Third Decade – Mūṇṛām Pattu
223 * tannērāyiram piḷḷaigaḷōḍu * taḷarnaḍai iṭṭu varuvān *
ponnēy neyyoḍu pālamdtuṇḍu * orupuḷḷuvan poyyē tavaḻum **
minnēr nuṇṇiḍai vañja magaḷ koṅgai tuñja * vāy vaitta pirānē *
annē unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
Apparently moving like a toddler similar to thousand other equally fine cowherd boys; feasting on golden coloured ghee (clarified butter) and nectarean milk, You crawl hiding Your opulences. With Your lotus mouth You sucked the breast and the life of the evil Pūtanā, who came in the guise of a slender-waisted lady. Until now I regarded You as my little boy, Oh my! But today I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
224 ponpōl mañjanamāṭṭi amudūṭṭip pōnēn * varumaḷavu ippāl *
vanpārac cakaḍam iṛac cāḍi * vaḍakkilagam pukkirundu **
minpōl nuṇṇiḍaiyāḷ orukanniyai * vēṭṛṛuruvam seydu vaitta *
anbā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
While I went to bathe in the Yamunā—after bathing You to make Your skin glow and feeding You—before I returned, You kicked and disfigured the strong and heavy cartwheel. You entered a house, north of our house, and transformed a slender-waisted damsel with amorous pastimes. Oh dear! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
225 gummāyattoḍu veṇṇey viḻuṅgik * kuḍat tayir cāyttup parugi *
poymmāya marudāna asuraraip * ponṛuvittu inṛu nī vandāy **
immāyam valla piḷḷai nambī * unnai en maganē enbar ninṛār *
ammā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
You devoured well-cooked split yellow lentils with butter and swallowed a pot full of curd, and broke and brought down the twin arjuna trees, in truth two asuras. But now You look so innocent. Oh sublime child, performer of inconceivable deeds! Still people presume You—with incredible potencies—to be my son. Oh my! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
226 maiyārkaṇ maḍavāycciyar makkaḷai * maiyanmai seydu avar pin pōy *
koyyār pūndugil paṭṛṛit tani ninṛu * kuṭṛṛam pala pala seydāy **
poyyā unnaip puṛam pala pēsuva * puttakattukkuḷa kēṭṭēn *
aiyā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
You went after the timid, collyrium-eyed cowherd damsels, infatuated with You; yanked their pretty, frilled sarees and played erotic tricks. Oh rascal! I have heard others gossip about Your many escapades, enough to write a book on. Oh Lord of frolics! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
227 muppōdum kaḍaindīṇḍiya veṇṇeyinōḍu * tayirum viḻuṅgi *
kappālāyargaḷ kāviṛ koṇarnda * kalattoḍu cāyttup parugi **
meyppāluṇḍaḻu piḷḷaigaḷ pōla * nī vimmi vimmi aḻuginṛa *
appā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
You have gobbled up the butter churned fresh in the morning, noon and evening along with the curd; then drank all the milk directly from the vessel brought by the cowherds—in vessels hung by ropes from a stout stick balanced on their shoulders. Still, You cry rhythmically and repetitively in hunger for my breast milk like the babies who are fed with breast milk alone. My Lord! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
228 karumbār nīḷvayal kāykadirc cennelaik * kaṭṛṛā niṛai maṇḍit tinna *
virumbāk kanṛonṛu koṇḍu * viḷaṅgani vīḻa eṛinda pirānē **
curumbār menkuḻal kanni oruttikkuc * cūḻvalai vaittut tiriyum *
arambā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
Oh benefactor! In the vast fields, when the cows with their calves were grazing hungrily on the ripe, sugar cane-sized panicles laden with rice grains, You caught and flung an odd calf—also pretending to graze—on the wood-apple tree causing many fruits to fall down. Oh Rascal! You spread the net of Your seductive lotus eyes and ensnare a cute damsel with soft locks swarmed by bees (attracted by the fragrance of the flowers on the hair). I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
229 maruṭṭār menkuḻal koṇḍu poḻil pukku * vāy vaittu avvāyar tampāḍi *
curuṭṭār menkuḻal kanniyar vandu unnaic * cuṭṛṛum toḻa ninṛa sōdi **
poruṭṭāyamilēn emperumān * unnaip peṭṛṛa kuṛṛamallāl * maṭṛṛiṅgu
araṭṭā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
Entering the secluded groves, ideal for romantic activities, You play bewitching, soft tunes with the slender flute. The cowherd village girls with soft hair decorated with flowers, enticed by the tunes, come and surround You in all directions and worship You, my effulgent Lord! Save the accusations, I have not gained anything from the community for the mistake of begetting You, an imp, as my son! Oh rascal! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
230 vāḷāvāgilum kāṇagillār * piṛar makkaḷai maiyanmai seydu *
tōḷāliṭṭu avarōḍu tiḷaittu * nī sollappaḍādana seydāy **
kēḷār āyar kulattavar ippaḻi * keṭṭēn vāḻvillai * nandan
kāḷāy unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
Even if You don’t do any mischief, the villagers don’t like to see You. You enticed the neigbours’ daughters with Your charm, embraced them and did unspeakable sensual acts. These cowherd people are aghast with Your behaviour. I am ruined! Oh son of the modest Nanda Mahārāja! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
231 tāymār mōrviṛkap pōvar * tamappanmār kaṭṛṛā niṛaip pinbu pōvar *
nī āyppāḍi iḷaṅgannimārkaḷai * nēr paḍavē koṇḍu pōti **
kāyvārkku enṛum ugappanavē seydu * kaṇḍār kaḻaṛat tiriyum *
āyā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
When the mothers go out to sell butter milk and the fathers go for grazing the cowherds, You take their young girls out to places of Your interest. Thus, You engage always in acts which make those envious of You happy since, they get the opportunity to accuse You and those who are favourable to You to get irritated. Oh cowherd boy! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
232 tottār pūṅguḻal kanni oruttiyaic * cōlait taḍam koṇḍu pukku *
muttār koṅgai puṇarndu irānāḻikai * mūvēḻu senṛapin vandāy **
ottārkku ottana pēsuvar * unnai urappavē nān onṛum māṭṭēn *
attā unnai aṛindu koṇḍēn * unakku añjuvan ammam taravē
Yesterday night, You took a pretty damsel, with her hair decorated with a variety of flowers, to a solitary garden and engaged in sensual acts with that girl endowed with breasts decorated by stringed pearls; You returned home after seven hours. Everyone is slandering You; but I am unable to get angry with You. My Lord! I have realized that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I am scared to nurse You!
233 * kārārmēni niṛattembirānaik * kaḍikamaḻ pūṅguḻal āycci *
ārā innamuduṇṇat taruvan nān * ammam tārēn enṛa māṭṛṛam **
pārār tolpugaḻān puduvai mannan * paṭṭar pirān sonna pāḍal *
ērār innisai mālai vallār * iruḍīkēsan aḍiyārē
My cloud-hued benefactor! Mother Yaśodā—with her hair decorated with fragrant flowers—who has been nursing You with ever insatiable breast milk, declared, “I am scared to nurse You!” This conversation has been rendered in to poetically delightful and melodious songs by me (Periyāḻvār–the head of Śrīvilliputtūr whose glory is spread all over the earth). Those who can recite these songs will become eternal servants of Lord Hṛṣīkeśa.
In the modern age, many mothers have stopped nursing or breastfeeding their babies fearing that it will negatively impact the look of their breasts. Beauty has become more important than baby! Women are less likely to start breastfeeding after the currently rampant caesarean delivery. Work is also a most cited reason for not breastfeeding. It is estimated that deaths of around 820,000 children under the age of five could be prevented globally every year with increased breastfeeding. Traditionally, nursing or breastfeeding began within the first hour of a baby’s life and continued as long as the baby wanted. Śrīla Prabhupāda mentions that Mother Yaśodā, out of her love for Kṛṣṇa, forgets that the Lord has appeared as her little child and thinks that if she does not feed Kṛṣṇa nicely, He will die! (Lecture, Gītā 7.1, March 26, 1968). In this decade, Mother Yaśodā’s bewilderement that Kaṇṇan engages in pastimes, mischiefs and amorous activities impossible for a child, realization that He is not her son really but, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and understandably her nervousness to nurse Him are rendered in melodious songs by Periyāḻvār.
Tannērāyiram piḷḷaigaḷōḍu taḷarnaḍai iṭṭu varuvān ponnēy neyyoḍu pālamdtuṇḍu orupuḷḷuvan poyyē tavaḻum: Apparently moving like a toddler similar to thousand other equally fine cowherd boys; feasting on golden coloured ghee (clarified butter) and nectarean milk, You crawl hiding Your opulences. Pūrvācāryas comment that when Kṛṣṇa appeared in Vṛndāvana, He was accompanied by one thousand cowherd boys matching Him in all qualities—birth, upbringing, age, growth and friendship. Like Lakṣman who always accompanied Rāma, the boys were always with Kṛṣṇa. Periyāḻvār says that Kṛṣṇa created the illusion that He was like any other toddler and engaged in stealing butter and curd.
When the the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya request Sūta Gosvāmī to speak about the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, they say that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, along with Balarāma, played like a human being, and so masked He performed many superhuman acts. At the time of His appearance, He appeared as four-armed Viṣṇu and at the request of Devakī, He turned in to a normal human child. In Vṛndāvana, His deeds were all superhuman, yet, due to His mystic potency, He was always considered as an ordinary human child by Nanda Mahārāja, Mother Yaśodā and others (Bhāgavatam 1.1.20). Śukadeva Gosvāmī wonders, sākaṁ vijahruḥ kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ: “The cowherd boys, having accumulated the results of pious activities for many lives, were able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune?” (Bhāgavatam 10.12.11). Swami Vedānta Deśika describes the astonishing scene of baby Kaṇṇan learning to walk. Mother Yaśodā holds the hand of He (Kannan), who measured the three worlds in three steps and now has appeared as a child for the benefit of the world, and teaches Him to walk step by step! After walking just two or three steps when He totters and starts to kneel down, she takes Him up affectionately on her hip and nurses Him (as if saying, “Suckle my breasts, You will be able to walk.”) (Yādavābyudaya 4.19-20). Raghupati Upādhyāya, a great Vaiṣṇava scholar sings in ecstasy, “Let others study the Vedas, smṛti and Mahābhārata, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Mahārāja, in whose courtyard is crawling the Supreme Brahman. Nanda Mahārāja is so great that the Parabrahman is crawling in his yard, and therefore I shall worship him” (Padyāvalī 126, quoted from Bhāgavatam 10.13.63, purport).
Vaḍakkilagam pukkirundu minpōl nuṇṇiḍaiyāḷ orukanniyai vēṭṛṛuruvam seydu vaitta anbā: You entered a house, north of our house, and transformed a slender-waisted damsel with amorous pastimes. Oh dear! Maiyārkaṇ maḍavāycciyar makkaḷai maiyanmai seydu avar pin pōy koyyār pūndugil paṭṛṛit tani ninṛu kuṭṛṛam pala pala seydāy poyyā unnaip puṛam pala pēsuva puttakattukkuḷa kēṭṭēn: You went after the timid, collyrium-eyed cowherd damsels, infatuated with You; yanked their pretty, frilled sarees and played erotic tricks. Oh rascal! I have heard others gossip about Your many escapades, enough to write a book on. Curumbār menkuḻal kanni oruttikkuc cūḻvalai vaittut tiriyum arambā: Oh Rascal! You spread the net of Your seductive lotus eyes and ensnare a cute damsel with soft locks swarmed by bees (attracted by the fragrance of the flowers on the hair). Maruṭṭār menkuḻal koṇḍu poḻil pukku vāy vaittu avvāyar tampāḍi curuṭṭār menkuḻal kanniyar vandu unnaic cuṭṛṛum toḻa ninṛa sōdi poruṭṭāyamilēn emperumān: Entering the secluded groves, ideal for romantic activities, You play bewitching, soft tunes with the slender flute. The cowherd village girls with soft hair decorated with flowers, enticed by the tunes, come and surround You in all directions and worship You, my effulgent Lord! Piṛar makkaḷai maiyanmai seydu tōḷāliṭṭu avarōḍu tiḷaittu nī sollappaḍādana seydāy: You enticed the neigbours’ daughters with Your charm, embraced them and did unspeakable sensual acts. Tāymār mōrviṛkap pōvar * tamappanmār kaṭṛṛā niṛaip pinbu pōvar nī āyppāḍi iḷaṅgannimārkaḷai nēr paḍavē koṇḍu pōti: When the mothers go out to sell butter milk and the fathers go to graze the cows, You take their young girls out to places of Your interest. Tottār pūṅguḻal kanni oruttiyaic * cōlait taḍam koṇḍu pukku muttār koṅgai puṇarndu irānāḻikai mūvēḻu senṛapin vandāy: Yesterday night, You took a pretty damsel, with her hair decorated with a variety of flowers, to a solitary garden and engaged in sensual acts with that girl endowed with breasts decorated by stringed pearls; You returned home after seven hours. This decade overflows with the transcendental loving acts (mādhurya-rasa) of Kaṇṇan with the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. Only a self-realized person can study and understand the transcendental purity of the amorous pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs:
The gopīs are all transcendental spirit souls. One should never think that the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa have material bodies. Vṛndāvana-dhāma is also a spiritual abode, and there the days and nights, the trees, flowers and water, and everything else are spiritual. There is not even a trace of material contamination. Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supreme Brahman and Supersoul, is not at all interested in anything material. His activities with the gopīs are all spiritual and take place within the spiritual world. They have nothing to do with the material world. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lusty desires and all His dealings with the gopīs are on the spiritual platform. One has to be transcendentally realized before even considering relishing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs. One who is on the mundane platform must first purify himself by following the regulative principles. Only then can he try to understand Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 14.158, purport)
The repeated references to one girl, orukanniyai vēṭṛṛuruvam seydu vaitta anbā, Curumbār menkuḻal kanni oruttikku, Tottār pūṅguḻal kanni oruttiyai, could be an oblique reference to Rādhā.
It is said in the Skanda Purāṇa that out of many thousands of gopīs, 16,000 are prominent, out of those 16,000 gopīs, 108 are especially prominent, out of these 108 gopīs, eight are still more prominent, out of those eight gopīs, Rādhārāṇī and Candrāvalī are even more prominent, and out of these two gopīs, Rādhārāṇī is the most prominent (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 32).
The appearance and pastimes of Rādhā are not mentioned in standard scriptures because of the confidential nature of the relationship between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. However, Gauḍīya and Nimbārka sampradāya scriptures provide lot of information about Her. In Bṛhad-Brahma-saṁhitā (of the Nārada-pañcarātra), Dhyāna-śloka and description of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are given. Brahma- vivarta Purāṇa and Gopāla viṁśati also describe them. Though the Āḻvārs have not made any mention of Rādhā, Vēdānta Deśika has mentioned Rādhā and the gopīs. The gopīs talk angrily amongst themselves:
nirapekṣa ivaiṣa nīlayā rasikaḥ pālikayā sarādhayā
pṛthagatra kimetaducyate kuhakaḥ kaścidasau kulasya na
Since He (Kṛṣṇa) is devoid of any feeling, He does not seem to have any love for even Nīlā, Rādhā and Pālikā. He does not please them by His action. What is the need to mention the names specifically? He is a cheater of our entire community (gopīs in particular) (Yādavābyudaya, 9.90).
devakī danujastūṇā divyam dāma vrajāṅgaṇam
ramā rādikādayaśceti rāśibedair na bidyase
Vasudeva praises Kṛṣṇa: You appear as you wish—from Devakī’s womb or from the pillar in the palace of Hiraṇyakaśipu; You live in Vaikuṇṭha or Gokula; You are with Lakṣmī-devī in Vaikuṇṭha or with (Rādikā) Rādhā and the other gopīs in Vṛndāvana, but You are the same Lord always (Yādavābyudaya, 10.71).
We can find many indirect references to Rādhā in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ
prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
Certainly, this particular gopī has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī explains that the word ārādhitaḥ refers to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He comments, “The sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī has tried with all endeavor to keep Her name hidden, but now it automatically shines forth from the moon of his mouth. That he has spoken Her name is indeed Her mercy, and thus the word ārādhitaḥ is like the rumbling of a kettledrum sounded to announce Her great good fortune (Bhāgavatam 10.30.28).
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.32.8: One gopī took the Lord through the aperture of her eyes and placed Him within her heart. Then, with her eyes closed and her bodily hairs standing on end, she continuously embraced Him within. Thus, immersed in transcendental ecstasy, she resembled a yogī meditating upon the Lord. Śrī Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī quotes a verse from the Skanda Purāṇa that declares eight gopīs to be the principal among the three billion gopīs. Detailed information about the hierarchy of gopīs is available in Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi. The Padma Purāṇa confirms that Rādhā is the foremost of the gopīs:
yathā rādhā priyā viṣṇos
tasyāḥ kuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ tathā
“Just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is most dear to Kṛṣṇa, Her bathing pond is similarly dear. Of all the gopīs, She is the most beloved of the Lord.” The Ṛg-pariśiṣṭa (the supplement to the Ṛg Veda) says: rādhayā mādhavo devo mādhavenaiva rādhikā/ vibhrājante janeṣu. “Among all persons, it is Śrī Rādhā in whose company Lord Mādhava is especially glorious, as She is especially glorious in His.”
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.47.11: “One of the gopīs, while meditating on Her previous association with Kṛṣṇa, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus, She spoke as follows.” In this verse Rādhā is referred to as kācit, “a certain gopī.” To establish that this gopī is none other than Rādhā, Jīva Gosvāmī quotes from the Agni Purāṇa which says that when the gopīs were talking with Uddhava, Rādhā spoke up with words full of transcendental knowledge of the Vedas.
In Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Padyāvalī 344, author unknown, Kṛṣṇa tells Uddhava that among the Vraja-vāsīs the gopīs are the best and among them Rādhā is the best.
Periyāḻvār concludes this decade—portraying Mother Yaśodā expressing her dismay of Kaṇṇan’s sensuous activities with the cowherd girls—aptly with the benediction that those who can recite these songs will become eternal servants of Lord Hṛṣīkeśa.
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord. This verse quoted from the Nārada-pañcarātra is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.12).
vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ
Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopīs of Vṛndāvana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus, he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart. (Bhāgavatam 10.33.39)
Reading or hearing pornographic literature increases our lust. But the description of Kṛṣṇa’s playful affairs with the young gopīs of Vṛndāvana is purely spiritual. By reading or hearing them we can experience the bliss of spiritual love and will be able to reject the perverted reflection of that love called lust. When the purified senses are engaged in the service of Lord Hṛṣīkeśa (hṛṣīka, the senses, and īśa, the master of the senses), one attains perfection of life. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, teaches His sons how to get out of the material world:
The true activity of the sense organs — mind, sight, words and all the knowledge-gathering and working senses — is to engage fully in My service. Unless his senses are thus engaged, a living entity cannot think of getting out of the great entanglement of material existence, which is exactly like Yamarāja’s stringent rope. (Bhāgavatam 5.5.27).
234 * añjana vaṇṇanai * āyar kulak koḻuntinai *
mañjanamāṭṭi * manaikaḷ tōṛum tiriyāmē **
kañjanaik kāynta * kaḻalaḍi nōvak kanṛin pin *
en ceyap piḷḷaiyaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
My collyrium-hued Kaṇṇan takes bath and roams around the neighbourhood. Instead of tolerating this I sent the Lord of the cowherd boys behind the grazing calves, hurting His lotus feet, which gave a mighty kick to Kaṁsa. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
235 paṭṛṛu mañjaḷ pūsip * pāvaimāroḍu pāḍiyil *
ciṭṛṛil cidaittu eṅgum * tīmai ceydu tiriyāmē **
kaṭṛṛut tūḷiyuḍai * vēḍar kāniḍaik kanṛin pin *
eṭṛṛukku en piḷḷaiyaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
With the turmeric paste applied on His body by the women to check its richness, He goes and wrecks the sand houses made by the girls. Instead of leaving Him to roam all around and do pranks like this, I sent my Kaṇṇan to the forest—inhabited by plundering hunters—behind the calves and get smeared with the dust from the hooves of the calves. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
236 nanmaṇi mēkalai * naṅgaimāroḍu nāḷtoṛum *
ponmaṇi mēni * puḻudiyāḍit tiriyāmē **
kanmaṇi ninṛatir * kānadariḍaik kanṛin pin *
en maṇivaṇṇanaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
Instead of letting my blue sapphire-hued darling play with the young girls—wearing girdles studded with exquisite gems—everyday in the dust, I sent Him behind the calves to the forest near the hill echoing their voices. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
237 vaṇṇak karuṅguḻal * mādar vandu alar tūṭṛṛiḍa *
paṇṇip pala ceydu * ippāḍi eṅgum tiriyāmē **
kaṇṇukkiniyānaik * kānadariḍaik kanṛin pin *
eṇṇaṛkariyānaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
Kaṇṇan, the cynosure of all eyes and the inconceivable, roams around the village playing terrible pranks on the lovely brunettes, who come dishevelled and slander him. Instead, I sent Him behind the calves to the forest. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
238 avvavviḍam pukku * avvāyar peṇḍirkku aṇukkanāy *
kovvaik kanivāy koḍuttuk * kūḻamai ceyyāmē **
evvam cilaiyuḍai * vēḍar kāniḍaik kanṛin pin *
deyvat talaivanaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
He goes secretly to many houses and enjoys with the cowherd damsels and kisses them with His scarlet gourd-red lips. Instead, I sent the Lord of demigods behind the calves to the forest inhabited by intimidating hunters wielding bows. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
239 miḍaṛumeḻum eḻuttōḍa * veṇṇey viḻuṅgip pōy *
paḍiṛu pala ceydu * ippāḍi eṅgum tiriyāmē **
kaḍiṛu pala tiri * kānadariḍaik kanṛin pin *
iḍaṛa en piḷḷaiyaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
He swallows smoothly gliding butter and goes out to do unlimited mischiefs roaming around the village. Instead I sent my darling behind the calves to the forest where wild elephants roam around. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
240 vaḷḷi nuḍaṅgiḍai * mādar vandu alar tūṭṛṛiḍa *
tuḷḷi viḷaiyāḍit * tōḻarōḍu tiriyāmē **
kaḷḷiyuṇaṅgu * veṅgānadariḍaik kanṛin pin *
puḷḷin talaivanaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
With His cowherd mates, He hops all around and plays pranks and the girls with waists slender like a creeper come running (to me) and accuse Him. Instead, I sent the Lord of Garuḍa behind the calves to the forest so hot that dries up even the cactus. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
241 panniru tiṅgaḷ * vayiṭṛṛil koṇḍa appāṅgināl *
en iḷaṅgoṅgai * amudamūṭṭi eḍuttu yān **
ponnaḍi nōvap * pulariyē kānil kanṛin pin *
en iḷañciṅgattaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
I carried Him very carefully in my womb for twelve months and fed Him with milk from my tender breasts. But I sent that lion cub-like darling son early in the morning behind the calves to the forest causing pain to His lotus feet. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
242 kuḍaiyum seruppum koḍādē * dāmōdaranai nān *
uḍaiyum kaḍiyana * ūnṛu vemparaṛkaḷuḍai **
kaḍiya veṅgāniḍaik * kālaḍi nōvak kanṛin pin *
koḍiyēn en piḷḷaiyaip pōkkinēn * ellē pāvamē
Without giving Him an umbrella and footwear, I sent Dāmodara behind the calves to the forest—very hot and littered with broken and sharp gravel causing great distress to the walker—causing pain to His lotus feet. Why did I do it? Oh my, I am wicked!
243 * enṛum enakku iniyānai * en maṇivaṇṇanai *
kanṛin pin pōkkinēn enṛu * asōdai kaḻaṛiya **
pon tigaḻ māḍap * puduvaiyarkōn paṭṭan sol *
in tamiḻ mālaigaḷ vallavarkku * iḍar illaiyē
Mother Yaśodā’s words with much regret, “I sent my darling Maṇivaṇṇan behind the calves,” have been rendered in melodious Tamiḻ songs by Periyāḻvār—the head of the inhabitants of Śrīvilliputtūr, full of glowing golden mansions. Those who can recite these songs will not be affected by misery.
When Kṛṣṇa had grown sufficiently, He was given charge of grazing the small calves. Along with Balarāma and the other little cowherd boys, He took the calves to the pasturing grounds. They were all equipped with lunch bags, bugles, flutes and sticks for controlling the calves. While the calves grazed, they would play. Sometimes, they took the calves on the shore of Yamunā river, through gardens densely covered with trees and filled with vibrations of chirping birds. Mother Yaśodā was always anxious that Kaṇṇan should not get in to any danger. She used to think that her son was walking in the forest without any umbrella or footwear, she became greatly perturbed to think how much difficulty Kaṇṇan must be feeling. Kaṇṇan used to return from the pasturing ground at sunset. If He was a little bit late Mother Yaśodā, anxiously waiting to hear the sweet vibration of His flute, would become very worried. She would ask Nanda Mahārāja to get up on a small shed built on the roof and look out for Kaṇṇan. In the modern civilization, the sight of children grazing the calves has become very rare (as they are sent to school to study and get qualified to become big officers instead of maintaining the cows and do agriculture like the poor fathers!) in the so-called villages with all modern gadgets like television and mobile. So, when the schools reopen after vacation, the present-day mothers are suffering from persistent worry that has been dubbed as “back to school” syndrome! Periyāḻvār has visualized the anxiety and self-pity Mother Yaśodā experiences when Kaṇṇan goes to graze the calves and given to us a decade of wonderful songs. Mother Yaśodā feels bad that instead of tolerating all the mischiefs Kaṇṇan does and the accusations from the village women and girls, she has been wicked enough to send Him out to face dangers.
Eṇṇaṛkariyānai: The inconceivable. Kṛṣṇa has inconceivable potencies. All the creative energies, inconceivable to a common man, exist in the Supreme Absolute Truth and conduct creation, maintenance, and annihilation. He can remain unchanged and yet produce this cosmic manifestation with all its living entities, just like a touchstone can produce unlimited quantities of gold and yet remain unchanged. His actions appear inconceivable because they are not limited by the causal and effective actions of material concept. To save baby Parīkṣit in the womb of his mother Uttarā, from the brahmāstra released by Aśvatthāmā, Kṛṣṇa entered the womb simultaneously while He was talking with Queen Kuntī. Through His inconceivable powers He can appear at any place for His sincere devotee. Lord Nṛsiṁha appeared from within the pillar by the wish of Prahlāda. Just like the vaidūrya gem can exhibit various colours, the Lord can manifest in distinctly different incarnations. It is possible only for Kṛṣṇa to simultaneously marry sixteen thousand women, and live with each in a separate palace. Kṛṣṇa can protect the surrendered devotees from the reactions of sinful activities.
The Lord is known as durvibhāvyā, one who is inconceivable to our tiny brain. Even the most intelligent and the foremost living being of the material universe, Brahmā cannot measure His inconceivable powers. The Supreme Lord can be understood only through the evidence of the Vedic scriptures. Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma-parva 5.22) ascertains that mundane arguments cannot contemplate transcendental activities. The nature of Kṛṣṇa is that, aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān: “He is greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.20). He has pervaded in to the universe, the hearts of all living beings and even in to every atom. He is outside in His virāṭ form, and He is within everything as antaryāmī. Though Kṛṣṇa is eternally in Goloka Vṛndāvana, His transcendental abode, He is still present everywhere. Kūrma Purāṇa says, “The Lord is personal although impersonal, He is atomic although great, and He is blackish and has red eyes although He is colorless” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 5.41).
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do, He nevertheless acts; although He is always unborn, He nevertheless takes birth; although He is time, fearful to everyone, He flees Mathurā in fear of His enemy to take shelter in a fort; and although He is self-sufficient, He marries 16,000 women. These pastimes seem like bewildering contradictions, even to the most intelligent (Bhāgavatam 3.4.16).
Deyvat talaivanai: Brahmā, Śambhu, Sūrya, Indra and other demigods are created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the time of annihilation of cosmic manifestation all the demigods will merge in to Nārāyaṇa. There are totally thirty-three million demigods. They are equivalent to various managers and department-heads in a company appointed by the owner of the company to handle various functions. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya: The only master is Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Viṣṇu, and all others are His obedient servants, who act exactly according to His orders. (Bhāgavatam 5.20.34, purport). This is confirmed by Śrīla Madhvācārya: “The Lord has a mission within this material world, which is to reform the conditioned living entities through the cruel laws of nature. In the Lord’s mission within this world, the demigods are to be considered limbs of the Lord’s body” (Bhāgavatam 6.4.46, purport). He warns that “All the demigods are extremely inimical to one who does not respect Lord Viṣṇu. Such a person is pushed into the darkest regions by the Lord, as well as by the demigods” (Bhāgavatam 11.2.47, purport). The inhabitants of Kuśadvīpa worship the fire-god:
O fire-god, you are a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and you carry to Him all the offerings of sacrifices. Therefore, we request you to offer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead the yajñic ingredients we are offering the demigods, for the Lord is the real enjoyer (Bhāgavatam 5.20.17).
It is a great offense to consider that the Supreme Lord is on the same level with the demigods. Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.73 cautions that “A pāṣaṇḍī is one who thinks that the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is on the same level with the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva.”
When the demigods are troubled by the demons, they approach Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu for help. So, it is logical that for whatever benefits one desires, he should approach the Supreme Lord and not the demigods.
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
All the incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All the incarnations appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance by the enemies of Indra, the chief of demigods. The Lord incarnates to protect the demigods (Bhāgavatam 1.3.28).
Śiva tells Pārvatī in the Padma Purāṇa
viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmād parataraṁ devi
“O Devī, the most exalted system of worship is the worship of Lord Viṣṇu. Greater than that is the worship of tadīya, or anything belonging to Viṣṇu.”
Kṛṣṇa explains in Bhagavad-gītā that those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship demigods urged by a desire for material benefits like women, wealth, power and progeny. However, one should not be disrespectful to the demigods. This is specified in the Padma Purāṇa: “Kṛṣṇa, or Hari, is the master of all demigods, and therefore He is always worshipable. But this does not mean that one should not offer respect to the demigods” (Nectar of Devotion 7).
In tamiḻ mālaigaḷ vallavarkku * iḍar illaiyē: Those who can recite these songs will not be affected by misery. People suffer from three types of miseries—caused by the body and mind, by natural disturbances and by other living entities. But for one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious the miseries of the material existence have no effect. Kṛṣṇa consciousness—like an antiseptic which protects from infections—protects the devotee from being affected by the miseries. For such a person, both living in heaven and living in hell are equal. Hearing, chanting and always remembering the name, fame, glories, and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are the recommended methods for remaining Kṛṣṇa conscious.
244 * cīlaikkudambai oru kādu * oru kādu cenniṛa mēl tōnṛip pū *
kōlappaṇaik kaccum kūṛai uḍaiyum * kuḷir muttin kōḍālamum **
kālip pinnē varuginṛa * kaḍalvaṇṇan vēḍattai vandu kāṇīr *
ñālattup puttiranaip peṭṛṛār * naṅgaimīr nānē maṭṛṛārumillai
“Oh ladies! Come and see the delightful attire—one ear with the ear-thread and the other with a bunch of flame lily flowers; sporting a luxurious vesture held with a lovely waist-cloth, and a crescent-shaped necklace of cool pearls—of my ocean-hued son coming behind the calves. None other than me is the fortunate mother of this remarkable boy!”
245 kanni nanmā madiḷ sūḻ taru * pūmpoḻil kāvirit tennaraṅgam *
manniya sīr matusūdanā * kēśavā pāviyēn vāḻvugandu **
unnai iḷaṅganṛu mēykkac * ciṛukālē ūṭṭi oruppaḍuttēn *
ennin manam valiyāḷ oru peṇ illai * en kuṭṭanē muttam tā
Oh auspicious Madhusūdana! Oh Keśava! Lord of Śrīraṅgam, the most sacred place in south; protected by indestructible, magnificent and large ramparts; full of gardens with fragrant flowers, and encircled by river Kāverī! This wicked self, considering our livelihood, fed You at dawn and sent to graze the calves; there is no other woman more hard-hearted than me. My darling! Give me a kiss.
246 kāḍukaḷūḍu pōyk * kanṛugaḷ mēyttu maṛiyōḍi * kārkkōḍal pūc
cūḍi varuginṛa dāmōdarā * kaṭṛṛut tūḷi kāṇ un uḍambu **
pēḍai mayil sāyaṛ pinnai maṇāḷā * nīrāṭṭamaittu vaittēn *
āḍi amudusey appanumuṇḍilan * unnōḍu uḍanēyuṇbān
Oh Dāmōdara! In the forest to control the grazing calves You run ahead of them, and now sporting a bunch of flame lily flowers in Your locks You return home. Look, Your body is completely smeared with the dust from the hooves of the calves. Oh Lord of Nappinnai, who charms you like a peahen! I have kept everything ready for Your bath. After bathing take Your supper; Your father is waiting to have supper with You, come fast.
247 kaḍiyār poḻilaṇi vēṅgaḍavā * karum pōrēṛē * nī ugakkum
kuḍaiyum ceruppum kuḻalum taruvikkak * koḷḷātē pōnāy mālē **
kaḍiya veṅgāniḍaik kanṛin pin pōna * siṛuk kuṭṭac ceṅgamala
aḍiyum vedumbi * un kaṇgaḷ civandāy asaintiṭṭāy * nī embirān
Lord of Śrī Vēnkaṭa Hills dotted with gardens full of fragrant flowers! Oh chivalrous one like a belligerent black bull! One who loves the calves! You went to graze the calves without accepting Your favourite umbrella, chappals and flute! Running after the calves in the hot forest, my little boy, Your lotus feet have been scorched, Your eyes have turned reddish and You have become thin. My Lord!
248 paṭṛṛār naḍuṅga mun pāñcajanniyattai * vāy vaitta pōrēṛē *en
ciṭṛṛāyar ciṅgamē sītai maṇāḷā * siṛuk kuṭṭac ceṅgaṇmālē **
ciṭṛṛāḍaiyum siṛup pattiramum * ivai kaṭṭilin mēl vaittup pōy *
kaṭṛṛāyarōḍu nī kanṛugaḷ mēyttuk * kalanduḍan vantāy pōlum
Oh gallant bull-like Kaṇṇā, You blew the Pāñcajanya in the Mahābhārata battle making the envious Kauravas tremble! The lion-cub of the cowherds, my angel! Oh Lord of Sītā! Though a little boy, You are the lotus-eyed Bhakta-vatsala! Didn’t You leave behind the perfectly fitting vesture and the sword on the cot and go with the elderly cowherd boys to graze the calves and return with them!
249 añcuḍarāḻi un kaiyagattēndum * aḻakā nī poygai pukku *
nañjumiḻ nāgattinōḍu piṇaṅgavum * nān uyir vāḻndirundēn **
en seyya ennai vayiṛu maṛukkināy * ēdumōr accamillai *
kañjan manattukku ugappanavē seydāy * kāyāmpū vaṇṇam koṇḍāy
Oh magnificent Lord wielding the brilliant disc! Even when You jumped in to the poisonous lake to chastise the venom-spitting Kāliya, I survived. Why did You scare me? You are daring. Oh Ironwood flower-hued! You always do things to please Kaṁsa, biding his time.
250 panṛiyum āmaiyum mīnamum āgiya * pāṛkaḍal vaṇṇā un mēl *
kanṛin uruvāgi mēypulattē vanda * kaḷḷa asurar tammai **
cenṛu piḍittuc ciṛuk kaigaḷālē * viḷaṅgā eṛindāy pōlum *
enṛum en piḷḷaikkut tīmaigaḷ seyvārgaḷ * aññanam āvargaḷē
Oh milk ocean-hued Lord who incarnated as a boar, a tortoise, and fish! When evil demons assumed the form of calves and mixed with the grazing calves to kill You, didn’t You notice them, catch hold of them with Your little hands, and throw them up on a wood apple tree killing them and causing the fruits to fall down! Let all those who try to harm my darling meet the same fate.
251 kēṭṭaṛiyādana kēṭkinṛēn * kēśavā kōvalar indiraṛku *
kaṭṭiya cōṛum kaṛiyum tayirum * kalanduḍan uṇḍāy pōlum **
ūṭṭamudalilēn un tannaik koṇḍu * oru pōdum enakkaridu *
vāṭṭamilāp pugaḻ vāsudēvā * unnai añjuvan inṛu toṭṭum
Oh Kēśava! I am hearing about Your wonderful activities which are unheard so far. Didn’t You mix all the rice, vegetables and curd—the cowherds wanted to offer to Indra—and ate it all up leaving nothing! I don’t have enough to feed You even for one course! Oh Vāsudeva with undwindling fame! On hearing about Your inconceivable activities, I am daunted!
252 tiṇṇār veṇsaṅguḍaiyāy * tirunāḷ tiruvōṇam inṛēḻu nāḷ * mun
paṇṇēr moḻiyāraik kūvi muḷaiyaṭṭip * pallāṇḍu kūṛuvittēn **
kaṇṇālam seyyak * kaṛiyum kalattadariciyum ākki vaittēn *
kaṇṇā nī nāḷait toṭṭuk kanṛin pin pōgēl * kōlam ceydiṅgē iru
One who holds the immaculate Pāñcajanya conch shell which when blown induces fear in the hearts of the atheists! The star on the seventh day from today is Śravaṇā, Your birth star. So, as a prelude I invited pretty girls expert in auspicious chants and performed Ankurārpaṇam and invocation. For feast on the auspicious day I have stored vegetables and rice in containers. Kaṇṇā, from tomorrow don’t go to graze the calves; adorn Yourself with jewels and be at home.
253 * puṭṛṛaravalgul asōdai nallāycci * tan puttiran gōvindanai *
kaṭṛṛinam mēyttu varak kaṇḍugandu * avaḷ kaṛpitta māṭṛṛamellām **
ceṭṛṛamilādavar vāḻtaru * tenpuduvai viṭṭucittan sol *
kaṭṛṛivai pāḍa vallār * kaḍalvaṇṇan kaḻaliṇai kāṇbargaḷē
The noble lady Yaśodā, the expert cowherd woman in child care, expresses her joy on seeing her son Govinda returning home after grazing the calves and instructs Him what to do and what not to do. Her words have been rendered in to sweet songs by Periyāḻvār, the head of Śrīvilliputtūr, with citizens who are non-envious. Those who learn and recite these divine renditions will be able to behold the unattainable lotus feet of ocean-hued Kaṇṇan.
Kṛṣṇa’s age from the sixth through the tenth year is called paugaṇḍa. Kṛṣṇa used to put on a silk dress, silk turban and garlands of various kinds of flowers when He used to go into the forest to tend the calves and cows. He would carry a stick fifty-six inches long decorated with golden rings. In the forest sometimes He would wrestle with His different friends, and sometimes they would dance all together. The pastimes in this period took place in the forest known as Bhāṇḍīra-vana which still exists in Vṛndāvana (Nectar of Devotion 42)
Mother Yaśodā sends Kaṇṇan, keeping in line with the occupational duty of the cowherd community, to graze the calves along with the other cowherd boys in the village. However, she repents that she is so wicked that she can send her little boy to the forest to face hardships instead of remaining at home, even though He would go around the village and engage in mischiefs. When she sees Kaṇṇan coming back home, she proudly calls everybody to look at her beautiful son and His decoration, welcomes Him, expresses Her love, enquires about the day, promises Him a nice bath and supper along with His father. She tells Him that next week His birthday will be celebrated grandly and that henceforth He should not go to graze the calves but stay at home adorning Himself with nice jewellery.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam tenth canto and other scriptures a delightful account of Kṛṣṇa taking the calves for grazing and how He enjoys in the forest along with the cowherd boys is given: Cowherd boys, when they are young, are trained to take care of the cows, but their training starts with taking care of the little calves. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma grow sufficiently they are given charge of the calves. In the morning, Kṛṣṇa blows His buffalo-horn bugle and calls all His friends together. Along with the cowherd boys and their groups of calves, Kṛṣṇa comes out with an unlimited number of calves assembled. With the calves walking before them, they start for the forest in a great procession. They are equipped each with a stick, flute, horn, and a lunch bag. Though the boys are fully decorated with various golden ornaments they pick up flowers, leaves, twigs, peacock feathers and red clay on their way and enhance their decoration. One boy steals another boy’s lunch pack and passes it on to another boy. When the owner finds out that his lunch pack has been stolen and tries to find out who has it, the boys keep throwing it from one to another. When he starts crying, they pacify him and give back the pack. Sometimes, when Kṛṣṇa goes ahead, the boys behind Him compete with each other to run and touch Kṛṣṇa first. When they leave the calves to graze in a safe pasture on the bank of the Yamunā, they start playing nearby. Some of them play on their flutes or blow bugles made of buffalo horn. Some follow and imitate the dancing of the peacocks or imitate the sound of the cuckoo. Some trace the course of the shadows of the birds flying above. Some catch the monkeys by the tail and when they jump on to a tree the boys follow. When a monkey showed its face and teeth, a boy imitates and shows his teeth to the monkey. Some boys play with the frogs and when they jump in to the water, the boys immediately dive in after them. They also go to an empty well and make loud sounds and when the echo comes back, they call it ill names and laugh. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma enjoyed their childhood playing apparently like ordinary cowherd boys. The cowherd boys, having accumulated the results of pious activities for many lives, are able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune?
At lunch time, the cowherd boys sit down keeping Kṛṣṇa in the center and open the lunch packs. They collect leaves and the bark of the trees and place their lunch on them. They eat and constantly enjoy seeing the Lord face to face. Kṛṣṇa resembled the whorl of a lotus flower, and the boys around Him its different petals. The boys manifest different kinds of relations with Kṛṣṇa, and they enjoyed each other’s company with jokes. Kṛṣṇa keeps His flute, bugle, and cane pushed within the waist belt of His vesture. In His left palm He holds a lump of food prepared with rice, yogurt, butter, pieces of fruits and sweetened with honey. The boys offer Him the food brought from their home and in turn take the food offered by Kṛṣṇa. Thus, the scene was being observed by the demigods from heaven.
Some descriptions of Vēdānta Deśika in Yādavābyudaya 4th chapter are: When their protector and the Supreme Lord became a cowherd boy, the Vedas appeared as cows and touched His lotus feet mooing happily, as if reciting Vedic mantras. They learnt vātsalya (parental love) from Kaṇṇan who loved the calves more than Himself. When Kaṇṇan gently caressed the calves, they lowered their heads and fell half asleep. Kaṇṇan considered them as His pure devotees bowing down to Him. When the new born calves jumped and roamed and became too tired to go to their mothers for feeding, Kaṇṇan fed them. In the forest, whenever the cowherd boys were hungry, Kaṇṇan always offered them with His lotus hand curd rice very deliciously prepared and sweetened with honey. The boys bring various varieties of fruits for Kaṇṇan and He would offer them first to Balarāma and then shared the remnants with the boys. On seeing Kaṇṇan returning to the village with the calves, the faces of the cowherd damsels blossomed, and glowed like lotus flowers at sunrise. Both the girls and the women were captivated by His charm and exhibited their love for him in their own moods.
kōvalar indiraṛku kaṭṭiya cōṛum kaṛiyum tayirum kalanduḍan uṇḍāy pōlum: Didn’t You mix all the rice, vegetables and curd—the cowherds wanted to offer to Indra—and ate it all up leaving nothing! Once, Kṛṣṇa crushed the pride of Indra by prohibiting a sacrifice intended for him and initiating a substitute sacrifice in worship of the local brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. When Mahārāja Nanda asked Kṛṣṇa how He wanted the yajña performed, Kṛṣṇa asked them to prepare varieties of foods like sweet rice and sweets from the grains and ghee collected for the yajña. The learned brāhmaṇas chanted the Vedic hymns and offered oblations to the fire and they were given grains and money in charity. The cows, the lower animals and the lower grades of men were fed sumptuously. Then Kṛṣṇa transformed Himself in to a huge form and declared that He was Govardhana Hill. He began to eat all the food offered.
Vāṭṭamilāp pugaḻ vāsudēvā: Oh Vāsudeva with undwindling fame! The Lord is unlimited and His glories are also unlimited. His glories cannot be enumerated even by Brahmā. It is said that Anantadeva, who has unlimited mouths, has been trying to describe the glories of the Lord for an unlimited period of time, yet He is not able to finish as the glories of the Lord continue to grow unlimited. At the end of ten thousand years of severe austerities performed by the Pracetās, the Supreme Lord appeared on the shoulder of Garuḍa. While praying to the Lord the Pracetās say:
Dear Lord, even great yogīs and mystics who are very much advanced by virtue of austerities and knowledge and who have completely situated themselves in pure existence, as well as great personalities like Manu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, cannot fully understand Your glories and potencies. Nonetheless they have offered their prayers according to their own capacities. In the same way, we, although much lower than these personalities, also offer our prayers according to our own capability (Bhāgavatam 4.30.41).
So, it is not possible for a tiny living entity to understand and glorify the unlimited Personality of Godhead, but one should try to offer prayers or service to the Lord according to one’s capacity.
Kaṭṛṛivai pāḍa vallār * kaḍalvaṇṇan kaḻaliṇai kāṇbargaḷē: Those who learn and recite these divine renditions will be able to behold the unattainable lotus feet of ocean-hued Kaṇṇan. Hearing and chanting the name, fame, glory and pastime are the methods recommended by pure devotees of the Lord to behold His lotus feet. In her prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa, Kuntīdevī, mother of Pāndavas reaffirms:
śṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanty abhīkṣṇaśaḥ
smaranti nandanti tavehitaṁ janāḥ
ta eva paśyanty acireṇa tāvakaṁ
O Kṛṣṇa, those who continuously hear, chant and repeat Your transcendental activities, or take pleasure in others’ doing so, certainly see Your lotus feet, which alone can stop the repetition of birth and death (Bhāgavatam 1.8.36).
Scriptures like the Vedas and Purāṇas have been written down and explained by Śrīla Vyāsadeva and many other eminent ācāryas to revive our lost relation with Kṛṣṇa.
 Madhusūdana: Killer of Madhu demon. See Tirumoḻi 6-Swing, sway, and dance!
 Śrīraṅgam: See Glossary Mudaṛ Pattu (First Decade)
 Dāmōdara: See Tirumoḻi 3 Mudaṛ Pattu (First Decade)-The complete form of the Lord.
 Nappinnai: See Tirumoḻi 4—Come to bathe! and Tirumoḻi 5 – Oh raven, come and comb Kaṇṇan’s hair! Iraṇḍām Paththu (Second Decade).
 Śrī Vēnkaṭa Hills: Also known as Tirumalā Hills in Cittūr district, Āndhra Pradēś State, India on which Lord Venkateswara Temple is located. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams or important Śrī Vaiṣṇava temples.
 Pāñcajanya: See Tiruppallāṇḍu.
 Kāliya: See Tirumoḻi 6, Tirumoḻi 9.
 Boar: See Tirumoḻi 10. Tortoise and Fish: See Tirumoḻi 6.
 Śravaṇā: The birth star of Kaṇṇan is Rohiṇī. Tamiḻ Vaiṣṇava scholars say that to misguide those with malicious intention to harm the Lord by tantric or mantric methods, Periyāḻvār desired to hide the actual birth star.
 Ankurārpaṇam: See footnote 8 in Tiruppallāṇḍu
 Lotus feet: See Tirumoḻi 1,3,8
254 * taḻaigaḷum toṅgalum tadumbi eṅgum * taṇṇumai ekkam mattaḷi tāḻ pīli *
kuḻalgaḷum gītamumāgi eṅgum * gōvindan varuginṛa kūṭṭam kaṇḍu **
maḻai kolō varuginṛadenṛu solli * maṅgaimār cālaga vāsal paṭṛṛi *
nuḻaivanar niṛpanarāgi eṅgum * uḷḷam viṭṭu ūṇ maṛandoḻindanarē
Carrying many parasols and umbrellas of peacock feathers, playing mṛdaṅgas (Indian drums), single string vīṇās (similar to lute), pipes of leaves and flutes, waving fans of peacock feathers, and singing to the tunes, Kaṇṇan and His thousand cowherd friends return to the village. Looking through the windows and standing near the doors, the maidens watching this tumultuous scene, comment joyously, “Have the rain clouds landed on the earth?” Watching Kaṇṇan all the way through, they lose their hearts and forget their supper!
255 valli nuṇ idaḻanna āḍai koṇḍu * vasaiyaṛat tiruvarai virittuḍuttu *
palli nuṇ paṭṛṛāga uḍaivāḷ sāttip * paṇaikkaccundip pala taḻai naḍuvē **
mullai nal naṛumalar vēṅgai malar aṇindu * pallāyar kuḻām naḍuvē *
elliyam pōdāgap piḷḷai varum * edir ninṛu aṅginavaḷai iḻavēnminē
(The cowherd damsels confide) “Attired in a fine vestment, as soft as the petals of the kalpa-vṛkṣa creeper, and a big waist cloth with a dress sword tucked in tightly like a lizard clutching the wall, protected by many parasols of peacock feathers and sporting garlands of fragrant jasmine and Indian kino tree flowers, and surrounded by a group of cowherd boys, Kaṇṇan will come at dusk; don’t be there lest you lose your valuable bangles!”
256 curigaiyum teṛivillum ceṇḍukōlum * mēlāḍaiyum tōḻanmār koṇḍōḍa *
oru kaiyāl oruvan tan tōḷai ūnṛi * ānirai inam mīḷak kuṛitta saṅgam **
varugaiyil vāḍiya piḷḷai kaṇṇan * mañjaḷum mēniyum vaḍivum kaṇḍāḷ *
arugē ninṛāḷ en peṇ nōkkik kaṇḍāḷ * adu kaṇḍu ivvūr onṛu puṇarkkinṛadē
(The cowherd woman laments) “Followed by His devoted playmates—carrying his dress sword, catapult, and stick topped with a bunch of flowers and vesture — resting one hand on the shoulder of an intimate friend and in the other holding the conch blown to call back the cowherds, when the youthful and tired Kaṇṇan returned, my daughter (like all other girls) looked at Him and was mesmerised by His alluring form and bluish body smeared with rich turmeric. Observing this, the village people are spinning stories connecting Him and her.”
257 kunṛeḍuttu ānirai kātta pirān * kōvalanāyk kuḻalūdi ūdi *
kanṛugaḷ mēyttut tan tōḻarōḍu * kalanduḍan varuvānait teruvil kaṇḍu **
enṛum ivanai oppārai naṅgāy * kaṇḍaṛiyēn ēḍi vandu kāṇāy *
onṛum nillā vaḷai kaḻanṛu * tugilēndiḷamulaiyum en vasam allavē
(The damsel confesses) “He who appeared in the cowherd community, the Lord who protected the cowherds holding the Govardhana Hill as umbrella, and always plays His flute is returning with His friends and the calves. Oh maiden! I have never seen anyone like Him, come and see Him, my friend! Beware, my dress has loosened, bangles are slipping, and my tender breasts are tingling passionately!”
258 cuṭṛṛi ninṛu āyar taḻaigaḷiḍac * curuḷ paṅgi nēttirattāl aṇindu *
paṭṛṛi ninṛu āyar kaḍaittalaiyē * pāḍavum āḍakkaṇḍēn ** anṛip pin
maṭṛṛoruvarkku ennaip pēsal oṭṭēn * māliruñcōlai em māyaṛkallāl *
koṭṛṛavanukku ivaḷāmenṛeṇṇik * koḍuminkaḷ koḍīrāgil kōḻambamē
(Another maiden declares) “Surrounded by cowherd companions holding parasols of peacock feathers, curly locks decorated by peacock plumes, I saw Him singing and dancing in the forefront of the group. I want to give myself to none other than Him—my mystic Lord of Tirumāliruñcōlai alone. (My dear parents) “Give me—being the most eligible— in marriage to that victorious King; if not, face the consequence.”
259 sinduram ilaṅgat tan tiruneṭṛṛi mēl * tiruttiya kōṛambum tirukkuḻalum *
andaramuḻavat taṇ taḻaikkāvin kīḻ * varumāyarōḍu uḍanvaḷai kōl vīsa **
andamonṛillāta āyap piḷḷai * aṛindaṛindu ivvīdi pōdumāgil *
pandu koṇḍānenṛu vaḷaittu vaittup * pavaḷavāy muṛuvalum kāṇbōm tōḻī
(One girl says) “The vermilion mark on the forehead and the nice ornament above that glowing, and with lovely curly locks, playing musical instruments resounding in the sky, walking under the cool parasols of peacock feathers accompanied by His dear cowherd boys flipping the grazing sticks, if the unlimitedly charming boy—He knows all about me and cheats me—comes to this street, let us trap Him and savour His coral red lips and sweet smile, my dear friend!”
260 cālappal niraip pinnē taḻaikkāvin kīḻ * tan tirumēni ninṛoḷi tigaḻa *
nīla nal naṛuṅguñji nēttirattāl aṇindu * pallāyar kuḻām naḍuvē **
kōlac centāmaraik kaṇ miḷirak * kuḻalūdi isai pāḍik kunittu * āyarōḍu
ālittu varuginṛa āyap piḷḷai * aḻagu kaṇḍu en magaḷ ayarkkinṛadē
(A cowherd woman bemoans) “Following unlimited herds of cows and holding a parasol of peacock feathers, His bluish hued body resplendent, fragrant long and curly locks decorated with peacock plumes, captivating red lotus eyes gleaming, and playing His flute amidst many groups of cowherd boys singing and dancing, when the lad merrily comes, admiring His elegant form, my daughter stands entranced.”
261 sindurap poḍik koṇḍu cenni appit * tirunāmamiṭṭu aṅgōrilaiyan tannāl *
andaraminṛit tanneṛi paṅgiyai * aḻagiya nēttirattāl aṇindu **
indiran pōl varu māyap piḷḷai * edir ninṛaṅginavaḷai iḻavēl enna *
candiyil ninṛu kaṇḍīr * naṅgai tan tugiloḍu carivaḷai kaḻalginṛadē
(A woman bewails) “Though I cautioned my daughter not to face the lad—who has smeared his head with vermilion powder, stuck a thin leaf as a vertical mark on the forehead and decorated His dense locks with peacock plumes—approaching on the street majestically like Indra and lose her valuable bangles, now look at her standing at the crossroads! Alas, her dress has slackened and set of bangles have slipped.”
262 valaṅkādin mēl tōnṛip pūvaṇindu * malligai vanamālai mauvan mālai *
siliṅgārattāl kuḻal tāḻa viṭṭut * tīṅguḻalvāy maḍuttūdi ūdi **
alaṅgārattāl varu māyap piḷḷai * aḻagu kaṇḍu en magaḷ āsaippaṭṭu *
vilaṅgi nillādu edir ninṛu kaṇḍīr * veḷvaḷai kaḻanṛu meymmeliginṛadē
(Another woman ruefully says) “Displaying a flame lily flower on the right ear, wearing a beautiful jasmine flower garland and a mālati flower garland, the decorated curly locks dangling on His back, and continuously playing enchanting tunes on His flute, this lad comes, and oh my, my bewitched daughter rather going away stands right in front of Him! Look, her ivory bangles have slipped and her body has weakened!
263 * viṇṇin mīdu amarargaḷ virumbit toḻa * miṛaittu āyarpāḍiyil vīdiyūḍē *
kaṇṇan kālip pinnē eḻundaruḷak kaṇḍu * iḷavāyk kannimār kāmuṭṛṛa
vaṇṇam ** vaṇḍamar poḻil puduvaiyar kōn * viṭṭucittan sonna mālai pattum *
paṇ inbam varap pāḍum pattaruḷḷār * paramāna vaikuṇṭha naṇṇuvarē
While the demigods respectfully bow to Him from the heaven, their saviour Kaṇṇan, walks behind the cows on the street, capturing the hearts of the onlooking damsels. This delectable spectacle has been woven in to a garland of ten songs by Periyāḻvār, the head of Śrīvilliputtur beautified by gardens swarmed by bees. Those devotees who recite these songs with divine mellow will attain the transcendental abode of Vaikunṭha.
When Kṛṣṇa reaches the end of paugaṇḍa age, His hair hangs down or remains scattered. He has higher and broader shoulders and He decorates His face with marks. His friend Subala once commented, “I do not know how these features of Your body can fail to defeat the pride of all the young girls of Vṛndāvana. When I am so defeated by this beauty, what chance is there for those who are naturally very simple and flexible?” Kṛṣṇa used to whisper in to the ears of His friends on the beauty of the gopīs, who were loitering before them deliberately to attract the attention of Kṛṣṇa. His friend jokes:
My dear Kṛṣṇa, You are very cunning. You can understand the thoughts of others; therefore, I am whispering within Your ear that all of these five gopīs, who are most beautiful, have been attracted by Your dress. And I believe that Cupid has entrusted them with the responsibility of conquering You (Nectar of Devotion 42).
When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma return in the evening from the forest with the other cowherd boys, they play their flutes, and the boys sing songs praising the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa during the day. They are decorated with various colours of clay, flowers and leaves, and smeared with the dust from the hooves of the cows. Kṛṣṇa’s head is decorated with peacock plumes. The cowherd damsels, who have been thinking of Kṛṣṇa herding the cows in the forest and turn morose due to His absence, become joyous when they see Him returning. Their eyes linger on His face as the bees hover over the flowers and they smile and laugh. Kṛṣṇa also looks at them and enjoys the beautiful smiling faces of the girls (Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead 15).
The delectable spectacle of Kaṇṇan going to and returning from the forest along with the cowherd boys has been described by Periyāḻvār vividly: Carrying many parasols and umbrellas of peacock feathers, playing mṛdaṅgas (Indian drums), single string vīṇās (similar to lute), pipes of leaves and flutes, waving fans of peacock feathers, and singing to the tunes, Kaṇṇan and His thousand cowherd friends return to the village. He is attired in a fine vestment, as soft as the petals of the kalpa-vṛkṣa creeper, and a big waist cloth with a dress sword tucked in tightly like a lizard clutching the wall, protected by many parasols of peacock feathers and sporting garlands of fragrant jasmine and Indian kino tree flowers, and is surrounded by a group of cowherd boys. Followed by His devoted playmates—carrying his dress sword, catapult, and stick topped with a bunch of flowers and vesture — resting one hand on the shoulder of an intimate friend and in the other holding the conch blown to call back the cowherds, the youthful and tired Kaṇṇan returned. He sang and danced in the forefront of the group. The vermilion mark on the forehead and the nice ornament above that glowing, and with lovely curly locks, playing musical instruments resounding in the sky, Kaṇṇan walked under the cool parasols of peacock feathers accompanied by His dear cowherd boys flipping the grazing sticks. Following unlimited herds of cows, His bluish hued body resplendent, fragrant long and curly locks decorated with peacock plumes, captivating red lotus eyes gleaming, and playing His flute amidst many groups of cowherd boys singing and dancing, the lad merrily came. He approached on the street majestically like Indra. Displaying a flame lily flower on the right ear, wearing a beautiful jasmine flower garland and a mālati flower garland, the decorated curly locks dangling on His back, and continuously playing enchanting tunes on His flute, Kaṇṇan came. While the demigods respectfully bowed to Him from the heaven, their saviour Kaṇṇan, walked behind the cows on the street, capturing the hearts of the on looking damsels.
Periyāḻvār also depicts the romantic mood of the on looking damsels and the lamentation of their mothers: The maidens watching the tumultuous scene, comment joyously, “Have the rain clouds landed on the earth?” Watching Kaṇṇan all the way through, they lose their hearts and forget their supper! The damsels confide to each other, “When Kaṇṇan comes at dusk don’t be there lest you lose your valuable bangles!” One damsel confesses, “Oh maiden! I have never seen anyone like Him, come and see Him, my friend! Beware, my dress has loosened, bangles are slipping, and my tender breasts are tingling passionately!” One girl says, “He knows all about me and cheats me. When this unlimitedly charming boy comes to this street, let us trap Him and savour His coral red lips and sweet smile, my dear friend!” The mother of one girl laments, “When the youthful and tired Kaṇṇan returned, my daughter (like all other girls) looked at Him and was mesmerised by His alluring form and bluish body smeared with rich turmeric. Observing this, the village people are spinning stories connecting Him and her.” Another mother bemoans, “When the lad merrily comes, admiring His elegant form, my daughter stands entranced.” Yet another mother ruefully says, “Continuously playing enchanting tunes on His flute, when this lad comes, and oh my, my bewitched daughter rather than going away stands right in front of Him! Look, her ivory bangles have slipped and her body has weakened!
Such delightful scenes have been sketched in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam too:
10.15.42-43: Lord Kṛṣṇa’s hair, powdered with the dust raised by the cows, was decorated with a peacock feather and forest flowers. The Lord glanced charmingly and smiled beautifully, playing upon His flute while His companions chanted His glories. The gopīs, all together, came forward to meet Him, their eyes very eager to see Him.
With their beelike eyes, the women of Vṛndāvana drank the honey of the beautiful face of Lord Mukunda, and thus they gave up the distress they had felt during the day because of separation from Him. The young Vṛndāvana ladies cast sidelong glances at the Lord—glances filled with bashfulness, laughter and submission—and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, completely accepting these glances as a proper offering of respect, entered the cowherd village.
10.20.45: Except for the gopīs, whose hearts had been stolen by Kṛṣṇa, the people could forget their suffering by embracing the wind coming from the flower-filled forest.
10.21.4 The cowherd girls began to speak about Kṛṣṇa, but when they remembered His activities, O King, the power of Cupid disturbed their minds, and thus they could not speak.
10.21.7-8 : The cowherd girls said: O friends, those eyes that see the beautiful faces of the sons of Mahārāja Nanda are certainly fortunate. As these two sons enter the forest, surrounded by Their friends, driving the cows before Them, They hold Their flutes to Their mouths and glance lovingly upon the residents of Vṛndāvana. For those who have eyes, we think there is no greater object of vision.
Dressed in a charming variety of garments, upon which Their garlands rest, and decorating Themselves with peacock feathers, lotuses, lilies, newly grown mango sprouts and clusters of flower buds, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma shine forth magnificently among the assembly of cowherd boys. They look just like the best of dancers appearing on a dramatic stage, and sometimes They sing.
10.29.39-40: The gopīs told unabashedly to Kṛṣṇa:
Seeing Your face encircled by curling locks of hair, Your cheeks beautified by earrings, Your lips full of nectar, and Your smiling glance, and also seeing Your two imposing arms, which take away our fear, and Your chest, which is the only source of pleasure for the goddess of fortune, we must become Your maidservants.
Dear Kṛṣṇa, what woman in all the three worlds wouldn’t deviate from religious behavior when bewildered by the sweet, drawn-out melody of Your flute? Your beauty makes all three worlds auspicious. Indeed, even the cows, birds, trees and deer manifest the ecstatic symptom of bodily hair standing on end when they see Your beautiful form.
Let us pray to that enchanter Kaṇṇan that we should get totally detached from the material desires and remain attached only to His lotus feet so that we can attain the transcendental abode of Vaikunṭha.
264 * aṭṭukkuvi cōṭṛṛup paruppadamum * tayir vāviyum neyyaḷaṛum aḍaṅgap
poṭṭattuṭṛṛu * mārip pagai puṇartta * porumā kaḍalvaṇṇan poṛutta malai **
vaṭṭat taḍaṅgaṇ maḍamān kanṛinai * valaivāyp paṭṛṛik koṇḍu * kuṛa magaḷir
koṭṭait talaippāl koḍuttu vaḷarkkum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Kaṇṇan, black-hued like the wavy ocean, gobbled up the cooked rice heaped like a hill and many pots of curd and ghee (clarified butter) inviting the fury of (Indra and) torrential rains, held the hill—on which the gypsies catch with net the round-eyed fawns closely protected by the does and nourish them with milk squeezed from soaked cotton wick and which is named “Govardhana” as it facilitates multiplication (vardhana) of cows (Go)—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
265 vaḻuvonṛumilā seygai vānavar kōn * valippaṭṭu munindu viḍukkappaṭṭa *
maḻai vandu eḻunāḷ peydu māttaḍaippa * madhusūdan eḍuttu maṛitta malai **
iḻavu tariyādadōr īṭṛṛup piḍi * iḷañjīyam toḍarndu muḍugudalum *
kuḻaviyiḍaik kāliṭṭedirndu porum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
When Indra—who carried out the Vedic sacrifices properly—sent the clouds under his control to pour rains for seven days confining the cows and the cowherd men, Madhusūdana lifted effortlessly and held the hill upside down—on which the mother elephant shelters the baby elephant under its legs and valiantly chases away the young lion stalking the baby elephant—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
266 ammait taḍaṅgaṇ maḍavāycciyarum * ānāyarum āniraiyum alaṛi *
emmaic caraṇēnṛu koḷḷenṛirappa * ilaṅgāḻikkai endai eḍutta malai **
tammaic caraṇenṛa tam pāvaiyaraip * punamēyginṛa māninam kāṇmin enṛu *
kommaippuyak kunṛar silai kunikkum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Responding to the pitiful cries—of the shy cowherd women with elegant and big eyes decorated with mascara and the cowherd men with the sole occupation of cow protection, and the herds of cows—praying for acceptance of their surrender, my Lord, wielding the blazing disc, lifted effortlessly and held the hill—on which the strong shouldered gypsy men draw the bows to shoot the arrows (at their own women moving in the bushes, mistaking their eyes to be those of the deer herd) gesturing to each other, “Look at the herds of deer devouring our plantation,” and the women dash out crying not to shoot—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
267 kaḍuvāyccina veṅgaṇ kaḷiṭṛṛinukkuk * kavaḷameḍuttuk koḍuppānavan pōl *
aḍivāyuṛak kaiyiṭṭu eḻap paṛittiṭṭu * amarar perumān koṇḍu ninṛa malai **
kaḍalvāy senṛu mēgam kaviḻndiṛaṅgik * kaduvāyppaḍa nīr mugandēṛi * eṅgum
kuḍavāyppaḍa ninṛu maḻai poḻiyum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Like a mahout scooping up a huge ball of rice to feed the elephant—with a cavernous mouth and blazing eyes, and very aggressive—Kaṇṇan, the Lord of demigods, thrust His lotus hand underneath the hill, uprooted it, and lifted effortlessly and held the Hill—on which the clouds that have soaked up all the water from the sea, arise up and pour rains all over (like emptying pitchers)—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
268 vānattiluḷḷīr valiyīr uḷḷīrēl * aṛaiyō vandu vāṅgumin enbavan pōl *
ēnatturuvāgiya īsan endai * iḍavaneḻa vāṅgi eḍutta malai **
kānak kaḷiyānai tan kombiḻandu * kaduvāy madam cōrat tan kai eḍuttu *
kūnal piṛai vēṇḍi aṇṇāndu niṛkum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Assuming the form of a boar He who lifted the earth up from the depth of the ocean, the Supreme controller, my Lord, uprooted, lifted effortlessly and held the hill, as if it was a ball of mud and seemed to call out, “Oh demigods in the heaven! If you are really strong, one of you can accept my challenge to come and hold this hill.” He held the Govardhana Hill—on which the bull elephant in musth, roaming in the forest breaks one of his tusks and with the discharge oozing out of the injured mouth, raises its trunk looking up at and desiring the crescent moon of the third day of waxing—that Govardhana Hill like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
269 ceppāḍuḍaiya tirumāl avan tan * cendāmaraik kaiviral aindinaiyum *
kappāga maḍuttu maṇi neḍuntōḷ * kāmbāgak koḍuttuk kavitta malai **
eppāḍum parandiḻi teḷḷaruvi * ilaṅgu maṇi muttu vaḍam piṛaḻa *
kuppāyamena ninṛu kāṭci tarum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
The benevolent Lord of the goddess of fortune spread the five fingers of His lotus hand like the spokes of an umbrella and stretched His beautiful, blue sapphire gemstone-hued arm and shoulder like the long shaft and held the hill upside down—which sports all around clear and shimmering waterfalls cascading down like strands of pearls and looking like a tunic of pearls for the Lord—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
270 paḍaṅgaḷ palavumuḍaip pāmbaraiyan * paḍar būmiyait tāṅgik kiḍappavan pōl *
taḍaṅgai viral aindum malara vaittu * dāmōdaran tāṅgu taḍavarai tān **
aḍaṅgac senṛu ilaṅgaiyai īḍaḻitta * anuman pugaḻ pāḍit tam kuṭṭankaḷai *
kuḍaṅgaik koṇḍu mandigaḷ kaṇ vaḷarttum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Like the many hooded King of snakes (Ananta Śeṣa) holds the vast universes on His hoods, Lord Dāmodara spread the five fingers of His huge palm and held the hill—on which the female monkeys cradle the baby monkeys on their palms and sing the glories of Hanumān, who flew to Laṅkā and set it on fire, to lull them to sleep—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
271 calamā mugil palkaṇap pōrkkaḷattuc * caramāri poḻindu eṅgum pūsaliṭṭu *
nalivānuṛak kēḍagam kōppavan pōl * nārāyaṇan mun mugam kātta malai **
ilaivēy kurambait tavamā munivar * irundār naḍuvē senṛu aṇār coṛiya *
kolaivāyccina vēṅgaigaḷ ninṛuṛaṅgum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
When multitude of rain clouds poured a devastating rainfall—with constant lightning and thunder, inundating Vṛndāvana—like torrents of arrows shot on the battlefield, Lord Nārāyaṇa, as if holding a shield, protected the inhabitants by lifting and holding the hill—on which the ferocious tigers with vicious mouth visit the hermitages and as the ṛṣis living there stroke their necks they doze standing—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
272 vanpēy mulaiyuṇḍadōr vāyuḍaiyan * van tūṇenana ninṛadōrvanparattai *
tanpēriṭṭuk koṇḍu taraṇi tannil * dāmōdaran tāṅgu taḍa varai tān **
munbē vaḻikāṭṭa musukkaṇaṅgaḷ * mudugil peydu tammuḍaik kuṭṭankaḷai *
kombēṭṛṛiyirundu kudi payiṭṛṛum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
Lord Dāmodara, who sucked the poison-laced breast of the demon Pūtanā, stood like a stout column supporting heavy weight, lifting and holding the hill bearing His name Govardhana—on which hordes of monkeys jump from branch to branch to demonstrate to the little ones clinging to their backs and train them to jump from a lower branch to the other—that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!
273 koḍiyēṛu cendāmaraik kaiviralgaḷ * kōlamum aḻindila vāḍiṭṛṛila *
vaḍivēṛu tiruvugir nondumila * maṇivaṇṇan malaiyumōr sampiradam **
muḍiyēṛiya māmugiṛ palgaṇaṅgaḷ * munneṭṛṛi naraittana pōla * eṅgum
kuḍiyēṛiyirundu maḻai poḻiyum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē
His arm, stretched up like a flagpole, and His lotus palm and fingers (even after holding the hill for seven days) did not lose their natural beauty or the strength and the elegant nails did not hurt. Hordes of rain clouds collected and poured on the hill top which having been washed clean looked like a forehead covered with grey hair. The blue sapphire gemstone-hued Kaṇṇan lifting and holding the Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains, was mystical!
274 * aravil paḷḷi koṇḍu aravam turandiṭṭu * aravap pagaiyūrti avanuḍaiya *
kuraviṛ koḍimullaigaḷ ninṛuṛaṅgum * gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē **
tiruviṛ poli maṛai vāṇar puttūrt tigaḻ * paṭṭar pirān sonna mālai pattum *
paravu mana nanguḍaip pattaruḷḷār * paramāna vaikuṇṭham naṇṇuvarē
He who reclines on snake Ananta Śeṣa, drove away the snake Kālīya and has Garuḍa, the enemy of snakes as His vehicle lifting and holding the Govardhana Hill—like an umbrella, conquering the rains—on which the Arabian jasmine vines entwine the porcupine flower trees—has been rendered in a decade of divine songs by Periyāḻvār of Śrīvilliputtūr which is the residence of eminent Vedic scholars. Those devotees who memorise and recite these songs will attain the transcendental abode of Vaikunṭha.
Lord Kṛṣṇa picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground and held up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand for seven days. Finally, it dawned on Indra that He was playing with none other than the Supreme Lord and ordered the clouds to withdraw. Ashamed of his misdeed, Indra secretly met Kṛṣṇa, offered obeisances and praised Him. Periyāḻvār aptly summarises the whole episode, gōvardhanamennum koṭṛṛak kuḍaiyē: “Kaṇṇan lifted effortlessly and held that Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella, conquering the rains!” He renders a poetic account of how Kaṇṇan lifted the hill: Aḍivāyuṛak kaiyiṭṭu eḻap paṛittiṭṭu amarar perumān koṇḍu ninṛa malai: Like a mahout scooping up a huge ball of rice to feed the elephant—with a cavernous mouth and blazing eyes, and very aggressive—Kaṇṇan, the Lord of demigods, thrust His lotus hand underneath the hill, uprooted it, and lifted effortlessly and held the Hill. Iḍavaneḻa vāṅgi eḍutta malai: Assuming the form of a boar He who lifted the earth up from the depth of the ocean, the Supreme controller, my Lord, uprooted, lifted effortlessly and held the hill, as if it was a ball of mud and seemed to call out, “Oh demigods in the heaven! If you are really strong, one of you can accept my challenge to come and hold this hill.” cendāmaraik kaiviral aindinaiyum kappāga maḍuttu maṇi neḍuntōḷ kāmbāgak koḍuttuk kavitta malai: The benevolent Lord of the goddess of fortune spread the five fingers of His lotus hand like the spokes of an umbrella and stretched His beautiful, blue sapphire gemstone-hued arm and shoulder like the long shaft and held the hill upside down. Taḍaṅgai viral aindum malara vaittu dāmōdaran tāṅgu taḍavarai tān: Like the many hooded King of snakes (Ananta Śeṣa) holds the vast universes on His hoods, Lord Dāmodara spread the five fingers of His huge palm and held the hill. Nalivānuṛak kēḍagam kōppavan pōl nārāyaṇan mun mugam kātta malai: Lord Nārāyaṇa, as if holding a shield, protected the inhabitants by lifting and holding the hill. Van tūṇenana ninṛadōrvanparattai tanpēriṭṭuk koṇḍu taraṇi tannil dāmōdaran tāṅgu taḍa varai tān: Lord Dāmodara stood like a stout column supporting heavy weight, lifting and holding the hill bearing His name Govardhana. Koḍiyēṛu cendāmaraik kaiviralgaḷ kōlamum aḻindila vāḍiṭṛṛila vaḍivēṛu tiruvugir nondumila: His arm, stretched up like a flagpole, and His lotus palm and fingers (even after holding the hill for seven days) did not lose their natural beauty or the strength and the elegant nails did not hurt.
Interestingly Periyāḻvār sings that Kaṇṇan held the hill upside down (eḍuttu maṛitta malai, kavitta malai). Vēdānta Deśika endorses this in his Yādavābyudaya 7th chapter: Kaṇṇan placed a hand on the huge Govardhana Hill, known as the second Mount Meru, uprooted it as an elephant uproots a tuft of fresh grass, turned it upside down and lifted up. The trees on the mountain also stood overturned, looking at Kaṇṇan. It seemed as if they were performing austerity like those who had climbed up those huge trees and sat down to perform austerity and were also upturned while in deep trance. With love Kaṇṇan pointed at the grass growing on the overturned hill and the cows with desire and happiness lifted up their heads and grazed.
Since the hill was upturned and there was no threat from the rain clouds, the hunters living on the hill lost their fear and happily roamed around along with the cowherd men. The wild animals like tiger and lion were behaving like cows.
In each song Periyāḻvār also gives a scenic description of the inhabitants of the hill and their activities: Vaṭṭat taḍaṅgaṇ maḍamān kanṛinai valaivāyp paṭṛṛik koṇḍu kuṛa magaḷir koṭṭait talaippāl koḍuttu vaḷarkkum: The gypsies catch with nets the round-eyed fawns closely protected by the does and nourish them with milk squeezed from soaked cotton wick. Iḻavu tariyādadōr īṭṛṛup piḍi iḷañjīyam toḍarndu muḍugudalum kuḻaviyiḍaik kāliṭṭedirndu porum: The mother elephant shelters the baby elephant under its legs and valiantly chases away the young lion stalking the baby elephant. Tammaic caraṇenṛa tam pāvaiyaraip punamēyginṛa māninam kāṇmin enṛu kommaippuyak kunṛar silai kunikkum: The strong shouldered gypsy men draw the bows to shoot the arrows (at their own women moving in the bushes, mistaking their eyes to be those of the deer herd) gesturing to each other, “Look at the herds of deer devouring our plantation,” and the women dash out crying not to shoot. Kānak kaḷiyānai tan kombiḻandu kaduvāy madam cōrat tan kai eḍuttu kūnal piṛai vēṇḍi aṇṇāndu niṛkum: The bull elephant in musth, roaming in the forest breaks one of his tusks and with the discharge oozing out of the injured mouth, raises its trunk looking up at and desiring the crescent moon of the third day of waxing. Aḍaṅga senṛu ilaṅgaiyai īḍaḻitta anuman pugaḻ pāḍit tam kuṭṭankaḷai kuḍaṅgaik koṇḍu mandigaḷ kaṇ vaḷarttum: The female monkeys cradle the baby monkeys on their palms and sing the glories of Hanumān—who flew to Laṅkā and set it on fire—to lull them to sleep. Ilaivēy kurambait tavamā munivar irundār naḍuvē senṛu aṇār coṛiya kolaivāyccina vēṅgaigaḷ ninṛuṛaṅgum: The ferocious tigers with vicious mouth visit the hermitages and as the ṛṣis living there stroke their necks they doze standing. Munbē vaḻikāṭṭa musukkaṇaṅgaḷ mudugil peydu tammuḍaik kuṭṭankaḷai kombēṭṛṛiyirundu kudi payiṭṛṛum: Hordes of monkeys jump from branch to branch to demonstrate to the little ones clinging to their backs and train them to jump from a lower branch to the other. Kuraviṛ koḍimullaigaḷ ninṛuṛaṅgum: The Arabian jasmine vines entwine the porcupine flower trees.
 Vēdānta Deśika: See Glossary, Iraṇḍām Pattu.
275 * nāvalam periya tīvinil vāḻum * naṅgaimīrgāḷ idōr aṛpudam kēḷīr *
tūvalam puriyuḍaiya tirumāl * tūya vāyil kuḻalōsai vaḻiyē **
kōvalar siṛumiyar iḷaṅgoṅgai kudugalippa * uḍaluḷaviḻndu * eṅgum
kāvalum kaḍandu kayiṛu mālaiyāki * vandu kaviḻndu ninṛanarē
Oh noble ladies living in the huge Jambūdvīpa! Listen to this wonder. When the Lord of Śrī Lakṣmī who holds the pure Pāñcajanya conchshell places the flute Muralī on His lotus lips and played the flute, the ripe breasts of the cowherd girls tingle and the body and the mind lose control. They escape the restraining watch, encircle Kaṇṇan like garlands on the neck and stand hanging their heads in shyness.
276 iḍavaṇarai iḍattōḷoḍu sāyttu * irukai kūḍap puruvam nerindēṛa *
kuḍavayiṛu paḍavāy kaḍai kūḍak * gōvindan kuḻalkoḍu ūdina pōdu **
maḍamayilgaḷoḍu mānpiṇai pōlē * maṅgaimārgaḷ malark kūndal aviḻa *
uḍai negiḻa ōr kaiyāl tugil paṭṛṛi * olgiyōḍarikkaṇōḍa ninṛanarē
When Gōvinda played the flute—His head tilted, the left chin touching the left shoulder, the flute held with both the hands, the eyebrows raised up, the belly swelling up like a pot, and the lotus lips puckered—the damsels—timid like peacocks and does, the hair, plaited and decorated with flowers, loosening and flying, catching the slipping garment with one hand, and bashfully glancing at Him with the collyrium anointed, reddish eyes—stood stunned.
277 vāniḷavarasu vaikuṇṭhak kuṭṭan * vāsudēvan madurai mannan * nanda
kōn iḷavarasu kōvalar kuṭṭan * gōvindan kuḻalkoḍu ūdina pōdu **
vāniḷambaḍiyar vandu vandīṇḍi * manamurugi malarkkaṇkaḷ panippa *
tēnaḷavu ceṛikūntal aviḻac * cenni vērppac cevi cērttu ninṛanarē
When Gōvinda, the prince of Vaikuṇṭha, the darling of the eternal associates in Vaikuṇṭha, son of Vasudeva, the master of Mathurā, the prince of Nanda Mahārāja and the dearest boy of Gokula, played the flute, the celestial dames—the heart melting, the lotus eyes misty, the honey-smeared hair loosening and flying, and the forehead perspiring—assembled in hordes, and stood listening intently.
278 dēnukan pilamban kāḷiyan ennum * tīppappūḍugaḷ aḍaṅga uḻakki *
kānagambaḍi ulāvi ulāvik * karuñciṛukkan kuḻal ūdina pōdu **
mēnagaiyoḍu tilōttamai arambai * uruppasiyaravar veḷgi mayaṅgi *
vānagampaḍiyil vāy tiṛappinṛi * āḍal pāḍalavai māṛinar tāmē
When the black-hued lad, who eliminated demoniac weeds like Dhenukāsura, Pralambāsura, and black serpent Kāliya and freely roamed around in the forest, played the flute, the celestial dames like Menakā, Tilottamā, Rambhā, and Urvaśī were enchanted and out of shame, on their own, stopped singing and dancing in heaven and on earth.
279 mun narasiṅgamadāgi avuṇan mukkiyattai muḍippān * mūvulagin
mannarañjum * madhusūdanan vāyil kuḻalin ōsai * seviyaip paṭṛṛi vāṅga **
nannarambuḍaiya tumburuvōḍu * nāradanum tam tam vīṇai maṛandu *
kinnara mithunaṅgaḷum tam tam kinnaram * toḍugilōm enṛanarē
When Madhusūdana, who once assuming the form of Nṛsiṁha destroyed the dominance of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and is feared by the kings in all the three planetary systems, played the flute the melodious tune captivated the ears, made Tumburu Rṣi and Nārada Muni forget to play their unique vīṇās (similar to lute), and the Kinnara Mithunas vowed not to play their Kinnaras (similar to lute) any more.
280 cemperuntaḍaṅgaṇṇan tiraḷ tōḷan * dēvaki siṛuvan tēvargaḷ siṅgam *
nam paraman innāḷ kuḻal ūdak kēṭṭavargaḷ * iḍaruṭṛṛana kēḷīr **
ambaram tiriyum kāndapparellām * amuda gīta valaiyāl curukkuṇḍu *
nam paramanṛenṛu nāṇi mayaṅgi * naindu cōrndu kaimmaṛittu ninṛanarē
Listen to the details of the difficulties of those who listened to the son of Devakī, the lion of demigods, and our Lord who has large and reddish eyes, and mighty shoulders, playing the flute today. All the Gandharvas roaming in the sky, conquered by the nectarean tune felt ashamed of their singing, and in bewilderment and loss of heart and well-being, decided not to sing anymore and stood with folded hands.
281 puviyuḷ nān kaṇḍadōr aṛpudam kēḷīr * pūṇi mēykkum iḷaṅgōvalar kūṭṭattu
avaiyuḷ * nāgattaṇaiyān kuḻal ūda * amara lōkattaḷavum senṛisaippa **
aviyuṇā maṛandu vānavarellām * āyarpāḍi niṛaiyap pugundu īṇḍi *
seviyuṇāvin suvai koṇḍu magiḻndu * gōvindanait toḍarndu enṛum viḍārē
Listen to this amazing thing I saw on earth! “When the Supreme Lord reclining on Ananta Śeṣa, surrounded by cowherd boys played the flute, the divine tune permeated the heaven; the demigods who forgot to accept the clarified butter (offered in the sacrificial fire), came down to Gokula in hordes, drank the melodious music with their ears, and followed Govinda, not leaving Him for an instant even.”
282 siṛuviralgaḷ taḍavip parimāṛac * ceṅgaṇ kōḍac ceyyavāy koppaḷippa *
kuṛuveyarp puruvam kūḍalippak * gōvindan kuḻalkoḍu ūdina pōdu **
paṛavaiyin kaṇaṅgaḷ kūḍu tuṛandu * vandu cūḻndu paḍukāḍu kiḍappa *
kaṛavaiyin kaṇaṅgaḷ kāl parappiṭṭuk * kaviḻndiṛaṅgi seviyāṭṭagillāvē
When Govinda played the flute, His little fingers caressing it, reddish eyes curved, red lotus mouth puckered, and little beads of sweat forming over the arched eyebrows, flocks of birds leaving their nests came and fell stupefied like broken twigs all around Him; herds of cows stood with their legs spread, head bowed and ears immobile.
283 tiraṇḍeḻu taḻaimaḻai mugil vaṇṇan * ceṅgamala malar sūḻ vaṇḍinam pōlē *
suruṇḍiruṇḍa kuḻal tāḻnda mugattān * ūduginṛa kuḻalōsai vaḻiyē **
maruṇḍu mān kaṇaṅgaḷ mēygai maṛandu * mēynda pullum kaḍaivāy vaḻi cōra *
iraṇḍu pāḍum tulaṅgāp puḍai peyarā * eḻudu cittiraṅgaḷ pōla ninṛanavē
When the fresh rain cloud-hued Kaṇṇan with dark, curly hair falling over His face like bees hovering over the red lotus flower played the flute, herds of deer—spellbound, having stopped grazing, the grass in the mouth slipping down, and not moving forward or backward or sideways—stood still like a sketched picture.
284 karuṅgaṇ tōgai mayiṛ pīli aṇindu * kaṭṭi nanguḍutta pītaka āḍai *
aruṅgalavuruvin āyar perumān * avanoruvan kuḻalūdina pōdu **
maraṅgaḷ ninṛu madhu tāraigaḷ pāyum * malargaḷ vīḻum vaḷar kombugaḷ tāḻum *
iraṅgum kūmbum tirumāl ninṛa ninṛa pakkam nōkki * avai seyyum guṇamē
When the Lord of cowherd clan and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sporting peacock feathers with black eyespot, well-worn yellow garment, and invaluable ornaments, played the flute, the trees stood still, exuded streams of honey, sprinkled all the flowers, and the upper branches bent low in supplication. Periyāḻvār exclaimed, “How noble are those trees which turned around wherever the Lord of Śrī was and paid obeisances!”
285 * kuḻaliruṇḍu curuṇḍēṛiya kuñcik * gōvindanuḍaiya kōmaḷa vāyil *
kuḻal muḻaiñjugaḷinūḍu kumiḻttuk * koḻittiḻinda amudap punal tannai **
kuḻal muḻavam viḷambum puduvaik kōn * viṭṭucittan viritta tamiḻ vallār *
kuḻalai venṛa kuḷir vāyinarāgic * sādhu kōṭṭiyuḷ koḷḷappaḍuvārē
Periyāḻvār, the master of Śrīvilliputtur composed ten songs on the divine, nectarean river of melodious tune which gushed out from the lotus mouth of Govinda—with dark, curly, and dense hair falling over His face—and through the holes of the flute. Those who can recite these Tamiḻ songs will be blessed with the skill of speaking mellifluous words, excelling the flute and will be honoured in the group of vaiṣṇava saints.
Periyāḻvār has rendered a divine narrative of the incredible effects of the nectarean river of melodious tune flowing from the flute of Kaṇṇan on various personalities, animals and trees. The enthralling ambrosial sound is far more superior to Vedas or any other form of sound. The melodious notes cause the laws of nature to fail and make all living beings, superior or lower, behave incredibly.
Periyāḻvār opens the description addressing the women of Jambūdvīpa to listen to him. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes that in Jambūdvīpa the pious wives of the Yakṣas who serve Bhavānī, the wife of Lord Śiva, as maidservants, drink the water of the river Aruṇodā (juice of fragrant mangoes) and their fragrant bodies perfume the atmosphere for eighty miles around. The mud on the banks of the river Jambū-nadī (juice of jambū fruits also known as wax apple or jāvā apple) moistened by the juice and dried by the air and sunshine, produces huge quantities of gold called Jāmbū-nada. All the youthful wives of the inhabitants of heavenly planets decorate themselves with golden helmets, bangles and belts made of Jāmbū-nada. Because of many such rivers, the inhabitants have abundant supplies of milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, clothing, food grains and ornaments. They are very happy as they get all the necessities for prosperity. They have no wrinkles, and grey hair. They do not suffer from old age, disease or untimely death, and live without anxieties until death. Pūrvācāryas comment that Periyāḻvār seems to imply that though the women of Jambūdvīpa are fortunate to enjoy materially happy life, the cowherd women are the most fortunate to have delighted in the ambrosial notes of Kaṇṇan’s flute.
Tūya vāyil kuḻalōsai vaḻiyē: On hearing the seductive tunes played by Kaṇṇan for them, the ripe breasts of the cowherd girls tingle and the body and the mind lose control. They escape the restraining watch of their in-laws, encircle Kaṇṇan like garlands on the neck and in shame that they are so brazen as to express their lust openly, stand hanging their heads. The damsels—timid like peacocks and does, the hair, plaited and decorated with flowers, loosening and flying, catching the slipping garment with one hand, and bashfully glancing at Him with the collyrium anointed, reddish eyes—stood stunned (olgiyōḍarikkaṇōḍa ninṛanarē). Even the celestial dames—the heart melting, the lotus eyes misty, the honey-smeared hair loosening and flying, and the forehead perspiring—assembled in hordes, and stood listening intently (cenni vērppac cevi cērttu ninṛanarē). The celestial dames like Menakā, Tilottamā, Rambhā, and Urvaśī, experts in dancing and singing, were enchanted and out of shame, on their own, stopped singing and dancing in heaven and on earth (vānagampaḍiyil vāy tiṛappinṛi * āḍal pāḍalavai māṛinar tame). Tumburu Rṣi and Nārada Muni forgot to play their unique vīṇās (similar to lute), and the Kinnara Mithunas (couple) vowed not to play their Kinnaras (similar to lute) any more (tam tam vīṇai maṛandu). All the Gandharvas roaming in the sky, conquered by the nectarean tune
felt ashamed of their singing, and in bewilderment and loss of heart and well-being, decided not to sing anymore and stood with folded hands (nāṇi mayaṅgi * naindu cōrndu kaimmaṛittu ninṛanarē). When the divine tune permeated the heaven, the demigods who forgot to accept the clarified butter (offered in the sacrificial fire), came down to Gokula in hordes, drank the melodious music with their ears, and followed Govinda, not leaving Him for an instant even (gōvindanait toḍarndu enṛum viḍārē). Flocks of birds leaving their nests came and fell stupefied like broken twigs all around Him (vandu cūḻndu paḍukāḍu kiḍappa); herds of cows stood with their legs spread, head bowed and ears immobile (kāl parappiṭṭuk * kaviḻndiṛaṅgi seviyāṭṭagillāvē). Herds of deer—spellbound, having stopped grazing, the grass in the mouth slipping down, and not moving forward or backward or sideways—stood still like a sketched picture. The trees stood still, exuded streams of honey, sprinkled all the flowers, and the upper branches bent low in supplication (malargaḷ vīḻum vaḷar kombugaḷ tāḻum). Periyāḻvār exclaims, “How noble are those trees which turned around wherever the Lord of Śrī was and paid obeisances (tirumāl ninṛa ninṛa pakkam nōkki * avai seyyum guṇamē)!”
Nam paraman innāḷ kuḻal ūdak kēṭṭavargaḷ iḍaruṭṛṛana kēḷīr: Listen to the details of the difficulties of those who listened to our Lord playing the flute today: The wondrous vibration flowing forth from the holes of the flute is like a many-toned fountain of endless bliss. Embracing the natural music of Vṛndāvana, the flute song creates a united symphony of bliss far more superior to the Vedas or any other form of speech. The mystic charm of the sound solidifies water and the mountain melts. Thus, the melodious notes cause the laws of nature to fail. We can understand the greatness of the flute only by reading the wonderful, different effects its sound produces as described by different scriptures and devotees: Brahmā received Gāyatrī, mother of the Vedas from the divine sound of the flute of Kṛṣṇa, and attained all Vedic knowledge (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.27). On hearing the mystic sound, Śiva stopped playing his diṇḍima drum, the four Kumāras abandoned their meditation; and Brahmā became astonished. Anantadeva, calmly holding all the planets atop His hood, started swaying (Nectar of Devotion 22). The gopīs envy the flute as if it were a rival lover and wonder what auspicious activities it must have performed to enjoy the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s lips, all by itself. The forefathers of the flute, the bamboo trees, shed tears of pleasure as one of their children has become a servant of the Personality of Godhead. The mother, the river on whose bank the bamboo was born, feels ecstatic and the blooming lotus flowers stand like erect hairs. Hearing that sound of the flute, all the demigods and perfected mystics flying in their airplanes were bewildered in divine love, and so were their wives. Indra, Śiva, Brahmā, and other demigods were so confused they could no longer tell fact from illusion. The great sages, their meditations breaking, felt transformations of ecstasy arising within themselves. And the motions of the moon and other planets, swift and unceasing, which strictly follow the whirling wheel of time, just stopped. The peacocks dance madly when they hear Govinda’s flute, and upon seeing them from the hilltops other creatures all become stunned (Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 3.7.108, 143, 144, 153). Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam picturises the amazing spell weaved by the divine melodies flowing out of Kṛṣṇa’s flute with the words of the gopīs.
10.21.3: When the young ladies in the cowherd village of Vraja heard the song of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, which arouses the influence of Cupid, some of them privately began describing Kṛṣṇa’s qualities to their intimate friends. 10.21.11-17: Blessed are all these foolish deer because they have approached Mahārāja Nanda’s son, who is gorgeously dressed and is playing on His flute. Indeed, both the doe and the bucks worship the Lord with looks of love and affection. Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and character create a festival for all women. Indeed, when the demigods’ wives flying in airplanes with their husbands catch sight of Him and hear His resonant flute-song, their hearts are shaken by Cupid, and they become so bewildered that the flowers fall out of their hair and their belts loosen. Using their upraised ears as vessels, the cows are drinking the nectar of the flute-song flowing out of Kṛṣṇa’s mouth. The calves, their mouths full of milk from their mothers’ moist nipples, stand still as they take Govinda within themselves through their tear-filled eyes and embrace Him within their hearts. O mother, in this forest all the birds have risen onto the beautiful branches of the trees to see Kṛṣṇa. With closed eyes they are simply listening in silence to the sweet vibrations of His flute, and they are not attracted by any other sound. Surely these birds are on the same level as great sages. When the rivers hear the flute-song of Kṛṣṇa, their minds begin to desire Him, and thus the flow of their currents is broken and their waters are agitated, moving around in whirlpools. Then with the arms of their waves the rivers embrace Murāri’s lotus feet and, holding on to them, present offerings of lotus flowers. In the company of Balarāma and the cowherd boys, Lord Kṛṣṇa is continually vibrating His flute as He herds all the animals of Vraja, even under the full heat of the summer sun. Seeing this, the cloud in the sky has expanded himself out of love. He is rising high and constructing out of his own body, with its multitude of flower-like droplets of water, an umbrella for the sake of his friend. The aborigine women of the Vṛndāvana area become disturbed by lust when they see the grass marked with reddish kuṅkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of His beloveds, and when the aborigine women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety.
10.29.4-11: When the young women of Vṛndāvana heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute-song, which arouses romantic feelings, their minds were captivated by the Lord. They went to where their lover waited, each unknown to the others, moving so quickly that their earrings swung back and forth. Some of the gopīs were milking cows when they heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute. They stopped milking and went off to meet Him. Some left milk curdling on the stove, and others left cakes burning in the oven. Some of them were getting dressed, feeding milk to their infants or rendering personal service to their husbands, but they all gave up these duties and went to meet Kṛṣṇa. Other gopīs were taking their evening meals, washing themselves, putting on cosmetics or applying kajjala to their eyes. But all the gopīs stopped these activities at once and, though their clothes and ornaments were in complete disarray, rushed off to Kṛṣṇa. Their husbands, fathers, brothers and other relatives tried to stop them, but Kṛṣṇa had already stolen their hearts. Enchanted by the sound of His flute, they refused to turn back. Some of the gopīs, however, could not manage to get out of their houses, and instead they remained home with eyes closed, meditating upon Him in pure love. For those gopīs who could not go to see Kṛṣṇa, intolerable separation from their beloved caused an intense agony that burned away all impious karma. By meditating upon Him they realized His embrace, and the ecstasy they then felt exhausted their material piety. Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Soul, these girls simply thought of Him as their male lover and associated with Him in that intimate mood. Thus, their karmic bondage was nullified and they abandoned their gross material bodies.
10.32.10: Encircled by the gopīs, who were now relieved of all distress, Lord Acyuta, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, shone forth splendidly. My dear King, Kṛṣṇa thus appeared like the Supersoul encircled by His spiritual potencies. 10.35.4-5: O girls! This son of Nanda, who gives joy to the distressed, bears steady lightning on His chest and has a smile like a jeweled necklace. Now please hear something wonderful. When He vibrates His flute, Vraja’s bulls, deer and cows, standing in groups at a great distance, are all captivated by the sound, and they stop chewing the food in their mouths and cock their ears. Stunned, they appear as if asleep, or like figures in a painting. 10.35.8-13: Kṛṣṇa moves about the forest in the company of His friends, who vividly chant the glories of His magnificent deeds. He thus appears just like the Supreme Personality of Godhead exhibiting His inexhaustible opulences. When the cows wander onto the mountainsides and Kṛṣṇa calls out to them with the sound of His flute, the trees and creepers in the forest respond by becoming so luxuriant with fruits and flowers that they seem to be manifesting Lord Viṣṇu within their hearts. As their branches bend low with the weight, the filaments on their trunks and vines stand erect out of the ecstasy of love of God, and both the trees and the creepers pour down a rain of sweet sap. Maddened by the divine, honeylike aroma of the tulasī flowers on the garland Kṛṣṇa wears, swarms of bees sing loudly for Him, and that most beautiful of all persons thankfully acknowledges and acclaims their song by taking His flute to His lips and playing it. The charming flute-song then steals away the minds of the cranes, swans and other lake-dwelling birds. Indeed, they approach Kṛṣṇa, close their eyes and, maintaining strict silence, worship Him by fixing their consciousness upon Him in deep meditation. At that time the nearby cloud, afraid of offending a great personality, thunders very gently in accompaniment. The cloud showers flowers onto his dear friend Kṛṣṇa and shades Him from the sun like an umbrella.
Govardhana Hill worships Kṛṣṇa, by offering abundant grass, variety of fruits and bulbous roots. While the non-moving living beings assume the traits like shivering and ecstasy of the moving creatures, the moving creatures become stationary (Bhāgavatam 10.21, summary).
Once at Caraṇa-pāhāśi (now known as Carana-pahadi in Śrī Vraja-mandala parikrama) Kṛṣṇa stood beneath a tree playing His flute and people from all directions gathered around Him and stood motionless. The footprints of Kṛṣṇa and the people were imprinted on that mountain which melted at the divine music of Kṛṣṇa’s flute (Bhakti-ratnākara).
The sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute always resides within the ears of the gopīs blocking any other sound and they are unable to reply properly to their family members’ questions (Teachings of Lord Caitanya 10).
Vedānta Deśika says that Kaṇṇan’s flute sound is the second Veda, being the original source for the multitudes of Rāgās (a traditional pattern of notes in Indian music). The sound enchants all from Brahmā down to the animals and does not allow the mind to wander, easily making them yogis. The forests are suddenly flooded with honey, as if the flowering plants are shedding tears in ecstasy, and are full of sprouting flower buds, resembling goose bumps. The different hues of the loving glances of the mesmerised forest angels surrounding Him, makes Kaṇṇan shine like a cloud decorated with a rainbow. The cowherd damsels, enticed by the intimate tunes, left their homes to meet Kaṇṇan (Yādavābyudaya 8.47, 48, 50, 52, 55).
Ūttukkāḍu Vēnkaṭa Kavi has composed many songs on the amazing effect of Kṛṣṇa’s flute sound: The music from his flute opens all doors and cowherd boys break free from the prisons of their homes, just to be close to Kṛṣṇa, and his elder brother, with their mouths full of butter. Surrounded by cows and calves, the women are awe struck which they express by keeping their forefinger on the lower lip and clapping their hands in glee. Though Kaṇṇan purposefully plays a complex tune that too in a strange beat, the gopikā (gopī) manages to dance without missing a step or messing up the gait and well within the style as taught by her master.
Kuḻalai venṛa kuḷir vāyinarāgic sādhu kōṭṭiyuḷ koḷḷappaḍuvārē: Periyāḻvār concludes with the benediction that those who can recite these ten Tamiḻ songs will be blessed with the skill of speaking mellifluous words, excelling the flute and will be honoured in the group of vaiṣṇava saints. Words that are ever-rooted in pure Vedic knowledge have the potency to make fully explicit the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa and so are found to be mellifluous by the devotees of the Lord. Vedānta Sūtra 2.3.15 confirms, carācara-vyapāśrayas tu syāt tad-vyapadeśo 'bhāktas tad-bhāva-bhāvitvāt: “Indeed, He resides in all that move and does not move. Therefore it will be learned that every word is one of His names”. At the transcendental stage, every word vibrating in any language is known to be rooted in the spiritual sky of Brahman, which eternally resounds with the glories of the Lord and His devotees. The Lord and His devotees are described as uttamaśloka which means that the Lord is the “one who is glorified with choicest words” and that the devotee is eager to glorify the Lord or His devotees with choicest words. Nārada instructs Vyāsadeva: Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of the advancement of knowledge, namely austerities, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns and charity, culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry (Bhāgavatam 1.5.23). In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart.
286 * aiya puḻudi uḍambaḷaindu * ivaḷ pēccu malandalaiyāy *
ceyya nūlin ciṛṛāḍai * ceppanuḍukkavum vallaḷallaḷ **
kaiyinil ciṛu tūtaiyōḍu * ivaḷ muṭṛṛil pirindumilaḷ *
paiyaravaṇaip paḷḷiyānōḍu * kaivaittu ivaḷ varumē
A mother wonders, “My little daughter—still young enough to get her body covered with fine dust (while playing in the street), her speech incoherent, yet to learn to properly wear her dress of red cotton thread, and still playing with small cooking pot and plate—is coming holding the hand of Kaṇṇan, who reclines on the Śeṣa Nāga!”
287 vāyil pallum eḻundila * mayirum muḍi kūḍiṭṛṛila * ***
cāyvilāda kuṛundalai * sila piḷḷaigaḷōḍiṇaṅgi **
tīyiṇakkiṇaṅgāḍi vandu * ivaḷ tannanna cemmai solli *
māyan māmaṇi vaṇṇan mēl * ivaḷ māluṛuginṛāḷē
The mother of the girl grumbles, “Her teeth are not fully grown yet, and hair has not grown enough to be plaited; at this young age, she has mixed with some brazen and immodest girls and having become indisciplined, she defends herself with righteous talk. She has been bewitched by the great mystic and blue sapphire gemstone-hued Kaṇṇan!”
288 poṅgu veṇmaṇal koṇḍu * ciṭṛṛilum muṭṛṛattiḻaikkaluṛil *
caṅgu cakkaram taṇḍu vāḷ * villumalladu iḻaikkaluṛāḷ **
koṅgai innam kuvindeḻundila * gōvindanōḍu ivaḷai *
caṅgaiyāgi ennuḷḷam * nāḷtoṛum taṭṭuḷuppāginṛadē
The mother continues to lament, “Even when she builds a castle with fine, white sand in our courtyard, she decorates it with only motifs of the Lord like conch, disc, sword and bow. She is so young that her breasts are yet to rise but I am confused and suspect that she has an amorous affair with Govinda!
289 ēḻaipēdai ōr bālagan vandu * en peṇmagaḷai eḷgi *
tōḻimār palar koṇḍupōyc * ceyda cūḻcciyai yārkkuraikkēn **
āḻiyān ennumāḻamōḻaiyil * pāycci agappaḍutti *
mūḻaiyuppaṛiyādadennum * mūduraiyum ilaḷē
She bemoans, “To whom could I confide that my restless and innocent little daughter has been duped by her friends who have taken her and pushed her to get entrapped in to the deep undercurrent—the so called ‘Wielder of disc.’ I realise that she is a ‘spoon that does not know the taste of soup, as a learned fool does not know the taste of wisdom.’”
290 nāḍum ūrum aṛiyavē pōy * nalla tuḻāyalaṅgaḷ
cūḍi * nāraṇan pōmiḍamellām * cōtittuḻi taruginṛāḷ **
kēḍu vēṇḍuginṛār palaruḷar * kēsavanōḍu ivaḷai *
pāḍukāvaliḍumin enṛenṛu * pār taḍumāṛinadē
She continues, “All the people in the nearby city and in the cowherd community know that wearing the garland of tulasī leaves she roams around the places frequented by Nārāyaṇa looking for Him. The well-wishers keep advising me, ‘There are many who desire to see her get ruined, better entrust her to Keśava immediately.’
291 paṭṭam kaṭṭip poṭṛṛōḍu peydu * ivaḷ pāḍagamum silambum *
iṭṭamāga vaḷartteḍuttēnukku * ennōḍu irukkaluṛāḷ **
poṭṭap pōyp puṛappaṭṭu ninṛu * ivaḷ pūvaip pūvaṇṇā ennum *
vaṭṭavār kuḻal maṅgaimīr * ivaḷ māluṛuginṛāḷē
She appeals to other girls, “Oh young girls with curly hair! I brought her up lovingly—decking her with pendant for the forehead, golden earrings, anklets and ankle-bells and always carrying her on my hip—but now she does not like to be with me. Suddenly she leaves me, goes to the street and calls out, ‘Oh Ironwood flower-hued one!’ She has been bewitched.”
292 pēsavum teriyāda peṇmaiyin * pēdaiyēn pēdai ivaḷ *
kūcaminṛi ninṛārgaḷ tammedir * kōl kaḻindān mūḻaiyāy **
kēsavā enṛum kēḍilī enṛum * kiñjuga vāy moḻiyāḷ *
vāsavār kuḻal maṅgaimīr * ivaḷ māluṛuginṛāḷē
Now she complains to other ladies, “Oh ladies with fragrant & long hair! My innocent daughter with high self-esteem and sweet talk like a parrot—now like a ladle detached from the handle—shamelessly calls out in bewitchment, ‘Oh Keśava! Oh Acyuta!’ ignoring the presence of women with high moral values.”
293 kāṛai pūṇum kaṇṇāḍi kāṇum * tan kaiyil vaḷai kulukkum *
kūṛaiyuḍukkum ayarkkum * tan kōvaic cevvāy tiruttum **
tēṛit tēṛi ninṛu āyiram pēr * dēvan tiṛam pidaṭṛṛum *
māṛil māmaṇi vaṇṇan mēl * ivaḷ māluṛuginṛāḷē
The frustrated mother grumbles, “She wears a golden necklace, looks in the mirror, shakes her bangles, and adjusts her saree, becomes tepid, and then embellishes her already scarlet gourd-red lips. Becoming lively again, she starts reciting rapidly the glories of the Lord of sahasra nāma. She has been bewitched by the blue sapphire gemstone-hued Kaṇṇan!”
294 kaittalattuḷḷa māḍaḻiyak * kaṇṇālaṅgaḷ ceydu * ivaḷai
vaittu vaittuk koṇḍu enna vāṇibam * nammai vaḍuppaḍuttum **
ceyttalai eḻunāṭṛṛup pōl * avan ceyvana ceydu koḷḷa *
maittaḍa mugil vaṇṇan pakkal * vaḷara viḍumingaḷē
The mother appeals to her relatives, “What is the use of squandering our wealth to get this intransigent girl married, and keeping her always under guard?” They replied, “Like the farmer transplants the paddy seedlings to another field of his choice, leave her with the dense rain clouds-hued Kaṇṇan (of her choice), who can maintain her as He wishes.”
295 perup perutta kaṇṇālaṅgaḷ ceydu * pēṇi nam illattuḷḷē *
iruttuvān eṇṇi nām irukka * ivaḷum onṛeṇṇuginṛāḷ **
maruttuvappadam nīṅgināḷ ennum * vārttai paḍuvadan mun *
oruppaḍuttiḍumin ivaḷai * ulagaḷandān iḍaikkē
When the mother continues, “While we want to conduct a lavish marriage and keep her in the house befitting our family custom, she has a different plan,” the relatives reply, “Before the people comment, ‘Like the medicine measured carelessly by the physician fails, your daughter has gone wayward since she has not been brought up carefully,’ better handover her to Kaṇṇan, who measured the planetary systems.”
296 * ñālamuṭṛṛum uṇḍu ālilait tuyil * nārāyaṇanukku * ivaḷ
māladāgi magiḻndanaḷ enṛu * tāyurai ceydadanai **
kōlamār poḻilsūḻ puduvaiyar kōn * viṭṭucittan sonna *
mālai pattum vallavargaṭku * illai varu tuyarē
A mother’s lamentation that her daughter has been happily bewitched by Nārāyaṇa—who swallowed the earth and all the planetary systems (during total devastation) and slept on a fig leaf (floating on the water of devastation)—has been rendered as a garland of ten songs by Periyāḻvār, the head of Śrīvilliputtūr which is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Those who recite these songs will be free from grief.
Generally, it is observed that the pious parents have to persuade their son or daughter to take some interest in pious activities. Undergoing constant struggle chasing the illusory happiness throughout the youthful and adult days, at the old age, the worldly people try to divert their mind to religious activities to earn some pious credit. The young men and women do not heed to the advice of the pious parents (to spare a little time for God) which is totally ignored and laughed at with the comment that they will also become pious once they become old, and now they want to enjoy life like their parents would have when young. But, in this set of songs Periyāḻvār picturises the lamentation of a mother that her young daughter has fallen in love with the enchanter Kaṇṇan and instead of being happy that her daughter has found divine love, the mother sullies her daughter complaining that she has been bewitched by Kaṇṇan and does not obey the parents! In truth, through the words of the agitated mother Periyāḻvār elucidates the ignorance exhibited by the living beings struggling in a bodily concept of life about the love of Godhead. This literary play with two opposing meanings or subtly indicating a positive act or situation with a negative statement or vice versa is known as “paronomasia” or “double entendere” or “double meaning.” In Tamiḻ poems, compositions and talks “paronomasia” is used. Some scholars employ “paronomasia” in conversations.
Aiya puḻudi uḍambaḷaindu ivaḷ: My little daughter—still young enough to get her body covered with fine dust. Like the majority of parents, the mother considers her daughter still a small girl and is baffled—when the girl is neither bodily attractive (gets her body covered with dust while playing in the street) and yet to learn to properly wear her dress; nor a sweet talker (her speech is incoherent); and childish (still plays with small cooking pot and plate)—how she fell in love with Kaṇṇan. Pūrvācāryas explain that Periyāḻvār has subtly condemned the speculation of the jñānīs who speculate that it is not possible to attain transcendence by bhakti since the body is contaminated with the three modes of material nature; one can not understand the formlessness of the Lord and absence of qualities in Him, and unlike austerity bhakti is not the right endeavour. Periyāḻvār indicates that by pure bhakti it is possible to attain love of Godhead even at a young age.
sila piḷḷaigaḷōḍiṇaṅgi tīyiṇakkiṇaṅgāḍi vandu: At this young age, she has mixed with some brazen and immodest girls and become indisciplined. The mother grumbles that her little girl has become indisciplined because of bad association. The inner meaning conveyed by Periyāḻvār is that the girl has been fortunate enough to attain love of Godhead at a young age because of her association with other girls who are absorbed in prema or love of Kaṇṇan. Association with devotees helps one to develop the consciousness for rendering service to the Lord, and then, he gradually becomes perfect. Lord Kapila teaches His mother, Devahūti:
satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge, one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin (Bhāgavatam 3.25.25).
ciṭṛṛilum muṭṛṛattiḻaikkaluṛil caṅgu cakkaram taṇḍu vāḷ villumalladu iḻaikkaluṛāḷ: Even when she builds a castle with fine, white sand in our courtyard, she decorates it with only motifs of the Lord like conch, disc, sword and bow. When the mother does not allow her daughter to go out to meet Kaṇṇan, she sits in the inner courtyard and builds a castle with fine, white sand and decorates it with only motifs of the Lord like conch, disc, sword and bow. The inner meaning indicated by Periyāḻvār is that the girl is always thinking of Kaṇṇan and never forgets Him.
smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇur vismartavyo na jātucit
sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
“Kṛṣṇa is the origin of Lord Viṣṇu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the śāstras should be the servants of these two principles.” This is a quotation from the Padma Purāṇa, from the portion called Bṛhat-sahasra-nāma-stotra (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 24.331).
Prahlāda Mahārāja says that remembering the holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu is one of the nine processes that are accepted as pure devotional service (Bhāgavatam 7.5.23-24). The girl meditates on the paraphernalia of the Lord and withdraws the mind’s activities of thinking, feeling and willing from all other subjects. Kṛṣṇa states in the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad (Uttara 4):
apūtaḥ pūto bhavati yaṁ māṁ smṛtvā, avratī vratī bhavati yaṁ māṁ smṛtvā, niṣkāmaḥ sa-kāmo bhavati yaṁ māṁ smṛtvā, aśrotrī śrotrī bhavati yaṁ māṁ smṛtvā: By remembering Me, one who is impure becomes pure. By remembering Me, one who follows no vows becomes a strict follower of vows. By remembering Me, one who is desireless develops desires [to serve Me]. By remembering Me, one who has studied no Vedic mantras becomes an expert knower of the Vedas.
A pure devotee always thinks of Kṛṣṇa without deviation and without consideration of time and place. Ananya-cetāḥ satataṁ yo māṁ smarati nityaśaḥ: Kṛṣṇa assures that for one who always remembers Him without deviation He is easy to obtain (Gītā 8.14). Remembering Kṛṣṇa can even empower us so much that we can conquer our limitations and advance in devotional service. We can be delivered from all sinful acts simply by remembering the Lord in earnestness. Skanda Purāṇa states that by remembering the Lord one can attain the perfection of all penances, sacrifices or fruitive activities, and this process can be universally followed.
Tōḻimār palar koṇḍupōyc ceyda cūḻcciyai yārkkuraikkēn: My innocent little daughter has been duped by her friends who have taken her and pushed her to get entrapped in to the deep undercurrent. While the mother bemoans that her daughter has been pushed and got entrapped in a whirlpool, the truth indicated by Periyāḻvār is that she has attained transcendental love for Kaṇṇan whose opulences, power, glories and pastimes are unfathomable. The mother decries her daughter that she does not have any wisdom and compares her to a spoon which does not know the taste of the soup even though it remains dipped in the soup.
Nāḍum ūrum aṛiyavē pōy nalla tuḻāyalaṅgaḷ cūḍi nāraṇan pōmiḍamellām cōtittuḻi taruginṛāḷ: All the people in the nearby city and in the cowherd community know that wearing the garland of tulasī leaves she roams around the places frequented by Nārāyaṇa looking for Him. A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and an ignorant person not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are differentiated by different desires. The ignorant persons who are attached to material activities are engaged in activities for the satisfaction of their sense gratification, whereas the devotee is engaged for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the devotee is required to show the people how to act and how to engage the results of action for the purpose of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nāḍum nagaramum naṅgaṛiya namō nārāyaṇāya enṛu pāḍu manamuḍaip pattaruḷḷīr vandu pallāṇḍu kūṛuminē: Being compassionate to the wordly people, Periyāḻvār wished that those who joined him should preach the sacred and powerful holy name to the simple-minded villagers, as well as the so-called sophisticated people of the cities, so that everyone could understand their precarious position in this material world and take up devotional service (Tiruppallāṇḍu 4). The girl, in love with Kaṇṇan, wearing the garland of tulasī leaves roams around the places frequented by Nārāyaṇa looking for Him in full knowledge of the people in the nearby city and in the cowherd community. A similar mood was exhibited by the six Gosvāmīs who were sometimes on the bank of the Rādhā-kunda lake or the shores of the river Yamunā and sometimes at Vaṁśīvaṭa. There they appeared just like madmen in the full ecstasy of love for Kṛṣṇa, exhibiting different transcendental symptoms in their bodies. They went around in Vṛndāvana, shouting, "Queen of Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Mahārāja! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhana, or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamunā? Where are you?" (Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 7,8). Thinking of the lover in separation or vipralambha is a distinct feeling of not meeting each other.
In the Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, written by Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, there is this expression of eagerness in ecstatic love: “How miserable it is, my dear Kṛṣṇa, O friend of the hopeless! O merciful Lord, how can I pass these thankless days without seeing You?” A similar sentiment was expressed by Uddhava when he wrote a letter to Kṛṣṇa and said, “My dear Supreme King of Vraja, You are the vision of nectar for the eyes, and without seeing Your lotus feet and the effulgence of Your body, my mind is always morose. I cannot perceive any peace under any circumstance. Besides that, I am feeling every moment’s separation to be like the duration of many, many long years” (Nectar of Devotion 37).
Even remembering Kṛṣṇa puts the devotee in direct contact with Him because Kṛṣṇa is absolute. But because of the simultaneous feeling of separation from Him, there is an inconceivable dimension of simultaneous union and separation. Before feeling love of separation from Kṛṣṇa, one must have attained intense attraction to Him. But, for the human being who has forgotten and abandoned Kṛṣṇa and has come to the material world under the spell of māyā, illusion, “separation” from Kṛṣṇa is based on complete ignorance and forgetfullness.
Paṭṭam kaṭṭip poṭṛṛōḍu peydu ivaḷ pāḍagamum silambum iṭṭamāga vaḷartteḍuttēnukku ennōḍu irukkaluṛāḷ: I brought her up lovingly—decking her with pendant for the forehead, golden earrings, anklets and ankle-bells and always carrying her in my hip—but now she does not like to be with me. As long as one is under the control of modes of material nature, manifested in the form of sense objects, the mind is constantly disturbed and is deprived of the actual perfection of life. Attraction and repulsion for sense objects are felt by embodied beings, but one should not fall under the control of senses and sense objects because they are stumbling blocks on the path of devotion. Progress in devotion is marked by the disintegration of false ego and material attraction. In this bewildered civilization, in all walks of life, the ultimate goal is sense gratification. No one is serious about the problems of life. Even those who endeavour for salvation, desire to become one with the Absolute Truth and commit spiritual suicide for sense gratification. Religiosity based on fruitive work is gross sense gratification and the process of culturing spiritual knowledge to become one with the Absolute Truth is subtle sense gratification. Bhāgavatam emphasizes that one should satisfy the senses only insomuch as required for self-preservation, and not for sense gratification. For example, marriage is necessary for progeny, but not for sense enjoyment. Therefore, one should seriously seek after the Absolute Truth and that will make him happy because he will be less engaged in varieties of sense gratification. Although the conditioned living entities are bewildered by the objects of sense gratification, with unalloyed devotional service to the Lord, desire for sense gratification gradually dissipates.
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Uttamā bhakti, or unalloyed devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, involves the rendering of devotional service in a way that is favorable to the Lord. This devotional service should be free from any extraneous motive and devoid of fruitive karma, impersonal jñāna and all other selfish desires” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11)
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord (This verse quoted from the Nārada-pañcarātra is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.12).
Kāṛai pūṇum kaṇṇāḍi kāṇum tan kaiyil vaḷai kulukkum: She wears a golden necklace, looks in the mirror, shakes her bangles…. The frustrated mother grumbles, “She wears a golden necklace, looks in the mirror, shakes her bangles, and adjusts her saree, becomes tepid, and then embellishes her already scarlet gourd-red lips.” Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, the author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta states: “Now, whatever affection we see the gopīs show for their own bodies, know it for certain to be only for the sake of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”
The selfless love of Godhead exhibited by the gopīs cannot have any parallel. We should not, therefore, misunderstand the carefulness of the gopīs in their personal decoration. The gopīs dressed themselves as beautifully as possible just to make Kṛṣṇa happy by seeing them. They had no ulterior desires. They dedicated their bodies, and everything they possessed, to the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, taking it for granted that their bodies were meant for His enjoyment. They dressed themselves with the understanding that Kṛṣṇa would be happy by seeing and touching them (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi 4.181, purport).
Tēṛit tēṛi ninṛu āyiram pēr dēvan tiṛam pidaṭṛṛum: Becoming lively again, she starts reciting rapidly the glories of the Lord of sahasra nāma. Whenever Kṛṣṇa goes to the forest to graze the cows, the gopīs, fully absorbed in thoughts of Him, converse about Him. They completely forget about their homes as they loudly sing the glories of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental qualities. Śukadeva Gosvāmī explains to King Parīkṣit that whenever Kṛṣṇa go to the forest, the minds of the gopīs would run after Him, and thus the young girls sadly spend their days singing of His pastimes (Bhāgavatam 10.35) : The son of Nanda, giver of joy to the distressed, bears steady lightning on His chest and smiles like a jeweled necklace. When He plays His flute many wonderful events and sights manifest. He appears like the Supreme Lord exhibitng His inexhaustible opulences. When swarms of bees sing loudly for Him, that most excellent of persons who are attractive to see thankfully acknowledges and acclaims by playing His flute. He is an expert in all the arts of herding cows and has invented many new styles of flute-playing. When He strolls through Vraja with His lotus-petal-like feet, the distress the earth feels from the cows’ hooves is relieved with the marking of distinctive emblems of flag, thunderbolt, lotus and elephant goad. The gentle breeze honors Him with its soothing fragrance of sandalwood, and the demigods encircle Him singing His praise and offering gifts of tribute. His beauty, enhanced by fatigue, creates an ecstatic festival for all eyes. The beauty of His soft cheeks is enhanced by the brilliance of His golden earrings and His badara berry-coloured face. The lord of the Yadus moves gracefully like a regal elephant.
This decade reflects the epic love of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa and their blissful association and heart-rending separation. The love of the gopīs, a concrete expression of the philosophy of śaraṇāgati is the perfection of spiritual life. Though the gopīs were born in cowherd family, they developed the purest love for Kṛṣṇa. They were the helpers, teachers, friends, wives, dear disciples, confidantes and serving maids of Kṛṣṇa and had no desire other than to satisfy Him. Śukadeva Gosvamī extols the selfless service rendered by the gopīs:
And how could one possibly describe the great austerities that had been performed by the women who perfectly served Him, the spiritual master of the universe, in pure ecstatic love? Thinking of Him as their husband, they rendered such intimate services as massaging His feet (Bhāgavatam 10.90.27).
There is a story to highlight the completely selfless surrender of the gopīs to Kṛṣṇa. Once Kṛṣṇa wanted the dust from His devotee’s feet to cure His headache. Everybody flatly refused saying that they would go to hell, never to return, for the offense of allowing their foot dust to be placed upon Kṛṣṇa’s head. However, the gopīs gave their foot dust without any hesitation and said they did not mind going to hell eternally, as long as Kṛṣṇa was happy.
Vēdānta Deśika endorses the pure mood of gopīs in Yādavābyudaya 8.66: Like the yogis who are intimately united with Kaṇṇan, mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā (Gītā 6.47), the gopīs considered Kaṇṇan as their husband and enjoyed with Him in the mood that both are one soul. It has become a customary tradition to mention the dealings of gopīs with Kṛṣṇa as amorous love but the gopīs are adored with great respect by liberated sages such as Uddhava. Such devotees are always aspirants to the standard of gopīs’ love of Krishna. In this material world the so-called love between a boy and a girl is for personal sense gratification and is actually lust. But the gopīs love of Kṛṣṇa is not for personal sense gratification but for the Lord’s pleasure, that is love or bhakti. One should purify himself by following the four regulative principles before reading and commenting on Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. Kṛṣṇa has endorsed that gopīs are perfect in their love for Him. He declares to Uddhava, “Just as great sages in yoga trance merge into self-realization, like rivers merging into the ocean, and are thus not aware of material names and forms, similarly, the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so completely attached to Me within their minds that they could not think of their own bodies, or of this world, or of their future lives. Their entire consciousness was simply bound up in Me (Bhāgavatam 11.12.12). The love and dedication exhibited by the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa was of the highest order of devotional service. They did not see Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead but as their beloved cowherd boy, who tends the cows, plays His flute, and dances. They were always meditating on Him, and His words. Every object they saw reminded them of Him. They would faint on hearing a flute being played. They become ecstatic on seeing a peacock or even a peacock feather. When the gopīs met Kṛṣṇa in Kurukṣetra and begged Him to go back with them to Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa refused and expressed His inability to reciprocate their love:
I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore, please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation (Bhāgavatam 10.32.22).
Vṛndāvana is a spiritual abode and everything there is spiritual too. Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs are spiritual souls. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Brahman and Supersoul is never interested in anything material. His pastimes with the gopīs are on the spiritual platform. In the Padma Purāṇa, Uttara-khaṇḍa, Lord Śiva describes to Pārvatī Devī that the sages of the Daṇḍakāraṇya forest were attracted by the beauty of Lord Rāma and wanted to have Him as their husband. They all took birth as women in Gokula. The Kūrma Purāṇa states that sons of Agni performed austerities, took birth as women and obtained Lord Vāsudeva as their husbands (Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 3.7.151, purport). This is confirmed beyond doubt in Padma Purāṇa:
gopyas tu śrutayo jñeyā
deva-kanyāś ca rājendra
na mānuṣyāḥ kathañcana
“It is understood that some of the gopīs are personified Vedic literatures, while others are reborn sages, daughters of cowherds, or demigod maidens. But by no means, my dear King, are any of them ordinary humans”. Even though they were in the company of their cowherd husbands, by the power of Yoga-māyā the gopīs remained unsullied by sexual contact with them; rather, they were situated in purely spiritual bodies that Kṛṣṇa enjoyed (Bhāgavatam 10.29.9, purport).
Vēdānta Deśika emphasizes that enjoying with gopīs is not a blemish on Kaṇṇan because: The Lord who is not bound by karmic reaction has appeared as cowherd boy on His own sweet will, na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti: “There is no work that affects Me.” Although He is the creator of this material world, He is not affected by the activities of the material world. The Lord, being full in Himself, has no attraction for so-called heavenly happiness. He is aloof from the material actions and reactions. For example, the rains are not responsible for different types of vegetation that appear on the earth, although without such rains there is no possibility of vegetative growth. The heavenly women because of a pre-arrangement and by the will of the Lord have taken birth as gopīs. Out of His causeless mercy, Kaṇṇan wanted to fulfil His devotees’ desire and not out of any lusty desire to enjoy them. Further, what is wrong or right for human beings is not applicable to demigods and their women. The scriptures stress the importance of love of Godhead above attachment to anything else. Since the gopīs followed this totally Kaṇṇan reciprocated with His love for them (Yādavābyudaya 8.67,69).
Caitanya Mahāprabhu commends the transcendental service of the gopīs to Kṛṣṇa by identifying Himself as gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: “I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 13.80):
Great devotees up to the standard of Uddhava are very dear friends of the Lord, and they desire to follow in the footsteps of the gopīs. So, the gopīs love for Kṛṣṇa is certainly not material lusty desire. Otherwise, how could Uddhava aspire to follow in their footsteps? Another instance is Lord Caitanya Himself. After accepting the sannyāsa order of life, He was very, very strict about avoiding association with women, but still He taught that there is no better method of worshiping Kṛṣṇa than that conceived by the gopīs. Thus, the gopīs’ method of worshiping the Lord as if impelled by lusty desire was praised very highly even by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This very fact means that although the attraction of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa appears to be lusty, it is not in the least bit material. Unless one is fully situated in the transcendental position, the relationship of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa is very difficult to understand. But because it appears to be just like ordinary dealings of young boys and girls, it is sometimes misinterpreted to be like the ordinary sex of this material world. Unfortunately, persons who cannot understand the transcendental nature of the love affairs of the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa take it for granted that Kṛṣṇa’s love affairs with the gopīs are mundane transactions, and therefore they sometimes indulge in painting licentious pictures in some modernistic style. On the other hand, the lusty desire of Kubjā is described by learned scholars as being “almost lusty desire.” Kubjā was a hunchbacked woman who also wanted Kṛṣṇa with a great ecstatic love. But her desire for Kṛṣṇa was almost mundane, and so her love cannot be compared to the love of the gopīs. Her loving affection for Kṛṣṇa is called kāma-prāyā, or almost like the gopīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa (The Nectar of Devotion 15).
When Uddhava, Kṛṣṇa’s cousin, friend, and counsellor met the gopīs in Vṛndāvana as a messenger of Kṛṣṇa he appreciates them:
Certainly, you gopīs are all-successful and are universally worshiped because you have dedicated your minds in this way to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Devotional service unto Lord Kṛṣṇa is attained by charity, strict vows, austerities and fire sacrifices, by japa, study of Vedic texts, observance of regulative principles and, indeed, by the performance of many other auspicious practices. By your great fortune you have established an unexcelled standard of pure devotion for the Lord, Uttamaḥśloka — a standard even the sages can hardly attain. By your great fortune you have left your sons, husbands, bodily comforts, relatives and homes in favor of the supreme male, who is known as Kṛṣṇa. You have rightfully claimed the privilege of unalloyed love for the transcendental Lord, O most glorious gopīs. Indeed, by exhibiting your love for Kṛṣṇa in separation from Him, you have shown me great mercy (Bhāgavatam 10.47.23-28).
Uddhava expresses his desire to be blessed by the gopīs:
The gopīs of Vṛndāvana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vṛndāvana, because the gopīs trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet (Bhāgavatam 10.47.61).
Some of the gopīs who could not get out of their houses remained at home with eyes closed, meditating upon Kṛṣṇa in pure love (Bhāgavatam 10.29.9). Yoga- māyā kept them unsullied by sexual contact with their cowherd husbands and in pure spiritual bodies that served Kṛṣṇa. There are many other activities which confirm the supreme authority of Kṛṣṇa and He is not bound by the rules and regulations of the material world. He is the supreme controller of all living entities and the material nature. Therefore, He is above all religious duties and principles. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti: “Kṛṣṇa never enjoys or suffers the results of His activities.”
When King Parīkṣit inquired Śukadeva Gosvāmī how Kṛṣṇa, who had descended to this earth to destroy irreligion and reestablish religious principles, could have violated them by touching other men’s wives, Śukadeva replied that when material activities never entangle the devotees of Kṛṣṇa or sages who have been liberated by their yogic power, how could there be any bondage for the Lord? (Bhāgavatam 10.33.34). Śukadeva Gosvāmī summed up his elaborate reply saying, “Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopīs of Vṛndāvana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart” (Bhāgavatam 10.33.39).
 Welsh proverb.
297 * nalladōr tāmaraip poygai * nāṇmalar mēl pani sōra *
alliyum tādum udirntiṭṭu * aḻagaḻindāl ottadālō **
illam veṛiyōḍiṭṛṛālō * en magaḷai eṅgum kāṇēn *
mallarai aṭṭavan pin pōy * maduraip puṛam pukkāḷ kolō
A distressed mother bemoans, “Like an incomparably charming lotus pond becomes desolate—when its enemy, the frost, falls on the lotus flowers in bloom, and their wilted petals and the pollen grains drop—the home looks deserted and I don’t see my daughter anywhere; Has she gone looking for Kaṇṇan—the slayer of great wrestlers like Cāṇūra and Muṣṭika—to Gokula near Mathurā?”
298 onṛum aṛivonṛillāda * uruvaṛaik gōpālar taṅgaḷ *
kanṛugāl māṛumā pōlē * kanniyirundāḷaik koṇḍu **
nanṛum kiṛi ceydu pōnān * nārāyaṇan ceyda tīmai *
enṛum emargaḷ kuḍikku * ōrēccukkol āyiḍuṅgolō
She wonders, “Like the ugly cowherd men, totally devoid of prudence, steal others’ pretty calves, Nārāyaṇān schemed very well to abduct my obedient maiden daughter; will His treacherous act be a permanent disgrace or dignity on our family?”
299 kumari maṇam ceytu koṇḍu * kōlam ceytu illattirutti *
tamarum piṛarum aṛiyat * tāmōtaraṛkenṛu cāṛṛi **
amarar patiyuḍait ḍhēvi * aracāṇiyai vaḻipaṭṭu *
tumilameḻap paṛai koṭṭit * tōraṇam nāṭṭiḍuṅgolō
She broods, “If we perform the engagement ceremony—decorating her with valuable jewels and dress—in the marriage hall and announce to the relatives and friends that she would be given in marriage to Dāmodara, and when this consort of the Supreme Lord of all demigods circumambulates the sacred fig tree (according to the traditional custom), will the community joyously beat kettle drums, decorate the neighbourhood with festoons all over and celebrate or say indifferently, ‘What is the need to celebrate?’”
300 oru magaḷ tannai uḍaiyēn * ulagam niṛainda pugaḻāl *
tirumagaḷ pōla vaḷarttēn * ceṅgaṇmāl tān koṇḍu pōnān **
perumagaḷāyk kuḍi vāḻndu * perum piḷḷai peṭṛṛa asōdai *
marumagaḷaik kaṇḍugandu * maṇāṭṭuppuṛam ceyyuṅgolō
Now she contemplates on Mother Yaśodā’s response. “With love and affection, I brought up my only daughter like Śrī Lakṣmī, praised in all the worlds; now she has been taken away by the reddish lotus-eyed benefactor; will the queen Mother Yaśodā, mother of the glorious Kaṇṇan, receive her daughter-in-law with love or negelect her?”
301 tammāman nandagōpālan * taḻī ikkoṇḍu enmagaḷ tannai *
cemmāndirēyenṛu sollic * ceḻuṅgayaṛ kaṇṇum cevvāyum *
kommai mulaiyum iḍaiyum * koḻumpaṇait tōḷgaḷum kaṇḍiṭṭu *
immagaḷaip peṭṛṛa tāyar * inittariyār ennuṅgolō
The mother continues to ponder, “Will my daughter’s father-in-law, Nanda Gopa, affectionately hug and seat her on his lap, comfort her, and closely look at her lovely fish-like eyes, reddish lips, well- formed breasts, slender hip, and elegant bamboo-like shoulders, and wonder, ‘Could her mother bear separation from her?’ or be aloof?”
302 vēḍar maṛakkulam pōlē * vēṇḍiṭṛṛuc ceydu enmagaḷai *
kūḍiya kūṭṭamēyāhak * koṇḍu kuḍi vāḻuṅgolō **
nāḍum nagarum aṛiya * nallatōr kaṇṇālam ceydu *
cāḍiṛap pāynda perumān * takkavākaip paṭṛṛuṅgolō
She worries, “Will the Lord who kicked and collapsed Śakaṭāsura, unite with my daughter and just ‘live together’ without a proper wedding, like the low-born hunters’ and warriors’ communities or properly claim her hand by marrying her according to the traditional custom and in the presence of friends and relatives?”
303 aṇḍattamarar perumān * āḻiyān inṛu enmagaḷai *
paṇḍap paḻippukkaḷ sollip * parisaṛa āṇḍiḍuṅgolō **
koṇḍu kuḍi vāḻkkai vāḻndu * kōvalap paṭṭam kavittu *
paṇḍai maṇāṭṭimār munnē * pādukāval vaikkuṅgolō
She voices her apprehension, “Will the Lord of the eternally liberated residents of Vaikuṇṭha who weilds the disc, find faults with the qualities and beauty of my daughter and abuse her or lead a proper family life with her and make her the queen of His other wives, keeping her in comfort and security in His private quarters?”
304 kuḍiyil piṛandavar seyyum * guṇamonṛum seydilan andō *
naḍaiyonṛum seydilan naṅgāy * nandagōpan magan kaṇṇan **
iḍai irupālum vaṇaṅga * iḷaittiḷaittu enmagaḷ ēṅgi *
kaḍai kayiṛē paṭṛṛi vāṅgik * kai taḻumbēṛiḍuṅgolō
The mother decries the character and activities of Kaṇṇan to another lady, “Oh lady, Kaṇṇan, the son of Nanda Gopa, neither has done anything befitting His aristocratic lineage nor pursued the good practices of the world; (thinking of this) will my daughter thin down in anxiety and struggle hard with the churning rope which will cut and scar her soft palms?”
305 veṇṇiṛattōy tayir tannai * veḷvaraippin mun eḻundu *
kaṇṇuṛaṅgādē irundu * kaḍaiyavum tān vallaḷ kolō **
oṇṇiṛat tāmaraic ceṅgaṇ * ulagaḷandān enmagaḷai *
paṇṇaṛaiyāp paṇikoṇḍu * parisaṛa āṇḍiḍuṅgolō
She continues her lamentation, “Can my delicate daughter wake up at dawn and energetically churn the solid white curd? Will the beautiful red lotus-eyed Kaṇṇan, who covered the three worlds in three steps, engage her in menial work and treat her harshly?”
306 * māyavan pin vaḻi senṛu * vaḻiyiḍai māṭṛṛaṅgaḷ kēṭṭu *
āyargaḷ cēriyilum pukku * aṅguttai māṭṛṛamumellām **
tāyavaḷ solliya sollait * taṇpuduvaip paṭṭan conna *
tūya tamiḻp pattum vallār * tūmaṇi vaṇṇanukkāḷarē
Following Kaṇṇan, the Supreme Lord of inconceivable activities, looking at and inquiring about the exceptional scenes on the way, and finally entering Gokula, the mother expresses to the residents, the woes her daughter may undergo to please her in-laws and Kaṇṇan. Her words have been rendered as ten divine songs in chaste Tamiḻ by Periyāḻvār, the master of Śrīvilliputtūr. Those who can recite these ten songs will attain the shelter of blue sapphire gemstone-hued Kaṇṇan.
Śrī Āṇḍāḷ, the foster daughter of Periyāḻvār, right from her childhood was brought up in Kṛṣṇa consciouness and she developed prema bhakti for Kṛṣṇa. After the amazing pastime of Lord Vaṭapatra Śāyī accepting the garland worn first by Āṇḍāḷ, she was immersed always in the thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and was desperate to marry none other than Him. She was worried that Periyāḻvār might find a suitable groom for her, and marry her off. Finally, the Lord decided to respond to her intense prayers and appeared in the dream of Periyāḻvār and asked him to bring Āṇḍāḷ in bridal attire to Śrīraṅgam. When they reached the temple of Śrī Raṅganāta in Śrīraṅgam, Periyāḻvār could not find Āṇḍāḷ anywhere. He understood that she has merged with the Lord. Though he was a great devotee of the Lord and was very happy that He has accepted her daughter, because of his separation from his dear most daughter, he sadly sang, oru magaḷ tannai uḍaiyēn ulagam niṛainda pugaḻāl tirumagaḷ pōla vaḷarttēn ceṅgaṇmāl tān koṇḍu pōnān: “With love and affection I brought up my only daughter like Śrī Lakṣmī, praised in all the worlds; now she has been taken away by the reddish lotus-eyed benefactor.” In the mood of a mother, separated from her newly married daughter, he was apprehensive—about her well being in her husband’s home; also if the relatives and friends would believe that the Lord really took his daughter away, and would they approve her uniting with Kaṇṇan, who has amorous affairs with many girls—and rendered the ten songs in this decade: Illam veṛiyōḍiṭṛṛālō: He bemoans, “Like an incomparably charming lotus pond becomes desolate—when its enemy, the frost, falls on the lotus flowers in bloom, and their wilted petals and the pollen grains drop—the home looks deserted and I don’t see my daughter anywhere; Has she gone looking for Kaṇṇan to Gokula near Mathurā?” Nārāyaṇan ceyda tīmai: He wonders, “Like the ugly cowherd men, totally devoid of prudence, steal others’ pretty calves, Nārāyaṇān schemed very well to abduct my obedient maiden daughter; will His treacherous act be a permanent disgrace or dignity on our family?” Tumilameḻap paṛai koṭṭit * tōraṇam nāṭṭiḍuṅgolō: He broods, “Will the community joyously beat kettle drums, decorate the neighbourhood with festoons all over and celebrate her marriage with Kaṇṇan or say indifferently, ‘What is the need to celebrate?’” Asōdai marumagaḷaik kaṇḍugandu maṇāṭṭuppuṛam ceyyuṅgolō: He contemplates, “Will the queen Mother Yaśodā, mother of the glorious Kaṇṇan, receive her daughter-in-law with love or negelect her?” Tammāman nandagōpālan * taḻī ikkoṇḍu enmagaḷ tannai: He continues to ponder, “Will my daughter’s father-in-law, Nanda Gopa, affectionately hug and seat her on his lap, comfort her, or be aloof?” Takkavākaip paṭṛṛuṅgolō: He worries, “Will the Lord unite with my daughter and just ‘live together’ without a proper wedding or properly claim her hand by marrying her according to the traditional custom and in the presence of friends and relatives?” Koṇḍu kuḍi vāḻkkai vāḻndu: He voices apprehension, “Will the Lord find faults with the qualities and beauty of my daughter and abuse her or lead a proper family life with her and make her the queen of His other wives, keeping her in comfort and security in His private quarters?” Guṇamonṛum seydilan andō naḍaiyonṛum seydilan naṅgāy” In anger he decries the character and activities of Kaṇṇan, “Kaṇṇan, the son of Nanda Gopa, neither has done anything befitting His aristocratic lineage nor pursued the good practices of the world.” Paṇṇaṛaiyāp paṇikoṇḍu * parisaṛa āṇḍiḍuṅgolō: He laments, “Will Kaṇṇan engage her in menial work and treat her harshly?”
In her first divine rendition, the famous Tiruppāvai, Āṇḍāḷ considers herself and other girls in her village as gopīs and emphasizes that the ultimale goal of life is to surrender at the Lord’s lotus feet with love and devotion. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.82.44 Kṛṣṇa explains to the gopīs: “Rendering devotional service to Me qualifies any living being for eternal life. But by your good fortune you have developed a special loving attitude toward Me, by which you have obtained Me.” The śrutis, the personified Vedas express their desire to follow in the footsteps of the gopīs: “Thus the gopīs ultimately tasted the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, we Upaniṣads can also taste the nectar of His lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopīs” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 9.123). Āṇḍāḷ—an incarnation of Śrī Lakṣmī, the pleasure potency of Viṣṇu—named as Kōtai (garland) when she was found by Periyāḻvār, grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion listening to the stories and glories of Kṛṣṇa. She developed such an intense love for Kṛṣṇa that she wanted to marry only Him and not any human being. The damsels of the village Śrīvilliputtūr, headed by Āṇḍāḷ, observed austerities known as Pāvai Nōnbu during the month of Mārgaḻi (Mārgaśīrṣa) and worshipped goddess Gaurī (another form of goddess Durgā) to obtain Kaṇṇan as their husbands.
Like the gopīs, Āṇḍāḷ performed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in the mellow of conjugal love, mādhurya-rasa which is experienced in two parts, vipralambha or conjugal love in separation and sambhoga or conjugal love in direct contact. When she grew up, Āṇḍāḷ gathered all the village girls and observed vows and recited the famous divine songs of Tiruppāvai, glorifying and expressing her pining for Kaṇṇan. Nācciyār Tirumoḻi, a collection of 143 songs, composed by Āṇḍāḷ expressing her unfathomable love for Kaṇṇan, excruciating anguish of separation from Him, and her unrestrainable longing to be united eternally with Him: Āṇḍāḷ warns cupid that if he arranges to get her married to a mortal instead of Kaṇṇan, she shall not live. She invokes his pity that she shall keep her body uncared, hair unkempt, lips discoloured, and eat just once a day; if he wishes to save her feminine charm, he should grant her the pleasure of massaging Kṛṣṇa Keśava’s lotus feet. She expresses her desire to find entry in to His bed room. She appeals to the koel (cuckoo) not to evade her with slippery sweet-talk and go to her Lord Vēnkaṭa—who torments her heart and enjoys her death’s dance—and call Him. If the koel who knows the pain of separation from the beloved—should notice that her body is wasted, eyes have not closed for many days, and that her pearly smile, red lips and beautiful breasts are fading—call the Lord of golden-hue, she will bow her head in gratitiude. Desiring the embrace of the Lord, sleeping in the foaming sea of milk, her bosom swells and throbs in excitement, tormenting her soul. She asks the conch—who enjoys the privilege of tasting Mādhava’s lips—if the lotus mouth of Lord Mādhava smells of camphor, or the fragrance of lotus and if His auspicious lips are sweet to taste. Envious of the fortune of the conch, she says that the nectar from the mouth of the beautiful Vāmana is his food and His palm is his place of rest. Then she chastises the conch that it is not fair for him to enoy all alone while sixteen thousand charming women rise in protest and are ready to quarrel with him. Her petition to the clouds is heartrending: “Does my Tirumāl come with you? I swoon with tears flowing down my breasts; Does He pride Himself in destroying a maiden’s charm? Scorched by the raging fire of mid-night passion, I long for the soothing cool breeze. My luster, my colour, my bangles, my senses and my sleep, all have left me destroying my well-being; How long can I sustain my spirits, singing the glories of my Govinda? Go and pour over Vēnkaṭam and tell Him that He has dried me up, like a wood apple dried up by the hovering fruit flies.” Then she appeals to the dark flame lily flowers, “Who will hear my plaint? Even my unbridled heart has teamed with the ocean-hued Lord. No use fighting shy, all the folks have come to know. If at all you wish to do me a favour, or if at all you want to see me alive, take me to Gokula. If I see the beautiful bachelor who measured the universes, I may live. People say I have strayed from the trodden path discarding mother, father, kith and kin. I can not guard against slander anymore. The stranger’s face haunts me everywhere. In the dead of the night, leave me at the portals of Nanda’s mansions, where broken hearted maidens lie groaning while the son plays with them ruining their reputation. Then she requests the other gopīs, “Nobody will understand this malaise, my ladies, do not be sad. Take me now to that riverbank which turned into a ruddy battlefield when the dark Lord climbed the Kadamba tree, then jumped and trampled on the serpent Kaliya’s hood; His caress is the only remedy available to us. My paleness, depression, insensibility, white lips, loss of appetite, sleeplessness and sulkiness will disappear, when the tulasī garland worn by the Lord is wreathed on me. I lie gored and mauled by Him, hopelessly beyond repair. Go bring the ambrosial spittle from His sweet lips, my insatiable delight, and help me lap it before it dries; that alone can save my life. I weep and pray; the fellow does not even show His face to say, “Fear not”, nor ever comes to caress, embrace, roll and leave. Go bring the trickle from His flute’s hole and wipe away the fever from my brow.”
Finally, Āṇḍāḷ did unite with Kaṇṇan in Śrīraṅgam, conquering the Lord with her epic love and garlands worn by her and offered to Him! The Tamiḻ name Āṇḍāḷ means “One who ruled or conquered!”
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam chapters10.30 and 10.31portray the pain of separation from Kṛṣṇa as experienced by the gopīs of Vṛndāvana: The gopīs felt great sorrow at losing sight of Kṛṣṇa, like a group of female elephants who have lost their mate. Singing loudly of Kṛṣṇa, they searched for Him throughout the Vṛndāvana forest like a band of madwomen. They even asked various trees, flowering plants and creepers, tulasī, the earth, the wife of the deer and many other about Him. Absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs began acting out His various transcendental pastimes. They completely forgot about their homes as they loudly sang the glories of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental qualities.
Overwhelmed by feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa, they sat down on the bank of the Yamunā and began praying for His return and singing His glories: “It is only for You that we, Your devoted servants, keep our lives. You are killing us, Your maidservants, who have given ourselves to You freely, without any price. Isn’t this murder? Your lotus hand grants fearlessness to those who approach Your feet out of fear of material existence; please place that wish-fulfilling lotus hand on our heads. Please accept us as Your maidservants and show us Your beautiful lotus face. Please place Your lotus feet, which destroy the past sins of all embodied souls surrendered to You, upon our breasts and tear away the lust in our hearts. Please revive Your maidservants with the nectar of Your lips. Your smiles, Your sweet, loving glances, the intimate pastimes and confidential talks we enjoyed with You touch our hearts. But at the same time, they very much agitate our minds. We are disturbed with the thought that Your lotus feet will be pricked by the spiked husks of grain, the rough grass, and thorny plants when You leave the cowherd village to herd the cows. Lusty desires are aroused in our minds when You return with Your lotus face with dark locks of hair and smeared with dust. Please destroy our anxiety and give the highest satisfaction, protection in times of danger by placing Your lotus feet upon our breasts. Kindly give us the nectar of Your lips, which enhances conjugal pleasure, vanquishes grief, and makes people forget any other attachment. When we do not see You, a tiny fraction of a second becomes like a millennium. Even when we eagerly look upon Your beautiful face, so lovely with its adornment of curly locks, our pleasure is hindered by our eyelids fashioned by the foolish creator. When we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives to come to You, only a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night. Our minds are bewildered with the thought of our intimate conversations, feel the rise of lust in our hearts and remember Your smiling face, Your loving glances and Your broad chest. that We place Your soft lotus feet gently on our breasts, fearing that Your feet will be hurt. Our life rests only in You. Therefore, we are anxious that Your tender feet might be wounded by pebbles as You roam about on the forest path.
Let us worship the lotus feet of Āṇḍāḷ and the gopīs and follow in their footpath to achieve love of Godhead for Kṛṣṇa.
307 * ennādan dēvikku * anṛu inbappū īyādāḷ *
tan nādan kāṇavē * taṇpū marattinai **
vannādap puḷḷāl * valiyap paṛittiṭṭa *
ennādan vaṇmaiyaip pāḍippaṛa * empirān vaṇmaiyaip pāḍippaṛa
One gopi tells the other, “When my Lord’s consort Satyabhāmā desired the heavenly pārijāta flower and was refused by Indra’s wife, before the very eyes of her husband’s (Indra’s) eyes, my Lord got the pārijāta tree, in full bloom, uprooted by Garuḍa—who is very powerful and constantly vibrates the Sāma Veda—and replanted in Satyabhāmā’s garden. Sing and exult in the glories of my Lord who can achieve whatever He wants; sing and exult the inconceivable Lord!
308 envilvali kaṇḍu * pōvenṛu edir vandān *
tan villinōḍum * tavattai edirvāṅgi **
mun vilvalittu * mudupeṇ uyiruṇḍān *
tan villin vaṇmaiyaip pāḍippaṛa * dāsarati tanmaiyaip pāḍippaṛa
Another Gopi sings, “When the aggressive Paraśurāma challenged, “Watch the power of My bow and leave,” my Lord took His bow and eclipsed His power. Earlier, He arched His bow and extinguished the life of Tātakā. Sing and exult in the extraordinary prowess of the bow of the Supreme Emperor; sing and exult the glorious qualities of the son of Daśaratha!
309 uruppiṇi naṅgaiyait * tērēṭṛṛik koṇḍu *
viruppuṭṛṛu aṅgēha * viraindu edir vandu **
cerukkuṭṛṛān * vīram cidaiya * talaiyaic
ciraittiṭṭān vanmaiyaip pāḍippaṛa * dēvaki ciṅgattaip pāḍippaṛa
“When Kaṇṇan kidnapped and took Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī away on His chariot, the proud Rukmī chased the chariot and challenged Him. Sing and exult in His valour who shaved off Rukmī’s head with His arrow and shattered his pride; sing and exult the valour of the lion of Devakī!
310 māṭṛṛut tāy senṛu * vanam pōhē enṛiḍa *
īṭṛṛut tāy pin toḍarndu * empirān enṛaḻa **
kūṭṛṛut tāy sollak koḍiya vanam pōna *
cīṭṛṛamilātānaip pāḍippaṛa * sītai maṇāḷanaip pāḍippaṛa
“When the stepmother Kaikeyī ordered Rāma to go to the forest and His mother Kauśalyā followed Him wailing, ‘My son!’ accepting the words of the stepmother He went to the dangerous forest. Sing and exult Rāma who did not hold a grudge, ‘My stepmother forced Me to go to the forest;’ sing and exult the Lord of Sītā!”
311 pañjavar tūdanāyp * bhāratam kaiseydu *
nañjumiḻ nāgam kiḍanda * naṛpoygai pukku **
añjap paṇattinmēl * pāyndiṭṭu aruḷ ceyda *
añjana vaṇṇanaip pāḍippaṛa * asōdai tan siṅgattaip pāḍippaṛa
“He went as a messenger of the Pāṇḍavas and later enacted the epic Mahābhārata battle. He jumped into the poisoned lake where the poison-spitting Kāliya lived, subdued him by dancing on and crushing his hoods and then mercifully pardoned him. Sing and exult that collyrium-hued Lord; sing and exult the lion of Mother Yaśodā!”
312 muḍiyonṛi * mūvulagaṅgaḷum āṇḍu * un
aḍiyēṛku aruḷenṛu * avanpin toḍarnda **
paḍiyil guṇattup * bharata nambikku * anṛu
aḍinilaiy īndānaip pāḍippaṛa * ayōdhiyar kōmānaip pāḍippaṛa
“He was crowned as the ruler of the three worlds; Bharata, who possessed unmatchable qualities, went to the forest in search of Rāma and prayed, ‘I am Your servant, please be merciful to me.’ Rāma acceded to Bharata’s request and gave His wooden sandals to Him. Sing and exult that Rāma; sing and exult the emperor of Ayodhyā.”
313 kāḷiyan poygai * kalaṅgap pāyndiṭṭu * avan
nīḷmuḍi aindilum * ninṛu naḍam ceydu **
mīḷa avanukku * aruḷ ceyda vittagan *
tōḷvali vīramē pāḍippaṛa * tūmaṇi vaṇṇanaip pāḍippaṛa
“He jumped into and agitated the poisoned lake where Kāliya lived; danced on and crushed his five sky high hoods and then mercifully pardoned him. Sing and exult in the chivalry and might of that incredible Kaṇṇan; sing and exult the blue sapphire gemstone-hued Lord!”
314 tārkku iḷantambikku * arasīndu * daṇḍakam
nūṭṛṛavaḷ soṛkoṇḍu * pōhi nuḍaṅgiḍai **
sūrppaṇakāvaic ceviyoḍu mūkku * avaḷ
ārkka arindānaip pāḍippaṛa * ayōdhikkarasanaip pāḍippaṛa
“Even though Bharata refused to be crowned, humbly indicating that He was not qualified, Rāma compelled Him to rule the kingdom on His behalf and went to Daṇḍakāraṇya forest as ordered by Kaikeyī. Sing and exult Him who cut off the ears and nose of the slim-waisted Śūrpaṇakhā while she loudly wailed; sing and exult the emperor of Ayodhyā.”
315 māyac cagaḍam udaittu * marudiṛuttu *
āyargaḷōḍu pōy * ānirai kāttu ** aṇi
vēyin kuḻalūdi * vittaganāy ninṛa *
āyargaḷ ēṭṛṛinaip pāḍippaṛa * ānirai mēyttānaip pāḍippaṛa
“He kicked and collapsed the sinister Śakaṭāsura, brought down the twin arjuna trees, and went to the forest with the cowherd boys to protect multitudes of herds of cows. Sing and exult Him who played His divine flute, is inconceivable and is the king of the cowherd clan; sing and exult Him who grazed multitudes of herds of cows.”
316 kārār kaḍalai * aḍaittiṭṭu ilaṅgai pukku *
ōrādān ponmuḍi * onbadōḍonṛaiyum **
nērā avan tambikkē * nīḷ arasīnda *
ārāvamudanaip pāḍippaṛa * ayōdhiyar vēndanaip pāḍippaṛa
“He crossed the dark and unfathomable ocean on the bridge of rocks, entered Laṅkā and severed the arrogant Rāvaṇa’s ten heads crowned with golden helmets, and handed over the kingdom to his brother Vibhīṣaṇa promising eternal protection. Sing and exult His glories insatiable like the nectar; sing and exult the emperor of Ayodhyā.”
317 * nandan madalaiyaik * kāguttanai navinṛu *
undi paṛanda * oḷiyiḻaiyārgaḷ sol **
centamiḻt tenpuduvai * viṭṭucittan sol *
aindinōḍaintum vallārkku * allal illaiyē
Periyāḻvār, the master of elegant Śrīvilliputtūr, has rendered the words of the damsels, decorated with nice ornaments, singing and exulting Kaṇṇan, the son of Nanda Gopa and Rāma, who appeared in the Kākutta dynasty, as divine songs in chaste Tamiḻ. Those who can recite these ten songs—five songs on Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes and five on Rāma’s pastimes—will not suffer from any misery.
318 * neṛinda karuṅguḻal maḍavāy * ninnaḍiyēn viṇṇappam *
ceṛinda maṇimuḍi janakan * silaiyiṛuttu ninaik koṇarndadu
aṛindu * arasu kaḷaikaṭṭa * arundavattōn iḍaivilaṅga *
ceṛindasilai koḍutavattaic * cidaittadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
(Hanuman addressing mother Sītā) “Oh noble lady with dark, and dense hair! (Please listen to) Your humble servant’s submission: When the resolute ascetic Paraśurāma—who has weeded out twenty-one generations of demoniac kṣatriyas—heard that Rāma won your hand by breaking the bow of Janaka—who sports a crown studded with invaluable gems—and was on the way to Ayodhyā—and encountered Rāma on the way, Rāma humbled Paraśurāma with His own bow and also eclipsed His power; this is one proof (of my identity as Rāma’s servant)!”
319 alliyam pūmalark kōdāy * aḍi paṇindēn viṇṇappam *
sollugēn kēṭṭaruḷāy * tuṇai malarkkaṇ maḍamānē **
elliyam pōdu initiruttal * irundadōr iḍa vagaiyil *
malligai māmālai koṇḍu * aṅgu ārttadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
“Oh doelike noble lady!—resembling a garland of well bloomed flowers and with lotus eyes—I request you to listen kindly to my humble submission at your lotus feet; once in a secluded place, when the Lord and yourself were in a pleasant mood, you playfully bound up the Lord with a jasmine garland. This is one proof!”
320 kalakkiya māmanattanaḷāyk * kaikeyī varam vēṇḍa *
malakkiya māmanattananāy * mannavanum maṛādoḻiya **
kulak kumarā kāḍuṛaiyap * pō enṛu viḍai koḍuppa *
ilakkumaṇan tannoḍum * aṅgēkiyadu ōraḍaiyāḷam
“Befuddled by Mantharā, the stone-hearted Kaikeyī demanded Daśaratha to grant her two boons for immediate enaction (Rāma’s exile to the forest and coronation of Bharata), and when the rattled king with magnanimity agreed in anguish to send Rāma—the benefactor of the dynasty—to the forest, the Lord, accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa, left for the forest; this is one proof!
321 vāraṇinda mulaimaḍavāy * vaidevī viṇṇappam *
tēraṇinda ayōttiyar kōn * perundēvī kēṭṭaruḷāy **
kūraṇinda vēlvalavan * guhanōḍum gaṅgai tannil *
sīraṇinda tōḻamai * koṇḍadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
“Oh virtuous Vaidehī, with respectably corseted breasts! Oh noble consort of the Lord of Ayodhyā, full of chariots! Please listen to my humble submission; the Lord befriended Guha, expert in throwing sharp spear, on the banks of the Ganges. This is one proof!”
322 mānamaru mennōkki * vaidēvī viṇṇappam *
kānamarum kalladar pōyk * kāḍuṛainda kālattu **
tēnamarum poḻiṛ cāral * cittirakūḍattu iruppa *
pālmoḻiyāy bharatanambi * paṇindadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
“Oh daughter of king of Videha!—who is soft natured like a doe and speaks words sweet like milk—my humble submission; walking on the path strewn with stones in the dense forest, when you stayed in Chitrakūt mountain valley dotted with bowers of honey filled flowers, the noble Bharata fell prostrate before Rāma and pleaded, ‘Please return to Ayodhyā; this is one proof!”
323 cittirakūḍattiruppac * ciṛukākkai mulaitīṇḍa *
attiramē koṇḍeṛiya * anaittulagum tirindōḍi **
vittaganē irāmāvō * nin abhayam enṛaḻaippa *
attiramē adan kaṇṇai * aṛuttadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
“In Chitrakūt mountain valley, when a crow pecked at your breast, Rāma threw at it a blade of grass imbued with the power of brahmāstra; chased by it across all the universes, finally the crow surrendered to Rāma crying, ‘Oh inconceivable Rāma, please save me!’ The crow was spared after the brahmāstra destroyed its one eye; this is one proof!”
324 minnotta nuṇṇiḍaiyāy * meyyaḍiyēn viṇṇappam *
ponnotta mānonṛu * pugundu inidu viḷaiyāḍa **
ninnanbin vaḻi ninṛu * cilai piḍittu empirān ēga *
pinnē aṅgu ilakkumaṇan * pirindadum ōraḍaiyāḷam
“Oh noble lady with a thin hip like lightning streak! Kindly listen to the submission of this surrendered servant; when a golden deer came in front of your hut and pranced around, as desired by you, the Lord took His bow and followed it a long way away to catch it, and later Lakṣmaṇa went looking for Him; this is one proof!”
325 maittagu māmalark kuḻalāy * vaidēvī viṇṇappam *
otta pugaḻ vānarakkōn * uḍan irundu ninait tēḍa **
attagu sīr ayōdhiyar kōn * aḍaiyāḷam ivai moḻindān *
ittagaiyāl aḍaiyāḷam * īdavan kaim mōdiramē
“Oh daughter of king of Videha!—with dark tresses once decorated by lovely flowers—please listen to my submission; Monkey chief Sugrīva, hailed as a loyal patron of the Lord, while helping Him—who is a reservoir of all good qualities to be the Lord of the people of Ayodhyā—in the search for you, divulged to me these proofs, which I submitted to you. This invaluable ring was adorning His finger.”
326 * dikku niṛai pugaḻāḷan * tī vēḷvic cenṛa nāḷ *
mikka peruñjavai naḍuvē * villiṛuttān mōdiram kaṇḍu **
okkumāl aḍaiyāḷam anumān * enṛu uccimēl *
vaittuk koṇḍu ukandanaḷāl * malarkkuḻalāḷ sītaiyumē
“Mother Sītā—with dark tresses once decorated by lovely flowers—looked at the ring—of the Lord who came along with sage Viśvāmitra to the fire sacrifice performed by King Janaka who was famous in all directions and broke easily the bow displayed in his massive assembly—and saying, “Oh Hanumān, all the proofs told by you and this ring are all correct,” she placed the ring on her head and rejoiced!
0327 * vārārum mulaimaḍavāḷ * vaidevī tanaik kaṇḍu *
sīrārum tiṛal anuman * terinduraitta aḍaiyāḷam **
pārārum pugaḻp puduvaip * paṭṭar pirān pāḍal vallār *
ērārum vaikuṇṭhattu * imaiyavarōḍu iruppārē
“The credible proofs submitted by the divinely empowered Hanumān to the virtuous Vaidehī, with respectably corseted breasts, have been rendered as songs by Periyāḻvār, famous all over the world, and the master of Śrīvilliputtūr; those who recite these songs will attain the association of the eternal associates of the Lord of the all auspicious Śrī Vaikuṇṭha.”
Arabian jasmine vine: Also known as Sambac jasmine. Jasminum sambac is a species of jasmine.
Badara berry: Ziziphus jujuba Lam. Commonly known as Indian jujube, beri, ilandai.
Bhakta-vatsala: One of the unlimited names of Kṛṣṇa. It means on who is affectionate toward the devotees.
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: A book on the transcendental symptoms displayed by pure finddevotees by Srila Rūpa Gosvāmī, the chief disciple of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Bhakti-ratnākara: Written by Śrī Narahari Cakravartī, or Ghanaśyāma dāsa, exalted Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava ācāryas.
Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta: A Purāṇa-like tale composed by Sanātana Gosvāmī, one of the six principal followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is told as as an ancient discourse by King Parīkṣit to His mother Uttarā
Flame lily flowers: Gloriosa superba. Other common names are climbing lily, glory lily, gloriosa lily, tiger claw and fire lily.
Ironwood: Memecylon umbellatum. Its flowers are blue coloured.
Jambūdvīpa: Bhū-maṇḍala is one of the fourteen planetary systems in the cosmic creation. It is like a lotus flower, and its seven islands are compared to the whorl of the lotus. The place known as Jambūdvīpa is in the middle of that whorl. There are nine varṣas (tracts of land) in Jambūdvīpa and Bhārata-varṣa, our world, is one of them. India is in Bhārata-varṣa.
Kajjala: Kājal or kājol is an ancient eye cosmetic, traditionally made by grinding stibnite (Sb2S3) for similar purposes to charcoal used in mascara. It is applied as eyeliner to contour and/or darken the eyelids and as mascara for the eyelashes. It is worn mostly by women, but also by some men and children.
Kuṅkuma powder: Made from turmric or any other local materials and is applied by Indians to the forehead which is believed to be the most important spot for receptivity to be enhanced.
Kuśadvīpa: Kuśadvīpa is one of the seven islands of Bhū-maṇḍala . It is surrounded by an ocean of liquid ghee. The inhabitants of the island of Kuśadvīpa are celebrated as the Kuśalas, Kovidas, Abhiyuktas and Kulakas. They are like the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras respectively.
Mahābhārata battle: The Kurukṣetra war, also called the Mahābhārata battle, is a war described in the Hindu epic poem Mahābhārata. The conflict arose from a dynastic succession struggle between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas and Pānḍavas, for the throne of Hastināpura.
Mount Meru: Mount Meru, which is known as Sumeru-parvata is situated somewhere between the sun and the earth and is made of gold. Sumeru Mountain is like the pericarp of the lotuslike Bhū-maṇḍala planetary system. The mountain’s height is the same as the width of Jambūdvīpa — or, in other words, 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles]. Of that, 16,000 yojanas [128,000 miles] are within the earth, and therefore the mountain’s height above the earth is 84,000 yojanas [672,000 miles]. The mountain’s width is 32,000 yojanas [256,000 miles] at its summit and 16,000 yojanas at its base. On the summit of Mount Sumeru is Brahmapurī, the residence of Lord Brahmā. Each of its four sides is 10,000 yojanas long. Surrounding Brahmapurī are the cities of King Indra and seven other demigods. These cities are one fourth the size of Brahmapurī.
Nārada-pañcarātra: A Vaiṣṇava literature compiled by Nārada Muni. It deals with five branches of transcendental knowledge.
Nimbārka-sampradāya: One of the four authorised Vaiṣṇava Sampradāyas. Also known as the Hamsa-sampradāya or Sanakādi- sampradāya. Founded by Nimbārka (7th century CE).
Pāṣaṇḍī: Demons and atheists. Dictionary meaning is misbeliever or miscreant.
Porcupine flower trees: Barleria prionitis is a species of plant in the family Acanthaceae,
Rādhā-kunda: Rādhā-kunda and Śyāma-kuṇḍa are two adjoined lakes in Govardhana near Vṛndāvana and are very sacred for Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.
Sages of Naimiṣāraṇya: Just before the onset of Kali-yuga, in the sacred forest of Naimiṣāraṇya (modern day Nimsār situated along the Gōmti River in Sītāpūr district of Uttar Pradesh, India), great sages headed by the renowned sage Śaunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for mitigating the bad effects of the yuga. Scarlet gourd: Coccinia grandis, the ivy gourd or scarlet gourd.
Six Gosvāmīs: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s most prominent followers, the six Gosvāmīs (Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī), extensively wrote on Vaiṣṇava philosophy, generally known as Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma.
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta: The life and teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Golden Avatar. Originally in Bengali and Sanskrit and translated into English by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He is widely acclaimed for his commentaries on Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and has authored totally 80 books on Krishna Consciousness.
Sūta Gosvāmī: Son of Romaharṣaṇa and a disciple of Vyāsa Muni. He heard Śrīmad-Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam when it was recited by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to King Parīkṣit. On the request of sage Śaunaka, he recited Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya.
The Pracetās: The ten sons of King Prācīnabarhi and great grandsons of Mahārāja Pṛthu, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa and a descendant of Dhruva Mahārāja.
Vaṁśīvaṭa: Place of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā situated near Vṛndāvana.