The Big Lord on the Big Mountains takes all shapes, human, su-human.

I will attempt to translate a tongue-in-cheek lyric by Annamacharya about his dear Lord Venkateswara’s (who is none other than Maha Vishnu) ten manifestations besides the one, foremost, as the little, lonely, nascent child floating around on a banyan leaf amidst the wildly swirling waters of the Great Deluge which wipes out the universe before a new one is created again. One is reminded of the description of the kid, holding his foot in his hand and putting it to his tender lips, in Bala Mukundaastakam, in this regard.
This lyric under subject by Annamayya appears to be an attempt by the playful devotee, Annamayya, to pull the leg of his Dear Lord for a bit of fun. No blasphemy here. We are not touchy.

The lyric could be a defiant rebuff by Annamayya, , a ‘Yes, what-if’, aimed at detractors of his religion from other new-fangled faiths, who chose to poke fun in these terms, on the mythology of his ancient religion.
After all, all religions have their own myths, not much different or are similar to those of the others.

The lyric is explained by Sri I.V.Sita Pathi Rao garu, at the following URL.
http://www.telugubhakti.com/telugupages/Monthly/Keertanas/Annmayya/PDFs/Teppaga.pdf

Here is my attempt at translation of this lyric into English.
My endeavor to translate the explanation by Sri Sita Pathi Rao also into English follows, the translation.

1) Using a banyan leaf as his boat, this little babe floats around, looking after the whole of the Universe for all time to come. 2) He has learnt to swim in the shallow waters of a puddle. 3) He sits firmly at the bottom of an old well,
4) He has thrust his snout underneath and lifted up a clod of earth 5) He wears several layers of someone’s intestines as his disgusting garland. 6) This guy is the younger brother of the fellow who crows like a cockerel. 7) In intellect he is like the one who smears ash over his own body. 8) He pursued gullibly after a gold-hued deer and suffered its wily magic. 9) He shepherded calves and cows and then grew mighty, by and by.
10) He flies around in the sky and he seduces the virtue of the ladies around the town. 111)He moves around, mounted on a horse.
12)Paired with the entrancing Sri Lakshmi shining like the moon, and, stationed for ever on the Venkata mountain this immense fellow is all these guys rolled into one.

Explanation line by line:
Here is a lucid explanation of the poem ‘Teppaga marraku’ by Sri I.V.Sitapathi Rao., in Telugu with a bit of my own ‘paityam’ thrown in for good measure.

1) The Eternal Preserver, Maha Vishnu is depicted here as the tiny child floating all alone in the fearsome deluge at the end of an older universe and before the creation of a new one.
2) When the demon Somaka , throws away the Vedas, (great scriptures embodying all the codified knowledge of all the sciences and arts), into the deluge, The Lord turns Himself into a fish and swims around in the water and restores them to the mankind.
3) When the ancient milky ocean was to be churned by the Manthara mountain , Sri Hari, turns Himself into a mighty tortoise,Adi Kurma, and sits securely at the bottom of the ocean, acting as a thrust bearing to support the mighty churnfrom slipping away.
4)When the earth is thrown away by the demon Hiranyaaksha into the great ocean, the Lord assumes the shape of a great white boar, lifts the earth up on his two gleaming tusks.
5) When the Demon, Hiranya Kasipu, persecutes and terrorises people, declaring himself to be the lord of the universe, to circumvent the impregnable boons that guard
the demon’s life, Sri Hari assumes the form of Narahari, la lionheaded man, rips the demon apart and in his wrath, adorns himself with the innards of the demon.
6)The lord of the celestials, Indra, being enamored of Ahalya, tries to trick away her husband, Gautama from her, by crowing like a cockerel, making the sage Gautama believe that it was already dawn and go off to perform his ablutions .
Sri Hari, in his manifestation as the young boy Vaamana, the son of Aditi is, so, considered to be the younger brother of the cockerel-throated Indra, 7) In his manifestation as the ash-smeared Siva’s devotee, Parasu Rama,
Sri Hari goes about annihilating the entire Kshatriya clan like a Rudra Siva, before he was stopped again by Sri Hari himself as Sri Rama.
8) This is a reference to the doting Rama who ventures forth to get the golden hued deer for his spouse Sita and suffers at the wiles of the demons later.
One is reminded of the song in Patala Bhairavi, where nature sympathises with the innocent Thota Ramudu, ( Rama in the woods),, and sings, ‘ Prema kosamai valalo padene Papam pasi vaadu). Maada is a gold coin.
9) Here is a reference to the simpleton cowherd Bala Rama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna, who becomes the King of the Yadavas.
You may have seen, in the movie Maya Bazar., the simple-mindedness of Bala Rama who gets easily duped by the flattering by his disciple Duryodhana and his wily uncle, Sakuni.
10) Here is a reference to young boy Krishna, who climbs high into the trees after stealing the clothes of the cowherd girls. There is veiled reference too, to his flying mount, the Great Eagle, Garuda.
11) The reference is to the Kalki manifestation, where the Lord prances about riding on a horse.
12) This line establishes Sri Venkateswara as the Supreme Lord Vishnu who had in the past had assumed the above not so impressive forms, in Annamayya’s inimitable satirical lyric.

The lyric in original, in Roman script follows.

Teppa ga marraku meeda telaadu vaadu, Yeppudu lokamulan-ellan yeleti vaadu Mota neeti madugulo yeeta garachina vaadu
Paatagile. nooti krinda baayani vaadu
Moothi dosi vatti-manti mudda pellaginchina vaadu
Roata yeina pegula perulu gala vaaadu

Kodi kootha nori vani kurra tammud-aina vadu
Boodida boosina vaani buddhula vaadu
Maada-vanne ledi venta maayala badina vaadu
Doodalan-aavula gaachi, dora yaina vaadu
Aakasana pare, voori-athivala maanamulu kaaku seyu vaadu.
Turagapu pai vaadu
Yekamai Venkata girin-Indira ramani goodi Ye kaalamu baayani yenaleni vaadu.

As I have mentioned in my post the other day, the lyric was set to music in Lalitha ragam by Sri D.Pasupathi and sung in a scholarly manner by Garimella. .I will try to get a clip of it for your reference.

Meanwhile here are two clips of the song rendered by Ms. Nitya Santoshini, in her sprightly bright manner. http://mail.omjai.org/Teppaga%20Marraku%20Paina%20-%20Audio
http://www.istream.com/tv/watch/135705/Teppaga-Marraku-Meeda

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About versa kay

Agile, keen, versatile,considerate,patient
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