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puLLinvaayk keeNdaanai pollaa arakkanai

From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (
Date: Sun Aug 03 1997 - 22:22:53 PDT

A couple weeks back, Sri. Krishnaswaamy wrote on puLLinvaayk keendaanai

----begin quote

3. Various commentaries on Thiruppavai that I have come across so far
 explain that the phrases 'Pullin vai keendanai pollaa arakanai killi
kalandhanai'  refer to  Lord Krishna who destroyed , by splitting the
of the evil  asura who took the form of a bird.

4. I am curious to know whether any commentaries by scholars exist
interpret the meaning of  the  phrase under reference on the lines noted
paragraph  2 above. I will be much grateful for a response from you, Sri

Dileepan  and others  interested in the subject.

------end quote

By no means can I claim to be knowledgeable in the prabhandham, and
not in the various commentaries of our aachaaryaas on the prabhandham.
that does not stop me from attempting to share what little I came across
my readings on thiruppaavai. I beg your indulgence for any mistakes in
the following.
All mistakes are mine and are due to my lack of understanding of the

Thiruppaavai, as most of you know, has a number of commentaries written
on it.
The following are the major ones:
 moovaayirappadi  - periyavachchaan piLLai
 aaraayirappadi - azhagiya maNavaaLap perumaaL naayanaar
 eeraayirappadi, naalaayirappadi - aay jananyachaariaar.
There are a lot of svaapadEsha vyakhyaanams on thiruppaavai, the most
well known
being the ones by suddhasathvam dhoddachaariaar and by ponnadikkaal
(Raamanuja jeeyar), the founding jeeyar of the vaanamaamalai madam.

I will attempt to share the meaning of the paasuram in two parts - in
the first part,
the general 'on the surface' meaning, and in the second part, I will
the svaapadEsha vyaakhyanam with the 'on the surface' meaning that will
enable us
to understand the paasuram a little bit better.

In the thirteenth paasuram, all the girls is aayarpaadi wake up the girl
does not want to come out of her house. This girl has extraordinarily
eyes (pOdharik kaNNinaay.. - eyes that resemble a flower, the eyes of a
Having such beautiful eyes,this girl thinks that there is no need for
her to go
to where the Lord is. She expects the Lord to come to where she is.

The girls of aaypaadi try to wake her up by inviting her to join them to
sing the
praise of the Lord.

puLLinvaayk keeNdaanai - the one who tore apart the mouth of the bird
(the crane, here)
This refers to the krishnaavathaaram, where Krishna tears apart the beak
bakaasuran who comes in the form of a crane.  Periyaazhvaar refers to
this incident
so beautifully in his akkaakaai paasurams -
  paLLaththil mEyum paravai urukkoNdu
  kaLLavasuran varuvaanaiththaan kaNdu
  puLLidhuvenRu podhukkOvaayk keeNditta
  piLLaiyai vandhu kuzhalvaaraay akkaakkaay pEymulai uNdaan

here podhukkO = with ease and speed, podhukkena..without any effort.

pollaa arakkanaik kiLLik kaLaindhaanai - The one who destroyed the polla
(evil) asuran,
like a gardener who tears apart a leaf with a worm in it and throws it
Now, a qestion may arise here - Aren't all arakkans (rakshasaas) evil?
Why should
there be a qualifier 'pollaa' here? All our aachaaryaas mention
vibheeshanan here.
vibheeshana was not an evil rakshasa. (viBheeshanasthu dharmaatma).
Hence the qualifier
to exclude Him.

Now, the important thing for us to consider is why should aandaaL use
the above
two incidents in this paasuram?

aaraayirappadi & the svaapadEsha vyaakhyaanams help us here.

The girl who is still inside, that the other girls are trying to get to
join them,
is inside because of her realising her swaroopagnyaanam. What is
beautiful for
the aatma? swaroopagnyaanam - the knowledge of its swaroopam. The girl
is described as beautiful because of her gnyaanam. She is not coming out
she knows that there is nothing that she, a jeevaatma, can do to attain
She is afraid of the various paapams that she has accumalated as a
She knows that the she can only accumalate more paapams, she can never
get rid of
even a single paapam. She is afraid beacuse of that and refuses to come

The girls of aayppaadi are trying to get her to join them to perform
kainkaryam to
Him. They use the krishnaavathaaram - bakaasuran - episode to give her
Just as the Lord so effortlessly destroyed bakaasuran by tearing apart
the beaks of
the crane, He will destroy all our paapams and our virOdhis. So, there
is nothing to
worry about. He will destroy anything that stands in the way of His
attaining Him. {Many aachaaryaas refer to raamaavathaaram, where He
destroys the bow
that stood in the way of Him and piraatti. Similarly, He will destroy
anything and
everything that stands between Him and us, His belongings}.

Since the people of ayarpaadi may think that the girls are singing about
the same
one again and again, the use iraamaavathaaram too.
Just as raama effortlessly destroyed raavaNa, He will destroy all out
paapams and
all the virOdhis so that we, His belonging, can reach Him.
Sudhdhasathvam dhoddaachariar, in his svaapadEsha vyaakhaanam, says that
the Lord
removes the jeevaathmaa's ahankaaram just as He removed (destroyed)

Aazhvaar emperumaanar jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,