-SUDEVI – RADHA-KRISHNA’S ASHTA SAKHI


Puranas states that out of many thousands of gopis, sixteen thousand are predominant and among them  108 gopis are very close , eight are still more prominent . Radharani and Candravalli are very  prominent  and  Srimathi Radharani is the most prominent. Because Radharani possesses all the charm and sweetness to attract Lord Krishna .

Introduction about the Ashta sakhis  is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-temples-near-barsaana-vrindavan-an-introduction/

Braj Bhumi  is the most sacred dham spread over  168 miles-  42 miles on each direction with  Mathura as the center.  The holy place  comprises of Mathura,  Goverdhan, Gokulam Barsana ,Vrindavan and the  surrounding  12 forests. 

The Supreme Lord manifested Himself as Lord Krishna along with HIS attendants and enacted various pastimes 5000 years ago in Dwapara yugam which attracts millions of devotees to have darshan of this holy dhaam repeatedly .

Lord Krishnavataaram is the POORNA AVATARAM of  Lord Maha Vishnu. Every inch in this place is  sacred because of its association with  Lord Krishna’s  lotus  feet (as He walked over all these places).  

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Anyone who visits this sacred place is bestowed with   divine love . This is one  of the seven mukthi tharum kshetrams , the rest being Ayodhya,  Avatnti, Kasi,Kanchi, Puri, Dwarka.  Also, Mathura is very dear to Lord Vishnu as it has Lord’s association in all the four yugams.  Lord eternally resides in this place.

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Braj Bhoomi, is spread over a area of around 5,000 square kilometers   spanning Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Bharatpur district in Rajasthan and Hodal Subdivision of Palwal Dist. of Haryana. On its northern fringe, Braj Bhoomi starts at a distance of around 115 KMs from the border of India’s capital New Delhi, along the National Highway 2. From New Delhi , Vrindavan and Mathura, the popular townships of Braj are thre to four hours drive (145 Kms) on the Delhi-Agra National Highway  . Vrindavan and Mathura are at a distance of around 10 kilometers along the NH 2.

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Lord Sri Krishna lived in Vrindavan upto HIS 10th year and later moved to Mathura to annihilate the demon  Kamsa.  After this episode ,  Lord stayed in Mathura and later shifted to Dwarka.  Though Lord Krishna resided in Dwaraka by constructing a beautiful city in the sea and was served by 16,108 wives and innumerable assistants,

HIS HEART ALWAYS CRAVED FOR THE GOPIKAS AFFECTION IN VRINDAVAN.  

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The Lord was physically present in Dwaraka but always resided permanently in the hearts of the Gopis and Gopikas of Vrindavan.

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Of the 16,108 wives of Lord Krishna, eight are more prominent who are collectively known as Ashta mahishis.  They are  Rukmini, Sathyabama, Jambhavati, Kalindhi, Mithravindha, Sathya, Badra and Lakshmana. Likewise, out of lakhs of gopis in Vrindavan, eight gopikas(Ashta sakhis) along with Radharani are very prominent.

The Eight Gopis who are the foremost, dearest and most beloved friends of Shri  Shri Radharani  are  glorified  as Asta-sakhis  Gopis . Their names are Lalita, Visakha, Chitralekha, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

Radharani was always surrounded and served by her thousands of gopi-friends out of which eight of them are very prominent and are collectively known as Ashta sakhis.  They are Lalitha , Vishaka, Tungadevi, Rangadevi, Indulekha, Chitralekha, Sudevi and Champakalatha.  These sakhis appeared in different villages around Barsana.

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Lalitha at Ucchagaon,

Visakha at Kamaai,

Champakalatha at Karela,

Tungavidya devi at Dabaara,

Rangadevi at Raakoli,

Sudevi at Sunera,

Chitradevi at Chiksoli,

Indulekha at Anjhanak.

These sakhis individually had many assistants under them for serving Radha Krishna. Few of them are elder to Radharani and others are younger to Radha.

The appearance days of all these sakhis coincide with RAdhastami- Radharani’s appearance day which is celebrated after Sri Krishna Janmashtami. Starting from Sashti thithi upto Pournami, the appearance days of these ashta sakhis are celebrated  and Radharani’s appearance day celebrated on RAdhashtami. The details of the Ashtasakhi temples are as follows .

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Barsana to Chiksoli Chitrasakhi temple          — 2 kms

Chiksoli to Dabara  Tungadevi sakhi temple  — 2 kms

Dabara to Rakoli RAngadevi sakhi temple     — about 4 kms  and return to Barsana.

Take another route from Barsana to visit Lalitha sakhi and Sudevi sakhi temples

Barsana to Oonchagaon Lalitha sakhi temple — 2 kms

Oonchagaon to Sunera Sudevi sakhi temple   — 3 kms

and return to Barsana to take Delhi route to visit Indulekha, Vishaka and Champakalatha temples

Barsana to Anjanauk Indulekha sakhi temple– 5 kms

Anjanauk to Kamai Vishaka sakhi temple         — 3kms

Kamai to Karela Champakalatha temple (Rajasthan route)– 4 kms  and return to Barsana.

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Sudevi, the twin sister of Rangadevi is the last among the ashta sakhis.  Goddess  temple is  located at Sunhera village about 5 kms from  Barsana and about 2 kms from Oonchagaon.  She was  born to Rangasara and Karuna on Bhadrapad maas Chathurdhasi thiti (one day before Pournami and 7 days after Radharani’s appearance day and  was always engaged in the devotional service.

She used to decorate Radharani with flowers, apply kajal and chandan to RAdharani and was an expert in massaging the transcendental body of Srimati RAdharani, apply mehendi on Radharani’s feet.   She used to dress up RAdharani so beautifully that even Krishna used to say that HE is  incompetent and not capable in dressing up Radharani!! like Sudevi

She was  an expert in training parrots . By training them to repeat Krishna’s names  she used to   console Radharani from the pangs of separation from Krishna.

 She was good at reading omens and predictions .  She was also good at gardening and ensured that choicest flowers bloomed to decorate Srimati Radharani.

Links to other  Ashta sakhis

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/lord-krishnas-ashtasakhis-of-radharani-tungavidya-sakhi/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-indulekha-sakhi/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-chitra-sakhi/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-lalitha-sakhi/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/lord-krishnas-ashta-sakhi-champakalatha-and-the-crown/

Jai Sree Radhey

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pictures credits : Google images

video credits :  Saadaya..

Thiruvarangathu AmudhanAr’s magnum opus ” PRAPANNA GAYATRI …


SREEE  Amongst the several revered disciples of Jagath Acharyar  Swamy Ramanujar Swami  AmudhanAr  earlier  known as Peria Koil Nambi  was  transformed    disciple of  JagathaAcharyar .  

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Nambi  appeared at a place called Thirumungirkkudi on  Panguni Hastham  day a divine place  near to Srirangam.

He became the most  dearest  disciple of Swamy Ramanuja .

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However , before becoming a disciple  of Swamy Ramanuja  ,  he was  the  Head Priest at Lord Sri Ranganathar   Temple, Srirangam .

   Filled with  pride  due to his position in the temple he had no   respect  towards Acharya  Swamy Raamanuja for the  command   that was  granted  by Lord Ranganatha to Acharyar . 

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He used to get  upset  with Swamy’s  raising popularity .Out of ego he placed many obstacles in the routine of temple services  while  Swamy   followed during the temple administration.

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 Swami Ramanuja was upset with his approach that obstructed the services to Lordships .   Swami wished that   Nambi   must be  relocated  in any other service  in the temple for smooth functioning  . This will help in continuing the service to LORD  and  the smooth running of the affairs of the temple was ensured.

ramanujaaa However , Lord  Ranganathar had some other plans for Nambi   . He  appeared in  Swami Ramanuja’s dream and  commanded , that the temple priest  Periya Koil Nambi  was   serving him past several years and is dependent on  him . 

Hence , he must be taken care off  in all  reverence   .

.facebook_1492995023330Swami Ramanuja shared his dream with his  close disciple Kuresan and concluded that the Lord did not want him to dismiss Periya Koil Nambhi from the present  service ,  instead   Lord wanted Nambi to be engaged in some other kaimkaryam close to him , other than purohitham.

aaaaaaKuresan responded  to Acharyars request and felt  that the Lord wanted  Swamy Ramanuja to correct the flaws of Nambi and instead  engage him in Acharyar kaimkaryams .

IMG_20160410_132612Swamy Raamanuja suggested that Kuresan himself  should correct Nambi’s destructive ways and bring him back to the fold of Bhagavathas.  Kuresan accepted the suggestion of his Acharyan as commanded  and engaged the scholarly Periya Koil Nambi in discussions  daily inside the temple and slowly   changed  his attitude in pure  devotional service  .

3One day ,  Nambi’s mother passed away and   he  was performing her Charama kaimkaryam  in seclusion. This happened  due to  his  arrogant behavior. Many vaishnavas avoided to officiate the ceremonies which he had invited .

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This news reached Swamy  Ramanuja  . Swamy realized the desperate state  of Nambi  and suggested that Kuresan  must take part in the ceremony and bring  some change in him  .

In this important srarddha ceremony, there is a stage, when the brahmin chosen to accept the ritual food  is supposed to  say,

” I am satisfied with the offerings given by the kartha  ( doer )

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However , when that stage arrived, Kuresan  remained silent  and did not reply the  expected word of  ……

“ThrupthAsma :” (  meaning he was satisfied) .

Nambi was deeply disturbed and  hence pleaded   …..

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My  Master … Kuresaa

What  needs to be done to satisfy you swamin  ? 

Acharya Ramanuja had  the desire  that  Kuresan  would  ask  Nambi  the following as as dhanam,  

   1) Purohitham and

 2) Purana  patanam for Sri RanganAthan, in his temple , which were the hereditary rights of Nambi’s  family.

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When Kuresan asked for these two boons , Nambi  had no choice except to agree.

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 Acharya Raamanuja  glad with the outcome handed over the  Srirangam  temple administration  to the advanced devotee  Kuresan. 

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He appointed him  to serve as the chief priest and pouranikar for the Lord.

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Nambi was glad that the responsibility was handed over to a advanced devotee like Kuresar. Nambi   liked  Kuresar  unstinting devotion to LORD .The daily rituals performed meticulously with utmost devotion  made Nambi change his attitude towards the devotees and especially Swamy Ramanuja

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Lord Ranganatha was very pleased with the turn of events.   . Looking at the change in behaviour of Nambi ,  Kuresan  requested  Nambi  to accompany him to Ashram  and both of them went to   Swamy Raamanuja’s  .  Nambi  surrendered to the lotus  feet of Swamy Ramanuja with repentance .

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Acharya Ramanuja was overjoyed at the transformation in Nambi  and recognized that extraordinary scholarship .

He   recommended that Kuresan become the Acharyan to Nambi instead of him.

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The changed personality and his  sweetness of speech  earned him  the name of “AmudhanAr”  by Swamy Ramanuja himself .

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From then on, Periya Koil Nambi came to be known as ” Thiruvarangatthu AmudhanAr “. He was also addressed with reverence as “PiLLai AmudhanAr”. AmudhanAr  coming very close to Swamy Ramanuja and his Acharyar Sri Kooresar was moved by the dayaa of  Swamy RaamAnuja and  with utmost devotion composed the 108 paasurams of Sri Raamanuja Noorrandhathi and recited in front of  Lord NamperumaL.

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Lord Ranganatha commanded Swamy RamAnuja not to accompany Him on His Raaja Veedhis  procession . He also advised not to play any Naadaswaram ,   and stopped all  the musical instruments .He commanded the  Sri Vaishnavas to recite Raamanuja Noorrandhathi.

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From then on, Noorrandhathi is recited after Iyarppaa  Prabhandam at Perumal and Thayar sannidhis as per  the command of Lord  NamperumAL. Acharya Ramanuja obeyed the wish of Lord RanganAthA and included the recital of NooRRandhAthi at the end of Iyarppaa recitation, just as KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpu is recited at the end of Mudal Aayiram.

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Thus AmudhanAr is to AchArya RaamAnujA just as Madhura Kavi is to Swamy NammAzhwAr. The two prabhandhams by Madhura kavi and Thiruvarangatthu AmudhanAr are like Naayaka rathnams adorning the gem necklace.

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In Sri In VaishNava sampradhAyam, AchAryan is recognizedas the avathAra visesham of Sriman NaarAyaNan.Therefore, one worships one’s AchAryan in  form of  Perumal .

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In every one of his NooRRandhAthi paasurams, AmudhanAr placed the ThirunAmAm of Swamy RaamAnusar for our benefit.

iniyenn kuRai namakkemperumAnAr ThirunAmatthAl muni tanatha nooRRettu SAAVITHRI yennu nuNNporuLai kani tantha senjcholl KalithuraiyandhAthi paaDithanthAn punithan ThiruvarangatthamuthAhiya PuNNiyanE

(meaning We have nothing missing in our lives , now that we have the prapanna Gavathree — the 108 pasurams of RaamAnuja nooRRandhAthi celebrating our AchAryan’s sacred name in andhAthi, blessed by puNya moorthi , ThiruvarangatthamudanAr .

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Meditating on the deep meanings of this Prabhandham , we do not have any more wants in this world . We do not lack any thing.

This prabhandham is otherwise called as Prapanna Gayathri, i.e it is the gayathri manthra to all Prapannaas the ones who have surrendered . (Prapanna is a sanskrit word that means complete surrender/dedication.) to LORD lotus feet..

A prapanna is one who has totally surrendered at the lotus  feet of Lord  Sriman Narayana.  Our most  revered  Acharyar  Swamy  Pillai Lokacharya lists the qualities of a prapanna in  his works . A Prapanna  must not wish that harm should befall the one who has caused him anguish. He must feel sorry for the tormentor, for even if he forgives the tormentor, the Lord will not forgive one who has tormented His devotee.

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The prapanna must laugh at the one who hurts him, because the tormentor has not realised that no hindrance can be caused to the prapanna’s attainment of moksha. The prapanna also laughs at such people, because of their ignorance. They think that a prapanna cares about worldly problems, when actually such things do not bother him. Pillai Lokacharya further says that we should actually be grateful to those who harm our bodies and our material possessions.

A prapanna thinks of the body and of material wealth as enemies. So if a person harms any of these, he is actually harming the prapanna’s enemies! The prapanna is also grateful to those who harm him in this world, because they make him aware of his faults.

  A Prapanna woul be feeling  Look … “At a time when I have forgotten my flaws, here is someone who has reminded me of them. So I must be grateful to him ” . .

 Naalooraan was the one, at whose instigation, a Chola king blinded Kooratazhvan. But Kooratazhvan prayed to Lord Varadaraja that Naalooran too should be granted moksha. Kooratazhvan is an example of one who wanted someone who had harmed him also to be blessed. Such is the attitude of a prapanna.

            It is said , Once  amudanAr  while    penning  this prabandha  Swamy rAmAnuja came along  with his  disciples .The lovely  pASura  ‘sezhundirai   pArkaDal’ was written and he was about to write the next one……. ‘iruppiDam vaihundam’. 

With great love seeing Acharyar ,  swamy  wrote the next three pASuras in presence  of Swamy  rAmAnujar  and  others.

His  AchArya  AzhwAn  said  these  three pASuras  would be chanted as SATTru  pASuras       (whereas  in other prabandhas only the last two are SATTru pASuras). This practice is still followed.

  Elders advise to meditate on Swamy Ramanujas thirumeni mentally as all the Poorvacharyas are his personification .The  comparisions is made as follows .All the holy thirumeni is equated with revered Acharyas …..

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Eyes : Uyyakondar

Forehead Thiruman Kaapu : Sri Vishvakshsenar

Head : Nammalawar

Face : Nathamuni

Cheeks : Mannakal Nambee

Abdomen : Thiruvarangaperumal Araiyar

Hands : Thirugoshtiyur nambee

Heart : Allavandar

Neck : Perianambee

Lower back : Embaar

Chest : Thirumala nambee

Back : Thirumalai Andaan

Waist : Thirukachhi nambee

Tridandam : Sri Mudali Andaan

Tulasee mani  malai : Thirukurugai Piran pillan

Shawdow : Pillai Urungavilliidasar

Holy Yagnopaveetham : Swamy Koorathazhwan

The Safron dress : Vaduganambee

The thighs : Nampillai

The Holy feet : Swamy Pillai LokaAcharyar

Padukas : Swamy Manavala maamuni

Feet Elbows : Parasara bhattar and Namjeeyar

Knees : Vadakku thiruvedi pillai

Feet marks : Thiruvazhmozhi pillai

Fragnance : Swamy Desikar

RAAMAANUJASYA CHARANAU SHARANAM PRAPADYE.

SRIMATHE  RAAMAANUJAAYA NAMA

jai jai

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Photos : Courtesy Google images

Videos :   Vijay TV, Social media clips  and Thanks to the devotees who uploaded .

All glories to Spiritual masters .