Sunday, October 10, 2010

What is in a name?

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet" -Shakespeare

True, whats in a name? Though we say he has thousand names, thousand is a mere number through which we try to grasp his nature by our limited ability.

Yesterday I listened to this song written by Purandara dasa and sung by MS Subbulakshmi. Heart wrenching rendition and words.What is there in a name? how enticing it was for our forefathers to listen, sing and praise his name.Invariably every one of haridasas who sang his praise expounded the greatness of his  name ( Nama in sanskrit). It was in fact the name 'Govinda' said with utmost helplessness, saved Draupadi from disgrace.Krishna being away in Dwaraka, his physical presence could have averted the disgrace to pandavas.Somehow he too wanted a strong reason to justify his actions.

ನಾರಾಯಣ ನಿನ್ನ ನಾಮದ ಸ್ಮರಣೆಯ / ಸಾರಾಮೃತವೆನ್ನ   ನಾಲಿಗೆಗೆ ಬರಲಿ
ಕಷ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿರಲಿ , ಉತ್ಕ್ರುಷ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿರಲಿ , ಎಷ್ಟಾದರೂ ಮತಿ ಕೆಟ್ಟಿರಲಿ
ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಎಂದು ಶಿಷ್ಟರು ಪೇಳುವ ಅಷ್ಟಾಕ್ಷರಿ ಮಂತ್ರ ಜಪಿಸುತ
ಸಂತತ ಹರಿ ನಿನ್ನ ಸಾಸಿರದ ನಾಮವ / ಅಂತರಂಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಇರಿಸಿ
ಎಂತೋ ಪುರಂದರ ವಿಠಲ ರಾಯನ / ಅಂತ್ಯ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿಂತಿಸೋ ಹಾಗೆ / ನಾರಾಯಣ /
ಪುರಂದರ ದಾಸರು

let me keep in mind, the essence of thy name.
always playing in my tongue, oh narayana thy fame.
virtues may abound, or in days of gloom
however unsound and doomed that my mind may swoon
I desire to tell thy name, krishna - my lord
A name that is told with joy, by wise men and gods
To recite your thousand names time and again
From deep inside my heart, Hari, I never disdain.
Vittala, however I plead thou a humble want.
the day my heart does stop, to think thy name at last..

I think i can't insert the audio clip. copyrighted CD. SAREGAMA. Dasara padagalu by ms and mlv.
Antima smriti.. or the last remembrance of his name is said in Gita..

(8:5).He who, at the hour of death, thinks of Me only
enters unquestionably into My Being.
Bhagawat gita 

This being the fact from scriptures, Periyazhwar has doubts... If in my death bed, I am of unsound mind , frail and too weak to think of you...

எய்ப்பென்னை வந்து நலியும் பொது, அங்கேதும்
நான் உன்னை நினைக்க மாட்டேன்
அப்போதைக்கிப்போதே  சொல்லி வைத்தேன்
அரங்கத்தரவணை பள்ளியானே

when death spreads its vile tentacles,
 upon my frail body, and obscure mind
I wouldn't think of you, my senses blind.
I tell you now, for that upcoming time..
resting in the snake bed of srirangam,my lord.
redeem me thou, saviour of my soul..

This was the same doubt that udaiyavar sri ramanuja had in his mind and wanted a clarification from tirukachi nambi. Tirukachi nambi is supposed to have conversed with  Kanchi athigiri varadaraja perumal..He intervened on behalf of ramanuja and sought clarifications from perumal. Perumal in his benevolence told " antima smriti varjanam"..which means that those who have sought refuge in Me( sharanagathi) need not remember My name at their death bed.

So enchanting is his name, there are so many poems by bhagavatas and alwars praising his nectarine name..
Purandara dasa in his other composition tells
ರಾಮ ನಾಮ ಪಾಯಸಕ್ಕೆ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ನಾಮ ಸಕ್ಕರೆ
ವಿಠಲ ನಾಮ ತುಪ್ಪ ಬೆರಸಿ ಬಾಯಿ ಚಪ್ಪರಿಸಿರೋ...
krishna's name is sugar added to  raama naama payaasam.. savour this sweet adding vittala's name as ghee..Literally purandara dasa has set out a recipe for sweet payasam
while Kulashekara azhwar says..
அரங்கனுக்கு அடியார்களாய்
நாத்தழும்பு எழ நாரணா ! என்று  அழைத்து...
being servants of lord of sri rangam, we call you "narayana" till our tongues get scarred with the name...
yes a rose he is sweet when called by any name..
of all  the thousand names ,the one which I tell out often, loudly is kanna... ( kanha).. a name which is intimate, friendly, and also can be called with passion..( like the song in manadi urudi vendum movie.. kannaa varuvaya ...kanna....)

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