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Articles on Carnatic Music

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

Read one more krithi from yet another author, but the pith and substance of this krithi is also again the same proclamation, "Oh! YasOdhaa!! What is that penance you did to beget such a child". See the ooththukkaadu venkata subbu iyer krithi in raaga ataaNaa

engum illaadhoru piLLai peRRaaL yasOdhai
ini mEl avaLukku enna kuRai?

eduththuch chonnaal adhu oru abhachcharam
Endi namakkuL intha vivagaaram
koduththu vaiththavan nandha gOpa maharaajan
kulam engaNum nirai mangaLam udhavumpadi padhapankajam - engum

charaNam 1:
sankai illaadhu inthap piLLaip peRRuk koLLa
thavangaL iyaRRiyathu eththanai
thangu thadaiyinRi aasai niraivEra
Dhaana dharumangaL eththanai
gangaiyum kaasiyum raamEsvaramumaai
kanda kshEththirangaL eththanai?
kai mEl palanaaga uRi veNNaith thayir paalum
kaLavaadum neelach chamaththanai - engum

Meaning of pallavi: YasOdhaa got a son, one whose equal or comparable, can not be found any where. What is there hereafter to desire for her.

Meaning of anu pallavi: If I openly say that way, it is not fair. Eh! Why we should we talk about that affair. The king NandhagOpa is well deserved for that kind of gift of a child. The lotus feet of that child is never seen any where and these feet give all that brimming wealth required for the entire clan of us.

Point: Next line is a beauty. Please rearrange the words "Kulam engaNum nirai mangaLam udhavumpadi padhapankajam - engum illaadhoru piLLai peRRaaL yasOdhai" into "yasOdhai engum illaadhoru piLLai peRRaaL, engum illaadhoru padhapankajam (uLLa or koNda) piLLai peRRaaL. (antha) piLLai Kulam engaNum engum illaadhoru nirai mangaLam (thanthu) udhavum".

Now see the meaning of above sentence- yasOdha got a son who has the lotus feet, which you can not find anywhere else. That feet will give all that wealth and sowbhaagyam to all the clan which you can not get that kind of wealth elsewhere.

Meaning of charaNam 1: There is no doubt that penance alone will give that kind of child. But doubt is that "What quantum of that penance to be done to get such a child?" To get this desire fulfilled without any obstructions, what is that quantum of donations and good deeds to be done. How many times one has to visit the ganges, kaasi and raameswaram to beget this child. To get this clever blue boy who steals milk, curd and butter kept in rope hangers what is the amount of that puNNiyam to be done.

Point: The central theme of all the 3 compositions is wondering about mother yasOdhaa's bhaagyam primarily of getting that supreme Lord as her son, and the aayar kulam just added, since closely related to that yasOdhaa..

If you have a second look at these krithis, all these 3 authors state, accept or establish in the first few lines viz. pallavi, anu pallavi stage itself, that para brahmam only has come as Kannan.

See the words
- engum nirai parabhrahmam - that all pervading supreme reality
- paarkadal paambu aNai viduththup paraman - that supreme lord para vaasudhEvan left his abode of milk ocean and snake bed
- engum illaadha oru piLLai - a child not found elsewhere- a unique son, who just after being born, takes a viswa roopam to show to the parents who has come as their son. Which other child anywhere has done this wonderful act in all puraanaas, ithihaasas or literature in the entire world. Such a unique son, engum illaadha oru piLLai.

Another similarity is, that, while first two Paapanaasam Sivan [PS] and Ambujam krishna [AK] have wondered on the paal oottuthal - feeding the child, all the three composers have touched on that veNNai + kaLavu + uNNuthal + uralil kattal.

This establishes that simplicity of that great kaNNan for simple butter (butter representing our heart to be white, so that he will steal that without ourselves knowing it is being stolen). As a result the punishment he had from mother (his receiving the punishment gives us that release from bondage of samsaaram says leela sukhar).

When one particular person steals a scarce material for his own usage, then it is a punishable offence. But when that material is available in abundance in a place, how can it be a crime. Then it is can only a child's play and not a crime. Then butter stealing in aaippaadi - is a simple matter - for butter was available in abundance, once kaNNan was there in aaippaadi. That parama purushan, who has come as yasOdhaa's child, does he deserve this heavy punishment for a simple act of stealing butter. Is it justified? Think of that and the great puNNiyam of the yasOdhaa and the aayar kulam to remove our paapam, the sins. KrishNa krishNa.

What a thavam did yasOdhaa to beget this son krishNa.
Vasudevan m.g.

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 II

Part I

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updated on 03/20/2009