Faith

Role of Nappinnai

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Andal, in Her Tiruppavai, imagines Herself to be a Gopika and approaches Lord Krishna. She seeks the help of Nappinnai in placing Her request before the Lord. But who is Nappinnai?

In every avatara, the Lord has His Consort with Him. In the Rama avatara, Sita is His Consort. In the Varaha avatara, Bhu Devi is His Consort. In the Krishna avatara, the Azhvars see Nappinnai as His main Consort, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. She is the incarnation of Neela Devi. The word ‘pinnai’ is to show that She is the One who comes after the Lord’s two main Consorts — Sri Devi and Bhu Devi.

The Azhvars, through their verses, celebrated Krishna’s childhood days in Gokula and it is Nappinnai who figures most of the time in their verses.

Periyazhvar, the foster father of Andal, wrote many verses that talk of Lord Krishna’s growing years. The Azhvar imagines himself to be Yasoda, nurturing Krishna. He coaxes the child to bathe and to eat.

In a series of verses, Periyazhvar, imagining himself to be Yasoda, tries his best to get Krishna to bathe. But Yasoda’s appeals go unheeded.

In one verse Yasoda says: “Krishna, you stole butter, and gorged on it and that butter covers your face. And then you went and played in the dust and there is a generous covering of dust on the butter. You are going to spend the night scratching, if you are going to be so filthy. I have the oil and tamarind ready for your bath. Come and have your bath.”

But Krishna still does not come. Then finally Yasoda says, “If you don’t bathe, Nappinnai will laugh at you and make fun of you.” That makes Krishna come running to her!

So Nappinnai was Krishna’s most loved wife. That is why Andal goes to Her for help, to get Krishna to heed the requests of the Gopikas.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:11:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/role-of-nappinnai/article19693931.ece

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