Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Thiru Pallaandu

In the first Canto comprising of close to 120 verses, Periyazhvar describes the early months in the life of child Krishna, One that brings great excitement to Mother Yashodha
His first steps, Toddling, Dancing and his first sighting of the Full Moon

Periyaazhvar has dedicated the first 12 verses of his 473 to the Lord, born on Sravanam and reclining beautifully in Anantha Sayanam, offering benedictory hymns of praise.

In the first 107 verses of Periyaazhvar Thirumozhi after the benedictory hymns (Thiru Pallandu), Periyazhvar enjoys the mystic experience of handling a child prodigy (Krishna) through the eyes of a mother (Yashodha). Periyazhvar brings to us the mood in and around his house immediately following his birth. Yashodha dotes on him, sings lullaby for the baby in golden cradle, invites him to drink milk. She invites her friends to come to his house and admire the handsome features of the baby limb to limb.

This first canto deals with the progress of Krishna during his first few months of his life. The birth of the child, his first steps (Thalar Nadai), swaying dance on the mother’s lap (Sengeerai), clapping hands in happiness (Chappani) and the joy of sighting the full moon (Ambuli) for the first time are described in detail in these verses.


The child’s bodily features from head to toe are described in 21 verses. This is the highest for any decad in the entire Naalayira Divya Prabhandham.

In the last two decads of the first canto, Periyazhvar brings to us the yearnings of a loving mother who is seeking the embrace of this extra ordinary child, first receiving the hug from the front and then experiencing the embrace from behind leaving her in a state of ecstasy.  

As seen in the early story on Periyazhvar, these verses are referred to as ‘Pillai Tamil’ as it describes the different phases of a unique child.

Thiru Pallandu - Benedictory Hymns
First Decad

In the first decad, Periyazhvar praises the handsome features of the Lord and prays for his long life. It is the only set of verses among the 4000verses where an Azhvaar has sung benedictory hymns of the Lord.

Lord’s Physical Might
In different verses in the first decade, Periyazhvar describes the physical strengths of the Lord. If in one verse he is seen as the one with strong shoulders (மல்லாண்ட தின் தோல்) and one who vanquished wrestlers, in another he is described as the one holding the dazzling fiery discus on his right hand as well as the Pancha Janya (the conch) that strikes terror on the battle field (அப் பாஞ்ச சன்னியமும் பல்லாண்டு) 

He Lord is also described as Rama and Krishna in different verses – in one verse he is identified as the one who blazed through the Rakshashas with his army and destroyed Lanka and in another he praises the Lord as the one who snapped the bow of Kamsa at Mathura, swooped down to the pool from atop the Kadamba and danced on the head of Kaliya, the five hooded Serpent.

How should we live our lives?
எந்த தந்தை தந்தை தந்தை தம் மூத்தப்பன்
ஏழ் படி கால் தொடங்கி 
வந்து வழி வழி ஆட் செய்கின்றோம் 

For 7 generations, Periyazhvar says that he and his fore fathers have been pure hearted and tried to be as Clean as possible having rendered relentless service to the Lord - his father, his grandfather, great grandfather and on and on had offered their services to the Lord who on Sravanam, right on dusk, descended as half Lion and destroyed the asura Hiranya (அந்தியம் போதி லரி யுருவாகி அரியை அழித்தவனை ).

He had arms sanctified with the sacred symbol of discus that blazes fire in scarlet rays and shines more gloriously than the luminous Sun. He killed Banasura who was an expert in mysterious warfare, tearing him apart under his 1000 shoulders that bled in streams. We see in the flag of the Lord Garuda bird, who is the enemy of the hooded serpent.

He suggests to the devotees who live with the only desire of serving the Lord to carry immediately talc paste and those with fragrances. Periyazhvar asks them to resist worldly pleasures and asks them to join the come together as true devotees letting go off vain glory to sing the sacred Om Namo Narayana mantra. Periyazhvar says that it is important for us to give up our old bad habits and to connect with him.

He cautions that no one whose thoughts are just on food shall be allowed here (கூழாட் பட்டு நின்றீர்களே  எங்கள் குழுவினில் புகுத்த லொட்டோம் ).

Purification of our soul
Periyaazhvar reminds us of the different things we, as devotees, take from the Lord.  

நெய்யிடை  நல்லதோர் சோறும் நியதமும் அத்தாணிச் சேவகமும் 

We wear the sacred yellow silk robe worn and cast off by the Lord, every day we eat the sacred food (good rice with tasty ghee) first offered to him, we deck our self with garlands worn by the Lord. He also offers us betel leaf and ornaments for ears and the neck. Through his blessings we get the fragrant sandal paste to smear on our body which makes our soul purified.

அல்வழக் ஒன்றும்  இல்லா அணி கோட்டியர்  கோன் 
அபிமான துங்கன் செல்வனைப் போலத் 

Periyaazhvar compares himself to a noble king of fortified temple with a towering structure ( Thiru Kottiyur?) who was faultless and without any wrong intentions and says that he has tried to be just as pious like that noble king and that his heart is too pure and chaste in every aspect. He asks us to chant Om Namo Narayana besides ecstatic inspired mystic names with all our powers.

Praising the Lord in his abode as the Supreme One wielding the bow Saranga, he asks us to sing these benedictory Thiru Pallandu verses seeking a long life both for the Lord and for our own selves.

In each of these verses, Periyaazhvar refers to the Lord as ruling the entire universe dancing happily everywhere and offers his benedictory song and prays for his happiness. As true devotees ‘we should worship you feet and pray that your beautiful lotus feet be guarded well.’

He wants all of us to come together as one group and worship him, and continuously utter the 1000 names of the Lord (தொண்டக் குளத்தில் உள்ளீர் வந்தடி தொழுது ஆயிர நாமம் சொல்லி)  and sing benedictory praise wishing for his long life.

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