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Ambadi Paithal

Ambadi Paithal
[The Cowherd Baby]
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[This mellifluous simple prayer in Malayalam which is recited by the common man all over Kerala is supposed to be written by the great Poonthanam. If this is true, this prayer would be at least three hundred years old and is simple, composed in colloquial language and is surcharged with devotion to the baby Krishna. I feel sad that I do not know all the languages of India, so that I can read all such gems of prayers.]

Ambadi thannil oru unniyundangine,
Unnikku oru unni kuzhal undangine,
Uniiku peru unni Krishnan ennangine,
Unni vayathathu cheru mundangine,
Unni kai rendilum vennayundangine,
Unni kkal kondoru nruthamundangine,
Unni thalagal chilambumundangine,
Unni kkal rendum thudu thudeyennangine,

There was a child in the cowherd’ss house like that,
That child had a very small flute like that,
That child was called baby Krishna like that,
That child had marks of mud on his belly like that,
That child had butter in both his hands like that,
That child danced with both his feet like that,
That child’ss anklets had bells like that,
That child’ss feet were red and active like that

Unnikkuarugil oru yettan undangine,
Changathi maraya pillarundangine,
Sankaran koode pugazhthunnangine,
Vrundavanthil oragosham angine,
Peeli thiru mudi ketti kondangine,
Pichaka malagal charthi kondangine,
Perthumodakkuzhal minnumarangine,

That child had his elder brother nearby like that,
That child had several boys as friends like that,
That child was even praised by Lord Shiva like that,
There was a great festival in Brindavan like that,
That child had tied a peacock feather in his hair like that,
That child was wearing several jasmine garlands like that,
That child was having a shining flute like that,

Omanayaya thiru nethiyangine,
Thoomeyil nalla kurigalundangine,
Chitham mayakkum purigangalundangine,
Anjana kannuma nasayumangine,
Chenthondi vaay malar danthangalundangine,
Konjal thulumbum kavilinayangine,
Kundalam melle ilagumarangine,
Rathna kuzhalam vilichukondangine,

That child had a darling forehead like that,
That child had good marks on his body like that,
That child had black eyes and pretty nose like that,
That child had a very dark red lips and teeth like popped rice like that,
That child had a pair of cheeks which were bubbling with his lisp like that,
That child’ss ear studs were slowly shaking like that,
That child was playing on his gem studded flute like that,

Kande vilasunna kousthubamangine,
Visthruthamam thiru marumangine,
Oda kuzhal keli pongumarangine,
Kodakkal varnande eedugalangine,
Koodi kalichappol moodathayangine,
Peedichu pinne thiriyumarangine,
Gopikamarude geethangalangine,
Gopalakrishnande karunyamangine,
Aananda krishnane kanu marangine,

The child has a bright Kousthubha on his neck like that,
He also has a very broad chest like that,
He raises playful tunes in his flute like that,
The tunes of the boy who is of the colour of black cloud is like that,
When he played together he showed foolishness like that,
When affected and later take a round about change like that,
The songs of the gopis are like that,
The mercy of gopalakrishna is like that,
Seeing of the happy Krishna is like that,

Mohana moorthiye kanumarangine,
Kandu kandullathum theliyumarangine,
Kondal ner varnande leelagal aangine,
Vatta kalikku thuniyumarangine,
Vattathil ninnu sruthi pidichathangine,
Soothravum chodum pizhayatheyangine,
Nethrangal kondulla abhinayamangine,
Kanninnu kouthugam thonnumarangine,
Kannande poo mey ideyideyangine,
Thithithai yenna nruthangal aangine,

Seeing that bewitching form like that,
Seeing and seeing the truth clearly like that,
The playful acts of that one with black colour like that,
The child preparing for round game like that,
Standing round and keeping tune like that,
Without loosing his tricks and steps like that,
The acting he did with his eyes like that,
Which provided happiness to our eyes like that,
Seeing of flower like body of Krishna like that,
The dances were jumping hither and thither like that,

Trikkal chilabugal ocha poonadangine,
Manja poovada njori virichangine,
Kilu kile yenna aranjanangal angine,
Muthelum malakalodu marangine,
Trikkaigal rendum abhinayichangine,
Omal thiru mey ulayumar angine,
Kundalamadum kavil thadamangine,
Thoomadhuvolunna vaythiramangine,
Thooviyrapathoru nasigayangine,
Manikya kannum chuzhattikondangine,

The holy anklets making sound like that,
The yellow flower garment tucked properly like that,
The Kilu kilu sound of bells of the waist belt like that,
The chains in the waist with lot of pearls like that,
The two holy hands showing a pose like that,
The very dear body very tired like that,
The two ear drops touching the cheeks like that,
The mouth which is wet by purest of honey like that,
The nose without any holy sweat like that,
The pearl like eyes rotating like that,

Muthukulagal uthirumarangine,
Peeli thirumudi kettazhznjangine,
Pichaka thoomalar thoogumarangine,
Devakal thoogunna poo mazhayangine,
Devagal thakkum perum para yangine,
Kinkini ochayum thalathil angine,
Changathimarude pattugal angine,
Akasa marge vimanangal angine,
Chandranumuchayayi nilkumarangine,

He standing with pearls falling all round like that,
The tied hair with peacock feather getting untied like that,
The jasmine flowers being offered to him like that,
The flower rain being created by devas like that,
The big drums being played by devas like that,
The sound of bells keeping music like that,
The songs of his friends like that,
The planes flying on the skies like that,
The moon standing on the top like that,

Lokangal okke vilangumarangine,
Lokaika nadande geethangal aangine,
Aanada nrutham jayikkumarangine,
Vama pureswaran vazhgayennagine,
That swaroopam may thonnumarangine,
Thath pada yugme namaskarichudunnen angine.

All the worlds well lighted like that,
The songs of the lord of the world like that,
The dance of joy becoming victorious like that,
Let the great god be always victorious like that,
Let that form come in to my mind like that,
And I salute both his feet like that.

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