Sri Gopala Vimsati – 3

Sri Andal alankaram of Sri Rajagopalaswamy - Mannargudi
Sri Andal alankaram - Sri Rajagopalaswamy, Mannargudi

I visualize and revere Sri Gopala as the Supreme Lord, who took the form of the child born in the cowherd family. He was not an ordinary baby. As he feigned fear at the sight of the approaching evil Puthanaa, he alternately cried and smiled. When he cried, his upper and lower lips quivered from that exertion. At that time, his sweet breath carried the fragrance of the Vedas. He also smiled in between his crying spells. His smile was over the thought of what he planned to do next with the deceitful Puthanaa. He not only helped himself with the poisonous milk from her breast, but also sucked her life through the very same act of responding to her cunning invitation to breast feed him. He drank at one swoop Puthana’s milk and her life force and blessed her this way. This certainly is no ordinary child!


The subject of this slOkam is PootanA SamhAram; she took on the role of the Mother YasOdha to feed the infant with her poisonous milk. Her deceit was seen by the Lord, who innocently drank her milk and her life in one gulp. Swamy Desikan sums it up this way: “KuhanA JananyA: PrANa stanandhayam Param PumAmsam avaimi” (adiyEn recognizes this breast feeding child as the Parama Purushan, who sucked out the cunning mother’s milk and life at the same time.

1. AamnYa Gandhi: It is said that children derive their strength by crying (BaalAnam rhOdhanam Balam). KrishNa’s crying is Vedam. His strength is Vedam. Yasya nissvasitham Veda: His breath is Vedam and it has the fragrance of Vedam (Sruthi Sourabham, AamnAya gandhi). When he cries, His lips quiver and His eyes are red (rudhitha sphurita-adharOshtam). One moment, He cries as if He is fearing some thing (danger form Poothanai) and the next moment, He smiles since He knows that He is playing a game with the deceitful Poothanai (AASRAVILEKSHANAM ANUKSHANA MANDHAHAASAM). He has the form of a small child of the cowherd clan (GopAla Dimbha vapusham) and yet He is ParamAthmaa. YaadhavAbhudhaya slOkam (4.4) instructs us that the Lord sucked Poothanai’s life and gave her mOksham through the divine contact of His lips with her breast. She had no more births. Those who reflect on this sacred leelai of the Lord will also be blessed with the boon of freedom from the cycles of births and deaths granted by this Parama Purushan.

2. Kuhanaa Janani: Poothanaa was sent by Kamsan to kill KrishNan. She assumed an appearance like YasOdhA and approached the Child lying in the cradle. PoothanA is the equivalent of the MaayA (Prakruthi), which enshrouds us. It hides the svaroopam of Bhagavan from us (Bhagavatha: svaroopa thirOdhAnakaree). The Lord alone can destroy this Maayaa. Who else can destroy this prakruthy except the Supreme Lord (Param PumAmsamanthara kO vaa mAyAm chindhyAth?). As Jagath Guru, The Parama Purushan makes the poison of SamsAram powerless. He is the Mruthyu for the Maayaa. By destroying this visham of Maayaa, He grants the chEtanam the Moksha SaamrAjyam

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