Pasuram 10 of Andal’s Thiruppavai The full text of all 30 Pasurams may be found here. Also, a scholarly discussion can be found at the link given below. See below the images of the English and Tamil texts of Pasuram No. 10 of Andal’s Thiruppavai. For those who wish to read the text in other languages, please go to Andal is considered to be Sridevi’s amsaavataaram. She was born at Srivilliputoor (close to Kanchipuram, also the city where Indira Gandhi’s son and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated), as the daughter of PeriyAzhwar. She is also the only female among the 12 SriVaishNavite Azhwars. She longed for union with Her Lord and insisted that she should be taken to Srirangam where she eventually merged with Lord Ranganatha. You can read more about Andal at the link given above (or click here). The immortal Thiruppavai, attributed to Her, is a divine composition, filled with deep esoteric meanings, on which many commentaries have been written over the centuries. The first five pasurams cover the following. In the first pasuram, ANDAL invites Her friends for the Vratham observance (Sakhi JanAn aahvayanthi). In the second paasuram, She spells out the rites to be observed and the deeds to be abandoned (Karma Phalam upadisanthi). In the third Paasuram, She describes the fruits of the Vratham (Vrathasya Phalam Vadanthi). The aacaaryas who have blessed us are considered to be like the milk giving cows with overflowing udders. In the fourth Paasuram, Andal is directing her prayers to Varuna (actually to KrishNa who had the complexion darker than the darkest rain bearing clouds), the god of the rains, and comparing the bounty bestowing by aacaryas to the bounteous rains showered by Varuna. In Pasuram 5 Andal tells us that He would completely burn off all of our accumulated sins much like a fire burns pieces of straw thrown into it.

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In Pasurams 6 to 15, Andal is trying to wake up 10 different types of bhaktas. The fourth of these bhaktas is described in Pasuram 10.


In Pasuram 10, the waking up of the friend’s of Andal continues. Here she is waking up an extremely exalted one, who is referred to as Amaanaai (1st line) and also as ArungalamE (7th line). She says, “O blessed one, are you so confident of attaining swargam (union with the Supreme, not swarga loka of Indra) having performed (noTTru) the nombhu? And, so you are still asleep and don’t even have the courtesy to open the doors for those who knock? Then, shall we start singing the praises of the Lord Narayana who is adorned with His hair tuft (muDi, which is made into a buff and tied on the top) with the choicest Tulasi (naaTrath thuzhaai). Perhaps, then you will heed and wake up and break this spell of sleep. Was this sleep spell that you got out of victory over KumbhakaraNa (younger brother of
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Ravana, who spent all his time sleeping)? You are the blessed one. Please open the door and join us and let us all go together for our holy dip.” MEANING OF THE TENTH PAASURAM (V. SADAGOPAN) In this pasuram, the greatness of Sharanagati (selfsurrender) has been brought out. After one performs sharanagati at the feet of Paraman, Paraman Himself will look after all his needs and welfare. And so after having performed sharanagati, we place all the responsibility of our protection at His feet. After this the sharanagathan can be relieved of all worries and can concentrate on serving Him and can obtain happiness and the bliss of moksham. The house of the maid of this pasuram is close to Nandagopan’s house. Kannan used to pay visits to her house once in a while and she performed Sharanagati at the feet of Kannan. Now that there is no other upayam to be performed, she is asleep free of all worries. Not having realised this, they are trying to wake her up. When she lay asleep even after dawn they said “Oh dear girl! Our Mistress! How do we observe the nombu, if you remain asleep like this? As if you would get the benefits of this nombu without observing it. (In reality she was not interested in observing this nombu as she had already performed sharanagati at the feet of Kannan). Oh girl! We feel that you could be our guide and our companion and so are we inviting you, but alas you are still asleep”. But this girl never spoke a word. Just as how Sita matha at Ashoka vanam was enjoying the glories of Sri Rama sung by Hanuman, so was this girl enjoying the glories of Kannan being talked about by her friends at the door. She remained silent as she was also a little indignant owing to the fact that her friends addressed her as “our mistress (Yajamani)“, while she considered herself to be a slave of Kannan and his devotees.
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Her friends remained at the door blinking. They said to each other “Let alone the locked door. She is silent too. If she is a rich girl, then she should welcome bhaktas and guests who come to her door and exchange pleasantries with them. If she has given herself to Kannan, she could having give us her words at least. Oh Friend, should our eyes and ears starve for not been able to see you or hear from you? The maid who was inside, now speaks, “Oh my dear friends! You are putting blame on me. Do you think Kannan is here?” Her friends then spoke, “Do you think you will be able to keep the fragrance of the temple (chandanam) sandalwood paste away from us?” To which, she replied “just because you smell the fragrance of chandanam and thiruththuzhaai (tulasi), does it mean Kannan should be here?” “Yes my dear maid, if Kannan held you close even once, then the fragrance won’t go off even after half a dozen baths.” said they. “How can Kannan get into a house that is so well guarded”, said she in anger. Her friends then replied, “Should Kannan try to get the door opened, like us? He only cannot find his way out once he gets in”. Having thought that it is useless to continue this dialogue anymore, she started to act asleep and began to snore aloud. “Oh friend! Do you listen? Did Kumbhakarana give you his sleep before departing from this world? He just separated one, and how could you sleep having separated all of us? Why do you feel so lazy at the crack of dawn?“ Not willing to take this blame, she immediately woke up and came down. Seeing her coming down her friends said, “You were talking to us from upstairs till now and be careful when you step your way down. Let’s go to take a holy dip”.

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LITERAL MEANING OF THE PAASURAM (DR. V. K. N. S. RAGHAVAN) “Oh Dear girl, who is very much confident of practicing nonbhu (KanyA vratham) and entering heaven (Svargam)! Is it your custom not to open the doors and not even respond to our calls ? (Without getting any reply from her, the Gopis assembled outside her door try to make her listen to their talk as follows): If we sing in praise of Lord NarAyaNA (viz. , KrishNA, contextually) adorning the fragrant TuLasi garland on His head, He will surely bless us with the drum for our Vratham. (So, you also wake up and come with us). Is it that KumbhakarNan-who was, in days of yore, made to leap to his death by Lord RamachandrA, the embodiment of Dharamam--has ceded his long spell of sleep to you after he was defeated (by you in a sleeping contest)? O Girl overpowered by heavy dose of (spellbound by) sleep! You are however the precious jewel of our group. Hence, Kindly (get up) and come to the door with clear mind and open it.” THE INNER MEANINGS OF THE PAASURA VAAKYAMS: TWO KEY WORDS Sri U. Ve. BhUvarAhAcchar Swamy focuses on two key words used by ANDAL in this Paasuram: “Svargam and ArumkalamE”. (1) Svargam : Svargam here is not Indra’s heaven, but union with God. The Gopi here has completed all her rites of selfsurrender to the Lord and hence is enjoying His company. This situation is similar to that of a Sri VaishNavA; for him/her, nothing remains to be done by way of “upAyA” after acepting our Lord as the sole refuge and protector (SaraNAgathi). The word Svargam can also be split into SU+Vargam (Nalla GhOshti
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or the Sri Vaishnava Saadhu GhOshti)). That GhOshti is Sushtu GhOshti according to Sri PBA Swamy. The members of Sushtu GhOshti will not mingle with those, who chase worldly matters and will run away from them. Abhinava Desikan points out that Svargam is not Indra Lokam but Bhagavath anubhavam associated with Moksham. Being without the Lord is narakam and being with Him is Svargam (YasthvayA saha sa SVARGHO nirayO yasthvayA vinA). ArumkalamE: Regarding “ArumkalamE”, Sri BhUvarAhAcchAr Swamy gives two meanings: (1) a vessel and (2) an ornament. A Sri VaishNavA is the vessel to contain His grace. A Sri VaishNavA possesses superior ornaments in the form of Aathma GuNams; or he himself is the best ornament embellishing the sathsangams of Sri VaishNavAs. Sri BhUvarahAcchAr Swamy seems to follow mostly Periya VaacchAn PiLlai's and 6000 paDi commentaries. Abhinava Desikan points out the reason for the usage of the address of this Gopi as “arumkalamE”. The Gopis waiting outside and appealing to the UtthamAdhikAri inside to wake up are happy that latter woke up finally heeding their appeals. Hence they praise her by addressing her as “arumkalamE” or the one with adhbhutha GuNams and adhbhutha Soundharyam. INNER MEANINGS OF OTHER WORDS OF THIS PAASURAM PerukkAranai Swamy observes that the 9th and 10th Paasurams of ThiruppAvai suggest that those who perform auspicious deeds will enjoy sukham here as well as in the other world. This goPi is one, who gives aanandham to KrishNan. She vowed to observe the Vratham and yet she is “sleeping” now (observing Mouna Vratham). The other gOpis make fun of her (this gOpi) by reminding her of her earlier resolutions. The gOpis outside address the sleeping gOpi semiseriously as “ammanAi” (YajamAni or Swamini). The door still did not open after requesting her (MaRRamum thArArO Vaasal ThiRavAthAr). THULASI MAHATHMYAM Salutation to Sriman NaarAyaNan and His glories are housed in the passage “NaaRat thuzhAi mudi NaarAyaNan” Here the Lord is invoked in the form of
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wearing the sacred ThuLasi on His Siras to assure us that His Vratham is to give the boon of Moksham for those, who perform SaraNAgathi at His feet (nammAl pORRa Parai tharum PuNNiyan). ThuLasi's glory is also indicated in this Paasuram (nARRa ThuzhAi Mudi NaarAyanan). “nARRa Thuzhai” is fragrant ThuLasi adorning His Siras (over the Kiritam). It has been presented by Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr earlier. Lord KrishNA says in this context in MahA BhAratham: “Among Pushpams, ThuLasi flower is the most sacred”. Blue Lotus is lofty in status, when it is used in Bhagavath AarAdhanam; Red Lotus flower is loftier than blue lotus; the hundred petaled red lotus is loftier than the ordinary red lotus with fewer petals; PuNDarIkam (1000 petaled lotus) is more venerable than the 100 petaled variety of red lotus. SvarNa Pushpam is loftier than the PuNDarIkam; even loftier in hierarchy of venerable flowers is ThuLasi. It tops the list. ThuLasi was born during the time of the churning of the milky ocean (amrutha Matanam) by the Lord. The Thulasi flower, leaves, kattai/log (Kaashtam) and root are all important in Bhagavath AarAdhanam, Pithru SrArdham and Yaagams/Yaj~nams. At Oppiliappan Koil, SravaNa dheepam has at its center ThuLasi Kaashtai covered by rags. This KshEthram is ThuLasi Vanam. At SrivilliputthUr, ANDAL incarnated at the foot of a ThuLasi plant. During the month of Marghazhi, any one performing Pongal naivEdhyam for our Lord cooked in the fire made from ThuLasi Kaashtai obtains indescribable auspiciousness; so does one, who is cremated with Thulasi Kaashtai sambhandham. He ascends to Vaikuntam. In Maasi Ratha Sapthami and EkAdasi, naivEdhyam for PerumAl with food cooked over ThuLasi Kaashtai gives the phalan of 1000 year long AarAdhanams. Infinite indeed are the glories of TuLasi and the TuLasi Vana Sudari, SaakshAth KashamA (Godhai). For more details see

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