As Goda’s longing for union with the Lord started getting more and more intense, Vishnu-Chitta became anxious and started to pray to the Lord to grant her wish out of his concern for her.
One fine day, Lord Ranganatha appeared in Vishnu-Chitta’s dream and asked him to bring his daughter to Sri Rangam. The Lord also told Vishnu-Chitta that He is willing to marry Goda, who was very devoted to Him.
Vishnu-Chitta became very happy and informed Goda and others about the Lord’s desire to marry her. The people of Sri Villiputtur, who had great respect for Vishnu-Chitta, rejoiced after coming to know about the Lord’s desire to marry the girl from their town.
As Goda was marrying the Supreme Lord, Vishnu-Chitta, who was leading a very humble life, had to organize the ceremony in a befitting manner and he did not have sufficient resources to meet the marriage expenditure. Therefore, he sent a learned priest to Madurai to inform king Vallabha Deva, who was Vishnu-Chitta’s disciple, about the Lord’s desire to marry Goda.
In the meantime, Lord Ranganatha appeared in His chief priest’s dream and informed him about His desire to marry Goda and directed him to go to Sri Villiputtur along with other priests, devotees and every necessary thing to bring Goda to Sri Rangam in a befitting manner.
The chief priest informed the administrators of the temple and other priests about the Lord’s command and all of them were not only excited but also eager to participate in the Lord’s wedding.
Some of the priests and devotees started to go in a grand procession to Sri Villiputtur to bring Goda while the others choose to remain in Sri Rangam to decorate the entire town in a befitting manner.
Immediately after coming to know about the Lord’s desire, Vallabha Deva came with his huge army, which consisted of infantry, cavalry and innumerable elephants, a lot of devotees and wealth to ensure that the Lord’s wedding with Goda is celebrated in a grand manner.
The procession that started from Sri Rangam converged with Vallabha Deva’s army at a particular point and all of them reached Sri Villiputtur. The people of Sri Villiputtur had by then decorated Goda in a suitable manner.
In accordance with the directions of her father, Vishnu-Chitta, and other senior scholars and devotees of Sri Villiputtur, Goda offered her prayers to Lord Vatapatra-Sayi, the presiding deity of Sri Villiputtur, and boarded the palanquin that was specially brought for her from Sri Rangam.
All those who had come to take Goda to Sri Rangam started their journey along with Goda. Vishnu-Chitta and their relatives and the people of Sri Villiputtur involuntarily joined the procession to witness the celestial wedding.
Even as Goda’s bridal procession reached the outskirts of Sri Rangam, Vallabha Deva and the chief priest of Sri Ranganatha sent a few messengers to inform the residents of Sri Rangam about the arrival of the bridal procession.
Lord Ranganatha’s priests and innumerable devotees came to the gates of Sri Rangam fort, which was decorated like never before, and received the bride with a lot of respect after having suitably honored her father, Vishnu-Chitta.
Goda was taken in procession around all the seven prakaras, i.e., fort like walls constructed around the temple for the sake of those who were eagerly waiting to have a glimpse of her person and finally the procession reached the thousand pillared hall of Sri Ranganatha’s temple, which was the marriage venue.
Lord Ranganatha’s priest performed all the rituals related to the marriage in an elaborate manner. It is said that Vallabha Deva and other devotees had organized a grand feast for all the devotees who had come to witness the Lord’s wedding and the marriage was performed with unprecedented grandeur.
Goda, who is worshipped as the personification of devotion and pure love for god, merged with the deity of the Lord in Sri Rangam in the presence of many great devotees and Vishnu-Chitta.
Since then Goda is worshipped in every Sri Vaishnava temple and household. The blessed Vishnu-Chitta returned to Sri Villiputtur along with others. It is said that Vishnu-Chitta left the planet very soon unable to bear the pangs of separation from his loving daughter and his intense desire to attain the Lord’s lotus feet.
Vishnu-Chitta has composed 473 hymns in his Perialwar-Thirumozhi, and the works of all the other alwars are included only after his works in the Divya-Prabandam. The hymns compiled by Vishnu-Chitta seem to suggest that he was in love with the Lord as His parent like mother Yashoda (i.e. Vatsalya Bhava).
May all glories be to the lotus feet of Goda, the personification of pure love and devotion, and her father, Vishnu-Chitta, and blessed be the devotees who read this glorious pastime of Goda and her marriage with the Lord.
We will reveal more about the alwars in the next post.