(The Lullaby of Geeta Essence)
Lord Krishna began his upadesa to a nonplussed Arjuna in terms of Supreme jnana. The Lullaby of Geeta Essence, composed in Tamil by the Saintly Tiru-vengada-nathar for the delight of his daughter, contains the very essence of this Jnana Yoga. It is told in delightfully pithy couplets in the form of a brisk unambiguous dialogue, between Sri Krishna and Arjuna. The English translation preserves the metre of the original Tamil couplets, to facilitate identical recitation.
It appears Tiru-vengada-nathar’s daughter was widowed soon after marriage and so returned to her father’s home. Her neighbour, friend and playmate had also been married about the same time and had just then delivered a baby. The strains of lullaby would waft from the neighbouring house and plunge the young widow into despair at her own childlessness.
Her saintly father once returned home earlier than usual and saw her with tears streaming down her cheeks. He consoled her saying she need not have grieved over a minor matter and gave her an idol of baby-Krishna to put in a swing and sing lullaby to. He composed for her the Geeta Sara, a Jnana Upadesa, as a lullaby of 104 couplets. The young ‘mother’ used to rock the ‘baby’ with such tenderness and devotion singing the lullaby that the idol came to life and Sri Krishna pranced about to the great and continued delights of the mother and those all around !
This Geeta Sara Lullaby was oft quoted by the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi along with other pure Advaitic Tamil works like Kaivalya Navaneetham, Sasivarna Bodham, Jnana Vasishtam etc. In addition, it happens to be the only work Bhagavan taught as a guru to a group of young sadhaks in a class room. It happened in the early days, some time before 1920, when Bhagavan was in
Skandashram. While on a pradakshina of the Holy Hill, Bhagavan rested awhile at Esanya Mutt by the north-eastern side of the Hill. The Mathadhipati was all smiles as he welcomed the young and beloved Maharshi and informed Him that he had been in the midst of a lecture to the young sadhaks and that it would be a great honour if Maharshi took up the instruction from thereon.
Bhagavan was left with little choice. He entered the lecture hall and accepted the high seat proffered by the Mathadhipati himself. Finding that the lecture was on the Geeta-Saara Lullaby, Bhagavan went ahead with it. We can only wonder at the great fortune of those young sadhaks, the splendour of the Guru (who refused to consider himself as any special incarnation) and the grandeur of his upadesa that day; the upadesa that he nevertheless gave in an earlier incarnation!
“GEETA SAARA TAALAATTU”
(Lullaby of Geeta Essence)
A question-answer dialogue between Arjuna and Lord Krishna in the midst of the battle field with the kinsmen arrayed against each other.
|Geetha Saara Taalaattu||
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Quote from Bhagavan
This (food) alone is the service (needed) for this (body). Ramana Maharshi’s written reply to Tambiran who wished to worship him formally.