thiruppallANdu – Simple Explanation

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:



SrI maNavALa mAmunigaL has beautifully revealed the greatness of thiruppallANdu in upadhEsa raththinamAlai pAsuram 19.

kOdhilavAm AzhwArgaL kURu kalaikkellAm
Adhi thiruppallANdu Anadhuvum – vEdhaththukku
Om ennumm adhupOl uLLadhukkeLLAm surukkAyth
thAn mangalam AnadhAl

It is maNavALa mAmunigaL’s firm opinion in his divine mind that just as praNavam is the pre-eminence or essence of all vEdhas, thiruppallANdu is the pre-eminence or essence of all the aruLichcheyal (reciting of divine prabandhams) of AzhwArs. This is the reason that it is recited at the beginning of aruichcheyal.

After periyAzhwAr established the supremacy of SrIman nArAyaNa in the court of pANdiya king, the king made AzhwAr to come around the town on an elephant [as a gesture of celebration]. To see this great sight of AzhwAr on the elephant, emperumAn appeared on his garuda vAhana (on garuda, his vehicle) along with his divine consorts. Being worried that emperumAn who is comfortable in SrIvaikuNtam, has come down to samsAram, periyAzhwAr sang pAsurams extolling emperumAn. These pAsurams are called as thiruppallANdu. It is periyAzhwAr’s unique greatness that he makes the sAmsAris [dwellers of materialistic realm] also to extol emperumAn, apart from singing them himself.

This simple translation has been carried out with the help of periyavAchchAn piLLai’s commentary for thiruppallANdu.


gurumukham anadhIthya prAhavEdhAn aSEshAn
narapathi parikluptham SulkamAdhAthu kAma:  I
SvaSuram amaravandhyam ranganAthasya sAkshAth
dhvijakula thilakam tham vishNuchiththam namAmi II

periyAzhwAr, also known as vishNuchiththar, who did not learn from a teacher but was bestowed with clear knowledge and devotion by thirumAL (emperumAn), went to the royal court of king SrIvallabha dhEvan in madhurai (South), in the assembly of learned people, with the intention of utilising the gift of gold coins for the betterment of emperumAn’s divine temple at SrIvillipuththUr and won that gift after establishing the supremacy of emperumAn by quoting from the vEdhas. Further, he married off his divine daughter, ANdAL to SrI ranganAtha and was revered by nithyasUris as the father-in-law of emperumAn. He was the greatest among the clan of brAhmaNas (those who learn and teach vEdhas). I salute such periyAzhwAr.

minnAr thadamadhiL sUzh villipuththUr enRu orukAl
sonnar kazhaRkamalam sUdinOm – munnAL
kizhiyaRuththAn enRuraiththOm kIzhmaiyinil sErum
vazhiyaRuththOm nenjamE vandhu

Oh heart! We will don the divine lotus-like feet of those who mention the name of SrIvillipuththUr which is surrounded by huge walls which shine like lightning, on our heads, like ornaments. By reminiscing and talking about the act of periyAzhwAr who went to the King’s court, cut-off the treasure of gold coins kept there through his arguments and made it fall on his hand, we saved ourselves from reaching lowly state.

pANdiyan koNdAdap pattarpirAn vandhAn enRu
INdiya sangam eduththUdha – vENdiya
vEdhangaL Odhi viraindhu kizhiyaRuththAn
pAdhangaL yAmudaiya paRRu

The pANdiya king SrIvallabha dhEvan extolled saying “bhattarpirAn has come to establish for us the supremacy of supreme being”. Those in his court sounded the conch as a sign of victory. By providing necessary proof from vEdhas, periyAzhwAr [bhattar pirAn] established the supremacy of SrIman nArAyaNa. Such periyAzhwAr’s divine feet are our refuge.


First pAsuram. After seeing emperumAn with his beauty and other auspicious qualities in this samsAram, periyAzhwAr becomes fearful as to what misfortune will befall that emperumAn and sings paeans of praise on him such that until time lasts, emperumAn should remain great like this.

pallANdu pallANdu pallAyiraththANdu
pala kOdi nURAyiram
mallANda thin thOL maNivaNNA un
sEvadi sevvi thirukkAppu

Oh emperumAn who has strong divine shoulders which controlled and killed the wrestlers, and who has the complexion of carbuncle! There should be protection for your reddish divine feet until time lasts. AzhwAr extols emperumAn through the time scale of human beings, then through the time scale of celestials, then through the time scale of brahmA and finally, through the time scale of many brahmAs.

Second pAsuram. AzhwAr praises emperumAn for his exalted position of being with nithyavibhUthi (paramapadham) as well as leelAvibhUthi (samsAram).

adiyOmOdum ninnOdum pirivinRi Ayiram pallANdu
vadivAy nin valamArbinil vAzhginRa mangaiyum pallANdu
vadivAr sOdhi valaththuRaiyum sudarAzhiyum pallANdu
padai pOr pukku muzhangum appAnchasanniyamum pallANdE

The connection between us, the servitors, and you, the master, should remain forever. periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi), who is with beauty, ornaments and youth, and who resides on your right chest, should be there forever. On your right hand, the divine disc which is beautiful and splendorous should be there forever. On your left hand, the divine disc pAnchajanyam, which makes a huge uproar which tears the hearts of enemies in battlefields, should be there forever. By referring to devotees, AzhwAr speaks about samsAram and by referring to pirAtti, divine disc and divine conch, he is speaking about paramapadham.

Third pAsuram. Starting with this pAsuram, in three pAsurams, he is inviting those who are interested in enjoying pleasures in this world, those who are interested in kaivalyam (enjoying AthmA (enjoying themselves)) and those who are interested in carrying out service to emperumAn, to join him in praising emperumAn. In this pAsuram, he is inviting those who are interested in service to emperumAn.

vAzhAtpattu ninRIr uLLIrEl vandhu maNNUm maNamum koNmin
kUzhAtpattu ninRIrgaLai engaL kuzhuvinil pugudhaluttOm
EzhAtkAlum pazhippu ilOm nAngaL irAkkadhar vAzh ilangai
pAzhAL Agap padai porudhAnukku pallANdu kUrudhumE

If you are interested in the wealth of service, come quickly, dig out soil for celebrating the uthsavam (festival) of emperumAn, be desirous of doing any service etc. We do not allow those who are interested only in food, to join us. For many generations, we have not desired anything other than service to emperumAn and are faultless. We are praising that emperumAn who carried out war with his bow against the demons who were living in lankA. You too join us in praising him.

Fourth pAsuram. In this, he is inviting those who are interested in enjoying their AthmA. Not feeling satisfied with calling those who are carrying out service to emperumAn, he desires that those who are interested in enjoying wealth in this world as well as those who are interested in enjoying their AthmAs should join in praising emperumAn. Of these two, the ones who are interested in wealth in this world, could at some point of time, be interested in doing service to emperumAn. However, if kaivalyArthis attain kaivalya mOksham (place where the AthmAs enjoy themselves), they can never come out of it and do any service to emperumAn. Hence, he is calling them, first.

Edu nilaththil iduvadhan munnam vandhu engaL kuzhAm pugundhu
kUdum manam udaiyIrgaL varambozhi vandhu ollaik kUduminO
nAdu nagaramum nangu aRiya namO nArAyaNAya enRu
pAdum manam udaip paththaruLLIr vandhu pallANdu kURuminE

Before you give up your bodies, if you are interested in joining us, give up the boundary (target) of enjoying only the AthmA, and join us. If you have the devotion to recite the divine ashtAkshara manthram (the divine manthram, of eight syllables, which extols SrIman nArAyaNa), through which both those ordinary people who live in villages and the knowledgeable people who live in towns would know well about emperumAn, join us in praising emperumAn.

Fifth pAsuram. In this, AzhwAr is inviting those who are interested in the opulence of this world.

aNdakkulaththukku adhipadhiyAgi asurar irAkkadharai
iNdaikkulaththai eduththuk kaLaindha irudIkEsan thanakku
thoNdakkulaththil uLLIr vandhu adi thozhudhu Ayira nAmam sollip
paNdaikkulaththaith thavirndhu pallANdu pallAyiraththANdu enminE

You are in the group of those who are carrying out servitude to hrishIkESan who is the controller of the clans of demons and who annihilated the demons completely. You join our group, bow down to the divine feet of emperumAn, recite the thousand names of that emperumAn whole-heartedly, get rid of being in the cycle of births in which you pray to emperumAn for granting various benefits only to leave him later, and repeatedly praise that emperumAn.

Sixth pAsuram. After AzhwAr invites each of the three groups of people in this way, each group comes and joins him. Of these, those who were invited by the vAzhAtpattu pAuram (third pAsuram), who are desirous of carrying out service to emperumAn, narrate their qualities and activities; AzhwAr accepts them.

endhai thandhai thandhai thandhai tham mUththappan EzhpadigAl thodangi
vandhu vazhi vazhi AtcheyginROm thiruvONaththiruvizhavil
andhiyam pOdhil ariyuruvAgi ariyai azhiththavanai
pandhanai thIrap pallANdu pallAyiraththANdu enRu pAdudhumE

For seven generations, my father and I, his father and his father et al, have been carrying out kainkaryam (service) as mentioned in vEdhas. For the one who took the form of a beautiful narasimha (lion head and human body) and destroyed his enemy hiraNya, we will sing praises to remove any ennui that he would have felt while carrying out that activity, for the sake of his devotee.

Seventh pAsuram. AzhwAr accepts the kaivalyArthis (those who enjoy their AthmAs), who were earlier referred to in the fourth pAsuram Edu nilaththil, and who come to him, narrating their qualities.

thIyil poliginRa senjudar Azhi thigazh thiruchchakkaraththin
kOyil poRiyAlE oRRuNdu ninRu kudi kudi At seyginROm
mAyap porupadai vANanai Ayiram thOLum pozhi kurudhi
pAyach chuzhaRRiya Azhi vallAnukkup pallANdu kURudhumE

We have come to carry out kainkaryam for all times to come, including succeeding generations, after we have been identified (on our bodies) with the divine symbol of chakkaraththAzhwAr (divine disc), whose reddish splendour is far brighter than fire. We praise that emperumAn who is holding aloft chakkraththAzhwAr who was spun to make the demon bANAsuran to bleed from his thousand shoulders, like a flood.

Eighth pAsuram. AzhwAr accepts the aiSwaryArthis (those who desire wealth), who were mentioned in the fifth pAsuram aNdakkulaththukku and who come, agreeing to sing praises on emperumAn.

neyyidai nallladhOr sORum niyathamum aththANich chEvagamum
kai adaikkAyum kazhuththukkup pUNodu kAdhukkuk kuNdalamum
meyyida nalladhOr sAndhamum thandhu ennai veLLuyir Akkavalla
paiyudai nAgap pagaikkodiyAnukkup pallANdu kURuvanE

[The aiSwaryArthi says] I will praise emperumAn who offers me the pure, tasty prasAdham (offering made to emperumAn as part of worship) which is seen amidst ghee, confidential service, the thAmbUlam (blend of betel leaf, arecanut and lime), ornament for neck, ornament kuNdalam (ear drops) for the ears, unique sandalwood paste which is a good fit for the body, who is capable of creating a good mind in me and who is having as his flag, garuda, the enemy of snakes with hoods.

Ninth pAsuram AzhwAr is praising emperumAn along with those who are devotees and desirous of carrying out service to emperumAn, and who were invited in the third pAsuram of vAzhAtpattu and who joined him in sixth pAsuram, endhai thandhai.

uduththuk kaLaindha nin pIdhaga Adai uduththuk kalaththadhuNdu
thoduththa thuzhAy malar sUdikkaLaindhana sUdum iththoNdagaLOm
viduththa thisaik karumam thiruththith thiruvONath thiruvizhavil
paduththa painnAgaNaip paLLi koNdAnukkup pallANdu kURudhumE

We will be  your servitors, wearing the divine dress which has been removed from your divine waist after you have worn it, eating the remnants of the prasAdham (offering of food made to emperumAn) after you have eaten, donning the divine thuLasi garland which has been removed after you have worn it. We will sing on the day of thiruvONam (the divine star of emperumAn) songs of praise on you, who are lying on the bed of AdhiSEshan who has well expanded hoods and who carries out all the tasks which you set out, in all directions.

Tenth pAsuram. In this AzhwAr is joining with the kaivalya nishtars (those who are engaged in enjoying AthmAs) whom he had invited in Edu nilaththil pAsuram and who joined him in thIyil poliginRa pAsuram.

ennAL emperumAn un thanakku adiyOm enRu ezhuththuppatta
annALE adiyOngaL adikkudil vIdu peRRu uyndhadhu kAN
sennAL thORRIth thiru madhuraiyuL silai kuniththu aindhalaiya
painnAgath thalaip pAyndhavanE unnaip pallANdu kURudhumE

Our lord! The day that we gave you in writing that we have become your servitors, all the descendents in our clan got relieved from kaivalyam and got uplifted. Oh emperumAn who incarnated on an auspicious day, who broke the bow in the festival conducted by kamsan in madhurai (North) and who jumped onto the five spread hoods of the snake kALiyan! All of us will gather together and praise you.

Eleventh pAsuram. In this, AzhwAr joins with the aiSwaryArthis who he invited in the aNdakkulam pAsuram and who joined him in neyyidai pAsuram.

alvazhakku onRum illA aNi kOttiyar kOn abimAnathungan
selvanaippOla thirumAlE nAnum unakkup pazhavadiyEn
nalvagaiyAl namO nArAyaNA enRu nAmam pala paravi
pal vagaiyAlum paviththiranE unnaip pallANdu kURuvanE

Oh the consort of mahAlakshmi! Just like selva nambi, who is the leader of those who are residing at thirukkOttiyUr which is like a jewel for the entire world, who is without any fault and who is great with the honour “I am servitor to you alone”, adiyEn (this servitor) too has been your servitor for a very long time. Oh one who purifies us all with your basic nature, form, qualities and wealth! I will worship you by meditating on your ashtAkshara manthra (manthra with eight syllables) and reciting your thousand names.

Twelfth pAsuram. In the end, Azhwar, by the way of stating the benefit for those who learn this prabandham, says that those who extol emperumAn with deep affection, will get engaged with emperumAn and until time exists, will have the fortune of carrying out mangaLAsASanam (praising emperumAn auspiciously), and brings the prabandham to an end.

pallANdu enRu paviththirnaip paramEttiyaich chArngam ennum
vil ANdAn thannai villipuththUr vittuchiththan virumbiya sol
nal ANdenRu navinRu uraippAr namO nArAyaNAya enRu
pallANdum paramAthmanaich chUzhndhirundhu Eththuvar pallANdE

This prabandham has been composed by vishNuchiththan (periyAzhwAr), born in SrIvillippuththUr, on emperumAn, who is the most pure, who resides in the exalted paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) and who rules over his bow SArngam, with the desire “emperumAn should always remain with auspiciousness”. Those who recite this prabandham with the thought that good times have occurred for singing this prabandham, will meditate on ashtAksharam and sing pallANdu (long live emperumAn!) till time exists, going around the supreme entity SrIman nArAyaNa, repeatedly.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan


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