thiruppAvai – 08 – kIzh vAnam

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

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This pAsuram, the 3rd of the 10 wake-up pAsurams, is about a gOpikA who is full of bhagavath abhimAnam (who is fully knowledgeable, and who follows well about bhagavath vishayam), who wishes for all, not just a few, of the gOpikas to come and wake her up, and who is sought by krishNan.

The gOpikAs who got up first, those gOpikas too, instead of thinking that it is enough if a few woke up, want to wake up all of their friends to join them and go to krishNan. This is related to bhAgavatha (devotees of perumAn) vishayam.

கீழ்வானம் வெள்ளென்று எருமை சிறுவீடு
மேய்வான் பரந்தனகாண் மிக்குள்ள பிள்ளைகளும்
போவான் போகின்றாரைப் போகாமல் காத்து உன்னைக்
கூவுவான் வந்து நின்றோம் கோதுகலம் உடைய
பாவாய் எழுந்திராய் பாடிப் பறைகொண்டு
மாவாய் பிளந்தானை மல்லரை மாட்டிய
தேவாதி தேவனைச் சென்றுநாம் சேவித்தால்
ஆவாவென்று ஆராய்ந்து அருளேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

kIzhvAnam veLLenRu erumai chiRuvIdu
mEivAn parandhana kAN mikkuLLa piLLaigaLum
pOvAn pOginRArai pOgAmal kAththu
unnaik kUvuvAn vandhu ninROm
kOdhukalam udaiya pAvai! ezhundhirAi pAdipparai kONdu
mAvAi piLandhAnai mallarai mAttiya
dhEvAdhi dhEvanai chenRu nAm sEviththAl
AvAvenRu ArAindhu aruLElor empAvAi

Word by Word Meaning

kOdhukalam udaiya pAvai – O the girl who is of interest (to krishNan)
kIzh vAnam – the sky on the east side
veLLenRu – has dawned (became white),
erumai – buffaloes
siRuvIdu – released out for some time (in the early morning)
parandhana kAN – spread out (in the fields)
mEivAn – to grace (the grass with early morning dews),
mikkuLLa piLLaigaLum – (regarding) all other girls
pOgAmal kAththu – (we) stopped them from going
pOvAn pOginRArai – (who were) going, with going itself as the goal,
vandhu ninROm – and came and stood steadily (by your door step)
unnaik kUvuvAn – to call you;
ezhundhirAi – please get up
pAdi – (and) sing (kaNNan’s guNAs)
paRai koNdu –  and get paRai (instrument/mOksham) (from Him)
mA vAi piLandhAnai – who killed horse shaped kEsi
mallarai mAttiya – and who destroyed the wrestlers (chANUra-mushtika)
dhEvAdhi dhEvanai – and who is the head of nithya-sUris
nAm chenRu sEviththAl – if we went (to Him) and give our respects to Him
ArAyndhu – (He would) inquire (our needs)
A A enRu aruL – and He will say O!, and he would help us.

Simple Translation

kIzh vAnam veLLenRu

“It is getting bright in the East, and you are still sleeping?” so saying, the gOpikAs are waking up this gOpikA.

“East has not become bright. You gOpikAs are looking in that direction, and the brightness in your faces is reflected in there – you are ‘thingaL thiru mugaththu chEi izhaiyAr (pAsuram 30) (faces are like the moon)’. So it is anyathA-gyAnam (mistaking one attribute for another); Is there some other sign of dawn?”

erumai chiruvIdu mEivAn parandhana kAN

“The buffaloes have spread out to eat grass with dews in the early morning; srI nandagOpar has got goats, cows, buffaloes etc., (if we delayed,) krishNan would go behind them – then whom will we see? Please get up”.

Her father (all the AzhvArs are considered ANdAL’s father (anju kudikku oru santhadhiyAy [upadhEsa raththinamAlai]), here it is referring to thoNdaradippodi AzhvAr) who sang to periya perumAL (srI ranga nAthan) ‘mEttiLa mEdhigaL thaLai vidum AyargaL‘ (the cowherd boys are taking care of the young cows), trying to wake Him up in thirupaLLiyezhuchchi. The daughter is also saying that the cows are already up, but she is trying to wake up a bhAgavatha (krishNan’s devotee); (better than AzhvAr waking up krishNan (periya perumAL) (AzhvArgaL tham seyalai vinji niRkum thanmaiyaLAi [upadhEsa raththina mAlai]).

ANdAL being a Brahmin girl is supposed to know about hOmam, etc., but she is talking about the early morning dew-grass (nunip pul) eating habits of buffaloes – similar to how her walk, talk and odour changed due to pretending like a gOpikai, she with perumAn‘s grace is also having the knowledge about these animals’ life.

The sleepy gOpikA replies, “It is the darkness that is spreading and drowning because of the brightness of your faces. They are not buffaloes; you are seeing that darkness and thinking that they are buffaloes. This is your viparItha-gyAnam (mistaking one thing for another); darkness would not be there in front of you who have sAthvIka guNa. So, this is not a sign of dawn”.

The gOpikAs ask, “We accept that all the signs we told so far are because of our misunderstanding; would you tell us why this is not yet dawn?”

“The gOpikAs from all of five lakh houses have not come here; only about a thousand gOpikAs have shown up. The rest have to wake up and come here, and that would be the sign of dawn of the day”.

In response,

mikkuLLa piLLaigaLum (all remaining gOpikAs of AyppAdi)

“Everyone except you, have been going”

“How come they did not call me”

“Because there were too many people, they did not know that you were not present; they are all going fast as they missed krishNan”

pOvAn pOginRArai (those who are going eagerly, and enjoying the journey)

“The srIvaishNavAs who after their life here would go in ‘archirAthi mArgam‘; akrUrar going to krishNa (for taking him to kamsa), and the people who go on thiruvEnKata (thiruppathi) yAththirai (journey), like how they think that the going (journey) itself is the prayOjanam (destiny), these gOpikAs are also going to krishNan.

“Where do I go if they all have already gone?”

pOgAmal kAththu  (we stopped them from going (without you))

all we had to tell all the gOpikAs was that You have not yet joined – they just stopped in their tracks (consistent with what they said in the 2nd pAsuram: sEyyAdhana seyyOm – won’t do what our purvAchAriAs have not done – will follow their ways), and they are waiting for you

unnaikkUvuvAn (to call you)

We stopped them, and to follow the norm, we came in front of your door and called you.

vandhu ninROm – we came here, and we stood by your bed; like how vibIshaNan came and stood steadily in the sky (to see SrI rAmAn)

“When so many gOpikAs are waiting ready to go, why did you come and stand in front of my house? You are Not ready to go Without me, but here I am, Not getting up from my bed or showing my face (not entertaining your idea of waking me up); are you not upset with me because of this?”

They reply,

kOdhukalam udaiya pAvAi

kOdhukalam: kudhUkalam (motivated/joyful/bhakthi about krishNan)

It is good for us to come to your house and go with You to see krishNan; you are one of his favorite gOpikAs, so if we are with krishNan when you are also beside Him, that would make our being with krishNan meaningful; we will also be in the good books of krishNan if He knows that we did not leave a devotee when going to Him;

pAvAi – we do these to that gOpikA who understands and also has got her mind accepted to pArathanthriyam (subservience to perumAn).

==> AzhvAr: In this 3rd pAsuram related to referring to gOpikA being woken up as AzhvAr – ANdAL saying ‘kOdhukalam udaiya pAvai‘ is referring to bhUdhaththAzhwAr. In his iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi, bhUdhaththAzhvAr sang ‘dhEvAdhi dhEvan enap paduvAn mun oru nAL mAvAi piLandha magan‘, also ‘endhan aLavanRAl yAnudaiya anbu‘. In thiruvAimozhi 5-2-2, nammAzhvAr sang ‘ mAdhavan bhUtham‘ which too refers to kOdhukalam.


Please give us the greatness that it is we who came and woke you up, and then you woke up because of that.

Unlike that ‘peNNin varuththam aRiyAdhavan [nAchiAr thirumozhi 13-1] (He who does not understand woman’s sadness), you who understand it, would you still be lying down?

What is it that we would do if I woke up?”

pAdip paRai kONdu

The wealth that we are going to get now (going to krishNan) is nothing like any other wealth that we got till now; earlier the elders had said no to krishNa and no to gOpikAs for meeting each other; we all had to hide within our minds and hearts our affection for krishNan, and were very careful and afraid to show it out; but now all the people themselves have given us permission and also have requested krishNan to help us in this nOnbu. This is like opening the dam from our hearts – we are so thrilled and we openly sing and praise about krishNan – there is no stopping;

paRai – the instrument that is used as part of nOnbu – as far as the people are concerned; for us it is the krishNA anubhavam.

What would you sing about?”

mA vAi piLandhAnai

“We will sing about krishNan who split the mouth of asuran kEsi and saved us and saved Himself to give to us; the One who made Himself available to us to make fun of Him and to enjoy Him.

mallarai mAttiya

In mathurApuri He killed the two big fighters (wrestlers) for all the gOpikAs there to see and celebrate; we will also celebrate that here.

Inner meaning: the two fighters – our kAmam (our wants of materialistic things) and krOdham (anger when we don’t get what we wanted). krishNan will help kill these two.

krishNan cleverly moved away and let the two wrestlers fall against each other and die; srI rAmAnujar also would let the other sects argue against each other so that they would decide their own fate, and let the final winner come to him and lose; this is so that he would not have to waste too much time debating with each and every one).

dhEvAdhi dhEvanai

“He is the god for dhEvas, people, all beings, and non-beings; He went to mathurApuri and killed kuvalaiyApIda, chANUra mushitka, and got friends with the wealthy gOpikAs of mathurApuri – would He come and befriend us poor cowherd gOpikAs who cannot even tell the difference between their right and left hands?”


We will go to Him; He should have come to us and saved us (as a perumAn), but we will go and show Him how our viraham (missing Him) has eaten our body; He will feel bad for us and He will bless us;

chakravarthy thirumagan – only He went to all the sages, to mahArAjar (sukrIvan), and to vibIshanAzhvAn to bless them; in fact He felt bad that He did not go all the way to lankai to bless vibIhshanAzhvAn as they met only at the shore near thiruppullANi (dhivya dhEsam).

krishNan too, only He went to mAlAkArar in mathurApuri; we as the SaraNAgathAs are His property – only the owner worries about and cares for the property; the property does not worry; when perumAn gets us, He the owner feels happy, the property does not; in our case, since we are given gyAnam, we would feel happy when/that perumAn is feeling happy.

AzhvArs sent birds etc., as messengers to ask perumAn to come and see them; with a very high level of bhakthi towards perumAn they even did Udal (showing their being upset as part of being in love) with perumAn asking Him, the One who came to them, to go away.

Given all this, ANdAL says, if We Go there to Him, He will be so thrilled. He would not reject us thinking that His dhEvAdhi dhEvan. (Also, our going there to Him is the first stage, which we all will be in for a long time; as bhakthi increases and we get the stage of a mature SaraNAgathar, we will be like this sleepy gOpikA saying that let perumAn come and bless me; crossing even that is the azhvArs’ stage).

nAm sEviththAl

“If we go to Him (out of turn), will He avoid seeing us?”

“He would not (because of Him feeling bad for us). But if He did, we shall suffer like bharathAzhvAn did”.

(bharathan begged SrI rAman to go back to ayODhya and become the king – but SrI rAman did not agree; rAman felt bad for a very long time that He did not agree to bharathan even when it is bharathan who came and saw Him).

“He will be kind like how He was to the crow”

(the crow – kAkAsuran did apachAram (mistake) by hurting sIthA pirAtti. SrI rAman wanted to kill him, but pirAtti made him do saraNAgathi and rAman calmed down and let him go – out of his kindness).

He should bow His head for us because of His love for us, but if we did that to Him (அத்தலை இத்தலையானால் /aththalai iththalai AnAl) He would melt and accept us.

AvA enRu ArAindhu aruL

He would think “Aha! Aha! These gOpikAs live with the subservience that I would provide them mOksham, and so they have been waiting for me to go and meet them – it is my mistake that I let them come here to see me instead!” and He would be so kind to us and would feel so happy to see us, and would inquire (ArAindhu) about our well-being. So there is not anything wrong if we went to Him; only we have to hurry up. So please get up and quickly join us.

(also read as – AvA enRu ArAindhu aruLuvAn, kOdhukalam udaiya pAvai ezhudhirAi).

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

In this pAsuram, ANdAL wakes up yet another gOpikA and explains to her that they stopped many of the gOpikAs and came to her house so that they would be happy to see her joining them for going to krishNan; and krishNan would be happy to understand their eagerness that they came to see him, instead of the norm of waiting for Him to come to them.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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