Periyazhvar beautifully describes the heated argument between Yashodha, now in a regretful mood and Krishna, who refuses to accept her apologies for punishing him earlier
‘என் குற்றமே என்று சொல்லவும் வேண்டா காண்
என்னை நான் மண் உண்டேனாக
அன்புற்று நோக்கி அடித்தும் பிடித்தும் அனைவர்க்கும் காற்றிலையே’ – Krishna to Yashodha J
A Special Decad in Nalayira Divya Prabhandham – The Lord is praised with a special name in each of the verses
The third decad of 2nd Canto of Periyazhvar Thirumozhi is very unique in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham for in each verse, the young child is praised with a special name the only such decad in the Divya Prabhandham.
In each verse, Yashodha sees him as a different Lord who had performed many different acts for the sake of protecting the devotees. Thus praising, she asks her young child to get his ear bored and help her tie the thread in the ear similar to many other children in Gokulam.
She begins by saying that everything including betel leaf and Arecanut are ready for the ear boring ceremony of Kesava (அடைக்காய் திருத்தி நான் வைத்தேன்). All the cowherds are excited at the prospect of being part of this special event for him and have gathered at his place eagerly awaiting his acceptance to get his ear bored. She cautions him that Kamsa is ever ready to attack him. Given that his father is not in the house, he is currently unprotected. She is worried about him going alone all the time (போய்ப்பாடு உடைய நின் தந்தையும் தாழ்ந்தான் பொறு திரள் கஞ்சன் கடியன்). She wants him to come inside and show his ear for the bore.
Narayana – Bore without Pain
Yashodha praises him saying that he is always around because everyone loves him and he does not like to cause hardship in them by being away from his loved ones (நண்ணித் தொழும் அவர் சிந்தை பிரியாத நாராயணா). She lures him with the beautiful golden ear rings and says she will insert the needle and thread without causing pain and that she will use the lint in his bore to minimise any chances of injury to Narayana (திரியை எரியாமே காதுக்கு இடுவன்).
Madhava – will bore quickly
In the earlier verse, Yashodha spoke about boring the ear without pain. In this verse, she refers to speed. And calling him out as Madhava, she says not only will she do it quickly, she will also give him all that he wants as a gift (வெய்யவே காதில் திரியை இடுவேன் நீ வேண்டிய தெல்லாம் தருவன்)!!!
Govinda- she lures him with his favourite fruits
She now draws comparison with other cowherd boys who she says are well mannered and have listened to their mother and have bored their ears. With long ears that stretch to their shoulders, she says they all have ear pendants. Calling out for him as Govinda, she lures him with jack fruit and milk if he agrees to get his ear bored (இணை நன்று அழகிய இக் கடிப்பு இட்டால் இனிய பலாப்பழம் தந்து .............).
Vishnu and his love for Appams
Continuing to lure him for the ear boring, Yashodha comes up with three different emotions in this verse. She says even if she requests him repeatedly with a ‘Please’, he does not agree (சோத்தம்பிரான் என்று இறந்தாலும் கொள்ளாய்).
She then says that he is constantly in the midst of beautiful girls and playing around with them. Can any mother extol that as a virtue?
She then lures him with a big appam, his favourite sweet dish (remember daily presentation of appam to him at Koviladi Divya Desam!!!) if he agrees for the ear boring ceremony -பேர்த்தும் பெரியன அப்பம் தருவன் (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2007/11/108-divya-desam-koviladi-appakudathaan.html)
Madhusudhana – this will not hurt
Referring to the earlier episode of having seen the entire universe when he opened his mouth, Yashodha referring to him as Madhusudhana says she knows who he really is and promises to not hurt him. And that he has to bear it for just one moment and that it will heal (புனம் ஏதும் இல்லை, உன் காது மறியும் பொறுத்து இறைப்போது இரு நம்பி ).
Trivikrama – regrets her mistake of not boring earlier
Yashodha calls him as Trivikrama and refers to the episode of him breaking Shiva’s bow to win over Sita. She now regrets at not doing the ear bore when his ears were lot more supple. She agrees that she made a mistake. As a result, she has to bear the brunt of his anger and has to face his mischievous act of plucking the pendants and throwing them by the way side (தலை நிலாப்போதே உன் காதை பெருக்காதே விட்டிட்டேன் குற்றமே அன்றே).
Vamana hits back at Mother Yashodha
It is a beautiful follow up verse from Periyazhvar. Having heard his mother express regret, the child almost instantly, in his typical style, hits back at Yashodha. He says that she is pretending to regret and he is not the one to believe her acceptance of her mistakes of the past. For he says, did she not tie him to a rope and then opened his mouth to expose him in public for eating mud. Did she also not beat him up (என் குற்றமே என்று சொல்லவும் வேண்டா காண் என்னை நான் மண் உண்டேனாக அன்புற்று நோக்கி அடித்தும் பிடித்தும் அனைவர்க்கும் காற்றிலையே).
In the same verse, she accepts this accusation as well and promises to speak the truth from now on without fail. And also promises that the ears will seal if left as is. And that is the reason that she is keen to thread them (வன் புற்று அரவின் பகை கோடி வாமன நம்பி உன் காதுகள் தூறும் துன் புற்று எல்லாம் தீர்ப்பாய் பிரானே திரியிட்டுச் சொல்லுகேன் மெய்யே).
Sridhara – Child unconvinced, Mother pleads
Not convinced of her arguments, he continues to hit out at her. He reminds her of the time when she listened to gossip stories and believing them blamed him for stealing butter and tied him to a stone mortar with a rope as a punishment of his acts (மெய் என்று சொல்லுவார் சொல்லைக் கருதித் தொடுப்புண்டாய் வெண்ணையை என்று கையைப் பிடித்திக் கரை உரலோடு என்னைக் கட்டிற்றிலையே).
Resigning herself to his aggressive comments, she pleads with him referring to him as Sridhara and says that if he keeps on taunting her for all her deeds, it will be a matter of time before his ears get sealed. She says it is now time for her to thread him so the girls don’t scoff at him. The beautiful girls of Gokulam will showcase this as one defect in the otherwise perfect child and they will use this opportunity to go around laughing at the inability to get the ear bored like all other children his age.
(செய்தன சொல்லிச் சிறிது அங்கு இருக்கில் சிரீதரா உன் காத்து தூறும் கையில் திரியை இடுகிடாய் இந்நின்ற காரிகையார் சிரியாமே)
Irudikesa – He asks what’s your problem?
The child continues with his aggressive stance against his mother. He questions as to what is her problem and how it would matter to her and the Gopis if his ears get inflamed (காரிகை யார்க்கும் உனக்கும் இழக்கு உற்று என் காதுகள் வீங்கி ஏரியல்).
Patient like a loving mother, Yashodha accepts once again that she made a mistake of not threading him earlier but reasons out that she feared his head ache. She tries to thrown in the typical mother’s comparative analysis and says that all other children in Gokulam have thread in the ear bore and that it is only appropriate that he, Irudikesa, too should have one.
Padmanabha – Mother turns positive
By now, Yashodha has realised that being tough with him will not work in her favour. Accepting this fact, she tries to lure him with positive remarks. She impresses upon him that all the beautiful girls in whose hearts he resides all the time will show their love for him even more if he added this new dimension with the ear bore. She motivates him further saying that she will give him all his favourite fruits if he agrees to this painless process of ear boring that will not last too long (உன்னைக் கனிகள் தருவன் கடிப்பு ஒன்று நோவாமே காதுக்கு இடுவண்).
Damodara - Lures him with Apple
And the argument continues. Yashodha looks back at her son’s excuse that she will deceive him with a loving call. He says that she would call him inside and once he comes in lured by the mother’s call, she is likely to forcibly hold him by her strong hands and thread the pendent causing much pain to him. And for this reason he refused to answer her call for the ear bore (வா என்று சொல்லி என் கையைப் பிடித்து வலியவே காதிற் கடிப்பை நோவத் திரிக்கில் உனக்கு இழக்குற்று என்).
Like a patient mother, once again she lures him, referring to him as Damodara, with another fruit- this time it’s the red apple that she says he likes a lot (காதுகள் நொந்திடும் கில்லேன் நாவற் பழம் கொண்டு வைத்தேன் இவை காணாய் நம்பி).
In each of these 12 verses, Yashodha addresses the young child with the name of a lord luring him to wear the special studded Makara rings in his ears.