Tiruppavai Pasuram 13


puḷḷin vāy kiṇḍānaip pollārakkanai |
 kiḷḷi kalaindānaik kīrtimai pāḍi pōy |
piḷḷaigaḷ ellārum pāvai kaḷam pukkār |
 veḷliy ezhundu viyāzham uṛangittu |
puḷḷum cilambina kān  pōdāri kaṇṇināy! |
 kuḷḷa kuḷira kuḍaindu  nīrādādē |
paḷḷi kiḍattiyō?  pāvāy! nī nannāḷāl |
 kaḷḷam tavirndu kalandu ēlōr empāvāy ||


puḷḷin vāy kiṇḍānaip– One who tore open the mouth of the demon bakasura who came in the form of a crane;

pollārakkanai kiḷḷi kalaindānaik – the Lord who playfully vanquished the bad demon king Ravana;

kīrtimai pāḍi pōy – we proceed by singing His valor ;

piḷḷaigaḷ ellārum– All the young girls;

pāvai kaḷam– The already determined place of vratha (for the gopis and Krishna);

pukkār – entered;

veḷliy ezhundu– venus has arisen;

viyāzham uṛangittu– Jupiter has already set;

puḷḷum cilambina kān– the birds (flying to find their prey) are chirping;

pōdāri kaṇṇināy! –you who possess eyes like a lotus and a deer!

pāvāy! – You are naturally filled with feminine character;


nannāḷ- this wonderful auspicious day when we are going to get the companionship of Krishna;

kaḷḷam tavirndu– please leave your secrecy/tricky nature (enjoying the divine qualities of Krishna in solitude);

kalandu– join us;

kuḷḷa kuḷira kuḍaindu nīrādādē– without diving deep and taking bath in cold water;

paḷḷi kiḍattiyō? – are you still in your bed?;

Āl-Indication of surprise!.


 In this verse Andal awakens a gopi who is proud of the beauty of her eyes (being associated with Kṛṣṇa, pride, ego, argument etc are all divine and not material); while my eyes are so attractive shouldn’t Kṛṣṇa take the pains to get my friendship?  Why should I wake up in the early morning and undertake vratha? opines the gopi who is celebrated as “pōdāri kaṇṇināy!”.

 Or otherwise, this gopi heard them sing “manadhukkiniyanai padavum” in the previous verse and realizing her mistake asks “Are you all singing about Sri Rama?” Andal answers not only Sri Rama, till now we have sung about Sri Rama and Sri Kṛṣṇa following the steps of Sri Ramayana, Mahabharatha and even the Pancharatra (that elaborates about the vyuha Avatara of the Lord reclining on the serpent bed in ksheerabhdhi)


 (puḷḷin vāy kiṇḍānaipThe incident from Kṛṣṇa’s life alluded to here is the killing of the demon bakasura who appeared in the form of a crane.  Directed by kamsa, bakasura took the form of a crane and wanted to swallow Kṛṣṇa but on the contrary Kṛṣṇa tore open its mouth as part of one of his childhood play;

 (Pollārakkanai) Like separating the body and soul or separating father and mother the bad wicked king ravana who separated Sri Rama and Sita Devi (the divine couples); 

 Andal says “Pollārakkan” then is there a “nalla arakkan” (good demon) – Yes vibheeshana though born as a brother of ravana was virtuous; Surpanaka herself celebrates him saying “vibheeshaNasthu dharmAtma na tu rakshasachestita:” [vibheeshana is a righteous person who seldom has the qualities of a rakshasa]

 Another version says “Pollārakkarai” in plural then we need to add mareecha, Indrajit et al to the group.

 (kiḷḷi kalaindānaikone who killed with ease; It is customary for the consorts of warriors to feel proud of their husbands valor;

 (kīrtimai pāising His praise;  The greatness of the Lord is that even the enemies like ravana realize and sing His praise then what to say about devotees like us?

 But when you are all so immersed in the ocean of devotion what gives you the strength to proceed to the place of vratha?

 (i pōythe mere act of singing His praise gives us the energy;  our energy pack for the journey is just His divine names;

 (piḷḷaiga ellārumEven the girls younger to you who you should have gone and awakened have also joined the group already;

 (pāvai kaam pukkār) The place where Kṛṣṇa and the gopis regularly meet;  ‘pāvai kaam’ can refer to the place where all the girls have gathered together or otherwise referring to the place of vratha;

 Since they are young girls they have ignorantly gone in the wrong time, opines the gopi inside. Andal further gives indications of dawn;

 (veliy ezhundu viyāzham uangittu)  Venus has arisen (presiding planet of Love) and Jupiter (presiding planet of spiritual knowledge) has set;

 Gopi inside -For you, all planets are Venus and Jupiter give me any other indication;

 Andal- Don’t you see all of us are awake;

 Gopi inside- you all never sleep nor do you get separated from this consecration; Give me another strong proof;

 (puḷḷum cilambina kānsee the birds earlier chirped from their nests now what we hear is the sound of the birds chirping while they fly in the sky in search of their prey;

 But the gopi inside was not satisfied and hence kept quiet; you are keeping quiet only due to your pride of having beautiful eyes, remarks Andal

 (pōdāri kaṇṇināy!) ‘podu’ can refer to flower and ‘ari’ meaning deer;  ‘your eyes can be equated to a flower and the eyes of a deer’;

 Or otherwise, ‘ari’ can refer to honey bees and hence ‘your eyes are like the honey bees on top of a flower’;

 Or otherwise ‘ari’ can refer to an enemy ‘your eyes are like enemies fighting the beauty of a flower’;

 Or otherwise ‘podu’ refers to wandering and hence ‘your eyes are like the eyes of a wandering deer’;

 The Lord is celebrated as ‘pundarikaksha’ (lotus eyed) and the divine Mother is celebrated as ‘asitekshana’ (black eyed)  The Lord has big gorgeous eyes that are capable of holding the whole universe inside but the big eyes of pōdāri kaṇṇināy!’ is capable of holding all His wealth in just one corner of her eyes.

 Oh! Our dear friend we were expecting you to attract Kṛṣṇa with your divine eyes and gives us the joy of experiencing him but now unfortunately the very same eyes have separated you from us. Is your pride holding you back?

 (kuḷḷa kuira kuaindu nīrādādē)  Before the water becomes warm due to the sun’s heat or due to the warmth of the bathing Gopis whose body temperature has risen due to the separation from Kṛṣṇa; 

 Similar to Bharatha who used to get up so early in the morning before anyone woke up and dived deep into the river of sarayu to overcome his distress due to separation from Sri Rama.

 Esoterically the bathing here is divine dip in the ocean of divine qualities of the Lord;

 (paḷḷi kiaitiyō?Now we have the great opportunity to enjoy His union; instead you are rejoicing on the bed on which he was lying some day; when there is so much of rice available will anyone bother about  the grains scattered here and there;

 (pāvāy! NīYou have all the essential qualities of a female that makes even Kṛṣṇa admire you. You are filled with such divine beauty.

 (nannāālThis auspicious day when we have been given liberty to experience Kṛṣṇa; It is very difficult to get such an opportunity;  Even the celestial beings in the divine abode of the Lord will not miss such an opportunity then how is that you are keeping quiet?

 (kaḷḷam tavirndu kalandukallam here is meditating on the divinity in solitude; Leave that ‘immorality’ and please join us and let us all enjoy Kṛṣṇa together; 

 Give us the pleasure of enjoying your glowing beauty as a result of krishnanubhavam; please do not hide that from us;  Similar to other souls living away from Kṛṣṇa you living on your own not joining us is also a mistake and to whom will you apologize for the same?


The most important aspect for a devotee is faith.  Sri Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatham elaborately talk about the incidents in the life of Sri Rama and Sri Kṛṣṇa respectively, the two main incarnations of Sriman Narayana to develop faith in the heart of the listeners.  In the 13th verse Andal talks about killing of the demon bakasura and the bad king Ravana in order to show that removing obstacles from our path is very easy for the Lord.  But that will happen only when we are ready to accept the same.  Our acceptance to get rid of obstacles and reaching the final goal is not the means but it is essential for the Lord to remain impartial; So every devotee should understand that there are many obstacles in our way but we have a great refuge, the Lord who is capable of totally clearing the way in a matter of time and make us enjoy the clear route to moksham.

The phrase ‘veḷliy ezhundu viyāzham uṛangittu’ can indicate that our ignorance has fallen and we have been awakened; our love for Kṛṣṇa is now overpowering the dry knowledge of self; our preceptors opine that the reference to ‘kan’ (eye) indicates the knowledge/wisdom; The beauty of our body will wither of some day but the beauty due to wisdom makes us reach our goal. So it is important for us to sharpen our knowledge that too about divinity.