thiruppAvai – 11 – kaRRuk kaRavai

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

Full Series

If krishNan is there for all the girls, this girl is special among all. She is thinking “Do I have to do nOnbu to get kaNNan? Let him do nOnbu and come to me”, and she is sleeping early in the morning in her bed. All the girls are in front of her house trying to get her up and join their nOnbu. They think she is equal to krishNan for them.

கற்றுக் கறவைக் கணங்கள் பலகறந்து
செற்றார் திறலழியச் சென்று செருச்செய்யும்
குற்றம்ஒன் றில்லாத கோவலர்த்தம் பொற்கொடியே
புற்று அரவு அல்குல் புனமயிலே போதராய்
சுற்றத்து தோழிமார் எல்லாரும் வந்து நின்
முற்றம் புகுந்து முகில்வண்ணன் பேர்பாட
சிற்றாதே பேசாதே செல்வ பெண்டாட்டி நீ
எற்றுக்கு உறங்கும் பொருளேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

kaRRuk kaRavai gaNangaL pala kaRandhu
cheRRAr thiRal azhiyach chenRu cheruch cheyyum
kuRRam onRillAdha kOvalar tham poRkodiyE
puRRaravalgul punamayilE pOdharAi
chuRRaththuth thOzhimAr ellArum vandhu
nin muRRam pugundhu mugil vaNNan pEr pAda
chiRRAdhE pEsAdhE selva peNdAtti
nI eRRukku uRangum poruLElor empAvAi

Word by Word Meaning

gaNangaL pala kaRandhu – draws milk from several groups
kanRu (kaRRu) kaRavai – of young cows, and
chenRu – goes to the enemies’ places
cheruch cheyyum – and fights with them
cheRRAr thiral azhiya – such that the strength of enemies get destroyed
kuRRam onRillAdha – (but) not having faults like hitting an enemy who is showing his back while running away, etc.,
kOvalar tham – O (sister) of (such) gOpAlars
poRkodiyE – who looks like a slim (and beautiful) vine made of gold
puRRu aravu algul – and having the back curved like the shape of head of a snake living in its hole
puna mayilE – and like the peacock living in its place
pOdharAi – please get up and come here;
chuRRaththuth thOzhimAr ellArum – all of your friends who are relatives
vandhu – have come (together)
nin muRRam pugundhu – into your thirumAligai’s verandah
mugil vaNNan pEr pAda – to sing the names of kaNNan who is of the color of dark blue clouds
selvappeNdAtti nI – you who is all the treasure (for us)
chiRRAdhE pEsAdhE – not moving, and not talking
uRangum poruL eRRukku – what could be there to sleep?

Simple Translation

kaRRu kaRavai

Cows that are looking young like calves – because they grow young with the fond touch of krishNan;

gaNangaL pala

gaNam -> crowd/bunch; pala-> many

It is not possible to count the cows in a bunch, and cannot count the number of such groups as well; there are so many cows, even higher than the number of stars in the sky, the number of grains in the beach; the number of pApams in an individual; similar to how there is no count for jIvathamAs.


Like how one sarvESvaran is determining and controlling the actions of all the jIvAthmAs, one cowherd boy is able to follow his varnAsramam and get all the milk from all these countless cows; the cows, because of the wealth of kaNNan’s touch, are so full of milk that the cowherd boy milks the cows fully to reduce the tension in their teats;

gaNangaL pala kaRandhu – AchAryan giving gyAnam to lots of groups of sishyas.


enemies of such cowherd boys – those who are trying to create problems to krishNan (that is kamsan, et al) [but krishNan would say that He does not have any enemies; only those who are enemies to his bhakthAs are His enemies]

svApadhESam: those who are upAyantharaparar (using some other means to reach their goal, e.g., gyAna yOgam etc.,) and upEyAntharaparar (asking for some other benefits/goals)

thiRal azhiya

kamsan and his group, who think that even dhEvas are not equal to them, cannot intimidate these AyppAdi men and so their ego is killed.

svApadhEsam: thiRal – trying to put in their own efforts (and the accompanying ahankAram) to achieve their goal of reaching Him or other benefits; azhiya – for that attitude to be destroyed

chenRu seruch cheyyum

AyppAdi men cannot wait for the enemies to come to them and then fight, so they would go to the enemies’ places, even if they have to cross the river, and fight with them to save kaNNan; equal in valor to chakravarthy thirumagan who went to the enemy’s place to fight him.

mathurA was very close to thiruvAyppAdi. How come vasudhEvar thought it was a safe place for kaNNan? It is because kamsan is scared of the thiruvAyppAdi gOpars. He Never entered that place. That is why he sent his asura servants instead of going there by himself – that too he told them to go in other forms (மாறு வேஷம்). And krishNan said do we need these great gOpars to kill kamsan? Just the lowly me the cowherd boy (கடையனான இடையன்) is enough.  At the end too, kamsan sent akrUrar to bring kaNNan.  krishnan chenRu (went and) killed kamsan. He killed him so that he would not commit more pApams.

svApadhESam: the ones who keep Him as their means, would do vijaya yAthrai themselves (to correct other people who use other means)

kuRRam onRillAdha

thiruvAyppAdi gOpars who would not be idle if they see anyone coming to fight; and would fight without breaking the rules, (when the enemy loses his weapon, they wait for him to gather one, and would not attack when he does not have a weapon to fight back) – inRu pOi nALai vArAi – said chakravarthy thirumagan.

Because they have surrendered to kaNNan, even if someone complains to kaNNan about something that they did, He would say, “Whatever they did was right”.

kOvalar tham poRkodiyE

Hey the (sleeping) girl,

kOvalar tham – the most favorite of this whole thiruvAyppAdi,

poRkodi – who has fully given her livelihood and well-being in her husband’s hands; jIvAthmAs who have fully given their livelihood and well-being in the hands of perumAn; like the vines that fully depend on their support; por kodi – soundharyam – samudhAya sObhai – overall beauty; and lAvaNyam – avayava sObhai – beauty of specific parts.

poRkodi – hEma, lathA

poRkodi – possessing gyAna vairAkyam (small waist)

==> AzhvAr – In this pAsuram, ‘kOvalar thum por kodiyE’ refers to periyAzhvAr. In periyAzhvAr thirumozhi he sang, ‘vittu chiththan manaththE kOil kONda kOvalanai kOzhunguLir mugil vaNNanai‘, and ANdAL in this pAsuram is singing along those lines, ‘mugil vaNNan pEr pAda‘, and he was also fond of the the kOvalar (gOpars/gOpikAs) as he sang many including ‘kaNNan kEsavan nambi piRandhinil‘.

puRRu aravu-algul

You who is slim and elegant like a snake entering its den; her beauty makes women to wish to be men (like dhraupathi’s girl friends); similar to how His beauty makes men wish to wear women’s clothes (rishis upon seeing rAman); This is consistent with how srIvaishNavas should be interested in the wellness of AchAryan’s (and srIvaishNavas’) thirumEni (divine body).  vAzhi thirunAmams describe the thirumEni too; thirukOshtiyUr nambi thinks of ALavandhAr‘s back (that is like turtle’s back) as his savior; pinbazhagiya perumAL jIyar ate medicines so that he could be in this world to see the thirumuka maNdalam (divine face) of his AchAryan nampiLLai having water drops in it, as he regularly did every morning after his AchAryan took bath in the river.

svApadhEsam ==> algul – para bhakthi

puna mayilE

like how the peacock in its home showing its beautiful tail feathers would attract the other, you have a beautiful hair that is attractive to kaNNan and all the gOpikAs too.

about parama bhakthi


you don’t have to help us be with kaNNan, at least, just for our benefit walk a few steps; we want to walk behind you and see your beautiful walk; please go with us for our full satisfaction; like how it was beautiful to see rAman going to the forest (sObhayan dhaNdakAraNyam).

“Are all of you ready? Are you all here?”

suRRaththuth thOzhimAr ellArum

All the girls are her friends; all the people are her relatives; all her people are like her, doing kainkaryam for the sake of doing it (not expecting anything in return / not doing for any other reason).

ellArum vandhu

They are all here – they go to sleep everyday thinking that they live for your well-being and your relationship.

nin muRRam pugundhu

nin muRRam – The verandah(?) of your house is the favorite place for kaNNan to come and play; whenever He knows that all of us are going here to play, He wants to join us immediately so that He can be here; He would come stand here and look at us with His happy and naughty smile;

When this place is kaNNan’s favorite, it goes without saying that it is our favorite too. (muRRam pugundhu muRuval seithu nInRIr (periya thirumozhi 10-8-5); muRRaththUdu pugundhu ninmugam kAtti pun muRuval seydhu (nAchiAr thirumozhi 2-9)).

vAlmIki writes ‘vibIshaNan ‘came to rAman’ instead of using the phrase ‘went from lankA’. It was the native place to be for vibIshaNan; your muRRam is the native place to be for us, say the gOpikAs.

“What are you going to do entering this place in my house?”

mugil vaNNan pEr pAda

We will sing his nAmams thinking about His beauty and kindness which you love of Him.

chiRRAdhE pEsAdhE  (you are not moving about or talking)

The girl inside was keeping quiet reminiscing the beauty of ‘mugil vaNNan’ (kaNNan who is dark like the rain clouds).

chiRRAdhE – Not moving about to indicate that you have woken up; her mischief and words are the food for the eyes and ears of these girls who are so fond of her. They are feeling sad because of not getting these.

selvap peNdAtti nI

You are a girl with pArathanthriyam (subservient to perumAn), being with you is the wealth for us.

You are fully in krishNa anubhavam, don’t we have to get that anubhavam?

“I am also missing kaNNan; am I enjoying here with krishNan?”

If not, then:

eRRukku uRangum poruL?

Is there any use in lying down in your bed and not joining all of us?

Why are you delaying, without looking at our wishes, without looking at our anxiety, and without realizing the benefit of enjoying kaNNan?

In this pAsuram ANdAL is waking up a gOpikA whose brother is duty-bound in getting the milk from all the cows, and this gOpikA was thinking that perumAn should come and see her as that is His nature. The gOpikAs outside are desperate to go see Him, and since they want to go with her, they wake her up.  In this pAsuram it says that if one does the activities following their varNAsrama dharmam with the thought of doing it as a kainkaryam (instead of as a means), then there is no kuRRam (fault).

Additional details relating this pAsuram to mudhal AzhvArs:

kaRRuk kaRavai gaNangaL pala – mudhal AzhvArs gave lots of pAsurams made of small veNbAs (as named in thamizh grammar).

chenRu cheruch cheyyum – they roamed around as yOgis;

kOvalar – who reached (thiru)kOvalur – mudhal AzhvArs.  kuRRam onRillAdha – without any defects – mudhal AzhvArs were born not from a womb; Of the three, poRkodi is bhUdhathAzhwAr – ‘kOl thEdi Odum kodi … mAl thEdi Odum manam‘. For him the chuRRaththu thOzhimAr – related friends – poigai AzhwAr, and pEyAzhwAr (other Azhwars are friends);  algul – small waist – indicates vairAkyam;  gyAnam -> poigai AzhvAr; vairAkyam -> bhUdhaththAzhwAr; bhakthi -> pEyAzhvAr;

mugil vaNNan – this phrase was first used by bhUdhathAzhvAr;

chiRRAdhE pEsAdhE – bhUdhaththAzhvAr – did not cry out or complain in his pAsurams (unlike poigai AzhwAr and pEi AzhwAr)

selvap peNdAtti (dear wife) – bhUdhathAzvar was born in the same flower as thAyAr did;

This pAsuram is said to fit kUraththAzhvAn as well. If anyone knows how, please provide in comments.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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0 thoughts on “thiruppAvai – 11 – kaRRuk kaRavai”

  1. “setraar thiral azhiya senru seruch cheiyyum” fits KoorathAzhvAn as AzhvAn did not wait for Kirumikanda chozhan to come to him but he voluntarily went to king’s court and rained shAsthrArthams,explained parathvam of Sriman Narayanan and defeated the king’s purpose. Eventually, he sacrificed his darisanam for Emperumanar darisanam.

    Adiyen srivaishnava dasan


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