Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bhiishma's Devotion (bhakti)

Today on the occasion of 'bhiiShma EkAdaSi', I would like to post a 'padyam' from 'pOtana bhAgavatam' depicting Bhiishma's bhakti.

Bhiishma, lying on the bed of arrows, takes refuge in Lord Krishna after preaching the principles of dharma to none other than 'Dharma rAja' to clear his doubts (in anuSaasanika parvam). Here BhiiShma recollects the scenes from Mahabharata war.

siisamu:
kuppinchi yegasina kunDalaMbula kAnti
gaganabhAgaMbella gappikonaga
urikina nOrvaka yudaraMbulO nunna
jagamula vrEguna jagati kadala
chakraMbu jEpaTTi chanudeMchu rayamuna
pai nunna pachchani paTamu jAra
nammiti nAlAvu nagubATu sEyaka
manniMpu mani kriiDi marala diguva

tETagiiti:
kariki laMghiMchu siMhaMbu karaNi merasi
nEDu bhiiShmuni jaMpudu ninnu gAtu
viDuvu marjuna yanuchu madviSikha vR^iShTi
derali chanudeMchu dEvu.nDu dikku nAku

సీసము:
కుప్పించి యెగసిన కుండలమ్ముల కాంతి
గగన భాగంబెల్ల గప్పికొనగ,
నురికిన నోర్వక నుదరంబులోనున్న
జగముల వ్రేగున జగతి కదల,
చక్రంబు చేబట్టి చనుదెంచు రయమున
పైనున్న పచ్చని పటము జార,
నమ్మితి నాలావు నగుబాటు సేయక
మన్నించుమని క్రీడి మరలి దిగువ,

తేటగీతి:
కరికి లంఘించు సింహంబు కరణి మెరసి
నేడు భీష్ముని జంపుదు నిన్ను గాతు
విడువుమర్జునయంచు మద్విశిఖ వృష్టి
దెరలి చనుదెంచు దేవుండు దిక్కు నాకు

BhiiShma is fondly recollecting a scene from the Mahabharata war. Arjuna, in reverence to his grandfather and unwilling to hurt him, is not fighting at his best. Krishna observes Arjuna's hesitation. To instigate him into bringing down BhiiShma, Krishna feigns anger at BhiiShma and jumps down the chariot saying 'Step aside Arjuna! Today I will kill BhiiShma at any cost and save you'.

In this padyam, BhiiShma is portraying the beauty of angry Krishna as he jumps down the chariot and rushes at bhiiShma, while arjuna runs after him begging Krishna not to make him a laughing stock in front of the whole crowd.

vrEgu = vEgamu
mat+viSikha vR^iShTi terali = coming out of the rain of arrows being showered by me i.e., bhiiShma.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The liila (play) of baala Krishna

Why did Vyasa and pOtana write bhAgavatam? To sing and adore Krishna, the All-beautiful, through the souls of as many bhaktas as possible, nothing else.

Bhaagavatam is a chronicle of the ecstacy of Vyasa and pOtana as they entered diverse souls, each with his/her own background, and experienced their contact with the Divine.

In the following poem, Kunti, true to her motherly nature, recalls this beautiful childhood scene of Little Krishna and reconciles it with his reality as Divinity incarnate. She says this to Krishna after he saves pariikShit in uttara's womb from the brahmaastra of aSvatthaama.

kOpamu tODa nIvu dadhi kuMbhamu bhinnamu sEyuchunnachO
gOpika trATa gaTTina viku.nchita sA.njana bAShpa tOya dhA-
rA paripUrNa vaktramu karaMbula brAmuchu veccha-nUrchuchun.h
pApaDavai naTi.nchuTa kR^ipApara ! nA madi-jodyamayyeDin.h !!

కోపము తోడ నీవు దధి కుంభము భిన్నము సేయుచున్నచో
గోపిక త్రాట గట్టిన, వికుంచిత సాంజన బాష్ప తోయ ధా-
రా పరిపూర్ణ వక్త్రము కరంబుల బ్రాముచు వెచ్చ నూర్చుచున్
పాపడవై నటించుట ! కృ్పాపర ! నా మది జోద్యమయ్యెడిన్ !

vikunchita vaktramu = chinnabOyina mukhamu
sA.njana baaShpa = sa + anjana (kannILLatO kATukantaa karigi pOyindi)
veccha nUrchuchun = vEDi niTTuurpulu viDustuu
chOdyamu = vinta (aaScharyamu)

The true function of indriyas

Poetry bypasses our thinking mind and talks straight to the feeling heart.
The padyam below has a gentle wavy movement like pilla gAli, words soft like kusumAlu (no complex samaasas), yet a depth of tattva-garbhita bhakti rasa that stirs the receptive being to its very core.

This awesome poem is by mahAkavi Sri ViswanAtha satyanarayana gAru in his rAmAyaNa kalpavR^ikSha kAvyam. It describes how ahalya regained chetana in Rama's presence.

You must listen to Sri Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma's passionate exposition of this poem in his raamaayaNa vaibhavaM pravachanam. Click here to play episode #6 and seek to the "2 minutes, 16 seconds" time point.


siisamu:
prabhu mEni paigAli pai vachchi nantanE
pAshhANamokaTiki sparsha vachche
prabhu kAli savvaDi prAntamai nantanE
shilakokka dAniki chevulu kalige
prabhu mEni nettAvi parimaLinchina tOna
ashmambu ghraaNendriyaMbu chende
prabhu nIla ratna tOraNa manjulA.ngaMbu
kana vachchi raatiki kanulu kalige

aaTaveladi:
A prabhu.nDu vachchi Atithyamunu sviika-
rinchi nanta upala hR^idaya vIdhi
upanishhad vitAnamoliki SrI rAma bha-
draabhirAma mUrti yaguchu tOche

సీసము:
ప్రభు మేని పైగాలి పై వచ్చినంతనే
పాషాణమొకటికి స్పర్శ వచ్చె
ప్రభుకాలి సవ్వడి ప్రాంతమైనంతనే
శిలకొక్కదానికి చెవులు కలిగె
ప్రభు మేని నెత్తావి పరిమళించిన తోన
నశ్మంబు ఘ్రాణేంద్రియంబు చెందె
ప్రభు నీలరత్న తోరణ మంజులాంగంబు
గనవచ్చి రాతికి కనులు కలిగె

ఆటవెలది:
ఆ ప్రభుండు వచ్చి ఆతిథ్యమును స్వీక-
రించినంత ఉపల హృదయవీధి
నుపనిషద్వితాన మొలికి శ్రీ రామ భ-
ద్రాభిరామ మూర్తి యగుచు తోచె

The very purpose of indriyas (touch, hearing, smell, sight, taste) is rasAsvAdana - enjoyment of rasa. Rama is the very embodiment of rasa. Hence the moment he arrived, ahalya, the yearning soul, reached out to enjoy the rasa by fashioning the necessary outer organs (indriyas), sort of like a tree sprouts leaves to reach out and drink sunlight.

Enta adbhuta bhAvana!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sabda saundaryam

Here is a seemingly tough padyam (by today's standards) from pOtana's bhAgavatam.

A padyam is great if just by reading the padyam and hearing its rhythm and Sabdam (sound), we can feel its content even before understanding its literal meaning. Even if you don't know telugu well, just read it out aloud a couple of times until you get the words right, and then go on to my explanation. By the way, I use a transliteration scheme called ITRANS to write telugu language using english alphabet. When I get a Unicode editor, I'll post in telugu script.

The chhandas is called mattEbha vikriiDitam (the play of a matta+ibha = wild elephant):

vara gOvinda kathA sudhArasa mahA varShOru-dhArA paraM-
parala.n gAka budhEndra-chandra! yitarOpAyaanurakti.n pravis-
tara durdAnta duranta dussaha janussambhAvitaanEka dus-
tara gambhIra kaThOra kalmaSha kanaddaavaanalambArunE?

Saunaka and other sages are saying this to suuta, persuading him to tell them stories of govinda.
Just reading the poem will give you a feeling of how unbearable life without govinda chintana is, and how soothening listening to govinda's stories is.