The Lord of the cowherds, Sri Gopala is seated on a Yantra in the shape of a eight-petaled lotus. Inside that Yantra is yet another yantra in the shape of a triangle. Gopala Upasakas seat him at the centre of this inner triangle and enjoy His illustrious beauty. On His lap, they find Saraswathi, the Goddess of learning. He blesses her with His auspicious glances. He has on His lotus lips the conch known as Paanchajanyam, whose sound is that of the holy Pranavam symbolizing the essence of the Vedas. (His devotees meditate on Him in this manner and receive His blessings).
Two interpretations are given by the earlier commentators. In the first interpretation, the infant KrishNan is lying in the lap of His Mother. Goddess Sarasvathy, the daughter in law of the Lord is enjoying this scene along with the Gopis assembled all around. The baby has a conch in its mouth. The joyous Mother shifts the baby from her lap to a cradle bearing a seat in the shape of the 8 petalled lotus with a mantra-enriched triangle in the central cavity (GopAla AshtaadasAkshari Yantram). This Yantram imparts rakshai and MangaLam for this divine baby.
In the second interpretation, YasOdhA keeps the infant KrishNa in her lap, enjoys the avayava soundharyam of her baby and then feeds the baby with milk from a conch and tells Him many stories to reduce His distractions. Afterwards, she lays Him down in the cradle protected by the above yantram. As the Emperor of the Gopa Janams, He reins Supreme there.
There is GopAla mantram incorporated in this slOkam. This is the rakshA Mantram with the Yantram of Ashta DaLa Padhmam, a Triangle with the three letters of the name “Gopaala” (G, P and L). The actual mantram to be initated by an UpAsakar is;
“Kleem KrushNAya GovindhAya Gopijana vallabhAya svAhA”
This is the 18 lettered (akshara) mantram. The beauty of this child lying on the cradle is being enjoyed by Sarasvathy. The child has a white conch on its lips. He is lying in the middle of the rakshA Chakram. Gopala UpAsanam leads to Vaak-arTa siddhi, Santhathi abhivruddhi and gaining of Jn~Anam.
For Upanyasam click here.