Monday, June 10, 2019

Shame Shame - sahasra dhooshanam

An Overview of Periya Tirumadal

 • March 29, 1996

We have seen that the person performing madal ERudhal attempts to spread some gossip about his/her lover. parakaala naayaki, in siRiya thiru madal (STM) merely threatens what she is planning to do:

       …. thaamaraip pOR kaNNaanai eNNarum seerp 
       pEr aayiramum pidhaRRip perum theruvE 
       ooraar ikazhilum ooraadhu ozhiyEn naan 
       vaarrar poom peNNai madal.

       I will hurl thousands of unimaginable insults 
       at the lotus eyed one and thus blabbering, 
       I will ride the beautiful palmyra stem 
       through the big streets 
       even if the whole town speak ill of me!

We have heard of the 'sahasranaama' about Him, and in fact every aazhvaar seems to have mentioned about these complimentary epithets (aayira naamam solli, naamam aayiram Eththa ninRa naaraNaa, etc.) but this is a novel concept, this 'sahasra dhooshaNam'!

parakaala naayaki gives us some hint about what this novel sahasranama is, in periya thiru madal (PTM). Let me attempt to translate the relevent portions here:

The threat

        than aruLum aakamum thaaraanEl thannai naan 
        min idaiyaar sEriyilum vEdhiyarkaL vaazhvidaththum 
        than adiyaar munbum tharaNi muzhudhu aaLum 
        kol navilum vEl vEndhar koottaththum naattu akaththum 
        than nilaimai ellaam aRivippan …

        If he refuses me his grace, 
        I will expose him and his misdeeds 
        to the young women with narrow waists, 
        to the brahmins who chant the vedas, 
        to his very own devotees, 
        to the kings who rule the entire world, 
        to those brave soldiers with sharp spears, 
        and to the people in every city!

Now, we are intrigued. We can not stand the suspense anymore. We want the juicy bits of gossip. We beg parakaala naayaki for the inside scoop! What did He do?

The scoop

        ….   thaan muna naaL 
        min idai aaychchiyar tham sErik kaLavin kaN 
        thunnu padal thiRandhu thayir veNNey 
        than vayiRu aara vizhunga kozhum kayal kaN 
        mannu madavOrkaL paRRi Or vaan kayiRRaal 
        pinnum uralOdu kattuNda peRRimaiyum

        Once upon a time, stealthily, this thief 
        jumped the fence into a cowherdess' house. 
        While stealing and eating butter and curds, 
        the women with fish like eyes caught him redhanded. 
        They grabbed him and tied him tightly 
        with a small rope to a wooden mortar. 
        He was not even able to free himself!

Shame! Shame!

And then,

        annadhu Or boodhamaay aayar vizhavin kaN 
        thunnu sakadaththaal pukka perum sORRai 
        mun irundhu muRRa thaan thuRRiya theRRenavum

        Another time, during Indra's festival, 
        carts and carts piled up plenty of food. 
        Taking the shape of a huge imp, this man, 
        gobbled the entire lot of food! 
        Others didn't get even a single bite!

Shame! Shame!

And then,

        mannar perum savaiyuL vaazh vEndhar thoodhanaay 
        thannai ikazhndhu uraippath thaan muna naaL senRadhuvum

        Once upon a time, he was running 
        little errands for the mighty Pandavas! 
        The world laughed and made fun of him, 
        when he went as a messenger boy 
        to the courts of the Kauravas 
        full of proud Kings! 
        What a shame!

And then,

        mannu paRai kaRanga mangaiyar tham kaN kaLippa 
        kol navilum kooththanaayp pErththum kudam aadi 
        en ivan ennappadukinRa eedu aRavum

        To please the aayar women, he danced the kooththu, 
        with pots in his hands and a noisy little drum 
        tied to his waist! 
        The women laughed at him and his dance. 
        Oh! How shameful it was!

And then,

        then ilangai yaatti arakkar kulp paavai 
        mannan iraavaNan than nal thangai vaaL eyiRRuth 
        thunnu sudu sinaththuch choorppaNakaa sOrvu eydhi 
        pon niRam koNdu pularndhu ezhundha kaamaththaal 
        thannai nayandhaaLaith thaan munindhu mookku arindhu 
        manniya thiN eNavum ….

        When SoorppaNakaa, the beauty from Lanka, 
        Ravana's fond sister, with teeth sharp like daggers, 
        who is always angry at her enemies, 
        with uncontrolled passion and lust approached him, 
        this angry man cut her nose off! 
        He even thinks that is a great achievement!

How shameful! And then,

          ….. vaayththa malai pOlum 
        than nikar onRu illaadha thaadakaiyai maamunikaath 
        then ulakam ERRuviththa thiN thiRalum maRRivaithaan 
        unni ulavaa ulaku aRiya oorvan naan 
        munni muLaiththu ezhundhu Ongi OLi parandha 
        manniya poom peNNai madal.

        Just at the merest excuse, when Vishvamitra asked him, 
        he immediately dispatched the mountain like thaadakai 
        to the land of Yama! He does excel in killing and 
        maiming the women. What a brave kshatriya he is! 
        His brave acts like this are too many to count!

        I will make these deeds known all over the world 
        riding on a beautiful palmyra stem!

—Badri Seshadri

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