Periazhwar as Yashodha with Chinni Krishna

Our poorvacharyars comment that though he  appeared   after  Mudal azhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, he was honoured with the title “Peria Azhwar   because while all other azhwars  glorified  Lord as Supreme Personality,  Azhwar had “pongum parivu”( vatsalyabhava).

nagamangala teemple

  Swamy  Manavala Mamunigal in  ” Upadesa Ratnamala ”  says “Pongum parivaale petraan Periazhwar ennum peyar”   meaning that because of the vatsalya bhaavam  like a mother towards the Lord, he was conferred with this title. Periyazhwar  was  overwhelmed to have darshanam of  the Lord after winning the debate  called by the  Pandyan King  at Madurai few hundred years back .


Having darshan of  Lord Koodal Azhagar Perumal , along with the Goddess who had come to witness  the  marathon procession honours done by the King to the Azhwar ,   on Garuda Vahanam ,  Periyazhwar  was worried that such a beautiful   form  of Lord may  attract evil eye . He innocently  takes the bell from the elephant’s neck   from where he was  riding  (as symbol  warding off the  evil  ) and starts   glorifying Lord  with his mangala shasanam  instantly , by chanting the introductory verses of Divya Prabhandam

“Thirup PallaNdu”

 “pallaaNdu, pallaaNdu PallAyiratthAndu PalakOdi NoorAyiram”

(Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years! my Lord !!!!)  

The appended post below describes  about the divine pastime ( Click )

Long live ….Hundreds, thousands, and crores of adorable LORD …

  Out of the vatsalya bhaavam which he had for the Lord, he considered himself to be Mother Yasodha and experienced all the divine pastimes which the Lord displayed during HIS avataram.  Out of the 473 pasurams which he composed known as “Periazhwar Thirumozhi”, about  190 pasurams are about the divine pastimes of Lord Krishna …..


 Periya Azhwar was  an incarnation of  Garuda (the divine  vehicle of Lord Maha Vishnu).


 Azhwar was serving  Lord  Vatapatrasayi  perumal at Srivalliputhur . During  a recitation  event of Srimad Bhagavatam inside the temple , Azhwar was struck to one incident which inspired him to take up the  garland service to Lord .  This  sweet pastime of  Lord Krishna meeting a person at Mathura  moved him .


  Lord Krishna meets a person who was carrying garlands to the demon king kamsa . Lord asks him to part with a flower garland much to the surprise of the villager.The innocent man he was ,  replied  Oh Lord !!!  ” several saints perform austerity and devotional service to seek your company  and I am humbled with your mercy on me . Please take this wonderful garland as a small gift ..  I surrender even If  Kamsa kills me ….


The lord   was very pleased with his service and blessed him  . The  incident left a strong impression on  azhwar’s mind and he concluded that preparing and offering flower garlands to the Lord was the best kaimkaryam  to HIM  and thus  he  cultivated flower gardens all around the temple and used to prepare  a small flower garlands  with different varieties of flowers. 

 The list included   Tulasi, lotus,  lilly roses and other perfumed flowers  ( shengazhaneer, mallikai mullai ) which he offered  to Lord daily with deep love . He used to offer eight varieties of flowers which would blossom at different times in  a day . The divine couple competed amongs’t themselves to bless this devotee.  


Bhoomi devi, the Lord’s eternal consort appeared as his daughter whom he named “Kodhai”/ Andal  His love for Lord Krishna was ultimate . Always in the mood of  serving LORD as little Krishna he used to swoon in bhakthi bhava of Yasodha .  


After being conferred “Bhattar pirAn”, PeriaAzhwAr continued on his  garland service  while  singing  the pasurams on Lord Krishna  .The mood in which Azhwar sung  was as if he became His mother, yasOdhA. He bathed him, fed Him, dressed Him up  played with him and enjoyed  every part of his beauty . Azhwar   imagines  all  his childhood mischief  which yasOdhA had undergone. The Child’s  naughty  mischief, divine  leelAs, were all sung by periyAzhwAr at a stretch which is  a  prayer book of all vaishnavas .


All  the  pAsurams of Azhwar  are to be  sung , re-sung  and enjoyed.

All were bhakti laden pAsurams and shall  taste like a ripe  grape fruit soaked in honey by the devotees .


 Azhwar  ,   takes over the  scene from LORD’s appearance ,  wherein all  citizens  of Mathura  are  happy  on  the  appearance   of  Lord Krishna.  Here  he  considers   Thirukkottiyur  a place  near Madurai  as Mathura  and   paints   the  picture  of  people  going  ecstatic,  unable  to  contain  the unlimited joy  of LORD’s appearance  .


His  choosing   of words  are  so  perfect  that it  can bring  the   divine scene  before  the   devotees eyes . He  reveals the ecstatic  joy encountered  by the  gopas  .  


Azhwar immerses himself into the emotional outpourings  of  Yashoda maa  that  keeps the reciter to  visualize   the mood of a mother    giving   holy bath  to little Krishna   while  cleansing the  tiny  mouth of  the  Lord  in his pasurams .   The  verses  keep  the reciter  emotionally charged   with several divine pastimes of Lord Krishna in the  following  verses  .


Azhwar observes   the  seven  worlds  or  universe  itself inside the little mouth !  Next,   he   enjoys   the  beauty  of  the   parts  of LORDs  body from  the  Holy Feet  to  the  lovely  Locks of hairs and  as a mother   he invites  other  gopis  to  partake  in  his  transcendental  bliss .


As  Lord  Krishna  was  hid  from  the demon  Kamsa notice   and  secretively  brought  up,  Azhvar  innocently says  that this   child    was  born  in   ascendant  star  that  is  tenth  from  Hastam star !  Counting  forward  tenth star  from  Hastam  is Thiruvonam  ( Sravana ) which  is  Lord Narayana’s  star  and  counting  backwards from  Hastam  is  Rohini,  Star  of Lord  Krishna.


 This is he does to ensure the demon kamsa does not harm little Krishna  after knowing his whereabouts .  Azhwar   intelligently announces  this  for the safety of this child in his wonderful pasurams  .


Azhvar  further proceeds  by singing a  Lullaby  for  Divine Child  and  lists out the  various  presents  made  by  different  celestials    Brahma, Rudra, Kubera,  Varuna, Indra,  Sri Mahalakshmi,  Bhumadevi and  Kali  .


Azhwar    visualises  Yashodamma    along  with little krishna and shows him the moon.  She  invites  the  moon  to  come  near  as  child  is  eager  to  play  with  him. She pleads the moon to   come  quickly  as He  is  feeling  sleepy  after  His  food  and  if  He  sleeps  late  the  food  will  not  be  digested  properly ! 


She   also cautions  Moon  not  to  ignore  him  saying  He  is  no doubt  a  small  kid  and don’t take him lightly as one incident   (reminds  him  of  the  experience  of  Mahabali  with  this  small  one !)


In the next few pasurams   Azhwar visualises as   mother  keeping   the  child  and  sways  him forward  and  back like a see saw   . The outpourings further   highlight   about the  dwarf   and the  faltering  steps.   Azhwar like any mother quotes  ………………

Acho Acho  …………for the child’s bravery  for his little steps…….


While  feeding the Lord and the ear boring ceremonies  , he  visualizes and  sings   the  Twelve Holy  Names of  the  Lord  ,













 and advises the ordinary  mortals to name their kids with the holy names of Lord to be attached to the supreme personality .


Azhwar  now visualises   the holy oil  bath (  Neerattam )  of little krishna . Krishna is  not keen to join his mother for taking  a bath . Yasoda  pleads him with several quotes amusing the reciter .  Little Krishna refuses and runs away every attempt .


She entreats him saying-  Kanna !! “Having besmeared your body with butter and mud, I will not let you soil your bed tonight. See! For how long I have been waiting with oil, scented soap-nut powder etc.  O! Lord! Narana! who is beyond anybody’s reach. Please do come and have your bath”.


Yashoda  having failed convincing ,  finally tricks  him into a sense of shame by saying “I might even like to leave you go with all the dirt on your beautiful body smeared by you, while playing in the cattle-shed but others ‘will not like it a bit   and  more  importantly, if your darling Nappinnai  ( Radha rani ) sees you in this state, she will laugh at you!.

Are you so shameless to let this happen to you? Come,Quickly finish your bath and get ready” –   This  hymn  is recited in all  the Srivaishnava temples   during  Abhishekam  Tirumanjanam (ceremonial bath) to the Lord.  Azhwar amuses  him by  calling  Kakkai (crow ) to  groom  the  hair, to  get  a  Stick  for  Him  to play.


Further  Azhwar visualises   decorating  the  Lord with  variety  of   eight flowers which is taken out immediately once it blooms .  Azhwar dresses him with finest  sandal perfume   and to ward of the evil eye  for his nectarian beauty he  keeps a   Rakshai  …

The Naughty  divine pastimes of   little Krishna and the casual  complaints  of  the neighbours  on   little Krishna is interesting .

kazhiyur kolam 2

The verses take the reciter to many moods of a mother . Affection , Emotion , Deep love concern etc …. (  why not !!!! And it has a message for  ordinary mortals  like us )  At one stage  , Yashodamaa  is  in  awe  of  child  is  refusing  to  feed  her  breast  but  only  solid food.


She   feels   sorry that  she  had  to  send   child  to  tend  the  calves   for grazing ,  and worried about  his  safe return   . The Gopikas   getting  enamored  of  Lord  coming  behind  the  Cattle.   The verses conclude with some of the finest pictures of Krishna playing the flute in the forest.

The incident of  Lord Krishna’s  lifting  Govardhana Hill  follows with glories to the Hill and the Lord who lifted saving the entire inhabitants  .

He  gives  vivid  description  of  mountain  itself.  Azhwar visualises   Lord  Krishna’s  playing  Flute  mesmerizing   the Gopis, Cows,  the  birds   the  trees  and   the  celestial  in  heaven.  Periazhwar describes  Lord Krishna’s flute-playing in 10 mellifluous verses.

Azhwars   often express their love  as  a  mother   OR of  a daughter OR a lover   meaning  their  own  Souls  longing  for  union  with  the   Supreme Lord.

 Most of his 473 verses in Divya Prabandham, collectively known as “Periazhwar Tirumozhi” speak of the early years of Krishna. Azhwar became the father- in- law of Lord  Narayana  when his  daughter  Andal   marries the Lord. – – an honor none else  could claim.


Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics  credits : Courtesy : Google images uploaded by devotees

video  credits: Shri Ananthanarayana for MS Amma’s clip


5 thoughts on “Periazhwar as Yashodha with Chinni Krishna

  1. hare krishna tq for enlightening us on periyazhwar’s bhakti mood bhava his love…..for Krishna. by your mercy i could be able to taste a bit of it. tq pr.

  2. Reblogged this on kazhiyur varadan's web blog and commented:

    Azhwars often express their love as a mother OR of a daughter OR a lover meaning their own Souls longing for union with the Supreme Lord . Most of his 473 verses in Divya Prabandham, collectively known as “Periazhwar Tirumozhi” speak of the early years of Krishna. Azhwar became the father- in- law of Lord Narayana when his daughter Andal marries the Lord. – – an honor none else could claim.

  3. what comment can an ordinary person like me give on such wonderful news item coming just before SRIJAYANTHI BIRTHDAY OF LORD ALMIGHTY KRISHNA.i.May Lord KRISHNA shower his blessings to the writer. gopalan

  4. Hari Om! Serene, Blissful, Soul stirring Janmashtami Varadan! Periyalvar – Vishnu chittar’s embrace with Lord Krishna is indeed intoxicating to one’s soul. It takes me nowhere to read your Gokulashtami post one week in advance. Adiyen do experience Kanna’s Holy steps. What else do I need in this Kaliyuga? In Amudanar’s words,”Eni Maronru katti mayakkidilae”
    Adiyen- Ramanuja Dasan – Jai Sriman Narayana!

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