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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

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – 05 – mAyanai

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

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One of the gOpikAs of AyppAdi who has joined to go for the nOnbu asks, “We are so eagerly preparing for the nOnbu; will we be able to complete it without any problems? Wouldn’t the karmAs that we have accumulated over all these births give us difficulties and prevent us from completing this nOnbu (getting together with krishNan)?  vasishtar, such a great gyAni, prepared and planned for the pattAbishekam of srI rAman to become the king, but that did not happen at that time. We are such small people compared to him; how will our plans for nOnbu be completed?

One of the girls who has the gyAnam (knowledge) on vEdhas replies as this pAsuram: “it is not that we have to get rid of all the pApams/karmA before we start this nOnbu; if we want bhagavath anubhavam (experiencing togetherness with and kainkaryam to krishNan), these karmAs will go away by themselves; if we do kainkaryam (mAnasa, vAchika, kAyika) and SaraNAgathy, all the pApams will go away by themselves; so do not hesitate or discontinue by thinking about our ineligibility or karmAs. Say the name of krishNan (who is described in this pAsuram), then all the previous karmAs, and, all the new karmAs will burn to ashes like cotton balls in fire. It is similar to how the illness go away when someone happily drinks milk mixed with medicines in it.”

(krishNan did not care about his promise of not using any weapon during the kurukshEthra war  when bhIshma attacked arjuna;  sr rAmar without getting crowned went to the forest in order for mahArAjar (sukrIvar) and vibIshanAzhvAn to get their crowns. For the saraNAgathAs (those who have surrendered to Him, associated with Him), He will change our karmAs and help us be with Him and do kainkaryams).

In the case of vasishtar, he did the planning – in our case we have left it to krishNan to help us complete this nOnbu – if krishNan plans then it will succeed.

“Say the name of mAyan, vada madhurai maindhan, thUya peru nIr yamunai thuraivan, Ayar kulathil thOnrum aNi vilakku, thAyai kudal viLakkam seidtha dhamOdharan; (then) past karmAs and future ones would be burnt like cotton on fire.”

This pAsuram has the inner meaning related to samAsrayaNam.

மாயனை மன்னு வடமதுரை மைந்தனைத்
தூய பெருநீர் யமுனைத் துறைவனை
ஆயர் குலத்தினில் தோன்றும் அணி விளக்கைத்
தாயைக் குடல் விளக்கம் செய்த தாமோதரனைத்
தூயோமாய் வந்து நாம் தூமலர் தூவித்தொழுது
வாயினால் பாடி மனத்தினால் சிந்திக்கப்
போய பிழையும் புகுதருவான் நின்றனவும்
தீயினில் தூசாகும் செப்பேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

mAyanai mannu vada madhurai maindhanai
thUya peru nIr yamunai thuRaivanai
Ayar kulaththinil thOnrum aNi viLakkai
thAyaik kudal viLakkam seidha dhAmOdharanai
thUyOmAi vandhu nAm thU malar thUvith thozhudhu
vAyinAl pAdi manaththinAl sindhikka
pOya pizhaiyum pugu tharuvAn ninRanavum
thIyinil thUsAgum seppElOrempAvAi

mAyanai – one who performs wonderful deeds
mannu vada-madhurai maindhanai – king of vadamadhurai that is having ever present bhagavath sambandham
thUya peru nIr – one having divine and ever deep water
yamunai thuraivanai – who plays in the bank of river yamunA
Ayar kulaththinil thOnRum – who was born in the cowherd group
aNi viLakkai – who is like a divine dheepam (lamp),
thAyaik kudal viLakkam seidha – who made his mother yasodhA’s womb meaningful
dhAmOdharanai – emperumAn who let himself be tied by a small rope,
nAm – we who are open to Him approaching us
thUyOmAi vandhu – [to such emperumAn] (we) came with purity
thU malar thUvi – submit good flowers,
thozhudhu – and prostrate,
vAyinAl pAdi – sing his names to our mouth’s content,
manaththinAl sindhikka – meditate in our mind;
pOya pizhaiyum – and the pApams that we committed (before getting bhagavath sambandham)
pugu-tharuvAn ninRanavum – (after such sambandham, the) pApams that we commit without realizing
thIyinil thUsAgum – will all burn away like the cotton placed in fire
seppu – so, sing His names.



Continuing with previous pAsurams in which they sang about perumAn in different lOkams/avathArams/dhivya dhEsams, here they are singing about the mAyan that is referring to srIvaikuNtanAthan in paramapadham. This is parathvam (his Supremacy, one of his kalyANa guNas (auspcious qualities)).

perumAn who happily lives in srIvaikuNtam, with so much of aiSvaryam that the dhEvAs find it hard to see Him directly, it is hard to explain or think about, He is such a mAyan; He has now come, and stayed here in dhEvaki’s womb for 12 months, and as a boy He is playing with all gOpikAs and cows – that is the paramapadhanAthan’s simplicity (sowlabhyam).

He was born here as krishNan with his changu and chakram.

(To avoid being scared of His parathvam, one thinks of His sowlabhyam; in order to avoid belittling His simplicity, one contemplates His parathvam).

mannu vada-madhurai

mannu – mathurApurI, has always had perumAn‘s sambhandam. srI vAmana avathAram did a long penance in this place of sidhdhASramam; chathrugnAzhvAn took care ruling this place after winning lavaNAsura and other asurAs, and so perumAL is fond of this place; (now krishNan – for butter, ghee, milk, and, the gopikAs).

vada-madhurai: like paramapadham this place is also famous because of perumAn‘s association; since He came here out of love, they celebrate this place; this place is a means (prApakam) to see Him; this place itself can be the goal/prApyam (because of perumAn’s presence).

maindhanai  – (say the name of the) ‘son’ (krishNan) who is having majesty/strength.

(talk/sing the glory of) krishNa (avathAram) who had the strength by which He removed the chains on His parents’ legs; He is the king; showed His beauty and pulled everyone to His side; smart. Becoming younger every day because of happily helping the gOpars.

thUya peru nIr yamunai thuRaivanai

This great yamunai river can even let us forget about the virajA river (which is the river one crosses near srI vaikuntam in order to go into srI vaikuntam); when vasudhEvar wanted to cross the yamunai river to go to thiru-AyppAdi, she after touching krishNan’s lotus feet gave way for vashudhEvar;

With krishNan and gOpikAs doing rAsakrIdai (play in the water) in the yamunai river, playing near it, gurgling and spitting in it, this river has become clean/pristine as well. (thUya).

(This is unlike river gOdhAvari which due to fear of rAvaNA, did not reveal that sIthA pirAtti was taken by rAvaNA, even though thAyAr had requested the river to inform rAma).

yamunaith thuRaivan – rAsakrIdai happened in this place; this is where gOpikAs get into trouble by krishNan; His identity is associated with the banks of yamunA.

thuRaivan – the lead (krishNan) of that land; leader of the AyppAdi girls;

==> AchAryan srI parAsara bhattar said: They are referring to krishNan indirectly by saying yamunaith thuRaivanai because the thiru-AyppAdi gOpikAs are afraid that if they said the name krishNan then kamsan might hear it and cause danger to Him.


Ayar kulaththinil thOnRum (m)aNi viLakkai

Having mentioned ‘mAyan’ above in this pAsuram to imply perumAn in paramapatham, now ANdAL is implying that krishNan in their cowherd crowd is better in displaying His guNams – like the brightness of a lamp in a dark room; this also matches with ‘vada madhurai maindhanai‘ of this pAsuram;

(thOnRum) He does not have the limit of being born out of a womb.

(thOnRum) – he was born in mathurApuri but He came here to thiruvAyppAdi (so Ayar kulaththinil thOnRum).

(m)aNi viLakkai – he is a mangaLa dIpam (auspicious lamp) in thiurvAippAdi.

Ayar kulam – all the bhagavatha group who consider only Him as their means (to attain Him).

thAyaik kudal viLakkam seydha dhAmOdharanai

People appreciate his mother yasOdhai for giving birth from her womb to such a wonderful child; the child got that good name for his mother;

Women would have lines in their stomach after giving birth – here yasOdhai is having such lines which is a great mark for having given birth to krishNan.

dhAmOdharanai: tied by the தாம்புக் கயிறு –  by letting her mother tie him with the rope, he got the people to appreciate yasOdhai for giving birth to such a wonderful obedient child.

Like how we cannot become independent of perumAn, perumAn too cannot untie our relationship with Him. If we follow this relationship with perumAn, then we will be untied from samsAram.

dhAmOdharanai: because of tying the rope in his hip, the marks are always present on krishNan. When he jumps from one branch to another while playing, his dress moves aside and the gOpikAs look at those marks and make fun of him; that is why namperumAL (uthsavar, srIrangam, who is kaNNan himself) is always wearing dhOti around his hip (to hide the lines/marks) – said AchAryan nanjIyar.

If we think of this simplicity of him, then the ties of our samsAram would be removed.

The marks that sEshans (who have done bhaghavath samAsrayaNam) have their marks on their shoulders (கோயிற் பொறியாலே ஒற்றுண்டு); the sEshi (perumAn to whom we are sEshans) has got his marks from the rope as he allows himself to be tied by the sEshans’ bhakthi;  he shows his marks and gets us to have and show our marks (in our shoulders) – said bhattar.

thUyOmAi vandhu nAm

The gOpikai with the vEdha gyAnam says this: Do not see whether we are eligible/good enough to go and do the nOnbu, to be with krishNan, to do samAsrayaNam through AchAryan; Willing to come as you are is good enough, no need to search for any purity than that, because bhagavath sambandham (association with perumAn) does not concern your purity.

AyppAdi people don’t know how to fully bathe and keep themselves clean; they are purer with krishNan’s friendship.

vibIshaNAzhvAn did not bathe in the sea before going to see chakravarthy thirumagan to do saraNAgathi; arjunan in kurukshEthra did not bathe before getting charama slOkam (sarva dharmAn…) from krishNan in the middle of the battleground; dhraupathy did not bathe (she was in her monthly periods) when doing saraNAgathi to krishNan; For doing saraNAgathi these are not important, nor one has to earn any qualification – only the acceptance that we are ever dependent on perumAn, that we are his sEshans is important.

(vandhu nAm) – the norm is for Him (krishNan) to come to us and save us from this samsAram, but he will see us coming to him.

perumAL told guhan that He himself should have come to meet him instead of guhan coming to Him; he told that he feels ashamed for letting the dhandakAraNya rishis (in the forest) come see Him instead of him readily going t them and taking care of their problems;

so why should the gOpikAs go to him instead of waiting for him to come?  When being confident about upAyam (the means – perumAn; he is the means, so he should try to come and save us) it makes one think to stay put and wait for him;  the desperation about reaching upEyam (goal/destiny – that is also perumAn) makes us to go to Him if he has not yet showed up.
thU(ya) malar – (thUya: pure/noblemalar: flower) – The flowers given for kainkaryam without expecting anything in return (ananya-prayOjanam); not bought from the store in a plantain leaf, but by getting the flowers and putting some small effort to make it;

Like mAlAkArar’s flowers that he gave to krishNan in vada-madhurai.

Like AzhwAr said ‘sUttu nan mAlaigaL thUyana Endhi’, this is also given without expecting anything in return.

perumAn also does not see what we give, but sees the affection in our heart for him.

pathram pushpam…   He does not see the size of our kainkaryam because there is nothing that is too big in this world for him, and mainly because no kainkaryam is small for him. He only sees our affection/bhakthi/care.

thUvi – sprinkle/throw the flower in his lotus feet (without worrying about the procedure?).  [kAyika kainkaryam (one of the 3 types of kainkaryams)]. Can they throw the flowers like that instead of properly submitting them to Him? Their love for Him makes them not consider these formalities;

like how ALavandhAr also said that we do anjali just once with our hands without even properly putting them together (கோணல் மாணலாக ஒரு முறை பண்ணிய அஞ்சலி), and perumAn accepts even that as an anjali and his heart melts for us.

thozhudhu – do anjali (joining both the hands, kai kooppi) – offering ourselves – such that He would melt by seeing our affection. The reason for / use of, being born with our arms and hands (is to do anjali).

dhraupadhi’s anjali made krishNan feel so much indebted that he was never satisfied even after helping her so much;

Because he is such lover of us heroines, he would want to do anjali to us; or if He does Anjali and we the gOpikAs don’t reciprocate, then the gOpars would fear that this nOnbu is not happening appropriately; so for their sake the gOpikAs do the anjali.

vAyinAl pAdi – The use of being born with our mouth and voice is to say his thiru nAmams (perumAn‘s names). [vAkku kainkaryam].

In addition to going to you, we also sang your names;

Everything starts with thinking in the manas, but we praise you with all three apparatus, hands, mouth, and manas; our hands and mouth are going to you ahead of manas – such is our eagerness.

manaththinAl sindhikka – The use of having our manas (mind/thoughts). [mAnasa kainkaryam]. It is important to use the mind when singing His names.

So it is talking about using all the three (hands, mouth, and mind) equipment and falling on him.

pOya pizhaium(,) pugu tharuvAn ninranavum

The pApams of the past (before samAsryaNam), and the pApams of the future (from the time of samAsrayanam) …..

thIyinil thoosu Agum – ( thUsu: cotton (ball) )

….. (pApams) will vanish like how the cotton (ball) will burn in the fire and vanish.

If we regularly drink milk containing all the required medicinal items we will get rid of ailments. In the same way, as we keep doing bhagavath anubhavam, all our pApams would vanish.

seppu: say.  (connects to :  thAyai kudal viLakkam seidha dhAmOdharanai seppu). Say the name of dhAmOdharan. Relates to kAyikam, vAk, and manas kainkaryams, and his sowlabhyam (simplicity).

English translation Raghuram srInivAsa dAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – 06 – puLLum silambina kAN

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

Full Series

This is the 6th pAsuram in thiruppAvai.

‘In ay ayndhum ayndhum (5*5 + 5) aRiyAdha mAnidarai..’, this is the start of the 2nd 5 pAsurams.

The first pAsuram of thiruppAvai (mArgazhi thingaL) is like an introduction to all the 30 pAsurams. The first five pAsurams of thiruppAvai are also like an introduction, talking about nArAyaNan as our only savior, that the goal of every being is to reach Him, what one would do and not do while living here, what good will happen to the world, how the rain would help, and so on.

Summary of the first 5 pAsurams :

In the 1st pAsuram, goal is to be with emperumAn; He can be reached only by His help (He is the means); those who are interested in that destiny are the eligible ones to be involved in that ‘means’;  so it showed the nature of destiny, goal, and the people eligible for it.

In the 2nd pAsuram –  for such people, it shows the activities that can be performed by them who have got the karaNams (body, indhriyas, etc.,) that are always inclined to do some activity; and for spending time meaningfully (kAlakshEpam), and what we should do based on our interest in Him;

In the 3rd pAsuram – they wanted good things to happen to those who helped them in their bhagavath anubhavam;

In the 4th song – it says that even dhEvathAs would help us who are dhEvathAnthara-sparsa-rahithar (not having any association with demigods),  ananya-prayOjanars (not asking for any other things from Him, other than Himself), bhagavathEka pravaNar (belonging only to Him), and involved in the items related to bhagavath anubhavam.

In the 5th pAsuram – it says that the bhagavath anubhavam of ours itself would prevent the enemies of such anubhavam.

So, (ஆக,), in the last 5 pAsurams, she talked about the ways and means of getting immersed in the krishNa anubhavam; then in the next 10 pAsurams coming up, she sings about those who use these ways and means for getting krishNa anubhavam.

In the next ten starting with this puLLum silambina-kAN pAsuram, ANdAL has written the pAsurams as if she is waking up 10 gOpikAs of thiruvAyppAdi who wish to go and do nOnbu with krishNan’s help.

Previous day evening, krishNan had asked all the gOpikAs to go to their homes and sleep and then meet early in the morning to start the nOnbu; he had also gone home (nappinnai pirAtti thirumALigai) to sleep.  ANdAL is pretending that some of those gOpikAs who woke up very early next day are trying to wake up the remaining gOpikAs to go with them. These gOpikAs who are inside their houses were just not able to sleep as they have been eagerly waiting to go to krishNan, thinking about how that experience would be, finally they are just lying down in their bed and dreaming about it.

(ANdAL would have wished to wake up all the 5 lakh girls to go with Her to be with krishNan, and would have written 5 lakh pAsurams too! We consider the Ten girls to represent all of us) .

When anything is related to enjoying about emperumAn, and doing kainkaryam to Him to make Him happy, it is much better to go with all other people who have also accepted the fact that they are the sEshans (devotees/slaves/subservient) of emperumAn.


When each one has got the main requirement of love for Him, and the means for doing the activities/kainkaryam, and having access to krishNan for enjoying, and the time being suitable and private, having permission from the elder gOpars, why should they not just go alone and enjoy with krishNan? why are they waking up each other?

— Like one needs company when stuck in cyclone, they are immersed in the anubhavam of krishNan (similar to AzhwArs singing: kAlAzhum nenju azhiyum – [periya thiruvandhAdhi-34]), uyir kAththu Atcheymmin [thiruvAimozhi 10-7-1], and Azhiyodum ponnAr-sArngam-udaiya adigaLai innAr-enRu-aRiyEn [periya thirumozhi 10-10-9]), so they are looking for help by waking up each other;
— even for nithya sUris it is hard to enjoy Him without the company of others when they see His greatness and simplicity – so it goes without saying that the gOpikAs, who don’t know their left hand from the right, would need the company of other adiyArs for enjoying Him;
— moreover, like it says in ‘Eka: svAthu na bhunjItha’, they wake up others because they are not of the nature of enjoying such a nectar alone by themselves;
— moreover, they wake up others because of their attitude that others should not lose such a great opportunity to enjoy Him;
— moreover, when having bhagavath anubhavam they think that one should not directly do that but only with the recommendation of other bhAgavathAs.
(so) since the matter is hard to be enjoyed alone, and these gOpikAs are not capable of enjoying Him by themselves alone, and since they think that those who are interested in Him should not lose such opportunity, and since they would not go to him without the help of other bhAgavathAs, they are waking up others.

If all the gOpikas would be having equal and indistinguishable motivation for enjoyment of krishNa anubhavam, then does it mean those who are sleeping are having lesser motivation? The enjoyable characteristics of krishNan would make some of the gOpikAs be in a state like those who drank poison, while it would make some gOpikAs restless and not able to stay in their place; so there is motivation of enjoyment in every gOpikA; so it is acceptable that some are awake and they are waking up others.


==> The inner meaning in these 10 pAsurams – she is referring to other AzhwArs as those 10 gOpikAs whom she is calling to go and get krishNan’s thiruvadi, and to do kainkaryam to Him.

புள்ளும் சிலம்பினகாண் புள்ளரையன் கோயிலில்
வெள்ளை விளிசங்கின் பேரரவம் கேட்டிலையோ
பிள்ளாய் எழுந்திராய் பேய்முலை நஞ்சுண்டு
கள்ளச் சகடம் கலக்கழியக் காலோச்சி
வெள்ளத்தரவில் துயிலமர்ந்த வித்தினை
உள்ளத்துக் கொண்டு முனிவர்களும் யோகிகளும்
மெள்ள எழுந்து அரி என்ற பேரரவம்
உள்ளம் புகுந்து குளிர்ந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

puLLum silambina-kAN puLLaraiyan koyilil
veLLai viLi-sangin pEr-aravam kEttilaiyO
piLLAi ezhundhirAi pEi mulai nanjuNdu
kaLLa chakatam kalakkazhiya kAlOchchi
veLLaththaravil thuyil amarndha viththinai
uLLaththu kONdu munivargaLum yOgigaLum
meLLa ezhundhu ari enRa pEr aravam
uLLam pugundhu kuLirndhElO rempAvAi

puLLum silambina-kAN – birds are calling while going (after waking up), and
kEttilaiyO – are you not hearing
pEr-aravam – the big sound
veLLai viLi-sangin – of white conch which is doing thirupaLLi-ezhuchchi (waking up emperumAn)
puLLaraiyan koyilil – in the temple of perumAn who is garudan‘s leader, [garudan who is the head of birds]
piLLAi – you young gOpikA who is new to bhagavath vishayam,
ezhundhirAi – get rid of sleep and get up;
munivargaLum – adiyArs who meditate him
yOgigaLum – and adiyArs who do yogAbhyAsam
meLLa ezhundhu – (they) get up slowly without disturbing the emperumAn in their hearts
uLLaththu koNdu – they have placed in their hearts through thoughts about
pEi mulai nanju-uNdu – perumAn who drank phUthanai’s poisonous milk from her nipples, (and killed her),
kaLLach chakatam – (who made the) the cunning cart
kalakku azhiya – go out of shape and get destroyed
kAl Ochchi – by kicking with thiruvadi (and finish it),
thuyil amarndha – (who is) gracefully lying down
veLLaththu – in the liquid of milky ocean
aravil – on thiruvananthAzhvAn (Adhi SEshan)
viththinai – one who is root of the world
ari enRa pEr aravam – (munis and yOgis are thinking about such emperumAn and) making big sound, chanting ‘hari’;
uLLam pugundhu kuLirndhu – (please get up so that) we get that sound into our minds and become happy.


The first gOpikA that ANdAL is waking up in this pAsuram is new to bhagavath vishayam (matter related to perumAn kainkaryam) and does not know any details about doing nOnbu.

In the first 4 pAsurams she talked about para, vyUha, vibhava, and antharyamithvams. 5th was out of pattern; and in this 6th pAsuram they sing about archAvatharam (in statue form) as in ‘puL araiyan kOil’

puLLum silambina-kAN

The gOpikAs who have woken up early go to the first gOpikA’s house to wake her up. They tell her to wake up.

The girl from inside asks, “Shouldn’t the day first dawn for waking up?”.

They reply, “The day has dawned, so please get up”.

The girl asks, “What is the sign that the day has already dawned?”.

“We are here, isn’t that enough to tell that it is dawn?”.

“If someone has slept the previous night then you can say that their getting up is the sign of dawn. You gOpikas did not sleep at all, so I cannot take it as a sign”.

Then they reply with the first words of this pAsuram, “puLLum silambina kAN” – the birds have woken up and they are going for gathering food (you come and see that)”.

She replies, “Is that a sign that the day has dawned?”,

“Is it not?”

“No” (ஓம், அல்லவீ)

“How come?”

“You did not let those birds sleep, so they are also going without sleep. In the place where you are born, even the birds are thinking about krishNan and they don’t sleep. So, that is also not a sign of dawn. Tell me some other sign”. She keeps lying down on her bed.

In this context, piLLai piLLaiAzhvAn would say that for this AthmA there is no good time other than when we hear the bird that marks us the amicable time to do bhagavath samAsrayaNam. Here the sound of bird implies AchAryan’s word, and his waking up those sleeping in ignorance.

Inner meaning for puL (bird) – the bhAgavatha bhakthas who have woken up early in the morning, wanting to get dharshan of blackness of krishNan.

In the place where ANdAL was born, would there be sleep for the birds, said nAlUrAchAn piLLai – based on ANdAL’s ‘kAlai ezhundhirundhu kuruvik kaNangaL mAlin varavu solli maruL pAdudhal meimmai kolO [nAchiyar thirumozhi 9-8]’.

puL-araiyan kOyilil

The king of birds periya thiruvadi (garudAzhvAn) is there, his “kO” (king) sarvEshwaran is there, ‘il’ His house (that is, kO’s house, that is, temple), koyilil – in the temple of garudan’s king (that is, perumAn).

(When krishNan is here, and when everyone is immersed in His beauty and behave as His bhakthas, can there be a perumAL temple in thiruvAyyppAdi? yes, similar to how chakravarthy thiurmagan (rAman), along with his dharma pathni (as wife who helps rAmar conduct the dharmas of living) and family had done pUjAs to periya perumAL (srIranganAthan) when perumAn was in ayOdhDhi; similarly, for krishNan also there is a perumAL kOyil here.)

puL-araiyan – His identity is based on those people who depend on Him;  lakshmaNa pUrvajam cha – sIta pirAtti also said that Her being was in danger by yama in the form of a deer as soon as She sent away lakshmaNan and his elder brother chakravarthy thirumagan. She refers to srI rAman as related to lakshmaNan.

They are referring to perumAn through the name of periya thiruvadi (garudan) – one generally goes to perumAn through the support of thiruvadigaL (AnjanEyar, garudan), AchArayan, AzhwArs, and thAyAr.

veLLai viLi sangin pEr aravam

The gOpikAs are saying that the sangu (conch) is white. The gOpikA inside says, ‘Conch is always white, it is not a good argument for saying that the day has dawned’.

She continues, ‘Every sAmam (every certain number of hours) they sound the conch in the temple, so the sound of conch is not a sign of dawn.’

The gOpikAs reply, ‘pEr aravam’ (bigger sound) – the conch is being sounded with higher volume, which they would do only at dawn.

viLi – calling. Calling at the auspicious time of brAhma muhuUrtham to do kainkaryam to perumAL.

Inner meaning: the sound of praNavam coming from the temple, calling (viLi) the ‘உ’ (devotees) of the praNavam to come there.

pEr aravam – loud enough for you to get up;  when talking about lakshmaNan going to mahArAjar’s (sukrIvan) place and making loud sound with his bow (because mahArAjar was delaying in joining rAma lakshmaNA for finding sItha),  ananthAzhwAn said ‘mahArAjar who was holding on to the breast of thArai, his blindness (to the need of rAmA) was lost when lakshmaNan made the sound.

kEttilaiyO – are you not hearing that sound (of conch). Are you going to lose the bhAgyam of hearing that sound that is calling you to go to krishNan?

 The gOpikA inside is not convinced.

piLLAi ezhundhirAi:  piLLAi – ignorant

The gOpikAs ask, “O girl, you who are new in bhagavath vishayam (related to perumAL), who are new to the sweetness of doing kainkaryam to perumAL, without continued experience in bhagavath vishayam you have not reached the level to understand the beauty of being with other bhAgavathAs (devotees); should you not be interested in seeing us like how we are interested in seeing you?”

==> The inner meaning of the 10 gOpikAs woken up in this and the next total 10 pAsurams – the gOpikAs being woken up refer to AzhvArs. In this pAsuram, ‘piLLAi‘ refers to ‘poigai AzhwAr‘.  In his prabhandham, mudhal thiruvanthAdhi, poigai AzhvAr says ‘onRum adhanai uNarEn nAn‘ as if like the girl who is new to bhagavath vishayam; in various pAsurams of mudhal thiruvanthAdhi he uses words similar to ‘pEi mulai nanju uNdu‘, ‘kaLLa chakatam kAl Ochchi‘, ‘veLLaththaravil thuyil amardha viththu‘, to enjoy krishNan’s amAnusha seshtithangaL (actions beyond human). ANdAL is using similar words in this pAsuram, and referring to a similar gOpikA.

==> Another way this is seen is as follows: This pAsuram is about periyAzhvAr her beloved father and AchAryan, and then the seven pAsurams including this go in reverse order of AzhvArs from periyAzhvAr to poigai AzhvAr, them being elders; then remaining three of ten pAsurams are about future AzhvArs – thoNdaraippodi Azhvar, thiruppANAzhvAr, and seerk kaliyan.

So, as this pAsuram talks about garudan, periyAzhvAr is amsam (characteristic) of garudan. So this pAsuram indicates periyAzhvAr.

piLLAi – new in these matters;  bhattar said ‘chinthayanthi was new to krishna gAnam, otherwise she would have been used to the in-laws’ trying to stop her and she would have gone ahead out of the house anyway’.

The gOpikA inside asks back, “Who woke you up, you who know all the sweetness of kainkaryam?”

They reply, “Nobody woke us up; we woke up hearing others doing their own chores” as follows:

pEi mulai nanju uNdu

When He was alone when even His mother could not help, that phUthanai came near krishNan to kill Him, but she got killed.

Inner meaning: ahankAram, mamakAram are related to svAthanthriyam – that is, our (wrong) feeling that we are independent of perumAn; because of our AthmA getting into our body (pEi uNdu) we get the ahankAram and mamakAram (mulai uNdu) which are poisonous (nanju) for our AthmA, and we pray perumAn to get rid of these things from us.

kaLLa chakatam

If it is someone like phUthanai, then it may be possible to identify as a devil and protect oneself; but His mother had kept a toy as protection, into which the asuran got into for killing krishNan. (so ‘kaLLachakatam).

kalakkazhiya kAl Ochchi

He kicked His legs because of delay in getting milk from His mother, and His lotus feet hit the toy and killed the asuran who went inside that toy;

==> The girls are talking about phUthanai and the chakatAsuran so that the girl who is sleeping will get a jolt thinking about the dangers that came to her krishNan, and so would wake up.

Inner meaning: pray perumAn to remove from us the kAmam (our interest in non-living things (that is materials, body, fame, gadgets,..) and krOdham (the anger when we don’t get those things).

veLLathu aravil thuyil amarndha viththinai

They are happy that without all such dangers (from bhUthanai and others), perumAn is safely lying on thiru ananthAzhvAn (Adhi SEshan) in thiru pArkadal (milky ocean).

veLLam – to indicate that perumAL with his gentle thirumEni is comfortably sleeping on Adhi SEshan

aravil – on the snake – thiru ananthAzhvAn (Adhi SEshan); soft; his breath killed the madhukaidavas, so there is no need to worry about any danger for perumAn;

thuyil – sleep – perumAn lying down on Adhi SEshan and deeply thinking about what avathAram to take next for saving us;  one who can come and comfortably live in a bhaktha’s heart.

amarndha – as He wants to deeply think about ways of helping and saving us, He is not getting distracted even if thAyArs hug him tightly on their divine chests.

viththinai – viththu – the source/reason for everything;  kshIrAbdhi nAthan (perumAn in the ocean) getting ready for the next avathAram, as if all the avathArams so far are not enough.

uLLaththu-k koNdu

Keeping them in their minds and hearts (them = perumAn lying down on Adhi sEshan in the ocean, and along with the thAyArs), where there is no danger of asurAs;

munivargaLum yOgigaLum

the munis (who do deep thinking about perumAn), and yOgis (who do physical kainkaryam to perumAn) [similar to the gOpikA inside who is lying down thinking about perumAn, and the gOpikAs outside who are wanting to do kainkaryam to perumAn],

meLLa ezhundhu – the munis and yOgs get up very slowly

the munis and yOgis are getting up from their bed very slowly, like how a pregnant woman would get up slowly and carefully, they are getting up without even disturbing the garland in their heads; they get up very carefully so that the perumAn inside them (antharAthma) would not be disturbed; (are there munis and yOgis in thiruvAippAdi? – after krishNan has done the avathAram here, the munis and yOgis come to this place that is full of cows, and labor themselves to enjoy krishNan).

ari enRa

ari – hari – nArAyaNan.

The munis and yOgis then say hari 7 times as soon as they get up; (when we wake up we could say hari 7 times, and take about 4 steps in the direction towards srIrangam, before carrying on with our morning activities).

Saying ‘ari’ would get rid of all the hindrances in doing perumAL kainkaryam. It would get rid of all our fears – what is our fear? that some danger would happen to perumAn. So they pray that He himself should get rid of such dangers, that He saves Himself for us. Once He does that, we are again afraid that someone will see that greatness and He will get kaN echchil (கண் பட்டு விடும்) and we will start singing pallANdu for Him.

Before one gets the gyAnam of bhagavath sambandham one is afraid about dangers to self; after getting the gyAnam of bhagavath sambandham one is afraid of dangers to perumAn.

pEr aravam (big sound (of chanting hari))

Not only the munis and yOgis, but all the 5 lakhs houses are saying ‘hari’.

uLLam pugundhu kuLirndhu –

“As we are feeling so much viraha thApam (suffering due to missing krishNan), the sound of hari nAmam went into our minds and hearts and helped us cool it down, so we are feeling wonderful, so you wake up now.”.

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

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – 04 – Azhi mazhai

Published by:

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

Full Series

1st pAsuram – parathvam (nArAyaNan); 2nd pAsuram – vyUham (kshIrAbdhi nAthan); 3rd pAsuram – vibhavam (thrivikraman); In this pAsuram, they sing of antharyAmithvam (inside varuNa dhEva the rain god).

sarvESvaran (god for all) lowered His stature on His own, to come and be born and live here in AyppAdi. Here, He is following the orders of gOpikAs, letting them make fun of Him, (bends to show His back as a writing table for these girls to write on; they try bangles for size on His wrist), and they are together with krishNan all the time. It goes without saying that the other dhEvathAs would want to help the gOpikAs as well, and take part in their enjoyment of union with krishNan.

The dhEvathai of rain (parjanyan) comes and asks the gOpikAs “How do I do my part in this togetherness so that my life would be meaningful and fit my nature of being subservient to emperumAn; please give me orders to do anything you desire”. The gOpikAs reply, ‘People should say ‘these girls did nOnbu, and all the rains showered’ ‘; and they give him their list of how he should rain for the well-being of the people.
This is also related to people who have done samAsryaNam (surrender) through their AchAryan. When someone asked AzhvAn (kUraththAzhvAn), ‘what will you do when you see dhEvathAntharams (other dhevathAs)’? AzhvAn replied, “Your question is wrong and against the words of vEdhAs. Ask instead what the dhevathAs should do when they see us who are saraNAgathAs (done samAsrayaNam).”

ஆழி மழைக்கண்ணா ஒன்று நீ கைகரவேல்
ஆழி உள் புக்கு முகந்துகொடு ஆர்த்து ஏறி
ஊழி முதல்வன் உருவம் போல் மெய்கறுத்துப்
பாழிய்அம் தோளுடைப் பற்பனாபன் கையில்
ஆழி போல்மின்னி வலம்புரி போல் நின்று
அதிர்ந்து தாழாதே சார்ங்க முதைத்த சரமழை போல்
வாழ உலகினில் பெய்திடாய் நாங்களும்
மார்கழி நீராட மகிழ்ந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

Azhi mazhaik kaNNA! onRu(m) nI kai karavEl
AzhiyuL pukku mugandhu kOdu Arththu ERi
Uzhi mudhalvan uruvam pOl mei karuththu
pAzhiyam thoLudaiya paRpanAban kaiyil
Azhi pOl minni valampuri pOl ninRu adhirndhu
thAzhAdhE sArngam udhaiththa sara mazhai pOl
vAzha ulaginil peidhidAi
nAngaLum mArgazhi nIrAda maghizhndhElor empAvAi


mazhaik kaNNA – O varuNa dhEvA the head of rain gods
Azhi – who is majestic like the ocean
kai karavEl – without holding back
onRu(m) – anything,
nI – you
AzhiyuL pukku – enter the ocean
mugandhu kodu – drink entire water,
Eri – rise in the sky
Arthu – with thunders,
mei karuthu – become dark
uruvam pOl – like the divine body of
Uzhi mudhalvan – emperumAn who is the root cause of time and everything,
Azhi pOl minni – do lightning like the discus (in the right hand),
ninRu adhirndhu – stay and be thunderous
valam-puri pOl – like the conch (in the left hand),
pAzhi-am-thOL-udai – of the one with great and beautiful shoulders,
paRpanAbhan kaiyil – of the one with beautiful navel;
thAzhadhE – without any delay
sArngam udhaitha sara mazhai pOl – like how the arrows poured from the bow (of srI rAma)
peidhidAi – pour the rain
vAzha – for all to live
nAngaLum – so that we too (we who are doing nOnbu)
mArgazhi nIrAda – pleasantly bathe as part of mArgazhi
magizhndhu – with happiness


Azhi mazhaik kaNNA

emperumAn gave the work of creating and destroying to brahma rudhras, and kept the saving work to Himself; O! the parjanyan, you are also similar to Him in helping the country as He has given this good work to you of pouring the rains after considering your goodness.

O! the parjanyan, to whom perumAL has given the job of pouring rains on this world, and who has got a lot of rain in you, please, without thinking that we have done pApams, pour the rain on us so that the elders are happy about the result of our nOnbu. Be of big heart and be kind and take care of these ordinary people’s requests – that is what krishNan did by walking all the way to kauravAs for negotiating a land on behalf of pANdavas.

(It is such a low-level task for krishNan, but He did that out of kindness towards these people; not only that, He wants others to know about it too! – where did krishNan let others know about it? – go to thiruvallikkENi and he is proudly standing there saying that I went as a messenger for the pANdavas, I drove the chariot for them, and I got a lot of wounds in my face when helping them in kurukshEthra).

onRu nI kai karavEl

They are asking the dhEvathai of rain to pour without holding anything back, without a changing generosity; nee – you who will become white when you don’t rain. Unlike emperumAn gOshti that do good based on good deeds, pour without any partiality like how we accept everyone even considering their bad deeds as a good reason for mercy, as part of the group of pirAtti.

Like bhattar said to emperuman that His eyes cannot match pirAtti’s always-kind eyes, here the varuNa dhEvathai is not comparable to emperumAn’s ever generous nature.

Azhi uL pukku mugandhu  kodu

Enter the middle of salty ocean all the way to the bottom and drink all the water and take them and pour them as rain – we want it for the well-being of our AyppAdi. (and not into the small holes dug by the sons of king sakara who sent his sons in search of the horse used in asvamEdha yAgA).

Arththu –

When her son gets angry with her and goes to a choultry at the street-end and doesn’t come home in the night, the mother would send food for him without letting him know about it, and later when he returns she would not show any expression about having given that food – emperumAn is also like this – He protects us but doesn’t show it in His face.  But we want  you (parjanyan) to show it all – with all eagerness and happiness, and with a lot of thunder and lightning – like how thiruvadi (hanuman) came back with such an enthusiasm after locating and meeting sIthA pirAtti, and like how the other vAnaras were showing the enthusiasm upon seeing how thiruvadi was returning.

ERi – We and this whole world should see you coming with thunder and lightning like a bow; should cover the whole sky with your dark clouds; like it is said in ‘viNNIla mElAppu virindhArpOl‘ (nAchiAr thirumozhi 8-1) and ‘madha yAnai pOl ezhundha mAmugil-kAL’ (nAchiAr thirumozhi 8-9).

Azhi uL pukku mugandhukodu Arththu Eri – people who have surrendered to Him get deep in to kainkaryam and get to AchAryan’s thiruvadi.

Arthu – fully into;  ERi – AchAryan’s position; mugandhu kodu – achAryan due to his abhimAnam/kindness towards even those who have done lots of pApams, by making emperumAn be kind to them.

Uzhi mudhalvan

Like how emperumAn at the time before creation of beings (that time is called Uzhi; mudhalvan: emperumAn), sees all of us who have not yet gained a body or life, and feels sorry for us and with so much kindness starts his creation process with just His sankalpam (with a thought in His mind), and then He would get bright with happiness – You, the rain dhEvathai, also should possess similar kindness towards us. “gyAlam padaiththa em mugil vaNNanE” (O the one who created the worlds, whose color is like dark clouds) is what nammAzhwAr also said.

uruvam pOl mei karuththu

When emperumAn decides to create the worlds due to His kindness filling His heart like how a grown plant would be, the rain dhevathai, you also come with your body getting dark (clouds).

‘mei’ ‘karuththu’ – they are saying only the body would get dark for the rain dhEvathai, because unlike emperumAn‘s kindness which towards us comes from His inside, the clouds will become white after giving rains; emperumAn is always having kindness towards us.


pAzhi – lot of space available (in the shoulder); emperumAn’s shoulder is so big that when people wanting to reach Him who go under the protection of His big shoulders, and will look small compared to the shadow of His shoulders; that is, His longing for us is more compared to all of our longing for Him;

am-thOL – His shoulder’s protection is so sweet like the milk that is boiled off of its water (சுண்டக் காய்ச்சின பால்). He is to be protected by us, and is also our enjoyment.

paRpa nAbhan

emperumAn with the beautiful nAbhi (navel; belly button); navel like a lotus flower; from where He created brahmA (vyashti srushti) and is waiting, with His large and kind shoulder, for us to be born and go to Him;

paRpanAbhan kaiyil Azhi pOl minni

If a king gets a child, because of his status he may not fully show all his happiness outside; but all his people would enjoy the birth celebrating by throwing colors at each other (like hOli).

Similarly, although emperumAn is not showing his happiness outside after creating brahmA, since now brahmA would create all us (his children), His happiness is reflected outside by the Azhi (chakram / discus) in his hand which is becoming bright and dazzling. This is the reason for mentioning together in this pAsuram about ‘padmanAbhan’ (who made brahma to create us) and His dazzling Azhi (which is reflecting emperumAn‘s happiness for getting His children).

valampuri pOl ninRadhirndhu

Like how in kurukshEthra the conch sounded by krishNan made the kauravas dead scared and pAndavas very happy, (what appears as deadly weapon for the enemies looks like an ornament for us); O the rain dhEvathai make thunderous noise to raise and pour the rain on us.

valampuri – the conch is very close to emperumAn; emperumAn gets to put it in his wonderful lips. It has done bhAgyam. ==> ANdAL implies that they should get so much rain, not like how much the people who pray other dhEvathais would get but like those who get the sambandham of emperumAn (like the conch got the relationship with emperumAn), that is us who have done samAshrayaNam.

‘ninRru’  adhirundhu – unlike in kurukshEtram where the conch was sounded only once, we want you (the rain dhEvathai) to stay put and pour a lot of rain.

The kindness of emperumAn as sounded by the praNavam which announces about SEsha-SEshi relationship, vAzha – for lowkIkas (samsAris) to be corrected with svarUpa gyAnam (of SEsha-SEshi bhAvam); ulaginil – where samsAris live; peidhidAi – pour the nectar that is of bhagavath guNa anubhavam.


We should not get less (rain) like what they will get who go to other dhEvathais; we should get like how those who have done bhagavath samAsryaNam where perumAn would rush to help us.

sArngam udhaiththa  

sArngam: the bow of chakravarthy thirumagan (srI rAman). Like a snake which did not get any prey, the bow would be idle with perumAL (srI rAman), but once perumAL gives it the permission it would automatically pour arrows on the enemies; once it leaves the bow even perumAL cannot stop the arrow;

sara-mazhai pOl – like how perumAL‘s bow rains (the arrows) ..

vAzha ulaginil peidhidAy

Pour your rain, O the rain dhEvathai.

With those arrows of perumAL the rAkshasas were not saved; but you pour the rain for the whole world / everyone to live well.

nAngaLum mArgazhi nIrAda, magizhndhu

Then varuna dhEvathai (rain) asks “அழகிது! (nice!), I wanted to do something for you, but you are asking me to rain which I have been already doing, as perumAL assigned me that job. So what is new?”

For this the gOpikAs answer, “Well, we and krishNan will bathe, you see that and become happy; that will also get you to see krishNan.”

After seeing your big clouds and the sound of thunder, we are taking bath to reduce our angst due to separation from krishNan.  For the elders we have to bathe just as part of nOnbu only; it is not necessary to do it happily; for you, we will happily bathe and be with krishNan. This is how you are helping us.

ElOrEm-pAvai – commit to your mind and follow us; colloquial phrase with no specific meaning.

In this pAsuram, similar to how gOpikAs ask varuNan to do the task which he already does as part of his work/kainkaryam, prappanas also do the nithya/naimithika tasks (like sandhya vandhanam, srArtham) as part of following what is required of them.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – 03 – Ongi ulagaLandha

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

Full Series

This pAsuram is listing the benefits to the people who allowed the gOpikas to meet krishNan (for doing nOnbu). Even if one devotee is present in a place the whole place would live well; all the side benefits would happen by themselves; with so many (5 lakhs) gOpikAs being allowed to meet krishNan, there is no limit to how much good will happen to this world.

ஓங்கி உலகளந்த உத்தமன் பேர்பாடி
நாங்கள்நம் பாவைக்குச் சாற்றி நீராடினால்
தீங்கின்றி நாடெல்லாம் திங்கள்மும் மாரிபெய்து
ஓங்கு பெறும் செந்நெல் ஊடு கயலுகளப்
பூங்குவளைப் போதில் பொறிவண்டு கண்படுப்பத்
தேங்காதே புக்கிருந்து சீர்த்த முலைபற்றி
வாங்க, குடம் நிறைக்கும் வள்ளல் பெரும்பசுக்கள்
நீங்காத செல்வம் நிறைந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

Ongi ulagaLandha uththaman pEr pAdi
nAngaL nam pAvaikku chARRi nIrAdinAl
thInginRi nAdEllAm thingaL mummAri peidhu
Ongu perum sennel Udu kayal ugaLa
pUnkuvaLaip pOdhil poRi vaNdu kaN paduppa
thEngadhE pukkirundhu sIrththa mulai paRRi
vAngak kudam niraikkum vaLLal perum pasukkaL
nIngAdha selvam niRaindhElorempAvAi


nAngaL pAdi -(if) we sing, (we who cannot live without singing His names)
pEr – the names
uththaman – of purushOthaman
Ongi – the one who grew tall
aLandha – and measured (with His lotus feet)
ulagu – all the three worlds,
nIradinAl – if we bathed
nam pAvaikku chARRi – with the front/pretense of a nOnbu
nAdu ellAm – the whole country
thIngu inRi – without any bad
mummAri peidhu – would properly rain
thingaL – every month, and
kayal ugaLa – fish would jump around
(so) Ongu perum sennel Udu – between the tall and healthy grass,
poRi vaNdu –  and beautiful bees
kaN paduppa – would sleep
pUm-kuvaLai pOdhil – in beautiful flowers,
thEngadhE – without hesitation
pukku irundhu – get to and try to
vAnga – pull
sIrtha mulai paRRi – by holding with both the hands the big nipples of
perum pasukkaL – healthily grown cows
kudam niRaikkum – they would fill the containers
vaLLal – with generosity
nIngAdha selvam – (such is the ) wealth that can be sustained
niRaindhu – and stay complete.


Note: Inner meaning about AchAryan/sishyan is interspersed in this text.

Ongi ulagaLandha

In previous pAsurams, they started with saying nArAyaNan (parathvam), then they said about his next place for avathAra ideas to save us people, as kshIrabhdi nAthan in the milky ocean and how gOpikAs were fond of his divine feet (vyUham); and now they are looking at the lotus feet of thrivikraman (vibhavam).

Ongi – as He was in sayanam (lying down posture) in the milky ocean, on Adhi sEshan, thinking about His next avathAram for saving people, when dhEvas prayed to Him about mahAbali’s troubles, He got up and grew as thrivikraman; ‘uvandha uLLaththanAi ulagam aLandhu [amalanAdhipirAn – 3]’ because of happiness to do the work for other people’s benefit;  It is not ‘vaLarndhu ulagaLandhu‘ but ‘Ongi ulagaLandhu‘ – it is not like He has to grow now – Ongi implies He with affection and kindness is getting up so fast, to help the dhEvas;

When a samsAri, one with ahankAram, svAthanthriyam, etc., one day wonders who will be the savior for him,  perumAn takes that as a call for help and immediately rushes to his or her heart to help further to reach near His lotus feet for doing kainkaryam.

When He measured all the worlds (with His 3 steps’ land), His divine foot touched all the people’s heads as He was fond of giving blessings to one and all. Even when some of them were not understanding His love for them, He was still fond of touching everyone like how a mother would hug her child sleeping next to her without thinking whether the child will be aware of her hug or not.

Since He is similar in beauty and behavior to krishNan, they are enjoying thrivikrama avathAram also.


He lives thinking that helping these dhEvas is His pleasure/destiny; An adhaman is one who troubles others to gain some benefits; madhyaman thinks others should live as well as he should live; but uththaman would even reduce himself for the benefit of others. Such a great perumAn reduced Himself (not only in size, as vAmanan), in order to help the dhEvas.


pEr pAdi

We do nAma sankIrthanam of such an uththaman. (saying his names (nAmam)).

The difference between His nAmam and Himself is like the difference between Him and others. Such is the wonder of his nAmam. If He is a gold bar, His nAmam is like gold jewels. Even if those who are not His bhakthAs say His name it would benefit them; there is no qualification needed to say His name – saying His name would be one’s all the qualifications.

uthaman pEr – refers to thirumanthram; in 1st pAsuram it says ‘nArAyaNan’, in the 2nd, ‘paraman’ that is His guNA as implied by the manthram, In this pAsuram, they refer to thrivikraman which refers to omnipresence (vyApthi) which the thirumanthram reveals, and is represented by vAmana.

krishNan in gIthA talked about 4 ways to reach him in srI vaikuntam – karma yOgam (actions), gyAna yOgam (wisdom/knowledge), bhakthi yOgam (devotion) and SaraNAgathi (surrender). The first three require so much effort on the person’s part, that krishNan suggested the last option that is SaraNAgathi (surrender; samAsrayaNam) for people like us.

Ongiyavan pEr pAdi – is telling the great people following the karma yOgam to recite the names (pEr pAdi) of the perumAL who got up and grew fast (action).

ulagaLandhavan pEr pAdi – when ones learns more about how He covered so many worlds with His divine foot, the gyAnam will grow – reciting His names in this way is for those great people following the gyAna yOgam

uththaman pEr pAdi – when thinking how He is an uththaman, the person would get more bhakthi – this is for the great people following the bhakthi yOgam to recite His names (pEr pAdi)

so, what about the SaranAgathAs (prapannars, mumukshus) who have done samAshrayaNam through her/his AchAryan? Which words combine in the pAsuram for them to talk about reciting his names? . . . . It is just ‘pEr pAdi‘! – saying His nAmams is swayam purushArtham (that itself is the goal), because, for the goal of reaching Him we have already surrendered to His lotus feet with the help of AchAryan (and rAmanujar).

nAngaL  (‘we’) nam pAvaikku (For Our nOnbu)

‘We’ who won’t be able to bear it if we don’t say your nAmam;

they are happy about them being able to talk about and also meet krishNan as till yesterday the elders were policing even their hearts;

pAvaikku – The nOnbu that we are doing while at present when we are not able to be with the prApyam (krishNan);

pAvaikku chARRi nIrAdinAl

With nOnbu as the front/reason, if we take bath to quench the feeling due to our separation from krishNan; with nOnbu as the front/reason, if we meet krishNan and enjoy with Him;

pEr pAdi – nIrAdinAl – if we mingle with krishNan with the knowledge of our (ever-present) relationship with Him (sambandha gyAna pUrvakam).

thIngu inRi nAdellAm

(if we take bath – merge with krishNan) this place would get rid of all its problems, all will live well with their people (as a side-benefit (where not the focus is), of doing kainkaryam (where the focus is)); like how in rAma rAjyam people lived well not because of their puNyas (good karma), but with the bhAgyam of perumAL (rAman),

ellAm: not only this place, but all the places associated to this place also would live well.

thIngu inRi: feeling of svAthanthriyam (feeling independent of perumAn), giving too much importance to body and material comforts, etc., will all be averted with His blessings.

thingaL  mummAri peidhu

Without drought or flood – three cycles in a month – of nine-days’ sunlight and 1-day’s rain which would benefit the place;

we who are having the three characteristics of 1) ananyArha sEshathvam, 2) ananya sharaNathvam, and 3) ananyabhOgyathvam; whereas it might suffice to have goodness with just one such person, here we are so many of us with these characteristics making all of us very happy.

Ongu perum sennel Udu kayalugaLa

(because of good rains) the paddy crops would also quickly grow like the ulagaLandha perumAL;

Udu kayal ugaLa – The fish having grown big like baby elephants would not be able jump around easily as they are restricted in between the well-grown paddy; like how the devotees who see the sarvEshwaran (god of all) the ulagaLandha perumAL, would be awe-struck by His beauty and won’t move.

Like how mArIchA out of fear saw rAmA in every tree after he was thrown far away by rAmA, here the gOpikAs see vAmana when they see tall grass.

The paddy without the grain in its tip would stand straight; as it grows the grain, it would bow down its head; when a sishyan first goes to AchAryan, his head would be straight as he does not know what he does not know. As he gains bhagavath gyAnam from his AchAryan, he would conclude that he does not know anything (reality/modesty), and his head would bow down (to his achAryan).

pUnkuvaLai pOdhil poRi vaNdu kaN paduppa

With the lillies growing beautifully, the bees would happily drink the honey and lie down on the bed in the flowers and sleep elatedly; as the big fish try to go in-between the grass, the flowers would nicely shake along providing a comfortable bed for the bees; as they got into the ‘pori‘ (trap) of the flowers during their sleep as the sun comes up, the male and female bees will complain to each other saying ‘you did not wake me up’, ‘no you did not wake me up’;

perumAn loves to stay and relax in the hearts of his sEshans.

sishyan feels safe under AchAryan’s blessings after having done samAshryaNam.

(after describing about the richness of the paddy, now it is describing about the well-being of AyppAdi)

thEnagadhE pukkirundhu

Like how thiruvadi (hanuman) jumped across the ocean without any hesitation, the people even after seeing that the cows are giving too much of milk, would go and milk the cow without any hesitation (the cows are so much healthy that an ordinary person might hesitate to go near it for fear of not catching all the milk).

irundhu –  milk is always available with the cows

thEngAdhE – without any hesitation a sishyan would

pukkirundhu – go inside the AchAryan’s thirumALigai (and learn)

sIrththa mulai paRRi

The cows are so healthy in AyppAdi that it is not possible for the people to milk the cows just with their fingers – they have to use both their hands.

paRRi vAnga

Those cows are so healthy, they would give so much milk just with touching and removing of the hands.

vAngak kudam niraikkum

Just by touching, the cows would fill the containers so fast, that one has to keep changing those containers to catch all the milk; if they don’t change them fast it won’t be the fault of the cows – perumAn is also pouring his love, it is for the people to catch it as quickly and eagerly as they can.

AchAryan, like cow’s udder, gives us the gyAnam of the lotus feet of perumAn.

vaLLal  (kind / generous)

– because of the above (giving milk)

– these cows are like krishNan; how the gOpikAs would tie a letter around His neck and ask Him to go as messenger, the cows also are standing amicable for the boys to tie it, direct it, etc.

– AchAryan is kind, who connects the sishyan with perumAn

perum pasukkaL

They are the great cows – they live not based on just the grass and water, but based on kind and friendly touch of krishNan. They have listened to so much of krishNan’s flute while casually chewing and digesting their food; this is how Sathrunjayan the elephant of chakravarthi thirumagan (rAman) also grew up.

nIngAdha selvam niRaindhu

(if we did the nOnbu), this place will get all the wealth, unlimited wealth, the wealth that will always stay with the people; because it accumulated with the blessings of ANdAL. (selvam: kainkarya selvam).

Unlike the limits placed by sarvEswaran on our good and bad based on our puNya and pApA, here we would get ever-lasting goodness through these gOpikAs, similar to sItha pirAttiyAr saying ‘pApAnAm vA subhAnAm vA‘ (will be kind whether person has done good or bad).

May we get the ever-lasting wealth that is AchAryan’s thiruvadi.

El Or em pAvAi – think about this and follow our path.

In this pAsuram, ANdAL says that as they do nOnbu, the whole place will become rich with paddy crops, and other good things would happen for the people. She invokes thrivikraman as having similar characteristics of krishNan, and emphasizes reciting his Names as the sole purpose by itself.

In this pAsuram ANdAL talks about vibhava avathAram (thrivikraman).

English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.

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thiruppAvai – 02 – vaiyaththu

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

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In this pAsuram, in preparation for nOnbu, srI ANdAL is listing a few things that they would do (what is good) and a few that they would avoid (what is bad).

In the matter of materialistic wishes, what is liked today won’t be liked tomorrow, what is not liked today will be liked tomorrow – this is due to one’s own karma – so it is hard to tell the difference between what is good and what is bad (since what is desired keeps changing). But in the case of wishing to do kainkaryam to emperumAn, it is very clear as to what is good and what is to be avoided. So, for the girls who (in the previous pAsuram) made up their mind to devote to do kainkaryams, it would be easy to identify good and bad and follow accordingly. Previous pAsuram talked about nature of prApyam (goal), prApakam (means), and that of the adhikAri (person who wants to achieve the goal). In this pAsuram, it talks about do’s and don’ts for such a person.

வையத்து வாழ்வீர்காள் நாமும் நம் பாவைக்குச்
செய்யும் கிரிசைகள் கேளீரோ
பாற்கடலுள் பையத் துயின்ற பரமன் அடி பாடி
நெய் உண்ணோம் பால் உண்ணோம் நாட்காலே நீராடி
மை இட்டு எழுதோம் மலரிட்டு நாம் முடியோம்
செய்யாதன செய்யோம் தீக்குறளைச் சென்று ஓதோம்
ஐயமும் பிச்சையும் ஆந்தனையும் கைகாட்டி
உய்யுமாறு எண்ணி உகந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

vaiyaththu vAzhvIrgAL nAmum nam pAvaikku
cheiyum kirisaigaL kELIrO
pARkadaluL paiya thuyinRa paraman adi pAdi
ney uNNOm pAl uNNOm nAtkAlE nIrAdi
mai ittu ezhudhOm malarittu nAm mudiyOm
seyyAdhana seyyOm thIkkuraLai sendru OdhOm
aiyamum pichchaiyum Andhanaiyum kai kAtti
uyyumAru eNNi ugandhElOr empAvAi

vAzhvIrgAL – O you who are born to have fulfilling life
vaiyaththu – in this world;

nAmum – we, who live thinking that we achieve our destiny because of Him;
uyyum ARu eNNi – we realize the means for achieving the destiny;
ugandhu – so with happiness
kELIrO – listen (to us about)
seyyum kirisaigaL – the tasks that we do
nam pAvaikku – for our nOnbu;
adi pAdi – we sing praises of the lotus feet of
paiya thuyinRa paraman – the almighty who is lying down with scheming thoughts
pARkadaluL – in the milky ocean;
aiyamum – we give things to appropriate persons, and
pichchaiyum – give biksha (alms) which are given to brahmachAris and sanyAsis
Andhanaiyum – till the level they are able to receive,
kai kAtti – we give that much;
nei uNNOm – we would not eat ghee;
pAl uNNOm – would not consume milk;
nIrAdi – will bathe
nAt kAlE – early in the morning;
mai ittu ezhudhOm – we won’t decorate our eyes;
malar ittu nAm mudiyOm – won’t decorate our hair with flowers;
seyyAdhana seyyOm – would not do what our pUrvAchAryas did not do;
senRu OdhOm – would not go and tell emperumAn
thIkkuraLai – any gossip that creates problems for others.

Detailed meanings

vaiyaththu vAzhvIrgAL

– You the most fortunate people who are living in this world, the world to which the sarvEsvaran (god for all) has come to live among you as krishNan (as if He is a layman).

– Specifically saying ‘vaiyaththu‘ – to show that this place is better in many respects compared to even srI vaikuNtam – because perumAL is able to show many of his kalyANa guNas (divine characteristics) only in this world and not in srI vaikuNtam because in there every one is muktha Athma with no pApams /mistakes etc., so it is more exciting to see perumAL showing his guNas in this bhU lOkam; isn’t that why nithya sUris come to this world, to enjoy emperumAn‘s guNas?

hanuman also did not desire to go to srI vaikuNtam where he won’t be able to see srI rAman with all his glorious guNas that He had the opportunity to show us in this world only; only in this world could we see krishNan praying – to his Mother to untie him – we won’t get that experience in srI vaikuNtam.

AzhwArs also have sung that they prefer less of srI vaikuNtam! (achchuvai peRinum vENdEn, kaNda kaNgaL maRRonRinai kANAvE, and more).

Like water in a desert, in this world people drowned in samsAram got the wonder that is krishNan and so they are fortunate to live in this world.

(Speaking of going to SrI vaikuNtam, once nanjeeyar was thinking loud, how come dasarathan went only to svargam (heaven) and not to srI vaikuNtam (mOksham).  bhattar‘s comment was “he should have actually gone to narakam (hell) – dasarathan thought that his promise (samAnya dharmam) was more important; he did not think about how perumAL would walk in the forest with his soft lotus feet getting hurt (visEsha dharmam). He might have gotten svargam because of the chakravarthy’s bhAgyam to have that thiru magan“.

vAzhvIrgAL – the gOpikAs of AyppAdi are the most fortunate because: they are of the same age and so got the friendship of krishNan; they were born during the same time period of krishNan (and not before or after His avathAr); and that too these gOpikAs were born in the same AyppAdi where krishNan was born (and not in some other place during the same time); how wonderful that all these good things came together for these gOpikAs! Even being in the same place as His presence would be a blessing. Being there, and fulfillment of life are same.

While the gOpikAs who are saying vAzhvIrgAL are themselves enjoying this opportunity, why are they celebrating only others (vAzhvIrgAL) as having the opportunity – they are not satisfied with just their enjoying it, so they are appreciating the others who are joining together and providing them the great krishNa anubhavam (experience/enjoyment).

nAmum – we who are living with the thought the He is everything (upAyam (means), upEyam (destiny)) for us

nam pAvaikkunam: our;  pAvai: nOnbu;

Our nOnbu is special because it is for creating good for the people and the place, and for those who are associated with them; with that goal we are waking up all the girls and krishNan also in order to be with Him; asking to do this nOnbu (being with krishNan on the pretext of doing the nOnbu) is like we are being paid to eat the sweet sugarcane;

seyyum kirisaigaL – as part of nOnbu we will follow all these ten do’s and don’ts (as part of being associated with perumAn); though we look for His hand for everything, we do these for dhEha yAthirai/kAlakshEpam – until we get what we want.

kELIrO – would you listen

They are so happy when the people were previously saying No to krishNa and No to gOpikAs for meeting each other, and now the gOpikAs are able to meet and enjoy krishNan – so they are telling everyone to listen to their happiness.

==> Listening about perumAn is wonderful; whoever is talking about perumAn is not doing that for feeling like an AchAryan (teacher/greater soul);  who are listening are doing that not because they don’t know about it. It is just to talk and listen about perumAn that they are coming together for the conversation. (bOdhayantha: parasparam (gIthA)).

When the girls asked her to tell them about good things to follow:

pARkadaluL paiya thuyinRa ((kshIrAbhdhi nAthan who is) sleeping in the ocean)

From srI vaikuNtam, perumAn came down and is lying down on Adhi sEshan, and thinking deeply about how to help us.

paiya thuyinRa – Without enjoying with thAyArs, He with kaLLam is lying down with closed eyes as He is mainly concerned about the well being of us samsAris.

Why are they referring to krishNan with the name kshIrAbhdhi nAthan? As they have been suffering all these days because of not being able to meet krishNan, now they are thinking that what god has set up for them (meeting with krishNan as part of nOnbu) might be disturbed somehow – so they are saying the name of the god (in sayanam lying down on Adhi SEshan in the ocean) so that the elders would be committed for them to do this nOnbu (with krishNan).  They don’t want elders to say that they just sang only about krishNan when going for nOnbu; so they sing the equivalent of Him in ksheerAbhdhi.


Referring to His beauty when seen lying down on Adhi SEshan (thiru ananthAzhvAn); since He is present in the milky ocean like this for thinking about the well-being of people, paraman refers to his greatness also; great in every respect.

adi pAdi – will sing about his lotus feet

As perumAn is thinking about the gOpikAs’ well being, all that the gOpikAs can think of is His thiruvadigaL (lotus feet) only, as that is where one goes to for getting perumAn‘s anugraham (blessing).

==> pAdi nei uNNOm pAl uNNom – Will not eat Ghee, Milk etc.

They are saying they would not eat such rich food, as they want to focus on the nOnbu and on being together with krishNan; after eating krishNan’s friendship, they don’t feel like eating anything else; why are they saying will not ‘eat’ milk/ghee, instead of saying ‘drink’ milk/ghee. It may be the way the cowherd girls speak – we also refer to him as ‘veNNai uNda vAyan’ (ANdAL automatically got that, similar to how her body odor became that of cowherd girls!);

==> Another reason for saying ‘eat’ instead of ‘drink’ is that from the time krishNan was born, others do not know how milk or ghee or butter would look like – because krishNan consumes all those things as and when they are made – (so the gOpikAs thought that it is some (dessert) item to eat).

nammAzhvAr also said ‘ellAm kaNNan’, emphasizing that when krishNan is there, rich food, etc., are not important;

If they don’t eat (they fast), it is krishNan who will look like He was fasting, due to the care He has got for the girls.

nAtkAlE nIrAdi  (take bath very early)

Take bath early, in case He shows up; take bath early so that we can go and do kainkaryam soon; take bath to quench the feeling of separation from Him; bharathan too, separated from perumAL, took bath very early to quench the feeling of separation.

mai ittu ezhudhOm (won’t apply mai (kAjal) to the eyes)

malar ittu nAm mudiyOm (won’t wear flowers)

If they don’t apply mai in their eyes, krishNan will not tolerate, and will feel that he should take care of them. He would give us flowers to wear before, but now we won’t wear during this nOnbu.

–> mai gives brightness to eyes; gyAna yOgam gives brightness to AthmA; she is saying we will not follow gyAna yOgam for attaining perumAn. (They say – we have told you that we are not capable of doing gyAna yOgam, that is the reason we surrendered (samAsrayaNam) to you through our AcharyAn, asking you to help us, we don’t have a way to reach you by our own efforts).

–> malar – bhagavath anubhavam – can imply bhakthi yOgam – we will not follow bhakthi yOgam either, for reaching your lotus feet. Same reason as above, as we are saraNAgathas.

If He comes and insists on putting the flowers on us, we would not be able to resist; we would not wear them on our own.

seyyAdhana seyyOm (Won’t do what our ancestors did not do (even if acceptable to vEdhas))

Will not do kainkaryams for other low benefits; will not go to krishNan without waking up all the gOpikAs and getting together; bharathan also said I cannot do what our elders have not done (to become a king when one is not the eldest son); even if vEdhas allow us something, we will not do it if it is not followed by our purvAcharyas. That is, even though we could, we would not go to Him directly, but only through bhAgavathas as support.

thIkkuraLai chenRu OdhOm (will not go and gossip or wrongly complain (about others)); sItha dhEvi also hid from thiruvadi (hanuman) about rAkshasis giving so much trouble to Her; she did not say anything about that to srI rAman also even when they were alone comfortable in their bed;

if we girls said something bad to each other due to circumstances/out of friendship, we will not let perumAn know about it;  on the same note,

we will avoid letting the deficiencies of others that we see in front of our eyes to reach our heart – perumAn is antharyAmi – our thinking is equivalent to telling him;

aiyamum pichaiyum – we will give to the deserving/respected people, and to brahmachAris (another meaning – we will help people understand about krishNa anubhavam (experience) and bhAgavatha (devotees) anubhavam (repectively).

Andhanaiyum – will help as much as they can take

kai kAtti – but without showing any sign of having helped, and without having any thoughts that we did such help.

Also: aiyyam – knowledge about His nature and characteristics; pichai – knowledge about nature of AthmA. letting others know about these as much as we are able to. kai kAtti – even if we share our knowledge, we don’t feel that it is we who did it.

uyyumARu eNNi – by thinking that by following the above do’s and don’ts we will reach our goal (krishNan), (uyyum ARu – 6 vArthaigaL by dhEva perumAL to emperumAnAr; eNNi – think of that).

eNNi ugandhu – thinking about reaching this great goal and becoming happy (and thinking about that goal we are happily doing the steps required for nOnbu, would you listen about that? (that is, ‘eNNi ugandhu seyyum kirisaigaL kELIro?’)

El Or em pAvAi.

In this pAsuram, the gOpikAs talk about do’s and don’ts as part of nOnbu/kainkaryam, and in general how we view srIvaishNavas.

This pAsuram talks about vyUha avathAram of emperumAn (ksheerAbhdi nAthan).

English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

thiruppAvai – 01 – mArgazhi thingaL

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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.


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).


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.

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thiruppAvai – thaniyans

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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: ||


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

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


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.

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thiruppAvai – Introduction

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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.

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