Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salutations to Krishna - गोविन्दाय नमो नमः

कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय देवकी-नन्दनाय च |
नन्द-गोप-कुमाराय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ||

kRiShNAya vAsudevAya, devakI-nandanAya cha |
nanda-gopa-kumArAya govindAya namo namaH ||

for kRiShNa, for vAsudeva and for the son-of-devakI |
for the young-son-of-cowherd-nanda, for govinda, salutations, salutaions ||

kRiShNa janmAShTamI कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी is coming soon, the eighth night after the full moon of shrAvaNa श्रावण month, that is this 21-22 August 2011 (night of 21st).We will visit some of the most popular shloka-s about kRiShNa.

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And now the language aspects -
All the words denoting kRiShNa end with -Aya which means 'for'

कृष्णाय = kRiShNAya = for kRiShNa
kRiShNa कृष्ण = black, dark, attractor, viShNu's avatAra
It is different from kRiShNA कृष्णा , as pronounced by most people krishnaa. The last vowel is a short 'a', not a long one like in 'father'. The kRiShNaa कृष्णा with long trailing vowel, is the feminine word, and is used for draupadI द्रौपदी .

वासुदेवाय = vAsudevAya = for vAsudeva
vasudeva वसुदेव was kRiShNa's father. and words for 'progeny of' are formed by changing the first vowel to a longer vowel. Many other such words are - pANDu पाण्डु -- pANDava पाण्डव , raghu रघु -- rAghava राघव , kunti कुन्ति -- kaunteya कौन्तेय
So, vasudeva वसुदेव is the father, and vAsudeva वासुदेव is the son, kRiShNa. One more reason you have to be very careful with mAtrA, the vowels. No unnecessary elongating the vowel 'a' to 'aa' :)

देवकी-नन्दनाय = devakI-nandanAya = for the son of devakI
devakI देवकी was kRiShNa's real mother in this mortal world.
nanda नन्द is joy. It also means son, boy, as a child brings joy to the parent. So devakI-nandana means the son of devakI, or the one who brings joy to devakI (traditionally used in the sense of child).

= cha = and

नन्द-गोप-कुमाराय = nanda-gopa-kumArAya = for the youth/son of nanda-gopa.
nanda नन्द was the head of the village of the cowherds. So he was called nanda-gopa नन्दगोप, nanda the cowherd. kumAra कुमार means a youth, young boy.
nanda was kRiShNa's foster father, and yashodA यशोदा (giver of fame) was his foster mother.

गोविन्दाय = govindAya = for govinda
go गो means cow, senses, earth, veda, rays of light, as well as speech. See this earlier post on the topic. The main sense of the word is the cow that gives - nourishment, wealth to the body. The cow was an important aspect and part of agrarian societies then. It gave cow-dung a natural fertilizer, bull that could plough the farm, milk for nourishment, and a very serene household animal. The earth is the giver of bounty, wealth and is the 'celestial' cow for all life forms.

vind विन्द् means to find (for you).
govinda then would mean the finder of the cow (the cowherd), but also one that finds the essence of all nourishment - the veda, the divine principle and makes accessible to you, as he makes the vedic and upanishadic wisdom easily accessible in the bhagavat gItA.. As the one who nourishes your senses, knowledge, as yogendra (the lord of yoga), he is the one who helps you 'find' yourself.

arjuna अर्जुन addresses kRiShNa कृष्ण as govinda in gItA गीता 1:32
"kim no rAjyena govinda! kim bhogair_jivItena vA"

नमो = namo = namaH = salutation
namaH became namo due to visarga sandhi संधि

नमः = namaH = salutation

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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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