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Articles on Carnatic Music

Enna Thavam (Part II)
by M.G. Vasudevan

Now, see another krithi from a different author, but the pith and substance is same proclamation, "Oh! YasOdhaa!! What is that penance you did to beget such a child". See the Ambujam krishna [AK] krithi in raagamaalika

pallavi & anu pallavi in Raaga - Kalyani
pallavi:
paNNiya puNNiyam yadhu ammaa, adhaip
parinthu emakku ingu kooru ammaa - paNNiya

anupallavi:
paarkadal paambu aNai viduththup paraman un
madi aduththup paal uNNa yasOdhaa nee - paNNiya

charaNam 1: in raaga keeravaaNi
kattith thayir veNNai kaaichchina paal vaiththuk
kaaththirunthEn ethir paarththu irunthEn
thatti vazhi maraiththu um sattith thayir veNNai
kottiyavan uNNa gOkulaththeer neevir- paNNiya

charaNam 2: in raaga naatakurinji
eNNam enum izhaiyil paN malargaL thoduththuk
kaNNan kazhal saaththak kaaththirunthEn
paN isaiththu ummudan paal nilavil avan
vaNNamaai viLaiyaada vanithaiyar neevir - paNNiya

charaNam 3: in raaga lalithaa
thanjam thanjam enru thaaL malar paNinthum
konjamum ennidam dhayavu illaa gOvindhan
anjEl anjEl enru anru giri thaangi
anbudan adaikkalam thanthida aayar kulam - paNNiya

point on the krithi: See in this krithi - wondering the bhaagyam of mother yasOdhaa, later joined by all people of gOkulam, the aayar kulam - the cowherd clan of that village gOkulam itself.

Meaning of pallavi: What is the penance you did, Oh mother! I pray to you, please be cordial to me and tell me.

Point in pallavi: AK indirectly puts "My intention is to know from you, Oh yasOdha! so that I also will do that to get similar grace from Him". In the PS krithi, it is clear, that, it is addressed to yasOdhaa. Here it is not clear if you consider the pallavi alone, whether it is really addressed to yasOdhaa or some other lady.

Now combine pallavi with anupallavi:
paNNiya puNNiyam yadhu? ammaa, adhaip
parinthu emakku ingu kooru, ammaa -
paarkadal paambu aNai viduththup paraman un
madi aduththup paal uNNa yasOdhaa nee - paNNiya

Meaning: Oh! Yasodhaa!! That supreme lord left his abode in the snake bed in the Milk Ocean and took to your lap. What is that good penance you did [or fortune you had] to have him on your lap and feed him oh! YasOdhaa!! Please tell.

Comment: By combining the anu pallavi with the pallavi, it is clear that it is addressed to yasOdhaa. Since it is addressed as "oh mother", even if she is not that courteous, not preferring to reveal these secrets / answer, she is forced / made to become courteous, by that calling "ammaa" twice, because, a mother is naturally generous towards her children calling ammaa and rallying behind her.

Meaning of charaNam 1: I was anticipating you, was waiting for you with solid curd, which is very much liked by you, also milk that is boiled well to give added taste. But he forced you, oh! folks of gokulam! to give him those pots of curds, pots of butter, when you were carrying them for sale, and he did eat all that curd butter etc, much to his liking, per force.

Comment: Now the focus gets shifted, from yasOdhaa to aayarkulam, the gokula vaasikgaL, residents of gokulam are considered as puNNiyasaaligaL. Question is put to them. What is that fortune you had. Here two special points are there. 1. Thatti vazhi maraiththu avan kotti uNNa- krishNa stands on the way, when these aayar folks take the pots of curd, butter, etc, to go to market and sell them. He takes these substances by forcing them -thatti - and he spills some and eats some - kotti avan uNNa - kottiyavan uNNa - to be eaten by one who spilled those substances- butter and curd etc.

2. "thatti vazhi maraiththu um sattith thayir veNNai kottiyavan uNNa" - the small bamboo mats, which are used as doors in these aayar folks^ huts, were used by him as a cover for stealing these butter and curd, spilling some and eating some quantity.

Meaning of charaNam 2: Oh maids! I was waiting to offer the garland of "music" flowers to the feet of kaNNan decorated in the thread called my "thoughts". but he has come there leaving me behind, to sing and play with you all in the moon light. To get him like that and what is the kind of good fortune you had?

Comment: Music is the flower. Thought is the thread. That music flower is tied in the thought thread to make a garland for the feet of kaNNan. Oh! what a rich imagination. Please remove "Kannan" from the context for a minute. Just consider this as a tamil lyric addressed to the hero by his lover. Then also the lines are simply gems. Now add Kannan. The taste increases manifold. Simple reason is, the verse has come out of pure love to kaNNan, from the bottom of the heart. To put it in another way, in simple words, the soul speaks here.

Meaning of charaNam 3: I surrender at his lotus flower feet repeatedly, but, that gOvindhan has no pity on me. But, to you, oh! Cowherds! He said "do not fear, do not fear, I am here to save you" from the torrential rain, So saying, he lifted that gOvardhana giri that day, saved you and gave you all a total refuge under his grace. Oh! Cowherds! What was the penance you did to get all his grace? Please tell me.

Point: AK says- On the contrary, the way he showered his grace on you, oh! aayar folks, forces me to ask you, what was that good penance you did?

Oh krishna, Is it that, I don't have that belief- mahaa visvasam? thanjam thanjam - I shout - seek your refuge - but you don't consider my "irappal"- do I have traces of disbelief in you? Yes, I found, because of that shakiness in the belief only, I am seeking reasons for your dhayavu illaa nature. Now I realised my folly of asking for the reason.

That reason is aayar had that very firm belief mahavisvasam in you, and you saved them. That is the simple of the simplest punniyam they did. Now I came to knowledge. Here after I have no other refuge except you. Now I know you will consider me as your dhaasan. Oh krishna! What are all the ways you have played with that maathavam seidha mother and your bhakthaas, Please come and save me. Is it AK's appeal only or our appeal also? Oh, What a great song by AK.

To be continued...


M.G. Vasudevan is a civil engineer in active service as well as a devoted rasika. He has also written many articles on Krishna, and more recently on Raama, in addition to Tyagaraja kritis linked to incidents in the Ramayana, all of which are available at the Bhakthi list and the Oppiliappan Yahoo group.



Part I

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updated on 11/27/2008