Salutations to Lord VenkatEsa , who is the cowherd of Brindhaavanam , who comes to the rescue of devotees in distress !
The Govinda nama is the ideal one to save those in distress, as proved by both Sri Prahlada and Draupati, who, while issuing an SOS to the Lord, addressed Him as Govinda!.
It is Lord Venkata Govindhan , who as "Koodaarai vellum seer Govindhan " attracts even those with impenetrably stony hearts
and makes them head to Thirumala to win them over with His soundharyam and auspicious attributes .
This Govinda nama is so potent that it affords liberation even to the worst of offenders and sinners, says Sri Tondaradippodi Azhwar, pointing out that it emancipated even a confirmed offender like Kshatrabandhu--"
Moyttha val vinayul nindru moondru ezhutthu udaya peraal
Kattira bandhumandre paraam gati kandu kondaan"
The Lord may have any number of names, but the one most popular with the masses is "Govinda!". And though this is a generic name, so to say, it triggers in us the thought only of Sri Venkatesa and none other. The cry "Govinda! Govinda!" rents the air right from the footsteps of the Tirumala Hills and continues to reverberate in the Seven Hills, coming to a crescendo when the devotees reach the portals of the Lord's sanctum sanctorum. What is the speciality of this tirunaamam?
There are numerous interpretations of the holy word Govinda.
"Gavaam stuti giraam vinda: Govinda: sa udaahrita:"--One who is the object of innumerable words and paens of praise from all class of people, mortals and the celestials, is Govindan. It is not only ordinary people like us who worship the Lord with words of praise with various motives, but Maharshis of repute and exalted Devatas too adulate Him, driven by love, affection and devotion.
"Nashtaam Dharaneem poorvam labdhavaan Govinda:"
Occurring immediately after the tirunaamam "MahaVaraha:" in the Sahasranaama Stotram, this Govinda nama is interpreted to mean One who regained Mother Earth, after She was wrapped up and hidden away under water by Hiranyaaksha. As is well known, The Lord assumed the form of a giant boar , destroyed the asura and lifted up the Bhoomi with His tusk . Thus it is the Varaha Murthy at Tirumala, who is indeed celebrated here as Govinda.
The third interpretation of the word "Govinda" is the Lord of Cattle, the endearing Divine Cowherd the Lord became as Sri Krishna, delighting in the company of bovine creatures and their masters. Since the Vaishnava Sampradaya venerates Srinivasa as none other than Sri Krishna, the name "Govinda" applies to Srinivasa quite well.
A fourth meaning is that He is the giver of Speech. He is the power because of which all living creatures , through the medium of speech, convey knowldege mutually to each other, be it the braying of an ass, the barking of a dog , in the spirited eloquence of an orator or in the devotional outpouring of the overwhelmed votary.
Govinda is also the Supreme Reality who is to be attained, to be known, through the sacred words of the Veda Vakyaas.
It is this Govinda naama which provided succour to beleagured Draupati and saved her modesty from being outraged by Ducchaasana, for it is to Govinda that she appealed in distress--"Govinda! Pundareekaaksha! Raksha maam saranaagataam". Sri Pillailokaachaarya goes to the extent of saying that the Lord's Govinda naama is more powerful than the Lord Himself--"Draupatikku aapattil pudavai surandadu tirunaamam ire"