Thursday, August 20, 2015

Krishna the New Born and Yashodha

Yashodha provides a recipe for ‘slimming’ in two weeks
Krishna breaks the cradle with his first kicks
Those born on Shravanam will rule the World, says Periyazhvar

Periyazhvar begins the 2nd decad describing Thiru Kottiyur (75kms from Madurai) as a place that had big magnificent mansions and fertile land with green paddy fields (வண்ண மாடங்கள் சூழ் ….. செந்நெலார் வயல் சூழ் திருகோட்டியூர்). Through these 2nd set of 10verses, Periyaazhvar brings to us the excitement surrounding Krishna’s birth. He says that Krishna as Kesava chose Nandagopal’s house as cradle. All of them were so excited that they sprinkled oil and turmeric powder on each other that then spilled into the vast courtyard and slashed the portico of Krishna’s house.
Immediately on hearing the news of the birth of a son to Nanda, the people ran fast in an excited manner. In this excitement some of them stumbled down, then picked themselves up and started running again in joy (ஓடுவார் விழுவார் உகந்தாலிப்பார்). They hugged each other and asked about the whereabouts of the new born. Singers, drummers and dancers thronged the place and performed together. Thus Gokulam became the cowherds’ dwelling place and hamlet.

Those born on Shravanam will rule the world
All of them were thrilled to see him. They just seem to love him instantly on first look. And then they came out of the mansion and everyone in unison felt that there was no one equal to him (ஆணொப்பார் இவன்  நேரில்லை காண்) confirming the fact that those born on the Shravanam day will rule the world (திருவோணத்தான் உலகாளும் என்பார்களே).

The birth of this young child sent the entire Gokulam into a tizzy. Most of them almost lost their minds. So excited were they that they rolled out the pots into the courtyard sprinkling milk and butter and danced their way around the new born. The entire place seemed to have received a new illumination and there was buzz about the new born, everywhere.

The hairs of the ladies were let loose and dishevelled as they were drunk with never been seen happiness (சேரி மென் கூந்தல் அவிழத் திளைத்து  எங்கும் அறி வழிந்தனர்). They overturned the pots of milk and ghee in their portico.

Cowherds came in big heaps from the forest. Their teeth were as white as the Mullai Jasmine flowers. Wearing a neatly woven bark cloth, they carried with them a sharp axe, a bamboo staff as well as a sleeping mat that was made from screw pine fibre. As they saw the new born, they were so excited that they smeared themselves with ghee, butter and danced around.

His First Bath – Yashodha sees the entire universe
Having set the scene of excitement in Gokulam, Periyazhvar describes the scene around Krishna’s first bath. Yashoda stretched his hands, legs, limbs slowly and then rubbed gently softly massaging him with warm water (கையுங் காலும் நிமிர்ந்துக் கடார நீர் ) to relieve him of any pain of having been lifted by all the people around. She gave him a bath that he seemed to enjoy. She then used turmeric pieces to cleanse the tongue that was rosy and alluring.

And when she opened his mouth, she was stunned to find a glimpse of the 7 worlds inside his mouth (வையம் ஏழும் கண்டாள் பிள்ளை வாயுளே). How excited mother Yashoda was to have darshan of this. Her joy knew no bounds.

After mother Yashoda had bathed him and seen the 7worlds in his mouth, the other ladies came to him and saw inside his mouth. And to their bewilderment, they too could see the entire universe. It was difficult for them to believe. They exclaimed once again that this was no ordinary child. They shouted around saying that this is no Yadava child. He is God himself (ஆயர் புத்திரனல்லன் அருந் தெய்வம்). He has noble virtues that had never been seen earlier.

Having described the happiness surrounding the birth of Krishna and the initial joy and ecstasy of the first bath in the first 7verses, Periyazhvar moved on to the activities after the 10th day.

10 days pass by and Celebrations
 With the statutory 10days having elapsed, the Yadava clan erected festive pillars on all sides (பத்து நாளும் கடந்த இரண்டாம் நாள் எத்திசையும் சய மரம் கோடித்து). They then lifted the child prodigy who had been all play even during the first 10days. They praised the child as one who could fight even the mad elephants and who could lift the mountains in his two hands for had they not seen the entire universe in him.
Breaks the Cradle with one Kick
Periyazhvar describes the exhausted state of Yashoda after just 12days in a way that no mother would previously have experienced but is he not a wonder child. She has no clue as to how handle him.

She found to her horror that whichever way she carried him he struck her with a force that was unusual for an infant. She let her current situation be known to the Gopis and other ladies around.

Like every mother, she put him in a cradle for him to sleep. But no sooner did she do that, he tore and broke it to pieces by kicking it (கிடக்கில் தொட்டில் கிழிய உதைத்திடும்). She then in a typical mother’s position held him on her hip. But in a few seconds he squeezed and pressed her so hard that it gave her unbearable pain. Then she held him on to her bosom and this time he gave her a kick in the belly.

Slim your way in just 2weeks
In a matter of less than two weeks, she laments that she has become thin and totally tired of handling this ‘mischievous’ child (மிடுக்கு இலாமையால் நான் மெலிந்தேன் நங்காய்).

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