Thursday, August 20, 2015

Divya Prabhandham Longest Decad

The longest decad in Divya  Prabhandham
21 verses that describe Child Krishna from toe to head

The initial celebrations and the statutory period are over but people of Gokulam haven’t become tired of sharing their own personal experience of having dealt with this new born.

Tired, though she was, Yashodha too could not resist talking about him. In 21 verses, the highest decad in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham (outside of the Prose works), Periyazhvar describes through Yashodha the physical features and attributes of Krishna starting from his toe and going right up to his head.
Yashodha to whom Devaki gave away her son on birth was all excited to look at the innocent looking child. She says that he even likes his toe so much that he is constantly holding on to his feet and sucking his toe with great enjoyment, Yashoda calls all the girls to come and watch this wonder child’s liking for his own toe (பேதைத் குழவி பிடித்துச் சுவைத்து உண்ணும்). She says that each of 10 little toes look stunning. It seems that the toes of the little boy are alternating between pearls and gems and diamonds and garnets. She has also noticed a harmony about his toes - and from one angle one almost sees it as golden toes (பத்து விரலும் மணிவண்ணன் பாதங்கள்).

With Krishna enjoying a peaceful sleep on her lap, she asks them to look at both his lovely feet and the shins that are studded with silver anklets.

But the sleep lasts only a little while. He is up again to frustrate her. After showcasing his beautiful rounded knees to her friends and his graceful crawls on the floor, she gets back to work only to find that in a flash he has finished consuming pot after pot of the butter that she had so meticulously churned. There is not a pot left and she unfurls the churning rope to threaten him with a whip. As if upset by her action, he creeps for a while before intelligently moving away (பழந்தாம் பாலோச்சப்  பயத்தால் தவழ்ந்தான் முழந்தாள் இருந்தவ காணீரே).

Periyazhvar moves up to describe the thighs of this child who had once long ago torn apart the chest of the asura Hiranya and had sucked the poisonous breasts of the treacherous Putana. Yashodha calls her friends to show the thunderous thighs (குறங்குகளை வந்து காணீரே) of this child and tells them that he is now acting as if he is sleeping innocently having just been pulled up by her.

When Andal asked her father Periyazhvar the day this child was born, he refuses to provide a direct answer on the pretext that Kamsa is waiting for the next child of Vasu Deva. But when she persists to give her at least a clue, Periyazhvar beautifully describes this in the 6th verse அத்ததின் பத்தாம் நாள் தோன்றிய அச்சுதன் - Born on the 10th day from Hastham.

Throughout the verses in the first Canto, Periyaazhvar refers to the slender waist line of the child that is studded with pearls and coral strings and a golden girdle.

The young child even at this young age showcases himself as a strategist. Even as the other children come to play he shows his might by ignoring them and playing to himself like how an elephant calf would play with its own tusk (தந்தக் களிறு போல் தானே விளையாடும்). Yashodha says that he is showing off his beautiful belly and navel that look so lovely (உந்தி இருந்தவா காணீரே).

Perturbed by his naughty behaviour, Yashodha feeds him milk and while doing so quietly ties him up stealthily but resolutely with a rope around his stomach, that she says is so beautiful. She hopes that this will put an end to his tantrums, at least temporarily.

Periyaazhvar follows this with the description of his big broad chest. He says that the child’s broad chest is filled with a beautiful glittering pendant 
(குறு மா மணிப் பூண் குலாவித் திகழும்  திரு மார்வு). Even as he crawled he showed the strength of his chest by destroying the twin Marudha trees despite being bound to a large mortar.

5 month old child
Into the 2nd set of 10 verses of adulation of the child’s physical prowess, Periyaazhvar describes his progress into the 4th and 5th month. He has grown physically stronger in these 4 months and has now gained the strength in his legs to kick the treacherous Sakata to doom 
(நாள் களோர்  நாலைந்து திங்களளவிலே தாளை  நிமிர்த்துச் சகடத்தை சாடிபோய்). During this time he also sucked the life of Putana. Yashodha admires his strong shoulders 
that could kill asuras. See the ARMS of the child, she says.

His Palms and signs of a special child
Periyaazhvar compares the handsome young child to a beautiful garden where flowers blossom. The 4-5 months old child is blossoming under the guidance of the wide eyed Yashoda’s 'garden'. As one looks at the palm of his hands, one can find imprints of the conch and discus, a clear indication that he is no ordinary child 
நெய்த்தலை நேமியும் சங்கும் நிலாவிய கைத்தலங்கள் வந்து காணீரே).

In the first 10 verses Periyazhvar described the lower part of the child's body. Then he moved on to the waist and stomach and then to the broad chest of the child.

In the 12th and 13th, he informs that Yashodha is the mother who is 'bringing him up' ( i.e he is not her own child).

In the 13th verse, he describes the lovely neck of the young child. Bees are seen humming around the flower filled garden of Yashodha who is showering love on the young child as if he was her own. Even as a young infant of just a few months he has swallowed the whole universe.

Coral Lips and Red Mouth
The cowherd girls and Gopis lift the handsome child calling him out as their lion cub. They kiss him with their coral lips pressing him with all their love. And they enjoy the nectar springing from his reddish mouth just like a Kovai fruit 
(அத் தொண்டை வாய் அமுதாதரித்து ஆய்ச்சியர் தன்தொண்டை வாயால் தருக்கிப்பருகும்).

Attractive Nose – Hard to ignore!!!
Periyaazhvar goes about describing the delight with which Yashodha is bathing him. She observes his face and wonders as to how beautiful it is. She gives him the finest turmeric power and cleans his tongue. She finds his lovely mouth very sweet and soft. His eyes are stunning and she is just not able to take her eyes away from him. She feels that his nose is so attractive that anyone will be drawn towards it (வாக்கும் நயனமும் வாயும் முறுவலும் மூக்கும் இருந்தவா காணீரே). And to add to these he has got a beautiful alluring smile that draws everyone towards him.

Describing his eyes as sparkling, Periyazhvar says that his eyes provide a spark the moment one’s eyes fall on the little child.

(Paruvam Nirambamey)
While he is giving serious blows to the demons and asuras even before coming of age, Yashodha is just not able to take herself away from admiring his eye brows that look so different and strange. Anyone looking at him is instantly drawn to his brows.

Makara Ear Rings
Even when there is a serious deluge of 7 seas, mountains, earth and all, this boy plays around unmindful of what is happening around him and counters it with effortless ease. And watching him with those beautiful Makara rings on his ears, one tends to forget even the worst of deluge,  is how Periyazhvar describes the EARS of the child.

Not yet 3 years old and yet knocking out older boys
Even then, thousands of years ago, the girls used to make a house out of sand. This young mischievous child who is described as one with a beautiful forehead comes around and in a flash takes away with his tiny little hands their pots, winnow plates and palm leaf dolls and is out of sight in no time
(சிற்றி விழைத்துத் திரி தருவோர்களை பற்றித் பறித்துக் கொண்டு ஓடும் 
பரமன் தன்). He has a beautiful smile on his face. He does not have the age to match the bigger boys. He even goes to the girls, much older than him and plays around with them. It is a wonder as to how he can do so much before he has even turned three years.

The familiar curly locks
Into the final two verses, Periyazhvar talks about the lovely curly locks in his hair. Holding a golden wand in his hand, he is seen rearing the cattle and tending them lovingly. His anklets as described earlier are scratching each other and resonating. There seems to be a merry jingle of silvery band. All these ornaments look so lovely on him
 (அழகிய பைம் பொன்னின் கோல்  அங்கைக் கொண்டு கழல்கள் சதங்கை 
கலந்து எங்கு மார்பப் மழை கன்றினங்கள் மறித்துத் திரிவான்).

He looks so lovely in those curly locks, Yashodha says.

In these 21 verses, Periyazhvar took the role of a mother (Yashodha) and described to us the physical attributes of Child from toe to head (யசோதை முன் சொன்ன திரு பாத கேசத்தை). Also during this extolling of his attributes,  he has grown from an infant to a 5 month old and by the end of this decad to almost a 3 year old boy.

Those who read and recite these verses of the physical attributes of this Godly child with sincere devotion will gain special entry to Vaikuntam (through a special entrance, they will get a VVIP entry there)

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