சக்தி விகடன் - 08 Sep, 2010

    ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ண ஜயந்தி சிறப்பிதழ் SrīKrishna Jayanthi (Krishna’s Birthday celebration) Special Issue

Posted Date : 06:00 (08/09/2010)

Krishna was caught butter-handed with his hand in the butter-pot. 

ராமனின் மெய்யும்... கிருஷ்ணனின் பொய்யும்!

Rama’s Truth…Krishna’s Untruth.

செல்லக் கண்ணா தாலேலோ...

Pet Kaṇṇā Lullaby ending in tālēlō
= T.A.Srinithi

Srīkrishnan – This one word depicts joy, mischief, lessons...?!

Kaṇṇa = Krishna = Kṛṣṇa

Avatāras have a special place in taking man in the righteous path, as undertaken by the Supreme Being. ‘Avatara Tīti Avatāra’: The north Indian Pundits impress on us the greatness of the word Avatāra, which means ‘Descent of God from heaven to earth.’ The Supreme Being suspends and conceals his lofty qualities, becomes one among us, one in our family, a listener of our words (and pleas) … Establishing among the people, suspending his loftiness, and moving among those with intrinsically lower human qualities. The Pundits praise this as Good Conduct. The manifestation of Good Conduct is Avatāra.

Nārāyaṇa, the Consort of Tirumakaḷ came down from above to rescue the souls roiling in the sea of Samsara. He brings about these Avatāras. Though the incarnations are multitudinous, ten Avatāras were imperative worthy of praise. Of these ten, Rama and Krishna Avatāras are special.  Reason… The other incarnations benefited the contemporaries of their time and place. It is noteworthy that Rama and Krishna Avatāras were of benefit to the future generations. Only in these two Avatāras, words blossomed out of the sacred mouths of Rama and Krishna.  


Rama is celebrated in the north as Maryāḍā Puruṣōththaman (Exemplar of Decorum/The Most Perfect man/Perfect Lord) and Krishna Līlā Puruṣōththaman (Lord of Divine Play).  Krishna is also Pūrṇā Avatār (Complete Incarnation).

If you must choose one for its greatness, Krishna Avatāra wins hands down. Srīrāma spoke a few words here and there in our interest. But Krishna in his Avatāra spoke for and to us and gave us the gift of Bhagavadgītā Śāstra for our benefit. Viṣṇu Sahasranāmam as we enunciate leaves a mark on our tongue and the treasure-trove of history of Krishna.

Rama tread the path of his injunctive virtue, not open to violation of Śāstras. Kaṇṇa differs from Rama. Krishna’s own deeds are the path of virtue and injunctions of Sastras. Both established Dharma and are Dharma themselves.

Kṛṣṇa as a word means, ‘the giver of bliss to the earth.’ The history of Srī Kṛṇā is all bliss. Krishna and Krishna history are not different. Instead of reading other books, reading Bhāgavatam is superior.  Vyāsa composed both Mahābhārata and Srī Bhāgavatam. He was ecstatic to know that the bliss that was not available in Mahābhārata was found in Bhāgavatam. Since we talk about the history of Krishna, we call it Bhāgavatam. In the readers who listen to or read the wonderful Bhāgavatam, the seed of Bhakti sprouts taking the devotee to the path of liberation. If we realize the birth or Avatāra of Krishna, rebirth will not occur, that is we will attain Mukti or liberation.


‘No Kaṇṇa, no sight of refuge’ – So said Nammāzvār. We took birth because of Karma of former birth. But the birth of God is not because of Karma but because of love of people.

Our history, our style of living, our behavior…often are not palatable for ourselves. Bhagavāṉ’s Avatāra causes joy of bliss to him and us. Krishna says in BG 4:9 .9: ‘He, who knows my birth and work as divine in their true nature and accepts them as the Truth, will not be born again upon leaving his body and comes to me O Arjuna.’

Kaṇṇa’s divine deeds are the paths to liberation the cowherd woman. Yaśodā tied him down to the grinding stone (mortar) with ropes causing welts on his abdomen. That is why he goes by the name Damodara. Nammalvar says,

எத்திறம் உரலினோடு இணைந்திருந்து

       ஏங்கிய எளியவே (1)


Krishna is so simple that he allowed Yaśodā to punish him

by tying him to a mortar.

Nammāzvār moved by this predicament of Child Krishna, went into Turiya state with shut eyes for six months.

The hands of a weak woman tied the Supreme Being. Just thinking he was tied down to a mortar will loosen our Sasāric (metempsychosis) ties and liberate us according to Paramāchāriyār Nampiḷḷai.

The pundits say that Kaṇṇa was born for two reasons. One is Veṇṇai and the other is Piṉṉai.  That is to marry Napiṉṉai.  Veṇṇai (butter) and Piṉṉai (the name of his bride) rhyme.

Though he received a handful of butter, he liked stealing and eating butter. To this day, in Dwaraka temple, the devotees with enthusiasm call him in loud voice, ‘Māha Sōr’ (Butter thief). Hearing such accusation, the God laughs.

It is not just stealing butter from the pot; ingesting a potful of butter, he broke the pot and obtained unending pleasure hearing the breaking of the pot. That is the verdict of poet Periāzvār. Kaṇṇa clapped his tiny hands and jumped for joy.

Līlāsukar praises Krishna’s deeds in his book, Srī Kṛishṇa Karṇāmrutham.

Kaṇṇaṉ with a bunch of friends entered the house of a milkmaid. They with a great deal of effort brought down the butter pot from its upper perch. When they were about to share the loot, the milkmaid owner entered the house. The other children escaped out of the house sighting her but Kaṇṇa was caught butter-handed by the milkmaid. As Bhagavan was wondering and plotting a strategy in nanoseconds to escape from her, she asks the boy, “Who are you?”


Those who transgress the rules of the road and were caught by the police, usually drop names of higher authorities or VIPs and escape.  Kaṇṇa employed the same stratagem. Telling her the name of Balarāma, he identified himself as his brother.

The reason… In the village, Balarama carried a good name. Kaṇṇaṉ dropped his brother’s name thinking he could escape. It appeared she was not a pushover. She posed the second question, “Why did you come into my house?”

Without giving a thought… Kaṇṇaṉ lied, ‘I thought this was my house.’ She retorted, ‘Kaṇṇā, you would have known when you entered that it was not your house.’ Kaṇṇaṉ fearless and not losing his patience, said, ‘Now only, I come to know it was not my house. Here I am leaving the house.’ So saying, he tried to slip and slide out of her presence. The milkmaid would not give up!

 “Kaṇṇā, you are right you are the brother of Balarāma. I accept your premise that you thought this was your house. But, I don’t understand why you put your hand into the butter pot? What is your reason?” Hearing it, trepidation seized Kaṇṇaṉ.

This is the most challenging question for Kaṇṇa, who was titled by Aṇḍāl, ‘a Facile Lier.’ Confused as to what to tell the milkmaid, Kaṇṇa says, “Ammā, I lost a calf. I wondered whether the calf was hiding in this pot and for that reason, I put my hand into the pot.  I see, the calf is not in it. OK. I am leaving.”  So saying he ran out of the house.  See how his līlās (Divine plays) are!

Rama’s Truth and Krishna’s lies will help us escape from this ocean of metempsychosis. Let us seek the anklets of Kaṇṇa and enjoy the Great Bliss of liberation.