You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : February 1995


From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Sun Feb 26 1995 - 07:28:32 PST

8/12 maadhuryam

In this continuing series of twelve posts, twelve of the
many guNaas that are innate to Brahman is discussed
with illustrations from aazhvaar paasurams.  These
twelve guNaas demonstrate God's eternal love for us
jeevaathmaas.  They are sowseelyam, vaathsalyam,
maardhavam, aarjavam, sowhaartham, saamyam,
kaaruNyam, maadhuryam, gaambeeryam, owdhaaryam,
chaathuryam, and sthairyam.  The subject of this post is

maadhuryam:    captivating and attractive, (thirumEni

In ten exquisite paasurams of amalanaadhipiraan
ThiruppaaNaazhvaar pays tribute to our Lord's
maadhuryam.  Starting from the Lotus feet (thiruk
kamala paadham)  and ending with the Lord's eyes
(periyavaaya kaNkaL) aazhvaar describes our Lord's
thirumEni azhagu in wonderful detail.  After this
marvelous sight aazhvaar declares, "en amudhinaik
kaNda kaNkaL maRRonRinaik kaaNaavE." (my eyes
that have seen my Lord, the nectar of eternal life, will
not behold anything else.)

periyaazhvaar describes this beauty in twenty paasurams
in the third thirumozhi of the first (mudhaR)  pathu.  In
these verses, YesOdhai proudly shows off the beauty of
her divine baby to other women in her village, starting
from the Lord's lotus feet and ending with the beautiful
locks on His head.  The first and the twentieth verses are
given below.

seethak kadaluL Lamuthanna dhEvaki
kOthaik kuzhalaa LasOthaikkup pOththandha
pEthaik kuzhavi pidiththuch chuvaiththuNNum
paadhak kamalangaL kaaNeerE
                      pavaLavaayeer! vandhukaaNeerE.

               -- periyaazhvaar thiru mozhi (1.3.1)

A picture of baby KaNNan chewing on His foot is found
in many households.  The above paasuram describes this

"dEvaki, who is equal in esteem to periya piraatti
(amritham) that  came forth from the cool ocean of thirup
paarkadal, i.e. Laxmi, gave away her young and innocent
baby to yesOdhai, the one with beautiful locks.  O!
women with coral like red lips, come and see the beauty
of this divine baby tasting his own lotus feet."

Azhvaar describes the facial beauty of young kaNNan in
the last six paasurams of this thiru mozhi.  The last one
describes the beauty of the boy's locks of hair (kuzhal).

azhakiya paimponnin kOl angaik koNdu
kazhalkaL sathangai kalandhengu maarppa
mazhakan RinangaL maRiththuth thirivaan
kuzhalkaL_irundhavaa kaaNeerE
                   kuvimulaiyeer! vandhukaaNeerE.

               -- periyaazhvaar thiru mozhi (1.3.20)

O! women with fine breasts, come and look at the beauty
of my boy holding a golden staff in his hand.  The
bracelet (sathangai) in his feet make melodious sound.
As he rounds up young cattle look at the locks of hair, so

Being inspired by devotion it is not surprising that our
Lord's maadhuryam was readily apparent to aazhvaars.
But the effect of maadhuryam is not confined to such
great souls alone.  It is not uncommon for us to be
awe struck by the sheer beauty of emperumaan when
we visit temples.  It is with this maadhuryam that
Sri Ramanuja transformed piLLai uRangaavalli's
devotion to his wife ponnaacchi, into devotion for
kuzhalazhagar, vaayazhagar, kaNNazhagar, koppoozhil
Ezhukamalp poovazhagar (naacchiyaar thirumozhi 11.2
given below) "the one with beautiful locks, beautiful
mouth, beautiful eyes, and lotus like beautiful naabi."

ezhiludaiya vammanaimeer! ennarangath thinnamuthar,
kuzhalazhagar vaayazhagar kaNNazhagar, koppoozhil
ezhukamalap poovazhaga remmaanaar, ennudaiya
kazhalvaLaiyaith thaamum kazhalvaLaiyE yaakkinarE.

               -- naacchiyaar thirumozhi 11.2

Further, our Lord's maadhuryam is irresistible even for
those who oppose Him.  sisubaalan, the one who
dedicated his life for deriding Lord Krishna, attained
mOksham because he was captivated by our Lord's
maadhuryam in the last moments of his life .  Of all the
adversaries sisubaalan was the worst.  nammaazhvaar
describes him as "kEtpaar sevi sudu keezmai vasavukaLE
vaiyum, sEtpaaR pazam pagaivan sisubaalan."  (See the
entire paasuram below.)  "Sisubaalan was HiraNyakasipu
and raavaNan in his previous lives.  Thus sisubaalan is
an old enemy. (sEtpaaR pazham pagaivan)  His abuses
burnt the ears of everyone present."

Lord Krishna granted his thiruvadi mOksham to even
a scoundrel like sisubaalan.  How come?  It seems
during his abusive spree sisubaalan was looking directly
at the Lord.  That, finally had its effect.  Towards the
end, having gazed at the Lord for a long time, sisubaalan
simply could not resist the maadhuryam flowing out of
our Lord, and was overcome with love. Thus he secured

kEtpaargaL kEsavan than keerththiyal laalmaRRum kEtparO,
kEtpaar sevisudu keezmai vasavuka LEvaiyum,
sEtpaaR pazampagaivan sisubaalan, thiruvadi
thaatpaal ataindha thanmai yaRivaarai yaRindhumE?

               -- thiruvaay mozhi 7.5.3

Our Lord's maadhuryam is so lovely that one can go on
and on.  Let me stop here.

         .... to be continued

This and other posts to follow in this subject are based
on the aruL mozhigaL of the 45th azhagiya singar of sri
aHObila madam, sri vaN satakOpa sri naaraayaNa
yatheendhra mahaa dEsikan, published in sri nrusimhap
priyaa starting with bava varusham, chitthirai maasam,
(April 1994), and commentaries of aazhvaar
prabhandams published by The Visishtadvaita Pracharini
Sabha, 27, Venkatesa Agraharam, Mylapore, Madras,
600 004.