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Song: illai illaiyammaa

illai illai amma
raagam: mOhanam

28 harikaambhOji janya
Aa: S R2 G3 P D2 S
Av: S D2 P G3 R2 S

Composer: OotukkaaDu VenkaTasubbaiyer
Language: Tamil


Illai illai illai ammaa
Iththanai pEr solvathellaam aththanaiyum poyyE (illai)


Thollai ivvazhakkuch chonnaar innavargal yaarum
ThuNivaagap poyyaich chonnaar aanaalum kELum
Allai ninRa thOzhargaLaik kEttup paarum- kEttu
Aana pinnar thaNdanaigaL vENavaraith thaarum (illai)

caraNam 1

Naalu pErgaL kEtkach cholla naaNam aaguthenRaar - antha
Nangaiyar perun koottaththil solli ninRaar
Maalaiyittavan pOl vaayil muththam ittEn enRaar antha
Vazhakkum arivEnO ammaa vaarththaiyai nambaathE summaa (illai)

caraNam 2

Virunthinar vaayil poosa veNNai kaaNumaa
VeNNai poosum varai avar thoonga vENumaa
Marunthukkum paagalil neyyum vadiyumaa- intha
Vaarththaiyinaik kEttu neeyum nambalaagumaa - (illai)

caraNam 3

Thannillam marantha antha peNNaik kELum, EdhO
Dhayavaal koNarnthu vittEn antha naaLum
InRithai maranthu inGe vanthu sonnaalum
En antha peNNaik kootti varak kaaNum athaik kELum (illai)

caraNam 4

PiLLai kiLLi vittEn enRu sonnaar poyyai
VENumenraal nanRaaip paaru enthan kaiyai
ULLa nagam onRu koodak kaiyil illai
UNmai enRu nambinaalO onRum illai ammaa (illai)

caraNam 5

Aarum ilaa nEram paarththu innavarin veettu
AmmE ammE enRu kaththum kural kEttu anthak
KaariLam kanRu oottath thavippathaip paarththu
KaRRuk koduththEnammaa kathaiyai nambaathE summaa (illai)

caraNam 6

Vaayil veNNai vaiththirunthaal pEsa varumaa antha
Vazhakkum meyyaay irunthaal kObham varumaa
Thaayaana unnidam vanthu solla vENumaa
Thavam seithum ivarukkup peN illai pOdhumaa (illai)

caraNam 7

Aadina panthai oLiththu allal seithaar
AriyEnE enRu saththiyam seithaar
ThEdina panthukku sari veNNai thaarum enREn- athaith
Thiruttuththanam enRu solli karuththai maraiththaarE thaLLi (illai)

caraNam 8

Aththai veettu vazhi kEttEn aththanaiyum meithaan
Aaththangarai vazhi kEttEn aththanaiyum meithaan nilaa
MuRRaththukku vazhi kEttEn ammaa aanaal ivaL
Muththaththukku enRu sonnaaL siththaththukkuL ennathaanO - (illai)

In this song, Krishna defends himself against the accusations of the gopis against him, speaking to his mother Yashoda. The verses parallel nicely with the words and stanzas of taayE yashOda, and the judgement of Yashoda is given in the song "pEshaadE pOngaLaDi."

pallavi: Oh mother, No, No, No. What all these people say, are all lies.

In the first sentence itself, all the accusations are totally denied, to force Yashoda to favor Krishna.

anupallavi: All these people say troublesome cases against me. They came up boldly with utter lies. In spite of that, I will answer each of these complaints. Oh mother! You can check up whether there is any truth in these complaints. All my friends are always with me, they witness every action of me, please check up with them, whether there is any truth in these complaints. If you find these gopees version is truth and there is substance in these complaints, I am ready to receive punishment as meted by you.

Krishna's boldness in refuting the complaints, calling and identifying the witnesses, readiness to receive the punishment etc, make Yashoda think kindly of him, in a way, that perhaps what he says is possibly the truth. Also the psychology considering the age of the defendant, that "a child will not tell lies" adds strength to his argument.

caraNam 1: responding directly to the first gopi's complaint in "taayE yashOda", Krishna says She, this gopee said, if this matter is to be shared with many, then it is a shame. But she has already announced then, that too in a very big crowd, that, I kissed her like her husband. Will any body announce in a big crowd how her husband kissed her. If she is really ashamed, how did she announce that in such a big crowd. That clearly indicates I am not the wrongdoer. She said I kissed her on the mouth like her husband. Oh mother, I do not know how to kiss. Further I do not know such a practice of kissing, like a husband, in the mouth at all. Please do not believe these words.

caraNam 2: Krishna responds to the second gopi's complaint, saying, Oh mother! Do you give me that much butter that after I eat all and there is some balance left out. Or is it true that I do get that much quantity of butter from others to apply in the face of the Guests. What I get is only a small quantity, what you give. That is not at all sufficient for me, neither to eat myself nor to share with my friends. Also why should they sleep till I apply butter in their face. Oh mother, you see, as soon as some body else touches a sleeping person they will getup. That is quite common. But these guests slept nicely as per their statement. That itself clears this accusation. Oh mother, even if you want for medicinal purposes, will that vegetable bitter gourd [paagarkaai- karEla] yield oil. How can you believe such a false accusation against me.

See the usage of proverbs and the common sense in a child's argument.

caraNam 3: When the third gopi speaks, Krishna replies, "Oh judge mother! Please ask where is that girl? Why this lady who accuses me has not brought the victim in front of you? That day, this girl forgot her house address and was wandering. It was fortunate on that day, that, I actually pitied her and led her to her house and thus prevented her from straying. Ok. Just for argument sake I accept the accusation. But please ask why this lady, who is accusing me, has not brought that affected girl here so that you can cross-examine her".

See the positive way in argument. Also the timeliness in asking, why the complainant is unable to bring the affected party as a witness. This adds to proving that he is innocent.

caraNam 4: Krishna says of gopi 4, She accused me that I pinched the child and made him [/her] cry. That is a lie. Oh mother! Please see my hand. There are no nails in my hand and all are nicely cut. Then how can I do that pinching and make him [/ her] cry. If you believe that, oh mother, nothing is there [to say].

caraNam 5: (continuing response to gopi 4's complaint) When nobody was there in the house of this lady, the calf at the backyard was making noise "ammaa ammaa". I was passing that side and heard that noise. I went and saw, why that calf is making noise. That is the basic nature of a cowherd, when he hears the sound of a cow or calf, to go and check why the cow is making noise. Actually the calf was struggling for sucking milk from its mother cow not knowing how to do that act. Since I do not want to see that calf struggling, I put the calf in position and taught how to get fed from mother cow. About that this lady unnecessarily accuses me. Please do not believe that story, Oh mother!

1. Every animal knows through its basic instincts, how to get fed from its mother even though it is just born. But here krishna argues, as though, he is to teach the calf. I feel at this stage, Sri OVS swami also puts us into the mould, that he, the supreme Lord, is the sustainer of all creations in this world, who teaches every thing in life. Without his grace even certain basic instincts naturally available to all will also go out of order.

2. It is clear by his claim that krishna teaches how to get fed from mother, meaning "without me you can not even know how to get fed from your own mother".

3. When krishna pointed out that the calf struggling for milk from its mother, this kindled very big thoughts in the minds of yasOdhaa. Since yasodha knows very well, how her son, that naughty krishna, "oruththi maganaaip piranthu Or iravil oruththi maganaai oLinthu valarbavan" [born to one in a night and brought to and brought up by another one] feels for his mother's love, she immediately realises that longing of krishna [vaathsalyam of krishna] towards that struggling calf.

4. The Kulasekara's dhEvaki pulambal [kulasekara aazhvaar's composition titled murmur of dhEvaki- krishna's mother] is worth recalling here, which is a kohinoor diamond in all his writings.

5. See the cleverness of the child krishna to encash that opportunity by touching that weak point for the judge herself.

Note: Kulasekara is one of the 12 aazhvaars [persons] who revived the bhakti movement in South India and regarded as incarnations of the different aspects of Naraayana himself. He sang 10 songs, taking the role of dhEvaki envying with yasodha, since she did not enjoy the young naughty childish pranks of krishna, but yasodha had that good luck to have krishna by her side to enjoy all these.

caraNam 6: (responding to gopi 6) Oh! Mother! If I had butter in my mouth will I be able to talk. Ok, just for argument sake, I accept that I asked for butter. If she has given me that much quantity, will I get angry with that person, who gave me so much. So this is simply a complaint for the sake of complaint, that too to my mother. Oh mother! You must know the fact that she has no daughter even after carrying out many a penance for begetting a child.

caraNam 7: (continued response to gopi 6) Oh mother I was playing with ball. She hid the ball some where. I searched for the ball everywhere and became tired. After teasing me for some time she gave me the ball. Ok, you teased me, but why not give me butter for the trouble, I had because of you I asked. She also gave me butter. Now she comes and unnecessarily accuses me as a thief of butter.

caraNam 8: (response to gopi 5) Yes. It is true, that, I asked the route to auntie's house. Yes. It is also true that I asked the route for the riverbank. Next I asked the route to the courtyard inside the house or playground where you can enjoy bright moon - nilaa muRRam. But this lady understood that muRRam [courtyard] as muththam -kiss. She perhaps is mentally not alright at that time. So, what can I do? Oh, Mother! Am I to be blamed?

See the pun in the words and capacity of krishna to twist words to his advantage. In tamil sometimes R is pronounced as th. Hence the pun.

Other information:
After this song, Yashoda gives her judgement in pEshaadE pOngaLaDi. Lyrics, meaning, and commentary by M.G. Vasudevan. Though taayE yashoda and illai illaiyamma are separate compositions, M.G. Vasudevan has cleverly composed the songs as a court case with defendant (Krishna) and prosecutors (gopis), illustrating the parallels in the two songs.

Further description here.

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updated on 03/23/2009