Bhagavan , Bhaktha, and Bhagavatham

Bhagavan , Bhaktha, and Bhagavatham

I am posting some nectar of Bhakthi by some extraordinary bhaktas

[ devotees]. I drowned in it and as a believer in the saying, “ Yam petra inbam peruga ivvaiyagam” [ Let the World experience the joy I experienced], I invite the readers to drown in nectar too.

This is not comprehensive, I am just sharing a few nuggets I like .

Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer

Those readers who would like information about this saint -composer may check these links.

I first “ met” Oothukaadu Kavi through the majestic voice of Carnatic musician Maharajapuram Santhanam.

There are compositions from the Madhura bhava Bhakthi [Lord as a lover] angle . This one is from the Vatsalya Bhava Bhakthi [ Lord as a beloved child]angle .

Othukkadu “Yashoda” Venkata Kavi says:

Ootthukaadu Kavi’sTamil verse is in bold and below that is my translation [ a poor one as I did not see Krishna’s dance as he saw] .

Adathu asangathu vaa –nee

Adathu vaa kanna

Un adalil erezhu bhuvanamum asaindhu asaindathudhey

Enave, nee adathu asangathu vaa

Dance not Krishna!

Your dance makes

All the fourteen worlds dance,

Hence, dance not Krishna!

Krishna, as a self respecting young child , cannot walk as adults do. He has to dance along and as he does, he kicks a fortunate tree or plant on the way.

It was a divine dance all right. And we are trying to watch it through the Kavi’s eyes.

Un aadalai kaana Thillai


Than adalai vittu enge gokulam vandhaar

Adalinal siru yadhavane

Oru mamayil iragani madhavane

The Lord of Thillai Ambalam [ Chidambaram] ,

Has stopped his dancing and

Has come here to Gokulam

To see your dance!

Hence , Oh little cowherd,

Oh Madhava who wears a peacock feather !

Dance not!

Siru Yadhavan [ little cowherd] is how he refers to the child. The easy familiarity he has with the Lord is evident. He is said to have stood in the temple in the little village of Oothukaadu and experienced the bliss of Krishna.

Chinnanchiru padhangal silambolithidume

Adhai sevi maduththa piravi manankalithidume

Pinniya sadai satre vahai kalandhidume

Mayil peeliasaidhasaindhu nilaikalainthidume.

The anklets in the little feet jingles

The one who hears that, is filled with joy

The braided hair gets tousled

The peacock feather moves and moves

And is not in its place.

[The mother has, with some difficulty, managed to hold the brat still

while she braided his hair. She is rightly concerned about the state of his braid.

Also concerned about her own state. The child looks absolutely adorable with his tousled braid and she may forgive him for anything!].

Panniru kai iraivan erum mayil ondru

Than pasunthogai virithadi parisalithidume

Kuzhal padi varum azhaga-unai

Kana varum adiyar evarayinum

Kanaka maniyasaiyum unadhu thirunatanam

Kann pattu ponal manam pun pattu pogum-enave

Adadhu asangadhu vaa

The peacock of the twelve armed lord*

Gifts a dance number

Spreading its colourful feathers

Oh, the beautiful one with the flute!

[ *Refers to Lord Kartikeya]

When people see you dancing

With gold beads and all

Evil eyes may be cast on you

This heart would be hurt, hence

Dance not, Oh, Krishna.

Mother speaks all right.

Kann pattu ponal [if evil eyes are cast],Manam pun pattu pogum [ the heart would be hurt] is a simple and effective rhyming sentence , also one which gives away the mother in him.

In another composition, [ Parvai ondre podhume] he says Krishna’s one [ secretive] glance is enough and even Sanga nidhi and Padma nidhi [ wealth] of the celestial Kubera wont equal that one glance.

The way the child looks, when another mother of his, a Gopi, goes to complain to his mother Yashoda of yet another butterly transgression of his!

The poor lady is rewarded with a KaLLa Parvai of his [the sort of look thieves of that kind are capable of when caught butter handed].

He stands behind his mother like a good child. He then begs her with his eyes “ Don’t tell Mom !”


After all, he stole much more than butter. Butter stealing was just a cover for his covert mission of bringing in to his loving fold, generations and generations of people.

The Gopi too wasn’t there to complain but she needed an excuse to go see the child once again.

What of the simple cowherd woman? If the child’s maternal uncle, the man who wanted to kill the child, had seen him at that time, he too would have succumbed to the charm and forgotten his dark mission that very moment .

Subramania Bharathi

He needs no introduction to people from Tamilnadu .

But, to have a quick look -through on this fiercely nationalistic Mahakavi’s profile please follow these links.

Here is an article I had posted in Sulekha blogs sometime ago.

He has composed many verses on Kannan [Krishna] from every Bhakthi bhava possible, including one in which he says, Krishna himself was his servant!

He had immense knowledge of classical music and has not only penned the verses but also composed music for them.

My favourite is this piece from Kannan en Sevakan.[ Krishna, my servant]

Engiruntho vanthaan

Idaisaadhi naan enraan

Ingivanai yaan perave

Enna thavam seidhu vitten

Don’t know where he came from

“Iam a cowherd!” said he.

What penances I must have done

To get him!

We are not surprised though that God could be worshipped in this bhava as well..

The Lord would do this kind of service and much more for love.

He did chores for some of his bhaktas, he took notes when some of them wrote what would benefit the World.

As Shiva, took care of a new mother and baby when the formers mother was stuck in floods.

As Rama, carried food to saint composer Thyagaraja with his “catering service crew” consisting of wife, younger brother and loving devotee,

As Panduranga, waited patiently outside a devotee’s home, as the latter was too busy to open the door.

As Krishna, ran up and down to bring peace between cousins, donated cloth to a woman in distress, did chauffeur work for a beloved cousin, list is endless.

In Bharathi’s famed Panchali Sabatham , through the words of Panhali/Draupadi, the Mahakavi garlands Krishna with his many verses.

From the Madhura bhava, the “ Nayika” Kavi laments

“ Naalu Vaidhyarum

Ini nambutharkillaiyendrar

Paalaththu Josiyanum

Graham paduthum enru vittan!

All the Doctors

Have given up

The astrologer near that bridge

Foresees planets that would trouble.

[ Naalu vaidhyar, meaning four kinds of doctors , I am told, refers to doctors of different schools. “ English”, Siddha, Ayurveda and Homeopathy may be?]

But who can cure this kind of madness/sickness? Only he can. And he seems hard hearted.

Ennamuraithu vidil-thangame thangam

Pinnar, edhenilum seivomadi thangame thangam.

If he lets me know

What’s in his mind

Then…we’ll think of

Something to do!

The Nayika [ Lady lead] in Bharathi is no weak lady. She sounds like she would take some stern action here. A fitting match for Krishna.

She says further on“ Thootri nagar murasu satruvom” meaning she’ll let the whole world know about the times Krishna the thief spent with her by the river.

Manickavasakar says in one of his verses [while in his nayaki bhava] that he’d tell everyone that the Lord was responsible for her madness and threatens the Lord to take some corrective action or else!

The tone makes us smile but the intensity of feelings touches us deeply.

The object of this kind of devotion must surely love this drama.

Poet Kannadasan

He is a well-known movie lyricist and he too doesn’t need any introduction among Tamil speakers.

Born Muthaiah , in a family of religious Vaisyas [ the Nagarathaar/Chetiyar ] community] , he called himself Kannadasan [ a servant of Krishna] and is known by that name.

He spent a little time as the star orator of the then Dravidar Kazhagam party [ the forerunner of DMK] , as like many young men of his generation he had been attracted to the “rationalistic” , rebellious ideas the party stood for.

When he found out the concerned didn’t have honest or genuine intentions, he left them and at some point, must have come in to contact with Krishna.

His good fortune and, ours too.

Lets listen to Krishna’s humble servant.

Kannan vandhaan –ange Kannan vandhaan

Ezhai kanneerai kandathum

Kannan vandhaan

[movie: Ramu Year :]]]]

Krishna came

Krishna came

When he saw the

Poor one’s tears

Krishna came there.

Thedi ninra Kangalile Kannan vandhaan

Deepa onru kaiyil endhi Kannan vanthaan

Kettavarku kettapadi Kannan vandhaan

Kelviyile Badhilaga Kannan Vanthaan

Dharmam ennum theril eri Kannan vanthaan

Thalaatha thuyar theerka Kannan vanthaan

Krishna came , as the eyes sought him

Krishna came, with a lamp in hand

Krishna came, as the seekers sought him

Krishna came, as the answer within the question

Krishna came, riding the chariot of righteousness

Krishna came, to cure unbearable misery

He must have written hundreds of songs for Tamil movies and many of them shine with his supreme devotion as well as a philosophical attitude that the Gita must have imparted in him.

Ayarpadi maligaiyil

Thai madiyil kanrinai pol

Maya Kannan thoongukindran


A lullaby he has written for the album Krishna Ganam above.

In the palace of Gokulam

In his mother’s lap

Sleeps Krishna

The Mayavi

Kannanavan thoongi vital

Kasiniye thoongi vidumannaiyare thiyilezhuppa vareero

Avan ponnazhagai parpatharkkum

Bodhai muththam oeruvathrkum

Kanniyare Gopiyare Vareero!

If Krishna sleeps

The whole world would,too!

Oh Mothers, wont you come to wake him?

To see his resplendence

To get his intoxicating kisses

Wont you all come, oh young Gopis?

The Nayika in him has penned several songs for Tamil movies .

Unnum podhum, urangum bodhum

Ennam muzhudhum Kannan thane

While eating

And while sleeping

The thoughts are full of Krishna.

[ This too, seems like a serious case that cannot be helped by any medical intervention!This strange disease can only be cured by the one who caused it .]

He has also, like Oothukkadu Kavi, written Nayika verses with Lord Kartikeya as the Nayaka.

But just like the Kavi , he seems to have a special affinity to the dark and enchanting form of Krishna.

A loving heart doesn’t differentiate between one form and another.

To them, they are all from the same source.

We are blessed, as we get to hear the soulful verses that sprung out of great minds, sung by musicians who sing to connect the ordinary with the divine.


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