thiruppAvai – 15 – ellE iLam kiLiyE

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

Full Series

This is the 15th pAsuram of thiruppAvai, and 10th and final of the ones that wake up other gOpikAs.

==> This is also a nAyagak kal (central stone of an ornament) – main pAsuram, of thiruppAvai – “thiruppAvai Agiradhu ippAttu” [this song IS thiruppAvai)]. (So) it is set in the middle of the 30 pAsurams (exluding last one where ANdAL sings that as Herself and not as a gOpikA, and it is Phala SRuthi pAsuram). In the 8 lines of this pAsuram, ignoring the last line of ElOrempAvAi, in the 7 lines, the key phrase ‘nAnE thAn Ayiduga’ is in the middle line, like a gem set in the middle of a central piece of an ornament.

– mahAbhAratham was mainly for bhagavath gIthA; bhagavath gIthA was created for charama slOkam;
– ‘mEmporuL pOga vittu’ is the central pAsuram of thirumAlai.
– ‘thanakkE Aga enaik koLLumIdhE’ –  central pAsuram of thiruvAimozhi.
– Here, thiruppAvai is for this pAsuram!

In this pAsuram they wake up a gOpikA who wants to see the whole crowd.

In the prior nine pAsurams, words of the pAsurams themselves were all of the gOpikAs outside only. The conversation was not explicit. vyAkyAthAs (commentators like periyavAchAn piLLai) had added them due to their kindness, for our understanding.

The words in this key pAsuram are from both the gOpikAs outside, and the gOpikA inside. There is a strong reason for that. ANdAL wants to actually show the gOpikA inside as talking in order to tell us the ways of a srivaishNavar.

(Note: To get the deepest meanings of especially this pAsuram kindly attend kAlakshEpams, and from your AchAryan).

எல்லே இளம்கிளியே இன்னம் உறங்குதியோ
சில் என்று அழையேன் மின் நங்கையீர் போதருகின்றேன்
வல்லை உன் கட்டுரைகள் பண்டே உன் வாய் அறிதும்
வல்லீர்கள் நீங்களே நானே தான் ஆயிடுக
ஒல்லை நீ போதாய் உனக்கென்ன வேறுடையை
எல்லாரும் போந்தாரோ போந்தார் போந்து எண்ணிக்கொள்
வல் ஆனை கொன்றானை மாற்றாரை மாற்றழிக்க
வல்லானை மாயனைப் பாடேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

ellE iLam kiLiyE! innam uRangudhiyO?
chil enRu azhaiyEnmin nangaimIr pOdharginREn
vallai un katturaigaL paNdE un vAi aRidhum
valleergaL nIngaLE nAnE thAn Ayiduga
ollai nI pOdhAi unakkEnna vERudaiyai
ellArum pOndharO pOndhAr pOndhu eNNikkoL
val Anai konRAnai mARRArai mARRazhikka vallAnai
mAyanaip pAda ElOrempAvAi

Word by Word Meaning

iLam kiLiyE – O gOpikA, who looks like a young parrot (in speech and looks)
ellE – wow! (how sweet is your speech!)
innam – even after everyone has come and stood here
uRangudhiyO – you are still sleeping? (and so they try to wake her up)
nangaimIr – (gOpikA from inside says) – dear girls!
sil enRu azhaiyEnmin – please talk without fighting (with me);
pOdharginrEn – I will start (now itself);
vallai – (from outside:) you are smart (in talks)
paNdE aRidhum – we know for quite long
un katturaigaL – about your strong words
un vAi – and about your taking in length (but no action);
nIngaLE valleergaL – (from inside:) – it is you who can talk strongly/rudely (as you are arguing with me)
nAnE thAn Ayiduga – (then truly accepts the fault as hers) – ok, I shall be the one who is talking strongly/rudely
(what do you want me to do?);
nee – (from outside:) you
ollai pOdhAi – get up quickly.
unakku enna vERu udaiyai – what separate goals/plans are you having?
ellArum pOndhArO – (from inside:) – has everyone come (who are supposed to come)?
pOndhAr – (from outside:) – they have come,
pOndhu eNNikkoL – you come out and count them
(from inside:) what do I need to do after coming out?
pAda – (from outside:) – to sing about
konRAnai – the one who destroyed
vallAnai – the strong elephant (kuvalayApIdam)
mARRArai mARRu azhikka vallAnai – and who can destroy the strength of enemies
mAyanai – that is, kaNNan, who does wonderful actions.
(so please get up).

Simple Translation

 ellE iLam kiLiyE

When the gOpikAs asked the gOpikA of previous pAsuram to sing about kaNNan who has got beautiful eyes and who carries changu and chakram in His beautiful hands, the gOpikA in this pAsuram heard that while lying down in her bed, and she started humming that song.

That sweet sound reached the ears of these gOpikAs, and they came to this house and now they are saying “ellE! iLam kiLiyE!”

kiLiyE – parrot’s sweet voice is like that of this gOpikA! (it cannot match this gOpikA’s young beauty);

also: we are kiLi, you are iLam kiLi;

ellE! – Wow! (they are wowed by the sweetness of her voice)

ellE! – calling her; Like how the people from south like vAnamAmalai dhivya dhEsam would address a girl, ‘yEdi’.

The gOpikA inside thought that they are scolding her as ‘while our lips and body are pale due to separation from krishNan, you are like a parrot with green/fresh body and red lips, thinking of krishNan?’. So she kept mum.

innam uRangudhiyO

Their calling her is disturbing her singing, so she is not responding to them. So, they are asking, “Are you still sleeping!”

Due to missing krishNan we are all tired and – sleepless in AyppAdi – and standing here waiting for your blessing, but you are not giving even that?

When we have got the best opportunity to get krishNa anubhavam (which we might lose in a few days as our nOnbu would end), can you be sleeping?

When we are going to get what we wanted, would anyone sleep like this?

sillenRu azhaiyEnmin

These words are from the gOpikA inside.

Their calling her is disturbing her singing the nAmams, so she is saying, ‘Please do not address me like this’.

Can their calling her be a disturbance? When emperumAnAr‘s sishyas were having thiruvAimozhi kAlakshEpam, the selvar came with his vAdhya gOshti which disturbed the kalakshEpam – similar to that, this gOpikA is feeling disturbed.

nangaimIr pOdharginrEn

When they asked, ‘what is it with you, ignoring us and our words?’, she felt ashamed and wanted to join them quickly. She replied,

“If you can keep your mouth closed, I will start now.”

vallai un katturaigaL paNdE un vAi aridhum

“You are curt/rude (vallai) – you are calling us ‘nangaimIr’ to imply some distance between you and us (so, they are harsh words). We know for long that you have the ability to talk like this (katturai) and put the fault on us. You want to have krishNa anubhavam by yourself inside the house”, say the gOpikAs waiting outside.

valleergaL nIngaLE

The gOpikA inside the house at first replies, “valleergaL nIngaLE (you gOpikAs are the ones who are rude/curt. You first said, ‘are you still sleeping?’, ‘you talk smart’, etc., so you are ones who are being harsh with their words.”

“you said that you will join once we closed our mouths – is it not your mistake to say that?”

“no, it is not. instead of feeling happy that the gOpikA who is joyful to hear our voice is now so involved in singing about krishNan, you gOpikAs found fault with me – so the mistake is yours”.

(Till now even though it sounds like they are arguing, it is that the gOpikAs outside think highly of the one inside, that she is having great krishNa anubhavam, singing about Him, etc. And, the gOpikA inside is also thinking highly of the ones outside as to their enthusiasm to go and be with krishNan.)

The gOpika inside says – valleergaL nIngaLE –  I too have come to your doors and got words from you earlier; they reply – that was past; see the prathyaksham (what is seen/now, we are here), instead of anumAnam (what can be guessed/ what happened long ago).  (that is how those belonging naiyAyika matham argue – they focus on anumAnam and not prathyaksham – when they see an elephant they would not say anything; but after it has left, they would look at its foot steps, etc., and say there was an elephant here).

Even though the gOpikA inside said this, because the nature of a srIvaishNavar is to accept mistakes (even if someone assigns that on the srIvaishNavar when there is none), [paraspara nIcha-bhAvai: – every srIvaishNava to have the attitude that we are of lower stature than other srIvaishnavas], the gOpikA inside says …

nAnE thAn Ayiduga

“Yes, (sorry), I am the one who is vallai’.

bharathAzhvAn too said that it is because of his own pApam that perumAL had to go to forest, and did not assign blame on those who created the problem.

இல்லாத குற்றத்தையும் சிலர் “உண்டு” என்றால், இல்லை செய்யாதே இசைகையிறே வைஷ்ணவ லக்ஷணம். (illAdha kuRRaththaiyum silar “uNdu” enRAl, illai seiyAdhE isaigaiyiRE vaishNava-lakshaNam.)
That is, even if someone assigns a non-committed mistake/fault on us, truly accepting it (even in one’s own mind) without denying is the identification of a srIvaishNava; this is the meaning given in vEdhas.

nampiLLai came and waited at thunnu pugazh kandhAdai thOzhappar’s thirumALigai, to apologize, when in fact it was thOzhappar who was ready to go to nampiLLai’s thirumALigai to apologize. And nampiLLai got the famous name of ‘ulagAriyan’ [என்ன உலகாரியனோ!  O! you are the AchAryan for the whole world!] {and we got the famous name in the great AchAryar – piLLai ulagAriyan (piLLai lOkAcharyar) as the name was given to him by his father vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai because of his love for his AchAryan nampiLLai).

parAsara bhattar was happy when a (newly appointed) kovil kuRattu maNiyar (manager of some aspects of the temple)  scolded bhattar without knowing about him, when bhattar entered the sannidhi without any restrictions as usual (as he is the son of perumAL thAyar themselves). bhattar was very happy at this scolding, and he was thankful to that maNiyam for saying the faults in him which he himself was supposed to think about everyday.

This is followed by what is said in srIvachana bhUshaNam – kuRRam seidhavargaL pakkal poRaiyum, krupaiyum, sirippum, ugappum, upakAra smruthiyum nadakka vENum – குற்றம் செய்தவர்கள் பக்கல் பொறையும், க்ருபையும், சிரிப்பும், உகப்பும், உபகாரஸ்ம்ருதியும் நடக்க வேணும் – towards those who did (the mistake of) finding fault in us, we should show patience (poRai), be kind (krupai) to think that perumAn might count his faulting us as his apachAram, laughter (sirippu) because they scolded our body which is our enemy; happiness (ugappu) because due to the scolding our pApa karmA would reduce, and so be thankful (upakAra smruthi) to them.

If the svarUpam is bhAgavatha sEshathvam, then accepting the fault they assign as our own is also part of that svarUpam.

Other side of the coin is that we should not expect/pressurize vidhwAns/srIvaishNavAs to talk about our positive aspects.

The gOpikA thus showed this great attitude of a srIvaishNava in anushtAnam (doing it in action);

She  continues, “what do you want do now?”

ollai nI pOdhAi

Since we cannot be without you even for one second, quickly join our crowd.

Leave the krishNan in your bed as is (as she is doing krishNa anubhavam), and you come and join us.

For the gOpikA too this crowd is what is needed for going to krishNan.

unakkenna vERudaiyai

Do you have anything to enjoy alone, like cooking and eating alone,  that is not available to enjoy for the gOpikAs from 5 lakhs houses of thiruvAyppAdi? [Note:6000-padi adds: adhAvadhu madhyama padhamum mUnrAm padhamum – if anyone could give contextual explanation, please add it in the comments section] .

Goal is to be included in sAdhu gOshti (aruLicheyal gOshti).

There is no difference between dhEvathAntharam (worshipping someone other than perumAL), and any perumAL vishayam that excludes other srivaishNavas; and no difference between going after vishayam (materialistic), and any perumAL vishayam that avoids other srIvaishNavas.

==> We think of kUraththAzhvan‘s words in the following incident – the kirumikaNda chOzha king had ordered that emperumAnAr, and anyone associated with him, should not be allowed inside kOyil (srIrangam). Not aware of this, when emperumAnAr‘s disciple kUraththazhvAn was about to enter the temple, he was stopped by a guard and was told “You cannot enter the temple because you are one of emperumAnAr‘s people”. But then another guard said that kUraththAzhvAn is parama bhakthan of perumAL, he is not an enemy to anyone, he is a good person, so it is okay to allow him inside the temple (“நீ ஒருவர்க்கும் விரோதியல்லை; நீ புக்குத் திருவடி தொழு“). When kUraththAzhvAn understood king’s order, he returned without going into the temple saying “எம்பெருமானார் சம்பந்தமே போரும்emperumAnAr‘s association is enough for me. (Athma guNam helps in doing AchArya kainkaryam; if that guNam is used for separating me from AchAryan, then there is no use of that.)

==> There was one subrahmaNya bhattar who was very fond of emperumAnAr and his gOshti, and he worked for the chOzha king. When there was a flood that was going to enter the temple premises, kUra nArAyaNa jIyar redirected the water – this affected a neighboring village, chinthAmani. So the villagers were arguing about it with the srivaishNavas. When subrahmanya bhattar was asked by the king to go as a mediator to solve this issue, he refused: “If I went as a mediator then I would have to be mentally separated from the two groups, which I cannot do because I don’t want to be separated from srIvaishNavas even for half a second”.

So, no separate plans/goals that separates from other srIvaishNavas.

No separate path from what our pUrvAchAryAs have followed; not follow own mind/ideas/opinions. (munnOr mozhindha muRai thappAmal kEttu pinnOrndhu; முன்னோர் மொழிந்த முறை தப்பாமல் கேட்டு பின்னோர்ந்து).

The gOpikAs continue, “So immediately join us to pray the lotus feet”.

ellArum pOndhArO

When bharathAzhvAn, accompanied by whole of ayOdhyA, came to get perumAL (srI rAman) back to ayOdhyA, iLaiyaperumAL (lakshmaNan) mistaking that bharathan was coming to kill them, had started preparing the bow and arrows; perumAL did not like this, and told him “bharathan is not interested in ruling the kingdom; if you are interested, then I will get it for you (from bharathan, and keep him here with me); iLaiyaperumAL bowed his head down and calmed down – in the same way when gOpikAs asked whether she is having her own plans, she bowed down her head, and immediately replied, ‘ellArum pOndhAro?’

“Do I have any other happiness than joining you? I was just waiting for all the smaller gOpikAs also to wake up. Have all the gOpikAs come here?”.


“yes all of them, who are tired due to separation from krishNan, are here in your door step”

“you are saying this just to get me out of the bed. If they are here, why don’t you send them all inside?”

pOndhu eNNikkoL

You show your face to us and take attendance of them (we cannot go even if one bhAgavatha has not yet joined); the benefit of that would be that you would touch and count all of us, (koL) hug each and every one of us”.

“What would we all do if we get together?”

val Anai konRAnai

The one who killed kuvalayApIdam and gave the life, that is, Himself, to us;  kamsan had set up an elephant near the entrance and was waiting to hear that the little boy was killed, and was ready to behave sad as the boy’s uncle; but the boy killed the elephant and made our life and His own life to be meaningful.

like how He killed kuvalayApIdam there, He killed our characteristics like shyness and made us take up nOnbu (so that we could go see Him).

Like ‘venjina vEzham (elephant) marupposithha vEndhar kol, endhizhaiyAr (gOpikAs) manaththai thanjudaiyALar kol’ (periya thirumozhi 9-2-6).

(“Or Anai kAththu, Or Anai konRu” (saved one elephant, killed one elephant) in thiruchandhaviruththam talks about gajEndhrAzhvAn and kuvalayApIdam).

mARRArai mARRazhikka vallAnai

who killed without any effort kamsan and his rAkshasAs who came in front of Him, and saved all the gOpikAs who were afraid of kaNNan’s safety,

Similar to that, He changed the minds of gOpars who had prevented Him from seeing His gOpikAs.

Unlike charavarthy thirumagan who said ‘inRu pOi nALai vA (go back today and come tomorrow (for the war)’, krishNan did to kamsan and his group what they wanted to do to Him, and removed the chains from His parents.

(rAmAnujar and other AcharyAs who killed the objections (mARRu azhikka) of other schools and enabled those people to join him – (aruLALaperumAL emperumAnAr, and others)).


what kamasan et al undergo in His hands, He undergoes in His gOpikAs’ hands, losing Himself to them –  mAyan


Sing such a wonderful krishNan’s names; sing after how we are lost to the wonder of His losing to us. Like how those who lost (arakkar) sang ‘EththuginROm nA thazhumba, rAman thiru nAmam [periya thirumozhi]’. This is the place where losing became victory. Please sing with your sweet voice.

Sing about Him who is hard to reach by our own efforts, who can remove our ahankAram, kAmam, krOdham, etc., and who is dear to His devotees.

Singing about Him makes other srIvaishNavas happy, and that is our kainkaryam to them.

– – In pAsuram 5, vAyinAl pAdi – singing krishNan’s avatharam.
– – In 7: kEsavanaip pAda;  – – in 27: pAdip paRai koNdu; and in – – 13: kIrthimai pAdi – these phrases sing about his valor, getting rid of the enemies of bhAgavathas.
– –  In 11: mugil vaNNan pEr pAda – sings about how all the people lose to His beauty.
– – In 14: changodu chakkaram Endhum thadakkaiyan pangayak kaNNAnaip pAda – sings about how we are lost to his divya changu chakrAyudham and the beautiful parts of thirumEni
– –  and, in this pAsuram, they want to sing how kaNNan without any weapons in his hands won kamsan et al, and how without any weapons He lost himself to gOpikAs.

=> For the bhAgavathas who have come together, ‘uNNum sORu, parugu nIr, thinnum veRRilai – ellAmum kaNNan‘. (food, water, enjoyment is all kaNNan).

AzhvAr ==> In this last wake-up pAsuram, ANdAL is calling  thirumangai AzhvAr as ellE iLam kiLiyE. ‘iLam‘-> young -> thirumangai azhvAr is the youngest of AzhvArs;   thirumangai mannan sang in his periya thirumozhi ‘adigaL adiyE ninaiyum adiyavargaL tham adiyAn / அடிகளடியே நினையும் அடியவர்கள் தம்மடியான்’ where he wanted to be like this gOpikA that is adiyArs’ adiyAr. He sang about himself pretending to be a gOpikA, ‘men kiLi pOl mig mizahRRum‘, ‘paN miLirak kiLi pOl mizhaRRi nadandhu‘) (‘மென்கிளிபோல் மிகமிழற்றும்’, ‘பண் மிளிரக்கிளிபோல் மிழற்றி நடந்து‘), and ANdAL is also saying ‘ellE! iLam kiLiyE‘. His words ‘kari munindha kaiththalamum / கரி முனிந்த கைத்தலமும்‘ is available here as ‘val Anai konRAnai / வல்லானை கொன்றானை ‘.

(Following are AzhvAr vishayam from srI U.Ve. M.A. vEnkatakrishNan swami’s thiruppAvai upanyAsam)

– parrot would repeat words – thirumangai AzhvAr in his prabandhams gave the six angams (parts) related to what nammAzhwAr gave us, about 4 vEdhAs;

Now an interesting conversation between ANdAL and thirumangai AzhvAr:

ANdAL to thirumangai AzhvAr – innam urangudhiyO – you who does srIvashNava thadhiyArAdhanam, are still sleeping?

AzhvAr to ANdAL – sillenRu azhaiyEnmin

ANdAL to AzhvAr – paNdE aRidhum –  we know about you even before your avathAram (through this pAsuram!);

un katturaigaL – thirumangai AzhvAr is known for strong words like ‘vAzhndhE pOm nIrE / வாழ்ந்தே போம் நீரே‘, etc.

Azhvar to ANdAL – valleergaL nIngaLE – it is ANdAL who used strong words in nAchiyAr thirumozhi, that if she does not get krishNan then she will pull her breasts out and throw away at His chest.

thirumangai AzhvAr – nAnE thAn Ayiduga

ANdAL – unakkenna vErudaiyai – whereas nammAzhvAr only said that he would do madal,  thirumangai AzhvAr actually went ahead and performed madal twice (siriya/periya thirumadal).

val Anai konRAnai – thirumangai AzhvAr‘s elephant is ‘kadamA kaLiRu‘; kaliyan is capable of controlling the elephant;

mARRarai mARRazhikka vallAnai – AzhvAr can fight and win his enemies;

mAyan – surprising aspects of thirumangai AzhvAr – given in ‘prapannAmrutham‘ – when a ship came to shore with beetle nut (pAkku), AzhvAr asked for ‘1’ pAkku – he took half of it, and gave the other half to the captain; He asked the captain to give in writing that half of it belongs to AzhvAr. Then after reaching the other shore, he claimed that half of the load of the ship was his, and argued and got it, and used that amount for kainkaryam by doing gold plating for thiruvarangan!

parAsara bhattar mentions in his srIranga sthavam about AzhvAr getting gold from a budhist temple to do kainkaryam to emperumAn – so thirumangai AzhvAr is also mAyan like emperumAn. emperumAn is also like AzhvAr in his valor – viRperu vizhavum kanjanum mallum… விற்பெரு விழவும் கஞ்சனும் மல்லும்…

ANdAL, in this key pAsuram, tells us about srIvaishNava lakshaNam, and has set this pAsuram and these words in the middle part of thiruppAvai to shows its significance.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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0 thoughts on “thiruppAvai – 15 – ellE iLam kiLiyE”

  1. Without even reading, adiyen would say this is a brilliant effort to put everything in one place in an interesting way. Hats off , swami!

    • Appreciate dhEvarIr recognizing it swami. Yes, for this pAsuram there was extra effort.
      Praying to AchAryan for getting this in anushtAnam as well swami.
      adiyen dasan.

  2. the explanations are aaradha amudham! thanks for this great effort.

    tiruppAvai Agiradhu ippAttu….what devarIr is doing is the greatest kainkaryam.

  3. One gentle suggestion swami. In some places where translation into english is NOT making sense, in terms of sweetness of the context, devareer can include tamizh explanation of it to make it beautiful. dhanyosmi. dasan

    • Yes swami, many times the sweetness of the thamizh of that time cannot be described in English words.
      In some cases adiyen have included (e.g., அழகிது!).
      Please give some examples where dhEvareer see additional cases.

  4. Hari Om!
    Naanai dan Ayiduga – Soul searching explanation to be followed by Srivaishnava most meticulously – a must indeed! SUPERB! Words fail to praise enough!
    Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan – Jai Sriman Narayana!


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