srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
thaniyans appear before the beginning of a prabandham. They tell us about the author of the prabandham and about praying and prostrating at the author’s feet.
parAsara bhattar‘s thaniyan
We first go to thAyAr, confess to her all our mistakes, and pray to forgive us. So with thAyAr’s “purushakAram” (recommendation), we then approach perumAn. By the time we go and stand in front of perumAn, our thAyAr who is always present in the divine chest of perumAn would tell Him not to see our mistakes (pApam), and only see us as His child and provide anugraham (blessings).
In case of krishNan, it is nILa dEvi thAyAr (nappinnai) that one approaches first, and with her as the “purushakAram”, approach krishNa. That is what ANdAL also does in her thiruppAvai.
Once when bhattar was feeling sad about being separated from emperumAn, his sishya nanjIyar asked him to write a slOkam on ANdAL in order to feel better. bhattar with joy wrote the following, which we recite as a thiruppAvai thaniyan.
nILA thunga sthanagiri thatI suptham udhbhOdhya krishNam
pArArthyam svam sruthi satha siras sidhdham adhyApayanthI |
svOchchishtAyAm sraji nigaLitham yA balAthkruthya bhungkthE
gOdha thasyai nama idhamidham bhUya aevAsthu bhUya: ||
krishNan who was sleeping keeping his head on neeLa dEvi’s chest, was woken up by ANdAL; then ANdAL explained to him about her love and pArathanthriyam (living only for doing kainkaryam to perumAL, and as per His wishes) which is one of the main tenets of the vEdhAs.
Using the flower garland which was already worn by her she chained him by force and enjoyed him.
We shall prostrate before that ANdAL forever and forever.
Whereas rAmA (chakravarthy thirumagan) who was sleeping in the mountain ranges was feeling sad because of missing sItA, here krishNan is sleeping on the mountain range that is the chest of neeLa dEvi without any need for angst of separation. This is to indicate that krishNa is sleeping with full happiness (when ANdAL comes and wakes him up). Such happiness is a guNam (characteristic) of emperumAn.
ANdAL is special among the AzhvArs because she is a female – she possesses a more natural love towards emerumAn, and since she married emperumAn, she has a much higher and special place. Other AzhvArs and all AchAryas revere her in the same level as other thAyArs.
So she, with force, tied krishNan with the garland (which she had already worn, out of love for Him) so that He would stay with her, listen to her request for marrying him, and for giving all of us the parama padham (srI vaikuntam, mOksham, peruveedu) to do kainkaryam.
anna vayal pudhuvai ANdAL arangarkku
pannu thiruppAvai palpadhiyam
innisaiyAl pAdik koduththAL naRpAmAlai
chUdik koduththALaich chollu
srIvillipuththUr (pudhuvai) which has got great green fields in which swans walk about, is the birth place of ANdAL.
For thiru arangan she created the many pAsurams of thiruppAvai which is a garland of poems that she gave to Him by sweet music, and (also) gave flower garland to thiru arangan, but after first wearing it out of love.
[Chollu]: O Mind, pray to (such) ANdAL.
ANdAL walks delicately and beautifully like the swans walking in the green fields of srIvillipuththUr. It also goes to show the beauty and richness of srIvilliputhUr.
She sang thiruppAvai on thiru arangan? Yes, arangan is periya perumAL of srIrangam (kOyil) who is none other than krishNan. (whereas urchavar, that is namperumAL, is chakravarthy thirumagan (srI rAma)).
Because of her ability to sing beautifully she is called as ‘பாட வல்ல நாச்சியார்‘. She sang many pAsurams in thiruppAvai (which everyone wants to learn, understand and recite).
Her name (thiru nAmam) is more beautiful and prime, that is, a step above her prabandham (thiruppAvai) itself. This is indicated in this thaniyan by ‘(chUdikodhuthALai) chollu‘.
This thaniyan is asking ANdAL to help us have the love and subservience (sEshathvam / pArathanthriyam) towards her, at same level as what she prayed for towards thiruvEnkata perumAL (srInivAsan).
chUdik koduththa sudark kodiyE!
tholpAvai pAdi aruLa valla palvaLaiyAy
nAdi nI vEnkatavaRku ennai vidhi enRa immARRam
nAm kadavA vaNNamE nalgu
who is like the golden rope that can tie perumAL (by love),
who followed the nOnbu of the old times of AyarpAdi, which you gave for us to recite and follow in the form of thiruppAvai,
like how you prayed for the love of thiruvEnkatam perumAn (thirupathi, srInivAsan),
please help us also to pray for your love and for being your sEshans.
sudark kodi – Since she had a nice long hair, she wore the garland not only around her neck but also tied flowers around her plait/bun before giving it for krishNan to wear.
pAdi aruLa valla – ANdAL who can sing the pAsurams and give it, out of kindness, for the people in the future to sing and follow them.
vEnkatavaRku ennai vidhi – ANdAL said that she would marry only the emperumAn;
enRa immARRam – in the same way like what you said (above)
nAm kadavA vaNNamE nalgu – O ANdAL, please give us also the same kind of strength in our bhakthi and sEshathvam towards you and emperumAn.
English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.
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