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From: L&T-ECCG-Buildings & Factories (
Date: Fri Oct 29 1999 - 00:17:42 PDT

Dear Sri Vaishnava perunthagaiyeer,

Sri lakshmi nrusimha divya paadukaa sEvaka SrivaN satakOpa Sri Vedaanta
desika yateendra mahaa dEsikaaya namah:

In the previous parts 1-14 we enjoyed the "kuzhal kodu oothina podhu"
effects of my beloved krishna, for aazhvaar he is gOvindan. We will see now
how periyaazhvaar described the flute player Krishnaa, not the different
names aazhvaar used, which we saw in part 1, but how he describes the face,
the fingers, mouth, eyes, hairstyle, etc, while krishna played the flute and
enjoy every bit of his poem, krishnaa's pose, twists and styles. 

Please see how starts:
Thooya vaayil kuzhal Osai - 3-6-1
IdavaNarai yidaththOlodu saiththu, iru kai koodap, puruvam nerinthu Era,
kuda vayiru pada vaai kadai kooda gOvindhan kuzhal - 3-6-2

SiruviralgaL thadivip parimaara, senkan kodach, cheyya vai koppaLippa,
kuruveyar puruvam koodalippa gOvindhan 3-6-8

ThiraNdezhu thazhai mazhai mugil vaNNan senkamala malar soozh vaNdinam pOlE
suruNdu iRunda kuzhal thaazhntha mugaththaan 3-6-9

KarungaN thOgai mayiRpeeli aNinthu katti, nanku uduththa peethakavaadai,
arunkala uruvin aayar perumaan avan oruvan - 3-6-10

Kuzhal iruNdu suruNdEria kunji, gOvindanudaiya kOmaLa vaayil -3-6-11

The body parts are described one by one:

Face and shoulders: IdavaNarai yidaththOlodu saiththu
aNar is thaadai- cheek
the left cheek is inclined along with the left shoulder, while playing the
flute- means the head is inclined towards the left side to facilitate easy

Hands and fingers: iru kai kooda- both hands are brought together to hold
the flute

SiruviralgaL thadivip parimaara: siruviralgaL- the little beautiful tender
fingers- because the young boy krishna is playing [kutti kaNNan as described
quite often by Sri Madhavak kannan of simhapuri-singapore] 

see the words thadavi- he just touches or slides his fingers over the flute-
the bamboo- no pressure- no force. 

Actually, if you closely observe, certain musicians, while playing the
instruments, will exert so much that their face, hands and body will move so
much, as though, they are doing a physical exercise. Here for emperumaan,
aazhvaar says simply, "thadavi parimaara"- he slides his fingers and
produces the wonderful music. [to enable aazhvaar give arpudham after
"parimaara"- serve- what? The music or the arpudham or both?

Eyes and eye brows: puruvam nerinthu Era- the eye brows are moving in wavy
pattern in line with the music flowing out- the music river is flowing- when
river flows there should be waves in the water- here that kind of wavy
movement is in the eye brows. so puruvam nerinthu Era- aha- the word
selection is excellent.

kuruveyar puruvam koodalippa- the lalaatam in samskrit is neRRi- the nuthal
in tamil- the face - cresent shaped forehead is sweating in the physical
strain of playing. Eyebrows are the ridges for the plains of the nuthal.
These ridges collect the sweating fom the plains or help easy collection in
drops (kuru veyar), then drain it through the edges of the brows- so
kuruveyar puruvam.

As already said, the eyebrows also join together in the wavy movement. While
enjoying music, the brows make all sorts of movements. One such is joining-
hence  movements are described as koodalippa.

senkaN kodach- senkaN has two meanings- 
red coloured eyes and 
semmaiyaana kaN- regular and nicely shaped- lotus eyed- pundareekaakshan- 
so no wonders to use word senkaN- 
the red eyes go to one end and comes back along the line of the flute holes
so that the fingers follow the eyes easily and produce that effective music.

[but when fingers do only "thadavi"- which is very soft will the face do
sweat and all thus showing up the strain in  playing the music. No, I opine
aazhvaar exaggerates a little more than necessary to add taste].

Mouth: thooya vaayil- the pure mouth- 

[when father vishNu chiththar says it is thooya vaai, daughter aaNdaaL just
follows and wants the vaayamudham- no wonder -vamsaavali is trained in a
particular way only]

cheyya vai koppaLippa- the beautiful and regularly shaped mouth bellows out
the air. (cheyya vai- chemmaiyaana vai, kariyaththai cheyyum vallamai uLLa
vai- so cheyya vai) - the mouth expands and contracts to push the air into
the bamboo- vamsa-.

Vaai kadai kooda - the lips join together and blow the air out into the
bamboo - this appears as though the mouth has got twisted, hence described
as vaai kadai kooda.

gOvindanudaiya kOmaLa vaayil- govindaa's mouth is like a lotus [shape or
colour or both?]
Enjoy  the selection of words for mouth.

Stomach: kuda vayiru pada- the belly is like a pot- because of eating butter
and milk in large quantity, the belly is like a pot. Further, while playing
music, the air is to be inhaled and exhaled in a controlled manner- due to
this also the abdomen makes movements in and out - hence kuda vayiru pada.

Hair style: KarungaN thOgai mayiRpeeli aNinthu katti- the dark blue green
and black colours nicely mixed in the feathers of peacocks, such feathers
are mixed up to make a bunch and as a kreetam- crown to suit the black
colour lord- so mayir peeli aNinthu katti.

Kuzhal iruNdu suruNdEria kunji- the irundu- darkened - black hair locks are
curled and hanging in a flowing style. kuzhal and kunji are having same
meaning - hair. 

irundu- darkened means black in colour- the proverb says "mudikku minchina
karuppu kidaiyaadhu"- there is nothing more black than the hair.

senkamala malar soozh vaNdinam pOlE suruNdu iRunda kuzhal thaazhntha
mugaththaan- if it is straight away said kamala mugaththaan- it will look a
little odd. since it is just said he is thazhai mazhai mughil vaNNan- how a
black man can have a lotus colour face. So the aazhvaar says "how black bees
hum around the lotus flower- like that the black curly hanging hair tresses
are seen around the lotus face.

Dress: nanku uduththa peethakavaadai- the yellow dress is nicely fleeted and
dressed up.

The wholesome figure and colour: arunkala uruvin aayar perumaan- 
Arum - this word has two meanings- arumaiyaana- beautiful
Arum- ariyadhaana- rare
Kalam also has more than one meaning- 
kalam- body
Kalam- ship
Kalam- jewels
arumaiyaana kalangal- beautiful aabharaNangal soodiya- bedecked with
excellent jewels- jewels are selected for the young NandhakkOn prince to
match his colour 

This also means krishnaa has rare jewels on his body.
arumaiyaana kalam- beautiful body.. 
uru- the wholesome figure.
He is arunkala uruvin aayar perumaan- he is the god of vrajvaasis-

Perumaan avan oruvan- the paramaikaanthithvam of aazhvaar has fully comes
out in this word oruvan - avan perumaan- avan oruvan- perumaan oruvan- avan
aayar perumaan- perumaan krishnan - who else can have arunkala uru - aha-
aha - every word just falls in place give added taste.

ThiraNdezhu thazhai mazhai mugil vaNNan- the whole body has the colour of
rain bearing clouds- the moisture laden clouds cumulate in a place and when
ready for dropping their weight they come to low heights- so thiraNdezhu -
thiraNdu ezhuntha. Thazhai mazhai- clouds are at a low height or at its low
ebb. Mazhai mughil vaNNan- neeradha samaneeyan- black or dark grey coloured
krishnan. With this the description of the flute player is complete.

In part 5, we saw Saint thyaagaraajaa, the staunch raama bhaktha, describing
krishnaa as embodiment of music, in the krithi gaana moorthE in raagam
gaanamurthi. Now let us see another song of him.

In the samskritha krithi (why I say this specially is most of his krithis
are in Telugu but this one is in samskrutham) "saamaja vara gamanaa" in the
raaga hindolam the lyrics are

a. "Saama nigamaja sudhaamaya gaana visakshaNa guNa seela dhayaala vaala
maam paalaya"- Hey krishna - you are the gaana visakshaNa - the ultimate in
music. Then how is his gaanam- the saama nigamaja gaanam- that which is born
from saama vedham. It is also sudhaamaya- like nectar- ambrosia- amirtham.
You are also a guna seela- a man of high virtues. DhayaaLa- the man with lot
of compassion - maam palaya- please save me.

b. "VEdha sirO maathruja sapthaswara naadhaachala dheepa sweekrutha yaadhava
kula muraLee vaadha vinOdha"- the sapthaswara is vedha siro maathruja. The
vedha sirah: is saama vedham-the crown among vedhaas is saama vedham. So the
sapthaswaras were born from that saama vedham. The naadham or music is
composed of the sapthaswaram. Krishnaa the musician is the naadhaachala
dheepam- the hill or the achalam is the embodiment of naadham- and krishna
the musician is the naadhachala dheepam - kunRin mElitta viLakku- how it
will shine like that krishnaa also shines when he plays the saptaswaras. See
enjoy the lyrics and also the song- particularly sung by Madurai Mani iyer.

In gita also bhagavaan claims vedhanaam aham sama vedhosmi- I am the saama
vedham among vedhaas- 10-22. So there is no wonder that the saint describes
krishnaa as "VEdha sirO maathruja sapthaswara naadhaachala dheepa'

Please recall what Swami desikan said on this.
SaamOpapannaan kramasa: svarandhrai: sapthasvaraan saptha bhirudhvamantham!
PrachamakramE vaadhayithum vanaanthE vamsam priyO vallava vamsajaanaam!!
Slokam 46

Meaning: KaNNan started playing the flute, staying in the forest [vanam-
forest (or garden- solai in tamil?)]. This kaNNan is the same person who is
liked by all gopees. The flute gave out the seven saama vEdha swaraas,
through the seven holes in good array regularly. 
Compare the words of thyagaraja- VEdha sirO maathruja sapthaswara 

aadhmaapayaamaasa sa srungamagrayam sankham thathaa bhUthbhikaathma yOgaath!
Jagow cha gEyaani bahUni yEshaa gaandharva vedhO api na paaradhasravaa!!
Slokam 53

Meaning: The conch (paanchajanyam) has come down on its own and made himself
as flute in the hands of kannan. It appeared when he played the flute he was
blowing the conch- sankha naadham. He sang so many songs also. Even the
kaantharva vedhaam, which is supposed to be the basis for all music, cannot
find the limit of sweetness of his music. So is there any wonder the saint
calling krishna the gaana visakshaNa.

Vasudevan M.G.