Periyāḻvār Tirumoḷi | 101-150



When you went to Duryodhana’s assembly,
he shone like a sun,
surrounded with kings decorated with heroic anklets.
He saw you and stood up first but sat down again
and looked at you angrily.
You looked at Duryodhana with fiery eyes
and destroyed his evil thoughts. acho, acho.
You carry a discus in your hand.
Come and embrace me, acho, acho.


You became the charioteer for Arjuna
who was decorated with beautiful garlands,
fought in the battle with the Pāṇḍavas
and removed the troubles of the earth.
Your eyes are big and dark.
Your body is as dark as a cloud.
Come and embrace me tightly, acho, acho.
You are the bull that fights for the cowherds, acho, acho.


When the rishi Śukrāchārya said
it was not good to give the boons that the dwarf asked
and wished to stop the sacrifice of the famous king Mahābali,
you became angry at the rishi and hurt his eyes with a stick.
You carry the wheel in your right hand, acho, acho.
You carry the conch in your left hand, acho, acho.


When Namusi the son of Mahābali said, “What is this magic?
When you asked for land from my father,
you were in the form of a dwarf and now you have become
so tall that you measure the earth and the sky.
My father didn’t know your trick.
You should have taken your real form
when you asked for land and measured the earth,”
You grew angry, carried Namusi
and threw him down to the earth from the sky.
You are decorated with a shining crown,
embrace me, acho, acho.
You are the god of Tiruvēṅkaṭam, acho, acho.


When Brahma’s head was stuck on Shiva’s palm
because of a curse, Shiva, who has matted hair,
came and begged you, saying,
“Even all the deep oceans, mountains
and the seven worlds cannot fill this Brahma’s head
that has stuck to my hand.
O you who have the colour of a dark cloud, help me.”
You filled Brahma’s head with your blood.
Embrace me, acho, acho.
You have the mark Śrīvatsa on your chest. acho, acho.


Once when thick darkness covered the world
and all the four omnipresent Vedas disappeared,
you took the form of a swan
and removed the darkness of the earth.
Embrace me, acho, acho.
You taught the divine Vedas to the rishis, acho, acho.


Yaśodā called her son, Nārāyaṇa,
who presents himself in front of his devotees
who love him, and said, “Come, acho, acho!”.
Viṣṇu-Citta, the chief of Puduvai city
that is filled with beautiful palaces and porches
composed poems with Yaśodā’s words.
Those who recite these poems every day
will go to heaven and rule the sky.

10. Yaśodā describes how Kaṇṇaṉ stands behind her and embraces her.


My little child comes
and embraces me from behind
as his ornaments make the sound “choṭṭu, choṭṭu.”
They sound as if pearls-like drops were dripping
from the top of shining diamond-like buds that grow in a garden.
Govinda comes and embraces me.


My dear Kaṇṇaṉ
decorated with kingini bells on his feet,
coral bracelets on his hands
and a chain on his neck,
dances, walks, comes beautifully
and embraces me from behind.
My lovely child, embraces me from behind.


The highest god was born
to destroy the clan of the evil king Duryodhana,
who kept his abundant wealth and lands for himself
without sharing them with his relatives, the Pāṇḍavas.
He comes and embraces me from behind.
The bull among the cowherds
embraces me from behind.


The king of gods wished to help Arjuna,
driving the strong chariot decorated with jewels
and terrifying the Pāṇḍava enemy kings in battle.
Arjuna worshipped the god and said.
“You are the best among men and my refuge!
You carry the sword Nandagam.”
That king of gods embraces me from behind.


The god took the form of Vāmaṉaṉ,
carried a brass pot and an umbrella,
sang songs under flourishing groves, played
and went to king Mahābali,
and took over the earth and the sky
as his devotees praised him, saying, “Pallāṇḍu!”
He comes and embraces me from behind.
That short Vāmaṉaṉ embraces me from behind.


The beautiful god who took the form
of a short bachelor, carried an umbrella
and went to king Mahābali’s sacrifice, asked for a boon,
and took the earth, the sky and all lands
as all the kings looked on.
He comes and embraces me from behind.
The god who measured the world
embraces me from behind.


The sweet child
turned over the wide-mouthed mortar,
climbed on it and stole the sweet milk
and butter in the pot, swallowed all of it
and filled his divine stomach.
He comes and embraces me from behind.
The god who carries the discus
embraces me from behind.


He climbed on a sand hillock
played his flute and danced a village dance
as the old cowherds of the village looked on happily.
He is worshipped by rishis and praised by gods
and comes and embraces me from behind.
My sweet child comes and embraces me from behind.


He promised his beloved wife
that he would bring the Kalpaka garden from Indra’s world.
He brought it and planted it in her front yard
where the moon shines.
He embraces me from behind.
The god of gods embraces me from behind.


Yaśodā, the cowherdess
who has round bamboo-like arms
describes how the god who carries a discus
embraced her from behind when he was a child.
Viṣṇu-Citta put Yaśodā’s words into poems.
The devotees who recite those ten Tamil poems
will get good children and live happily.

11. Kaṇṇaṉ threatens the cowherdesses as if he were a goblin and they complain about
his mischievous deeds to Yaśodā.


He carries a conch in his left hand
that sounds in victory
and he plays delightful music on his flute.
He went as a messenger to the Kaurāvas
for the Pāṇḍavas when they had lost everything
to the dishonest gambling of Śakuni
and, unable to keep even ten cities,
had to fight the Bhārata war
to get their land back.
He comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


His eyes are beautiful.
He gives his grace to all his devotees.
He stood with Arjuna on a strong chariot in the Bhārata war
and helped Arjuna bend his bow
and destroy many kings who had arms strong as mountains
along with warriors and his hundred Kaurāva foes.
The mischievous one comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


He, the clever one,
the cowherd who plays beautiful music on his flute,
climbed on a Kadamba tree,
jumped from it into the foaming water
and danced on the head of the evil Kalingan
as the bells on his anklets sounded.
He, the cowherd comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


He was born in the night
and raised in a poor, cowherd’s village.
He killed the evil king Kaṁsa
and took away the troubles of the cowherds.
He stole our pretty silk dresses.
He comes mischievously as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes and frightens us.


The god killed Śakaṭāsura
who came in the form of a cart yoked with bulls.
The dear child was pulled with a rope used to churn yogurt
and tied on mortar by Nandi’s wife Yaśodā.
He comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


The dear child who was born to Devakī
whose young soft breasts are like cheppu
stole and swallowed ghee, milk and yogurt
that we, the cowherd women kept.
He comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


Did Yaśodā adopt this child?
Or did she give birth to him?
She does whatever he wants.
That dear child, who has dark hair
decorated with bunches of flowers,
Gopāla, the young lion-like son of Yaśodā
comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


He came to the world as Rāma.
He obeyed his stepmother
who listened to the words of cruel Manthara,
gave away his precious elephants, horses
and his earthly kingdom to his brother Bhārata
and went to the terrible forest.
That dear one with lovely eyes comes as a goblin and frightens us.
He comes as a goblin and frightens us.


The majestic god came
riding his eagle to save the elephant Gajendra
and saved him when Gajendra, caught by a terrible crocodile,
cried out, “O my Kaṇṇaṉ, my Kaṇṇaṉ!”
He comes as a goblin and frightens us.
The god who saves his devotees
comes as a goblin and frightens us.
That dear one comes as a goblin and frightens us.


Viṣṇu-Citta composed poems
about how the god who as Rāma destroyed the strong Rākṣasas
who ruled Lanka with his bow
came as a goblin and frightened
the cowherd women in the cowherd village.
The good devotees who recite the ten beautiful “appuchi kaaṭṭal” poems
will go to Vaikuṇṭha and stay there forever.

12. Yaśodā calls Kaṇṇaṉ to come and drink milk


You are a bull among the cowherds!
You sleep on the snake bed.
Get up to drink your milk.
You have not eaten in the night and slept
and even today you have not got up until afternoon.
You stomach looks empty.
My beautiful breasts are filled with milk.
Come and drink milk happily with your divine mouth
as you kick me with your feet.


Since you were born, I have not seen
the ghee, the boiled milk,
thick yogurt and fragrant butter that I kept.
You have done whatever you like with them.
Don’t get upset, I won’t punish you.
Smiling with your pearl-like teeth,
come and drink milk from my breast.


If their children cry and go to their mothers
because you hit them while you played with them,
their mothers get upset,
and they come and complain about you.
You aren’t worried and ignore them.
Your father doesn’t care about their complaints
and I don’t have the heart to shout at you.
You are the lovely son of Nandagopa.
Come and drink the milk that comes from my breast.


I was afraid that your feet, soft as cotton
might have been hurt when you kicked Śakaṭāsura
who came in the form of an illusory cart sent by Kaṁsa.
O king of the gods,
you are the protector of the cowherds.
You destroyed Kaṁsa with your cunning deeds.
Come and drink the milk from my breast.


If Kaṁsa who intends only evil gets angry at you,
finds the right time, and comes and attacks you
with his magic when you are tired and hurts you,
I will not live without you.
O Vāsudeva, you know it is good
to listen to mother’s advice.
I tell you strongly, don’t go.
You are the bright light of cowherds’ village.
Come, sit and drink milk from my breast.


You stay in Villiputtur happily
where the bees that buzz sweetly
swarm around the long hair of women
whose waists are thin as lightning.
You made the people who see you say,
“What tapas did his mother do
to give birth to this son?”
O Hrishīkesa, come and drink the milk from my breasts.


Women who wish to give birth to a child like you
see you and will not leave you.
Wearing flowers in their hair that swarm with bees,
they look at you passionately
and want to kiss you
and drink the nectar from your mouth.
They stand near you wondering how
to take you to their homes.
O Govinda, come and drink the milk from my breasts.


You burned the bodies of the two mountain-like wrestlers
when they came to oppose you.
Come, climb on my lap
and rest your chest where Lakshmi stays on my body.
Then drink the milk from one of my breasts
as you rub my other breast with your fingers.
Come and drink milk eagerly
from one breast and then the other.


As you play in the front yard
your red lotus-like face sweats
and the drops of that sweat look like precious pearls
that fall on a beautiful lotus blossom.
Don’t make your body dirty
with the mud you are playing in.
You are the king of gods
who made them rejoice by giving them nectar.
Come and drink the milk from my breasts.


I thought that you are Padmanābha
as you come running, your kingini ornaments sounding like music.
You dance and dance swaying and come.
Don’t run away dancing and dancing for the music,
that your kiṇgiṇi makes.
O, best among men, come and drink milk from my breasts.


Yaśodā, who wears a band around her breasts
called her child saying,
“Mādhava, come and drink milk!”
The famous Vishṇu-Citta of Villiputtur
where the kuvaḷai flowers spread their fragrance
as they bloom in the ponds composed poems
about how the cowherdess Yaśodā called her son.
The hearts of the devotees who recite these poems
will think only of the god Maal
who has beautiful eyes.

13. Piercing the ears
Yaśodā calls Kaṇṇaṉ to come to her
so that she can pierce his ears to put earrings on them.


Your body is in the colour of the beautiful blue ocean.
You wander around everywhere alone.
Your proud father has not returned home from his work.
Kaṁsa, the strong, brave fighter is cruel
and there is no one to save you from him.
You, the crazy one, drank milk
from the breast of the demon Pūthanā.
You are the best among men, O Keśava!
All the cowherd women came here to see
the ceremony of having your ears pierced.
I have prepared the betel leaves
and nuts to give to them.


O Nārāyaṇa!
You are never separated from the minds of the devotees
who approach you and worship you.
Come to me wearing the beautiful coral chain on your waist
as the kiṇgiṇi ornaments on your lotus feet sing.
I will put threads
through the holes in your ears without hurting you
and then I will decorate your ears with earrings.
See, these beautiful golden earrings lovely to look at.


I bought and kept for you emerald earrings,
shaped like fish that live in the ocean
and so expensive that even the whole earth
would be not enough to buy them.
I will put threads through your ears without hurting you.
I will give you all the things that you want.
O radiant god,
you were born in the cowherd clan to save the cowherds.
You attract the minds of the young cowherd women by your magic.
O Mādhava, come.


O Govinda, the cowherd children wear earrings
studded with beautiful diamonds
that hang down from their ears
and see, they are good cowherd children.
O Govinda, why don’t you listen to me?
If you wear these lovely earrings
I will give you sweet jackfruit to eat,
and the milk from my beautiful breasts.
Listen to me, you are my dear god. Come here.


O dear child! Even when I beg you
and say I worship you, you don’t listen to me.
How can I think you are a good child
when you join the girls who have curly hair,
dance the kuravai dance with them and come back late?
O dear child, if you will let me put the thread in your ears
I will give you large appams even though you are naughty.
You are the god in the sky.
Your hair is as dark as clouds
and the girls with round arms like bamboo love you. Come here.


You cried so loud
that even the sky-dwellers could hear you.
When I looked into your mouth,
I saw the whole earth inside and I was frightened
as I thought that you are the “Madhusūdana.”
See, even your ears know
that there will not be any wound.
Just bear with me.
You are my dear child!
You are lovely like a dark cloud!
You have the colour of the ocean.
You are our protector.
Come and drink the milk from my breasts.


You said, “I don’t want your milk”
and ran away with the earrings.
When the rain of stones fell,
you carried Govardhana mountain happily
and protected the herd of cows.
O Trivikrama! You broke the bow of Shiva!
You are the chief of the beautiful cowherd village.
I didn’t put the thread on your ears
when you were a baby because I was worried
your head wouldn’t stay still.
Wasn’t that my mistake?


O dear child! you complained and said,
“See, mother, you shouldn’t say it is my fault.
When I ate mud, you caught me and hit me.
Didn’t you show your friends my mouth
and tell them I had eaten mud?”
O dear one, are you not Vāmaṉaṉ who carried the eagle flag,
the enemy of a evil snake?
If I do not put threads in,
the holes on your ears will close.
O beloved god who remove the troubles of your devotees!
I am telling you the truth, I won’t hurt you.
Come and let me put in the thread.


O Śrīdhara, you complain saying,
“Mother, you believed what others said and punished me.
Isn’t it true you thought I had stolen the butter?
And didn’t you pull me and tie me to the mortar?
Everyone who saw me tied to the mortar made fun of me.”
O, dear child, listen.
If you keep complaining about what happened, laughing and wasting time,
the holes in your ears will close.
Come, I will put the thread in your ears
before the beautiful women standing here laugh at you.


O dear child, you said,
“Mother, what would it matter to you and these lovely women
if my ears swell up and hurt?”
I didn’t put the thread in your ears when you were young
because I worried it might hurt you. It is my fault.
Don’t you see how all the children of the cowherd village
who wander around had threads put in their ears?
O Hrishīkesa, you killed Arishṭasura and Vasthasura
throwing a young calf at them.


You are a lovely child.
You stay sweetly in the thoughts of the beautiful girls
whose hair is decorated with fragrant flowers
and who always look at you with love.
You are our sweet nectar.
I will give you fruits to eat.
I will put the thread in your ears without hurting you.
O Padmanābha, you kicked Śakaṭāsura
when he came in the form of a cart and killed him.
Come here.


O dear child, you told me,
“If you pull my hand and say, ‘Come’
and put the thread in my ears, will it hurt you?
My ears will hurt. I won’t let you do that.”
O Dāmodara, you are the best among men.
See these berries I brought for you.
You killed the vicious Pūthanā by drinking milk from her breasts
and destroyed Śakaṭāsura when he came in the form of a cart.
Come here.