thiruppAvai – 02 – vaiyaththu

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

Full Series

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

Word by Word Meaning

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.

Simple Translation

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.

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