Pasuram 11 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. A word-by-word translation is given at See below the images of the English and Tamil texts of Pasuram No. 11 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 sixth of these bhaktas is described in Pasuram 11.


In Pasuram 11, the waking up of the friend’s of Andal continues. Here she is waking up an exalted one, who is referred to by the names Golden Creeper, or Porkodi (3rd line), and also as Chelva PeNDaaTi (7th line). She is totally blemishless (3rd line) and born in the distinguished lineage of cowherds who serve the Lord. She is so utterly charming and beautiful, like a peacock (puna-mayil, 4th line), and with a lovely slender waist (like a majestic cobra that must shrink itself when it enters into home within the ground) that women wish to turn into men. Andal tells her, “Enough of this sleep, wake up. All your dear friends have entered into the courtyard of your house (5th and 6th lines) and singing the glories of KrishNa (with the color of rain bearing clouds). Why don’t you even stir or speak. We don’t understand the reason for this slumber of yours.”

Page 2 of 8 MEANING OF THE 11th PAASURAM (V. SADAGOPAN) After the birth of Kannan, it is believed that even the old cattle turned back to the younger days. It is said that king Dasharatha, found himself back in his youth after the birth of Sri Rama. Such is the effect of one’s association with the Lord. It is difficult to keep count of the cattle individually. It is also difficult to keep track of them in herds. Taking this advantage, the celestials descended on the earth in the form of cattle and endeared themselves to Lord Krishna. Kannan is popularly upheld as a master cowherd who milked the entire herd. He made the livestock flourish with richness. The cowherds would not continue with their trading of milk and ghee. They proclaimed that they followed their practice of
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milking the cows, only to free them off their soreness (felt in their full udders). They were determined to fight the offenders like Kamsa and the like, who would dare touch upon the pristine glories of Kannan. They would not harm one who had put their weapon down. They were akin to Sri Rama and showed the magnanimity of allowing their opponents to retire and came back the next day. Andal continues addressing one of her mates “Oh illustrious! The one who is upheld as the celebrity of the town, oh beauty personified! Your bewitching charm makes the women folk lament for not having been born as men. Your grace and the beauty of your tresses that resemble the feathers of a peacock do enchant Lord Krishna and us. Arise therefore and join us in our journey.” The maid questions from inside “Have the others joined you yet?” To this, comes the reply “You do know well about the entire habitation of AyarpAdi. We have all come and gathered in front of your dwelling now”. The maid replies, “Why did you choose mine? That place is reserved for my Kannan when he comes to meet me.” Andal replies, “It is indeed to sing the divine names of the Lord who has the hue of the rain bearing cloud and who is the object of your choicest delight”. Having heard of the mention of the Lord with the dark hue of the cloud that referred to Kannan, the maid plunged into a delightful ecstasy immersing herself in Kannan’s glories and withdrew herself back to her bed even without taking notice of the breaking day. Andal replies, “You are his favourite wife. Your heart is now filled with the bliss of having heard the glories of Kannan and you have immersed yourself in his virtues. It would be our fortune if we get to go to our morning showers in your company. You have retired back to your bed, refusing our invitation. Is this really a worthy thing? The greatest bliss is indeed to join in the celebration along with the Lord’s subservients. Why are you acting like a recluse in self experience?
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Why are you still in a slumber forgetting your ambition, failing to consider our desperate pleas and at the same time overlooking the possibility of the wonderful fortune of joining with Kannan. Had Kannan not been in your house, and then you too would have participated in our observances of nombu. Is it not? Inner purport – Preceptors who are like the cattle impart the milk of divine teachings to their disciples who are like the calves. Wealth does not join a Jeevan in his spiritual journey. It only bestows momentary material pleasure. The divine names of the Lord, on the other hand bestow one with the eternal wealth of beatitude. Dear BhakthAs: In this paasuram, a Gopi known for her extraordinary beauty (Golden creeper/PoRRk Kodi) and distinguished lineage is being awakened. Her relatives are known well for the way in which they discharge the duties of the Aayar Kulam. Sri BhUvarahAcchAr Swamy observes in this context: “These duties entail milking an endless number of cows. So ANDAL seems to be saying that performance of one's duties as enjoined in the scripture (varNAsram dharmam) will bring happiness to the Lord and thereby fall into the category of His service. One should hence never discard one's duties”. JananyAcchAr describes this UtthamAdhikAri as belonging to a noble lineage (AabhijAthyam) and as “Oorukku-oru PeNN PiLLai”. LITERAL MEANING OF THIS PAASURAM:DR. V. K. S. N RAGHAVAN Oh Golden Creeper of a girl (the scion among the maidens of this group)! You are a jewel among the cowherds, who are: (1) master craftsmen in the milking of ever so many groups of young milch cows (at a stretch) (2) skillful in warfare, namely, very much able to go against and destroy their (strong) opponents and routing their strength and (3) thoroughly blemishless! Oh Charming peacock-like (beautiful) damsel with the hips resembling the hood of a cobra! May You come (and join our fold). When we--Your kinswomen and friends --have come and entered the open front yard (without roof) of

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Your house, and when we are singing (in chorus) the names of the Lord of dark cloud-like hue, what are you fast asleep for, without even moving or giving any response, Oh rich and young girl ? THE INNER MEANINGS OF THE PAASURAM KaRRuk KaRavaik kaNangaL Pala KaRanthu: Having drunk the milk of Jn~Anam from all Upanishads, smruthi, IthihAsa PurANams independent of their size or complexity seRRAr thiRalazhia chenRu seruc cheyyum: Having won over naasthikars and aasthika abhimAnis in saastrEic debates KuRRam onrilAtha kOvalar tamm poRRk kodiyE: Oh Sathsishyan, who has been blessed with a sadAchAryan, with mastery over the blemishless VedAs! puna MayilE: Oh sathsishyan, who dances like a happy peacock (that has seen the rainy clouds) while singing the many naamAs of our Lord! pOdharAi: May Thou be engaged in this aanandha anubhavam! SuRRathtu ThOzhimAr: The aadhivAhikars, who display yellAm vanthu freindship to You, the Prapannan have come now. ninn muRRam puhunthu: They have entered the front gates of Your (of the one, who has cast aside the gross body and entered into the subtle body/sookshma sarIram) house. Muhil VaNNan pEr paada: They are reciting the Lord's names and are ready to lead you to His supreme abode at the final stages of your journey via archirAdhi maargam, like BhaagavathAs reciting manthrams into your ear. siRRAthE: You should cast away any concerns about committing sins consciously or otherwise. pEsAthE: You should speak of nothing except Bhagavan naamAs. nee selavap pendAtti: You become thus the one appreciated by BhagavAn Himself. uRangum poruL yeRRukku?: You have no more vinais to worry about? Why then this sleep rooted in fear and brahmam (delusion)? INNER MEANING OF SPECIAL WORDS AND PASSAGES (1) Sri PBA Swamy points out that the three sambhOdhanams (addresses) as “Kovalar tamm poRRkkodiyE, puRRaraval-puna mayilE and Selvap peNDAtti” are noteworthy. These three identitfications suggest that this Gopi is like a dependent creeper on the supporting rod of AchAryans and is distinguished for her fragrance of Paaratantryam. She is thus a qualified UtthamAdhikAri.
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(2) Sri PBA Swamy comments further on the word “PuRRaravaL” to bring out the supremacy of Bhakthi among the triad of Jn~Anam, Bhakthi & Virakthi. When a cobra with majestic form enters its home under earth, it will shrink its big form humbly. When Bhakthi is dominant, it will yield Jn~Anam and Virakthi readily. Swamy quotes Sanjayan 's Upadesam to the deluded DhruthrAshtran: “Maayam na sEvE bhadram tE na vruthA dharmamAcharE, Suddha bhAvam gathO BhakthyA SaasthrAth Vedhmi JanArdhanam” Bhakthi is thus the saadhanam for Jn~Anam aand Virakthi. Sri PBA Swamy also quotes Swamy AlavanthAr's slOkam praising his grandfather Swamy Naathamuni in the context of Jn~Ana-Bhakthi-Virakthi triad: “Namochinthya adhbhudha aklishta Jn~Ana VairAgya RaasayE, NaathAya munayE aghAtha Bhagavath Bhakthi SindhavE”. The importance of Bhakthi over Jn~Anam and VairAgyam is again alluded here, when Swamy Nathamuni is saluted here as the bottomless Ocean of Bhagavath Bhakthi. (3) PunamayilE: Sri PBA Swamy compares the equivalence of the Peacock to a SadAchAryA in six ways. Two such comparisons are as follows: (a) The poisonous insects would stay away from the peacock for fear of their lives. AchAryAs through their prabhAvam chase away all anishtams: “visAthi pahai pasi theeyanavellAm ninri ivvulahil kadivAn Nemip PirAn Tamar pOnthAr” is AzhwAr's Sri Sookthi. (b) When the peacock is happy, it will stretch its tail feathers and dance. AchAryAs will exhibit their Jn~ana vikAsam, when they experience a sath sishyan. (4) SuRRatthu ThOzhimArellAm vanthu: Aathma and dEha Bhandhus will flock around mahAns. One can see that with Udayavar with EmpAr, Mudali AaNDAN (dEha Bhanthus) and KurEsar, KidAmpi Aacchan et al (aathma Bhandhus) serving him (Sri PBA Swamy). (5) Ninn MuRRam puhunthu muhil VaNNan pEr Paada: MuRRam is where the adiyArs of the Lord assemble (vide: KulasEkarar paasuram: “aNiarangan THIRUMURRATTHU ADIYAR tankaLinbha perumkuzhavu kaNdu”) (Sri PBA Swamy). (6) SIRRATHE PESAATHE: AndaL's pasura Vaakhyam has the echo of Swamy NammAzhwAr's counsel AND command (ThiruvAimozhi:9. 1. 7): “siRRa vENDA chinthippEyamayum kaNDIrkaLanthO!” MEANING ACCORDING TO DR. V. N. VEDANTHA DESIKAN: “I have nothing else to say (to you, the people of the world) and I have said everything briefly. For all beings in this vast universe, without any need for exertion (siRRa vENDA) or exercise.
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A simple technique is available for survival and salvation. Lo, people do not catch my point and get doomed. The Lord, KrishNA, was born in MathurA to protect the cows, almost as their Mother. His boundless grace, simplicity and similar qualities --all flawless -- are a pleasure to ponder over and spend one's life with. I say that this is the easiest and praticable-to-all way of life! (3) Abhinava Desikan's description of Inner meanings: (a) KARAVAIKAL: AchAryAs, who yield abundant milk of Jn~Anam (b) KARRUKKARAVIAKAL: AchAryAs with abundant wealth of SishyAs. (c) PALA KARANTHU: AchAryAs, who have absorbed from many sources and from many poorvAchAryAs (bahubhya: srOthavyam, bhaudhA srOthavyam) and store them for the benefit of many sishyAs. (d) SERRAAR: Veda Baahyars and Kudhrushtis (their foes, who do not accept Vedam as PramANam and those, who misinterpret Vedam for their benefit. (e) SERRAR THIRALAZHIYA SENRU: Going on Dhig Vijayams (Vijaya Yaathrais) to defeat the views of Veda Baahyars and Kudhrushtis and to establish parama Vaidhika matham on its solid footing. (f) KURRAMONRILAATHA KOVALAR: These AchAryAs engaged in the blemishless act of spreading sath-sampradhAyam by defeating the views of Veda Baahyars and Kudhrushtis. They do it not out of ahankAra-MamakAram (which will be full of blemish), but do it out of compassion to spread the true meanings of Tatthvam, Hitham and PurushArtham. (g) KOVALAR: “gO” is Vaaku or Vedam; gOvalar is the One, who protects veda Vaaks (with VedAngams). (h) KOVALAR TAMM PORRKKODIYE: That beautiful golden creeper, which survives through supporting itself on such Kovalars. These AchAryAs are the Kozhu Kompu for the PoRRkkodi (Utthama adhikAri). (i) PURRARUVU: This Utthama adhikAri will be full of humility like a snake inside its home underground. (j) This Utthama adhikAri will sing and dance like a joyous peacock from Bhagaavth anubhavam. (k) siRRAthE pEsAthE: because of humility and freedom from ahankAramamakAram, the Utthama adhikAri stays motionless and without speaking. (l) YERRUKKU URANGUM PORUL: You (Utthama adhikAri) is our great wealth. Your aruLiccheyal is our property. Can one, who is both our wealth and property sleep? Please join us and remove the guNa dhOshams in our anubhavams.
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