Pasuram 21 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. 21 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. 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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Simple Word for Word meanings ( )



ethir poNGki

mIthaLippa *

Holding containers,(the) milk overflows over the top (of)


paal coriyum vaLLal

perum pacukkaL *

(by the cows who) without fail milk yield generous great cows

aaRRap pataiththaan makanE aRivuRaay * (of which You have )lots son (of Lord NandagOpan) (please) come to your senses . URRam utaiyaay periyaay * ulakinil Powerful one , great one , (In this) world (the) thORRamaay ninRa cutarE thuyilezhaay * visible standing light (please) wake up . maaRRaar unakku vali tholain^thu Enemies(to) your strength yielded aaRRaathu van^thu un ati un vaacaR kaN * (at) your door step pOlE *


uncontrollably coming(to)your feet surrendered; like that

pORRi yaam van^thOm pukazhn^thu to worship we (have) come (and to) praise (You). El Or empaavaay Come (Let us do) (the penance of) paavai nOmbu In Pasurams 6 to 15, Andal finishes waking up 10 different types of bhaktas and they all join her in the performance of the Paavai nombhu. In Pasuram 16, the arrival of the entire party at the palace of Nanda Maharaja is described. They ask the doorkeepers to let them in. Pasuram 17 describes their entering the inner bedchambers to wake up Nanda Maharaja, Mother Yashoda, Krishna and His younger brother Baladeva. Each of them is praised. In Pasuram 18, Andal and her friends try to wake up Nappinnai, the eternal consort of the Lord, since attempts to wake up Krishna (Kannan) proved futile. Here Nappinnai is described as the daughter-in-law of the noble Nanda Maharaja. In Pasuram 19, Andal and her
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friends are again waking up Nappinai (this is the 2nd pasuram in which this continues) since Krishna does not seem to respond to them. In Pasuram 20, they again address Nappinnai after finding Krishna unresponsive. They praise her as being the most enchanting, with soft and lovely breasts, enchanting red lips, and an elegant slim waist. She can enchant the Lord and make Him shower His grace upon them all. Now, in Pasuram 21, they address Krishna directly since Nappinnai has by now agreed to join them. Krishna is the son of Nanda Maharaja and the heir to all of the cows that produce such an abundance of milk from their udders that all the vessels used to collect the milk are overflowing. How can Krishna, who is the heir to such fortunes, not realize that His devotees are at His doorstep? Even the enemies that He has vanquished find themselves at His doorsteps. Krishna is the beacon of light of this great family of Nanda Maharaja. Andal and her friends plead that they have come to Him, on their own, unlike others, with no other expectations other than His grace and to sing His glories.

When the Gopis continued waking up Nappinnai, she finally woke up and came out to speak to them. She said, “Oh Gopis, in enjoying a blissful communion with Kannan, I shall be one amongst you. So let us all unite together and plead unto Kannan.” Etra kalangaL edhir pongi meedhaLippa maatraadhE paal soriyum vaLLal perum pasukkaL aatra(p) padaiththaan maganE–In AyarpAdi, the huge vessels that were used to receive the milk from the cows, were overflowing. How many ever vessels be used, the result remained the same. The cows too had the virtue of munificence and generosity similar to Kannan. The cowherds would take the fills of milk in vessels, but even if they did not do that, the cattle out of abundance would continue to give milk continuously. These cows that give floods of milk in great opulence are similar to the rivers that give sweet potable
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water to the habitats and like the trees that bestow delicious fruits. Due to the divine touch of Kannan, these cows looked as gigantic as elephants. Nandagopan was one such chieftain who had received innumerable cows of such kind free of cost. Oh Kannan! The son of the noble Nandagopa! If not for becoming the heir to Nandagopa, how would all this assets and chattels be inherited by you? Andal says that though the Lord is the master of the entire universe that is in his possession, yet, the most befitting thing about Kannan is that He is the master of the entire chattels of Nandagopan. maganE aRivuRaay – “It is surprising that the all pervasive and the all knowing like you should be made to realise it with such difficulty. You are perhaps waiting for all those people who are yet to come and so are enjoying a good sleep. Are you still in your slumber Oh Lord! Wake up”.

Here Andal uses the term “aRivuRaay” instead of “ezhunthiRaay”. The inherent virtues of the Lord like compassion, humility, forbearance was worth nothing at places like Srivaikuntham, the supreme abode and Ksheerasagaram, the milky ocean. “You incarnated amongst us just to make sure that you had an opportunity to exhibit all these noble
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virtues. If you do not come to us and exhibit those virtues, then they would be as good as being absent. Think it over Oh Lord!” says Andal. ooRRam udaiyaay – “Oh Kannan, you are a servant to the subservient. Out of compassion for all of us, you have taken this form in this world. All the petals of a lotus are always facing each other. You know that you are indeed the final purport that is put forth by the imperial Vedas. You therefore are “periyaay”, the supreme one whose limits are not known even by the mighty Vedas”. ooRRam udaiyaay periyaay – “Whoever resorts to your lotus feet, have been assured of your protection. You dissuaded the likes of Sugriva and others from hindering the granting of refuge to Vibhishana. You therefore have the capacity to bring your words to fruition. Though you bestow everything upon your subjects, you are yet dissatisfied with it. Your glories are crowned many times when you bestow on them the fruits of goodness that befit your immense glories. When the soiled water is made free of mud and dirt, then what remains below is the pure potable water. Similarly if we remove the vision of our physical eyes that is replete with the blemishes of desire, anger, greed, passion, pride and jealousy and see only through the eyes of our unsullied knowledge, then it is possible to see you in everyone’s heart in your complete divine and magnificent form.” Ulaginil thORRamaay ninRa sudarE– “You may be grasped by the profound teachings and esoterical purports put forth by the imperial Vedas, Itihasas and Puranas. You are also the brightest light that may be realised by all the sentient orders like the humans, animals, birds etc”. sudarE – “Your incarnation amidst us resembles a blemishless jewel stone that lies amidst a heap of cow dung. thuyil ezhaay – If you do not come to us now, will not all those glories be of no value?”
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maatraar unakku vali tholaindhu un vaasaR kaN aaRRaadhu vandhu un adi paNiyumaa pOlE pORRiyaam vandhOm pugazhndhu – The adversaries of your devotees, under the flood of your unfavourable grace, after finding no other resort, would come to your lotus feet finally. We on the other hand have resorted to the shadow of your lotus feet having fully realised your inherent divine attributes like compassion, mercy and unassuming humble nature. Unlike Kakasura, who sinned towards Piratti and finding no refuge and solace even after rounding all the three worlds, resorted to your lotus feet finally, we have been drawn towards you by the power of your divine virtues and glories. We came here to sing you a song of dawn like Periyazhwar, who sang you the famous Thiruppalandu. Our unwavering faith in you brought us to you with no doubts in our minds as to the fulfilment of our goals. A preceptor imparts all the essential purports of the esoterical knowledge to a true disciple who resorts to his feet and takes up his servitude. This is the hidden purport of this verse. The following taken verbatim from Dear BhakthAs: In this paasuram, Gopis enjoy the sight of “NandhagOpAlan MarumahaL, Gandham kamazhum Kuzhali, panthAr-Virali” coming and opening the “MaNikkathavam” of Her bed chambers with Her “SenthAmaraik Kai” and with the accompaniment of the mangala dhvani of Her “SeerAr VaLai” sunAdham. Nappinnai aligned Herself to the side of the Gopis and identified Herself as one of their own group and explained to them that She was not being indifferent to their earlier appeals. She pointed out that She was waiting for the right timing to advocate their cause to Her Lord. The joyous Gopis eulogize the Lord with heightened vigor and recognize the Lord of their desire
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as “OoRRamudayAi, PeriyAi, Ulahinil ThORRamAi ninRa SudarE”. They recognize Him as “Dhruda-tara PramANa Siddhan” (One who is comprehended with the help of the powerful VedA pramANams). They wake up the Lord along with Nappinnai with this praise-laden appeal: “ Aasritha VishayE abhinivEsa Saalin, Mahathva guNa saalin, lOka prakAsamAna JyOthirmaya-vigraha yuktha! Jaagruhi” (Sri Upanishad BhAshyaArar's translation of Paasuram passage: “ OoRRamudayAi PeriyAi, Ulahinil ThORRamAi ninRa SudarE”). The JyOthirmaya Vigraha-Yukthann shining as Param JyOthi and Svayam JyOthi (Ulahil ThORRamAi ninRa Sudar) is recognized as the Supreme One, even while He appears among the Gopis and GopAs as a ManushyAvathAran (ManushyathvE Parathvam). LITERAL MEANING OF THE 21ST PAASURAM (DR. V. K. S. N. RAGHAVAN) (In the strain of a true heroine's singing the praise of her hero, the young girls give expression to their humble prayer): “Oh Lord, Kindly get up; You are the son of Lord NandhagOpan, who is the owner of innumerable, generous and big cows that pour forth, incessantly, copious milk into the vessels, kept (below their udder) in quick succession, so that in a trice, these vessels are filled up (and) are overflowing. Oh Lord, who is very much attached to us! Oh Supreme One! The effulgent streak of light arisen in this World! Be pleased to rise up. Just as Your enemies come to You, in front of Your house, even so we have come to You singing Your praise and proclaiming Your greatness. (Kindly lend Your ears and fulfill our prayerful requests). THE INNER MEANINGS OF THIS GLORIOUS PAASURAM (SRI PBA SWAMY) Sri PBA Swamy identifies the theme of this paasuram as the blessed relationship between SadAchAryan and Sadh-sishyan described by Swamy Desikan in His NyAya Vimsathi SlOkams (“Sidhdam SathsampradhAyE” dealing with AchArya LakshaNam and “Sadhbudhdi: Saadhu sEvi” dealing with the Sadh-sishya LakshaNam). PBA Swamy identifies EmperumAnAr as that SadhAchAryan and KooratthAzhwAn, Mudali AaNDAn, EmpAr and KuruhaippirAn as Sathsishyans. These mahAns are Sishya Lakshana SampannarkaL (Fully endowed with the
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ideals of a great sishyan of a SadAchAryan). These Utthama sishyAls are “AchAryaadhisaya prabhAvasaalis” (the great disciples, who are the cause for the wonderment of the SadAchAryan himself due to their (Sath-SishyA's) extraordinary intellect and skills to absorb and develop the upadEsams and Sri Sookthis of the SadachAryan to raise aloft the vijaya dhvajam of the Sath SampradhAyam without any distortions. Sri PBA Swamy covers further the theme of PoorvAchAryAs that Swamy AaLavanthAr is the creator of these “VaLLal Perum PasukkaL” the five AchAryAs for Swamy RaamAnujA to gain the title of “Pancha-AchArya PadhAsrithar”. These five AchAryAs raised (created well: “AaRRap PadaitthAN”) by Swamy AaLavanthAr are: Periya Nampi, Thirumalai Nampi, ThirukkOttiUr Nampi and ThirumAlai AaNDAn. “AaRRap PadaitthAn Mahan” is identified with AchArya RaamAnujA in this nirvAham. “MaaRRAthE Paal sorium VaLLal Perum PasukkaL” passage refers to the Sath-Sishyans pouring out their anubhavam of the anantha KalyANa GuNams of the dhivya dampathis in a manner consistent with their poorvAchArya Upadesams. These Sath-sishyAs reverence for the Sri Sookthis and interpretations of the PoorvAchAryAs is demonstrated through the strictest way in which they propagate them without changing them even an iota for the next generation sath-sishya paramparai. AchArya RaamAnujA’s introduction to Sri BhAshyam while stating his approach is a classical example of such strict and deliberate adherence to the poorvAchArya's well honed commentaries: “Bhagavath BhOdhAyanaKruthaam, VistheerNAm, Brahma Soothra Vrutthim, PoorvAchAryA: Sanchikshipu:, TannmathAnusArENa SoothrAksharANi VyAkyAsyanthE”. It is not allowed to interpret the holy tatthvams according to one's own will. “ MaaRRAthE” here means “NishkrushtamAna poruLai nilai kulayAme solluthal”. “MaaRRAthE” also means “YEmARRAthE” (not cheating/vnachitthal). Without Vipralipsai (the thought of injecting views not sustained by PramANams due to the human dhOshams of Brahmam, pramAtham and ego). “Paal Soriyum” stands for the suddha artham like the white hue of milk given by “VaLLal Perum PasukkaL” (SadAchAryAs). These great VaLLals holding AchArya Padhavi were SathsishyAs before of other “VallaL Perum pasukkaL”. Many generations are thus maintained in the SadAchArya SampradhAyam. In this 21st paasuram, four generations of AchArya-SishyA
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lineage is hinted: (1) The first talaimuRai is “yERRak KalangaL” (2) The second talaimuRai is “VaLLal Perum PasukkaL” (3) The third talaimuRai is “AaRRap PadaitthAn” (4) The fourth talaimuRai is “MahanE” (AchArya RaamAnujA). “MaaRRAr unakku vali tholainthu unn vaasark kaNN aaRRAthu vanthu Unnadi paNIyumAp pOlE”: MaaRRAr means those, who had strong differences of opinion with Sath-SampradhAyam at one point in their lives. These are mathAntharasthars, who misinterpreted the PramANams, PramEyams and PramAthA. They were defeated in fair debates later and sought the refuge of the AchAryAs, whom they opposed (Yaadhava PrakAsar, Yaj~na Moorthy et al). Some were jealous ones, who opposed SadAchAryaas although they belonged to the same Parama-Vaidhika Sri vaishNav SampradhAyam (KanthAdai ThOzhappar, Naduvil Thiruveethi PiLlai et al). The importance of the change in mind states of former dhvEshis and prathikoolars is referred to here as being better than the adhvEshis/ abhimAnis and anukoolars flocking to the door steps of the Lord (just like the adoring Gopis at Nandha Bhavanam). INNER MEANINGS: ANUBHABVAM BY PERUKKARANAI SWAMY “OoRRamudayAi”: The Lord, who is magnanimous in forgiving the dhOshams of the one surrenders to Him, even if he had committed aparAdhams earlier. Our Lord is intense on removing these dhOshams. He is the “PeriyAi” or the Supreme one towering over all since He has the rare combination of DayA and Sakthi. Without the combination of DayA and Sakthi, all efforts at rakshaNam will be unfruitful. Just having DayA or Sakthi alone wont do so much good for a Rakshakan. “Ulahinil thORRamAi ninRa”: PerumAL's avathAram as RaamA and KrishNA experienced with human eyes during their VibhavAvatharams is referred to here (sakala manuja Nayana vishayathAm gatha: (PaarthasArathy = naam paartha-Saarathy). Vedam declares, “Sa U srEyAn Bhaavthi JaayamAna:”. “U” here stands for AvathAranam saluted by AazhwArs “nilavarambil PALA PIRAPPAI”, “YenninRa YoniyumAi PIRANTHAAI”. The five states (“avathArams”/manifestations) of the Lord are also described here: (1) “OoRamudayAi” is linked to Para VasudEvan desirous of creating the beings of the world (Jagath Srushti).
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(2) “PeriyAi” is connected to VyUha roopa EmperumAn. (3) “Ulahinil” stands for the Vibhava avathArams like RaamA and KrishNA. (4) “NinRa” refers to His standing steadily as ArchAvathAran at dhivya dEsams amidst us. (5) “SudarE” means the JyOthi Svaroopa Roopam inside us as antharyAmi Brahmam. “MaaRRAr”: We have abndoned all loukika, Vaidhika Chathrus (enemies /prathikoolars) such as dEhAthma abhimAnam, SvAtantriya abhimAnam, anya Seshathva abhimAnam and attachmment to bandhus and sought You alone as UpAyam in the context of our adherence to the doctrine of Your nirupAdhika sEshathvam (our unconditional status as Your Servants). “MaaRRAr Vali tholainthu unn Vaasark KaNN”: We the Gopis, who had ego earlier about our physical beauty have been defeated by Your dhivya Soundharyam and KalyANa GuNams and have now sought refuge at Your lotus feet in all humility. “adi paNiyumAp pOlE”: just as Your enemies fall at Your feet after being defeated by Your arrows, we have fallen at Your feet after being defeated by Your KalyANa guNams. “pORRIyOM VanthOm”: We have come to Your door steps singing Your glories just as PallANDU sayers. We have arrived in a state of celebration hailing Your Soulabhyam and Soundharyam. The stage is set for them (Gopis) to approach the foot of the Lord's bed (paLLik Kattil Keezh) as the ones free from ahankAra dhOshams of any kind (abhimAnabhnagars). Thus begins the next paasuram for the SRI VAIKUNTA EKADASI DAY of tomorrow, “ankaNNmAgyAlatthu arasar abhimAna bangamAI. . .

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