PeriyAzhwAr's 2.8 Decad

by Sri V.Sadagopan

In this decad , AzhwAr takes on the role of the concerned mother , who wants to protect her precious son from Drushti DhOsham . The Evening (sandhyA kaalam ) was approaching . YasOdhA as the doting mother had already bathed her dear son , decorated his lovely tresses with flowers of different kinds . He looked beautiful . She became worried about any drishti dhOsham affecting the well being of her beautiful son . She told her son that all the devAs had assembled to enjoy the beauty of their supreme Lord. At the same time , she told Him that the ferocious spirits ( Ugra DevathAs ) were also assembled at the junctions of the streets of the village at sunset . She appealed to her son not to venture out there at that hour , when the ugra devathAs were rampantly roaming about to do harm to people . YasOdhA wanted to protect her son against the evil spirits and wished to perform a ritual known as "anthik kAppu " . She called on her son to accept the "anthik- kAppu " to ward off the evil effects that may befall Him in the absence of the armour of that protecting ritual .

PeriyAzhwAr once again takes on the role of YasOdhA and performs the " Saaya RakshA or Anthik kappu " for the Lord just like a concerned mother worried about her son's well being .

Great devotees including PeriyAzhwAr and Thyga Brahmam have performed rakshA for the Lord to ward off the effects of evil eye ( dhrushti dhOsham ) and the adverse effects of ugra devathAs . It was PeriyAzhwAr , who sang PallAndu for the Lord , when he had His darsana sowbhAgyam over the skies of mathurai after he won the contest in the king's court with the blessings of the Lord.

Saint ThyagarAjA sang in raagam Bhairavi his famous song , " Raksha BettarE " . He was moved by PeriyAzhwAr's Pallandu and burst forth in song : " Raksha BettarE Doraku , Vakshasthalamuna velayau Lakshmi RamaNuniki Jaya Raksha bettarE , ---Sangeetha Priya Sri ThyagarAjukEyudaina Dorakaiswarya Raksha BettarE " . This is an echo of PeriyAzhwar's pallaNdu : " VadivAyi nin vala mArbinil Vazhinra Mangayum pallAndu " .

YasOdhA and PeriyAzhwAr went through the emotions of protecting the Sarva Rakshakan out of their fear about something untoward happening to their dear one ! PeriyAzhwAr addresses these ten paasurams to the Lord of ThiruveLLarai ( Lord PundareekAkshan of SvEtha Giri )

Paasuram : IndiranOdu Biraman ---

O my beautiful one ! The time now is sandhyA kaalam ( Anthiyam pOthu ) . The Lord of DevAs , IndrA , Brahma , Lord SivA are all assembled here and they are reciting Veda manthrams like Purusha Sooktham and are carrying celestial flowers ( Kalpaka flowers) in their hands for conducting Your worship . They are present in an invisible form that can not be seen by the mortals of ThiruveLLarai and are waiting for Your command to appear before You one by one to receive Your blessings . O Lord presiding over ThiruveLLarai divya desam with its multi-storied mansions and the righteous ones , who are skilled at singing the praise of Your matchless beauty ! Please come near to perform sandhyA rakshA for You .

Paasuram 2 : KanrugaL illam puhundhu ---

O Lord presiding over Your divine residence surrounded by mighty walls at ThiruveLLarai ! It is evening time . The Kshudra ( ugra ) devathAs are roaming around at the four corners of the street . Please do not go into the streets at this dangerous time . Please listen to my good counsel . You are not displaying any affection to me , not even that amount of affection shown by the calves towards their mothers . I am crying over Your safety and well being at this delicate hour like the cows missing their calves at evening time , when they want to shower their dear ones with nourishing milk flowing out of their full udders . Please do not get near the junction of the streets , where the four streets come together ! Please come here so that I can perform RakshA for You against these lurking evil spirits .

Paasuram 3 : seppOthu menmulayArgaL ----

O Lord of ThiruveLLarai ! O swami , who was born to rule over me ! You are the one , who is eulogized during the three sandhis ( dawn , noon and dusk ) by the DevAs . When You destroyed the sand castles of the young girls , I got angry at You and shouted at You . When I became angry over Your mischievous pranks , You were afraid that I will catch You and punish You and You ran away from me. You stayed away from Your dinner . Now I wont speak any harsh words . Please come near so that I can perform sAyam RakshA for You .

Paasuram 4 : KaNNil MaNal kodu ----

O my KaNNA ! O Lord standing at ThiruveLLarai ! O the mischevious one , who engages in teasing every one , who crosses Your path ! O my beautiful one with the enchanting complexion of the blue ocean ! O generous one with Your profound anugrahams for Your devotees ! O my Boy ! the vast multitude of Your playmates assembled here complain that You threw sand in their eyes and kicked them further with Your legs . Please cease and desist from these unwelcome pranks of Yours and come here so that I can perform RakshA for You .

Paasuram 5 : PallAiravar ivvUril ----

O my little one who acts as a lightning rod for everyone's complaint ! In this town of five lakhs of people , it is possible that there are a few thousand , who engage in harmful pranks . Inspite of it , all the complaints of the citizens of ThiruveLLarai land at our door . Please do not expose Yourself to temptations to engage in mischief ! O Lord who has elected to preside over the divya desam of ThruveLlarai , where the righteous ones live ! O resplendent flame of true knowledge ( Jn~Anam ) ! Please come here and accept this eulogy about Your kalyANa guNAs and subhAsrayam to ward off the lurking danger in the evening air .

Paasuram 6: Kanjan karukkondu -----

O Lord of ThiruveLLarai presiding over Your lofty temple where the high clouds brush against ! Please come from Your divya desam to my side so that I can perform rakshA for You during this evening sandhi . I have heard that the evil Kamsan has ordered the red-haired demoness , Puthanai , to kill You by taking on the guise of a caring mother intent on brast feeding You ! Hence I am frightened over Your standing at the junction of the four roads , where she is most likely to appear . Please stay away from there and let me perform mangaLAratthi for Your RakshA . Please come here so I can protect You from these dangers .

Paasuram 7 : KaLLac chakadum Maruthum ------

O Lord of matchless beauty presiding over the divya desam of ThiruveLLarai ! the evening time has come . The evil sakatAsuran came at the side of Your cradle to kill You and You kicked him with Your tender feet and destroyed him ; next , You crawled between the pair of YamaLArjunA trees and with Your legs , thighs and shoulders pushed against them and brought them to ground and removed their curse . After that You sucked the life out of PuthanA through Your pretense that You are accepting the milk from her breast . These dangers piled up one over the other. I do not know anymore as to what else is waiting for me to be scared about . Evening sandhyA has approached . Ugra devathAs are roaming about. Please come here so that I can perform the sandhyA rakshA to protect You against any harm that might come Your way .

Paasuram 8: Inbamathanai UyartthAi ! --------

O Lord who has filled me with rapture over the thought of Your wonderous deeds during Your incarnation as my son ! O Lord dear to the devAs , who constantly meditate about You ! O the powerful one , who killed the mighty royal elephant of King kamsa! O valourous one , who stood like the destroying fire in the frightened heart of kamsA ! O rich one basking under the radiant golden ramparts of Your beautiful temple at ThiruveLLArai ! O independent one , who does not take orders from anyone ! The fearsome Goddess Durga is roaming about the junction of the four directions with the skull and trident in Her hands at this time of evening sandhyA . Please do not roam outside now and come to the safety of my side . I will perform SaayarakshA pujA for Your protection .

Paasuram 9 : Irukkodu neer sanghil ---

O Lord residing in the divya desam populated by the righteous ones known for their austerities ! O Lord intent on performing pranks without cessation ! Please do not go near the four junctions , where Ugra devathAs are assembled at their appointed hour of sandhyA Kaalam . Please listen to the words of Your mother even for few minutes and pay heed ! The brahmins have assembled here with holy water in their conches to perform rakshA for You through the recitation of Veda manthrams like Purusha Sooktham . Please accept the protection that they are offering You . I will also light the evening lamp , which will reveal further Your incomparable beauty .

Paasuram 10 : pOthamar selvakkozhundhu ----

MahA Lakshmi with Her traditional seat in the red lotus ( Pankayacchelvi ) is the treasure house of all wealth and She is the principal consort of PundareekAkshan of ThruveLLarai . She is the one who abandoned Her normal place of residence , the red lotus and decided to stay in the chest region of Her Lord forever . PeriyAzhwAr enjoyed the blissful expeience of YasOdhA piratti pleading with her dear son to accept Saaya RakshA and described it in the form of the ten verses . These verses of PeriyAzhwAr , whose whole livelihood was about performing MangaLAsAsanam for the Lord will chase away on recitation the enemies of bhagavadanbhavam for His devotees .