Thiruppaavai

THIRUPPAVAI PASURAM IN ENGLISH

See: http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/tpv/index.html

Note: If time doesn't permit to recite the entire pasurams atleast recite the first,third,sixteenth,eighteenth,23rd,24th and 27th and 28th pasurams of thiruppavai.

1. Introduction – Bhagwath Guna experience is the Bath.

It's Margali month, moon replete and the day is proper
We shall bathe, girls of Ayarpadi prosperous
Will you move out? You wealthy adorn'd fine jewels;
Narayana, son of relentless Nandagopala,
Whose job wielding a sharp spike ever alert and
The lion cub of Yasoda with eye gracious
And the lad with dark complexion, handsome eye
And face sunny bright pleasant as moon
Sure shall grant us the desire soon
To the esteem of this earth as a boon;
Oblige, involve, listen and consider, our damsel.
Thiruppavai Poem 1




2. The acts forbidden and those to be followed.

You who enjoy life on earth, listen!
The rituals for deity go through we duteous;
Chant the foot of the Supremo who had
Reposed in stealth on the ocean milky;
Bathe we early; relish not ghee or milk
Nor would kemp, nor adorn with flower beauteous;
Grace not with eyeliner; nor bid deeds forbidden;
Nor go around ear kiss tale or malicious gossip
Help the worthy and poor utmost by gift or alms toss'd
With mind pleasant, study the chores engross'd;
Listen and consider, our damsel.
Thiruppavai Poem 2



3. Blessings the country would achieve.

Should we sing the name of the magnanimous
Outgrown and meted the world and assent
To bathe for deity, rain it shall, pour country over
Thrice monthly with no despair;
Shall facilitate tall growth of fine paddy crop.
Carp to jump amidst like aquabatic feat,
Spotted bee to perch on lily fair and
Donor cows to stand still, with udders thick,
Allow milking to fill vessels copious;
To ordain never vanishing wealth bounteous;
Listen and consider our damsel.
Thiruppavai Poem 3



4. Rain dear to Andal--exposition of Vishistadvaita
Oh! Rain! Gracious alike ocean, pupil of my eye;
Thou shalt never flout this attitude
Enter sea, emerge replete, ascend a mass dark in space;
Colour a la form of Lord Eternal, Let lightning flash
Thunder shoot as wheel and dextrogyral
In the hands of Padmanabha, His arms a fortitude;
Brook no delay, force a cloud burst;
Pour down as would darts from Sarnga lash
To facilitate life on earth bright;
And the Margali bath to our delight;
Listen and consider, our damsel.
Thiruppavai Poem 4



5. Cow girls eternally in crime. Could they succeed and achieve their objective?

The elusive son of blooming North Mathura;
Riverman de facto of grand Yamuna pure;
Appear'd in Ayar tribe a glow lamp and
Brought sanctity to mother's womb;
If we reach pure, shower fine flower and
Worship Him, Damodara the Lure;
With song in lips, mind engross'd,
The sins committed deliberate or inadvertent
In the past, present and future entire
Shall be burnt a refuse in bonfire;
Prithee, listen and consider, our damsel.


6. Awakening a mate who is new for Bhagwath matter.

Behold! Birds clanged; whitish conch
At the abode of eagle's king is blaring;
Won't thou listen? Lassie arise!
Poison, He sucked from devil' s breast
Kicked deftly the treacherous cart, to a shatter
On the serpent alighted in ocean had set sleeping;
Kept this seed in mind, monks and yogis
Arise gently and Hari they mumble;
This chant pierces the mind as a rumble;
Awakens and enthuses like a roar to assemble
Listen and consider, our damsel.


7. Awakening another who is asleep due to memory failure.


Can't thou listen to the kingcrow mingled all around?
The clatter--'Keesu Keesu', a medley
Gurgling noise of curd by churndash
Hands moving see-saw, to alter,
Of Ayar women with tresses fragrant and
Coins clanking in their necklace seedy;
Thou devilish lass, our chief, conceive;
As we sing Narayana moorthy Kesava
Shouldst thou lie-along well orient'd?
Lay open thou radiant
Listen and consider our damsel


8. "A girl beloved to Krishna and could conquer Him" -- is aroused.

Orient sky is pale; the buffalo
Before gives milk plods to graze the field, Lo!
Girls go abreast in gang and the remnant
Are told to await to have thee;
We call at thee astand; girl zealot!
If we pray, procure the desire our vow
By reaching the Divine among Divine and sing
Him who had split snout of the devil
Kill'd wrestlers and quell'd;
He shall hearken our welfare and spell;
Arise, listen and consider, our damsel.

9. "It is the duty of Krishna to seize me and to own me".

Mansion studded with pure precious stones
Wicks of light all around gleaming
Asleep a couch perfume afloat;
Thou, uncle's daughter, unlock the door bedeck'd;
Auntie, would you arouse her?
Is your daughter dumb, deaf, lazy and dreaming?
Accurs'd to a grand sleep with a sentry?
Extol Him as Madhava,
Great Hypnotist, Mukuntha,
And so forth chant the Vaigunta;
Listen and consider, our damsel.


10. A girl with whom "Krishna Himself would fall in love".

You lady would fast until enter Heaven;
If one wouldn't open entry, should she not speak?
Adorn'd fragrant basil crown, Narayana virtuous
Bestows the desire on our prayer;
Of yore consigned Kumbakarna to death.
Has that demon, lost in contest peak,
Handed the grand sleep over unto thee?
Lazy to the core
Thou shalt precious decor
Trimmed and dressed, open the door;
Listen and consider, our damsel.



11. "If Krishna wants me, let Him fast to achieve me".


Thou, daughter of a cowherd, who
Sans a single guilt, milks many a milk-cow
Daunts arrogance, preempt stuns at its precincts;
Thy girdle seems a serpent in pit;
Wild jungle peacock, start!
All neighbour mates have arrived now
Entered thy courtyard in grace
And sing the name of cloud colour'd yet
Creeper gold! Unperturb'd and mute
Drowsest thou; what for, our pet?
Beloved bride, listen and consider, our damsel.


12. A girl whose brother doing 'Kainkaryam' to Krishna is awakened.

Young buffalo yearns for calf, mumbles;
Milk dribbles from udder and home a mire wet;
Thou, sister of a fair and wealthy, with a snow hail
Over the head, as we clench thy entrance
We pray Him the Delight of our mind,
He by His wrath had let
The monarch of Lanka South trounced;
Shalt arise now the very least
What a grand sleep thou acquiesce
Residents all aware and muse,
Open thy mouth! Listen and consider, our damsel.


13. A girl with charming eyes, yet ego centric is awakened.

Singing the glory of Him
Who split the bird's bill and kill'd
And Him who pluck'd the wicked demon as a weed;
Girlies all reach'd the site of deity;
Venus ascended and Jupiter, had slept sunk;
Birds too clanged behold, belle gild:
Thy eye, is a la flower or deer flirting?
Yet asleep in bed,
Enjoin to dip and shiver in bath cold;
Shed off thy stealth untold
This day is auspicious, consider our damsel.


14. Though promised earlier to arouse all, this girl is blamed.

"Hey, tiny parrot, yet asleep;"
"Don't shriek, girls! I have come"
"Thou are adept in essays,
Erelong thy tongue we know"
"You are eloquent or let myself be;"
"Lo! Would 'st thou move out soon?
What's that special in thee?" "Have all come?"
"Have come, count thou apprehensive"
We will sing the Elusive
Who had crush'd the tusker mighty massive
And shatter'd hostile; listen and consider, our damsel.


15. A typical Vaishnavite, this girl allows herself to be blamed.

"Hey, tiny parrot, yet asleep;"
"Don't shriek, girls! I have come"
"Thou are adept in essays,
Erelong thy tongue we know"
"You are eloquent or let myself be;"
"Lo! Would 'st thou move out soon?
What's that special in thee?" "Have all come?"
"Have come, count thou apprehensive"
We will sing the Elusive
Who had crush'd the tusker mighty massive
And shatter'd hostile; listen and consider, our damsel.


16. Requesting the guard of the temple to open the doors.

Thou guarding the temple of Nandagopala -
Who is supreme of our clan;
Guard of entrance with flag staff ostensive
And festoon suspended across;
Open latch of jewel-studded door;
The Elusive, gem colour'd had plan;
Vouched yesternight Ayarpadi lass, the drum to knock;
We've come immaculate to pray arouse;
Thou shalt not postpone and pronounce
Open the lovely, befit door at once;
Listen and consider our damsel.


17. Awakening Nandagopala, Yasoda, Krishna and Balarama.

Attire, water and food thou donate
Our patron Nandagopala arise!
Sprout of a creeing plant! Light of our clan!
Our patroness Yasoda, get enlighten'd!
Grown piercing the cosmos, Thou had meted this earth.
King of Angels! Thou shalt arise!
Shed Thy sleep, drowse no more,
Baladeva wealthy! Thy foot bright adorn'd
By gold anklet of a victor;
Junior and thyself our benefactor
Discard drowsing! Arise and consider our damsel.


18. Nappinnai the mediatress, is pleaded to open the doors.

Oh! Daughter-in-law of Nandagopala-
Who hath a shoulder mighty, never a fleer
A valiant tusker emitting vigour; atop jasmine arcade
Again 'n' again flock of larks had cooed;
Nappinnai! Thy hair perfume fragrant, door thou open!
Cock come around, hath crowed with rigour;
Thou art asleep, ball agrip, as we sing thy groom;
Come along! Throw open delight'd;
To clang thy bangle bright,
In pinky lotus hand a sight;
Listen and consider our damsel.


19. Krishna and Nappinnai are addressed--They compete with each other to open the doors.

Kudos to Thee! settl'd on a cot ivory foot'd
Soft silk cotton mattress with quality quintet
In glimmering light of a metal lamp and
Inclined on the bosom of Nappinnai
Having flowerful locks bunch of blossoms bloom'd;
Thy chest a flower bed, open Thy mouth this instant;
Thy eye graced with
Eye-liner black, a charm;
Let whatsoev'r time, would't arouse thy groom;
Nor howsoev'r endure a moment's separation this norm
Is neither reality nor befitting, consider our damsel.

20. Once again, the Divine Couple are aroused.

Move ahead of thirtythree celestial beings,
Thou forestall tremor; vanguard, Mighty; awake!
Righteous, energetic, immaculate, would persecute
Arrogance and subjugate, Thou shalt awake!
Nappinnai damsel! With breast a la copper, soft;
Rosy cheeks and tiny waist. Lakshmi! Thou shalt awake!
Present us Thy groom,
Fan circular and optics;
And bathe us right now we derelicts
In His ocean compassion Thou mediatrix;
Listen and consider, our damsel.



21. The girls have come Lost to His qualities-beauty, compassion and love.

In vessels receptile filled to brim,grand donor cows
Issue incessant flow of milk to counter flow;
Oh! Son of Nandagopala! Owner of such immense;
Get enlighten'd! Thou resolute, magnanimous,
Remain pre-eminent on this earth,
A beacon resplend aglow;
We have come lauding and hailing;
Forlorn, sans energy, and assiduous;
As would foes, at Thy gate unanimous,
Have gather'd to surrender to Thy foot glorious;
Arise! Listen and consider, our damsel.


22. The girls have approached as Kings, shedding their ego and to do menial Service.

Beneath Thy bedside have we gather'd
As kings on this large handsome earth
Would crowd around, sans ego;
Wouldst Thou glance at us, with Thy
Eye, a la ankle trinket, lotus blooming,
Sun and moon awake at a time in mirth!
If Thou glimpse with eyes two beautiful,
By little and little on us tarnish'd
Sin and curse shall vanish
From we the girls vanquish'd;
Listen and consider, our damsel.



23. Krishna is requested to sit down on a throne and inquire about their grievances.

As would a fierce lion in a mountain den
Stay along in winter, lie asleep gang with,
Enlighten'd, open eye, emit fire, mane erect
Stretch in all direction; Oh! Bilberry-hued;
Thou shalt roar! Start with a bang,
This ward move from Thy temple forthwith,
Settle on carved out throne exquisite,
We have come unto Thee to woo;
Ponder over our requisite;
Bestow grace, the desire implicit
Listen and consider, our damsel.


24. His feet, energy, glory, generosity, nobility, bravery and spike are hailed.


All-hail, Thy foot meted this earth thence;
All-hail, Thy energy went thither, conquered Lanka South;
All-hail, Thy glory kick'd the wheel to ruins;
All-hail, Thy foot the calf, as a throw-stick toss'd;
All-hail, Thy generosity held the hillock an umbrella;
All-hail, Thy spike won and shatter'd hostile uncouth
And so on singing Thy bravery,
Revering Thy laurel factual,
To obtain the desire auspicious
Have come this day, we ambitious
Yield! listen and consider our damsel.


25. The girls crave to do service and implore to get rid of their grief.


Born a son to some woman and the same night
Brought up a son concealed by some other
Thou had foiled the intent of Kanchan,
The intolerant harbouring animosity; and had
Stood upon his stomach a fire, inspir'd terror.
Oh! Hillock Tall, Divinity!
We have come unto Thee beseeching;
To solicit wealth which patroness would covet;
If Thou wouldst grant us the desire
We would sing Thy bravery, ridding grief entire
And be delight'd, listen and consider our damsel.



26. The objects for the ritual are solicited.

Oh! Amorous! Emerald-hued!
If thou wouldst lend an ear
To our requisites for Margali bath a la elders observed;
Thou shalt grant us huge conches, milky white
When trumpet'd shall bring
The entire earth to shudder severe,
Much alike Thy Panchajanya, grand vast drum, the choir,
Ornamental lamp, canopy, and flag to hoist;
Lavish out gift galore to gloat,
Thou reposed in banyan leaf afloat
Be benevolent, listen and consider, our damsel.



27. Some more prize objects are claimed for their own count.

The unconjunctive Thou conquer, Oh! Govinda glorious !
Praying Thee we acquire our desire;
Shall we spell out the prize we aspire?
Fabulous gift praiseworthy by the country;
Bracelet, shoulder-ring, ear-stud, floral, anklet,
And several such we enjewel our body entire,
Would enrobe and follow through
Cooked milk-rice delicious,
Steeped in ghee poured off copious
Which flow down the elbow, Thou amorous!
Entranced would remain conjunct, consider our damsel.



28. The only virtue the girls possess for the claim is His birth among the cowherds.


Milk-cows we would follow, reach the wood and eat,
Amongst tribe pastoral, sans any intellect, Thou'rt born
This the only virtue we own; our acquaintance is a bond;
The intimacy hither, could never be torn;
Oh! Govinda! Deficient in nothing!
We girls ignorant and forlorn
Addressed Thee in unbecoming names;
Let Thou not hiss! Lo! Master!
Bless us, we in ardour
Bestow on us our desire,
Listen and consider, our damsel.



29. The Cow girls plead to be born related to Him for many more births and their Passions be transformed.
Erelong dawn we have come unto Thee, to entreat-
All-hail, Thy foot lotus golden;
Thou shouldst hearken our motive!
Born in a tribe to graze the pastoral and eat
Thou shalt not let go our menial service depriv'd
Lo! Govinda! This day not the drum alone is gotten!
Forever seven and seven more births
Related to Thy bond will we be near;
Only unto Thee, we serve sincere
Converse our passions to vanish;
Listen and consider, our damsel.

-----

This stanza clearly tells us of the highest Purushaartha
(the end of human life),explaining the meaning of PARAI.
Asking for Parai is a pretext; as the cowherds proposed
this "nonbu' for getting rain and as it came in handy for
Gopis(Andal) to keep looking at the face of Lord Krishna
for as long as they liked,they accepted it.Their real
intention is to get KAINKARYA (eternal service)at the
lotus-feet of the Lord.The word NARAYANANE used in the
first stanza was explained in the previous verse;the
word PARAI is explained here.

Both "Means" and "End" are the same in Sri Vaishnava
Sampradaaya;it is Sriman Narayana himself.If those who
take Him as the "Means' have contact with other "Means"
like Karmayoga etc,it is akin to pollution due to contact
with a dead body(because Karma Yoga etc are by nature
inert and need His Presence to give Result).And if they
consider their act of Surrender to the Lord
(Prapatti) itself to be the "Means", it is like accretion
of sin due to contact with a chandaala(because anything
which has the taint of the ego pollutes the purity of
the Prapanna).

Similarly regarding the "End" also there are two mistakes
which need to to be avoided: 1)Desiring other mundane
things from Him,which would be like desiring to eat poisoned
or contaminated food; and 2)serving the Lord for one's own
enjoyment rather than exclusively for His pleasure(Swaartha
Kainkarya),which would be like eating food left over from
another eater (Uchchishtha Bhojana).

Both these types of Purities (UPAAYA SUDDHI and UPEYA
SUDDHI) need to be strictly ensured by a Prapanna.The
previous verse (28) speaks of UPAAYA SUDDHI -"UNTANNAI..
..PUNNIYAM YAAM UDEYOM"- You ALONE are our Means.The
present verse enjoins UPEYA SUDDHI - "UNAKKE NAAM AAT_
SEYVOM" -We serve you for the sake of your happiness
ALONE,and we derive happiness on seeing your enjoyment.

Even the least trace of selfish enjoyment is to be
totally erased in the service of God.It is just as in
the case of sandal paste,cool breeze,flowers,ornaments
etc which give pleasure to man,without themselves feeling
any;the only difference being that man not being inert like
them feels happy looking at the pleasure of the Lord.

Krishna ordered His servants to bring the huge kettle-
drum (PARAI).Then Andal says,"O Wonder! you have not
understood us.We require only your everlasting,most
enjoyable service.We wish to be always born alongwith you,
and keep company with you always to serve you.(Like
Lakshmana who served Rama whether He was in Ayodhya
or in the forest.).Kindly guard us from evincing
interest in anything except you."

Just as the body serves a man,the Soul,which is the
body of the Lord (Yasya aatma sareeram),should serve
Him.This is the natural law.This is the message of
Andal in this crowning verse.
Thiruppavai Poem 29





30. Benefits of Tiruppavai recital and observance of the rituals.
Face a la gracious moon, the precious jewell'd,
Entreating thence had obtained the desire
From Madhava Kesava who churned the ocean wavy;
Whoever reminisces this legacy in thirty Tamil hymns
In commune, hither, in this manner with out fail;
A lyrical wreath of Godai -Her sire
Bhattar Piran of Anipuduvai, decorated with fine lotus 'n' glory rown'd;
Shall beget the blessings of wealthy Tirumal
Whose arm quadruplet, alike a mountain tall,
Eye bright aglow, with face gracious on call,
And shall remain delight'd, be wherev'r our damsel.

----

Those who study this Tiruppavai are forever acceptable to
Sri Mahalakshmi and Sriman Narayana - this is the gist of
this stanza.In days of yore,in Dwaapara Yuga,Gopis actually
performed this Nonbu.Later on Sri andal imitated them in
her heart.Both Gopis and Andal got the service of the Lord.
So also even without performing the rite or imitating it,
just by chanting this Divya Prabandha,people will get the
same fruit (Kainkarya).Sri PARASARA BHATTAR said,"Just as the
mother cow gives milk even in the presence of its dead and
stuffed calf (TOL KANRUKKUM IRANGUMAPOLE) so also the Lord
will bless us even though we are absolutely devoid of the
supreme devotion of Andal,merely because we are repeating
her words."

Gopis had surrendered themselves to Sri Krishna;but their
Saranaagati would gain fruit only through the PURUSHAKAARA
(recommendation) of Sri Mahalakshmi.The Lord had churned
the Milky Ocean to get her; and so the Gopis begin by chanting
that herculean effort of the Lord.VANGAKKADAL was churned
only to get Sri Devi who had remained hidden there.Thus
He became MAA(Lakshmi's)-DHAVA(husband).In stanza 2 Andal said
ADI PAADI- singing the glory of His Feet; here in 30 she
says KESAVANAI -of Him who has fascinating locks of hair.
Thus she enjoys the Lord's Form from His Holy Feet to His
Head (Aa paada choodam).


The meaning of the POORVA KHANDA (first half) of the DVAYA
Mantra is implied in this first line.


The word "SRIMAT" (He who is ever in the company of SRI) in
DVAYA mantra is represented here by MAADAHAVANAI.

" NARAYANA" in DVAYA means He who has the noble qualities
of VAATSALYA,SWAAMITVA,SAUSHILYA,SAULABHYA,GNAANA and SHAKTI.

These are brought out in the present paasuram as under:

1.KADAL KADAINDA -Lord Vishnu ,turning a blind eye (Kaanaa-
kkannittu) towards the blemishes of all the gods and demons,
churned the ocean to get them nectar;this is VAATSALYA.
2.He established His Supremacy by managing the entire
operation single-handedly; this is SWAAMITVA.
3.He even worked in cooperation with worst criminals -
the lowliest of the lowly; this is SAUSHILYA.
4.He took the guise of a charming cherub and personally
distributed the nectar;this is SAULABHYA.
5.He had the requisite knowledge,the know-how to churn
the ocean; this is GNAANA.
6.And He had the required strength to complete the task
up to the end; this is SHAKTI.

KESAVANAI- By referring to the locks of hair, His Form is
implied; that is the meaning of "CHARANAU" in the DVAYA.

Those who recite the Tiruppavai paasurams are sure to be
blessed by Him.They will get everything here and finally
attain Salvation.Sri PARASARA BHATTAR used to say,"every
one should every morning recite all the 30 verses;or at
least the 29th one-SITTAM SIRUKALE; if he finds even that
difficult, he should at least bring to his mind how much
exquisite joy WE added to our days and nights through
chanting,understanding,discussing and in fact living
with these Divine Verses (Naam irunda iruppai ninaippadu)."

Those who thus take refuge unto Him will serve Him for
ever and ever;no rebirth for them.Let us also chant these
sweet songs and make our mother SRI GODA DEVI's appearance
in this world useful and purposeful.
Thiruppavai Poem 30





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