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Denver Conference : PeriyAzhwAr's 2.8 Decad

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Dec 20 1997 - 19:06:35 PST

Dear BhakthAs : 

In this decad , AzhwAr takes on the role of 
the concerned mother , who wants to protect her 
precious son from Drushti DhOsham . The Evening 
(sandhyA kaalam ) was approaching . YasOdhA as 
the doting mother had already bathed her dear son , 
decorated  his lovely tresses with flowers of different 
kinds . He looked beautiful . She became worried about 
any drishti dhOsham affecting the well being of her
beautiful son . She told her son that all the devAs had
assembled to enjoy  the beauty of their supreme Lord. 
At the same time , she told Him that the ferocious spirits
( Ugra DevathAs ) were also assembled at the junctions of the 
streets of the village at sunset . She appealed to her son
not to venture out there at that hour , when the ugra devathAs 
were rampantly roaming about to do harm to people . 
YasOdhA wanted to protect her son against the evil
spirits and wished to perform a ritual known as 
"anthik kAppu " . She called on  her son to accept the "anthik-
kAppu " to ward off the evil effects that may befall Him 
in the absence of the armour of that protecting  ritual . 

PeriyAzhwAr once again takes on the role of YasOdhA 
and  performs the  " Saaya RakshA or Anthik kappu "
for the Lord just like a concerned mother worried about
her son's well being . 

Great  devotees including PeriyAzhwAr and Thyga Brahmam 
have performed rakshA for the Lord to ward off the effects of
evil eye ( dhrushti dhOsham ) and the adverse effects of 
ugra devathAs . It was PeriyAzhwAr , who sang PallAndu 
for the Lord , when he had His darsana sowbhAgyam 
over the skies of mathurai after he won the contest in 
the king's court with the blessings of the Lord. 

Saint ThyagarAjA sang in raagam Bhairavi his famous song ,
" Raksha BettarE " . He was moved by PeriyAzhwAr's Pallandu
and burst forth in song : " Raksha BettarE Doraku , 
Vakshasthalamuna velayau Lakshmi RamaNuniki Jaya 
Raksha bettarE , ---Sangeetha Priya Sri ThyagarAjukEyudaina 
Dorakaiswarya Raksha BettarE " . This is an echo of 
PeriyAzhwar's pallaNdu : " VadivAyi nin vala mArbinil 
Vazhinra Mangayum pallAndu " . 

YasOdhA and PeriyAzhwAr went through the emotions 
of protecting the Sarva Rakshakan out of their fear about
something untoward happening to their dear one ! 
PeriyAzhwAr addresses these ten paasurams to the Lord of 
ThiruveLLarai ( Lord PundareekAkshan of SvEtha Giri ) . 

Paasuram : IndiranOdu Biraman ---

O my beautiful one ! The time now is sandhyA kaalam 
( Anthiyam pOthu ) . The Lord of DevAs , IndrA , Brahma ,
Lord SivA are all assembled here and they are reciting 
Veda manthrams like Purusha Sooktham and  are carrying
celestial flowers ( Kalpaka flowers) in their hands for
conducting  Your worship . They are present in an invisible 
form  that can not be seen by the mortals of ThiruveLLarai
and are waiting for Your command to appear before You 
one by one to receive Your blessings . O Lord presiding
over ThiruveLLarai divya desam with its multi-storied mansions
and the righteous ones , who are skilled at  singing the praise
of Your matchless beauty  ! Please come near to perform 
sandhyA rakshA for You .

Paasuram 2 : KanrugaL illam puhundhu ---

O Lord presiding over Your divine residence surrounded
by mighty walls at ThiruveLLarai ! It is evening time . 
The Kshudra ( ugra ) devathAs are roaming around 
at the four corners of the street . Please do not go into 
the streets at  this dangerous time . Please listen to my
good counsel . You are not displaying any affection to me ,
not even that amount of affection shown by the calves towards 
their mothers . I am crying over Your safety and well being
at this delicate hour like the cows missing their calves at
evening time , when they want to shower their dear 
ones with nourishing milk flowing out of their full udders . 
Please do not get near the junction of the streets , where the
four streets come together ! Please come here so that I can
perform RakshA for You against these lurking evil spirits . 

Paasuram 3 : seppOthu menmulayArgaL ----

O Lord of ThiruveLLarai ! O swami , who was born to 
rule over me ! You are the one , who is eulogized during 
the three sandhis ( dawn , noon and dusk ) by the DevAs . 
When You destroyed the sand castles of the young girls , 
I got angry at You and shouted at You . When I became 
angry over Your mischievous pranks , You were afraid that 
I will catch You and punish You and You ran away from me. 
You stayed away  from Your dinner . Now I wont speak any 
harsh words . Please come near so that I can perform 
sAyam RakshA for You . 

Paasuram 4 : KaNNil MaNal kodu ----

O my KaNNA ! O Lord standing at ThiruveLLarai !
O the mischevious one , who engages in teasing 
every one , who crosses Your path ! O my beautiful
one with the enchanting complexion of the blue ocean ! 
O generous one with Your profound anugrahams for
Your devotees ! O my Boy !  the vast multitude of Your
playmates assembled here complain that You threw 
sand in their eyes and kicked them further with Your legs .
Please cease and desist from these unwelcome pranks of
Yours and come here so that I can perform RakshA for You .

Paasuram 5 : PallAiravar ivvUril ----

O my little one who acts as a lightning rod for everyone's
complaint ! In this town of  five lakhs of people , it is 
possible that there are a few thousand , who engage in 
harmful pranks . Inspite of it , all the complaints of the citizens
of ThiruveLLarai land at our door . Please do not expose 
Yourself to temptations to engage in mischief ! O Lord who
has elected to preside over the divya desam of ThruveLlarai ,
where the righteous ones live ! O resplendent flame of true 
knowledge ( Jn~Anam ) ! Please come here and  accept this 
eulogy about Your kalyANa guNAs and subhAsrayam to ward 
off the lurking danger in the evening air .

Paasuram 6: Kanjan karukkondu -----

O Lord of ThiruveLLarai presiding over Your lofty temple
where the high clouds brush against ! Please come from
Your divya desam to my side so that I can perform rakshA 
for You during this evening sandhi . I have heard that the evil 
Kamsan has ordered the red-haired demoness , Puthanai ,
to kill You by taking on the guise of a caring mother intent on
brast feeding  You ! Hence I am frightened over Your standing at
the junction of the four roads , where she is most likely to 
appear . Please stay away  from there and let me perform 
mangaLAratthi for Your RakshA . Please come here so I can 
protect You from these dangers . 

Paasuram 7 : KaLLac chakadum Maruthum ------

O Lord of matchless beauty presiding over the divya
desam of ThiruveLLarai ! the evening time has come .
The evil sakatAsuran came at the side of Your cradle to 
kill You and You kicked him with Your tender feet and
destroyed him ; next , You crawled  between the pair of 
YamaLArjunA trees and with Your legs , thighs and 
shoulders pushed against them and brought them to ground 
and removed their curse . After that You sucked the life out of 
PuthanA through Your pretense that You are accepting 
the milk from her breast . These dangers piled up one
over the other. I do not know anymore as to what else is
waiting for me to be scared about . Evening sandhyA has 
approached . Ugra devathAs are roaming about. Please 
come here so that I can perform the sandhyA rakshA to
protect You against any harm that might come Your way .

Paasuram 8: Inbamathanai UyartthAi ! --------

O Lord who has filled me with rapture over the thought
of Your wonderous deeds during Your incarnation as my
son ! O Lord dear to the devAs , who constantly meditate
about You ! O the powerful one , who killed the mighty royal
elephant of King kamsa! O valourous one , who stood like 
the destroying fire in the frightened heart of kamsA ! 
O rich one basking under the radiant golden ramparts 
of Your beautiful temple at ThiruveLLArai ! O independent
one , who does not take orders from anyone ! The fearsome
Goddess Durga is roaming about the junction of the four 
directions with the skull and trident in Her hands at this time 
of evening sandhyA . Please do not roam outside now and
come to the safety of my side . I will perform SaayarakshA pujA
for Your protection .

Paasuram 9 : Irukkodu neer sanghil ---

O Lord residing in the divya desam populated by 
the righteous ones known for their  austerities ! 
O Lord intent on performing pranks without cessation !
Please do not go near the four junctions , where Ugra 
devathAs are assembled at their appointed  hour of 
sandhyA Kaalam . Please listen to the words of Your
mother even for few minutes and pay heed ! The brahmins
have assembled here with holy water in their conches 
to perform rakshA for You through the  recitation of Veda 
manthrams like Purusha Sooktham . Please accept 
the protection that they are offering You . I will also light 
the evening lamp , which will reveal further Your 
incomparable beauty . 

Paasuram 10 : pOthamar selvakkozhundhu ----

MahA Lakshmi with Her traditional seat in the red lotus 
( Pankayacchelvi ) is the treasure house of  all wealth
and She is the principal consort of PundareekAkshan 
of ThruveLLarai . She is the one who abandoned Her
normal place of residence , the red lotus and decided 
to stay in the chest region of Her Lord forever . PeriyAzhwAr 
enjoyed the blissful expeience of YasOdhA piratti pleading
with her dear son to accept Saaya RakshA and described it
in the form of the ten verses . These verses of PeriyAzhwAr ,
whose whole livelihood was about performing 
MangaLAsAsanam for the Lord will chase away on recitation
the enemies of bhagavadanbhavam for His devotees .

PeriyAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan