STRANGE AND RARE STORIES OF LORD KRISHNA
Tamil is a divine language. Probably it has more divine writings than any other language in the world except Sanskrit. Tamil Nadu is a land of the divinities. There are more Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu than any other state in India. Under Tamil Nadu Government control alone there are over 30,000 temples. One third of the 100,000 temples of the country are in Tamil Nadu. When north India suffered attack after attack from the time of Darius, South India was peaceful until fighting Pandya brothers invited Muslim invaders into Madurai in the 12th century. Until then Chozas, Pandyas and Chera Kings vied with one another in building bigger and bigger temples. Temples in Madurai, Thanjavur, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram and Rameswaram were touching the sky even before Americans contemplated sky scrappers.
Stranger is the Tamil literature which describes unknown stories of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. Neither Valmiki nor Vyasa or Sukar touched those incidents which the Sangam literature described. Later the Alvars, Tamil Vaidhnavite saints gave more stories about Lord Krishna.
The oldest part of Sangam Tamil literature, Pura Nanuru, which is 2000 year old, has two Rama anecdotes that are not found in Valmiki Ramayana. Kamban who adapted Valmiki in Tamil also differed from Valmiki in various places. The reason being Kamban talked about three different Ramayanas that existed in his time. Unfortunately we lost two Ramayanas and Valmiki alone survived. So we may guess that Kamban and other Tamil saints borrowed some stories or anecdotes from those two extinct Ramayanas.The incidents mentioned in the hymns of Alvars (Vaishnavite Tamil saints) also serve as missing links.
The strangest story is about one devotee called Dhadipandan (Yogurt/ curd potter). Krishna, known as Kannan in Tamil was stealing butter and curd from every house of the Yadava community. He also belonged to that Yadava community. Neighbors started complaining about his mischief, pranks and thefts. Yasoda, his foster mother, was furious. She was chasing him from house to house. But the clever and cunning Krishna always found a way out. Once he was about to be caught. Then Krishna begged to a cowherd to hide him. He also obliged. But when she was too close, he begged the man to hide him under a pot. So the man also cupped him with a big pot. He sat over the pot as if he was doing some work. Yasoda was fooled one more time.
When Krishna came to know that the chaser had gone he asked the man to let him out. Clverer than Krishna, the man asked him a promise from Krishna. He did not demand money. But knowing that Krishna was an Avatar (incarnation of God) he asked him to give him liberation- Moksha from the cycle of Birth and Deaths.
Krishna said, ‘Granted’.
But that fellow still did not release Krishna.
Now Krishna started begging,
Hey Man, I gave you what you wanted. Please get me out. That fellow became cleverer and cleverer. “Look this pot only helped me to get liberation. I must be grateful to this pot. So give Moksha to the pot as well”. Krishna had to yield to get his release. Just to get normal release Krishna had to give ‘real release’ for TWO and one among them is a solid mud pot!
This story which is not found in Bhagavatha (Life Story of Lord Krishna) or the Maha Bharata (The Great War of India/Bharat) is sung by several saints.
This is not the only story. The Bhagavatha Purana ( Biography of Krishna) is dated around Gupta period. But even before that 2000 year old Tamil literature mentioned the boyish pranks of Krishna on the banks of holy river Yamuna. The river is mentioned with the Tamil name THOZUNAI, which is the corrupted form of Dohna in Sanskrit(Akam.59). If the date of Bhagavatha Purana is correct, then Tamils can be prouder to have mentioned the pranks of Krishna on the banks of River Jamuna/Yamuna. Later lierature like the Tamil epic Silappadikaram also mentioned this.
There are a few more stories in Tamil ( I will give them separately)
Written by London Swaminathan