In this series, we present, each month, a prayer kirtan composed by His Holiness Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These kirtans underline the importance of prayers and show us how to pray.
Oh Govinda! Come down to show me the right path!
The Lord has promised that once a devotee surrenders to him, He takes complete responsibility for that devotee.
Purandara Dasa, the ‘grandsire of Carnatic music’, was an ardent devotee of Lord Hari. He has composed innumerable songs on the Lord, many of which are sung even today. But, Purandara Dasa was not always like that. Until the age of 30, Purandara Dasa, originally Srinivasa Nayaka was an extremely miserly businessman, focused only in growing his family business. Due to a miraculous incident, his life underwent a complete change. Once, the Lord, in the guise of a poor Brahmin approached Srinivasa Nayaka’s wife seeking monetary help to conduct a family function. His wife gave him her nose ring, which the Brahmin took to Srinivasa Nayaka’s shop to sell . Recognizing his wife’s nose ring, Srinivasa Nayaka became extremely angry that his wife had donated such an expensive ring. So, he went home to inquire about the ring. His wife prayed to Tulasi devi and miraculously an identical ring appeared under the Tulsi plant. She showed the ring to Srinivasa Nayaka. Astounded, he went back to his shop only to find the Brahmin missing. At that moment, he had a divine vision, in which the Lord showed him that it was He who had come down as the poor Brahmin to wake him from his reverie (Lord’s Maya) and to show him the purpose of his birth. Instantly Srinivasa Nayaka renounced everything and spent the rest of his life singing the glories of the Lord.
Thondaradippodi Azhwar, who was born as Vipranarayanan too had a similar incident in his life. The azhwar fell into bad ways and was later rescued and showed the right path by the Lord Himself.
Sundara Murthi Nayanaar, one of the 63 Nayanmars too was shown the spiritual path by Lord Shiva Himself.
The lives of these devotees show us the extent to which the Lord can go to fulfill his responsibility towards his devotee. Just like how a mother guides her child when it does something wrong, the Lord who is our mother and father comes down on Earth to show us the right path.
In the song, “pArtilayo govinda’, Sri Swamiji implores the Lord to take pity on His plight and come down to guide him and take him in the right path, just like he had done for various devotees. The song is set in mesmerizing ‘Darbari Kanada’ raaga.
Raga: Darbari Kanada
pArtilayO govindA nI ennai
en kurai kettilayO
pArtum kEttumA nI ennai taDutATkoLLAmal
en pOkkil vidivadu saridAnO kaNNA
varAhamAi vandu anDru bhUmaiyai thUkki ninDrai
vAmananAi vandu vaLarndu bhUmayai aLandai
rAmanAi vandanDru bhUmiyai AnDAi
kaNNanAi vandanDru bhUbAram kuraitAi
O Govinda! Do you not see my plight?
Do you not hear my lamentations?
Even after seeing and hearing my plight, are you still refraining from taking me under your refuge?
O Kanna? Is it right to let me do as I wish?
You came down as Varaha that day and lifted the Earth
You came down as Vamana, grew taller and measured the entire Earth (with a single step)
You came down as Rama and ruled the Earth
And, then you came down as Krishna to relieve Earth’s suffering.
Sowmya Balasubramanian, Fremont CA