Friday, March 27, 2009

Pattabhishekam - Rama and Govinda

Any recitation of VAlmiki Ramayanam ends with Rama Pattabhishekham. Valmiki, who in his mind's eye saw all the events in Rama's life, wrote that the coronation was done by Vasishtha, Vamadeva, and other rishis and compared it to the coronation of Indra in Develoka. Salilena sahasraksham vasavo vaasavam yatha is the exact description.

The splendour of Rama Pattabhishekham brought to his mind the cornation in Devaloka and he thougth the comparison would be apt. Like the eight vasus in the Devaloka coronation there were exactly eight rishis in Ayodhya too. So in a surge of Enthusiasm, he wrote vasavo vaasavam yatha .

But Rama, it seems was not too pleased at this comparison. Of all the beings, did the good rishi VAlmiki have to compare him with Indra? The one who had cast covetous glances at Ahalya, who should have been looked upon as a mother? He, Rama , for one, had taken an eka-patni-vrata and secondly, it was he, Rama, who had liberated Ahalya. How could VAlmiki even think os compring Him, Rama, the dust of whose feet purified a woman, with Indra who had defiled that woman in the first place.

That was not all. Rama it seems, had one more grudge with the comparison. Indra, in the Devaloka, had been defeated by Meghnad, Ravana's son. Rama had vanquished Ravana and Kumbhakarna. For defeating Meghnad, Lakshman was sufficient. Then how could Valmiki think of comparing......?

But the Good Lord, did not hold Valmiki responsible. Rather, He decided to take on Indra Himself.

In his next Avatar as Krishna, He challenged the might of Indra, when He asked the Gopas and Gopis to stop their customary sacrifice to Indra and instead worship Mount Govardhan. Indra , in his anger, bought on catalysmic rains on Vrindavan, But Krishna lifted the Govardhan and offered shelter so long as the rains continued. Finally after seven days and seven nights, exhausted and humbled, unable to rain anymore, Indra admitted defeat and sought pardon from Krishna.

On that occasion, Indra geve the title of 'Govinda' to Krishna and deferentially performed abhisheka to Him. This chapter o Bhagavatham is called 'Govinda Pattabhishekham'

Thus, Narayana made Indra himself undo the mistake committed by Valmiki

(Adapted from a story narrated by HH Chandrashekhara Saaswati Swamigal during a discourse on 'Shatpadi Stotram')

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