நீராட வாராய் - Yashodha invites Krishna for a special Oil Bath on his birthday
‘Sundara and Little Calf’ earlier, She refers to him as ‘Azhage’ and ‘En Maniye’ in these verses
He has had his ear boring ceremony. And now Yashodha calls him for a special bath reasoning out the need for this at this point of time. Periyazhvar also narrates the style of bath that Yashodha says she will give him. Earlier we saw her calling him as Sundara and then a ‘Little Calf’. Here she calls him ‘Azhage’ and ‘En Maniye’.
Waiting with Oil and Fruits
Every day he goes out to play and comes back dirty with mud all over him. He has spilled the butter on to his body. The wait has been long and he has evaded his mother all this while. She will not permit him to go to sleep tonight without him having the bath for she has kept the oil and sour fruit nut powder for a long time. This will remove the itching sensations (arising as a result of playing in the mud) in the body (வெண்ணெய் அலைந்த குணுங்கும் விளையாடு புழுதியும் கொண்டு .....எண்ணெய் புலிப் பழம் கொண்டு எத்தனை போதும் இருந்தேன்).
Yashodha threatens him that she will let insects like ants inside calves’ ears that will force them to run wild and then they will find it difficult to yield milk. And consequently, he will not be able to gobble up butter. It is a very auspicious day. It is his birthday Sravanam today and without further delay, he should agree for the bath that is long due (கன்றுகள் ஓடச் செவியில் கட்டெறும்பு பிடித்து இட்டால் தென்றிக் கெடும் ஆகில் வெண்ணெய் திரட்டி விழங்குமா காண்பன்).
Hot Water is ready
Like how every mother keeps hot water ready for her child, Yashodha too lures Krishna with it. She says she has specially kept hot water for him. And she has added a tinge of gooseberry mix to it for medicinal effect. Yashodha says that she has also kept other things ready for a beautiful bath including sandal paste, rich garlands and turmeric (காயய்சின நீரோடு நெல்லி கடாரத்தில் பூரித்து வைத்தேன்………………………….. மஞ்சளும் செங்கழுநீரின் வாசிகையும் நாறு சாந்தும் அஞ்சனமும் கொண்டு வைத்தேன்).
Appam for Ear Boring, Now another Special Sweet for the Bath
Like she lured him for ear boring ceremony with appam, she once again lures him with this special sweet promising him to offer these if he has bath. She says that understanding his favourite tastes, she has made a sweet cake made of milk, sugar, jaggery and spices அப்பம் கலந்த சிற்றுண்டி அக்காரம் பாலிற் கலந்து).
And then she tries to shame him a bit by saying that the beautiful young girls will scoff at him and will talk slanderous things and indulge in ‘small talk’ behind his back using his refusal to have bath as an opportunity in their favour (செப்பு இள மென் முலையர்கள் சிறுபுறம் பேசிச் சிரிப்பர்.
More Fruits for him
She reminds him of his mischievous acts- overturning oil pots, pinching boys and running away turning his eye lids inside out. Despite these acts she still loves him and has tasty fruits just for him but all these he can have only if he has bath(எண்ணெய் குடத்தை உருட்டி இளம்பிள்ளை கில்லி எழுப்பிக் கண்ணை புரட்டி விழித்துக் கழகண்டு………………… உண்ணக் கனிகள் தருவன்).
She says she has never seen ghee, fresh milk and curd since his birth. And even if she gets any more complaints from others, she will never again, even forgetfully or unknowingly scold him in public (சிறந்த நற்றாய் அலற தூற்றும் என்பதனால் பிறர் முன்னே மறந்தும் உரையாட மாட்டேன்).
She praises him as one who stood on top of a snake and threw a calf on to a fruit bearing tree. She is proud of his brave acts, once again reminds him of his birthday and asks him not to run away and to come for this clean and special bath (நன்று நீ நீராட வேண்டும் நாராணா ஓடாதே வாராய்).
Brings in the Love angle to entice him
Yashodha says that as a mother she is okay to him going to the cow shed and smearing himself with cow dung and all other dust there. Even with cow dung she finds him beautiful. But his girl friend Nappinnai may not be so happy looking at his current shape and may even laugh at him (பூணித் தொழுவினிற் புக்குப் புழுதி அலைந்த பொன்மேனி காணப் பெரிதும் உகப்பன் ............................நப்பின்னை காணிற் சிரிக்கும்).
If he does not want his girl friend to scoff at him, he should immediately come to be bathed by his mother.
Gem of a Child
Another interesting aspect of these verses where Yashodha invites her unique son for a bath is the way she refers to him. Through these set of verses Yashodha addresses her young child in many different ways clearly indicating that he was a gem of a child despite his mischievous and unruly acts.
She calls him Azhagiya Nambi, Maanickam, ‘En Maniye’, Azhaga, Naaranaa, Manivannaa and Sothampiraan.