You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1996

THE HINDU articles on Thiruppaavai (part 3 of 4)

From: Venkatesh Elayavalli/DCOM (
Date: Thu Jan 11 1996 - 12:43:18 PST


Tiruppaavai-the acme of bhakti

Date: 24-12-1995 :: Pg: 39 :: Col: a

Cl: Religion

The  hymns of Tiruppaavai are not just devotional songs but  also
contain   flashes  of  nature's  morning  glory.  The  third   in
S.SWAMINATHAN's five part series on Aandaal's hymns.

        The   hymns  (Paasurams)  of  Tiruppaavai  constitute   a
combination of the temporal and the eternal yearning of the human
spirit  for  identification with the divine. At  one  level,  Sri
Andal  depicts the Paavai Nonbu, its ceremonial features and  the
manner  in  which  the  cowherd  women  (Aayarpaadis)  seek   the
blessings of Lord Krishna.

        At  another,  spiritual or esoteric level, Sri  Andal  is
invoking  the grace of the eternal God for her own liberation  or
mukthi. That the Jeevathma should minister to the Paramaathma and
not merely drift in the voyage of life is the quintessence of the
inner meaning of the beautiful hymns composed by Sri Andaal.

        Included in this part are hymns 13-18. There are quite  a
few picturesque flashes of nature's morning glory. The red  roses
opening their petals, Venus rising with Jupiter fading out, birds
chirping  on  their way to their prey, cocks crowing  with  their
stubborn  regularity,  cuckoos filling the air with  their  music
all these evoke unforgettable impressions in one's mind.

        The  rich puranic lore in these hymns  the  Lord  felling
the  Raakshasa  emperor  Raavana,  the  incarnation  of  God  for
humbling  Mahabali,  the ruler of arrogance beyond  compare,  the
killing of Bakasura and the destruction of the wild elephant sent
by  Kamsa  is almost a common feature in all the  Paasurams,  the
glory of God being recapitulated  by the gopis who are incredibly
aware of all the miracles of God.


        Pullinvaai keendaanai-p-polla arakkanai
        Killikkalain thaanai-k-keerthimai paadi-p-poi
        Pillaikal ellaarum paavai-k-kalam pukkaar
        Velli ezhundhu viyazham urangitru
        Pullum silambina kaan podhari-k-kanninaai!
        Kullak-k-kulira-k-kudaindhu neeraadaathe
        Palli-k-kidathiyo! Paavaai! Nee nannaalaal
        Kallam thavirndhu kalandhu el or empaavaai

        You,  dainty girl with those red lotus-like  eyes!  Don't
you  see?  All the girls have arrived at the river  bed  for  the
worship (Paavai Nonbu), singing the glory of our Lord who  killed
the  demon  Bakaasura in disguise as a bird, by breaking  up  the  p73
mouth  (in the incarnation of Krishna) and who just plucked  away
the  ten heads of the wicked Raavana and slew him (in His  avatar
as  Raama). It is time you got up. Venus has risen.  Jupiter  has
gone  to  sleep.  Can't you hear the chirping  of  the  birds  in
flight? Don't you pretend to be asleep! Come, join us, get to the
river for a refreshing bath on this auspicious day.


        Ungal puzhai-k-kadai-th-thottathu vaaviyul
        Sengazhuneer vaai negizhndhu aambal vaai koombina kaan
        Sengal podi-k-koorai vennpal thavathavar
        Thangal thirukkoil sangiduvaan poginraar
        Engalai munnam ezhuppuvaan vaai pesum
        Nangaai! Ezhundiraai! Naanaadhai! Naavudayai!
        Sangodu chakkaram endhum thadakkaiyan
        Pangaya-k-kannanai-p-paadu el or empaavai.

        You boastful chatter box! You promised to wake us all up.
All  tall-talk!Get up fast! Already, if you care to look  at  the
pond  in  your back-garden, the red lotus has blossomed  and  the
night lilies have closed up. Ascetics in ochre-robes, with  their
sparkling  teeth  are  striding towards the temple  to  blow  the
conch.  Are you not ashamed? Get up! Come, let us sing in  praise
of our Lord, the lotus-eyed Kannan (Krishna) who holds the  conch
(called Paanchajanyam) and the discus  (called Sudarsanam) in his
broad, powerful hands.


        Ellay! Ilam kiliye! Innam urungudhiyo!
        Chill enru azhayen min Nangaimeer! Podharukinren
        Vallai un katturaikal pande un vaai arithum
        Valleergal neengale! Naanethan aayiduga!
        Ollai nee podaai, unakkenna verudayai
        Ellaarum pondhaaro? Pondhaar pondhu ennikkol.
        Vallaanai-k-konraanai, matraarai matrazhikka
        Vallanai Mayanai-p-paadu el or empaavai.
        The group: What? Are you still sleeping, you beautiful girl!

        The girl: Don't you scream! My good friends! I shall come

        Group:  Yes indeed! Don't we know you, full  of  eloquent

        Girl:  Oh  yes,  I agree, you are the  ones  gifted  with
eloquence. Or let it be myself, if you insist.

        Group: (Enough of all this banter!) Come along. Don't you
be thinking of this and that.

        Girl: Have all the girls come?

        Group: Sure, you can count them, if you so choose. p73

        Girl: Pardon me, what is the programme?

        Group:  As  we move down to the river, we shall  keep  on
singing  the  glories  of our mysterious Lord,  Sri  Krishna  who
killed  the mighty elephant, Kuvalaya peetam, sent by  Kamsa  and
who vanquished many other foes as well.


        Naayaganai ninra Nandagopanudaya
        Koil Kaappaane! Kodi thonrum thorana
        Vaayil kappaane! Mani-k-kadavam thal thiravaai
        Aayar sirumiyaromukku arai parai
        Maayan Manivannan, nennale vaai nerndhaan!
        Thooyomaai vandhom, thuyil ezha-p-paaduvaan
        Vaayal munnam munnam maatraadhe amma! Nee
        Neyamilai-k-kadhavam neekku, el or empaavai.

        You,   the  sentry  guarding  the  temple  of  our   Lord
Nandagopa!  And  you sentinel at the inner gate  ornamented  with
flags  and  festoons! Please open the latch  of  the  gem-studded
door!  For us the cowherd girls, our mysterious and radiant  Lord
Krishna promised yesterday itself to give us the heralding  drum.
We  have  all come here, with a pure mind, to wake  him  up  with
songs. Please therefore, open the heavy doors and let us in.


        Ambaramay, thanneeray, soray aram seyyum
        Emperumaan! Nandagopaala! Ezhundhiraai!
        Kombanaar-k-kellaam kozhunday kulavilakkay
        Emperumaatti! Yasodhaai! Arivuraai!
        Ambaran oodaruththu ongi ulagalandha
        Umberkomaane! Urangaadhu ezhundhiraai!
        Sembork-kazhaladi-ch-chelvaa! Baladeva!
        Umbiyum neeyum urangel or empaavaai.

        Our  Lord, King Nandagopa! You who are reputed  for  your
magnanimity  in presenting clothes, water and food to the  needy!
Kindly wake up! O, Queen Yasodha, the foremost among noble women,
the beacon-light of our race, do wake up!

        Our Lord Krishna! You who pierced the sky with your  full
stature  (Viswaroopa) and measured the entire universe with  your
feet,  the Lord of Lords, may you please wake up. Oh, the  strong
and  powerful Balarama! May your brother and you please  do  wake


        Undhu madhakalitran, Odaadha thol valiyan
        Nandagopalan marumagale! Nappinnai!
        Gandham kamazhum kuzhalee! Kadai thiravaar?
        Vandhengum kozhi azhaithana kaann! Maadhavi-p- p73
        Pandalmel palkaal kuyilinangal koovina kaan
        Pandhaar virali! Un maiththunan per paada-ch-
        Chenthaamarai-k-kaiyaal seeraar valai olippa
        Vandhu thiravaai magizhndhu el or empaavaai.

        Oh,  Nappinnai, the daughter-in-law of  Nandagopalan  who
has  the  strength of a furious elephant and who will  never  run
away  from  a  battle, you Nappinnai in  your  fragrant  tresses.
Kindly open the door.

        The  shrill clarion of the cocks fills the  air.  Cuckoos
perched on the bower of the jasmine plant have been singing  away
with their shrill notes. You young Lady, kindly unlock the  door.
The jingling sound of your bangles we will hear and rejoice.


Go to :   |Weekly edition   |THE HINDU Main Menu|