I began to write it down for two reasons, first to supplement the Gita Govindam which is divinity personified and when told from the mouth of Sri Anna makes it all the more divine and second to experience the greatest of bliss while translating every word and sentence and try to get their meaning as well, a feast for the soul I say. This gave me an immense satisfaction rooting the kavyam deep in my heart never to forget. Also an excuse for listening again and again to savour every pearl in the oysters of the words flowing from Sri Sri Anna's mellifluous voice while writing them down. Yet another reason for those folks who wish to read this in English.
dhimikiTa dhimikiTa vAje mrdanga
madhyE shiva gaurI gajAnana
shobhE candra shirI gajAnana
In Puri Jagannath kshetram there is Balabadran (Adhishemam amsham) and Subhadran is also present and if we go and have the darshan there all our sorrows will be removed. Our sorrows come mainly due to our papams and once all the wrong doings are eliminated, our punyams will get activated and we start to be happy again, but this is again only transient and temporary. As we see when we take medicine the deliverance from pain is temporary. Sarva papam will be removed (vimochanam) only with bhagavan namam. Bhagavan namam has such a sakthi, if it can remove all the papams all the dukhams also will be gone isn't it. All the punyams will be left over then and we can attain the thiruvadi of the bhagawan. Thus if we need sakala sowbhagyam and removal of dukham, we should perform the bhajan of Sri Jagannathan. Many bhakthas and Acharyas have gone to many of these kshetrams and shown us the "nama" as the path to reach the bhagawan.
Among the Acharyas the most famous is Adi Shankaracharyar who went to Puri Jaganatham and prayed to the bhagawan Sri Jagannathar. Only Adi Shakarar could see the bhagawan and his consort Rukmini in the famous rathotsavam (chariot) procession of Sri Jagannathar. This kshetram is also known as Neela chalam, its mentioned in great detail in the Brahmapuranams kshetra mahatmiyam and is located in the coastal town of
Jayadevar never got married and his parents passed away in grief failing in their attempts to convince Jayadeva. Being a brahmachari, Jayadevar was now all alone. He created an ashram and was performing dhyanam, japam and parayanam. He begged for his food as he was a brahmacharyar. He was with niyama performing his karmAnustanams and was steadfast in his activities befitting a saint. He would just go about his duties not looking at anyone and not speaking and always in
Daily in the morning she would come to the ashram but only after Jayadevar would have left the ashram much earlier to offer his daily poojas. Padma would come and beautifully put the kOlam, pluck the flowers, clean the pooja vessels, light the lamp and finish all the kainkaryams and leave the ashram before Jayadevar would arrive. Jayadevar would come and see all this has been done. Thus days passed, he was happy and felt nice about it as earlier when he was doing all this the ashram was not kept this clean, more like a bachelors accommodation. Now its very neat and nice but someone is doing, seeing this kOlam, he thought this looks like one drawn by a woman. If this is not enquired about, then people would start talking about this. Having found who it was, Jayadevar thought that on finding her, he will tell her good words and satisfy her prarthanai and send her. So he came early on one of the days. He saw Padmavathi there. The other day, there was a brahmanan and with him was this girl did not occur to him as on the other day, Jayadevar hardly looked up to see. Had he seen, he would have recognized today. Who are you? Why are you performing seva in this ashram? What do you want as you have done seva all this time? Just as soon as Vishwamithra arrived, without preamble Dasaratha asked what he could offer. The answer Padmavathi gave was, “just like this, adiyAl would like to serve you always”. Sathya sandhar once having given the word wont take them back. Jayadevar thought, ’Such a question he had to ask, and such a reply he had to receive’. That’s how En peruman desired, he understood. Although this looks like a story, the meaning here is, A sati if she has to attain a pathi, the lakshiyam is seva. A pathi taking a sathi, the lakshiyam is to protect her. This shows how the two lakshiyams are to be attained. The kriya called ‘vivAham’ or marriage is only for this. Every man must protect his wife. To protect the man must have right over the woman. Woman without right cannot be protected by a man. To establish that right, is the kriya called vivAham in the loka reethi. Now Jayadevar did not immediately say, ok stay in the house with me. He took her with him and approached her father and in an yetHottamana vivAham wanted to marry her. Her father knew this is how it would happen, not just by Jayadevar changing his mind but due to En Peruman sankalpam.
Marriage happened between Padmavathi and Jayadevar. They both now performed Krishna seva together. The ashram now became a griham. Sadhu seva, bhagavath kainkaryam was being done as this is the main activity of a grihasta. Like Kannan and Radhai, the ashram became filled with bhakthi rasam when until now it was just filled with bhakthi yogam. Only now Jayadevar started to understand what bhakthi fully was. Now as the bhakthi became like a rasam, Jayadevar started to like it very much and he started to appreciate Padmavathis kainkaryam, he also started to like the various rasams described by padmavathi and his bhakthi started to blossom tenfold. While performing abhishekam, Jayadevar would pour out all of the abhishekam at once on top of the vighraham of Sri Krishna but then Padmavathi would say “Why dont you pour slowly as Sri Krishna would become breathless and then Jayadevar would think, “Oh! Why did I not know this. When performing archanas with flowers, padmavathi would tell not to put the flowers all over the bhagawan at once and cover it but spread all around so that while doing the archana we could have the grace of the beauty of Kutti krishna and be able to see the thiruvadi of the bhagawan. Thus he started to like, to do and understand the suggestions made by Padmavathi very much as he started learning the loving ways of performing kainkaryam to the bhagawan. Even so when tying vasthrams, Padmavathi would give some suggestions on how to tie the vastrams differently as she now said, "instead of the same blue black vastram, you can put the yellow one and the red one here on the top and see how nice it looks". At this point Sri Anna would joke to say that only school uniforms will be blue like that. Jayadevar started to think, 'oh that's a very good idea, why did I not think of that before'. He felt that Padmavathi was showing the way to him to perform bhakthi as a rasam and as Padmavathi started singing, Jayadevar, himself being a poet, his poetic instincts started to flower. Now we ponder as to why Valmiki ramayana is so good, its because it came on its own, the kavyam should come on its own.
Because of his poetic instincts, krishna bhakthi and the recently gained rasam, his heart started to pour kavyams. This kayvam in the form of gita slokas started flowing and he started to teach Padmavathi how to dance. Thus when performing krishna seva, bhakthi should not be publicised, as long as bhakthi is ekantham and (anyonyam) solitary, it will be as wonderful as it can be. So the young couple were more of prema bhakthas. Jayadevar considered Padmavathi not as his better half but as a krishna dasi. Padmavathi in turn felt herself as Jaya and Jayadevar as padma and they were like two sakhis for the Lord Sri Krishna. Both of them dancing in front of Sri Krishna, their shringaram was like bhakthi shringaram. Not like the worldly shringaram. In all his Krishna leelas, Brindavanam prasidha leela, Kandithaa Varnanam leela is most prominent, Maana leelai is another name for it.
tamanusara sarasiruhalochana ya tava harati vishadam
dveShasthAsi yad unmukhe vimukhatAM yAtAsi tasmin priye
For Radhai, cold became as hot, her body even when smeared with sandalwood was like on fire, amritham became poison, why?
yad rAgiNi dveShasthAsi.....
So the whole world is now appearing viparitham to Radhe.
"Kannan will definitely come and when he comes be courteous to him and be happy" console the sakhis. Now Kannan came in all Splendour. What Splendour it was.
As soon as we see, we have to fall at the bhagawan Thiruvadi only
But Radhe it seems did not see Kannan directly, instead she looked at the Sakhis face and smiled. But Kannan saw her smile and said this Stotram, its a Presidamana Stotram and very famous
Bhaktas feet he will fall, says Krishna!!!
Nirapeksham munim shantam nirvairam samadarshanam
On Meditating upon Radha, padmavathi got the bhavam of Radha. Becoming Radha thus, padmavathi, searching for Sri Krishna cries and cries. Jayadevar seeing this, keeps the veena down becomes a sakhi and says, "Radhe! Krishna will come, you should not grieve like this" and saying thus, he wipes away the tears from Padmavathis eyes. Jayadevar cries, Padmavathi cries and the environment is like that of the Sakhis and Krishna and in that feeling he turns and suddenly there is a bright light. It looks as if the swing is rocking. In that swing, Sri Krishna is sitting in the divya roopam with Sri Radha. When Jayadevar and padmavathi saw this divya darshanan, they immediately fell at the feet of the bhagawan and were overjoyed and danced with happiness with Sri Krishna. The bhagawan sri krishna threw his vaijayanthi mala around Jayadevar and Radha gardlanded Padmavathi with her mala and all through the night they had the divya darshanam of the bhagawan bathed in the divine. Blessing Sri Jayadevar and Padmavathi with this joy forever, the bhagawan disappeared. Be in bhakthi and perform this always was the only wish the bhagawan gave Jayadevar and Padmavathi. What else would one wish for more than this. There is no bigger present than this. Jayadevar was gratified with the Krishna darshanam. Singing the divine Gita Govindam, the couple lived happily. They were singing very well. They even taught this to some children. The children would then go to their homes and sing this as well as in the temples. Some pandits listened to this. What a great poem, why this is not coming out, they thought, just like a shadow being cast on the forest. If it did come out many rasikas would be happier and enjoy them, wouldn't they? So they thought that they will call upon Jayadevar and honour him at the kings court. Thinking thus, they came to Jayadevar and put forth their idea. Immediately Jayadevar said, "I did this only for Hari preethi and not for Nara preethi. What am I going to do when many people listen to this?" ok, they replied "if thats the case, you dont have to come to the Kings court, why then dont you sing in the Sri Jagannathars court?" Jayadevar definitely will accept this, why because the whole of Ashtapathi is on Jagannathar.
1st Ashtapathi itself is "jaya jagad-Isha hare". Jayadevar has kept this in the heart, the nama of bhagawan Sri Jagannathar. This poem dedicated to Sri Krishna as Krishnaarpanam, in the beginning itself its bhagawan Sri Jagannathar's name. The Ashtapathi songs were then accepted to be sung at bhagawan Sri Jagannathar temple by Jayadevar. Even today in the Puri Jagannathar temple, in the early morning suprabhatham hours, Gita Govindam is the daily suprabhataham.
The bhagawan was beaming with happiness on hearing this as well as the bhakthas. All were happy. Gita Govindam now became very famous. Someone in this country went to the King and told him know about this. The name of the king then was Lakshmanasena. He thought, "such a famous poet as this has to definitely grace our court. Who is this poet? All poets in this country have become asthana vidwans and have been bestowed upon with gifts, why not this poet?" But when an invitation was sent to Jayadevar, Jayadevar said he would not come. The king was not pleased. He wanted a competition to the Gita Govindam to prove its might and also to see whether the Gita Govindam is really the best. Normally if a famous person such as the King brought about a poem or something, it would become famous since its been propagated by a famous person and everyone would proclaim. The King wanted to bring about this so Jayadevars poem would get less attention and become dull in the wake of a new poem. But Jayadevar was not at all worried about that. The King wrote a big poem, invited all the pandits to review it and everyone said its very good, after all when written by the King it ought to be good. But when the pandits were asked about how it compared with the Gita Govindam, they said this could not as the Gita Govindam was unsurpassed and matchless in its divinity. They replied, "Hey Maharaj! Your poem does not even compare 1:100 with the Gita Govindam, thats a poem for a lifetime. Gita Govindam is Unique". There can be no discrimination or bedham when compared with the Gita Govindam. Between pandits, there will only be asUye. But when talked about Gita Govindam they can say only with yaThArtHam without any discrimination. Jayadevars Gita Govindam is a divya Kavyam, divine poem. Jayadevar is no ordinary poet among us, he is divinity personified. The King then replied, "Well. We can then setup a test by keeping my poem and Jayadevar's poem at the feed of bhagawan Sri Jagannathar in the temple and let the bhagawan decide whose poem is better and which is far more superior. Sri Jayadevar however was in no way connected with all this and neither interested in the outcome nor even aware of this. The pandits as instructed by the king went to the sannadhi of bhagawan Sri Jagannathar and kept the poems at the feet of the bhagawan, closed the temple doors for the night and came back. Gaurds were posted to look after the temple for this contest. Next day Morning at the Suprabhatham time, "Uthishtothishta Govinda uthishta garudadhwaja Uthishta kamalakantha trilokyam mangalam kuru - "Sri Govinda! All the three worlds are under your rule; they have to prosper. Wake up, my child.", with all the Musical Ghoshas playing, bells ringing, the door to the sanctum sanctorum was opened and all were extremely interested to see the outcome of this contest. As we behold the bhagawan in all its magnificence 'Shrivatshankam udara-kaustubha-dharam pitambaram sundaram", 'sreejaydeva bhaNitham idham adhbutha kesave keli rahasyam'...Everyone present there was surprised and the King had tears in his eyes not out of sadness that his poem was not accepted but out of happiness that the bhagawan had graced him. Just a lie, even that if it is said with the word Krishna is enough, to have the bhagawan's grace, such is its greatness. Your Kavyam is subdHam. Jayadevar consoled the King telling him thus, "Only God did not accept it, but I will accept it, how, I will accept your poem as equal to my own". In Vedam, there is no distinction, we can't and we shouldn't and we can't even. How can Vedam have inclusions, in a manifested Vedic Gita Govindam, Jayadevar added the Kings poems and made it a Mahakaviyam. Such a magnaminious mind must be there. Even today when the bhagavathars are singing the Gita Govindam slokas, the bhagawan is listening equally. Gita Govindam became famous.
When listening to Bhaktha charithram, only then bhakthi is growing more within us.