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thiruppaavai -- verse 23

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Jan 07 1998 - 12:14:56 PST

[ Today, January 7, is the 23nd day of maargazhi
  (December-January).  On each day of maargazhi,
  one verse from Andal's divine poem ``thiruppaavai'' 
  is savored. Today's verse is "maari malai muzhainchil".

  What I have presented is the surface meaning.
  Each verse can actually be understood in many 
  poetic and profoundly philosophical ways. Perhaps
  others can offer further thoughts and reactions.

  An introduction to Andal and the thiruppaavai
  can be found on the Web: 

  Pardon me for the delay. The last verse posted was
  verse 22. Vacation and illness conspired against me,
  and I hope to make up the missed posts in the meantime.

  -- Mani ]


In the first five songs, Andal described the sacred 
vow (paavai nonbu) she and her friends will 
undertake during the month of maargazhi to get
the "divine drum", which only the Lord of the 
Universe, Narayana (Krishna), can give them.  

In the next ten verses, she goes about waking up 
her friends in the wee hours of the morning so they 
can go perform this vow. In verses 16-22, Andal and 
her friends gather at the doors of the household of 
Krishna and ask that they rise and grace them.  Her
appeals start first with his father Nandagopa and 
end with Krishna himself and his wife Nappinnai.  

Today's verse describes Krishna's awakening from
deep slumber.

thiruppaavai, verse 23 -- maari malai muzhainchil

maari malai muzhainchil mannik kidandhu uRangum *
seeriya singam aRivuRRuth thee vizhiththu *
vEri mayir ponga eppaadum pErndhu udhaRi *
moori nimirndhu muzhangip puRappattup *
pOdharumaa pOlE nee poovaippoo vaNNaa * un
kOyil ninRu iNGNGanE pOndharuLi * kOppudaiya
seeriya singaasanaththu irundhu * yaam vandha
kaariyam aaraayndhu aruLElOr embaavaay.

  [ '*' indicates the end of a line, split 
     both for recitation as well as to help
     with the meaning. ]


As a great lion in the rainy season
Lies asleep in a mountain cave

United with his mate

And then comes to his senses
   Opening his fiery eyes
   Shaking his bristling mane 

   He starts out with a great roar

So do you, your color like a poovai flower,
Come and graciously ascend your 
   Great, beautiful throne in your palace

And kindly ask us our reason for
   coming here

Word for Word meaning

maari		rainy season
malai		mountain
muzhainchil	in a cave
mannik kidandhu	lying united with his wife
uRangum		sleeping

seeriya		great
singam		lion
aRivuRRu	comes to senses
thee		fiery
vizhi		open eyes

vEri mayir	mane
ponga		shaking
eppaadum	on all sides
pErndhu		to move
udhaRi		shivering

moori nimirndhu	stretching
muzhangi	roaring
puRappattu	starts out

pOdharum	comes
pOle		like all the above
nee		you
poovai poo	poovai flower
vaNNaa		having the color of

un kOyil	your palace
ninRu		standing, from
iNGNGanE	in this manner
pOndhu aruLi	coming and gracing

kOppu udaiya	decorated
seeriya		great
  irundhu	from the throne

yaam		our
vandha kaariyam	purpose of coming
aaraayndhu	examine
aruL		grace us