Thirukolur Pen Pillai Ragasiyam - 1
AZHAITHU VANDHENO AKROORARAI POLE
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
My dear children,
We are about to get started on a magical and mystical journey! Let us unravel the secrets behind the young yet wise little girl of Thirukkolur! Are you ready ?
As you all know, Our Emperumanar, Ramanujar travelled far and wide across India, visiting all the Divya Desams, enjoying and singing in praise of the deities of each holy temple! One such Divya Desam that He had visited was Thirukolur. This is where he chanced upon a little girl child, also famously known as Thirukkolur Pen Pillai.
Thirukkolur Pen Pillai was a humble girl. As she paid obeisances to the saint, prostrating at his feet. Pleased by her nature, Swami Ramanuja enquired where she was from. In response to his query, she replied in dismay "Swami, I am leaving this village!"
Surprised and curious, Emperumanar questioned her "My child, while everyone is eager to visit and remain in Thirukkolur, why do you want to leave ?". This is where the child begins to reveal her reasons in the form of 81 interesting statements making references to various great devotees! Are you curious to find out what her answers were ? Let us now look at her first response.
Thirukkolur Pen Pillai earnestly asked Swami, "Did I go on a Holy mission like the great devotee, Akroora?"
Who is Akroora? Why did he go on a holy mission?
There was once a cruel King, Kamsa who ruled over Mathura. He enjoyed torturing and troubling his subjects. One day, Kamsa heard a mystical voice warning him, “Oh cruel one, your sister’s 8th child will kill you!”. Angered and frightened, Kamsa jailed his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and kept them under scrutiny.
Kamsa would kill each child born to Devaki and Vasudeva, mercilessly. This happened with 6 new born children. The 7th child mysteriously disappeared from Devaki’s womb and instead found its place in the stomach of Rohini, the second wife of Vasudeva. Thus Rohini gave birth to Balarama. The 8th child, with divine intervention and a miraculous string of events, managed to escape from jail and made his way to Gokulam. Who was He? Well He was the darling of the Gopis of Gokulam, Lord Krishna Himself!
Evil Kamsa found out eventually that the 8th child of his sister had escaped his wrath and settled himself in Gokulam. He sent several demons, who were poisonous, fearsome and cruel, to Gokulam. Alas! None of them returned alive! Our darling little Kannan was having a gala time, destroying these demons; and entertaining and enchanting the Gopis with all of His Leelas. He was a simple cowherd but also one who stole the hearts of the innocent Gopis, dancing and playing with them.
10 years passed, Little Krishna and Balarama had grown into lovely young lads. Kamsa was frustrated over his futile efforts in destroying Krishna. Kamsa came up with yet another new plan, this time to get Krishna and Balarama to Mathura and then destroy them with his Royal elephant, Kuvalaya Peedam. He even had plan B, if Krishna were to escape the elephant, he would ask the strong wrestlers Mushtika and Chanura to do the job!
He instructed his Chief, Akroora to go to Gokulam to fetch Krishna and Balarama, lying to him that it was in invite for a Yagna. Nandagopar, Krishna’s father was to follow them bringing the items required for the Yagna. Akroora, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and a wise person, was eagerly awaiting an opportunity to meet with, befriend and embrace his Lord. When this opportunity presented itself, Akroora’s joy knew no bounds! Akroora, filled his horse carriage with gifts for His Lord and left hurriedly.
Amidst all his excitement, Akroora had an uneasy feeling at the corner of his mind. Kamsa, inviting Krishna for a Yagna? Knowing his master very well, Akroora felt there might be an agenda for Kamsa to harm his Lord. Yet, he set his fears aside and rushed to meet Krishna, an event his heart had been longing for.
As he reached Brindavan, the air was reverberating with Krishna’s presence. He heard the Gopis chanting, mesmerized, “Krishna, Krishna, Madhava, Madhusoodhanan, Govinda!”. He observed the Gopis always immersed in the thought of Krishna while carrying out their daily tasks. Akroora joins in this celebration of the Lord, rolling in the sands of Brindavan, where the holy feet of His Lord would have danced, played and run!
He then proceeded to Krishna’s house. At the sight of Akroora, the beautiful Krishna and Balarama came running towards him and the trio embraced each other with love! Krishna and Balarama invite Akroora into their home.
Just then Nandagopa arrived and greeted his friend, Akroora. As they inquired about each other, Akroora lamented to Nandagopa about the torture of the evil King Kamsa and conveyed that he had come to take Krishna and Balarama to the Yagna. Nandagopa requested Akroora to take the children to Mathura first, while Nadagopa would follow suit with the items required for the Yagna.
En route to Mathura, while passing the river Yamuna, Akroora stopped to do his evening prayer rituals, requesting Kannan and Balaraman to remain in the carriage safely. Akroora’s heart was filled with mixed feelings of joy and fear of what Kamsa might do to these lovely children. With deep anxious thoughts, Akroora approached river Yamuna for his prayers. As he dipped into the cool waters… What a sight!
He saw the image of the Lord resting majestically on Adhisesha in Anantasayanam! He could not believe his eyes, and his heart was filled with awe of the Lord’s beauty! Wait a minute, wasn’t Krishna in the carriage ? Akroora turned to look at the child in the carriage, yes he was still there happily chatting with his brother. He looked again in the waters and at the beautiful image! Aha!
And finally the wise Akroora understood - Krishna was none other than Lord Sriman Narayana himself and Balarama was an incarnation of the great Adhisesha! All doubts and fears disappeared from his mind!
Upon completing his prayers and when Akroora returned to his carriage, Krishna asked him mischieviously “Uncle, did you do your prayers well?”. Akroora looked at the all knowing Kannan, and answered “Yes, my dear. And all my prayers were answered, my doubts cleared! Kannan, what worries should I have while you are with me? I have understood your true identity!”. With a new found confidence Akroora proceeds to Mathura.
“Was I able to bring Lord Krishna, the way Akroora did, Swami? I did not! And hence I do not have the eligibility to be here in Thirukolur. Akroora was able to proceed to Mathura with Kannan and Balarama with complete faith in the Lord, but do I have that unshakeable trust in God? ” cries the child, Thirukollur Pen Pillai to Ramanuja!
Ramanuja, impressed with her devotion and sincerity, was eager to hear why else she felt she did not have the eligibility to remain in Thirukolur!
Swami said, “Dear child, I am eager to hear the story you plan to tell next. Who is the next person?”
Pen pillai replied; “Aham ozhindheno Vidhurarai pole?”
“Did I purify my heart like Vidura?”
Let us stay tuned to hear the next story of this lovely little child!