Thiruppavai pasuram 18 -Undhu madhakalitran, odhaadha


Meaning of Thiruppavai pasuram 18 -Undhu madhakalitran, odhaadha

In this stanza the Gopis address the wife of Śrī Kṛṣṇa —   Nappinnai. This is where  the South India tradition  differs from the North Indian version in which Kṛṣṇa was unmarried while in Gokula.  According to the Southern tradition Kṛṣṇa married  Nappinnai after a competition in which he restrained and yoked seven wild bulls.  Nappinnai is identified with Nīlādevi (who is also identified with Rādhā) one of the three consorts of the Lord,  the other two being  Śrīdevi and Bhūdevi. It is important to note that all three of these are in actual fact various manifestations of  Mahā Lakṣmi who accompanies the Lord on each of His incarnations. According to Śrīvaiṣṇava theology Lakṣmi  is the mediatrix between the Lord and the jīvas. Through her beauty and grace (anugraha śakti)  she tempers the absolute justice of the Lord (nigraha śakti)  and causes him to have compassion and liberate jīvas. In Śrīvaiṣṇava temples it is customary to go first to the shrine of Lakṣmi and entreat her intercession before proceeding to the shrine of the Lord.

Though the Gopis knew of the necessity and efficacy of approaching the Lord through the mediation of His consort, Nappinnai, yet in their enthusiasm to see him, they addressed him directly (in the previous stanza). And when there was no immediate response from the Lord, they realised their mistake and corrected it by resorting to the proper channel, and so in this stanza they appeal to Nappinnai to mediate on their behalf. The question sometimes arises whether  it is really necessary to have a mediator and to resort to the Universal Mother as well as to the Lord. The answer is that the mercy of the Divine Mother is in itself the mediation; fire can be extinguished with water, but to cool water when it becomes hot, water itself will serve the purpose.

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