October 8, 2009

Devotion unparalleled

This is a very old story but one of my favourites. Its the story of an once obscure poet Poonthanam Namboodiri who later attained the unenviable status as one of the most favoured devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan. The story goes that Poonthanam wrote a poem in Malayalam in the Lord's glory and wanted the famous Narayana Bhattatiri to read it and offer comments and suggestions. Apparently, Bhattatiri who was the famous sanskrit scholar at that time, the one who wrote the Narayaneeyam, sneered at Poonthanam and said he would not read anything in as lowly a language as Malayalam.

The story goes that, that evening, when Bhattatiri was preparing to recite the Narayaneeyam, a small boy came home to join him. And after reciting the first verse, the small boy pointed out a mistake. Bhattatiri accepted it and moved over to the second verse. The small boy pointed out to two mistakes and three mistakes in the third verse and so on... Soon, Bhattatiri realised that this boy was the Lord Himself and prostrated before HIM. The boy then tells Bhattatiri that the Lord knows no difference between languages and what was more important to HIM was the Devotion.

Bhattatiri is supposed to have then called Poonthanam immediately and heard the poem which was flawless. It is said that this was the Lord's way of kindling humility in Bhattatiri.
This is the poem -

kaNDu kaNDen irikken janangaLE kaNDinennu varuttunadumbhavAn

reNDu nAlum dinam konDuruttanE tanDiletti naDatunnadumbhavAn
mAniDamuvEyil EriyEDa tOLil marappu kETTunnadumbhavAn
krSNa krSNA mukundA janArdhanA krSNa gOvinda nArAyaNa harE

eNNi eNNi kuraiyum idAyittum maNDi maNDi karErunna mOhavum
itta OrOru cindittirukkavE cattu kOvunnu shivs shivs 
krSNa krSNA mukundA janArdhanA krSNa gOvinda nArAyaNa harE 

kUDiyella pirakkum nerattum kUriyella marikkunna nErattum 
madhyE ingaNe kAnunna nErattum mattarikkunna dendinnunAmruta 
krSNa krSNA mukundA janArdhanA krSNa gOvinda nArAyaNa harE 

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