Cherished Memoirs 64 – Yogeendran and Kshemam Kuru Gopala

This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.  The original article was written by Dr. Bhagyanathanji, Personal Secretary of Sri Swamiji.

Yogeendran and Kshemam Kuru Gopala

Sri Swamiji was once speaking about the great saint, Sri Narayana Tirtha. At that time, he spoke about the incident when Sri Narayana Tirtha sang his famous tarangam, Kshemam kuru Gopala. Since it was an interesting story, I am sharing it here with you:

“At the time when Sri Narayana Tirtha lived in Varagoor, there was a peasant who lived in a nearby village called Rettaikoyil. He was very poor.

Once he had to pay tax to the kingdom. But he had no money. He wondered what to do. He then decided that he would sell a goat that he had and use that money to pay the tax.

While he was on his way to sell the goat, a black magician came across him. He threatened the peasant and told him to give the goat to him. When the peasant refused, the magician cast a spell on the goat. The goat died right there. The magician left. Seeing the dead goat, thinking about the tax that was due, and worried that he would now have to face punishment for not paying the tax, the peasant sat down right there and began to weep.

At that time, Sri Narayana Tirtha happened to come that way, performing Nama sankirtanam, along with some bhagavatas. He saw this peasant steeped in sorrow, with the dead goat next to him. He asked him compassionately, “What is the cause of your sorrow?” The peasant shared his pitiful story.

Sri Narayana Tirtha then took some water from his kamandalu, sprinkled it on the dead goat and sang the song, “Kshemam kuru Gopala…”

Because of the Krishna kirtan that was capable of feeding life even into a dead body, that goat came back to life! And not only did the goat just wake up, but it came prancing up. It did pradakshina to Sri Narayana Tirtha many times. It prostrated to him many times. The peasant who saw this unusual behavior of the goat got even more frightened. He did not want to take the goat with him. Sri Narayana Tirtha then asked a devotee who was nearby to pay the peasant for the goat, and sent him away.

The goat now began to follow Sri Narayana Tirtha. The saint also understood that the goat was actually a  yoga brashta (a yogi who had taken an animal birth just to fulfill some past karmas). He named the goat Yogeendran. Bhagavatas also applied chandan, kumkum to the goat, offered flower garlands and worshiped it. This goat called Yogeendran lived for a few years and then attained Sri Krishna’s feet.”

Thus Sri Swamiji narrated this interesting story behind that lovely song to us.

Originally written by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman and published in MadhuraMurali Tamil monthly magazine, Dec 2000 issue

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