BULL BAITING AND ŚRĪ KṚṢṆA & IDENTIFICATION OF NAPPINNAI

          We know that bull baiting is famous in Tamilnadu and the conqueror will be bestowed with daughter of the bull’s owner. The sport is called as Jallikkaṭṭu inTamil and the same is referred as Eṙu Taḹuval in the ancient Tamil literature. Such incident is seen from the story of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Harivaṃśa and Bhāgavata purāṇas give this story.

          Kumbhaka was the brother-in-law of Nandagopa. He was residing at Mithilā with his huge cattle. He was the younger brother of Yaśodā. He had a wife by name “Dharmadā”. He was blessed with a son “Śridāmā” and a daughter “Nīlā”. His son was the embodiment of good qualities whereas his daughter was on beauty. She was like a damsel on the earth. So many kings asked Kumbhaka to give his daughter.

          Meanwhile, seven sons of Kālanemi, a demon, were subdued by Viṣṇu during the battle between Devas and Asuras, wanted to kill Viṣṇu by any means. They knew that Viṣṇu incarnated as Kṛṣṇa and dwells in Gokula. Hence they took the form of bulls and joined in the kettle of Kumbhaka. They ate all the grass and killed the cows of others. The subjects made a complained to the king Mithilāvarmā and he enquired Kumbhaka. He ordered Kmbhaka to subdue the bulls failing which he would be punished along with his kin.

          At the night, he tried to control the bulls with the help of the gopas. But the bulls were uncontrollable and they killed some of the gopas. Kumbhaka was shocked and he made a statement that he would give his daughter Nīlā to him, who destroys these bulls. So many gopas including Nandagopa with his sons came there. Kumbhaka was very happy by seeing Nandagopa and his sons Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. He offered hospitality to them.

          At the night, the bulls came and killed the those who tried to subdue them. Kumbhaka announced that Nīlā will be gifted for him one who destroy the bulls. By seeing her beauty, some tried to contest, but they couldn’t succeed.

          Then śrī Kṛṣṇa raised and told Balarāma that these are the sons of Kālanemi and should be killed by him only. He pledged to kill them and to get Nīlā. He went before the bulls. By seeing him, they came with a great wrath to kill him. But he killed one in just a few seconds and another one was killed in next few seconds. He killed all other by his beating them with his wrist.

Then he got the hands of Nīlā and was gifted with thousand cows and buffalos. Nandagopa accepted the gifts and took Kṛṣṇa, Nīlā and others.

This story is explained thus.

We have a special character called “Nappiṉṉai” in Tamil literature whose identity is disputable. Nappiṉṉai is referred in Cilappatikāram, Cīvakacintāmaṇi, Tiruppāvai and in the verses of Periyāḹvār.

The identification of Nappiṉṉai could be this Nīlādevi since the definitions look like. Some scholars made this identification and seems to be correct.

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