thiruppAvai – 20 – muppaththu mUvar

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

Full Series

Based on what the gOpikAs requested in the previous pAsuram, nappinnai pirAtti tries to get krishNan to go and open the door, but He doesn’t move. So they tell pirAtti – He does not belong to Himself, you are the one for Him and us, you please get us the krishNa anubhavam.

முப்பத்து மூவர் அமரர்க்கு முன் சென்று
கப்பம் தவிர்க்கும் கலியே துயில் எழாய்
செப்பம் உடையாய் திறல் உடையாய் செற்றார்க்கு
வெப்பம் கொடுக்கும் விமலா துயில் எழாய்
செப்பென்ன மென்முலைச் செவ்வாய்ச் சிறுமருங்குல்
நப்பின்னை நங்காய் திருவே துயில் எழாய்
உக்கமும் தட்டொளியும் தந்து உன் மணாளனை
இப்போதே எம்மை நீராட்டேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

muppaththu mUvar amararkku mun chenRu
kappam thavirkkum kaliyE thuyil ezhAi
seppam udaiyAy thiRal udaiyAy!
cheRRArkku veppam kodukkum vimalA! thuyil ezhAi
seppenna men mulaich chevvAich chiRu marungul
nappinnai nangAi! thiruvE! thuyil ezhAi
ukkamum thattOLiyum thandhu un maNALanai
ippOdhE emmai nIrAttu ElOrempAvAi

Word by Word Meaning

kaliyE – O the strong kaNNa!
mun chenRu – who goes voluntarily/early (before any problem comes)
muppaththu mUvar amararkku – for all the dhEvas (muppaththu mukkOti dhEvas – 33 crore)
thavirkkum – and remove
kappam – (their) fear,
thuyil ezhAi – please wake up;
vimalA – Oh the pure one!
seppam udaiyAy – (who is) honest (in protecting the devotees)
thiRal udaiyAy – (and) strong (to destroy the enemies of devotees)
kodukkum – (and who) can give
veppam – hardship
seRRArkku – to the enemies,
thuyil ezhAi – get up from your bed;
nappinnai nangAi – O nappinnai pirAtti!
thiruvE – who can equal periya pirAtti!
men mulai – (who has got) soft breasts
seppu anna – like a golden pot,
sevvAi – (and) reddish mouth/lips
siru marungul – (and) tiny waist,
thuyil ezhAi – get up from the bed;
thandhu – give (us)
ukkamum – fan (Ala vattam, required as part of nOnbu)
thattu oLiyum – and mirror
un maNALanai – and (give) Him too who is your nAthan,
nIrAttu – (and) bathe (i.e., krishNA anubhavam)
emmai – us
ippOdhE- right away.

Simple Translation

muppaththu mUvar

muppaththu mukkOti dhEvar (33 dhEvA types like aSvini kumAras; 33 crore dhEvas); will you help only when it is these many numbers? Would you not bless and be with us if the number is 5 lakhs? (number of families of gOpikAs in thiruvAyppAdi)

Would you not help those who are desperate to be with you?

Would you help only those who wake you up and get you hurt by arrows (chakravarthy thirumagan), would you not wake up for us who are fond of just seeing your beauty?

[ mup-paRRu-mUvar – paRRu -> desires/wants. People with one of three types of desires – aiSvaryArthi – desires wealth; kaivalyArthi – desires enjoyment of his own AthmA only; and prapannan – desires perumAn only. ]

amararkku  – for dhEvas

What is the point of helping only those who don’t have death? Should you not be helping us who would die out of desperation when you don’t see us?

Would you only help dhEvas and others who come to you whenever they have some problems? Would you not help us innocent gOpikAs who want nothing but doing kainkaryam?

[ AthmA never dies, so ‘amarar’ refers to jIvAthmAs too]

mun chEnRu – mun -> before/voluntarily

you would go by yourself and help them even before they feel the pain; we are feeling the pain in our hearts because of missing you and can you not open the door for us?

Will you only walk for those who wanted a piece of land? (achith).  Would you not walk and open the door for us who want a view of your beautiful divine face?

You stood in the front during kurukshEthra – even in the front of great arjunan, as his charioteer.

AchAryas go by themselves to sishyas for the well-being (gyAnam) of sishyas and their families. emperumAnAr goes by Himself to a sishyan if the sishyan is not attending upadhEsams properly.

The story about rAmAnujar walking 18 times from kOvil (srIrangam) to thirukkOshtiyUr is well known; but thirukkoshtiyUr nambi, his acharyan, walked many times from thirukkOshtiyUr to srIrangam to meet srI rAmAnujar :

– sometimes to teach him rahasyams,

– once when rAmAnujar‘s food was poisoned by some people who did not like his reforms in the temple, he went on a fasting – as he continued that for more than 3 days, thirukkOshtiyUr nambi came rushing to srIrangam – when rAmAnujar received him near the shores of the river in the hot sand and fell on his AchAryan’s feet – nambi did not ask him to get up for quite long… rAmAnujar was waiting for nambi to tell him to get up, so he continued prostrating down in the hot sand… seeing this, rAmAnujur’s sishyan kidAmbi AchhAn jumped under rAmAnujar to save him from heat of the sand and raised objection to nambi.. Upon hearing his words, nambi became very happy! He said that he waited so he could identify someone who is very concerned about rAmAnujar‘s well being; and nambi asked kidAmbi AchchAn to be in charge of preparing safe food for emperumAnAr from then on….

nambi arranged for thirumAlai ANdAn to teach the meanings of thiruvAimozhi to emperumAnAr; but since rAmAnujar was giving different meanings to some of the pAsurams of thiruvAimozhi while attending thirumAlai ANdAn’s kAlakshEpam, thirumAlai ANdAn got upset and stopped the kAlakshEpam for him.. Again, nambi came from thirukkOshtiyUr to srIrangam, and convinced thirumAlai ANdAn that he himself has heard those meanings from their AchAryan ALavandhAr, and also convinced him that like how krishNan went to sAndhIpani for learning, it is just a formality that emperumAnAr is our sishyar, said thirukkOshtiyUr nambi.

– There are many more such vaibhavam about how AchAryas ‘chenRu’ (went themselves and) took care of their sishyas (maNakkAl nambi -> ALavandhAr; kUra kuLoththama dhAsa nAyan -> thiruvAimozhippiLLai, etc)

kappam thavirkkum

kappam – kampam – shivering out of fear

You helped dhEvas (who lost their place to asurAs), rid their fear; would you not help us little gOpikAs to avoid our shivering? Would you help only dhEvas who wanted to get rid of their sadness? Would you not help us who wanted to see you get rid of your sleep?

[ AchAryan helps sishyas having the above three types of desires by highlighting the wrongs of those types: For aiSvaryArthIs he advises not to follow achith (matter); for kaivalyArthis he advises that perumAn is much much greater than the jIvathmA; For prapannas? What do prapannas need to avoid? He advises that prapannas should do kainkaryam but avoid thinking that it is for her/his own happiness; prapannas should do kainkaryam for perumAn‘s happiness only (may become happy at seeing perumAn‘s happiness [padiyAyk kidandhu un pavaLa vAi kANbEnE / படியாய்க் கிடந்து உன் பவள வாய் காண்பேனே.])


Your smartness and style (மிடுக்கு); your strength; for the poor and innocent gOpikAs like us, that is what is lovable;

that is our protecting wall;

thuyil ezhAi

For dhEvas it is their comfort and their places (heaven, etc) that are important; for us it is your waking up and opening the door that is important.

seppam udaiyAy

you who has the protection – you are our protection; you are protected by AzhvArs (chankam, chakram; AzhvArs); You being honest;

thiRal udaiyAy

you had promised not to peruse weapon in the war against kauravas; but when bhIshmar hit arjunan, you forgot about the promise and got bhIshmar into the bed of arrows; you made day as night to give advantage to pANdavas; You may show all your smartness to them, but is it fair to show that on us poor little gOpikAs who just want to be with you?

seRRArkku veppam kodukkum

seRRAr – enemies; there is none equal to or above Him; His enemies: none; but those who are his devotees’ enemies are His.

veppam kodukkum – will create fear in His enemies’ hearts.

kodukkum vimalA

kodukkum – kind in giving everything to His adiyArs.

vimalan – pure heart; honest – gives the best to His adiyArs – He gives Himself to them; gave trouble to dhuryOdhanan; gave Himself to arjunan (and gave SrI bhagavath gIthai).

thuyil ezhAi

They are saying again ‘thuyil ezhAi’ in this pAsuram as they are very desperate to see kaNNan.

Please wake up. No need of throwing arrows for us, just wake up.

seppenna menmulai

Since He did not make any movement, they again ask nappinnai pirAtti (purushakAra bhUthai [who can make perumAn realize His duty of being kind to us, and get Him and us together]).

She (nappinnai pirAtti) is the reason that He is not showing interest in us gOpikAs – being with Her is His life; (seppu) where He saves all His good things. Her mountainous chest is where this lion lives in. Like how it is not easy to get jewels/money kept inside a container, it is hard to get kaNNan out of pirAtti’s chest (mA kadal nIr uLLAn, malarAL thanaththu uLLAn (mUnrAm thiruvanthAdhi)).

menmulai – refers to bhakthi and affection. Like a mother’s affection towards her children.

Now they talk about the places where He gets trapped / where He is usually found :


With the beautiful lips by which she gets kaNNan for Herself; kaNNan fought with the bulls to marry nappinnai so that He can enjoy her smile and lips; sem pavaLath thiraL vAyan lost to these lips of hers;

vAi refers to gyAnam.

siru marungul

nappinnai with waist so slim that one has to guess it exists based on other parts above and below the waist; ‘osindha nuNNidai mEl kaiyai vaiththu‘ (thiruvAimozhi).

marungul refers to  vairAkyam (detachment/renunciation) – determination to ‘not have much’ (like the waist) of desire on other things than kainkaryam to perumAn.

nappinnai nangAi

One who is complete in all the wealth, all the wealth we mentioned and failed to mention.


nappinnAi, it is because of you that His greatness is shining.

He is caught in your beauty and is finding it hard to get out of it to save us.

We are calling you with the name of periya pirAtti (thiru / SrI)– we want you to help us like how She helps us to reach Him; Like how She did not have to sleep in a womb for 10 months, we want you also not to be sleeping (now).

“I am not sleeping; I am thinking about how to get Him up and give to you. Tell me why I need to get up and what I need to do for you”

“so then here are what we need:”

ukkamum thattOLiyum

ukkam – Ala vattam (hand-held fan)

thattu oLi – mirror

also paRai (instrument),

and other equipment needed for our nOnbu.

[AchAryan gives us upadhEsam to reduce the angst of Athman, and the upadhEsams act as clear as our seeing the face in a mirror]

Also implies removal of ahankAra mamakAram (me/mine) in kainkaryam, and svarUpa gyAnam.

un maNALanai

(also (by-the-by) give your sweet husband) (include Him in the list of things to give us)

Your husband who obediently follows and does all the chores for you just by looking at the place you look towards with your raised eyebrows – we need your nice husband also as part of nOnbu.

[AchAryan’s nAthan is perumAn, we ask AchAryan too to give perumAn]

They are asking for krishNan as if He is equivalent to a fan, a mirror, or an instrument. When visvAmithrar asked chakravarthy to send perumAL with him to fight with the rAkshasas, vAlmiki says that with the advice of his AchAryan vaSishtar, this chakravarthy ‘gave’ perumAL to the rishi – as if He is an achith (thing/non-sentient) – both of these imply that perumAn makes Himself so easily available to His adiyArs.


we cannot wait for some other time; now itself;

emmai – us

They are pointing to their bodies that are destitute because of not seeing kaNNan; though they differentiated the (representative number of ) 10 gOpikAs with ‘pEyp peNNE‘, ‘nAyagap pEN piLLAi‘, etc., they are united and one here (emmai) when it came to having nIrAttam with kaNNan.


Please let us enjoy with krishNan; what they are happy about is krishNan – the one that nappinnai gives to them. When krishNan’s beauty and affection is there, they are happy that it is nappinnai who gave Her krishNan to them.

[Immediately help us to get AchArya abhimAnam (liking by / blessing from, AchAryan)]

In this pAsuram ANdAL wakes up krishNan and nappinnai; she requests nappinnai to give the items used for nOnbu and also give krishNan and let them enjoy with Him. She goes through nappinnai as per the norm of getting the help of AchAryan/devotees to reach out to emperumAn.

English translation raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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