Sri Gopala Vimsati – 4


At the house of his parents, Yasodha was strenuously churning milk to produce butter as part of the daily chore. Krishna, the bhagyam of Yasodha listened to these rhythmical sounds coming from her efforts and began a special dance to amuse her and to receive gobs of butter as a present for his performance. For this special dance, he planted one of his foot firmly and he moved the other foot around in different directions. The gold necklaces, jewelry and the ankle bells on his holy feet produced then a most delightful musical sound, which matched the laya patterns emanating from his mother’s efforts at churning milk. May that vision of this butter dance of Lord Gopala appear before my eyes! (Navaneetham is freshly churned butter mixed with sugar).


In the previous slOkam, Swamy Desikan consoled himself by recognizing the innocent looking child lying in the cradle as “Paramam PumAmsam avaimi”. His avidhyai was banished and prakruthy-bramam (confusion caused by Maayaa) was gone. He gained Brahma Vijn~Anam and this state is followed by Sva-svaropa aavirbhAvam (parabrahmam manifests in him). Prior to that most desirable and ultimate stage of bliss, Swamy Desikan wishes to have the bliss of visualizing the dance that the Lord performed to persuade His mother to give Him a ball of navaneetham He has one foot lifted and slightly bent (aakunchitha yEka charaNam) and firmly planted the other foot on the ground (nibhrutha anya paadham). He needs a rhythmic time measure (tALam) for His navaneetha nAtyam. That kind of tALam comes from the regular curd churning operations by His mother (dadhnA nimanTamukharENa niBaddha tALam). That dance of the Lord proceeds in the house of NandhagOpAlan (NaaTasya NandhabhavanE navaneetha naatyam). Swamy Desikan prays for the appearance of that special and delectable dance before his mind’s eye (NaaTasya navaneetha nAtyam purasthAth Aavirbhavathu).

The goal of the dance by SarvEswaran at Nandha Bhavanam was the acquisition of a ball of navaneetham. Nandha bhavanam becomes Aanandha bhavanam as a result of the Lord’s dance choreographed to the beat of the regular movements of the churning rod in the vessel containing the milk. Even if He is a Lord, who does not need anything and has every thing (avAptha samastha Kaaman), He is seeking Navaneetha Bhikshai from His Mother. During this dance, the AabharaNams on His body also move in a rhythmic manner following the beat (anibhruthAbharaNam). When He went to steal navaneetham in other people’s house, He moved gently to suppress any sound generated by His movements. Here, in His own house, it is a different story. This dance is a kind of dheekshai for the chEtanams to gain Moksham. Our Lord does this novel (nava) dance (nAtyam). He asks for navaneetham and dances as a barter for that gift.

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