The vaibhavam of Cauvery river
Dear Swan friend! In the middle of Cola nADu (jana padam) flows Cauvery like the division in the lady’s hair that separates the hair in to two parts (vakiDu) and splits the land (sImantayantI) in to two portions. This Cauvery is nobler than Deva Gangai (vibhudha sarita: pratyAdeSa:) in sanctity and Vaibhavam. There are tall sugar cane crops on both the banks of the river. As the sugar cane stalks have reached their full spurt of growth, their stalks (kaNus) have split open (parva bheda:) and the pearl like substance from inside the stalks are spilled under the individual plants. The assemblies of such “pearls” make them look like shoals/mounds of white sand. As the waters of Cauvery course their way over these mounds of “pearls”, the waves have to climb up and fall down and create the impression of hills and ditches (mEDu and PaLLam). Thus flows Cauvery (sahya kanyA syandate), which originates from the sahya a mountain in the west.
AzhvAr salutes the sacredness of the Cauvery over Ganga: “GangaiyiR punitamAya kAviri”. Once Cauvery and Ganga rivers went to Brahma and asked Him to rule as to who is more sacred. BrahmA ruled that Ganga is more noble because of links to the Lord’s sacred feet. River Cauvery was hurt and did penance.
BrahmA was pleased with the tapas of Cauvery and declared that both Ganga and Cauvery are equal in their Vaibhavam. Cauvery was not satisfied with the equal status and continued with Her tapas this time towards EmperumAn. BhagavAn was pleased with the severity of the tapas of Cauvery and revealed that He will be moving with His Ranga VimAnam to the banks of Cauvery in the future during His RaamAvatAram and will have the permanent sambandham with Cauvery then. He assured Cauvery that She will enjoy a state superior to that of Ganga. Thus Cauvery attained its superior status over Ganga river.
Dear Swan friend! Cauvery arises from the western part of sahya mountain. The wind blows these Cauvery floods to the sea. On the banks of Cauvery, the auspicious welcome sounds of GaruDan, peacock and other birds are heard. Those who are experts in interpreting omens state that these sounds produce kshemam.
Indeed, Kshemam is always associated with the places, where Cauvery flows. On the banks of Cauvery are areca nut trees with flowers in blossom. During the morning hours, the gentle wind releases those flowers laden with honey on to the floods of Cauvery flowing below. With these white flowers adorning Her, Cauvery looks like a smiling young maiden. The fragrance of the honey from the flowers also wafts across. Thus the areca nut trees endow the Cauvery river to have the fragrance of honey.
English Commentary by Sri Oppiliappan Sadagopan