Chinni Krishna is worshipped at Guruvayur temple in Kerala for ages. HE is the same LORD whom Vasudeva worshipped as per the puranas at Mathura. The holy town of Mathura has the presence of Lord Sri Hari always.
Chinni Krishna who graces us in Guruvayur was originally at Adikeshava temple before arriving to Guruvayur.
It is verily the Aradhanai performed to Chinni Krishna that Lord appeared to Vasudeva and Devaki. In other words, the Guruvayur Chinni Krishna bestowed us with Lord Sri Krishna , Srimad Bhagavatam and Narayaneeyam . Vasudeva continued worshipping this LORD in Adikeshava temple along with chinni krishna . It was during Jarasandha adventure , the denizens of Mathura along with Lord Krishna vacated Mathura and settled in Dwaraka .
Vasudeva couldn’t part with Lord Adikeshava . Hence he took the Lordships along with him to Dwaraka and established a temple for his worship . When Lord Sri Krishna was about to depart from his earthly sojourn, he advised his dear friend Uddhava that Dwaraka would be submerged in the sea soon after his departure and instructed him to worship Lord Adikeshava ( Krishna). As per Krishna’s ordinance, Uddhava was worshipping the Lordships . That is verily the reason why the Lord in Guruvayur is a connoisseur of Srimad Bhagavatam.
Uddhava proceeded to Bhadrikashrama as Dwaraka was getting submerged in the sea waters . Guru and Vayu on a divine command carried the Lordships to Narayana Saras where ParamaShivan was residing and meditating in a temple. On seeing the Lordships , it is said that ParamaShivan moved out of the temple and shifted to a place called Mammiyoor. So ParamaShivan gave his own place to Lord Krishna and that is verily where Guru and Vayu consecrated Krishna. Lord has bestowed HIS grace to several devotees and their life stories inspire us to seek HIS mercy to swim out from this mundane life .
Narayaneeyam, considered to be a magnum opus of the great devotee Sri Meppathur Narayanabhattathiri, is a masterly summary of Srimad Bhagavatam in 1034 sanskrit slokas of great poetic merit.
The great devotee Sri Narayana Bhattadri appeared in a Namboodri family in a place near Shoranoor four hundred years ago . His Guru Achyuta Pisharodi was suffering from severe arthritis. The obedient disciple he was , could not see his Acharyar with the pain . With humility , Narayana Bhattadri took upon himself the disease of his Guru as Guru Dakshina.
Bhattadri could not bear the chronic pain . He approached Ramanuja Ezhuthachhan another blessed devotee for a remedy . Ezhuthachhan advised him to go to Guruvayoor and submit to the LORDSHIPS and glorify HIS divyaleelas . Bhattadri who was in early thirties shifted to Guruvayoor and started his divine work and aptly named the epic Narayaneeyam.
Recollecting the divine leelas from the Srimad Bhagavatha Purana he composed the nectarine work . With the chronic arthritis pain he used to walk up to the temple and in a day he would compose 10 verses . The grand epic took the ardent devotee quiet some time . As per the legend , the work was started during 1584 and almost took three years .
Bhattadri had an understanding with Lord Guruvayoorappan that unless and until HE nodded in ascent about his composed work recited, he would not go to the next verse. Thus this work is what LORD himself has approved and that is why the greatness of the work.
The nectar “Narayaneeyam” comprises of 1034 verses in Sanskrit. It is Bhagavata Saram.
Vishnu Sahasranamam was recited in presence of Lord Krishna by Bhishma lying on the bed of arrows and Narayaneeyam got LORD’s sanction .
The Holy epic ” Narayaneeyam” has detailed the descent of the Lord from Hamsa Avatar, Marichi, Brahma, Devas, Rishis Kapila, Koorma, Parasuramar along with the Poorna Avatarams Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. The work can be read as poetry or recited as slokas or can be set to music. It is believed that the Lord gave darshan to Bhattadri as Lord Narasimhan and Lord Venugopalan. The Bala Leela of Sri Krishna infatuated him and his verse starting with “Kesha Pasha” is the most enticing sloka.
While describing Lord Narasimha avatar, he was so much in awe and wonder that after stating “Sthambe Kottayathi” he could not proceed further on this wonderful avatar. He proceeded to sing in praise of Lord Guruvayoorappan.
During the Vamana avatar, when Brahma, Sooryadeva , Kubera and others had gifted many things necessary for a Brahmachari mother Aditi not knowing what to give, finally gave him a Koupikam ( piece of cloth made of red cloth to HIM). During the nirmalya seva even today Lord Guruvayoorappan gives darshan to HIS devotees in this piece of red cloth bereft of all HIS accessories. ( This divine pastime shall shared in a separate post soon )
While he was contemplating on Lord Krishna avatar, Bhattadri asks Guruvayoorappan Oh Lord !! “ Did you appear with Shanku, Chakram and Mahalakshmi on your Vakshasthala on a rainy day at midnight with your neelamegha shyamala complexion?” Oh Lord !!! When you gave darshan to Vasudevan and Devaki with your Sarva alankara was not the jail lighted because of the bright complexion of Mahalakshmi? … The mood of Bhattadree takes us into the deep insights of a craving soul to have his divine company …
It is confirmed that after he completed Narayaneeyam, he got cured of his chronic arthritis.
Another contemporary of Bhattadri was one Poonthanam (author of Gnana Paana) in Manipravalam (Malayalam). He also hailed from Shoranoor. Poonthanam used to visit Guruvayoor on every Ekadasi and he watched Bhattadri writing about Guruvayoorappan. He had also heard about the greatness of this great disciple . On one such occasion, Poonthanam with all humility approached Bhattadri with his work Gnana Paana to go through the same and offer his comments.
Bhattadri in his arrogance would not touch the work of Poonthanam as it was in Malayalam and not in Sanskrit. Poonthanam dejected went back to Shoranoor. Next day when Bhattadri sat down to continue his Narayaneeyam, to his surprise he realized he could not do so. He asked Guruvayoorappan the reason for the same. The Lord replied “You have insulted my devotee yesterday and unless you go ask Poonthanam for his pardon and read his work, you will not be able to continue your work!”
Lord continued “Language is no barrier to Bhakti”. Bhattadri went to Poonthanam’s house and apologized for the offence .
In Kerala it is a practise to recite Narayaneeyam at a stretch in one day and the devotees get dressed as per the avatar that was being recited .
The Priest informed that the 28th Vrichikam is that glorious day when the nectarian “Narayaneeyam” was completed few hundred years ago and is celebrated at Guruvayoor Temple as “Narayaneeyam Day”. Discourses on Narayaneeyam is given by eminent scholars .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pics credits : Google images and advanced devotees
video credits : Om shantih ,zeereddy
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan