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inbam tharum thollai

From: M.G.Vasudevan (
Date: Sun Aug 20 2000 - 22:19:59 PDT

Dear Sri vaishnava perunthagaiyeer, 

"Inbam" in Tamil is enjoyment, delectation, gladness, pleasure, joy,
happiness, gratification etc according to the context in English. "Thollai"
in Tamil is nuisance, mischief, or trouble in English. To add few more
equivalents for thollai - they are - pest, irritation, harm. 

See here, a poet says "inbam tharum thollai" - pleasure yielding [or giving]
"Ippadiyum oru piLLai engEyum illai
Inbam tharum thollai ithaRku eedu iNaiyum illai"- [ippadiyum]

Can a such thing be there? Viz a nuisance is a pleasure yielding one. Is it
not contradicting to one another when combined? In the scientific world, in
the case of magnets, the opposite poles attract each other. In the real
world, guNa opposites like inbam and thollai do not attract but repel each
other. How one thollai results in inbam? How can thollai combine with the
other? Is it palatable? At best, as the proverb goes "puyalukku pinnE
amaithi", after the storm there is silence. But here, we can say, at best,
after some thollai, inbam may come, because these are in cycles. But Inbam
becomes thollai many a times in actual life, as practiced and seen by us in
our day to day life. 

But if it is a little trouble or mischief by a child, then, it is a pleasure
giving one at least for that moment, temporarily. Any childish prank is
generally a little nuisance to the party affected by that prank. But it
gives immense pleasure to the parents, if the party affected is the parents
themselves. This is what is generally meted out as inbam tharum thollai.
Like the child kicking in the chest, when it is lifted and held near the
chest. It is also a little pain and at the same time a lot of pleasure for
the parent that the child is very active and 'hey, hey, eppadi uthaikkiran
par? See how nicely he kicks. He is very active and cute. The child that is
kicking gets an appreciation also. Further "idu kidaikka enna thavam
seiden?"- that kind of pleasure. So "inbam tharum thollai" exists in the
real world also and that is not too imaginary. 

These are first two lines of a krithi from Sri Ooththukkadu Venkata subbu
iyer. He is not the only poet who said this statement. There is a
predecessor to him to say exactly same words. The great Chera king who
enjoyed raama but excelled in enjoying krishna [in my opinion], is the path
breaker, to give this seemingly contradicting but really a great truth as a
statement. See his lines.

Muzhudum veNNai aLaindu thottu uNNum
Mugizh iLam chiru thaamaraik kaiyum
Ezhil koL thaampu koNdu adippadarku eLgu nilaiyum
VeN thayir thOintha sevvaayum azhugaiyum
Anji nOkkum annOkkum aNi koL senchiru vaai
NeLippathuvum thozhugaiyum ivai kanda  yasOdhai
Thollai inbaththu iruthi kandaLe.

In Perumal Thirumozhi ch.7 titled "aalaineeL karumbu" this is paasuram 8,
and these 10 paasurams are subtitled as DhEvaki pulambal - dhEvaki
"murmuring". Yasodai enjoyed all the pleasures associated with baala leelai
of Kannan. Devaki had none except the dharsanam of the Lord, as soon as the
child krishna was born, so the poet describes dhEvaki's plight in these
paasurams assuming her role. 

For our mortal children and their pranks, the inbam out of these pranks is
to such a great extent. Think, imagine, and compare when it is our swami,
krishNa, the lord, in the child frame is doing this. Imagine the amount of
pleasure it gives. So no wonder kulasekhara giving this line thollai
inbaththu irudhi or OSV iyer saying "itharku eedu iNai illai"- there is no
comparison for this pleasure giving trouble.

Sri OSV iyer and Sri kulasekhara have similar words even though, they may be
from different periods in the time scale. Similarly another great krishna
bhaktha Sri Leela sukhar has few lines which are just same as Oothtukkadu
swami. The high light of this write up is to bring out these similarities.

Now the full krithi of Sri Ooththukkaadu Swami and meaning:
Raaga durbaar 		jambai thaaLam
Ippadiyum oru piLLai engEyum illai
Inbam tharum thollai ithaRku eedu iNaiyum illai- [ippadiyum]
Meaning: Such a kind of child is not there anywhere. A comparable pleasure
yielding trouble from him is also not available elsewhere.

PoRpuyaththE vanamalarum poop punaiyum bala raamaa
Thappitham aagaatha unthan thambi enRaal aRam aamO
IppOthE nee senRu engal mozhi ithu enRu
Entha vithamO idhai yasOdhaiyidam sollu- [ippadiyum]

Meaning: Oh Balaraamaa, [the elder brother of KrishNaa], You, who adorn
flowers that blossom in the golden forests nearby, please go and tell now
itself, somehow, your mother yasOdhaa, our plight. You never do any
mistakes. Krishna your brother carries out lot of mischief, but since he
claims he is your brother, and does it absolves him.

CharaNam 1:
Eppadiyum uri kalayam etta mudiyaa uyaram
Katti oru vagai seithu kaaval vaiththup pOna pinnar
Oppukku uRRa kaavaludan uRRa thuNai yaarudanum
Thappi uL puguntha unthan thambi enRaal aram aamO- [ippadiyum]

Meaning: We tie the rope hangers at large heights, so that a child like
krishna can not reach easily and then keep the butter curd milk etc in them.
We also keep another person as watchman for these and then only leave the
place for our work. Your brother krishna comes with his friends and somehow
manages to get inside to steal these butter etc giving a slip to that
watchman. Since he is your brother is it dharmam for him to do like this?.

CharaNam 2:
Yaar enRu vinava emmai anchuvOm enRu kaNdu un 
PEr solli unnudanE piranthOn enRaan
Paaar ingE vanthu thayir paanaiyuL Ethu enil
Kaar onRaith thavirntha iLam kanRu onRai kaanUm enRaan- [ippadiyum]

Meaning: The watchman, and we asked who is there inside the room. He
realised that we may beat him, since he ate curd, butter etc and broken the
pots also. He said, he is Balaramaa's brother. When we asked "why you came
here, why you touched the pot of curd, butter etc", he says "I came here
looking for a calf, which is missing from the flock, so I searched that calf
in the curd pot. In that process some curd spilled". 

CharaNam 3:
Iththanaiyum seithu pinnar engaL manam nOgum enRu
Muththam onRu eenthu naangaL muyangi ninRa vELaiyilE
Kaththaik kuzhal paRRi ezhil mikka mayil peeli vattam
SuRRi oru kaiyil kuzhal paRRi virainthu Odinaan- [ippadiyum]

Meaning: He did all these mischief. Then as a sort of appeasement to our
swollen hearts because of his mischief, he gave us a sweet kiss. We were
just perplexed by that sweet kiss of him. At that time he caught hold of our
hair and made us run around him in circles [to get the release of hair locks
from his hands]. When we tried to catch him, after we were released, he took
that flute in his hand and ran away. Oh! what an amount of mischief. Which
gives us pleasure incomparable.

Now the slokam lines of Sri Leela sukhar with the meaning, which give same
meaning as the last line of charaNam 2:
Ka: thvam baalah: [hey who are you young boy?
Balaa anujah: [I am brother of balaa - means balaraama]
kim iha thE [why you came here]
Man mandhiraascankayaa yuktham [without any doubt in the minds said]
than navaneetha paathravivarE hastham kim arththam nyasE:! [why you put your
hand into the butter pot]
Maathah: kanchana vathsakam mrugayithum maa gaa vishaadham kshaNaadh [oh,
mother do not get worried even for a second. I put my hand inside the pot to
search a missing calf]
ithyEvam varavallavee prathi vacha: [thus answered that krishna who is dear
to the vraja women]
krushnaaya pushNaathu nah:! [Let that krishna protect us] 
Sri leela sukhar in his krishna karNaamrutham 2.81

Now the meaning of kulasekhara's paasuram: 
Muzhuthum vennai alainthu thottu unnum mughiz iLam chiRu thamaraikkaiyum -
the tender blossoming lotus shaped hands fully covered with butter, because
he has not eaten the butter but alainthu vilaiyadi- he played with butter
putting his hands into the pot- after that a little butter to eat - with the
hand having the softness and lines similar to that of the lotus - hand with
padma rEgai.

- "uri enthiya thiraL veNNaiyai thirudum siRu viralaal giri Endiya Hari
Maadhavaa" says another contemporary krishna baktha -Periasamy Thooran  [in
krithi muraLidharaa in raaga maand] - these are the same small fingers which
stole butter from the rope hangers, those are the same that held aloft that
mountain Govardhana, that kind of siru viralgaLai udaiya thamarai kai.

Thampu kondu adippatharu elgum ezhil koL nilaiyum- How is the posture of
Krishna and the mother, when she wants to beat that child  krishna with a
rope? Yasodha wants to beat the Balakrishnan with that thayir kadaiyum rope.
She comes near the child. Mother is also beautiful gopa sthree - ezhil koL
yasOdhai- standing opposite is the ezhil konda krishna.
Ven thayir thointha sevvayum - How he looks at the mother and to the mother?
The red mouth is fully coated with white curd. See the word "thOintha"- is
the curd getting pastuerised in the mouth? Whether he has taken milk or
curd? It is doubtful. Milk has become curd in the mouth itself? Possible?
Swami Desikan in his Gopala vimsathi says 'Dhadna nimantha mukharena' -
perhaps got an inspiration from kulasekara Azhwar. 

azhugaiyum anji nokkum annokkum aNi koL senchiruvai nelippathuvum
azhugaiyum- He weeps falsely to justify that he is innocent. 
Anji nokkum- With fear -Oh, the mother is angry and she is going to beat me 
Senchiru vai nelippathuvum - the red small mouth is twisting- how is the
mouth? the mouth which showed all the seven worlds in it is shivering in
fear of getting beaten by the mother.
Thozhugaiyum- he prays to mother- oh mother please do not beat me. At that
moment this youngster, trickster, is posing in such a way that this innocent
boy does not know how to do such pranks. Raises a doubt whether this child
has done so or does he really knows how to do. 

He poses to his mother, which will immediately create a wave of sympathy.
Not simply sympathy but a wave of sympathy, only when an ocean is there
behind then a wave can raise up its head. Swami Desikan describes this as
kuhana  (hypocrisy at its best). He also says [in his Gopala Vimsathi]
'damagrahana chatulam matharam jatharosham hanthum dhrushtva' - mother is
going to catch and bind me with rope -mother is angry - seeing the mother
Krishna - Swami Desikan is totally in line with Kulasekhara perumal. Added
to the hypocrisy of weeping he also prays 'O mother don't beat me don't me
tie with rope'. Ah what a scene?

Ivai kaNda yasOdhai thollai inbaththu irudhi kaNdaaLE. Seeing all this
Yasodhai enjoyed that inbam tharum thollai. Is it thollai thantha inbam or
that thollai itself has transformed itself as inbam, or the duality of
thollai and inbam is lost.. Then what is that irudhi- meaning end of this
inbam tharum thollai? 

Is it that she reached the stage of 'Budhiyuktho jahaatheeha ubhe sukrutha
dushkruthe, thasmadh yogaya yujyaswa yoga karmasu kousalam - what the same
krishna said in his Gita to Arjuna later she attained in front of him at
that stage itself. She attained the samadhi stage crossing the duality of
thollai and inbam because the "naughty fellow" standing in front is the ONE
and ALL who is to give this yoga kousalam.

Another inbam tharum thollai scene similar from Poet Bharathi - 
1.	Pinnalai pin ninRu izhuppaan thalai pinnE thirumbum munnE senRu
2.	vaNNa pudhu sElai thanilE puzhuthi vari sorindE varuththik
3.	puLLaankuzhal koNdu varuvaan amudham pongum nargeetham padippaan
kallal mayanguvathu pOlE athai kanmoodi vaai thiranthE kEttiruppOm - a real
annoying scene for young girl -an aayichiyar peN - but the vEinkuzhal
geetham lifts all to ecstasy unparalleled -another scene of  'inbam tharum

Oh Krishna! Whenever we talk of your thollai to aayarpaadi folks it is inbam
for them as well as us even today. Why not you come and give us some thollai
- that inbam tharum thollai.

Dhaasan  Vasudevan M.G.

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