Monthly Archives: August 2014

krishNa’s childhood in gOkula 1

srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

In the previous post we saw the birth of krishNa and the wonderful celebrations at gOkula. periyAzhvAr describes even more celebrations at gOkula and how every person in gOkula comes and enjoys the wonderful, beautiful baby krishNa, the love of all. In periyAzhvAr’s words:

muththum maNiyum vayiramum nan ponnum
thaththip padhitthu thalaip peithArpOl engum
paththu viralum maNivaNNan pAthangaL
oththittirunthavaa kANIrE oNNudhalIr vandhu kANIrE

முத்தும் மணியும் வயிரமும் நன்பொன்னும்
தத்திப் பதித்துத் தலைப்பெய்தாற் போல்எங்கும்
பத்து விரலும் மணிவண்ணன் பாதங்கள்
ஒத்திட்டிருந்தவா காணீரே ஒண்ணுதலீர் வந்து காணீரே.

periyAzhvAr thirumozhi – 1.2.3

periyAzhvAr is inviting everyone to come see the soft and beautiful krishna, whose 9 toes denotes the 9 different gems, also called navarathnams, and then 10th toe is coated with gold. periyAzhvAr is comparing the toes of krishNa to the marudhANi (henna/mehendi designs) that people use to decorate hands and feet and is saying that krIshNa is perfect in every way, inviting everyone to enjoy him, in his beautiful cradle.

krishna_lotusfeet

krIshNa was not only celebrated by people in gOkula, but also blessed by the many different Gods, as described in the mANikkam katti padhigam, sung by periyAzhvAr.

While krIshNa was celebrated in gOkula, kamsa was still very frightened for himself and decided to end the life of all the children born in the past 2 weeks, around the time krIshNa was born. kamsa started to gather his evil forces and sent them in all directions. One such evil force was pUthana. pUthana was a female asura who would turn herself into a beautiful damsel and try to feed krishNa with poisoned milk, smeared on her breasts. Make the puzzle below to see how beautiful pUthana was when she tried to attract the kids to herself.

puthana beautiful

This beautiful pUthana, took away krIshNa and started feeding him milk. krishNa, the all knowing sarvEshwaran not only sucked the milk from pUthana, but also her life, mainly because pUthana came all the way to gOkula, just to give krishNa something. krishNa has the power of knowing what was in pUthana’s heart and therefore, took everything that pUthana could offer – that is her life! Make the puzzle below to see the final form of pUthana and how she was taken by krishNa.

putana

pUthana is one of the most popular asuras, that have been sung by our AzhvAr’s. Every AzhvAr has reference pUthana, mainly because she shows us that if you want to give something for krIshNa, krishNa will take everything that we have and make us his. One of the phrases describing the pUthana episode in periya thirumozhi is –

uyirai vaRRa vAngi uNda vAyAn vadari vaNangudhumE – periya thirumozhi 1.3.1

உயிரை வற்ற வாங்கியுண்ட வாயான் வதரிவணங்குதுமே

Meaning, krishNa completely sucked out pUthana’s life, without a second thought or giving her an opportunity to escape.

Even though kamsa knew that nandhagOpa’s son krishNa was causing some mischief and had killed pUthana, kamsa kept sending more asuras, hoping that one of the asurAs could overpower this mere kid. The next in line was chakatAsura. chakatAsura came over to gOkula, changed himself into a wheel and hid near krishNa’s cradle. chakatAsura’s plan was to topple over krishNa’s cradle and crush him with his own wheel form. However, all krishNa did was to kick chakatAsura to end him. Make the puzzle below to see how krishNa kicked chakatAsura and won over him.

chakatasura

chakatAsura vadham (the killing of chakatAsura) is again a very popular story quoted by AzhvArs, specially praising the lotus feet of little krishNa that AndAL pirAtti celebrates in tiruppAvai:

pondrachchakatam udaiththAi pugazh pORRi – thiruppAvai 24

பொன்றச் சகடம் உதைத்தாய் புகழ்போற்றி

AndAL pirAtti praises the greatness of krishNa’s lotus feet in this pAsuram and quotes chakatAsura vadham, saying, the greatness of krishNa’s feet is such that, the mere touch, a small kick of the kid krishNa resulted in the mOksham of chakatAsura!

We will continue enjoying krishNa’s childhood in the upcoming posts.

Full series can be viewed at http://pillai.koyil.org/?p=593

srI mahAlakshmI’s motherly nature

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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sriranganachiar-3

The next day pAtti takes parAsara and vyAsa to srIrangam temple via North Uththara vIdhi (street). As soon as they enter the temple. vyAsa and parAsara finds a sannidhi on their right side.

vyAsa: pAtti, whose sannidhi is this?

ANdAL pAtti: vyAsa, this is srI ranganAyaki thAyAr Sannidhi.

parAsara: pAtti, but we only saw srI ranganAtha yesterday in the procession.

ANdAL pAtti: Yes, parAsara. That is right. It is because, srI ranganAyaki thAyAr does not come out of her Sannidhi. Even srI ranganAtha has to visit her, if he wants to see her.

parAsara: Oh! ok pAtti. That means, we need to visit her all the time. Now, we have one more reason to visit the temple, whenever we are in srIrangam.

After the dharsan of thAyAr, they come out of the Sannidhi.

ANdAL pAtti:  Let me ask a question to both of you. When you both return home late in the evening after playing games, how do your father react?

vyAsa: pAtti, He gets angry during those times.

ANdAL pAtti: Do your father punish you then?

parAsara: We rarely get punished pAtti. Whenever he is angry, our mother stops him from punishing us.

ANdAL pAtti: Just like that, we may do things which perumAL might not want us to do and he may feel like punishing us for it, during those times, thAyAr talks to perumAL and protects us from the punishment.

parAsara: Then you are right, pAtti. She is like our mother.

ANdAL pAtti: Atleast, namperumAL carries weapons though it is for our protection, but thAyAr carries lotus flowers only since she is very soft-natured. To reach perumAL you need to cross ranga-ranga gOpuram, then nAzhikettAn vAsal (entrance), then garudar Sannidhi, dhwajasthambam and then srI ranganAtha’s sannidhi. But As soon as you enter from North uthra vIdhi (street), you reach thAyAr Sannidhi. Thats how close she is to us.

vyAsa: yes pAtti.

ANdAL pAtti: Even as Mother sIthA, she saved kAkAsura from srI rAma. kAkAsura, son of indhra, took the form of a crow and troubled her. srI rAma was going to punish him. But she mercifully saved kAkAsura from srI rAma. Similarly, she saves all the rAkshasis in the asOka vanam after srI rAma killed rAvaNa. hanumAn wanted to kill them all for the troubles they gave her. But she kindly saves them and explains to hanumAn that they were helpless at that time and had to execute rAvaNa’s orders. Thus, out of motherly affection, she tries to protect every one constantly.

sita-rama-kakasurasIthA pirAtti saving kAkAsura

sita_with_rakshasis sIthA pirAtti surrounded by rAkshasis

parAsara and vyAsa: Hope she can also save us all the time pAtti.

ANdAL pAtti: She certainly will. She will always recommend to perumAL to protect us as that is her primary duty.

parAsara: Is that all she does pAtti? I mean “talking to perumAL in favour of us”?

ANdAL pAtti: Well. She does that until perumAL accepts us. But once perumAL accepts us, she also sits with perumAL and enjoy our devotion and service towards them.

vyAsa: How is that pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: Its very easy to understand. When you serve your parents, do you just serve your father?

parAsara: No, pAtti. Both mother and father are equally dear to us. We would like to serve them both.

ANdAL pAtti: Yes – you got it. Similarly, thAyAr helps us to reach perumAL by recommending to him. But once we reach perumAL, she also accepts our loving devotion along with perumAL.

namperumal-nachiar_serthi2thAyAr and namperumAL – together on panguni uthram day

parAsara and vyAsa: Wow! This is very easy to understand pAtti. We hope to hear more next time. We want to go out and play now for some time.

parAsara and vyAsa then runs out to play!

Author: jayakrishNan rAmAnuja dAsan – edited by sArathy rAmanuja dAsan

SrIman nArAyaNa’s divine archA form and qualities

SrI:  SrImathE satakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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vyAsa and parAsara come back to ANdAL pAtti’s house after playing with their friends. They find ANdAL pAtti arranging fruits, flowers and nuts in a plate:

vyAsa: pAtti, whom are you arranging these fruits and flowers for?

ANdAL pAtti: vyAsa, It is time for srIranganAthan’s procession and he visits us on the way. When someone visits us as our guests, especially elders, it is our duty to take care of them, while they are with us. That too when a grand eternal king visits us, we need to ensure that he is taken care of thoroughly.

parAsara: Oh sure, pAtti. Then, I will give the fruits to srIranganAthan, when he arrives.

ANdAL pAtti: That’s so nice of you, parAsara. Come, let’s wait at the entrance for his arrival.

namperumal-2-nachiarsnamperumAL (srIranganAthan) arrives in front of ANdAL pAtti’s home. parAsara is found gleaming at the propect of providing the fruits and flowers to srIranganAthan

parAsara : pAtti, What does he hold on his left hand?

namperumal2chakram (disc) in right hand, sanku (conch) in left hand – above his shoulders,
abhaya hastham (posture giving protection) in right hand, mace in left hand – below his shoulders

ANdAL pAtti: He holds a mace in his left hand, parAsara. In the archAvathAram of srIranganAthan, he has four hands. On the other left hand over his shoulder, he holds a conch and on the hand seen above his right shoulder, he holds a sudharsana chakram. He shows his weapons to inform us, that he is always around to take care of us and to destroy our difficulties.

vyAsa: What does the right hand signify, pAtti?

namperumAL-abhayahasthamabhaya hastham – posture of hand giving us protection

ANdAL pAtti: That’s a nice question. His right hand is directed affectionately towards us to say that “I am here to take care of you, so don’t fear” and also to let us know his affection for all of us. Just like how a cow runs to a calf, when the calf needs her, no matter how the calf might have behaved before.

namperumal2 - smiling-face and tall-crowntall crown (supremacy) and smiling face (simplicity)

vyAsa: Ok, pAtti. Then, what does he have over his head?

ANdAL pAtti: It’s a crown, vyAsa. It shows that he is the owner of everything in this world.

parAsara: The crown looks very good, pAtti. It fits very well with his adorable face

ANdAL pAtti: Yes, he has the most adorable face. He is always happy being with us, that too when he is between children like you, he is even happier.

parAsara: Yes, pAtti. I saw him from a very close distance. I could also see him smiling and his feet even closer.

ANdAL pAtti: Oh, that’s nice parAsara. We usually say “lotus feet” due to its tender and beautiful nature. His smiling face indicates that he is easily he has descended joyfully to be with us. His lotus feet are so firmly placed over the pItam (lotus flower base), which means that he has come down for us and he will not leave us. So, today, we have seen some of his main auspicious qualities in his archAvatharam form namely vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance – him showing his hand in protecting us), svAmithvam (supremacy – long crown), sauseelyam (mixing freely with us – ever-present smile in his beautiful face) and saulabhyam (easy approachability – his lotus feet which is easy to hold on to).

vyAsa and parAsara stand in awe and their eyes follow the procession as it goes past them.

Author: jayakrishNan rAmAnuja dAsan – edited by sArathy rAmanuja dAsan

Birth of krishNa

srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

krishNa, one of the pUrNa avatArAs of sriman nArayaNa, took the form of a human to show one of HIS greatest qualities – saulabhyam, the ability to mingle with everyone as an equal and being most easily approachable. As krishNa janmAshtami is being celebrated in the northern parts of bhAratha dhEsam, let us enjoy the story of the birth of krishNa.

baby krishna

There was a time in dwApara yuga, in the city of mathurA, where the yAdhava clan was thriving and there was a prince called kamsa, who then became the king of the yAdhavas. kamsa had a cousin dhEvaki, who was married to vasudhEva, another prince in the yAdhava clan. On the day dhEvaki and vasudhEva were married, there was voice from the sky which prophesied that dhEvaki’s 8th son would be the destroyer of kamsa. On hearing this kamsa was about to kill dhEvaki. Please make the puzzle below to see how angry kamsa became!

KAMSA-THREATENS-DEVAKI

vasudhEva pleaded with kamsa to spare dhEvaki’s life and assured kamsa that both dEvaki and vasudhEva would give away all of their children to kamsa, as soon as they were born. vasudEvA pleaded saying that dhEvaki and he are not responsible for kamsa’s death and killing a woman would result in more sins for kamsa. kamsa also imprisoned vasudEvA and dEvaki in jail, in order to monitor all their activity.

Thus, dhEvaki and vasudhEva kept having children and as soon as a child was born, kamsa would come to the prison and take the child away. As days passed, dhEvaki and vasudhEva would lament at the plight of their children, even before they were born. Unable to see their suffering, srIman nArAyaNa came in their dreams one day, before the 8th child was born and said that he would be born as the 8th child and gave them a set of instructions.

The instructions were for vasudhEva to carry the 8th child to the house of his friend, the cowherd chief nandhagOpa in gOkula right after his birth, where nandhagOpa’s wife yasOdhA would birth to a daughter, at around the same time. The baby boy and girl were supposed to be exchanged. dhEvaki and vasudhEva were anxiously waiting for the birth for srIman nArAyaNa and in the month of AvaNi, the star of rOhiNi, in the thithi of ashtami, srIman nArAyaNa incarnated as krishNa!

As soon as the baby was born, the doors of the jail magically opened to let vasudhEva through, so that he may take krishNa to gOkula, per the instructions. The river yamunA lay between the cities of mathurA and gOkula. As is the color of krishNa, there were dark rain bearing clouds when krishNa was born and as vasudhEva started to take him out, the rains became heavier, such that no one could see what was going on.

In this heavy rain, vasudhEva had to cross the majestic river yamuna in order to reach gOkula. As vasudhEva was crossing the river yamunA, the river also started to over flow with water and it is believed that yamunA flooded in order to be able to touch the feet of little krishNa, as he lay on as basked carried on vasudhEva’s head. As vasudhEva was in jail and had no other possessions, adisEshA, the bed, throne, seat and umbrella of emperumAn came and hovered over vasudhEva’s head, protecting our small krishNa from the heavy rains. Complete the puzzle below to see the greatness of adisEshA and how vasudhEva crossed the raging river yamuna.

vasudeva-krishna2

After reaching gOkula, vasudhEva entered the home of nandhagOpan and yasOdhA and replaced the baby girl lying there with krishNa and brought back the baby girl to Mathura. As soon as vasudhEva returned to the prison, the prison doors started locking back up. When vasudhEva was tucked back in safely, the baby girl started crying, awakening the guards, who in turn let kamsa know about the birth of the 8th child.

kamsa immediately rushed to the prison and was shocked to see that the 8th child was a girl and was almost sure that a baby girl could do nothing to him. kamsa was about to kill this baby girl too, but as he was about to do that, the baby girl flew out of his hand and became – yOga mAyA, with 8 hands. She laughed at kamsa and said that kamsa would gain nothing by trying to kill her and instead the one destined to kill kamsa, dhEvaki’s 8th child is elsewhere and vanished. Complete the puzzle below to see how yOga mAyA looks and the shocked look of kamsa.

yoga maya born

While kamsa was shocked and furious at having been fooled, in spite of locking dhEvaki and vasudhEva, the people of gOkula rejoiced the birth of krishNa!

vaNNamAdangaL sUzh thirukkOttiyUr
kaNNan kEsavan nambi piRanthinil
eNNeysuNNam ethirethir thUvidak
kaNNan muRRam kalanthu aLarAyiRRE. – periyAzhwAr thirumozhi, 1.1.1

The joyous people of gOkula went to the palace where kutti kaNNan (baby krishNa) was “born” amidst them. They sprayed scented powder and fragrant oil on each other to celebrate the arrival of their darling and were happily celebrating that krishNa was born!  

Complete the puzzle below to imagine some of the celebrations in gOkula.

Mother Yashoda bathes Krishna

In the upcoming posts, we can enjoy the childhood of krishNa and many of his pass times.

Full series can be viewed at http://pillai.koyil.org/?p=593