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As I discuss in this question, the famous Sri Vaishnava Acharya Ramanujacharya once visited the town of Thirukkolur in order to see the Vaithamanidhi Perumal Vishnu temple, when he saw a little girl walking out of the town. He asked her, given that everyone wants to go into to Thirukkolur to see Sriman Narayana, why would she ever want to go out of the town? She responded with a set of 81 statements, now known as the Thirukkolur Penpillai Rahasyam, or "the secret told by the little girl from Thirukkolur". She listed 81 great devotees of Vishnu, the implication being "Since I am not like these illustrious devotees, why does it matter whether I'm in Thirukkolur or not?"

Now in my question here, I asked about the sixth statement, concerning the demon Khandakarna who got Moksha by worshiping Krishna. But now I'm interested in the 52nd statement, "ingu illai enREnO dhadhipANdanaip pOlE", meaning "Am I like Dadhipanda who said 'He's not here.'?" The story as I understand it goes roughly as follows. Yashoda was once running to beat Krishna with a stick, for some mischief he had done. So Krishna asked Dadhipanda, a nearby yogurt vendor, to hide him in his yogurt pot. Dadhipandan agreed, and when Yashoda came there Dadhipandan lied and said "Krishna isn't here." When Yashoda left, Krishna asked to be let out of the pot, but Dadhipandan said her would only let him out if he gave Moksha to him and his pot. Krishna agreed, so Dadhipanda let him out. Here's how this web page describes it:

The name Dhadhipanda means one who has a large yogurt pot. Each day, Dhadhipanda would take a large pot of yogurt and go about selling it. In the evening, he would come back with the empty pot and rest outside his home. One day, Krishna was sitting in his mother Yashoda's lap and drinking milk. Suddenly she remembered leaving milk on the stove and she left Krishna and ran inside to take the milk before it got overheated. Krishna became angry at that and threw a stone on a pot containing ghee. When Yashoda returned, she saw the broken ghee pot while Krishna sat innocently nearby. She became angry at Him and called out to Him while brandishing a small stick. Krishna began to run crying and Yashoda started to run behind Him.

While running to escape His mother, Krishna saw Dhadhipanda and his pot. So, he told him "O Dhadhipanda! My mother is angry with me and she is going to hit me. Please hide me in your pot and tell her that you did not see me". So, Dhadhipanda hid Krishna in his pot. When Yashoda came there and asked if he had seen Krishna and if He was hiding there, he lied "He is not here". Believing him, Yashoda left. Krishna then called out from inside the pot "O Dhadhipanda! I am not able to breathe inside here. Please let me out". Dhadhipanda was graced at that time by the Lord and he realized that Sri Krishna was the supreme. So, he told Krishna "O Krishna! Only if You promise to give me moksha, will I let you out". After a short argument Krishna agreed to it Not satisfied, Dhadhipanda also asked for moksha for his pot and Krishna acquiesced. As promised, Krishna gave moksha to both Dhadhipanda and his pot. No one can say, upon whom the Lord's grace would fall. In the previous varththai, one saw that His grace fell on Prahlada who told that He was everywhere; in this varththai, it is seen that He gave moksha to Dhadhipanda who said that He was not there (near him).

Thirukkolur Ammal is asking "Did I say a lie (that He was not present nearby) for His sake, like Dhadhipanda did?"

My question is, what scriptures describe this story of Krishna hiding in Dadhipanda's pot and granting Moksha to Dadhipanda and his pot? As far as I can tell, it's not mentioned in the accounts of Krishna's childhood in the Harivamsa, Vishnu Purana, and Srimad Bhagavatam. Is it mentioned in any other Puranas? Is it at least mentioned in the Alwars' poems?

For what it's worth, the Sri Vaishnsava Acharya Vedanta Desikan alludes to the story in this excerpt from his Rahasyatraya Sara, in the course of describing Vishnu's boundless generosity:

Supreme generosity is the liberality in making gifts which makes a person feel that he has not done enough, even when he has given all that he has possesses without any thought of the slightest endeavor on the part of the person benefited, the greatness of the benefit conferred or the unworthiness of the beneficiary. This is a quality which induces men like Dadhibanda and others to ask with importunity the great benefits of spiritual life even for those who are connected with them.

Also, this forum post says that a Sri Vaishnava named Pillai Perumal Iyengar, who used to make garlands for the Ranganatha statue in Sri Rangam, once asked Vishnu for Moksha. This caused Ranganatha to get up from his lying down position and ask "Why do you think you deserve Moksha?" Pillar Perumal Iyengar responded "I'm not claiming that I deserve it, but you gave Moksha to Dadhipanda and his pot when they did not deserve it." Then Rangnatha lied back down!

But does anyone know if there's a scriptural basis for the story of Dadhipanda?

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    I don't remember where i saw this but saw this scene in a Video. BTW, how can insentient pot get Moksha? – The Destroyer Jun 21 '16 at 8:02
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    @TheDestroyer Well, even inanimate objects can have souls inhabiting them. In fact I think I've seen statements either in Hindu scripture or by Acharyas to the effect that any inanimate object which has a given name and form has a Jiva inhabiting it which remains with it as long the object maintains its name and form. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 21 '16 at 15:47
  • @Keshav Srinivasan - I read this episode in a book called " Lord ... at your call, anecdotes on Vishnu Sahasranama by V.S. Karunakaran swami" – user808 Aug 14 '16 at 17:11
  • @Keshav Srinivasan - Refer to this link. It says this episode appears in Bhagavatham..ibiblio.org/sripedia/srirangasri/archives/nov01/msg00009.html – user808 Aug 14 '16 at 18:41
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    @Krishna Hmm, I think that link is wrong, because the only place where the Bhagavatam describes Krishna's childhood is the 10th Skandha, and 10th Skandha seems to have no mention of Dadhipandan: vedabase.com/en/sb/10 Do you know if the Alwars ever mention the story? It's mentioned in both the Thirukkolur Penpillai Rahasyam and Vedanta Desikan's Rahasyatraya Sara, so it must be in some scripture. – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 14 '16 at 23:01
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I was unable to find a solid reference, but this book claims that it's narrated within the Mahabharata.

https://books.google.com/books?id=DOAoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA214

See note 52.

This Yahoo Answers thread seems to link it to the Vishnu Purana.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110302093727AAai56U

Good luck!

  • That book actually suggests three possibilities: the Agni Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Vrindavana Mahatmya. I'm quite sure it's not in the Mahabharata or the Vishnu Purana, but it may be worth checking the Agni Purana. I'm also not sure which Vrindavana Mahatmya the book is referencing, since I think multiple Puranas have Vrindavana Mahatmyas. In any case, that book is a reliable source of information as it was written by a descendant of one of the disciples of Ramanujacharya. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 16 '16 at 19:45
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    When referencing a blog or book, you need to provide a gist of what it says in the blog. Users on Hinduism.SE should not have to read linked blogs to understand your viewpoint. From How do I write a good answer: "Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline." – sv. Nov 16 '16 at 20:54

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