Think about it – Are there any instances in our daily life where means and the goal are same? Couple of examples here for you.
A baby cries for her mother. Mother is the means and mother is the goal for the baby. She stops to cry when her mother picks her up and her intention for crying is that her mother holds her. So, the means with which the baby’s goal is achieved is the same the baby’s goal.
Let’s say we want to feed a goat. It moves towards you only if you show it the leaf, and when it comes to you – the end result is that it feeds on the leaf. So, the means with which the goat has come to you (leaf) is the same as the goal for the goat (to eat leaf).
Similarly, Krushna is the means and Krushna is the goal for your soul. Vedam says:
Pranavo: dhanuhu, saro:hya:thma bramhathallakshyamuchyathe ,
Apramatthe:na ve:tthavyam saravath thanmayo: bhave:th
Make O:m ka:ram your bow, place yourself as an arrow, mark your goal as Bramha, be alert and aim for the goal and shoot. When it is shot, the tip of the arrow remains with the goal. You (the soul) and Bramha (the ultimate highest power) are now together appearing as one but in two identities with same power. God/ Bramha is so compassionate that while he has all the capabilities, his wish is to help you reach him and enjoy all the abilities like he does.
Upanishads always use Bramha to refer to the ultimate power, God. Vedam says that our goal should be to attain Bramha (meaning huge) – Bruhathi, Brumhayathi (meaning, it is very big, and it takes you also to its level). When does that happen? When you surrender to it. So, HE is the means, and HE is the goal.
This month, Dhanurma:sam – the month when Goda Devi called upon all of us to perform a prayer to Lord Krushna brings out the best path to attain that Goal.
When she wanted to marry Lord Ranganatha of Sri Rangam. She asked her father whether it is possible. Vishnu Chittha, her father explained to her that Gopika:s did a vratham called Ka:thyayani vratham where they asked Krushna directly for what they want and he gave it to them. So, he suggested that she can take up that vratham and ask him for the boon.
Listening to this, Goda Devi immersed herself so deeply that she began to talk and walk like a Gopika. She imagined her place Sri Villiputthu:r to be Nandagokulam. She imagined her friends to be the gopikas. She imagined the Lord Vatapathrasaayi temple to be Krushna’s house. She imagined the deity to be Krushna himself. Her heart became the place where this whole play took place. Her love for God made her heart sing songs in glory. Her songs became the sweetest and the most pious songs which conveyed the deepest secrets of Vedic literature.
The purpose of the vratham for the gopikas is that they work with Krushna in doing a yagnam which will in turn give rains for nandagokulam. This is the reason why the elderly of the town let the little girls go to Krushna. They had earlier prohibited the gopikas to go to Krushna. But because of their need, they have now seen a need to let Krushna and Gopikas be together. They were all so happy that such a time has come. However, Krushna suggested the gopikas to go home, rest and come back in full presence (not missing out even a single gopika in town) so that the elderly will let them continue to be together.
Goda Devi explains to all the gopikas that:
- When they have thought of a good deed, time also has come to their advantage
- To be desirous of a great goal is itself a qualification to achieve the goal
- That they are all so blessed to be born when Krushna lived in Nandagokulam
- That Nandagokulam is so prosperous because of Krushna
Did you know that in Nandagokulam, a litre of milk when churned gave a litre of butter? That shows that the milk from the cows of Nandagokulam has no impurities, it is so rich. The reason is that our master of cowherd has taken all the cows to graze and let them drink from Yamuna. However, it seems when the cows were just about to eat, he played his flute and all the cows stopped to eat and got immersed in the joy of the melody. At the end of the day, he touched all the cows from head to toe and they were all nourished with all the richness of health. So, what is the reason for the properity of the town? It is Krushna himself. But, poor gopikas – out of ignorance refused to offer Krushna the butter he deserves, the butter for which in fact he is the owner. In order to take away the sin from these gopikas, he became the thief by ‘stealing’ it. He is so naughty and yet so lovable by all the gopikas because of the love he showered. Such divine qualities of Lord are only experienced when he takes down a form to be with us.
So, the Goda Devi is preparing all the gopikas to take bath in such divine qualities of Lord – his accessibility, his kindness, his glorious grace and more. This is the bath that cleanses our hearts.
However, did you know that HE also possesses one quality that makes him deficient? It is called ‘Nirankusa Swathantryam’ – a dangerous quality which says that it is up to him to grace his shower or not. If that is the case, then what can be done to attain his grace for sure? Goda Devi gives us the answer.
Nandagopa, his father is our key. Yashoda, his mother is our companion. If we are with both of them, he will surely not reject us.
Nandagopa – Krushna is obedient to his father. His father here represents an Acharya (a Bra:mhana) who holds the joy (Nanda) and protects it(Gopa). He holds with him his wife Yashoda.
Yashoda here represents the Narayana Mahamantra. Krushna is attainable to us with this mantra.
Mantra:dhi:nam thu daivatham, thanmantram bra:mhana:dhi:nam
(Bra:mhana is one who knows the essence of Vedas, Bramha anathi:thi Bra:mhana )
Goda Devi so beautifully explains that the natural do-s of this vratham are anything that a devotee practices. And the natural don’t-s of this vratham are anything that a devotee avoids. There is no rule. It is all love that carries itself into actions that will ultimately result in happiness to not only yourself, but also nature and people around you.
So, Let us approach our Guru – Practice the mantra – Keep our heart tied to the lotus feet of Lord Krushna and be desirous to attain the ultimate power of Joy, Lord Krushna!