Monday, August 31, 2015

Krishna Special Oil Bath

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.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Krishna Ear Boring Ceremony

Periyazhvar beautifully describes the heated argument between Yashodha, now in a regretful mood and Krishna, who refuses to accept her apologies for punishing him earlier

‘என் குற்றமே என்று சொல்லவும் வேண்டா காண்
 என்னை நான் மண் உண்டேனாக
அன்புற்று நோக்கி அடித்தும் பிடித்தும் அனைவர்க்கும் காற்றிலையே’ – Krishna to Yashodha J

A Special Decad in Nalayira Divya Prabhandham – The Lord is praised with a special name in each of the verses

The third decad of 2nd Canto of Periyazhvar Thirumozhi is very unique in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham for in each verse, the young child is praised with a special name the only such decad in the Divya Prabhandham.

In each verse, Yashodha sees him as a different Lord who had performed many different acts for the sake of protecting the devotees.  Thus praising, she asks her young child to get his ear bored and help her tie the thread in the ear similar to many other children in Gokulam.
She begins by saying that everything including betel leaf and Arecanut are ready for the ear boring ceremony of Kesava (அடைக்காய் திருத்தி நான் வைத்தேன்).  All the cowherds are excited at the prospect of being part of this special event for him and have gathered at his place eagerly awaiting his acceptance to get his ear bored. She cautions him that Kamsa is ever ready to attack him. Given that his father is not in the house, he is currently unprotected. She is worried about him going alone all the time (போய்ப்பாடு உடைய நின் தந்தையும் தாழ்ந்தான் பொறு திரள் கஞ்சன் கடியன்). She wants him to come inside and show his ear for the bore.

Narayana – Bore without Pain
Yashodha praises him saying that he is always around because everyone loves him and he does not like to cause hardship in them by being away from his loved ones (நண்ணித் தொழும் அவர் சிந்தை பிரியாத நாராயணா). She lures him with the beautiful golden ear rings and says she will insert the needle and thread without causing pain and that she will use the lint in his bore to minimise any chances of injury to Narayana (திரியை எரியாமே காதுக்கு இடுவன்).

Madhava – will bore quickly
In the earlier verse, Yashodha spoke about boring the ear without pain. In this verse, she refers to speed. And calling him out as Madhava, she says not only will she do it quickly, she will also give him all that he wants as a gift (வெய்யவே காதில் திரியை இடுவேன்  நீ வேண்டிய தெல்லாம் தருவன்)!!!

Govinda- she lures him with his favourite fruits
She now draws comparison with other cowherd boys who she says are well mannered and have listened to their mother and have bored their ears. With long ears that stretch to their shoulders, she says they all have ear pendants. Calling out for him as Govinda, she lures him with jack fruit and milk if he agrees to get his ear bored (இணை நன்று அழகிய இக் கடிப்பு இட்டால் இனிய பலாப்பழம் தந்து .............).

Vishnu and his love for Appams
Continuing to lure him for the ear boring, Yashodha comes up with three different emotions in this verse. She says even if she requests him repeatedly with a ‘Please’, he does not agree (சோத்தம்பிரான் என்று இறந்தாலும் கொள்ளாய்).

She then says that he is constantly in the midst of beautiful girls and playing around with them. Can any mother extol that as a virtue?

She then lures him with a big appam, his favourite sweet dish (remember daily presentation of appam to him at Koviladi Divya Desam!!!) if he agrees for the ear boring ceremony -பேர்த்தும் பெரியன அப்பம் தருவன் (

Madhusudhana – this will not hurt
Referring to the earlier episode of having seen the entire universe when he opened his mouth, Yashodha referring to him as Madhusudhana says she knows who he really is and promises to not hurt him. And that he has to bear it for just one moment and that it will heal (புனம் ஏதும் இல்லை, உன் காது மறியும் பொறுத்து  இறைப்போது இரு நம்பி ).

Trivikrama – regrets her mistake of not boring earlier
Yashodha calls him as Trivikrama and refers to the episode of him breaking Shiva’s bow to win over Sita. She now regrets at not doing the ear bore when his ears were lot more supple. She agrees that she made a mistake. As a result, she has to bear the brunt of his anger and has to face his mischievous act of plucking the pendants and throwing them by the way side (தலை நிலாப்போதே உன் காதை பெருக்காதே  விட்டிட்டேன் குற்றமே அன்றே).

Vamana hits back at Mother Yashodha
It is a beautiful follow up verse from Periyazhvar. Having heard his mother express regret, the child almost instantly, in his typical style, hits back at Yashodha. He says that she is pretending to regret and he is not the one to believe her acceptance of her mistakes of the past. For he says, did she not tie him to a rope and then opened his mouth to expose him in public for eating mud. Did she also not beat him up (என் குற்றமே என்று சொல்லவும் வேண்டா காண் என்னை நான் மண் உண்டேனாக அன்புற்று நோக்கி அடித்தும் பிடித்தும் அனைவர்க்கும் காற்றிலையே).

In the same verse, she accepts this accusation as well and promises to speak the truth from now on without fail. And also promises that the ears will seal if left as is. And that is the reason that she is keen to thread them (வன் புற்று அரவின் பகை கோடி வாமன நம்பி உன் காதுகள் தூறும் துன் புற்று எல்லாம் தீர்ப்பாய் பிரானே திரியிட்டுச் சொல்லுகேன் மெய்யே).

Sridhara – Child unconvinced, Mother pleads
Not convinced of her arguments, he continues to hit out at her. He reminds her of the time when she listened to gossip stories and believing them blamed him for stealing butter and tied him to a stone mortar with a rope as a punishment of his acts (மெய் என்று சொல்லுவார் சொல்லைக் கருதித் தொடுப்புண்டாய் வெண்ணையை என்று கையைப் பிடித்திக் கரை உரலோடு என்னைக் கட்டிற்றிலையே).

Resigning herself to his aggressive comments, she pleads with him referring to him as Sridhara and says that if he keeps on taunting her for all her deeds, it will be a matter of time before his ears get sealed. She says it is now time for her to thread him so the girls don’t scoff at him.  The beautiful girls of Gokulam will showcase this as one defect in the otherwise perfect child and they will use this opportunity to go around laughing at the inability to get the ear bored like all other children his age.
(செய்தன சொல்லிச் சிறிது அங்கு இருக்கில் சிரீதரா உன் காத்து தூறும் கையில் திரியை இடுகிடாய் இந்நின்ற காரிகையார் சிரியாமே)

Irudikesa – He asks what’s your problem?
The child continues with his aggressive stance against his mother. He questions as to what is her problem and how it would matter to her and the Gopis if his ears get inflamed (காரிகை யார்க்கும் உனக்கும் இழக்கு உற்று என் காதுகள் வீங்கி ஏரியல்).

Patient like a loving mother, Yashodha accepts once again that she made a mistake of not threading him earlier but reasons out that she feared his head ache. She tries to thrown in the typical mother’s comparative analysis and says that all other children in Gokulam have thread in the ear bore and that it is only appropriate that he, Irudikesa, too should have one.

Padmanabha – Mother turns positive
By now, Yashodha has realised that being tough with him will not work in her favour. Accepting this fact, she tries to lure him with positive remarks. She impresses upon him that all the beautiful girls in whose hearts he resides all the time will show their love for him even more if he added this new dimension with the ear bore. She motivates him further saying that she will give him all his favourite fruits if he agrees to this painless process of ear boring that will not last too long (உன்னைக் கனிகள் தருவன் கடிப்பு ஒன்று நோவாமே காதுக்கு இடுவண்).

Damodara - Lures him with Apple
And the argument continues. Yashodha looks back at her son’s excuse that she will deceive him with a loving call. He says that she would call him inside and once he comes in lured by the mother’s call, she is likely to forcibly hold him by her strong hands and thread the pendent causing much pain to him. And for this reason he refused to answer her call for the ear bore (வா என்று சொல்லி என் கையைப் பிடித்து வலியவே காதிற் கடிப்பை நோவத் திரிக்கில் உனக்கு இழக்குற்று என்).

Like a patient mother, once again she lures him, referring to him as Damodara, with another fruit- this time it’s the red apple that she says he likes a lot (காதுகள் நொந்திடும் கில்லேன்  நாவற் பழம் கொண்டு வைத்தேன் இவை காணாய் நம்பி).

In each of these 12 verses, Yashodha addresses the young child with the name of a lord luring him to wear the special studded Makara rings in his ears. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Krishna drinks milk

Yashodha calls her child to drink milk

In the 2nd decad, Yashodha wants her child to come and drink milk.

She says that he had forgotten to drink milk last night and that it is already noon the next day. Justifying to him that he will be having a lean stomach, she calls him to have milk (அரவு அணையாய் ஆயர் ஏறே அம்மம் உண்ணத் துயிலேழாயே இரவும் உண்ணாது உறங்கி நீ பொய் இன்றும் உச்சி கொண்ட தாலோ).

 She then says that since his birth, she has made ghee, butter and purified curd and he has enjoyed all of this though she herself has rarely seen any of these (வைத்த நெய்யும் காய்ந்த பாலும் வாடி தயிரும் நறு வெண்ணெயும் இத்தனையும் பெற்றறியேன் எம்பிரான் நீ பிறந்த பின்னை).

Yashodha then comes back to the favourite topic relating to her young kid. She tells him that many of the mothers are complaining that the sons are returning home crying because of this child’s teasing and taunts.  She says it is quite understandable. When a child comes and cries to a mother about being taunted, what option will she have?

When will you mend your ways?
Yashodha says that ‘even his father has tried best to mend your ways but it has largely been unsuccessful. I too have tried but have not been able to stop the nonstop mischief.’ She asks him to stop playing all over the place picking up a lot of dust in the process. She wants him to stop the mischief of ragging others (தம்தம் மக்கள் அழுது சென்றால் தாய்மார் ஆவார் தரிக்கில்லார் வந்து நின் மேல் பூசல் வாழ வல்ல வாசுதேவ  உன்(தன்)தயார் உன் திருத்தர் அல்லர் உன்னை நான் ஒன்று உரைப்ப மாட்டேன்).

A mother will say things for the Child's Welfare
The young child’s greatness is brought out through the episode of him killing Kamsa including the way he destroyed his cart. After having referred to the way he killed Kamsa, Periyazhvar takes us back to the life of Kamsa. Yashodha tells the child that Kamsa had for long been gunning for his life and that he was likely to adopt any approach to kill him especially he may target you when you are hungry. She even threatens her young one that she will live no more if the wicked asura captures him.  She says she always says things for welfare and hence she should not go out to play that day. She wants him to have milk for he would be tired and this would fill him to the brim (தீய புந்திக் கஞ்சன் உன் மேல் சினம் உடையன் சோர்வு பார்த்து.....தாயார் வாயச் சொல் கருமம் கண்டாய் சற்றிச் சொன்னேன் போக வேண்டா).

Mother should hear good things from others about her children 
As a mother, Yashodha is delighted to hear from everyone several complimentary things about the child. Other women have repeatedly enquired about the good things she had done to get a child like him (என்ன நோம்பு நோற்றால் கொலோ இவனைப் பெற்ற வயிறு உடையால்).

In another verse, Yashodha sings praise of him saying every house wife passing that way along with her husband takes a peek into the house looking for him. And then they exclaim that they too would like a child like him. All the young girls passing through our house are reaching out to you to kiss you and absorb nectar from your lips. Praising his wonderful features, she then asks him to come and have milk (பெண்டிர் வாழ்வார் நின் ஒப்பாரைப் பெறுதும் என்னும் ஆசையாலே கண்டவர்கள் போக்கு ஒழிந்தார்).

She ends the day on a positive note saying that whenever she sees him, she can only visualise him as Lord Padmanabha.

Krishna fears a giggle

அப்பூச்சி காட்டுகின்றான் - Shows fear when asked to giggle
 2nd Canto

In this first decad of the 2nd canto, Yashodha punishes him for his stealing acts, but later in Periyazhvar Thirumozhi, it is seen that the young child takes revenge on the mother!!!

Periyazhvar describes the Lord as one who is holding the conch in one hand and playing the flute with the other (the quality of his flute recital is described in detail in the third canto). He tried his best to broker a peace deal after the five brothers had lost the game of dice but did not manage to get even 10 villages. (பத்து ஊர் பெறாது அன்று பாரதம் கை செய்த அத்தூதன் அப்பூச்சி காட்டுகின்றான்). In his childhood days, he showed a certain artificial fear to giggle.

Periyazhvar follows this with the description of Krishna at the Mahabaratha war. Having failed to broker the peace deal, he drove the chariot and led Arjuna to victory against Duryodhana, his brothers and many other kings.

As seen in the 1st canto, he is described as a cowherd boy who jumped atop Kadamba tree and leapt over Kaliya and danced atop venomous snake.

The Birth Story
Once again he reminds us of the birth of Krishna, him being transported to Gokulam and the way he saved the cowherd. Born on a dark night to Devaki, he was shipped that very same rainy night to Yashodha who then brought him up so lovingly. He removed the fear of the cowherds by killing Kamsa and other evil forces ((இருட்டில் பிறந்து பொய் ஏழை வால் ஆயர் மருட்டித் தவிர்பித்து வான் கஞ்சன் மாளப் புரட்டி)). In addition to being mighty, he was also naughty in his early days with the Gopis and many a time would quietly steal their silk robes.

Yashodha punishes but he will make her regret
Born to the beautiful Devaki, he showed himself in all his resplendent beauty to her. When he moved to Yashodha soon after his birth, repeatedly he ate all milk, butter and ghee creating anger among the residents. He who killed many Asuras with effortless ease was once caught red handed by Nanda’s wife Yashodha for stealing butter. Frustrated with his repeated acts of stealing, she tied him to a mortar with a rope around his waist. This really pained him and he cried in pain (In the 2nd Canto, with the boy having grown a little more, he remembers this earlier episode and taunts his mother reminder her of how she created the pain in him (சேபூண்டு சாடு சிதறத் திருடி நெய்க்கு அப்பூண்டு நந்தன் மனைவி கடை தாம்பால் சோபூண்டு துள்ளித் துடிக்கத் துடிக்க).

Periyazhvar asks if Yashodha had this beautiful kid in her womb or if she adopted him later. And then asserts that whichever way, he is the Lion amongst the cowherds. He has black curly locks and is fully decked with flowers all the time (தத்துக் கொண்டால் கொலோ தானே பெற்றால் கொலோ, சித்தம் அணையால் ......).

He praises the child as one who earlier was banished to the forest on the ill advice of hunch back Manthara to kaikeyi. He let go of elephants and horses and left for the forest on bare foot giving away the kingdom to his brother Baratha.

Gajendra Moksham Episode
Periyazhvar also praises the Lord by narrating the Gajendra Moksham episode. When the crocodile caught the feet of the unsuspecting elephant, he writhed in pain and called out for the Lord seeking his refuge. Immediately the lord came on his vehicle Suparna and hurled the discus to provide relief to the elephant (பதக முதலை வாய்ப் பட்ட களிறு கதறிக் கை கூப்பி என் கண்ணா கண்ணா என்ன உதவப் புள் ஊர்ந்து அங்கு உறுதுயர் தீர்த்த).

Through each of the verses in this decad, Periyazhvar showcases the child as one who would playfully show fear ( in his innocent way) when everyone wanted him to giggle.