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English Versification of Tamil devotional songs-2

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Active member
The Message of Gita in Ordinary Tamil

In ordinary, commonplace language, Kannadasan delivers the message of the Gita, through a song by Kannan (the affectionate name for Krishna in Tamil), a role cut out for the great veteran N.T.RamaRao, who did it wonderfully well in the movie 'Karnan'. The song was sung in his uniquely grand voice by Sirkazhi Govindarajan, adding perhaps the best value to it.

Here is the song in Unicode Tamil:[/b]

மரணத்தை எண்ணிக் கலங்கிடும் விஜயா!...
மரணத்தின் தன்மை சொல்வேன்!...
மானிடர் ஆன்மா மரணம் எய்தாது...
மறுபடிப் பிறந்திருக்கும்!...
மேனியைக் கொல்வாய்... மேனியைக் கொல்வாய்...
நீ விட்டுவிட்டாலும் அவர்களின் மேனி,
வென்றுதான் தீரும்... ஓர் நாள்... ஆஆஆஆஆ

என்னை அறிந்தாய், எல்லா உயிரும் எனதென்றும் அறிந்து கொண்டாய்!
கண்ணன் மனது கல் மனதென்றோ...
காண்டீபம் நழுவ விட்டாய், காண்டீபம் நழுவ விட்டாய்!
மன்னரும் நானே, மக்களும் நானே,
மரம் செடி கொடியும் நானே...
கொன்னவன் கண்ணன், கொல்பவன் கண்ணன்...
துணிந்து நில், தர்மம் வாழ்க!

புண்ணியம் இதுவென்று உலகம் சொன்னால்
அந்தப் புண்ணியம் கண்ணனுக்கே!...
போற்றுவார் போற்றலும், தூற்றுவார் தூற்றலும்,
போகட்டும் கண்ணனுக்கே!...
கண்ணனே காட்டினான், கண்ணனே தாக்கினான்,
கண்ணனே கொலை செய்கின்றான்!...
காண்டீபம் எழுக, நின் கைவண்ணம் எழுக,
இக் களமெலாம் சிவக்க, வாழ்க! ஆஆஆஆஆ...

பரித்ராணாய ஸாதூநாம், விநாஷாய ச துஷ்க்ருதாம் |
தர்ம ஸம்ஸ்தாபநார்தாய, ஸம்பவாமி யுகே யுகே ||

Here is the transliteration of the song, using the Baraha software scheme which is similar to the ITRANS Sanskrit transliteration scheme:

maraNattai ENNik kala~ggiDum vijayA!...
maraNatthinx tanxmai cOlvenx!...
mAnxiDar AnxmA maraNam EytAtu...
marxupaDip pirxantirukkum!...
menxiyaik kOlvAy... menxiyaik kOlvAy...
nI viTTuviTTAlum avarkaLinx menxi,
vEnxrxutAnx tIrum... or nAL... AAAAA

Enxnxai arxintAy, EllA uyirum EnxatEnxrxum arxintu kONDAy!
kaNNanx manxatu kal manxatEnxrxo...
kANDIpam nazhuva viTTAy, kANDIpam nazhuva viTTAy!
manxnxarum nAnxe, makkaLum nAnxe,
maram cEDi kODiyum nAnxe...
kOnxnxavanx kaNNanx, kOlbavanx kaNNanx...
tuNindu nil, dharmam vAzhga!

puNNiyam iduvEnxrxu ulagam cOnxnxAl
andap puNNiyam kaNNanxukke!...
porxrxuvAr porxrxalum, tUrxrxuvAr tUrxrxalum,
pogaTTum kaNNanxukke!...
kaNNanxe kATTinxAnx, kaNNanxe tAkkinxAnx,
kaNNanxe kOlai cEykinxrxAnx!...
kANDIpam Ezhuga, ninx kaivaNNam Ezhuga,
ik kaLamElAm civakka, vAzhga! AAAAA...

paritrANAya sAdUnAm, vinAShAya ca duShkrutAm |
dharma samsthApanArthAya, sambhavAmi yuge yuge ||

Here the song in normal transliteration, side by side with an English version that I have made up to nearly match the tune of the original Tamil song:

Maranatthai ennik | kalanngidum Vijaya!...
Maranatthin thanmai | solven!...
Maanidar aanmaa, | maranam eidhadhu...
Marupadip piranthirukkum!...
Meniyaik kolvaai, menaiyaik kolvaai...
Veeratthil | arumbondru,
Nee vittuvittaalum avargalin meni,
Vendruthaan theerum... ohrnaal... ahahah...

Thinking of death | and fri-ghtened, O Vi-ja-ya!
The nature of death, | shall tell you now!...
The human so-ul, | will never be de-ad...
but re-born some other ti-me!
The bo-dy you kill it... the bo-dy you kill it...
In valour, | will bloom a bud,
Though you leave 'em now, | all their bo-dies,
be conquered for sure... | some day... ahahah...

Ennai arindhaai, | ella vuyirum | enathendrum | arindhu kondaai!
Kannan manadhu | kalmanadhendro...
Kaandeepam | nazhuva vittaai, | aandeepam | nazhuva vittaai!
Mannarum naane, | makkalum naane,
Maram sedi kodiyum | naane...
Konnavan Kannan, | kolbavan Kannan...
Thunindhu nil, | dharumam vaazhga!

You came to know me, | all these lives | are mine, have known | that too!
KaNNan's heart's | a stony heart you thought so...
and the KaN-deepam,* | you let it slip, | KaN-dee-pam | you let it slip!
I am the mo-nar-ch, | I am the sub-jects,
And the tree, plant, and creeper | am I...
Who killed was KaNNan, | and who kills now is KaNNan...
So bravely stand up, | long live DharmA!

Punniyam idhuvendru | ulagam sonnaal...
Andhap punniyam, | Kannanukke!...
Potruvaar | potralum, | thootruvaar | thootralum,
Pogattum | Kannanukke!...
Kannane kaattinaan, | Kannane thaakkinaan,
Kannane | kolai seigindraan!...
Kaandeepam ezhuga, | nin kaivanmai | ezhuga,
Ik kalamelaam | sivakka, | vaazhga!...

puNNiyam* is this one, | if the wor-ld says so...
That puNNiyam | to KaNNan only!...
The praise of those | who praise you, and blame of those | who blame you,
Let all that to | KaNNan only!...
KaNNan only showed the way, | KaNNan only assaulted them,
KaNNan only | murders them now!...
Let the KaN-dee-pam rise to, | let your strength of hands | rise to,
And redden all | this battlefield, | hail you!, ahahah....

paritrAnAya sAdhUnAm, | vinAShAya cha dushkRtAm |
dharma samsthApanArthAya, | sambhavAmi yuge yuge ||


1. Kannan ('kaNNan') - The Tamil equivalent of the name of Krishna ('krshna'). The term 'kaN' in Tamil stands for the eye, thus 'kaNNan' is one who is the eye and its light.

2. Kandeepam ('kANdIpam') - The Tamil for the Sanskrit term 'gANdIva' that refers to the Arjuna's bow, given to him to by Agni, the fire god.

3. puNNiyam - Sanskrit 'puNya'; I have retained the Tamil form instead of translating it as 'meritorious' the usual English equivalent, that does not quite convey the meaning.

4. The song can be listened to online at:


Active member
Today is KrishNa Jayanti. Let's sing a song that celebrates his childhood lIlAs!

tAyE yashodE

Sri UtthukkADu Venkatasubbaiyar (aka UttukkADu VenkaTa-kavi), a great devotee of SrI KrishNa, who lived in the beginning of the 18th century in a small town called UtthukkADu in Tamilnadu, composed divinely melodious songs based on the KarnAtic music, on the lIlAs of SrI KrishNa, specially towards the GopIs. One among them is the song 'tAyE yashodE' sung in KarnAtic and devotional concerts by almost every artiste to this day.

Here are some links devoted to this great devotional poet:
Oothukadu.com-The Site to dedicated to Oothukadu Venkata Kavi
Indian Music and Philosophy

The scenario of the 'tAyE yashodE' (O Mother YashodA) song is as follows:

A young GopI (cowherd's wife, milkmaid) describes to YashodA, how her son, the young boy KrishNa, 'behaved' with her, doing mischief, pranks and tricks that culminated in a miracle.

This Tamil song can be heard online/downloaded at the following locations:

• A video of YesudAs singing this song with a beautiful sequence of KriShNa lIlA pictures:
sri krishna thaye yashoda - Kamran Web Videos

• A video of PriyA Sisters singing this song can be seen here:
Priya Sisters Thaye Yashoda Todi Thalam Aadi Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaier - Related Indian Videos, Bollywood Videos - utube.smashits.com

• KarnAtic music buffs can listen to the classical version of the song sung by (I think) G.N.BAlasubramaNyam, here:
Thaye Yashoda (Thodi) - eSnips, share anything)

With all humility I have attempted an English as well as a Hindi (!?) versification of this great and popular song. I present below the English versification in bold text, along with the English transliteration of the Tamil song, followed by the Hindu versification. The pauses in the song are marked with the symbol '|'.

*** *** ***

kriti: tAyE yashodE; rAga: tODi; tALa: Adi tALA

tAyE yashOdE undan | Ayar kulattuditta |
mAyan gOpAlakrShNan | sheyyum jAlattai kELaDi (tAyE!)

Mother yashOdA your | cowherd clan in born |
mAyan gOpAlakrShNan, | the dazzles he performs listen! (Mother!)

taiyalE lELaDi undan | paiyanai pOlavE inda |
vaiyaghattil oru piLLai | ammamma nAn kaNDadillai (tAyE!)

Young woman listen | your boy alike in the |
world over a boy | O mama, I haven't seen! (Mother!)

charanam 1:
kAlinil shilambu konja | kaivaLai kulunga muttu |
mAlaigaL ashaiyat- | teru vAshalil vndAn |

Anklets in legs all jingling, | bangles all jolting and pearl |
necklaces swaying, | He came to the threshold!

vanOrgaLellAm magizha | mAniDarellAm pugazha |
nIla vaNNak-kaNNanivan | nartanamADinAn

All the heavenly in bliss, | all the earthling in praise, |
that cerulian KaNNan he, | danced all the way!

bAlanenru tAvi aNaittEn | aNaitta ennai |
mAlaiyiTTavan pOl vAyil | muttamiTTaaNDi

I leapt and hugged that little boy; | me who hugged him |
like a spouse who garlanded me | he kissed in my mouth!

bAlanallaDi un maghan | jAlam migha seiva dhellAm |
nAlu pErgal kETka chollal | nANamigha lAgudaDi (tAyE!)

Not a boy is your son, | this frolic all that he performs |
to say it to the others | only shyness takes over me! (Mother!)

caraNam 7
MunthaanaL anthi nEraththil | sontham udan kittE vanthu |
VinthaigaL anEgam seithu | viLaiyaadinaan-oru |
PanthaLavAgilum veNNai | thanthAl viduvEn enRu |
Munthugilaith thottizhuththup | pOraadinaan

The day before in the evening | with kinship he came near |
dazzles a lot he showed | and sported with me! At least |
a ball-size much of butter | give me and I'll leave you, |
he seized my upper clothing | and grappled with me!

Antha vAsudEvan ivan thaan | adi yasOdhE! (3)

O that VAsudevan only he | hey YashodA! (3)

Mainthan enRu thottu izhuththu | madi mEl vaiththEn vaiththAl |
Sundara mugaththaik kaNdu | sinthai mayangum nEram |
indira jAlangaL pOla | IrEzhulagam kATTinAn | (2)(tAyE!)

Like my son I dragged him to me | and kept him on my lap then |
that captivating face I saw and | gave in my heart at that time |
Indira JAlams just as | those fourteen worlds he showed me there! (Mother!)

*** *** ***

With even more humility and hesitation, I present below my Hindu versification of the song. Since my Hindi is only sketchy (learnt from high school study and movies), I would be happy if our Hindi-knowing friends here could make corrections to the text.

hey mA YashodA ApkA | gvAlA kulam mE paidA |
mAyan gOpAlakrShNan, | kyA jAdU O kartA suno (hey mA!) |

gorI yE suno ApkA | bAlaka jaisa yE sArE |
duniyA mein Ek hi bAla | O mAtA mein dekhA nahi (hey mA!) |

pairOn mE pAyal jhanjhan | chUDiyA jhaTkE mOtI |
mAlAOn sab jhukAtE | vah dEhalI mein AyA |

UparvAlE khushI hokE | aur nIchEvAlE sarAhE kE |
nIla-rangE kRuShNa vah tO | nAchtE gAyE |

bAlak sOchkE kUdkE chipaTA | jo chipaTA mujhE
mAlA-DAlA pati jaisE | mErE muh mE chUmA |

bAlak nahi tEra bETA | jAdU bahut kartE sArE |
narIyon jO pUchE to bolnA | sharamAti bahut mujhe | (hey mA!) |

kal kA pahlE din mein shAm kO | saMbandha sE mErE pAs Akar |
Ashcharya kayi karkE | mujh sE kElA aur Ek |
gEnd jaisE makkhan | diyA nahi to chOdUngA nahin |
mErE pallu kO pakaDkE | vah kushtI laDE |

vahhi vAsudevA yahi hai | hey YashodE (3)

bETA samajkar pakaDkE kInchE | aur gOd mEin bitAkar uskO |
vah sundara chEhrE dekhE | jab dil diyA mein nE tab |
indira jAlam jaisE | vah chaudah lokEn dikhAyA | (hey mA!) |

*** *** ***
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