Periyazhvar describes the positive impact Music has even on trees
Celestial Dancers announce their retirement; Kinnaras vow never to touch the flute again
Birds leave their Nest; Cows bend their head; Grass slips out of Deer’s mouth
Recently a research has been done using the latest technology on the positive and negative impact on trees and plants based on our interactions with them. And it has been found that if our interactions are positive, the plants react positively.
However, this was proved 1000s of years ago even during the time of the Krishna Avatara. Periyazhvar describes this story in the 6th Decad of the 3rd Canto of the ‘Periyazhvar Thirumozhi’. When Krishna played the flute, it was so melodious that trees and plants started reacting positively. And Flowers started to bloom and Fruits ripened.
Driven by his angry mother, the young boy had left home early in the morning and taken the calves for a graze into the forest.
Having shown his physical might earlier by lifting the Govardhana Mountain, he now shows his softer, lighter side. He plays the flute and puts the young girls of Gokulam to shame. They are so moved by his tunes that their clothes loosen and their hearts throb leaving them wanting more of his tunes. (குதூகலிப்ப உடல் உள் அவிழ்ந்து )
How his body co-ordinates
When he is ready to play the flute, his hands come together and his weight fell on his left shoulder. His stomach rose. His eyebrows expanded and the corner of his lips touched the flute (இடவணரை இடத்தோ லோடு சாய்த்து இருகை கூடப் புறவம் நெரிந்தெற குடவயிறு படவைக் கடை கூட கோவிந்தன் குழல் கொண்டு ஊதின போது).
As they began listening to his tunes, Gopis were moved. One could hear a big heave of happiness from their bosom. They had to hold on to their saree, lest it slip (உடை நெகிழ ஓர் கையால் துகில் பற்றி). They stood shyly with their neatly lined eyes swooping all over him (ஒல்கி ஓட அரிக்கணோட நின்றனரே).
Description of Krishna
Periyazhvar describes the different kinds of emotions that the young girls of Gokulam encounter on listening to his lovely tunes. In this verse, he also describes Krishna in many different ways – child of Vaikunta, king of Mathura, prince of Nandagopa and friends of the cowherds (மதுரை மன்னன் நந்த கோனிளவரசு கோவலர் குட்டன்).
Some of the hearts melted others had misty eyes, a few had their flowers loosening and others had severe perspiration in their foreheads (மனம் உருகி மலர்க் கண்கள் பனிப்ப தேனளவு செரி கூந்தல் அவிழ சென்னி வேர்ப்பச் செவி சேர்த்து நின்றனரே).
On one side he showed his physical might, he defeated the mighty asuras – Dhenuka, Pralamba, Kaliya and many others with a thumping physical victory. On the other, he played the flute and put others to shame in a soft way.
Celestial Dancers vow never to dance again
The famous celestial dancers Menaka, Thilottama, Urvasi and Ramba listened to his divine music, felt dumbfounded and stood in silence. And then promised never to sing and dance again (மேனகை யோடு திலோத்தமை அரம்பை உருப்பசியர் அவர் வெள்கி மயங்கி வானகம் படியில் வாய் திருப்பின்றி ஆடல் பாடல் இவை மாறினர் தாமே).
Periyazhvar describes more great musicians who felt ashamed after listening to the young child. Thumbur, who played the string and Narada, the bard, almost forgot their respective instruments. The twin Kinnaris – Kinnara and Mithuna, celestial musicians promised never to touch their flutes again (நன்னரம்புடைய தும்புருவோடு நாரதனும் தம் வீணை மறந்து கின்னர மிதுனங்களும் தம் தம் கின்னரம் தொடுகலோம் என்றனரே).
All the reputed musicians fell by the way side one after another.
Gandharvas, the celestials in the skies on hearing his flute that sent never before heard air waves were trapped in these waves. They were so humbled that they blushed wearily and could do no more than submit their defeat with folded hands. ‘This is beyond our play’, they sighed (அம்பரம் திரியும் காந்தப்பர் எல்லாம் அமுத கீத வலையால் கருக்குண்டு நம் பரம் அன்று என்று நாணி மயங்கி நைந்து சோர்ந்து கைம் மறித்து நின்றனரே).
And then as he continued to play, the Gods found it difficult to perform their duties in their abode. They could sense something extra ordinary happening amidst the cowherds in Gokulam. And it was pulling everyone towards Gokulam. The music resonated in the heavens and all of them came together to listen to this melody and they were left with no option but to follow him everywhere.
(அவியுணா மறந்து வானவர் எல்லாம் ஆயர்பாடி நிறையப் புகுந்து ஈண்டிச் செவியுணாவின் சுவை கொண்டு மகிழ்ந்து கோவிந்தனைத் தொடர்ந்து என்றும் விடாரே)
Periyazhvar then goes on to describe his passion for the flute and how each part of his body synched to produce this mellifluous music. His tiny little fingers ran over the holes, his eyes tilted his red lips formed like a bud and some sweat formed over his eyebrows as he played with passion (சிறு விரல்கள் தடவிப் பரிமாறச் செங்கண் கோடச் செய்ய வாய் கொப்பளிப்ப குரு வெயர்ப் புருவம் கூடலிப்பக் கோவிந்தன் குழல் கொடு ஊதின போது….).
Birds and Animals react
Periyazhvar says not just the Gopis of Gokulam and the celestial lords and musicians were rocked by his music. Even the birds and animals felt out of place. Birds started to leave their nests and felt like broken twigs all around. The fate of the cows was even worse. They spread their legs, lowered their heads and their ears were almost motionless as they listened to the lovely play of flute of this young child. (பறவையின் கணங்கள் கூடு துறந்து வந்து சூழ்ந்து படுகாடு கிடப்ப கறவையின் கணங்கள் கால் பரப்பிட்டுக் கவிழ்ந் திறங்கிச் செவியாட்ட் கில்லாவே).
But Periyazhvar reserved his best description for this last set of verse and for the deer. When herds of deer suddenly heard a waft of music emanating from a flute, they instantly stopped grazing. The grass that they had picked up in their usual grazing too slipped out of their mouth and they stood stunned and motionless. Periyazhvar compares their state of mind to a picture on the wall. Such was their feeling. They neither moved front or back or sideways (மருண்டு மான் கணங்கள் மேய்கை மறந்து மேய்ந்த புல்லும் கடைவாய் வழி சோர இரண்டு பாடும் துலுங்காப் புடை பெயரா எழுது சித்தரங்கள் போல நின்றனவே).
Trees bear fruits and flowers
One can understand the happiness among the Gopis and the revered celestials. Even the mood of cows and birds and deer is probably understandable for they seem to have emotions and the child naturally impacted their love for music with his melodious tunes.
But unbelievably even the trees reacted to the flute recital. Suddenly the flowers bloomed to full shape and were seen in a variety of colours and forms. And fruits suddenly ripened and were ready to be presented to the lord. The flute recital seemed to tickle the emotions even in the trees (மரங்கள் நின்று மது தாரைகள் பாயும் மலர்கள் வீழும் வளர் கொம்புகள் தாழும் இறங்கும் கூம்பும் திருமால் நின்ற நின்ற பக்கம் நோக்கி அவை செய்யும் குணமே).