thiruppAvai – 19 – kuththu viLakkeriya

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

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As she (nappinnai) tried to get up to open doors for gOpikAs, krishNan thought “She shouldn’t open the doors for my adiyArs”, and so He hugged Her and did not let Her get up. gOpikAs ask krishNan to please get up. But He doesn’t, so they ask nappinnai again to come and open the door for them. Both of them are important to adiyArs (devotees).

குத்து விளக்கெரிய கோட்டுக்கால் கட்டில் மேல்
மெத்தென்ற பஞ்ச சயனத்தின் மேல் ஏறிக்
கொத்தலர் பூங்குழல் நப்பினை கொங்கை மேல்
வைத்துக் கிடந்த மலர் மார்பா வாய் திறவாய்
மைத்தடம் கண்ணினாய் நீ உன் மணாளனை
எத்தனை போதும் துயிலெழ ஒட்டாய் காண்
எத்தனையேலும் பிரிவு ஆற்ற கில்லாயால்
தத்துவம் அன்று தகவேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

kuththu viLakkeriya kOttukkAl kattil mEl
meththenRa pancha sayanaththin mElERi
kOththalar pUnkuzhal nappinnai kongai mEl
vaiththuk kidandha malar mArbhA vAi thiRavAi
maiththadam kaNNinAi nI un maNALanai
eththanai pOdhum thuyil ezha ottAi kAN
eththanaiyElum piRivARRagillAyAl
thaththuvam anRu thagavu ElOrempAvAi

Word by Word Meaning

kuththu viLakku – (with bright) lamp
eriya – lit up
pancha sayanaththin mEl ERi – climbing on to the mattress made of cotton
kOdu kAl kattil mEl – on the bed with legs made of elephant tusks,
meththenRa – and very soft,
vaiththuk kidandha malar mArbhA – O (krishNA) you have placed your broad chest
kongai mEl – on the divine chest
nappinnai – of nappinnai
koththu alar pU kuzhal – who is having hair that holds bunches of flowers,
vAi thiRavAi – open the mouth and talk;
mai thadam kaNNinAi – Oh (nappinnai) who is having broad eyes decorated with mai (kAjal)
nI – you are
ottAi kAN – not agreeing
thuyil ezha – to wake up
un maNALanai – your husband kaNNan
eththanai pOdhum – even for a second;
pirivu ARRagillAyAl – you are not able to tolerate separation from Him
eththanaiyElum – even for a short time;
thaththuvam anRu – (this) is not according to your svarUpam (your true nature)
thagavu anRu – and it is not matching your true behavior.

Simple Translation

kuththu viLakkeriya (with the lighted lamps)

While we are desperately waiting here, you (nappinnai) are having krishNAnubhavam. Unlike we who had to wait for elders to give permission (for nOnbu, krishNAnubhavam), (you) without any worry about the dawning day, without having to look for dark for going with krishNan (naLLirutkaN ennai uyththidumin – nAchiAr thirumozhi – 12-3); you are enjoying with krishNan making this morning as a night; and with lighted lamps, you are lying in bed looking at krishNan’s face – what a wonderful opportunity for you!

(viLakku – gyAnam)

kOttukkAl kattil mEl

This bed is made of tusks of kuvalayApIdam; as a brave wife of krishNan you cannot sleep in any other bed; unlike us who have to search for Him all over brindhAvanam, you are with Him inside the house in the bed without any shyness. This is a great blessing for you!

kattil – instead of saying to imply the bed’s greatness using respectful words like ‘thiru paLLik kattil’ they say just ‘kattil’ – due to their belonging to cowherd clan (ஜாதிப் பேச்சு).

svApadhESam ==> The wild elephant is the ‘me/mine’ in us. The four legs of the bed relate to four types of this ahankAram 1) – sEshathvE karthruthvam (when thinking that we are the only good devotee who worships emperumAn; and we do it for our own benefit only); 2) gyAthruthvE karthruthvam (when thinking only we have got a better knowledge about emperumAn); 3) karthruthvE karthruthvam (when thinking that we are solely capable and responsible for doing tasks); and 4) bhOkthruthvE karthruthvam (when enjoying for our own sake).


While we are desperately waiting here, you are enjoying about the inner size and outer size of the mattress, and it is fitting you, and you are sleeping happily!

pancha sayanaththin mElERi

mattress made of soft cotton; decorated with five colors; bed having the five attributes, being beautiful, cozy, fragrant, wide, and warm.

Like in srI vaikuNtam how we would step on your bed to climb and come to you, should you not wish for us to climb on this bed and come to you?

While we are waiting, shouldn’t you feel the bed to be uncomfortable for you krishNa? Parents won’t be comfortable in the bed that the kids did not jump and play on;  you would not be comfortable in your bed if we don’t come sit on your lap – like in srI vaikuNtam; there also, you will ask “kOsi?” (Who are you?) and we will say “aham brahmAsmi” (I am brahmam – i.e., your (bhagavAn’s) body).

svApadhESam==>The four types of ahankAram are removed when we (climb) learn and follow AchAryan’s words related to artha panchakam thus softening us like the mattress.

koththalar pUnkuzhal nappinnai

nappinnai with beautiful flowers in her thick hair; they blossom due to the contact with her hair – she is vAsam sei pUnkuzhalAL (thiruvAimozhi 10-10-2) – her hair gives fragrance to the flowers; whereas, we said ‘malar ittu nAm mudiyOm‘ (won’t wear flowers) while doing nOnbu.

nappinnai kongai mEl vaiththuk kidandha

He has kept her divine breast on Him; or, He has kept his face on Her divine breast – and sleeping happily instead of trying to open the door. (thiruppAvai thaniyan also mentioned how ANdAL woke him up at this time).

breast -> bhakthi / love for Him.

malar mArbha

They are addressing krishNan.

The safety She gets from His broad and soft chest. His chest is so broad that Hers feels so small (like in ‘muRRAra vana mulaiyAL pAvai [thirunedunthANdakam-19]); He feels happy like a flower blossoming, and His chest becomes even bigger because of Her breasts felt on His chest. That is, He gets multiplying happiness to see our love for Him.

If we say that His chest becomes bigger He becomes happier etc., would it not contradict with what vEdhas say, that He (brahmam) does not change, it is complete, etc.? The meaning of those words in SRuthi is that He does not have such characteristics like us. If He does not melt for adiyAr’s bhakthi, that would become a drawback for Him – He would be no different than a stone, isn’t it?

This is the key phrase of the pAsuram’s actual meaning.

{malarndha mArbu of perumAn: perumAn‘s wide chest indicates His kind heart for His adiyArs. First, pirAtti argues for us with perumAn and makes Him accept us in spite of our pApams. This was in the previous pAsuram – pirAtti has got a kind heart for us. Once perumAn accepts adiyArs, even if pirAtti argues with Him saying that we did a lot of pApams and so He should leave us, perumAn would beg/argue with pirAtti in order to keep us with Him. He would say that if He accepted someone who did not do any pApam then what would be great about that.. only if He accepted people like us with pApams would His greatness be visible. He would go another step further and say that whatever we did is not pApam at all! It is like the kids would be quiet and obedient when they go to a house of someone else – but they would do all sorts of mischief only under the shadow of their parents in their house – likewise, these are all our children, whatever they do is within the support of our shadow… so don’t make it a big issue, let them be with me…. says perumaL. (mumukshuppadi: sErppArE pirikkum pOdhum vida mAttAdhE rakshikkiRa ennai.. / முமுக்ஷுப்படி: சேர்ப்பாரே பிரிக்கும் போதும் விட மாட்டாதே ரக்ஷிக்கிற என்னை..). That is why ANdAL says here, that pirAtti’s chest seems small when she is hugging perumAL – His kindness is so big.

(One more thing.. pirAtti is nudging perumAn to leave us – this is only to test Him to make sure that He accepted us out of His own affection and not just because pirAtti recommended us first. When perumAn pleads to Her that He would not leave us, then She becomes extremely happy and confident – similar to how one would shake a pole after setting it to stand on the ground – they shake not to pull it out but to make sure it is going to stay strong). }

What is said for nappinnai being with krishNan is applicable for all jIvAthmAs.

vAi thiRavAi

(krishNa!) Please open your mouth and say at least one word in your strong voice; without wishing for anything else we are waiting for you to get up, can you not say even a word? If she is not allowing you to get up, can you not say ‘mAsucha:‘ from your bed?

maiththadam kaNNinAi

When He tried to say something to them, nappinnai pirAtti is now taking turn to say, ‘You did not allow me, now why are you trying to open the door?”, and with this signal from Her eyes She is shutting His mouth; doing ‘vAi vAi‘ (literal: mouth, mouth) -> (like, ‘chup! chup! in hindi, or, like ‘zip your mouth’).

Now He is in the middle of a beautiful and wide sea that is nappinnai – only when He sees the end/shore would He be able to see us; we who said ‘mai ittu ezhudhOm‘ (won’t wear mai in our eyes (as part of nOnbu)), can wear it only if you let us;

we thought it is our bhAgyam and were proud to see your (nappinnai’s) beautiful eyes – but now those eyes are coming in the way of our krishNA anubhavam;


The one who is supposed to let us join Him, can you separate Him from us? (ukAram in praNavam).

un maNALanai – (not) letting your husband

We thought it is our bhAgyam to see krishNan doing the chores with bhavyam (obedience) in the place that you looked at with your raised eye brows; we thought He is lOka bharththA (common husband/protector to all); or, they are saying, we now think that krishNan is yours (maNALan).

eththanai pOdhum thuyil ezha ottAi kAN

You are not letting Him get up even for one second; you would get afraid and become pale thinking that He is going away from you even when He is just moving away in bed a little in order to adjust Himself while being with you in the bed.

eththanaiyElum pirivARRakillAyAl

But that is not your fault; it is your weakness of not wanting to be separated from Him even for a second. ‘agalakillEn iRaiyum‘ and you are enjoying Him every moment; but it is not helping us now.

thaththuvam anRu thagavu

thaththuvam, thagavu anRu:  thaththuvam – sathyam (truth); thagavu anRu – not dharmam. – Not saying out of our ignorance – really it is not dharmam that you are not letting Him open the door for us.

thaththuvam anRu:   thathuvam = svarUpam (nature); thathuvam anRu – it is not your nature to separate him from us.

thagavu anRu: it is not characteristic of you, and does not match your kindness, does not go with your purushakAram bhAvam as well, to separate Him from us.

English translation Raghuram Srinivasa Dasan.

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