Thirupavai 5


māyanai mannu vaḍa madurai maindanai |tūya perunīr yamunai turaivanai |

āyar kulattinil tōnnum aṇi-viḷakkai | tāyai kuḍal viḷakkan ceyda dāmodaranai |

tūyōmāy vandu nām tūmalar tūvit tozhudu | vāyināl pāḍi manattināl cindikka |

pōya pizhaiyum puhudaruvān ninnanavum | tīyinil tūśāhum ceppēlōr empāvāy ||


Māyanai – one whose acts are inscrutable and mysterious;

Bhagwaan is Mayan or Mayavi i.e. possessor of Maya. Maya doesn’t mean illusion as said in Advait. Maya means ‘Moola Prakriti or Sankalpa gyanam of Brahman’. Just by mere Sankalpam, Brahman creates and destroys the universe full of mysterious details.

As per Yakshacharya’s Nirukta, Maya means wisdom or knowledge.

माया वयुनं ज्ञानम् (वे0 नि0 ध0 व0 22).

Thus, Advait concept of Maya being Avidya or Upaadhi goes against Vedas.

सर्वे निमेषा जज्ञिरे विद्युतः पुरुषादधि। (यजुर्वे0 32।2);

अजायमानो बहुधा विजायते (यजुर्वेद 31।19);

संभवामि आत्म मायया (BG 4.6);

निज माया निर्मित तनु माया गुण गोपार, चिदानंदमयी देह तुम्हारे (मानस).

Bhagwaan by his sankalp-shakti, incarnates as Padmanaabh to help devas, Jumps out of pillar as Narasimbha, maps three world as Trivikrama; born with Shankh-Chakra as Krishna etc. That Mayan has incarnated as Krishna and performing wonderful maayik activities. The birth of Apahatpaapma (Devoid of imperfections) is different from that of jeevatmas. We take birth to due to our karma and to eliminate our karma; due to our karma we feel pains and pleasures. The birth of Parmatma is not due to karma but Sankalpa (will). {जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्}.

Maya also means kripa-shakti of Perumal through purushkaar ko Sri Mahalakshmi and Acharya. Bhagwaan through his efforts  makes jeevatma his sharnagata and declares that he has done Sharnagati. Thus, he gives to them.

स्वामी स्वशेषं स्ववशं स्वभरत्वेन निर्भरम्| स्वदत्त स्वधिया स्वार्थं स्वस्मिन् न्यस्यति मां स्वयम्|| (न्यास दशकम्).

Periya Thirumozhi 7.3.3 says, “Lord has come and taken abode in my heart. He appears to be unknown of other hearts to go and stay. He will not let me enter the loka of yama. To one who has done this favour, what can one do in return? How at all can I forget him? No No. Not Possible”.

Thus, Bhagwaan himself chooses the jeevatma, makes them sharnagata and accepts him through Acharya and Sri Mahalakshmi thayar. Our efforts are in fact obstruction to receive his kripa. Parmaatma is ‘pargat-swikaara’ not ‘swagat-swikaara’.


mannu vaḍa madurai maindanai – the King of northern Mathura (ever glowing with divine association);

Mathura always has bhagwat-sambandham in every yuga. srI vAmana avathAra did a long penance in this place; Shatrughna took care ruling this place after winning lavaNAsura and other asurAs, and now as krishNan he is here for butter, ghee, milk, and the gopikAs). Mannu means most sacred place and maindanai means son (of Mathura).


tūya perunīr – pure and deep river;

yamunai turaivanai – one who plays in the bank of Yamuna;

It is said that the purity of the waters of the Yamuna river is due to Lord Kṛṣṇa and the Gopis playing in them, gargling and splashing themselves. The waters experienced the Divine touch of the Lord and therefore have become pure. It touched the lotus feet of Krishna and gave way to Vasudeva (Bhagwat-kainkaryam). She also became one of the asht-mahishi of Dwarika. Thus name of Krishna became ‘yamunai turaivanai’ i.e. consort of Yamuna.

Swami Vedant Desikan says (Goda stuti. 12), “Godavari had earned bad name after it didn’t reveal the abduction of Sita to Ram-Lakshman although Sita hd pleaded to do so with tearful eyes. It earned fame after ‘Goda’ incarnated and took this name”. Unlike Godavari, Yamuna always participated in bhagwat-kainakaryam.

āyar kulattinil tōndrum – incarnated in the cowherd clan;

aṇi-viḷakkai – auspicious radiant jewel like lamp; he is a mangaLa dIpam (lamp) in Gokula.


To all the cowherd boys of Gokula (āyar kula), who consider Krishna as means and goal; he is the uddharaka. ‘tondrum’ here used deliberately by Goda instead of ‘pirantum’ indicates that Bhagwaan is not born from womb but he takes avataram.


tāyai kuḍal viḷakkan ceyda – one who illuminated the Mother’s (Yasoda’s) womb;

dāmodaranai – the Lord (who accepted Mother Yasoda tying Him with a small rope and hence has the mark in His body);

People appreciate his mother yasOda for giving birth from her womb to such a wonderful child. The name ‘Damodara’ indicates the ‘Bhakt-paaratantriyam’ of Krishna. Nanjeeyar (Vedanti swami) says that to conceal that mark of tying of ropes, he wears cloth around his hip. But everyone got to know about his theft and punishment by mother Yashoda and became popular as ‘Damodara’. If we mediate on this kalyaan-guna of Krishna, our ties of samsaram is removed. Sri Parashar Bhattar says that he shows his marks and gets us to have and show our marks (in our shoulders, shankham-chakram).


Next part of the paasuram tells us what happens to the karma accumulated before Sharanagati and those performed after it.


श्रेयांशी बहु विघ्नानी प्रभवन्ति महताम अपि.

Good works are followed lot of dangers.

If we are singing the glory of the Lord, all the devatas are with us. The gopis had a query; even the so powerful Rama’s crowning ceremony didn’t happen on the day the great sage vasistha marked, so how can we be sure that our vow will go on without any hindrance? Everyone loved Rama so much, everything was set, but he took kankanam for the forest.

Whose fault it was? Was it fault of Kaikeyi, Manthara, Dasaratha or Ram?

Bharata answers:

न मंथाराया: न मातुरस्य; दोषों न राज्ञः न राघवस्य च|

मत पाप एव अत्र निमित्तम आसीत, वन प्रदेशे रघुनन्दन: स्यात||

Manthara was afterall a servent maid. Any mother has bias for his son. Neither is the fault of father, nor of Rama. It’s my paapam which came out all of the sudden to bring misfortune.

अवश्यम अनु भोक्तव्यं कृत कर्म शुभ-अशुभम|

but, we have so many papas and punya, how would they go?

Andal answers we need not cleanse all our sins to undertake this vow since we are going to surrender to that Lord who is pure in all aspects and capable of burning all our sins and making our vow successful. He is such a Lord who forgoes anything for the sake of His devotees.

अग्नो प्रोतं प्रदुयत. After sharanagati, all the karma vanishes like cotton subjected to fire.

Sita says, “yasya tvaya sah, sah swargah, yasya tvaya vina sah narakah”. So, being with kanna is swargam and being without kanna is Narakam.

For a sharanagat, Krishna’s grace is punya and lack of Krishna’s grace is paapam. But he is not here with us? His name is more powerful them Krishna himself. Mantra is always available. It was the name of Krishna which protected Draupadi. Mantram is like an ornament and God is like Gold biscuit. All the u need is to feel it, realize it. So, chant the man – We (who He has to reach for);

tūyōmāy vandu – come to Him with purity (in mind, words and deed);

Come to Him with purity (in mind, words and deed); Purity of accepting His greatness and hence surrendering to Him. Purity means considering him to be the means and goal.

(Vandu nam): His compassion doesn’t allow Him to wait till the devotees come to Him. It’s his effort since many births which made you devoted to him.


tūmalar tūvit – adorn Him with fresh flowers;

We have come to you with beautiful flowers to worship. Flowers even thrown by lovers are accepted by God however those offered without love and with full Vedic process is not accepted by God. What did Vidura offered? Is there any rule to love someone? Is there rule for mother how to love child?

God is fond of our ‘hriday kamalam’. Offer your heart as lotus to him. He does not see the size of our kainkaryam because there is nothing that is too big in this world for him, and mainly because no kainkaryam is small for him. He only sees our affection/bhakthi/care


tozhudu – pay our obeisance;

prostrate and pay our obeisance. Make all your services as his services. Any activity that you do, make AS his service. (not IS his service).


vāyināl pāḍi – sing His praise with our tongue;

Sing His praise with our tongue. Kulsekhar azhwar says, “O my tongue! Taste this Narayana Mantra. Once you taste it, you won’t be able to live without it”.


manattināl cindikka – meditate in our mind;

Contemplate in our minds. Think and sing is not correct. Sing and think. Sing as outpour of your love.

Thus Goda explained the use of all the three equipments (Body, Mouth and Mind) and the essence of they have been provide to us. Trikaran shuddhi:

Mind: Thinking of God

Tongue: Chanting of names

Body: kainkaryam, Prostrating and supplicating.



pōya pizhaiyum – past sins (committed before realizing our relation with Him);

pugudaruvān nindranavum – those committed later (without our knowledge);

tīyinil tūśāgum – will vanish like cotton in a fire;

All our past sins and mistakes without remiss will be made to disappear like cotton burnt in a flame.


ceppu – (so) sing His glory;

Just singing is enough to burn our sins (tongue chants His names without the mind or body involved);

What to sing? Goda devi gave five names of the names bringing the glories of the lord.

  1. Māyanai – one whose acts are inscrutable and mysterious.

Maya is an un-imaginable natural power, ability beyond our apprehension/imagination. Aascharyam. He is maayanai or mayawi. Don’t run after maya but maayan kanna. Catch hold of the owner.

The word ‘maayan’ reminds of the beautiful leelas of kanna e.g. playing with gopas, stealing butter etc.

  1. mannu vaḍa madurai – the King of northern Mathura (ever glowing with divine association);
  2. maindanai: Powerful person.
  3. tūya perunīr – pure and deep river;
  4. yamunai turaivanai – one who plays in the bank of Yamuna;
  5. āyar kulattinil tōndrum – born in the cowherd clan;
  6. aṇi-viḷakkai – auspicious radiant lamp;
  7. tāyai kuḍal viḷakkan ceyda – one who illuminated the Mother’s (Yasoda’s) womb. By his actions people started praising his mother. He is always called “Yashoda-nandan”, “yashoda maiyya ka natkhat”.

One who ties up everyone, every deva with his maya was tied by Yashoda by ropes.

  1. dāmodaranai – the Lord (who accepted Mother Yasoda tying Him with a small rope and hence has the mark in His body). Nammalvar feeling the damodar leela felt unconscious for 6 months. That’s glory of Yashoda. It spread like ‘wild-fire’ although he try to conceal her and he began to be told as ‘Damodar’. YasOdhA got all credit for managing Her “wild” son.


Hey Mayan! Hey Mathura-nanadan! Hey balashaali! Hey Yamuna-teera Vihar raseeka! Nannjan vraj aanandjana! Hey Matri-garbh prakaashika! Hey Damodar!



If our intentions are good and filled with devotion- if we praise the Almighty with our mouth, and meditate on His divine qualities and use our sense organs to do service to Him and His devotees then by His grace all the obstacles in our way will be burnt to ashes.

Author: ramanujramprapnna

studying Ramanuj school of Vishishtadvait vedant

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