin(?) poruLum
iyal valitthEr Arucchunanakku Iraivar tammaith-
tottu vaittha maRai iRuthipporuL yellAm tonRum vahai
PuduvairkkOn Godhai kavi paadal poruL teriya-kAttinALE"

Meaning: Godhai, The daughter of the seer of SrivillipputthUr (VishNu-Chitthar) revealed to us clearly through Her paasurams, the esoteric and Vedic meanings (rahasyArthams) of the AshtAkshari, Dhvayam and finally, Charama SlOkam given by the most merciful Lord (PaarthasArathy) to the great warrior ArjunA on the battle field of KurukshEthram .

Comments: "Yettezhutthu" is Thirumanthiram or ashtAkshari ; "iraNdin" is the manthra rathnam ,dhvayam with 25 letters and "iRuthipporuL" is the Charama slOkam of 32 letters blessed to us by GeethAchAryan using His dear sishyan and friend Arjunan as a vyAjam (excuse ). This taniyan identifies the Charama slOkam with its 32 letters as " MaRai- iRuthipporuL " or the quintessence of Sruthi ( Vedam and the 32 Brahma VidhyAs of the Upanishads) .The word "iRuthi" really means "last "or final .This Taniyan points out that Godhai , the daughter of PeriyAzhwAr of SrivilliputthUr performed upadEsams for us through Her two prabhandhams in a way through which the deep and profound meanings of the three VaishNava manthrams and artha panchakam can be understood clearly by us , Her children ( iRuthip poruL yellAm thOnRum vahai PuduvairkkOn Godhai kavi paadal poruL teriya-kaattinALE ).

Our ThAyAr has grave concerns about our limitations in comprehending the deeper meanings of the three manthrams& artha panchakam because of our inadequate intellectual capabilities and imperfect anushtAnam. She knows that the SaasthrArtha-nirUpanam (the full comprehension of the meanings of the Saasthrams) will escape our meagre intellects and therefore as the most compassionate Mother interested in our parama-hitham chose the method of UpadEsam in the time honoured and proven way:

"saasthra Jn~Anam Bahu-klEsam
buddhEscchalana kaaraNam
upadesaath Harim buddhva
viramEth sarva karmasu"

Meaning: It is very difficult for most of us , whose minds are easily influenced by many distractions ( Chanchala Buddhi) to learn about the true meanings of saasthrArthams. Therefore , One should have upadEsam from a SadAchAryan to comprehend clearly the tattvams like Isvaran , Jeevan , prakruthi and their relationships. One should stay away from the futile efforts of learning Saasthrams by ourselves as a route to understanding "adhyAtham-saasthra-artha- visEshams "(the saarArthams/the essential meanings of the sacred lore and the three rahasyams). Only incorrect and distorted grasp (ViparItha Jn~Anam )of the tattvams will result from such foolish efforts.

Regarding the AchArya paramparai in our SampradhAyam, PerumAL is our "prathama pravarthakan" or the First AchAryan. Our ThAyAr (ANDAL)is our second AchAryan followed by VishvaksEnar and Swamy NammAzhwAr. Therefore,the Direct Upadesam from ANDAL through Her prabhandhams to us is one of the greatest of blessings. MahA Lakshmi, BhU devi , NeeLA devi are the consorts of our Lord with specific functions . AndAl is considered the avathaaram of BhU Devi , who realized the VarAha Charama slOkam from Her Lord .Hence the UpsdEsam from AndaaL /BhU Devi is extremely important to us and these upadEsams are enshrined in Her ThiruppAvai . That is why the understanding of the sookshmArthams (subtle meanings) of the verses of ThiruppAvai with the help of a Scholar like U.Ve. Sri PerukkaraNai Swamy is very important for us. He is the nephew of U.Ve.Abhinava Desika Sri UttamUr Swamy and is currently an AasthAna VidhvAn of Ahobila Matam . His scholarship arising from his deep learning at the feet of many sadAchAryALs is exceptional.

From here on, we will focus on the individual slOkams of Swami Desikan's GodhA sthuthi. We will start with the first slOkam, "Sri VishNuchittha- Kula nandhana kalpavallIm --".

We will salute the first line of the first slOkam of GodhA sthuthi next.

Origin of the GodhA Sthuthi

The first slOkam of GodhA sthuthi arose from Swami Desikan spontaneously as he stood on a side street at SrivilliputthUr on a PradhOsham evening to find out the origin of fast approaching sounds of the mangaLa vaadhyams .

He was observing mounam (silence) befitting the occasion of the PradhOsham evening. He was planning to go to ANDAL Sannidhi later for
MangaLAsAsanam. When he heard the sounds of Koil vaadhyams, he stepped out from the inside of the house, where he was staying to find out as to what was happening .To his greatest surprise and joy, he saw the archA moorthy of ANDAL being carried by temple servants approaching him, as it was being carried on the backs of the temple servants.

ANDAL's normal processional route did not include the street , where Swami Desikan was staying .On this special day , there was some theettu on the main street and the temple priests had rerouted the procession to include the street where Swamy Desikan was staying as an alternate route . Swami Desikan's astonishment at this unexpected bhAgyam and his parama bhakthi for ANDAL poured out in the form of 29 slOkams in two beautiful Sanskrit poetic metres known as Vasantha Tilakam and Maalini.

ANDAL's special affection for Swami Desikan

ANDAL seems to have created a situation to receive MangaLAsAsanam from Swami Desikan as soon as possible instead of waiting for Swami Desikan to come to Her Sannidhi inside the temple.Hence , She came to where Swami Desikan was , as if to welcome him to Her dhivya dEsam as soon as She could. In the case of AchArya RaamAnujA, She left Her sanctum (Garbha graham) and rushed to welcome him as Her elder brother for fulfilling Her pledge to offer 1000 vessels of akkAra-adisil to Lord SundararAjan of ThirumAlirum ChOlai. After that reception to AchArya RaamunjA, the ThiruppAvai Jeeyar, She never went inside Her sanctum and stays even today at the ardha manTapam. In the case of Swami Desikan, She engineered to arrive in front of the house outside Her Thiru MaaLikai Veedhi, where Her parama bhakthan was staying during his visit to Her city. Moved by that exraordinary display of Vaathsalyam and dayA of ANDAL, the LOka MaathA, our Kavi Simham poured forth in rapture his eulogy of Her anantha KalyANa guNams .Thus originated the GodhA sthuthi and its 29 slOkams.

The first slOkam

Sri VishNu chittha kula nandhana kalpavallIm
Sri RangarAja harichandhana yOga dhrusyAm
SaakshAth KshamAm karuNayA KamalAmivAnyAm
GodhAm ananyasaraNa; SaraNam prapadhyE

Meaning: Oh GodhE! adiyEn performs prapatthi at Your sacred feet as one, who has no other recourse! adiyEn has no one else for my protection. You are the KalpakA creeper adorning the Lord standing as the auspicious Harichandanaa tree in the flower garden of the kulam of VishNucchitthar, Your father.The darsanam of the celestial Harichandanaa tree united with You as the KalpakA creeper is a blessed sight to see. In Your limitless patience with the aparAdhis, who transgress Your Lord's commands, You appear verily like BhUmi Devi; in Your limitless compassion, You resemble MahA Lakshmi Herself. AdiyEn offers my prapatthi at Your sacred feet as the one, who has no other means.

The Inclusion of Sri Sabdham at the outset

Recognizing the most auspicious, unanticipated occasion, Swami Desikan started the first slOkam with the parama mangaLa "Sri" sabdham (Sri VishNu Chittha Kula--) .In the second line was also started with the "Sri" sabdham (Sri RangarAja Harichandana--).

The first word of this first slOkam is "SriVishNu" and not plain "VishNu". Lord VishNu, who is never without His consorts is what Swami had in mind. Desika Bhaktha Rathnam, Sri U.Ve.SevA SwamigaL has explained the uniqueness of each of the Consorts of this VishNu NaarAyanan. MahA Lakshmi (Periya PirAtti ) blesses us with Her KaruNA katAkshams ; BhUmi Piraatti pleaded with Her Lord to bless us with a laghu upAyam (easy means ) for our mOksham and received the revered VarAha Charama slOkam ; Nappinnai PirAtti (NeeLA dEvi) enchanted Her Lord so that His angry glances (nigraha dhrushti) will not fall on us , who trespass His commands repeatedly; ANDAL has the uniqueness of performing upadEsams for us , preparing us to come near Her Lord and reminding Him of His sworn duties to save us inspite of our aparAdhams, once we perform prapatthi.

The Choice of VishNu naamam following "Sri" nAmam

The first slOkma starts this way:" Sri VishNu chittha Kula nandhana kalpavallIm ". Let us reflect on the choice of "VishNu" and "VishNu Chittha " by Swami Desikan at the very beginning of this sthuthi .

ParAsara Bhattar has reminded us as to who is VishNu and what His significance is in the first two verses of his ashta slOki, where he elaborates on the greatness of AshtAksharam:

"akArArthO VISHNU: jagadh-udaya-rakshA-praLaya kruth"
--First line of Ashta slOki (1)

Meaning: The Supreme Lord, who creates, protects and destroys the Universe is VISHNU and He is denoted /described by the letter "A" of PraNavam. He is therefore the "akaarArthakan", the meaning of the first letter of Pranavam.

In his second slOkam of ashta slOki ,ParAsara Bhattar describes his relationship to this Sarva SEshi as His sEsha bhUthan and states that he is not for himself , but is for performing kaimkaryams to " Sri VishNu" at all times ,places and states as the most natural thing to do (reminiscent of ANDAL's ThiruppAvai Vaakyam: " unakkE naamAtccheyvOm ".

akArArAthAyaiva svamahamaTha mahyam na nivahA:
--ashta slOki : slOkam 2 passage

Extended Meaning: adiyEn , the meaning of makAram , the second letter of PraNavam (MakArArthan)is the sEsha bhUthan of Sri VishNu and no one else . The relationship between Sri VishNu , the akAra -vaachyan and adiyEn the Jeevan ( the MakAra Vaachyan) is denoted by the third letter of PraNavam , the UkAram , which states that the sambhandham (bond) between the Lord , the Sarva Seshi and the Jeevan, the sEsha BhUthan is inseperable and that bond does not belong to anyone else.

Such are the deep meanings that come to adiyEn's mind , when adiyEn reflects on the choice of "Sri" padaham and "VishNu" naamam as the first words chosen by Swami Desikan in his first slOkam .For additional elaborations on the significance of the name "VishNu " and what it stands for , the reader is referred to the articles of Sri U.Ve.MukkUr LakshmI NrusimhAcchAr Swamy about Manthra Raaja padha SthOthram that have being serialized in Sri Nrusimha PriyA magazine.

Sri VishNucchittha Kulam

VishNucchitthar is the name chosen by the AzhwAr ,who is the father of ANDAL .He gave us ThiruppallANNDu, where he wished benedictions to the Lord out of his pongum parivu . VishNu and the chinthanais about His anantha KalyANa guNams was always on his chittham (mind) and hence he was known as VishNucchitthan .

The name also in a generic sense represents all BhaagavathALs including the AzhwArs , who are said to belong to the anjukkudi. These all are VishNucchitthALs . ANDAL was the santhathi (descendant ) of this anjum Kudi , the kulam that is afraid of trespassing the injunctions of Sriman NaarAyaNan and commititng any apachArams to His bhaagavathALs.That is an anjum kudi (God-fearing group ).ANDAL was the unique progeny of this anjum kudi.Sri SevA Swami points out that these VishNucchitthAs have on their mind the commands of GeethAchAryan :

mayyEva mana aadhathsva , mayi budhdim nivEsaya,
nivasishyasi mayyEva , atha Urdhvam na samsaya:
Geethai: 12.8
( Focus your mind on Me alone;and let your buddhi enter into Me. Then, you will live in Me alone;there is no doubt about this )

manmanA bhava madh bhakthO madh yaaji maam namaskuru
mAmEvaishyasi yukthvaivamAthmAnam mathparAyaNa;
--Geethai : 9.34
(Focus Your mind on Me, be My devotee, be My worshipper. Bow down to Me .Engaging your mind in this manner and regarding Me as the supreme goal, you will come to Me )

sarva dharmAn partithyjya maamEkam charaNam vraja
aham thvA sarva paapEbhyO MokshayishyAmi maa sucha:
Geethai: 18.66
( Completely relinquishing all dharmAs , seek Me
alone for refuge. I will release you from all sins.
Grieve not )

VishNucchittha Kula Nandhana KalpavallI :ANDAL

It is in this VishNucchitha Kulam , ANDAL incarnated.She appeared as an infant with illustrious beauty under a TuLasi tree in VishNucchitthar's nandhavanam (Flower garden) on an AadippUram day. Sri VishNu-chitthatr was a god-fearing Munkudumi ChOzhiyar and Saama SaakhA adhyAyi ( Saama veda Kulam ). Kulam is very important to ladies. SeethA PirAtti as the avathAram of BhUmi davi had described Herself earlier as:

" Kulam samprApthayA PuNyam kulE mahathi Jaathayaa "

Mahathi kulam is Janaka Raaja Kulam for SitA PirAtti. here , it is Sri VishNucchittha Kulam . The whole Kulam is a nandhavanam (NandhayathI ithi nandhanam). She became the kalpavallI , which delighted that whole VishNucchittha Kulam .She was the wish granting KalpakA tree in that auspicious VishNucchittha Kulam .

Thus ends the salutation to GodhA in the first line of the first slOkam. Swami Desikan goes on to salute ANDAL's other kalyANa guNams in the other three paadhams of the slOkam set in Vasantha TilakA metre.

After the translations of the indivisual Slokams, the integrated anubhavams of Desika Bhaktha Rathnam , Sri SevA Swamigal and Sri U.Ve. Sri Srirama DesikAchAr Swamy are added for each slOkam . AdiyEn has blended additional points, wherever appropriate. It will not always be possible from the point of brevity and flow to identify specifically the inputs of individual commentators . AdiyEn is only attempting to bring the essence of the anubhavams of different commentators .

GodhA Sthuthi First SlOkam:

Sri VishNuchittha Kulanandana Kalpavalleem
Sri RangarAja Harichandana yOga dhrusyAm
SaakshAth KashamAm KaruNayA KamalamivAnyAm
GOdhAm ananya Sarana: SaraNam PrapadhyE

Meaning: GodhA Piraatti is the wish-granting Kalpaka tree in flower garden of the kulam of Sri VishNu Chitthar; She is most beautiful as She gives us Her darsanam as the Karpaka creeper united with Her Lord Sri Rangarajan standing majestically as the Harichandana tree in that Nandavanam ; She is the incarnation of BhUmi Devi known for Her auspicious qualities of forbearance ; indeed ,Godhai is the embodiment of forbearance; When it comes to the quality of Her Mercy, Godhai is a veritable MahA Lakshmi (KamalA). AdiyEn , who has no other refuge seek Her as my sole refuge.


The pleasure (flower) garden in the deva lOkam of Indran is known as Nandavanam(nandayathi ithi Nandanam ). In that pleasure garden is found a tree known as KaRpakaa tree, which has the power to grant all that one wishes for. That tree is always associated with a gentle creeper . PeriyAzhwAr's kulam is that Nandavanam (Nandanam) and Godhai is the golden KaRpakA creeper , who blessed that Nandavanam (Kulam of PeriyAzhwAr) through Her avathAram. Lord RanganAthA is like the Harichandana tree (One of the five varieties of KaRpakA trees) there , which grants the wishes of His adiyArs , who seek refuge at His sacred feet . Godhai is united intimately with that HarichandanA tree as the dependent KaRpaka creeper and blesses us with Her eye-filling ,soul satisfying darsanam with Her Lord .Godhai is like the embodiment of forbearance as the incarnation of BhUmi PirAtti.Godhai appears at other times like another incarnation of Sri Devi ,when one thinks of Her dayA for us. AdiyEn (Swami Desikan )performs SaraNAgathi at Her feet as One , who has no other recourse .

************************************** **

GodhA Sthuthi is a SthOthra Kaavyam.ANDAL's avathAram and ThirukkalyANam are summarized in the first two lines of the First slOkam .

Swamy Desikan indicates in the first line that ANDAL , the golden KalpakA creeper adorning the kulam of VishNucchitthar was born at the Nandanam at SrivilliputthUr (Sri VishNucchittha Kula Nandana Kalpavalleem ).

In the second line , Swamy Desikan describes the joyous marriage scene of ANDAL standing united with her Lord (Sri Ranganathan ):

"Sri RangarAja Harichandana yOga dhrusyAm" .

ANDAL gives us Her blessed darsanam embracing Her Lord standing as the glorious HarichandanA tree in that nandanam of VishNuchitthA . Nandanam is also a name for the Lord saluted by one of the Sri VishNu Shasra Naamams : "aanandhO nandhanO nandhi --"

A creeper reaches its fulfilment, when it is united with a supporting tree .It is customary for the poets to describe men as supporting trees
and the women as the dependent creepers .KaaLidAsan compares the union of Sakunthalai with King Dushyanthan as the Union of a creeper (Sakunthalai) with the Mango tree (Dushyanthan) in his famous drama known as Saakunthalam .

One meaning of Yogam is union . Andal"s yOgam is with Sri RangarAjan , who is the Harichandana tree at Srirangam.That Hari has chandana yOgam.
He has chandana yoga dasai due to that union .That cooling chandanam for Hari is ANDAL .Through Her union (samslEsham ) , She cools down the heat (taapam ) of seperation for Her Hari , who waited and waited for Her avathAram.

She is "Yoga DhrusyAm ". When Godhai unites with Her Lord , She offers her darsanam as a Mithunam (dampathi) .She does not become adhrusyAm (invisible).On the other hand , She becomes immensely visible (dhrusuyAm) in her state of blessed union as a kalpaka creeper with Her Harichandana tree of Srirangam .

Third Line:" SaakshAth KshamAm , karuNayA KamalAmivAnyAm "

Here Swamy Desikan identifies Godhai as "SaakshAth KshamA ". She is BhUmi Devi Herself and not an amsam like SitA piratti , who is traditionally considered as a daughter of BhUmi devi. "KshamA " is a name synonomous with BhU Devi since She is "Sarvam sahA " ( One who bears with all aparAdhams of ours and yet pleads with Her Lord on our behalf). She prayed to Her Lord to show the easy way for the upliftment of the suffering jeevans (Laghu UpAyam vadha: prabhO ).She was the cause of the VarAha Charama SlOkam .ANDAL as SaakshAth BhUmi Devi argued with Her Lord and revealed to us the laghu (easy to practise) UpAyam to get the blessings of Her Lord in her ThiruppAvai :

"senRu naamm sEvitthAl , aavaavenRu aarAyntharuL "

" umakkE naamm aatccheyvOm " .

KarunayA KamalAmivAnyAm:

When one assesses the limitless DayA of Godhai , one wonders whether She is another form of MahA LakshmI .PeriyAzhwAr described his raising of Godhai this way: "ThirumahaL pOl valartthEn " .Swamy Desikan saluted Godhai as " Thooya ThirumahaLAi Vanthu" in his Prabhandha Saaram . These are the supports for saluting Godhai as " KamalAmivaanyAm ".

Fourth Line: GodhAm ananya saraNa: saraNam prapadhyE

The etymology of the name GodhA has been discussed extensively in the earlier articles on ANDAL's Vaibhavam . The emphasis here is in Her power to bless us with Vaak (divine speech).

ananya SaraNa : SaraNam prapadhyE : Swamy Desikan follows here the path shown by AchArya RaamAnujA in SaraNAgathy Gadhyam , where he performed
SaraNAgathy at the feet of Sri RanganAyaki : " asaraNya SaraNyAm ananya saraNa: saraNam PrapathyE".

Swamy Desikan follows this path shown by AchArya RaamAnujan in his performance of Prapatthi for the three devis of the Lord in his Sthuthis ( Sri Sthuthi, BhU sthuthi and GodhA Sthuthi). We hear the echos of Udayavar's SaraNAgathy Vaakyams in his pleas for Prapatthi :

" Sriyam asaraNa: thvAm SaraNyaam prapathyE"..Sri Sthuthi

" VisvambharAm asaraNa: SaraNam prapathyE "..BhU Sthuthi

" GodhAm ananya saraNa: saraNam prapathyE "..GodhA Sthuthi

In his SaraNAgathy appeals , Swamy Desikan recognizes Sri Devi as SrEyO Moorthy ( Sarva MangaLa Moorthy) , BhU Devi as VisvambharA ( the One , who bears the weight of the Universe) and GodhA devi as Vaak giver according to Sevaa SwamigaL.

In the Fourth slOkam, Swami Desikan referred to the many ThuRaikaLs by which we can descend down to enter the cool waters (Prabhandhams) of
Godhai and quench our samsAric thApams (sufferings).In the fifth slOkam, Swamy delves deeper into the miracle of Godhai's KatAksham, which enables even great sinners to receive the anugrahm of Her Lord. He reveals the two approaches that Godhai takes to win Her Lord to our side.

The Fifth SlOkam:

asmAdhrusAM apakruthou chira dhIkshithAnAm
ahnAya Devi dhayathE yadhasou Mukundha:
Tanniscchitham niyamithstava MouLidhAmnA
tanthrI ninAdha madhuraisccha girAm nigumbhai:

Meaning: Oh GodhE ! We are well known for Saasthra Ullankanam (trespassing the Saasthraic injunctions of Your Lord, who is SaasthrapANi). We offend Him and generate His anger at us. It appears that we have this long term vow not to obey His Saasthrams and thereby generate heaps of Bhagavath and BhAgavatha apachArams .Your Lord forgives even us with such abundant bundles of ancient paapams . When we reflect on why our Lord suddenly blesses us inspite of our powerful offenses, two reasons for His transformation --from erstwhile nigraham to the present anugraham state-- become clear. The twin reasons are:

(1) He is under Your spell as a result of the way in which You have bound Him with Your flower garlands that You Yourself have worn first as Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr

(2)Further , Your eulogy of Him with Your sweet prabhandhams holds Him tightly in Your grip; when He hears Your delectable Vaak ,which are like the captivating naadham arising from the VeeNA strings , He has no way to free Himself from Your spell. Therefore, He accepts Your appeals on our behalf and forgives us for our trespasses. This for Sure!

The tribute here is to Godhai as PoomAlai Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr and PaamAlai paadikkoduttha NaacchiyAr .

First Paadham: asmAthdhrusAm apakruthou chira DhIkshithAnAm

Here, Swami Desikan refers himself as belonging to the assembly of those , who abandon kruthya-KaraNam and devoutly relish in perfoming akruthya-KaraNam .SevA Swamigal comments that Kruthis (actions) are of two kinds:apakruthi(unfavorable ones ) and Upakruthi (Favorable Ones recommended by the SaasthrAs). Apakruthi is PrAthikoolyam and has to belong to the catgory of varjanam ( to be avoided); Upakruthi is Aanukoolyam and has to be sought after. Swamy has us in mind and says that "asmAdhrusAm apakruthou chira DhIkshithAnAm". For people like us apakruthi is the most natural one to practise and we have been experts in the performance of apakruthis for long , long times. Our taste for akruthya KaraNam is deep . It appears that we have taken a DhIkshA (vow) to perform ceaselessly all the acts prohibited by the SaasthrAs.We are not only DhIkshithALs in this regard , but "chira DhIkshithALs" ( vowed to do apakruthis over aeons).The end is not in sight for our apakruthis and that angers our Lord.

Second Paadham: ahnAya Devi dhayathE yadhasou Mukundha:

That angry Lord disgusted over our repeated offenses suddenly shows His dayA to us. That happens over the time period of one morning(AhnAya dayathE).His shower of DayA engulfs us. Here Swamy Desikan , who has been addressing the daughter of VishNuchitthA as "GodhE" until now switches and addresses Her as " Devi". Seva SwamigaL points out that Swamy Desikan wants to hint at Her Leela Rasa Pushti (strength of Her as BhOga Moorthy for her Lord).The Lord of Hers , who showers the DayA on the offenders is addressed as "Mukundhan". He is the one , who has been defined as the conferrer of Mukthi and Sukham in this world ( Mum cha Kum cha DhadhAthi ithi Mukundha:).The One who had turned His face away from us in disgust over our incorrigible nature suddenly looks
at us with compassion and blesses us. That is a miracle made possible by the power of Godhai, His Devi.

Third Paadham: Tanniscchitham niyamitha: tava MouLi dhAmnA

This is for sure ( Tanniscchitham)! He has been bound by the flower garland that GodhA had worn earlier on her tresses.Under that influence,Mukundhan is helpless and obeys Her commands without resistance.DhAmnA means the rope. She had the garland tied on Her head ; the One who got tied next with that fragrant and enchanting "rope" is Mukundhan. Our Lord , who is the SarvaLoka NiyanthA (Commander) has now been bound by Godhai and is helpless.

Fourth paadham: TanthrI ninAdha Madhuraisccha girAm nigumbhai:

The Lord was also tied by another factor : The sweet naadham of Goddhai's Vaak sounding like the melodious Naadham arising from the strings of the VeeNA tied Him down further. He( Sarva Loka NiyanthA) became niyamithah by the power of the assembly of Vaak (girAm nigumbhai:) arising from Godhai.Seva SwamigaL poins out the Use of NishAdha Sabdham (Svaram) thrice by Swami Desikan in the third and the fourth Paadhams of this slOkam: Niscchitham, Niyamitham , NinAdham and Nighmubhai: NishAdham has close ties to Veda Naadham .Godhai's Vaak is the essence of VedAs.

In the fifth slOkam , Swami Desikan described the gains obtained by us from the PaamAlais ( garland of verses) and PoomAlais ( garland of flowers ) of Godhai. Here, Swami Desikan visualizes Godhai as Six puNya (sacred) nathikaLs (rivers) flowing swiftly and majestically . These sacred rivers are :SONA , Thungabhadhrai, Sarasvathi , Virajai ,GodhAvari and NarmadhA .Swamy Desikan once again uses his samathkArAm (clevenrness))as a kavi- Saarvabhouman to achieve the comparsion of the limbs and attributes of Godhai with the specific features of the six individual rivers.

The Sixth SlOkam:

sONAdharEpi KuchayOrapi ThungabhadrA
VaachAm pravAha nivahEapi SarsavathI thvAm
AprAkruthairapi RasairvirajA svabhAvAth
GodhEapi Devi kamithurnanu NarmadhAsi

Meaning: Oh Devi GodhE! Thou art like rivers SONA ,ThungabhadhrA , Sarasvathi with its swift currents, the clear VirajA of Sri Vaikuntam ,
GodhAvari and NarmadhA. The inner meaning is that Godhai's lips ar red like the waters of SONA river . Her breasts have a majestic appearance as ThiungabhadrA river. Her necatarine speech is like the veritable Sarasvathi river also known as Vegavathi (One with speedy flow ).Her Prabhandhams are full of anubhavams based on the Satthva guNams like a veritable VirajA river , which is outside this prakruthi mandalam. She is like GodhAvari in being naturally gracious and is like river NarmadhA ,which gladdens the heart of Her Lord through teasing speech.

There is a double meaning behind the name of each of these six rivers.adiyEn has added special meanings beyond the vykhyAnam of Seva SwamigaL know as ParimaLam .The Vedic aspects of the names of the rivers have been added especially.

(1) SoNai is a river , which has red colored waters.It originates in Gondavana and merges with GangA near Pataliputra.SONathi means to move, to go forward and to become reddish in hue. Godhai's lips are referred to here , when the image of SONai is invoked.The red color symbolizes the Raagam ( longing , desire) of Godhai for Her Lord expressed beautifully in NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi.Typically the beautiful red lips are equated to ripe (red) BhimbhA fruit or red coral . Swamy Desikan equates them here to the red river,SONai.

(2) Godhai is also Tunga-bhadra, a river resulting from two separate streams in KarnAtakA . One is Tunga and the other is BhadrA . Godhai's two majestic sthanams are invoked by the imagery of Tunga-bhadhrA . Tungam means high, elevated or lofty. It is saamudhrikA lakshaNam for Padmini ladies to have lofty breasts as a mark of beauty. Bhadra(m) is a celebrated Vedic word( Bhadram KarNebhi: SruNAyAma:). Bhadra means happiness, prosperity , welfare and auspicousness. The saying is " Bhadram bhadram vithara BhagavAn bhUyasE mangaLAya". The Vedic significance of Bhadram is celebrated in atleast half a dozen Rg Vedic Verses. Let us enjoy one of them , which happens to be the shortest Rk in the whole of Rg Vedam ( Bhadram nO api vaathaya Mana:/Rg .X.20.1)with ten syllables. Bhadram here is meant as a propitiation according to Saayana BhAshyam ( Sambhandi sthOthra karaNE prEraya / Let us be inspired to eulogize you and Your associated auspicious attributes). One who has Bhadram is BhadrA or BhadrAvathi. Godhai is clearly BhadrA with utthunga sthanams .Hence , She is aptly addressed as TungabhadrA.

Seva SwamigaL says that the people of ShimOga call TungabhadrA as "PaalARu" . He extrapolates the meaning as Jn~Ana Paal AaRu ( the river of Jn~AnappAl or the milk of Jn~Anam).

(3) Sarasvathi: " VaachAm PravAha nivahE Sarasvathi Thvam " is the salutation of Swamy Desikan . He says that Godhai is indeed Sarasvathi (Sarasvathi Thvam)due to the pathinettAm Perukku like flow of the assembly of Her speech . Sarasvathi again is a Vedic metaphor . She is one of the three Speeches: Sarasvathi, ILA, Bharathi. Near Kaanchipuram, She flowed with immense speed and got the name of Vegavathi and the Lord had to take the role of a Sethu (dam ) to control Her fury. Sarasvathi generally refers to the Goddess of speech and learning. It is also a antharvAhini river, which is flowing hidden under the sands of the great desert .During the Vedic age, Sarasvathi was BahirvAhini. Sarasvathi is also the name of a plant mentioned in Atharva Vedam as JyOthishmathi or the One with supreme JyOthi .Such are the rich connotations of the word Sarasvathi.

(4) VirajA River: "aprAkruthai: rasai: VirajA" is the mangaLAsAsanam of Swamy Desikan. VirajA is not of this world and it flows at the border of Sri Vaikuntam. Viraja means free from dust or passion. Viraja is also an epithet for Lord VishNu. The river that flows in Sri Vaikuntam is suddha satthvam and is totally devoid of RajO or TamO guNams . The soul ascending to Sri Vaikuntam takes a dip in the VirajA river to cleanse itself and transform itself to be"akarma Vasyan" (beyond the influence of KarmAs . A dip in the VirajA river makes the Jeevan manifest in its own nature ( SvEna rUpEna abhinishpadhyathE-ChAndOgya Upanishad ). A dip in the VirajA like Prabhandhams of Godhai makes us qualified to become Muktha Jeevans travelling in the archirAdhi maargam.

(5) GodhAvari River: "SvabhAvAth GodhEapi thvam " is the mangaLAsAsanam of Swamy Desikan. The many meanings of GodhA have beeen covered in earlier articles of adiyEn. GodhAvari is the name of the river in Andhra PradEsh , which has been mentioned in Srimath RaamAyaNam. SithA Piratti sported with Her Lord on the banks of GodhAvari. "Varivas" is a Vedic word meaning wealth, pleasure and Happiness . "Variman" means excellence ,superiority and pre-eminence . Swamy Desikan seems to say that Godhai is by Her very nature (svabhAvAth GodhAvari) because She is Varivath and Varivas . Because of blessing us with pre-eminent Prabhandhams , She is GodhAvari.

(6) NarmadhA River: " Devi Kamithu: nanu NarmadhAsi" is Swamy Desikan's salutation. Kamithu: means the Lord, EmperumAn. "Kamithu: NarmadhA asi nanu" queries Swami Desikan . Are not You the NarmadhA river for Your Lord ? NarmadhA is a river ,which rises in the VindhyA mountain and joins the ocean at the gulf of Cambay . The other meaning of NarmadhA is ParihAsam or Jestful or amorous past time . Narma is also a kind of Vaak , ParihAsa Vaak. Godhai's skills in wining over Her Lord through Her amusing ways is symbolized by the choice of NarmadhA-suhrudh svarUpam .

SevA SwamigaL points out that the first two lines of this Sixth SlOkam includes three rivers(SONA, ThungabhadrA and Sarasvathi) and the the last two lines house three more rivers ( VirajA , Godhavari and NarmadhA). The first three rivers dealing with the Adharam (lips), Sthanams and Vaak represent PrAkrutha rasam and the other three rivers deal with AprAkrutha (other worldly) rasam . Thus ,Godhai shines with apraakrutha rasam in archai and vibhavam and is by the side of Her Lord as Narmadhai always .

In the sixth paasuram , Swami Desikan compared the dhivya svarUpam and the anantha KalyANa GuNams of ANDAL with the six rivers . In the seventh slOkam, He hints at the reason why Adhi Kavi Valmiki's speech in Srimath RaamAyaNam is sweet and elaborates on the sambhandham between Godhai and Sage VaalmIki.

The Seveth SlOkam:

ValmIkatha: sravaNathO VasudhAthmanasthE
jaathO bhabhUva sa muni: Kavi saarvabhouma:
GodhE kimadhbhutham idham yadhamI svadhanthE
VakthrAravindha makarandha nibhA: prabhandhA:

Meaning: Oh GodhE! Vedams declare that the ant hills are the ear of BhUmi pirAtti . Since You are the amsam of BhUmi Devi ,the anthills are also Your ears. The sage ,who originated from those anthills is Adhi Kavi VaalmIki. He is saluted as the foremost among poets because of his creation of the immaculate ithihAsam , Srimath RaamAyaNam . Is it any wonder therfore that the Sri Sookthis that arose from Your sacred mouth being like the divine nectar in their enjoyability ?

Here Swamy Desikan salutes those , who have the sambhandham with Her.One such sambhandhi is Adhi Kavi VaalmIki.The first two lines recognizes the relationship between the Adhi Kavi, who arose out of the ears of BhUmi Devi ( the ant Hills) and Godhai , who is VasudhAthmanA . Swamy says that " Valmikatha: SravaNayO : VasudhAthmaNasthE Jaatho sa muni: " That Muni born out of the anthills,which are Your ears as the amsam of Vasudhai (Bhumi Devi) is the meaning of this passage ." Valmikatha: Jaatha: sa Muni: Kavi Saarvabhouma: BhabhUva" .Swamy Desikan points out that sage arising from the ant hills became the supreme poet and created Srimath RaamAyanam.

In the second paadham of this slOkam explains the reasons for Sage Valmiki becoming a supreme poet because of his relationship with Godhai as the amsam of BhU Devi and pays tribute to the matchless sweetness of Godhai's own prabhandhams.

Swami says that Sage ValmIki rose out of the ears of Godhai . If that were to be the reason for his IthihAsam to be so sweet to enjoy , Swamy asks what would be the status of the Prabhandhams that arose out of the lotus face of Godhai and answers it:

" kimadhbhutham idham yadh-amI svadanthE
VakthrAravindha makarantha nibhA: prabhndhA: "

Swamy Desikan answers his own question and says it is no wonder that the Prabhandhams that arose out of the lotus face of Godhai are very sweet and delectable.

The Ninth SlOkam:

In this slOkam , Swamy Desikan salutes Godhai as Lakshmi Sahajai or the One who is a sibling of Periya PirAtti.

Maatha: SamuthtithavathIm adhivishNu chittham
visvOpjeevyamamrutham vachasA dhuhAnAm
taapacchidham himaruchEriva moorthymanyAm
sathna: payOdhi Duhithu: sahajAm vidhusthvAm

Meaning: Oh Mother GodhE! You are like the other form of Chandran . Vedams declare that Chandran was born out of the mind of VishNu( Chandramaa ManasO Jaatha:). You incarnated as the darling daughter of PeriyAzhwAr (VishNu Chitthar).Chandran delights the heart of every one through His cool rays. You uplift the people of the world independent of their status through the nectar of Your dhivya Prabhandhams and Your dhivya svarUpam .The learned souls recognize Your similarities to Chandran and comprehend You as the sibling (Koodap PiRanthavaL) of Periya PirAtti, who arose out of the milky Ocean. You are recognized as Lakshmi Sahajai just as Chandran is a Lakshmi Sahajan for having born out of the very same milky ocean.

" AdhivishNuchittham SamutthathivathIm " are the words chosen by Swamy Desikan. He thus indicates that Godhai was born out of the Sankalpam of the Lord (VishNuchittham ) as a daughter of AdhivishNuchitthar.

SevA Swamigal points out that the amrutha Sahajai aspects of Godhai . During Periya PirAtti's vivAha MahOthsavam ,nectar was distributed to the DevAs and became DevOpajeevyam. Amrutha Sahajai Godhai distributed the nectar of Her prabhandhams for the upliftment (ujjevanam) of the world (visvOpajeevyam) .

Like the cow yields from its full udder the milk for its calf , Godhai blesses us with the nectar , which removes the samsAric ThApams .This act of blessing has been described by Swami Desikan as amrutha- duhAnam ( Surappathu in Tamil or to yield milk/nectar).She is Lakshmi Sahajai and thus distributes nectar also but in a different way.

MahA Lakshmi is PayOdhi Duhithu: or the daughter of milky ocean.VishNu thus becomes the payOdhi Duhithu: pathi. That VishNu's sankalpam was behind Godhai's avathAram as the daughter of VishNucchitthaa .Both Chandran and GOdhai have the common trait that they were born from the mind of VishNu (VishNuchittham).MahA Lakshmi and Godhai have the saamyam of blessing DevAs and people of the world respectively with nectar. This is their common glory. Thus Godhai becomes amrutha sahajai as well as Lakshmi Sahajai.

The Twelfth SlOkam:

This slokam deals with the glories that came by the way of the river GodhAvari by having the same name.

prAyENa dEvi bhavathI vyapadEsayOgAth
Godhaavari Jagadhidham payasA puneethE
YasyAm samEthya samayEshu chiram nivAsAth
BhAgIrathI PrabhruthayOapi bhavanthi puNyA:

In the earlier slOkam , Swamy Desikan described the glories that came to the Southern direction thru the avathAram of Godhai. Here , he describes the glories attained by the river GodhAvari by having the name of Godhai.

Meaning: Oh GodhA Devi! The river GodhAvari seems to purify the world with its waters by bearing Your name.Is it n't it so that the great rivers like Ganga reside in GodhAvari for a long time to become PuNya nadhis ?

When we call ourselves "RaamAnuja Daasan" , we announce our relation as the servant of RaamAnujA. That is the purpose of adorning Daasya naamams. GodhAvari river takes on Your Naamam and gains there form the power to cleanse the whole world with its waters including the puNya nadhis like GangA et al.

"BhavathI vyapadEsa YogAth" means by virtue of adorning Your name (ThirunAmam as mukhya vyavahAram).

All the puNya nadhis cleanse the sins of people, who dip in them and become impure over time.
Swamy Desikan says that these soiled rivers resort to the bath in GodhAvari at specific times of the year to destroy their sins accumulated from the bathers .By having the name of Godhai ,GodhAvari has the power to annul all these sins and restore the puNya nadhis to their pristine glory ,while not being affected by their assembly of accumulated sins .

The Thirtheenth SlOkam:

The teasing of the friends of Godhai during the occasion of marriage to Lord RanganAthA is covered in this slOkam.

NaagEsaya: sutanu: Pakshiratha: Katham tE
Jaatha: svayamvarapathi: Purusha: PurANa:
Yevam vidhA samuchitham praNayam bhavathyA:
Samdarsayanthi ParihAsa Gira:SakheenAm

In traditional marriages , the lady friends of the bride join together and sing teasing songs about the poor qualifications of the groom and question his fitness to receive the hand of their friend in marriage. These are called ParihAsa GirA: and fit well with the overall joy of a wedding celebration.Here, Swami Desikan becomes one of the Sakhis of Godhai and teases Her about the fitness of the Groom she has chosen.

Meaning: Oh Godhai of the most beautiful and tender limbs! How did it happen that this old man ,who sleeps on a bed of snake and has a bird for his transport become the man of Your choice as Your husband ? Your dear husband of choice does not even have a proper bed for You; further, if you wish to travel to a destination of Your desire, You have to sit with Him uncomfortably on a bird .You can not go round the town on a procession on foot. You can only use the bird to fly way high up. The worst of it all is that Your husband is an ancient(old) one, when it comes to His age , while You are of tender age. How come You overlooked all these negative factors , while making Your choice of Him as Your future husband? What happened? Thus Your friends tease You.

In actuality, the sakhis are congratulating Godhai for the Bhagyam of obtaining the PurANa Param Purushan who has Adhi Seshan as His bed and Garudan as His vaahanam .

The Forteenth SlOkam:

The theme of this slOkam is about the recognition of the superiority of the Godhai's flower garland over Vyjayanthi maalai . The honey bees , the experts on fragrance make their selection and announce the victor .

Thavth Bhuktha maalya SurabhIkrutha ChArumouLE
hithvA bhujAnathara gathAmapi VyjayanthIm
pathyus tavEswari mitha: prathighAtha lOlA:
BharhAtha pathra ruchim aarachayanthi bhrungA:

Meaning: Oh IsvarI, who controls the Lord, who Himself controls the entire world! Oh ANDvanai aaLum ANDALE ! Your Lord has the famous , never fading vana maalai known as VyjayanthI on his shoulders and chest .The divine fragrance of that garland attracts the honey bees.They hover around there .

At this time of morning , Your father brings the flower garland , which was worn earlier on Your tresses and presents it to the Lord. Your Lord bends His neck , receives it and wears that special garland with the sambhandham of Your kesam on His head as Kesavan. Immediately , there is a big rushing by the bees from VyjayanthI maalai to the garland of Yours on the head of the Lord. They jostle each other to get there first and circle around and thus form a black umbrella as it were over the head of the Lord. The honey bees seem to vote to indicate the superiority of Your garland over that of the VyjayanthI maalai from their expert perspective .

The commentators have pointed out that Swamy Desikan refers here to the Vratham observed by a bride groom with umbrella and flower garland during one phase of His wedding before PaaNigrahanam.

The Fifteenth SlOkam:

Swamy Desikan continues with the theme of Vyjayanthi maalai having a status lower than that of the flower garland with the dEha- sambhandham of the garland with Godhai.

aamOdhavathyapi sadhA hrudhayangamAapi
rAgAnvithAapi laLithAapi guNOttharAapi
MouLisrajA tava Mukhundha kirIDabhAjA
GodhE! bhavathyadharithA khalu VaijayanthI

Meaning: Oh GodhE! The famous garland Vyjayanthi worn by Your Lord is indeed full of fragrance. It is desired by Him and hence given a prominent place on His chest. It is indeed constructed from tender forest flowers, which never fade.Inspite of all thse glories , it is worn on the chest and not on Your Lord's head over His KirItam (Thiru AbhishEkam). The garland that You wore and presented to the Lord is accepted by Him with joy and worn with love on His KiriTam (sarvEsvara Chinnam ) to demonstrate Your garland's superiority over Vyjayanathi maalai. Your Lord's respect by wearing the garland worn by You earlier at a high place (over His crown) indicates His affection and reverence for it over the Vyjayanathi maalai.

Swami Desikan uses five " api" sabdham to decribe the special attributes of Vyajayanthi Maalai here to build up the climax to declare how Godhai's SooDikkoduttha Maalai won over it in status. He says "What if (api) Vyjayanthi Maalai has splendid fragrance (aamOdhavathI api), What if it is worn with desire on the chest (HrudhayangamA api) , What if it has the color of love/red)(raaga anvithA api), What if it is tender (laLithA api), What if it has few more special favorable attributes (guNa UttharA api) , Vyjayanathi Maalai is not worn on His crown by the Lord. That superior position is reserved for the SoodikkoDuttha Maalai of Godhai.

The Sixteenth SlOkam:

Here , Swami Desikan describes how the honey bees served during the svayamvaram of ANDAL through their kaimkaryam of playing the MangaLa Vaadhyams.

thvanmouLi dhAmani VibhO: sirasA gruhIthE
savcchandha kalpitha sapeethi rasa pramOdha:
manjusvanA madhulihO vidhadhu: svayam tE
svAyamvaram kamapi MangaLathoorya GhOsham

The auspicious sounds of MangaLa Vaadhyams associated with the wedding of Godhai are visualized here by Swami Desikan.

Meaning: Oh GodhE! Your Lord wears with relish Your sooDikkoduttha Maalai on His crown. The honey bees are attracted by the divine fragrance of the Maalai and gleefully enter the garland and drink the honey to their heart's content. Their joy over that lusty feat rises and comes out in the form of sweet reenkAram. Those sounds appear like the MangaLa Vaadhya GhOsham raised especially for Your svayamvaram.

In the previous slOkam , the svayamvara mahOthsavam was concluded.The next step is VivAham sealed by PaaNigruhaNam. At that time, Mangala Vaadhyams ( Ghetti mELam ) has to sound and naadhasvaram has to play. Swami Desikan suggests that important aspect of generating the auspicious sounds form MangaLa Vaadhyams is taken care of by the elated honey bees.

SevA SwamigaL connects the thought of Svayamvaram with Vedic rk and EmperumAnAr's mangaLAsAsanam based on that manthram :

yamEvai Yesha vruNuthE --Vedam

Priyatama yEva hi VaraNIyO Bhavathi ,
yasyAm niradhisaya Priya:-- EmperumAnAr

ANDAL chooses Lord RanganAthA as Her Lord in this context.

Seva SwamigaL has a wonderful group of words to describe the Kaimkaryam of the Bramarams (Honey Bees ) taking part without distraction/confusion ( bhramamam ) in a joyous mood (sambramaram ) :

"BramarangaL brahmamillAmal sambramatthODu seytha Sevai ithu ".

Seva SwamigaL also points out that the commentators have identified the two words (ManjusvanA and MadhulihO ) used by Swami Desikan in the third paadham of this slOkam refer to NammAzhwAr and other AzhwArs , who raised MangaLa thUrya GhOsham thru their prabhandhams.

The Ninteenth SlOkam:

tungairaruthrima gira: svyamutthamAngai:
ym sarvagandha ithi saadharam udhvahanthi
AmOdham anyam adhigacchathi maalikAbhi:
sOapi tvadhIya kuDila aLaka vaasithAbhi:

Here Swami Desikan describes how RanganAthan adorned the SooDikkoduttha Maalais and gained a wonderful kind of fragrance .

Meaning: GodhE! The apourushEya VedAs declare reverentially through their siras ( head =Upanishads) that Your Lord is the possessor of a divine fragrance that surpasses any thing found in Prakruthi maNdalam ( sarva Gandhan ). That Lord adorns the garlands that drew their fragrance from Your curly , dark hair and enhances His sarva gandhathvam. He becomes joyous over the enrichment of His own divine fragrance through the association with Your SooDikkoduttha Maalai. How can one therefore describe adequately the power of the garlands worn by You first and then presented to Your Lord ?

SevA SwamigaL points out that VedAs unlike Kaavyams and Naatakams created by humans is akruthrimam. The apourushEya Veda Vaaks are never untruthful , they do not exaggerate or suppress truth and perform krithrimams ( devious and dubious deeds)like Naatakam and Kaavyams.

Godhai Herself is the giver of Veda Vaak. She is a veritable Vedam .Her Siras is equal to the Upanishads in that context. The garlands worn on Her siras are therefore akruthrima GirA:

Vedas praise the Lord as "Sarva Gandha: Sarvarasa: SathyakAma: Sathya Sankalpa:". In this slOkam , the enhancement of this Sarva gandhathvam through association with Godhai's SooDikkoDuttha Maalai is saluted.

The Twenty-second SlOkam:

Swami Desikan states here that the ThirumEni of Sri RanganAthan gains a rare multi-hued state similar to the neck of a peacock due to the proximity of Godhai and Sri Devi.

DhUrvAdhaLa prahtimayA tava dEha kaanthyA
gOrOchanA ruchirayaa cha ruchEndhirAyA:
aasIdhanujjitha sikhAvaLa kaNDDa sObham
MaangaLyatham praNamathAm Madhuvairi gAthram

Meaning: Oh GodhE! The darsanam of Your Lord's SubhAsrayam (ThirumEni) confers on all His adiyArs sarva mangaLams ( madhuvairi Gaathram praNamathAm MaangaLyatham).That SubhAsrayam has the bluish hue of dark rainy clouds. When You stand next to Him, Your light green hue ( like aruham pul ) reflects on Him. MahA Lakshmi has HiraNya VarNai (Golden hue).She is resident on Your Lord's chest (ahalahillEn YenRu). When His own dark bluish hue has the confluence with the green hue of Your ThirumEni and the golden hue of Periya PirAtti's ThirumEni, His ThirumEni achieves a rare multi-hued effulgence like the beautiful neck region of the peacock. It is a rare and unforgettable sight.

In the previous slOkam, the exchange of garlands between RanganAthan and Godhai as dampathis was described. Godhai is now standing next to Him and MahA Lakshmi is sitting on His chest. SevA SwamigaL visualizes the performance of MangaLa haaratthi for the newly wedded couple, who had just exchanged garlands. The jyOthi from that hAratthi falls on the Lord's ThirumEni and integrates the light green color of Godhai (dhUrvA daLa prathimai) and the golden yellow color of MahA Lakshmi ( gOrOchana Prathimai) and creates an integrated , eyefilling spectacle of a multihued ThirumEni reminiscent of the neck of a peacock.

The Twenty-third SlOkam:

In the previous slOkam , Swami Deikan described the presence of Godhai right next to Her Lord .He pointed out that Sevai would confer limitless auspicousness on the SaraNAgathAs. He recognized the transformation in the color of the ThirumEni of the Lord. Here, Swami Desikan covers the aspect of Godhai attaining archA nilai.

archyam samarchaya niyamai: nigama prasUmai:
Naatham thvayA KamalayA cha samEyivAmsam
Matha: chiram niravisan nijamAdhirAjyam
MaanyA Manu: prabruthayOapi maHIkshithasthE

Meaning: Oh Loka MaathA GodhE! How did the great kings like Manu and MaandhAthA rule their kingdoms with joy for many , many years ? It was possible because of Your grace. You are the amsam of BhUmi Devi. RanganAthan stands in union with You and Sri Devi. These kings worshipped well RanganAthan with both of His consorts (ubhaya- NaacchimAr ) with various niyamams and attained the boon of long life as emperors .

SevA SwamigaL's insightful observations are very enchanting. We will hence follow his commentary for that reason entirely.

First Paadham: archyam samarchaya niyamai: nigama prasUnai:

With the first word of this slOkam, "archyam" , Swami Desikan hints at the soulabhyam of Archai among the five states of the Lord and ANDAL joining in that archA state . "archithO dEva: priyathAm mE Janardhana:" is the saying. Archanam of the Lord with His devis is the recommended route to please the Lord.This archanam has to be samarchanam ( superior and saasthrEic archanam with true devotion and niyamams ).That is why Swami Desikan says: " Archyam samarchaya niyamai:"

Next Swami Desikan refers to " Nigama prasoonai: niyamai: samarchaya". Nigama prasoonai: means flowers prescribed by the aagamAs . It could
also be SvarNa pushpams or the eight aathma guNa pushpams ((ahimsA, indriya nigraham et al). Such a proper worship of the Lord with His ubhaya NaacchimAr will confer emperorship over the land for a very long time.

Second Paadham: Naatham thvayA KamalayA cha samEyivAmsAm

Here Swami addresses Godhai with the word "thvyaa" . He recognizes the Lord as " ThvayA samEyivAmsAm " ( YOur Lord accompanied by You). Then Swami includes Sri Devi : "ThvayA KamalayA cha samEyivAmsAm Naatham" ( Your Lord associated with You and with Sri Devi as well). Such a Lord with His two consorts needs to be worshipped for long soverignity over the kingdom . Swami Desikan gives prAdhAnyam (significance ) to Godhai over Sri Devi here , when he refers to the Lord, who is generally known as Sriya:pathi to indicate the importance of Periya PirAtti. Swamy Desikan follows the directions given by Purusha Sooktham here: "Hreesccha tE LakshmIsccha pathnyou ". Bhumi Piratti comes first here . Godhai is the amsam of Bhumi Devi and hence She is given prAdhAnyam over Kamalaa (Lakshmi) in Swamy Desikan's salutation.

Third Paadham: Maatha: chiram niravisan nijam aadhirAjyam

Swami says here that Manu and others enjoyed long term rulership as Kings by worshipping GodhA Naathan with niyamam .He hints that the stability of that long term state of emperorship is only possible with the grace of Godhai , who is almost like the DayA devi. SevA SwamigaL reminds us of the AadhirAjyam (rulership) mentioned by Swamy Desikan in dayA sathakam in this context . There Swamy Desikan says that dayA devi's anugraham was instrumental in realizing a different kind of emperorship for long times :

anithara SaraNAnAm AadhirAjyE abhishinjEth
samitha vimatha PakshA Saarnga dhanvAnukampA ".

In the next slOkam , Swamy Desikan describes how Godhai intercedes with Her Lord to forgive the trespasses of their Children and protects them .

The Twenty-fifth SlOkam:

GOdhE guNairapanayan praNathAparAdhAn
BhrUkshEpa yEva Tava BhOgarasAnukUla:
karmAnubhandhi phala dhAna rathaya bharthu:
SvAthanthrya dhurvyasana marmabhidhA nidhAnam

Here, Swamy Desikan describes how the independent nature of the Lord was interfered with by the gesture of the knitting of the brows of Godhai.

Meaning: Oh GodhE! Your Lord hands out impartially the fruits of the good and bad karmAs for the chEthanans. If He did not do so, He would be considered as the One , who is partial to some and erratic in His treatment of the chethanams. Oh GodhE !Your overflowing compassion for the suffering jeevans is such that You find it difficult to look at the punishments meted out by Your Lord even , when the chEthanams deserve such punishments. You devise a method to interfere with the Lord's duties of punishing the jeevans , deserving such punishment . You charm Your Lord with various gestures of affection towards Him and He loses His sense of independence and becomes completely under Your influence .The end result is that You protect the Jeevans -that erred-from the wrath of Your Lord.

The bhOga gesture of Godhai that makes the Lord lose His svathanthram is the knitting of Her beautiful brows ( BhrUkshEpam).That gesture intrigues the Lord with its BhOga Rasa aanukUlyam. It enhances His affection for Her.He comes under Godhai's spell and thus becomes Paaratantryan to Her Charms.The aparAdhams of the Jeevans are then overlooked by the Lord.Such indeed is the influence of Godhai over Her Lord.

The Twenty-sixth SlOkam:

RangE TaDithguNavathO ramayaiva GodhE
KrishNAmbhudasya gaDithAm KrupayA suvrushtyA
dhourgathya Dhurvisha vinAsa sudhAnadhIm ThvAm
Santha: prapadhya smayanthyachirENa thApAn

Here , Swamy Desikan describes how Godhai becomes the nectarine river that removes all the SamsAric afflictions of the suffering jeevans.

Meaning: Oh GodhE! The Lord Of Srirangam is an auspicious , intense blue rain bearing cloud (KaaLa mEgam). MahA Lakshmi , who never leaves
His side is the lightning flash inside that rain cloud. You (Godhai) are the river that flows with life-saving nectar created by the rain of dayA from that Karu muhil , KaaLa mEga VaNNan. As that river of nectar , You destroy the deadly poison of SamsAram. Those MahAns , who seek refuge at Your sacred feet immerse themselves in that flood of Your nectarine Sookthis and have all their samsAric afflictions destroyed.

PerumAL is NeelamEga ShyAmalan.On His chest, the HiraNyavarNai, MahA Lakshmi resides.She appears like a flash of lightning. Only the rain cloud with lightning can yield copious rains.That rain of KrishNAmbhudam (karu muhil) is the KrupA(dayA) of the Lord of Srirangam. That rain takes shape as a mighty river that flows swiftly and washes away all the sufferings of the SamsAris. Such is the power of the nectarine river, GOdhai!

The Twenty-eight SlOkam: The DhyAna SlOkam for Godhai

Sathamakha maNineelA chAru kalhAra hasthA
sthanabhara namithAngi saandhra vaathsalya sindhu:
aLakavinihithAbhi: sragbhirAkrushta NaathA
vilasathu hrudhi GodhA VishNuchitthAthmajA na:

Meaning: Godhai, who incarnated as the daughter of PeriyAzhwAr has the bluish hue of sapphire (indra neelam). In one of Her hand , She adorns a red lotus (Senkazhuneer malar= kalhAra pushpam or karuneithal malar)).She is slightly bent from the weight of Her lofty breasts . She overlooks all of our aparAdhams(trespasses) and showers us with Her matchless dayai. She removes the flower garlands worn on Her tresses and presents them to Her Lord and thereby brings Him under Her spell .May Godhai of these auspicious attributes reside in our hearts always!

SevA SwamigaL points out that Swamy Desikan always includes a dhyAna slOkam in his sthuthis. Examples are :

KalyANAnAm avikala nidhi: (Sri Sthuthi),
VyAkhyA mudhram (Sri HayagrIva SthOthram ) ,
VyAtanvanA ( Sri VaradarAja PanchAsath),
icchA meena vihAra kacchabha (Dasaavathara Sthothram)
The most compassinate Acharyan ,Swami Desikan wanted us to have the fruits of the recitation of the full sthuthi by reciting the dhyAna slOkam alone.

Regarding the other groups of words used in this dhyAna slOkam , the first paadham recognizes the deep bluish hue of Godhai originating from her close association with Her Karu muhil VaNNan , KaNNan ( Sathamakha maNi neelA ).

The second paadham is : "Sthana bhara namithAngi saandhra vaathsalya sindhu:". She is saluted as the ocean of deep vaathsalyam for us , Her children. One of the 32 saamudhrikA LakshaNams is saluted with the choice words: "sthana bhara namithAngi". In Sri Sthuthi , Sawmy Desiakn described Sri Devi standing slightly bent by the weight of Her sthanams( tanvI thungasthana bhara nathA). In an earlier slOkam of GodhA sthuthi itself , Swamy Desikan compared the loftiness of Her sthanams (kuchams) as "KuchayOrapi TungabhadhrA".

The third paadham is " alavinihithAbhi: SraghbhirAkrushta NaathA ". She wore first the flower garlands to check whether She was beautiful enough to be the consort of Her Lord and then presented those flower garlands to Him . With those flower garlands ,She "bound" Her Lord completely (kattuNNappattAn) and enjoyed Him .That is what ParAsara Bhattar says in his dhyAna slOkam:

" svOcchishtAyAm srajinigalitham
yaa bhalAthkruthya bhunkthE
GodhA tasyainama idhamidham
bhUyayEvAsthu bhUya: "

Meaning: May this obesiance of ours last forever and ever to GodhAi who forcibly won Her Lord's favours by binding Him with the garland worn and discarded by Her.

Swamy Deikan stops short and says :

" aLaka vinihithAbhi: sragbhi: aakrushta NaathA"

Once aakarshaNam is accomplished , then Her Lord becomes Her Paaratantryan(dependant). He is then totally under Her spell .

In the final paadham of this dhyAna slOkam , Swamy Desikan prays for Godhai to take permanent residence in OUR hearts. Instead of praying for Her residence in his heart (mama hrudhayam ), our most merciful AchAryan prays for Her vaasam in all of OUR hearts including his (na: hrudhi GodhA vilasathu).The key word therefore is "na:".

The Twenty-ninth SlOkam: Phala sruthi SlOkam

ithi vikasitha bhakthE: utthithAm VenkatEsAth
Bahu guNa ramaNeeyAm vakthi GodhA sthuthim ya:
sa Bhavathi bahumAnya: SrimathO Rangabharthu:
CharaNa Kamala sEvAm SaasvathIm abhyupaishyan

Sri MuraLi Rangaswamy has described beautifully the purport of the last paadham of this Phala sruthi slOkam earlier.

Swamy Desikan states that GodhA sthuthi rose from him as a result of fully blossomed Bhakthi for Her (Vikasitha BhakthE: utthitham). All sthOthrams of Swamy Desikan blossomed forth from his Bhakthi .For example , he says Sri Sthuthi arose from "upachitha Guru BhakthE:". Guru here does not mean AchAryan , but huge . In GodhA sthuthi , Swamy says that the flower of his Bhakthi has fully blossomed like the Senkuzhuneer Pushpam in Godhai's hastham.

SevA SwamigaL points out a subtle prayOgam of Swami Desikan , when he says in the second paadham , " Bahu guNa ramanIyAm VAKTHI GodhA sthuthim Ya:". With the use of "Ya: Vakthi" in his 29th slOkam , Swami
Desikan according to the Desika Bhaktha Rathnam reminds us of Godhais words "ingu parisuraippAr" in Her 30th paasuram of ThiruppAvai. Swamy Desikan hints further that One will get the Kaimkarya Sri of nithya Sevai at the lotus feet of Sri RanganAthan, whether one understands the meaning of the slOkams of GodhA sthuthi or not. The mere recitation by One (Ya: vakthi) will confer such an exalted boon .That reciter will
also become very dear to the Lord of Srirangam, the dearst consort of Godhai ( Ya: vakthi , Sa: Sreematha: Rangabharthu: bhaumAnya: bhavathi, Sa: Sreematha: Rangabharthu: SaasvathIm SaraNa Kamala sEvAm abhyupaishyathi)besides attaining Kaimkarya Poorthi.

Vikrama Varsha AadippUram season has been a blessed one for adiyEn in that Godhai blessed adiyEN to write about the anubhavam of Swami Desikan going back to seven hundred years. Hearty thanks are to Desika Bhaktha rathanm, SevA SwamigaL and Sri Vaikunta Vaasi ,U.Ve.Oppiliappan Koil Srirama DesikAcchAr Swamy .

adiyEn's sister and her friends were blessed to recite Swamy Desikan's sthuthi on Godhai at Godhai's own ThirumALikai in front of the five PerumALs seated on GARUDAN saluted by Swamy Desikan in Sri Garuda PaanchAsath's FIFTH slOkam as " Saptha Svara Gathi "(NishAdha , Rishabha, GhAndhAra , Shadja ,Madhyama , Dhaivatha ,Panchama svarams constituting Saama Vedam ).DhanyOsmi ,DaasOsmi , AnugrihIthosmi!

Adiyen will conclude this series on GodhA sthuthi with a slOkam from SevA SwamigaL's sthothram on GOdhA:

kim Saasthram , kimu kaavya rathnam
athavaa bhakthi pradhAnA sthuthi:?
kim vaa naaDakamanyadEva
rachanam PourANikI kim kaThA?
aascharyaamala sEmushI vilasitham
kim vaaa rahasya thrayam ?
GodhA gIthamidham paDanthi
Bhuvi yE tE dhanyadhanyA janaa:

Meaning: Why (study) Saasthrams or Kaavya rathnams or other sthOthrams laden with Bhakthi or PurANams or for that matter even the most auspicious and blemishless Rahasya Thrayam? For the One , who recites GodhA sthuthi given to us as our Kula dhanam , that blessed person becomes the wealthiest of the wealthy people on this earth. His Isvaryam has no match.

Such indeed is the power of GodhA sthuthi!

Further Reading: External Links