thiruppAvai – Simple Explanation – pAsurams 1 to 5

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


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First pAsuram. Praising time, cow-herd girls and emperumAn, who is both the means and the end result, ANdAL resolves that she will observe mArgazhi nOnbu (a fasting or religious penance observed in the thamizh month of mArgazhi) so that she could have krishNAnubhavam (enjoying krishNa).

mArgazhith thingaL madhi niRaindha nannALAl
  nIrAdap pOdhuvIr pOdhuminO nErizhaiyIr
sIr malgum AyppAdich chelvach chiRumIrgAL
  kUrvEl kodum thozhilan nandhagOpan kumaran
Er Arndha kaNNi yasOdhai  iLam singam
  kAr mEnich chengaN kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththAn
nArAyaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvAn
  pArOr pugazhap padindhu ElOr embAvAy

Oh young girls in thiruvAyppAdi (SrI gOkulam) who have the wealth of krishNa kainkaryam (service to krishNa)! Oh those who are wearing great ornaments! It is an auspicious day on this full moon day of mArgazhi. kaNNan is the obedient son of nandhagOpar, who has a sharp spear which will destroy creatures which could harm kaNNan; kaNNan is the lion cub of yaSOdhAppirAtti who has beautiful eyes. kaNNan has a divine form which has the complexion of dark cloud, has reddish eyes and has a face like sun and moon. He is nArayaNa, emperumAn, and will give us all, his servitors, kainkaryam (service to him). Come together.

Second pAsuram. She lists the do’s and don’ts while engaging in krishNAnubhavam. She says that for us who have surrendered to emperumAn, the conduct of pUrvAchAryas (preceptors) is the guideline.

vaiyaththu vAzhvIrgAL nAmum nam pAvaikkuch
  cheyyum kirisaigaL kELIrO pARkadaluL
paiyathth thuyinRa paraman adipAdi
  neyyuNNOm pAluNNOm nAtkAlE nIrAdi
mai ittu ezhudhOm malar ittu nAm modiyOm
  seyyAdhana seyyOm thIkkuRalai chenRu OdhOm
aiyamum pichchaiyum Andhanaiyum kaikAtti
  uyyumAReNNi ugandhu ElOr embAvAy

Oh those who have been born to live in this world! Listen to the activities which we should perform, happily after understanding the path to uplift ourselves. We will praise the divine feet of the supreme entity who is reclining in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean). We will not consume ghee (clarified butter) and milk. We will wake up early in the morning and have a bath. But we will not apply the decorative pigment to the eyes and neither would we wear flower on our tresses. We will not carry out activities prohibited by our elders. We will not indulge in back-biting. We will donate to the apt people and offer alms to the needy to the extent that we are capable of giving.

Third pAuram. ANdAL prays that benefits should accrue to all the people who are in brindhAvan who had given her permission to enjoy krishNAnubhavam (the experience of krishNa). The implied meaning is that everyone should get krishNAnubhavam.

Ongi ulagu aLandha uththaman pEr pAdi
  nAngaL nam pAvaikkuch chARRi nIrAdinAl
thInginRi nAdu ellAm thingaL mummAri peydhu
  Ongu perum sennel Udu kayal ugaLa
pUnguvalaip pOdhil poRi vaNdu kaN paduppa
  thEngAdhE pukku irundhu sIrththa mulai paRRi
vAngak kudam niRaikkum vaLLal perum pasukkaL
  nIngAdha selvam niRaindhu ElOr embAvAy

We will recite the divine names of the supreme entity who grew huge in his form and measured all the worlds. We will have a bath since we are observing nOnbu. If we do that, rain will fall three times in the month, throughout the country, without any harm. Due to that, carp fish will leap through the reddish paddy crops which have grown tall. Spotted beetles will sleep on the blue Indian water lily flower. People could go without hesitation to the well grown cows in that place, which are magnanimous, and they will give milk which will overflow the container in which it is received. The place will be full of such indelible opulence.

Fourth pAsuram. ANdAL orders parjanya dhEva (deity for rain) to precipitate three times in a month (for the brAhmaNas, for the king and for chaste women) so that people in brindhAvan can live prosperously and engage in krishNAnubhavam.

Azhi mazhaik kaNNA onRu nI kai karavEl
  AzhiyuL pukku mugandhu kodu Arththu ERi
Uzhi mudhalvan uruvam pOl mey kaRuththu
   pAzhiyam thOLudaip paRpanAbhan kaiyil
Azhi pOl minni valampuri pOl ninRu adhirndhu
  thAzhAdhE sArngam udhaiththa saramazhaipOl
vAzha ulaginil peydhidAy nAngaLum
  mArgazhi nIr Ada magizhndhu ElOr embAvAy

Oh varuNa, the lord for rain, who has the quality of depth just like the sea! You should not hide anything. Entering the ocean, you should absorb the water from it and roaring thunderously, you should climb on to the sky. Becoming dark, just like the divine form of emperumAn who is the lord of time and other such entities, you should be splendorous like the divine disc which is held on his divine hand by emperumAn, who has a divine, lotus-like, navel. You should blow steadily, like the divine conch which is on the other divine hand of emperumAn. Without any delay, you should precipitate rain like a rain of arrows which emerge from SArngam, the divine bow of emperumAn, so that the people in this world could get uplifted and we, who are observing the nOnbu, could happily bathe in the month of mArgazhi .

Fifth pAsuram: ANdAL shows that all the karmas (deeds which result in both virtue and sin) will disappear if one involves continuously in the recitation of emperumAn’s divine names. The deeds of past will get burnt out like cotton which has been put in fire, the deeds in future will leave without getting attached, just like water on a lotus leaf. An important feature to be noted here is that emperumAn removes all the deeds of past. He will remove the (bad) deeds which may be performed unknowingly in future; however he ensures that we experience the result of (bad) deeds which may perform knowingly in future .

mAyanai mannu vada madhurai maindhanaith
  thUya perunIr yamunaith thuRaivanai
Ayar kulaththinil thOnRum aNiviLakkai
  thAyaik kudal viLakkam seydha dhAmOdharanai
thUyOmAy vandhu nAm thUmalarth thUvith thozhudhu
  vAyinAl pAdi manaththinAl sindhikka
pOya pizhaiyum pugu tharuvAn ninRanavum
  thIyinil thUsAgum seppu ElOr embAvAy

dhAmOdharan has amazing activities; he is the king of the resplendent mathurA in the north; he plays on the banks of river yamunA which runs deep with water; he is like an auspicious lamp, who incarnated in the clan of cow-herds and who brought fame to the divine stomach of SrI yaSOdhA. If we approach him with purity, worship him with flowers, meditate on him through our mind and recite about him through our mouth [worshipping him through all three faculties of mind, speech and body], all our bad deeds of the past as well as sins which we may indulge in, in the future, will disappear just like a piece of cotton thrown into fire. Hence, sing about him.

Thus, through the first five pAsurams, emperumAn’s para (SrIman nArAyaNa in SrIvaikuNtam), vyUha (lord of thiruppARkadal), vibhava (thrivikrama), antharyAmi (as the indwelling soul of varuNa) and archchai (emperumAn at vadamadhura) forms were mentioned.


adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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