Daily Archives: December 21, 2014

thiruppAvai – 07 – kIchu kIchu

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In the second one of 10 wake-up pAsurams, they are waking up a gOpikA (who represents those) who knows bhagavath vishayam, but has forgotten about it now. She does not know that there is something better than bhagavath vishayam (i.e., knowing about and doing kainkaryam to emperumAn), which is bhAgavatha vishayam (i.e., knowing about and doing kainkaryam to the devotees of emperumAn).

[ Once, AtkONdavilli jIyar, who was a sishyA of emperumAnAr, had gone to see nanjIyar; nanjIyar prostrated and was standing, when this conversation happened: “I have not truly developed taste in bhagavath vishayam”;  “As an AchArya purusha, why are you thinking like this?”;  “True sign of interest in bhagavath vishayam is when we become very happy when we see bhAgavathAs (devotees)”. ]

==> This pAsuram refers to pEyAzhwAr. (At the end of this text, there is a detail about how this pAsuram refers also to kulasEkara AzhwAr (reverse order from periyAzhvAr)

கீசுகீசு என்றுஎங்கும் ஆனைச்சாத்தன் கலந்து
பேசின பேச்சரவம் கேட்டிலையோ பேய்ப்பெண்ணே
காசும் பிறப்பும் கலகலப்பக் கைபேர்த்து
வாச நறும் குழல் ஆய்ச்சியர் மத்தினால்
ஓசை படுத்த தயிரரவம் கேட்டிலையோ
நாயகப் பெண்பிள்ளாய் நாராயணன் மூர்த்தி
கேசவனைப் பாடவும்நீ கேட்டே கிடத்தியோ
தேசமுடையாய் திறவேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

kIchu kIchenRu engum AnaichchAththan kalandhu
pEsina pEchcharavam kEttilaiyO pEippEnnE!
kAsum piRappum kalakalappa kai pErththu
vAsa naRum kuzhal Aichchiyar
maththinAl Osai padhuththa thayir aravam kEttilaiyO
nAyagap pEN piLLAi nArAyaNan mUrthi
kEsavanaip pAdavum nI kEttE kidaththiyO
thEsam udaiyAy thiRavElor empAvAi

padha padhArtham
pEi peNNE! – you, the one without proper mind (even though you know the taste of bhagavath vishayam)
Anai-ch-chAththan – bharathvAja birds named valiyan (king crows)
kIchu kIchu enRu – (birds) making kIch sounds
engum – in all the directions
kalandhu pEsina – and are talking among themselves
kEttilaiyO – did you not hear that
pEchchu aravam – sound of their talking?
Aychchiar – (also) gOpikAs
vAsam narum kuzhal – (with) hair in their head with very good fragrance, (and with their)
kAsum – garland made with the shapes of kAsu (round coins-like) (அச்சுத்தாலி)
piRappum – and long garland made with the shapes of flower buds (முளைத்தாலி)
kalakalappa – these are making sound touching each other
kai pErthu – (as the gOpikAs) move their hands,
Osai padutha – and also noise is made
maththinAl – when using the churn stick,
thayir aravam – and the sound of curd
kEttilaiyO – did you not hear (them)?
nAyaga peN piLLAi – You who is the head of us gOpikAs!
pAdavum – as we sing
nArAyaNan mUrthy kEsavanai – about kaNNan who is the avathAram of nArAyAnan
nI kEttE kidaththiyO – are you still lying down?
thEsam udaiyAy – Oh the one with great thEjas,
thiRa – open your door.


The gOpikAs said “The day is dawning, so you wake up”; this gOpikA inside also asked “How do you say it is dawn. I don’t see any signs”. Now they reply,

kIchu kIchu enRu engum Anai-ch-chAtthan

“The Anai sAtthan bird (sparrow) is making the ‘kIchu kIchu’ sound” (which sounds like a baby’s sweet talk (மழலைப் பேச்சு (அநக்ஷர-ரஸமாயிருக்கை))

“Just one bird making noise doesn’t make it a dawn. It may be your house’s bird.”

“They are everywhere” (engum)

“You would have triggered them from their sleep”

“No, not because of us, they got up by themselves and they are making sound by themselves”

“How do you say that”,

kalandhu pEsina pEchchu aravam kEttilaiyO

“They are talking together, that is how we know. There are many birds and they are talking to each other”

“They were together the whole night, why are they talking to each other now”

“They would be separated during the day, they are talking to each other so that they could use that to sustain the day. Their sound makes it clear that they are not feeling too good about the separation; like how someone going away for 6 months into the sea would want to spend more time with his wife, these birds are also talking and being with each other. Have you not heard them? Dwelling in the thoughts of krishNan, you have not heard the birds”

Inner meaning: If a devotee were to go somewhere from the group of devotees, then these people would talk to each other to reduce their angst about that separation, and will think about it until that devotee returns; have you not heard them talking to each other?

pEip peNNE

She does not get up, saying You would always talk like this”.

They say “Knowing about bhagavath vishayam and bhAgavatha vishayam, you are still not getting up? You don’t have the gyAnam?”

“Instead of talking about what I lack, talk about the signs of dawning”

==> AzhvAr: In this pAsurm, pEi pEnnE refers to ‘pEi AzhwAr‘.  With his ‘thiruk kaNdEn [mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi]’ he talked about seeing the nAyagan (perumAn); his other pAsurams talk about krishNan’s sEshtithangaL (activites), and about krishNan marrying nappinnai pirAtti after fighting with the bulls.

kAsum piRappum (chain/garland made of coins, chain/garland made of those shaped like flower buds)

The coins, etc., from the chains worn in the women’s necks;

Inner meaning: thirumanthram, dhvayam and charamaslOkam (which we get from our AchAryan during samAshrayaNam) are heard together, and people are realizing their nature of being properties of emperumAn.


(gOpikAs) are making noise together when they are churning curd using the churning rods.

kai pErththu

and they are getting tired after churning. Tired because they are so rich with a lot of curd; due to their gentleness, it feels like churning a mountain; tired in their mind may be because krishNan is not around; actually may be because krishNan says that He would help them churn, and He sits opposite a gOpikA, and while the gOpikA tries to churn He holds her hands and does not allow her to churn freely because He does not want her to make curd into buttermilk (he likes curd; mOrAr kudam urutti [siriya thirumadal]), so her hands get tired.

vAsa naRum kuzhal Aichchiyar

because of exhaustion, their hair locks get undone and that sends sweet fragrance to fill everywhere.

maththinAl Osai paduththa thayir aravam kEttilaiyO

like how the ocean was churned making huge noise, these gOpikAs are churning curd and you are not hearing that great sound? The gOpikAs are losing themselves in the beautiful eyes of krishNan and are singing in praise of that, and they are churning this curd with all their efforts; their chains are making the clinging  noise, and all these sounds are becoming greater and greater and hitting the other worlds, and you are saying you don’t hear any sound!

Inner meaning for the above two phrases: srIvaishNavAs who are ananyArha sEshabUthars (they know that they belong to nArAyaNan emperumAn, and to emperumAn only), who understand the wonderful fragrance of bhagavath vishayam (about perumAL), wish well for the samsAris who are the chEthanars (beings with gyAnam that they belong to perumAn) to recite the 4000 divya prabhandham – are you not hearing them reciting the prabandhams?

The gOpikA still does not get up, and says, “In this thiruvAyppAdi the people’s nature is to churn butter all the time, especially with krishNan doing avathAram here, there is no dearth of cows or milk, so I don’t think this is dawn”.

nAyagap peN piLLAi

First they called her as ‘pEip peNNE’, now they are calling her as ‘nAyagap pEn PiLLAi’ – both of which imply the same, that she is loved by all these gOpikAs;

a rich girl of high status who is talking against all their responses, and not getting up from the bed, even though she is the center-piece of all these gOpikAs.

She still does not say anything, so they say:

nArAyaNan mUrthy kEsavanaip pAdavum nI kEttE kidaththiyO

even after our singing praises (pAdavum) about nArayanan (perumAn who without showing himself is helping us and saving us),

who is born here due to his simplicity (mUrthy),

who being visible to us here in AyppAdi, who is getting rid of enemies (anything in us that prevents us from doing kainkaryam to him) [kEsavanai],

and listening to (kEttE) all the greatness of perumAn,  you are enjoying our songs (like patting in the lap when enjoying some songs),  by lying down in bed (kidaththiyO)?

kEttE kidaththiyO – You are lying down as if our words are what would sustain your life;

They are using the word ‘kEsavan‘ to get her to quickly get up in alarm, as ‘kEsavan‘ would remind her of the danger that came to krishNan in the form of the asuran kEsi. But she still does not get up, thinking that krishNan has killed that kEsi, so there is no danger for Him.

“We thought that if we sang about kEsavan, you would get up immediately, and how janakan thirumagaL (jAnaki) went quickly and hugged chakravarthy thirumagan (srI rAman)* we thought you would also quickly go with us to hug krishNan. But you are feeling better because of realizing that there is no fear of kEsi, and sleeping with your hands on your chest (that is, without any worry).

(* When living in the forest, when srI rAman killed kara-dhUshaNAs and 14,000 rakshasas and came back to their place in the forest, sIthA pirAtti upon seeing SrI rAman back with blood/wounds all over His body, she quickly went and hugged Him with love and affection).

(People who are following karma, gyAna, or bhakthi yOgas to reach srI vaikuntam have to be very careful (so, they are worried) to make sure that they are following all the procedures for the yOgas properly. If they are not followed properly, then they would have to take more births to complete it properly and then only could they attain mOksham. But in the case of SaraNagathAs (those who have done samAsrayaNam / surrender), they have left all the efforts to perumAn Himself (through their AchAryan) to take care of getting them mOksham, so they don’t have any worries whatsoever because they are assured of mOksham – so they sleep with their hands on their chest (no worries)). [மார்பிலே கை வைத்து உறங்கப் ப்ராப்தி]

thEsam udaiyAy thiRa

O pretty and beautiful girl, O the girl who looks so bright due to thinking about krishNan, please open the door for us to see that beauty and get the same gyAnam about krishNan, and quickly join us. Open the door and let the flood of your happiness (of thnking about krishNan) hit us.

(That gOpikA finally gets up and joins other gOpikAs to go to the next house to wake up another gOpikA.)

How this pAsuram is also addressing kulasEkara AzhwAr:

This AzhvAr was a king, with great devotion to srI rAman – when he listens to the story of SrI
 rAman getting ready for the war against rAvaNan, he would get up and enter into the sea thinking that he should go and help rAman in the war. In his palace there were a lot of srIvaishNavas taken care of by kulasEkaran. The ministers were jealous and they stole some gold coins and put the blame on those srIvaishNavas; kulasEkaran asked to bring a pot with a snake in it and put his hand inside the pot without any fear to prove that the srIvaishNavas would have never done such a thing.

kalandhu pEsina pEchchu-aravam kEttilaiyO pEipeNNE (Hey kulasEkarA, the ministers are talking among each other scheming to get these srIvaishNavas, do you hear that?)
kAsum piRappum kalakalappa kai pErthu (kudap pAmbil kai ittu) [you had put your hands inside the pot that had the coins making noise and with the snake in it.

aravam kettilaiyO – aravam – snake

nAyagap peN piLLAi – the leader or the central person – kulasEkara AzhwAr is in the middle of the list of AzhwArs.

kEsavanaip pAdavum (kulasEkarAzhwAr‘s first pAsuram was about kEsi as well)

pAdavum nI kEttE kidaththiyO (kulasEkarAzhwAr wanted to go join the fight to help rAman). You would not sit idle after hearing about rAman.)

pEippeNNE – Azhwar has sung ‘pEyanE enakku yAvarum yAnumOr pEyarE evarkkum. ‘ in nAyikA bhAvam

thEsamudaiyAi – you who wants a thEsu (thEjas/ form) – kulasEkara AzhwAr wanted to be in any form which would be related to perumAn – UnERu selvaththu udan piRavi yAn vENdEn … emperumAn pon malaiyil EdhEnum AvEnE.


In this pAsuram, ANdAL and other gOpikAs wake up a girl who knows a bit of bhagavath vishayam, but has forgotten about it and lying in bed; gOpikAs come there to wake her up and remind her about bhAgavatha vishayam; some gOpikas did not get early as they were lying in bed and enjoying on their thoughts on krishNan.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi – Introduction (avathArikai)

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srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series





periya perumAL – srIrangam

thondaradipodi-azhwar-srirangamthoNdaradippodi AzhwAr – srIrangam

Based on introduction given by nanjIyar and periyavAchchAn piLLai

nanjIyar‘s introduction

As mentioned in “anAdhi mAyayA supthO yadhA jIva: prabudhyathE” (அநாதி மாயயா ஸுப்தோ யதா ஜீவ: ப்ரபுத்யதே – when the jIvAthmA awakes from the sleep of ignorance) , periya perumAL blesses vipranArAyaNan out of his causeless mercy and wakes him up from ignorance. Being blessed with divine knowledge, AzhwAr realizes that periya perumAL is both prApyam (goal) and prApakam (means) and reveals the same through thirumAlai. After that, wanting to serve periya perumAL, AzhwAr sings thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi to wake emperumAn up (roles reversed now – first emperumAn woke AzhwAr up and now AzhwAr wakes emperumAn up).

Once it is understood that goal and means are bhagavAn only, naturally one will constantly meditate on and enjoy bhagavAn‘s divine sleep, divine assembly and ones own kainkaryam by preparing garlands to bhagavAn. ANdAL nAchchiyAr enjoyed this aspect in thiruppAvai 23  “mArimalai muzhainjil” (மாரிமலை முழைஞ்சில்). nammAzhwAr established ultimate kainkaryam to bhAgavathas in thiruvAimozhi 8.10 decad “nedumARkadimai” (நெடுமாற்கடிமை), instructed the essential principles for the people of this world in thiruvAimozhi 9.1 decad “koNda peNdir makkaL” (கொண்ட பெண்டிர் மக்கள்) and revealed his great desire to serve emperumAn after waking him up in thiruvAimozhi 9.2.3 pAsuram “kidantha nAL kidanthAy” (கிடந்த நாள் கிடந்தாய்). viswAmithra rishi also woke srI rAma up as mentioned in srI rAmAyaNam, bAla kANdam – 23.2 “kausalyA suprajA rAma …” (கௌஸல்யா ஸுப்ரஜா ராம …). Along the same lines,  thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr also observes the beauty of periya perumAL waking up and wanting to serve him, sings thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi.

Adhithya (sun) appears in the udhyagiri (mountain in the eastern side). Giving up their pride, dhEvAthAs and kings arrive at the south side of the temple with raw-materials required for thiruvArAdhanam. Seeking out for the merciful vision of emperumAn, they push each other and stand infront of emperumAn. AzhwAr too requests emperumAn (who is the protector of all, husband of srImahAlakshmi, one who is very attached to his devotees and one who is approachable by all) to engage him in his kainkaryam. Just like some people will show their kids and earn their livelihood, AzhwAr shows the presence of dhEvathAs  (who are looking for material benefits) and request his desires (kainkaryam) to be fulfilled.

Thus ends nanjIyar‘s introduction to this dhivya prabandham.

periyavAchchAn piLLai ‘s introduction

thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr initially being ignorant about svarUpa (true nature of oneself), upAya (means) and purushArththa (goal), considering his dhEham (body) as AthmA (himself), was engaged in wordly pleasures and also engaged his acquaintances to be like that. periya perumAL, out of his causeless mercy, revealed his divine beauty to AzhwAr, eradicated AzhwAr’s worldly desires and stimulated AzhwAr’s attraction towards him. AzhwAr too, approaches periya perumAL with the intent of serving him. But periya perumAL (being archAvathAra emperumAn), does not physically interact with him and just stays lying down.

But him lying down (pretending to be sleeping) does not mean that perumAL ignores AzhwAr since AzhwAr is dear to him. As emperumAn is sudhdha sathvam (pure goodness), it cannot be said that perumAL is lying down due to indigestion or due to thamO guNam (laziness/lethargy). But it is due to to AzhwAr

  • being fully realized about the inappropriate state of material existence for the true nature of jIvAthmA,
  • being fully realized about the true nature of jIvAthmA which is to be a servitor of bhAgavathas
  • having full knowledge about matter and soul
  • having full control over his own senses
  • having no attachment towards other upAyams such as karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams, etc

periya perumAL is lying down in srIrangam meditating on getting a dear devotee like AzhwAr, considering his own greatness which reformed AzhwAr and thinking about how to bring all other jIvAthmAs to the same level of AzhwAr.

Just like srI rAma never had good sleep while being separated from sIthA pirAtti, periya perumAL also was having sleepless times when not having AzhwAr as his devotee. But once, AzhwAr became fully devoted to perumAL, perumAL also started sleeping peacefully. Since AzhwAr is so attached to kainkaryam and cannot think about anything else, just like viswAmithra woke srI rAma up (we have already seen “kausalyA suprajA rAma” slOkam), sIthA pirAtti woke srI rAma up as mentioned in srI rAmAyaNam, sundhara kANdam 38.25 “samayA bOdhitha: srImAn” (ஸமயா போதித: ஸ்ரீமாந்) and ANdAL woke kaNNan emperumAn up in thiruppAvai 17 “umbar kOmAnE uRangAthezhundhirAy” (உம்பர் கோமானே உறங்காதெழுந்திராய்), AzhwAr to wakes periya perumAL up saying “arangaththammA paLLiyezhuntharuLAyE” (அரங்கத்தம்மா பள்ளியெழுந்தருளாயே) in this prabandham and requests emperumAn to engage him in kainkaryam to bhAgavathas in the end saying “thoNdaradippodiyennum adiyanai aLiyanenRaruLi unnadiyArkku AtpaduththAy” (தொண்டரடிப்பொடியென்னும் அடியனை அளியனென்றருளி உன்னடியார்க்கு ஆட்படுத்தாய்).

The reason for AzhwAr forcefully waking emperumAn up to engage in kainkaryam is because, AzhwAr knows that kainkaryam (service) for the full pleasure of emperumAn is the ultimate goal. iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) said “aham sarvam karishyAmi jAgrathas svapathascha thE” (அஹம் ஸர்வம் கரிஷ்யாமி ஜாக்ரதஸ் ஸ்வபதஸ்ச தே) in srI rAmAyaNam, ayOdhyA kANdam 31.25 – I will do all types of service to you while you are awake and sleeping. nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1 “ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAy manni…” (ஒழிவில் காலமெல்லாம் உடனாய் மன்னி…) – one should do all kainkaryams at all places, all times, all aspects and that too purely for his pleasure only as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 2.9.4 “thanakkEyAga enaikkoLLumIdhE” (தனக்கேயாக எனைக்கொள்ளுமீதே) – engage me in your service only, purely for your own pleasure.  Even while doing, kainkaryam should be done after receiving the orders from emperumAn as iLaiya perumAL requests srI rAma in srI rAmAyaNam, AraNya kANdam 1.57 “kriyathAmithi mAm vadha” (க்ரியதாமிதி மாம் வத) – you order me to construct the hut (which is pleasing to you and sIthA pirAtti). AzhwAr too says to emperumAn in thiruvAimozhi 8.5.7 “mugappE kUvip paNi koLLAy” (முகப்பே கூவிப் பணி கொள்ளாய்) – call me in the front and engage me in your kainkaryam. Thus, AzhwAr wakes emperumAn up informing him that the day has dawned and requesting him to engage him in kainkaryams.

Finally, periyavAchchAn piLLai, highlights the difference between thirumAlai and thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi. Let us see them now.

  • In thirumAlai, perumAL woke AzhwAr (who has been in samsAram since time immemorial) up from ignorance. Here, AzhwAr wakes perumAL (who is mesmerized due to great love towards AzhwAr) up.
  • In thirumAlai, AzhwAr glorifies vAchika kainkaryam (45 – punkavithaiyElum empirARkiniyavARe – performing service by singing, speaking, etc). Here, AzhwAr glorifies kAyika kainkaryam (10 – thodaiyoththa thuLavamum kUdaiym polinthu thOnRiya thOL – performing physical kainkaryam like maintaining flower gardens, making garlands, etc).
  • In thirumAlai, he received the kainkaryam which is dear to emperumAn (45 – empirARkiniyavARe). Here, he prays for kainkaryam which is dear to bhAgavathas (10 – adiyArkkAtpaduththAy).
  • In thirumAlai, emperumAn‘s efforts are highlighted (in reforming AzhwAr). Here, the results of such efforts are highlighted.
  • In thirumAlai, AzhwAr requests emperumAn to acknowledge and bless him (37 – eLiyathOraruLumanRE enthiRaththu). Here, he matures and desires for more glories to emperumAn (9 – avarkku nALOlakkamaruLa).

Thus ends periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction to this dhivya prabandham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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