Category Archives: mudhalAyiram

thiruppAvai – 01 – mArgazhi thingaL

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

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In the 1st pAsuram of thiruppAvai, the gOpikAs are celebrating that they got the month of mArgazhi for doing their nOnbu. First 3 lines of the pAsuram are about prApyam (means), [being together with bhAgavathAs], and rest are about prApakam (destiny/purushArtham) [krishNan].

மார்கழித் திங்கள் மதி நிறைந்த நன்னாளால்
நீராடப் போதுவீர் போதுமினோ நேர் இழையீர்
சீர் மல்கும் ஆய்ப்பாடிச் செல்வச் சிறுமீர்காள்
கூர்வேல் கொடுந்-தொழிலன் நந்தகோபன் குமரன்
ஏரார்ந்த கண்ணி யசோதை இளம் சிங்கம்
கார் மேனி செங்கண் கதிர் மதியம் போல் முகத்தான்
நாராயணனே நமக்கே பறை தருவான்
பாரோர் புகழப் படிந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

mArgazhith thingaL madhi niRaindha nannALAl*
nIrAdap pOdhuvIr pOdhuminO nEr izhaiyIr*
sIr malugum AyppAdich chelvach chirumIrgAL
kUrvEl kodun-thozhilan nandhagOpan kumaran*
ErArndha kaNNi yasOdhai iLam singam*
kAr mEnich chengaN kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththAn*
nArAyaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvAn*
parOr pugazhap padindhelOr empAvAi.                               1.

sIr malgum AyppAdi – (From the) wealthy place of AyppAdi,
selvach chirumIrgAL – O, the young gOpikAs who have got the best wealth (which is association with, and kainkaryam to, krishNan),
nEr izhaiyIr –  who are wearing wonderful ornaments (keeping krishNan in mind),
mArgazhi thingaL – we got the best of all months – the mArgazhi month, and the good full moon day for doing the nOnbu (ceremony to pray for the rains)).
kUr vEl – (Standing with a) sharp spear,
kodum thozhilan – if any enemies come near his dear krishNan he would be a person doing cruel deeds (to those enemies) – that person is
nandhagOpan –  nandhagOpan, whose
kumaran – dear son is krishNan;
Er Arndha kaNNi yasOdhai – the one who has got beautiful eyes,
iLam singam – her young lion-cub is krishNan,
kAr mEni, sengaN – (his) body is the color of dark (kind) clouds, he has got eyes lotus-like,
kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththAn – and his face is the bright light of the moon,
nArAyaNanE – and who is none other than srIman nArAyaNan,
namakkE paRai tharuvAn – only srIman nArAyaNan can give us (us who depend only on him) the opportunity to do kainkaryam to Him.
Al – So
padindhElOr – those who want to take a good (padindhu)  bath (enjoyment with krishNan), please go with us,
pArOr pugazha – and the people of this world would celebrate that.

This first pAsuram is briefly indicating that what will be achieved (i.e., prApakam/upEyam) is parai (kainkaryam to perumAL).

Here is a bit more detailed meaning for the first pAsuram of thiruppAvai, as taken from parts of vyAkyAnams, upanyAsams and other such sources.

mArgazhith thingaL:

They are celebrating that they got the good mArgazhi month for them to do kainkaryams to perumAL;  like His lotus feet, mArgazhi is also not too hot or too cold; krishNan also said in gIthA that of all the months He is like mArgazhi, so this is the best month for Him too; mArgazhi is the brAhma muhUrtham (serene/tranquil time) of the year (not only for us but also for dEvas because, since our 1 year is 1 day for them, our mArgazhi month is their 4-6am) – so it is a good month in that sense too [1]; the old people of AyarpAdi would not come out early due to the mArgazhi month being cold, which means enjoyment with krishNan as they pleased (தங்களுக்கு கிருஷ்ணனோடே யதேஷ்டம் விநியோகிக்கலாம் என்றபடி); people are happy that this is the good month to do kainkaryams to perumAL, and perumAL is happy that he got an opportunity to take care of the people (‘ayana’ of the word nArAyaNan as occurs in the pAsuram).

madhi niRaindha:

madhi: moon; niraindha: full (Full moon);  Full moon being sukla paksham, is it a good day for doing a good deed? When a person is doing a kainkaryam to perumAL, vidhi/sAsthram will follow what s/he is doing and help her/him, so it is a good day; they are happy about it being a full moon day also because the girls can see each other’s’ happy faces and can go together to wake up krishNan; wouldn’t it be better to go on a dark day to be with krishNan? Since the people of AyarpAdi themselves agreed for the gOpikAs to do nOnbu with help from krishNan, gOpikAs are okay with the place being bright due to full moon; also madhi (another meaning: gnyAnam/wisdom) is being complete for the people because this is the day they came along to go to krishNan.

nan-nALAl:

What a day, like a central piece of a month and fortnight! They are celebrating that it is a ‘good day’. How is it a good day? First, because it is a bright day, it brings more happiness to the occasion; the gOpars had restricted them from seeing krishNan, and today those same people have completely approved them to (do nOnbu and) be with krishNan; a day marked for getting the experience of krishNan is a good day;  for a person who thought s/he was independent (svathanthran) till yesterday the good day dawns only on the day s/he realizes that perumAL is our only saviour (and helps us do kainkaryam to Him); day we do pancha samskAram is our birth day; day we leave this samsAram is our wedding day (with Him);

What a desire in celebrating the month, fortnight, day, etc.?! This flow of affection for these gOpikAs is because of their desire for Him (prApyam).

nIrAda

To reduce their viraha thApam (because of not meeting krishNan for many days) they want to take a dip (in connecting with krishNan); ‘neerada’ also means கலவி (union) with krishNan (in olden days, thamizh people also used the word ‘(neer) sunai aadal‘ to mean கலவி),

Among friends why did they not use the casual word ‘kuLikka‘ for bath? It is due to the bhagavath sambandham among them. They give such respect even when it is their son or sishya – how srI parAsara bhattar‘s mother (named ANdAL) would take the sri pAdha thIrtham (water that was used for washing the feet of a noble person) of bhattar without thinking of him as a son – because of respect for bhattar as an AchAryan and because he is in the sishya paramparai of rAmAnujar;    and this respect is also similar to how periya nambi who is an AchAryan of rAmAnujar would prostrate upon seeing rAmAnujar with his huge gOshti of disciples because periya nambi saw rAmAnujar as the person blessed by his own AchAryan ALavandhAr for addressing his (ALavandhAr‘s) wishes. These are similar because all of them are about a higher level deed related to kainkaryam / bhagavath sambandham..

pOdhuvIr pOdhuminO

For low-level (materialistic, etc.,) goals itself one would have to gather and use a lot of money/strength/bravery/good-luck, etc. If that is the case, would it require a lot more of these and then some more, if one wants to enjoy krishNan?? No, only requirement is the “Desire” to do so. By ‘pOdhuvIr’ they are calling the people who have that wish to go with them to serve krishNan. The former ones are undesirable goals, so they required us to gain eligibility;

As a chEthanan (subservient to perumAL) only the wish to do kainkaryam is required. Parents and other elders, AzhwArs, AchAryas have already taken care of other things required to qualify us to do the kainkaryam. All these days, only our wish was missing. Now even that is present. So they are saying ‘those who have got the wish, let us go and see krishNan’. For other low-level wishes one would want to go alone; since these gOpikAs are going for bhagavath kainkaryam, they are calling their friends also to join them, by saying ‘pOdhuvIr‘.

Since it is clear that the girls are already interested, what is the need for saying pOdhiminO, that is, pressing them to go? Like thAyAr (pirAtti) it is their nature to correct/advise; it also means – ‘we want to live well so please move right now and quickly let us go and meet krishNan’; also they want their friends to go in the front and they want to walk behind them and enjoy that company.

nEr izhaiyIr

“O girls who are wearing (neatly worn?) ornaments”. As they said pOdhuminO the ones invited became like new.

When they are in a hurry to go and take bath, would they have taken time to decorate themselves with ornaments??! They must have decorated themselves in a hurry and must have worn ornaments wrongly, that is, meant for some other part of the body, so it must have looked different and new, so they were addressed as ‘nEr izhaiyIr‘;  or, since they are always thinking of krishNan, and since they don’t know when krishNan might come and fall on them (அவன் எப்போது வந்து மேல்விழும்?), they are in the habit of always wearing ornaments, so that is why they were addressed as ‘nEr izhaiyIr’; or, because of the happiness that they have about their previous encounters with krishNan they always feel and look great;

sIr malgum AyppAdi – wealthy place that is AyppAdi

Because of krishNan’s presence in AyppAdi, it is having the real wealth; krishNan’s sowlabhyam (being easy to approach, being simple) is so wealthy that its waves are going out from AyppAdi and reaching into srI vaikuntam.  perumAn does not have any need or way to show one of his kalyANa guNas – sowlabyam – when he is sitting in srI vaikuNtam. That is because the AthmAs there are all muktha AthmAs full of gyAnam etc., and perumAn is all available to them; so there is no opportunity to show his sowlabhyam to them; So perumAL is more happy to be in AyppAdi among the common people so that he can put that character of His in to good use.

Only in darkness the light would seem very bright, so perumAL is very happy to come to this world to exercise the full power of one of his kalyANa guNas (divine qualities), that is sowlabhyam. Because of His presence, AyppAdi is wealthy of his guNas; and his guNas are wealthy in AyppAdi. He, who is bigger than the three worlds, has made himself available for the commands of gOpikAs in this place – AyppAdi.

AyppAdi has been content and hence wealthy with cows that provided enough milk, so they were all happy with getting the milk and making the butter (கறப்பன, கடைவனவற்றால் குறைவற்றிருக்கை).

What is so special about AyppAdi? Isn’t it just some small place? It is the divine place where one can go to without having to leave this body (which has to be done to go to srI vaikuNtam); AyppAdi is not the place like ayOdhya where great saints/gyAnis like vaSishtar lived – it is just a place where gOpikAs live who are so innocent that they can’t differentiate between their left and right arms; it is not a place that enjoyed the wonderful characters of perumAL (rAmar), but the place that enjoys looking at all the mischief of krishNan.

selva chirumIrgAL! – O, wealthy girls!

What is the wealth this is referring to? It is the association that all the gOpikAs are having with perumAn. When lakshmaNan went behind rAman to the forest empty-handed, he was referred by vAlmIki as ‘lakshmaNo lakshmi (wealth) sampanna:‘, because lakshmaNan got the real wealth that is rAma kainkaryam. Similarly when vibhIshaNAzhvAn left lankai empty handed and approached to do saranAgathy to perumAL, he was referred to as ‘srImAn‘ (wealthy), because only now vibhIshaNan got the real wealth – that is association with rAman;   gajEndhran, the elephant – when he decided that there is no own effort that can save his life, and then called  perumAn for help, gajEndhrAzhwAr was referred to as ‘srImAn‘ (wealthy) – again it is the association / surrender to emperumAn that is shown as the real wealth for us. (This association is called ‘bhagavath sambhandham‘).

Difference among the above three association examples:

–         lakshmaNan from birth did Not have any svAthanthriyam (any feeling of being independent from perumAn), or anya SEshathvam (being subservient to someone other than srIman nArAyANan). So he was fully subservient to rAman from birth.

–         vibhIshaNan did not have any svAthanthriyam either but he did have ‘anya SEshathvam‘ that is, he was subservient to rAvaNan. When that was also lost, he became wealthy because of attaining ananyArha SEshathvam towards rAman.

–         gajEndhrAzhvAn had svAthanthriyam at first (when he thought he could save by Only on own efforts), but he did not have any anya SEshathvam – he served garlands only to emperumAn. But when gajEndhrAzhvAn shed his swAthanthriyam by calling only perumAL to help, he became wealthy too.

The gOpikAs of AyppAdi are wealthy because of their association with krishNan – what with krishNan not tolerating the separation of any of the 5 Lakhs gOpikas of AyppAdi, their playing together, and krishNan showing his kAruNyam (mercy/affection) when the gOpikAs are not able to tolerate their separation from krishNan.

What is meant by ‘sirumeergAL‘ – it is that all the gOpikAs are a match to krishNan in age and ability to play (krishNan is also an iLam singam (lion-cub)); krishNan, when seeing the males and those who have become women, will stay away from them, similar to how he would stay away from those who do poojas to other devathas (than nArAyaNan) and from those who possess svAthanthriyam (feeling independent from perumAn and so doing things forbidden by Him or not doing things required by Him). This is to show that He is so much fond of those young gOpikAs who are a good match to his age and ability to play. It is also to show how gOpikAs are so innocent, so devoted to krishNan and his chEshtithams (actions/mischief), and making sure that without gOvindhan getting it first, they don’t put anything into their mouth.

===> kUr vEl kodum thozhilan nandhagOpan :

Earlier nandhagOpan would be so careful to not even step on a fresh grass; like bhattar’s sishya siriyAththAn he was also very kind; after getting these children, thinking ‘what danger might come to them’, nandhagOpan started standing with a well-sharpened spear (சாணை பிடித்து).

(kodum thozhilan) – If nandhagOpan sees an ant down there (near krishNan) , he would jump on it with so much anger and vigour that is fit for attacking a lion; and get blood-stains on his hands (from the blood flowing down from the spear!).

What about vEdhas saying not to hurt any living being? vEdhas say ‘sAmAnya dharma’ – that which one should usually follow, and ‘visEsha dharma’ – like to save a cow one could tell lies. In this case, nandhagOpan is doing this with fear of danger to krishNan’s head (what with so many rakshasAs going into the one-way path that is to AyppAdi to try to hurt krishNan).

(nandhagOpan) – Why is ANdAL using this word in the pAsuram instead of just saying ‘kUr vEl kodunthozhilan kumaran‘?  It is to imply that nandhagOpan is happy seeing his son. Also, like how periyAzhvAr would be affectionate to Her, She is using this name to imply that krishNan’s father also will be affectionate to her and friends and will let krishNan be with them. That is the same reason for waking him up (in pasuram 17) by saying ‘nandhagOpalA ezhundhirAi (nandhagOpa! please wake up)’, to imply that he would help the girls meet krishNan.

===> kumaran

When the people of AyppAdi go and complain to nandhagOpar, saying, ‘He stole our butter, He stole our girls, (made mess everywhere?)’, then nandhagOpar would say ‘If krishNan comes anywhere near the vicinity of my eye sight I will set him straight (என் கண் வட்டத்திலே வந்து தோற்றினானாகில் நியமிக்கக் கடவேன்).  But when krishNan does appear in front of nandhagOpan, seeing krishNan’s disciplined and innocent behaviour like a little lion cub (hence, ‘kumaran’), nandhagOpar would say “My blunder! Did you say all these bad things about such a sweet boy?” – getting back at those who complained. (கெட்டேன்! இவனையோ இங்ஙனே பழியிட்டது?).

===> Aer Arndha kaNNi yaSOdhai

Beauty is resident in yaSOdhai pirAtti’s eyes; since she is always looking at her son, it is reflecting in her eyes as beauty (krishna darshan makes our eyes beautiful) ;  aren’t they the eyes that saw the little face which pretended to cry, look at her mother as if scared, and with hands together plead her to untie him?

(yaSOdhai) – she is amicable to them to wake her up ‘yasOdhAi aRivurAi’ and get what they wanted.

===> iLam singam

Since nandhagOpar tends to do corrections for making Him good (as fathers do), krishNan behaves like a little cub (hence ANdAL says ‘nandhagOpan kumaran‘). But since yaSOdhai will treat him with affection only, krishnan, in front of her, behaves like a lion, and with a lot of pride (hence, ‘yaSOdhai’s iLam singam‘); yaSOdhai would not make Him afraid by scolding (shouting) – she will let him do His mischief, going along with whatever He did; if anyone comes and complains to her about Him, (and only when it becomes extreme) she might scold;  iLam singam – age that matches those of the little girls of AyppAdi; parAsara bhattar says He is a சிங்கக் குருகு (‘மேலெழப் பறந்து பாயும் சிங்கக் குட்டி’). kurugu refers to small birds; kutty refers to small. singak Kurugu implies that krishNan is like a lion cub that jumps on you as if flying in the air.

===> kAr mEni

kAr implies both black, and beautiful.  He who was prayed by nammAzhwAr to come and give darshan like a black cloud full of clean water (helps people), is the same boy who is visible to one and all in AyppAdi.   As much as the gOpikas’ parents tried to keep them away from Him, he is so beautiful that it is impossible to be away from Him.

===> sengaN

– Beautiful eyes matching the beautiful thirumEni (divine body of krishNan);

– His affection from inside is showing through His eyes – His affection for we people, without becoming angry at our mistakes which we make as human beings.

– He is the king.  As He has got all that is wealth, it reflects in His eyes.

– He comforts us with His beauty, and looks at us with affection.

kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththAn

– Face that is the moon that got its brightness from the sun and with its own nicety; kadhir indicates that He provides brightness that helps and be accessible and enjoyable to those who want to befriend krishNan; at the same time it would punish those who want to oppose Him (kamsan, the asuras, ..).

–  To emphasize about krishNan’s face not being comparable to anything, ANdAL says ‘mugaththAn‘ – uses a metaphor instead of a simile.

nArAyaNanE (all the descriptions above are about krishNan who is nArAyaNan)

– How do gOpikAs know that krishNan is nArAyaNan? This avatharam, by lifting the gOvardhana mountain with its little finger and with other mischief which humans cannot do, has made it easy for gOpikAs to know that He is the sarvEshvaran (god for all, that is nArAyaNan); also the people of AyppAdi do not know other gods, they would use only this word as part of the nOnbu, as they know it is krishNan that is nArAyaNan. Her (ANdAL’s) fathers (AzhvArs) also used this word only in many pAsurams (nAn kaNdu koNdEn nArayaNA ennum nAmam, thiNNam naraNam, nAraNanai nangu arindhEn); like how rishis also used this word (nArAyana shabhdhamAthram, Esha nArAyaNa: srImAn, nArAyaNa parabrahma).

nArAyaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvAn

nArAyaNanE implies that He by Himself would show His love to us, even when we don’t realize/accept that He is antharyAmi (He is inside our AthmA); this is because of His affection towards us.

namakkE – only to us – us who have shed our svAthanthryam (shedding any thought that we are independent from perumAL) – shedding by deciding that it is against nature to do something thinking that we did it all by ourselves (even if we have the wherewithal to do something) (Akinchanyam); and the ‘us’ who do not have any power are looking for only His helping hands  (ananya-gadhithvam (no other place/devathai/strength to go to for help except Him, for enabling to do kainkaryam to Him)).

paRai tharuvAn – While the instrument ‘paRai’ is to be obtained from krishNan to be used in their nOnbu, they are actually talking about the ‘paRai‘ that is pArathanthryam (ability to be subservient to Him; kainkaryam). How do we know that that is what they are actually talking about – they themselves say it in pAsuram 29 – iRRai paRai koLvAn anRu kAN, gOvindhA, eRRaikkum EzhEzh piRavikkum … (No, not this instrument paRai, hey gOvindha, but the subservience to you in all the births);

==> It says paRai “tharuvAn” (he will give) instead of ‘koLvOm‘ (we will ~take), because they understand that even if they are eligible, or even if it is possible, only He should give it out of His will and then they should get that (paRai).

pArOr pugazha – for the people to appreciate/celebrate.

Those who had not allowed us and krishNan to be together, and also those who had allowed, are now appreciating and celebrating about krishNan’s help of giving us the tools for doing the nOnbu, and about us girls getting involved in the nOnbu (for praying to get rains).

Even though they (the elders) don’t fully understand the experience of us girls being together with krishNan, they still celebrate that togetherness. They would celebrate that the whole AyppAdi got the rains and became fertile because of our nOnbu.

padindhu (this goes with ‘padindhu nIrAda pOdhuvIr – that is, take bath well.(or, fully enjoy krishNan)

El – Listen (and)

Or – keep it in your mind (become determined/ committed),

Em pAvAi – our dear girl

-El Or EmpAvAi is also part of nonbu’s phrase (thought) which does not have a specific meaning).

-keep it in mind and follow.

-Since this is about getting together and enjoying krishNan, ‘pAvAi‘ addresses rathi dhEvi (love goddess).

The first pAsuram celebrates the good time that became available, talks about the people who are eligible for doing kainkaryam (anybody who have got that ‘wish’), explains the beauty of krishNan and how nandhagOpan and yasOdhai cannot hide krishNan’s beauty from others, talks about upAyam/upEyam (Him and kainkaryam respectively), and ended with saying that even those who did not want them to be with krishNan are also celebrating their union with krishNan.

This pAsuram referred to ‘para svarUpam’ of emperumAn (nArAyaNan).

————–

[1] krishNa also says in ruthu He is vasantha ruthu – they are the months of chithra, and vaikAsi – they are the thiru avathAra months of emperumAnAr and nammAzhwAr respectively – kAnchi swAmi.

English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – thaniyans

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

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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: ||

Commentary:

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.

neeLA_thunga 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.

uyyakkoNdAr‘s thaniyans

This thaniyan asks the mind to pray to ANdAL who with her hands, body, mind, and with the garland did kainkaryams to perumAL.

anna vayal pudhuvai ANdAL arangarkku
pannu thiruppAvai palpadhiyam
innisaiyAl pAdik koduththAL naRpAmAlai pUmAlai 
chUdik koduththALaich chollu
 
Commentary:

Srivilliputhoor-Aandaal-Temple-wikipediasrIvillipuththUr (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

Meaning:

Tirupati-Thayar-Balaji O ANdAL who wore the garland first out of love before giving it to perumAL,

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.

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – Introduction

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

Full Series

Difference between rishis and samsAris is like the difference between a mountain and a tiny pebble; that much is the difference between AzhwArs and rishis; that much is the difference between periyAzhwAr and other AzhwArs; that much is the difference between ANdAL and periyAzhwAr – Compared to other AzhwArs who were all males, ANdAL being a female had a more natural love towards perumAL; she being the only female, she is like a child to all AzhwArs who are ready to give all their wealth(bhakthi) to get her married to emperumAn; (srIranganAthan is giving respect to his father-in-law by having sayanam facing the South – that is srIvilliputhUr (but a son-in-law would be shy to accept that fact, so it is widely known that He is facing south in order to honor vibhIshaNan).

thiruppAvai is about praying to perumAL to give us the ability to serve Him as much as possible, because that is the natural state for us. For that, ANdAL re-enacts the nOnbu that the little gopikAs conducted in AyarpAdi to reach krishNan.

(Is it okay to pretend doing nOnbu (fasting, etc.,) when she is really not doing that? Would it not amount to a lie? Since it is for getting krishNan’s thiruvadi, and as she is saying she is repeating what the gopikAs did in AyarpAdi, it is acceptable to do that, similar to how it is acceptable when trying to get someone married, or when there is something life-threatening.)

As a child ANdAL learned so much from periyAzhwAr about perumAL.  As a girl she naturally felt love for emperumAn.

With so much love she went to the sannidhi of vadaperungkOil udaiyAn, to be with Him (perumAL in the srIvillipuththUr temple). But he did not seem to reciprocate her affection.

As a little child she then thought she could meet krishNan himself and be with Him. But, as she learned, He came and lived in this world several thousand years ago, so it is not an option now.

Then she wondered whether any one has had the opportunity to be with krishNan and enjoyed him. She got the answer that the small gopikAs in AyarpAdi got that opportunity; but again that was long ago.

She then thought that at least she could touch the sacred sand where He walked, be around the trees and cows which He was playing with, and touch the river yamunA where he took bath – the kumkum and manjaL would still be mixed in that water, and see the gOvardhana mountain which he lifted with his little finger, and touch the cows whose ascendant-parents krishNan would have touched and played with. But all these were in a faraway place in the North (India), and as a small girl from a small Brahmin family there was no way for her to go there.

==> At that time an upanyAsakar who visited srIvilliputhUr narrated what once happened in AyarpAdi:

Once, the gopikAs in AyarpAdi played and enjoyed with krishNan so much that krishNan thought that excessive experience of him might cause trouble for the gopikAs; so he hid himself away from them. Because they missed him so much, they started playing among themselves, with one girl pretending to be krishNan, another girl pretending to be kALingan, and so on, and they enacted krishNan, kAlingan and so on. They did nOnbu to be with krishNan and enjoy him.

==> When ANdAL heard this story, she got a wonderful idea! She pretended srIvilliputhUr to be thiru AyppAdi (gOkulam), her friends in her neighborhood to be the gopikAs of AyarpAdi, with herself to be one among them, vadaperungkOil to be the house of nandagOpan, and the perumAL vataperunkOyiludaiyAn (vatapathrasAyi) to be her krishNan. Her mind started living this and she pretended to be living in AyarpAdi. Her walk, her speech, her hair, all became one that of a cowherd girl; and what a wonder, her body odour changed to that of a cowherd girl – what with those mixed odour of milk, butter, ghee and so on! (முடை நாற்றம்)

KrishNan_oldpicture2==> In AyarpAdi, all the gopikAs were always playing and enjoying with krishNan so much. When they reached their young age, their parents said that krishNan is playing with all these little ones all the time, and the elders thought that they should stop this. They put all the girls inside their homes and did not allow them to go out and play with krishNan. They also hid all the Butter away from krishNan. — So, the two most important ones for krishNan were not available to him.

==> (Because of this) as there was no rain for a long time the gOpar of AyarpAdi decided to get the little girls to do nOnbu (fasting, etc., in a prescribed way) and pray for getting rain for their well-being. For this the elders determined that krishNan should help the little girls by arranging for all the necessary items for the nOnbu. They approached krishNan. At first krishNan disagreed (pretended?). They pleaded and compelled him and then he agreed to help. The parents brought out all the gopikAs and told them to do the nOnbu and be with krishNan to get his help. Day before the start of nOnbu, as krishNan was with all the girls, he told them that since this is nOnbu nobody should doubt about us so please go to your homes, come back Very early in the morning next day to start the nOnbu. He went to nILA dhEvi’s (nappinnai) house to sleep (‘nILA thunga sthanagiri thatI’ during the next morning).

==> The gOpikAs also went to their homes, but because of the excitement they could not sleep, so even though they went to bed they were lying awake thinking about krishNan. Early next morning, the gOpikAs who were able to wake up early went around to other houses and woke up the other gOpikAs also, and finally went to nandagOpar’s thirumALigai to wake up krishNan and announce to him about their subservience to him.

==> ANdAL is enacting this same story and doing the same in her 30 pAsurams of thiruppAvai created during 30 days of mArgazhi, and explaining what happened on that whole nOnbu day.

During thirty days in the month of mArgazhi, she created the thirty pAsurams of thiruppAvai.

In thiruppAvai she enacts committing to do the nOnbu, gathering all her friends, going to nandagOpan’s thirumALigai, waking up nandagOpan and others, waking up krishNan’s wife nILa dhEvi (nappinnai), and finally waking up krishNan Himself. She ends with asking krishNan to give mOksham and the opportunity to be always subservient to him, and that too for His enjoyment and happiness. (In the next month of Thai, she created the prabandham nAchiAr thirumozhi).

Andal Thirkalayanam-779299-p_kumar.blogspot.comperumAn asked that she be brought to srIrangam. She was brought in a palanquin to srIrangam. At one point near the temple, the palanquin suddenly felt very light. Feeling that something is happening, periyAzhwAr checked inside and found that ANdAL was absent there. He pleaded to perumAn to know her whereabouts. The place this happened is now called veLi ANdAL sannidhi. periyAzhwAr then saw ANdAL kneeling before arangan and vanishing from there into Him. ANdAL went to srI vaikuNtam as a pirAtti (wife) of perumAn.

sthala purANam at srIvilliputhUr adds that periyAzhwAr prayed to perumAn that He wed ANdAL in srIvilliputhUr, and perumAn agreed and came there and married her on a panguni uthiram. In srIvilliputhuUr there is no separate sannidhi for ANdAL (thAyAr), but only a sannidhi where perumAn and thAyAr are present together, along with garudAzhvAn who is getting pirAn and pirAtti to be married. If this happened in srIvilliputhUr, shouldn’t the sthala purANam say that vatapathrasAyi married ANdAL? Why then is ranaganAthan said to be married to ANdAL? AzhwAr saw Him as rangan only; as he also sang ‘வெண்ணை உண்ட வாயன் அணி அரங்கன்’ – one who ate butter, the one in arangam.

ramAnujar was devoted to understanding the meanings of thiruppAvai, so much so that he was also called ‘thiruppAvai jIyar’.

perumAL gave ‘மயர்வற மதிநலம்‘ (blemishless knowledge) to the AzhwArs because of which they (without any effort of their own) wrote such wonderful divya prabandhams. But, ANdAL, She gaveமயர்வற மதிநலம்‘ to perumAL, by waking him up and letting him understand about her subservience to him!!

==> lakshmaNan and most AzhwArs are of one type who wanted the experience of perumAL and were devoted to perumAL.

bharathan and periyAzhwAr are of one type whose aim was the well-being of perumAL!!

srI_periyAzhvAr_aani_brahmothsavam_2013_arulalaperumal.tripod.comBUT, chathrugnan, madhurakavi AzhwAr, and ANdAL are of a different type and of a higher level because their aim was doing kainkaryam to bhAgavathas (to Devotees). chathrugnan was devoted to bharathan, madhurakavi to nammAzhwAr, and ANdAL to her father periyAzhwAr as he is the one who taught her about perumAn – if her father had asked her to fall on someone else’s feet then that is what she would have done – she knew only how to follow periyAzhwAr.

ANdAL, with the front of doing nOnbu, wanted to reach perumAL – as reaching Him and doing uninterrupted kainkaryam to Him is the natural state of an AthmA.

Whereas nammAzhwAr spoke of association with bhAgavathas (Devotees) only in the later parts of his 1000 pAsurams, ANdAL spoke of it in the first pAsuram itself, “nIrAdap pOdhuvIr” (Requesting other devotees to join to go to krishNa).

Near the last pAsuram of thiruppAvai she says “unakkE nAm At cheivOm” [kainkaryam] (upEyam) and she allotted the in-between time for ‘dhEha yAthirai (spending the remaining time in this world doing kainkaryam to him)’.

English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai

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SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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anju kudikkoru santhathiyAy
AzhwArgaL thamseyalai vinji niRkum thanmaiyaLAy
pinjAyp pazhuththALai ANdALap paththiyudan nALum
vazhuththAy manamE maghizhnthu

அஞ்சு குடிக்கொரு சந்ததியாய்
ஆழ்வார்கள் தஞ்செயலை விஞ்சிநிற்கும் தன்மையளாய்
பிஞ்சாய்ப் பழுத்தாளை ஆண்டாளைப் பத்தியுடன் நாளும்
வழுத்தாய் மனமே மகிழ்ந்து.

About translation to English

When some sishyas approached emperumAnAr and requested him to do one more round (uru) of kAlakshEpam of thiruppAvai, he said that only ANdAL can fully explain its meanings, only little gOpikAs whom krishNan loved can better understand its meanings, and only ANdAL can fully know its meanings. So, for the rest of us, we could somewhat explain and somewhat understand the meanings of thiruppAvai, if we tried.

Ramanuja_SriperumbudurOf course, whatever adiyOngaL are able to write can only be an introduction, because the best source to understand the meanings of thiruppAvai or of any other dhivya prabandham is one’s AchAryan. With AchAryan’s blessings adiyOngaL would like to write here a little about the meanings of thiruppAvai. If you are interested in knowing more, kindly approach your AchAryan.

This effort of translating into English the vyAkyAnams (meanings) from our pUrvAchArya granthams is to spread the awareness of the sweet existence of them, and to popularize them among all srivaishNavas of all ages.

This is not a one-to-one translation of the vyAkyAnam, but tries to bring at least the essence of them.

If you see any important points missing in this effort, kindly let us know so that we could add them as appropriate.

Please continue reading and provide your feedback and comments.

About the vyAkyAnams for thiruppAvai

vyAkyAnams for thiruppAvai have been provided by several pUrvAchAryas.

3000 padi – by periyavAchan piLLai. (with 3 works by others that provide meanings for difficult words (padha urai))

periyavachan-pillai

6000 padi – by azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr

nayanar2000 padi and 4000 padi – by thirunArAyanapuram Ay jananyAchArya

ay-jananyacharyar

There are also svApadEsa vyAkyAnams (actual inner meanings) available, done by thirunArAyanapuram Ay jananyAchArya , ponnadikkAl jIyar and sudhdha sathvam dhOddachAryar. A list of pramANams (proof/quotes) from vEdham, etc., have also been compiled by our pUrvAchAryas.

aithihya nirvAgam for thiruppAvai have been compiled by several swamis. This is about incidents in our pUrvAchAryas time that are related to meanings of thiruppAvai pAsurams (example: when sishyas approached emperumAnAr to do one round (uru) of kAlakshEpam on thiruppAvai, he replied, ‘Even if anyone would be able to do that for thiruppallANdu, it would be hard to find one for providing meanings of thiruppAvai’.)

vyAkyAnam for thaniyans have been provided by piLLai lOkam jIyar.

pillailokam-jeeyar

Without puthUr swAmi’s additional efforts to provide meanings for hard-to-understand parts of the vyAkyAnam, one would not be able to understand the original vyAkyAnams at this day and age.

Puttur-Swami

There are a couple of other sources which were helpful in doing the translation.

– ThiruppAvai viLakka urai – by AzhvArgaL amudha nilaiyam which is plain thamizh translation of the 3000padi vyAkyAnam for the most part.

– vaiNava urai nadai varalARRu muRaith thamizhp pEr agarAdhi – by santhi sAdhana – publishers, 125 Chamiers Road, Chennai 600 028, which is a GREAT resource to know the translation of sanskrit words occurring in our granthams. It is in thamizh. (If interested publisher’s contact number is 9940019804 in Chennai. (we are not associated with them n any way other than as buyers))

Related aricles on thiruppAvai:

Our efforts cannot match all of their efforts to bring us this wonderful dhivya prabandham. With our AchAryas’ blessings we initiate this effort, for the granthams to be more useful for various srIvaishNavas.

English translation by Raghuram Srinivasa dasan