Interpretations of “Govinda” naama
An Article written and provided by my friend and philosopher, Samskrita ShiromaNi Smt. Dr.Saroja Ramanujam.
Gaam Vindhati Iti Govindaha”
The word 'go' has several meanings in sanskrit such as earth, knowledge, indriya,svarga,or mokshaastra Cow, veda etc. Based on that the scholars explain the name thus:
1.Gaam(second case singular of 'go') , svargam or moksham vindhayathi,secures ithi govindhah. He is govindha because He bestows mukthi.
2.Gaam, ishum, meaning astras vindhathi - He acquired the astras from Visvamithra in Ramavathara.
3.Gaah(accusative plural of 'go', pasu.) vindhathi. He knew the cows, that is, He knew them to be the rshis of dandakaaranya in His krishnavathara.Balarama is also implied by the word cow as He went with
4.Gobhih (instrumental plural of 'go'meanind veda.) vindhyathe. He is known through the vedas.
5.Gaam, vajram, vindhayathi. He made it possible for indra to get vajrayudha by instructing him to approach Dhadheechi and beg him to give his backbone.
6.Gavaa (instrumental singular of 'go'meaning dhrk, look) dhrsaa vindhathi. He knows all by His dhrk or appropriate kataksha.Her knows how to look at every one and when.
7.Gaah nethraaNi vindhathi- He has thrinethra, three eyes as Nrsimha, and also eyes everywhere, 'sahasraakshassahasrapath'
8. Gaah, jwaalaah, vindhathi, has fiery form, being Suryamandala madhya varthi.Chandhogya upanishad describes Brahman as 'Ya eshahantharaadhithye hiraNmayah purushah dhrsyathe hiranyasmasru hiranya kesa aapraNakhaath sarva Eva suvarNah'.
The purusha seen inside the orb of the Sun with golden beard, golden hair andexceedingly effulgent even to the very tips of His nails. The purusha here is paramaathman or Narayana.This is the passage where the famous'kapyaasam pundarikam' occurs eferred to in the charitra of Bhashyakaara.
9.Gaam ,bhoomim vindhathi, brought the earth fronm the depth of the ocean, Vatrahavathara and also Parsurama as He wandered all over the earth and trivikrama as He measured the earth with His feet.
10. Gaam , jalam vindhathi. resorts to the waters, Mathsya and Koorma.
11. Gaam vedam vindhathi. He alone knows the real purport of the vedas. Refers to Hayagrivaavathara.
12. Gaam ,indhriyam vindhathi .The Lord of the indhriyas, Hrishikesah. Makes the indhriyas enter into appropriate vishaya.
There are even more meanings mentioned by the saintly commentators but These are the generally quoted meanings. Andal was fond of this nama is also shown by her mentioning it in the threwe of her main pasurams.
Srivilliputhur is referred to as Govindhan vaazumoor.Commentators say that Andal being the avathara of Bhudevi had more love for govindha nama as the Lord saved her in Varahavathara.
Gaam vindhathi.Govindha pattabhishekam is extolled as being even superior than that of Rama because Valmiki says 'vasavo vaasavam yathaa', of the coronation of Rama comparing it to that of Indra but here Indra himself did the abhisheka of Krishna as Govinda.
Bhagawan's tirunamam is greater than the lord, as it was govindanama which came to Draupadi's rescue when needed.
Sarvam Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva preetyartham,