Saturday, September 12, 2015

Krishna Govardhana Mountain

Periyazhvar is at his poetic best as he describes the Lord holding the huge Govardhana upside down providing different kinds of relief to different beings

With lovely examples of Monkeys, Tigers, Fishes, Serpent and Elephants, he showcases as to how true devotion and love can lead to happiness

For a large part, Indra, the King of Gods, was blemish less. But arrogance overtook him as well and he ordered the clouds to strike heavily (வழு ஒன்றும் இல்லாச் செய்கை வானவர் கோன்). And soon Dark clouds gathered and rain drops poured like arrows in a battlefield. It rained non-stop for 7days causing deluge everywhere (மழை வந்து ஏழு நாள் பெய்து மாத்தடுப்ப). There were screams all around for help from the deluge. There was great hardship caused to the Gopas and the deluge also restricted the movement of cows.


In his typical nonchalant way this young boy consumed cooked rice, curd in huge quantity along with ghee (அட்டுக்குவி சோற்றுப் பருப்பதமும் தயிர் வாவியும் நெய்யளறும் அடங்க). And then for the sake of his true devotees, he held the mountain upside down, spread his five fingers of his lotus hand like spokes and stretched his long arms like its stem thus providing cover like an umbrella for the world.

With effortless ease, the boy lifted the Govardhana Mountain and restrained the storm. Just like a mahout takes rice in huge quantities in his hand and feeds his hungry / angry elephant, who he loves much (கடு வாய்ச்சின வெங்கண் களிற்றுனுக்கு  கவளம் எடுத்துக் கொடுப்பான் போல்), similarly the young boy uprooted the mountain and held it in his hand to provide cover for everyone.

It was under this great Govardhana Mountain that a mighty elephant that had lost its tusk lifted its trunk on seeing the full moon in the sky and sought it as its replacement tusk (this is similar to the earlier description in the Periyazhvar Thirumozhi of young child of Yashodha who looking at the full moon invited it to play) - கானக் களியானைத் தன் கொம்பிழந்த கதுவாய் மதம் சோரத் தன கை எடுத்தக் கூனல் பிறை வேண்டி.

Streams of water flowed beneath like a glittering ornament and strings of pearls shone acting as armour protecting everyone. It was under this mountain that fawns are caught in nets and fed with milk.

Periyazhvar provides a beautiful comparison. Just like how the Serpent Lord spreads his hood to support the earth, Krishna too spread his five fingers of his hand to support the mountain.

Monkeys Care and Teach
And then he provides two nice examples of how monkeys are taking care of their young ones.
First, under the cover of this mountain, female monkeys hold their little ones with their palms and put them to sleep singing praise of Hanuman who rocked Lanka with his might.

(அடங்கச் சென்று இலங்கையை ஈடழித்த அனுமன் புகழ் பாடித் தம் குட்டன்களைச் குடங்கைக் கொண்டு மந்திகள் கண் வளர்த்தும்).

And then he narrates the episode of the black monkeys teaching their young ones the art of jumping from tree to tree and leaping ahead - முன்பே வழி காட்ட முகக் கணங்கள் முதுகிற் பெய்து தம்முடைக் குட்டன்களைக் கொம்பு ஏற்றியிருந்து குதி பயிற்றும் 
(Interestingly in the Sangam Literature, in Paripatal, one finds a similar example of monkeys).

Holding the mountain in the palm of his hand, the Lord shone in his resplendent form and stood like a shield.

Deadly Tiger soften with the Rishis
Periyazhvar provides yet another terrific example of how caring for the animals can get them to reciprocate the love. He says that at this mountain which the boy is holding in his one hand, that great rishis receive deadly tigers and put them to sleep by massaging their necks (இலைவேய் குரம்பைத் தவ மா முனிவர் இருந்தார் நடுவே சென்று அணார் சொறியக் கொலை வாய்ச்சின வேங்கைகள்  நின்று உறங்கும்).

The Young Boy feels no pain
Despite holding the huge mountain in his hand for the sake of protecting the world he did not lose his beauty or strength. His shapely nails remain intact and he seems to have no pain. And he remains his elegant self (கொடியேறு செந்தாமரைக் கை விரல்கள் கோலமும் அழிந்தில வாடிற்றில  வடிவு ஏறு திருவுகிர் நொந்தும் இல).

Like how a calf elephant ran and hid under the legs of the mother who then attacked and chased the Lion, he too provides protection to all his true devotees. 

(இலஞ்சீயம் தொடர்ந்து முடுகுதலும் குழவி இடைக்கால் இட்டு எதிர்ந்து பொரும்)

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