Tiruppavai Pasuram 20


muppattu mūvar amararkku mun cennu |
 kappam tavirkkum kaliyē! tuyilezhāy!
ceppam uḍaiyāy! tiṛal uḍaiyāy! | cettārkku
 veppam koḍukkum vimalā! tuyilezhāy |
ceppanna men mulai cevvāy ciṛu maruṅguḷ |
 nappinnai nangāy! tiruvē! tuyilezhāy |
ukkamum taṭṭoliyum tandun maṇāḷanai |
 ippōdēy emmai nīr āṭṭēlōr empāvāy ||


muppattu mūvar amararkku – For the sake of the thirty three crore Devas;

mun cendru – hastens before (the devas get into trouble);

kaliyē! – O Valiant Kṛṣṇa!

tuyilezhāy! – Wake up from Your bed;

ceppam uḍaiyāy! – Candid (in protecting the devotees);

tiṛal uḍaiyāy!– Powerful (to kill the enemies of devotees);

cettārkku – for the foes;

koḍukkum – capable of giving;

vimalā! – Immaculate!

tuyilezhāy –  wake up;

ceppanna men mulai – soft breasts like a golden tower;

cevvāy ciṛu maruṅguḷ– rosy lips and tender waists;

nappinnai nangāy! – Oh enchanting nappinnai!

tiruvē! – Analogous to Sridevi nachiyar;

tuyilezhāy – wake up;

taṭṭoliyum – mirror;

un maṇāḷanai – and also your beloved;

ippōdēy nīr āṭṭē – immediately bathe (in the divine experience);


 When the gopis criticised Nappinnai’s actions, as not befitting her ‘svarūpa’ and ‘svabhāva’, Nappinnai remained silent and waited for a right moment to talk to Kṛṣṇa. Thinking that Nappinnai was angry the gopis then turned to awaken Kṛṣṇa and so they began to wake Him up singing His glory. He also kept silent, and the gopis thought that perhaps, Kṛṣṇa Himself might have been angry with them for their rebuking of Nappinnai and, if that were the case, they wanted to pacify His anger by eulogizing Nappinnai.


 (muppattu mūvar) the 12 Adityas, 11 rudras, 8 vasus, 2 ashwini devas totaling 33 indicative of all the 33 crore Devas;

 Andal indirectly asks Kṛṣṇa,

 Will You protect only the 33 devas and not the 5 Lakh gopis? 

 (amararkku) amarar- immortal;

 Will You protect only those who will not die even if killed and not those who will die if separated from You for a second;

 The devas will survive even in distress but shouldn’t You first protect helpless people like us?

 (mun cendru) hasten before the trouble comes;

 You have the nature of dispelling sorrow even before it comes but now we are in deep sorrow but still You haven’t turned up.  Even before the devas come and surrender to you, You run to rescue them but now we are crying for your grace but still you keep quiet; Your tendency is to go to the place of the devotee and help but now we are standing in front of your palace still unable to get your grace; You who feels ashamed if devotee’s come to your place requesting help how is it that you are silent now?

 (kappam tavirkkum) one who dispels the shiver (due to fear of demons);

 You remove the shiver of the Devas who approach You for gaining their wealth and killing their enemies but will You not remove our shivering due to Your separation, unable to enjoy Your divine beauty?

 Or otherwise the Lord dismissed the tax that the Devas were forced to pay to ravana and others;

 (kaliyē!) Embodiment of power!

 What is the use of Your strength if You don’t protect us?

 ‘kali’ can also mean a plenty.  Since he protected all the devas He is their master;

 (tuyilezhāy!) Wake up! If You have vowed to afford protection only to immortal, selfish, arrogant and ungrateful males and not to unselfish, helpless females who are longing for Your companionship and the chance to serve You! Think us to be them and grant our wish;

 But how did these innocent gopis come to know about the 33 crore Devas.   After Kṛṣṇa descended to Gokula, the Devas have appeared in various forms to do service to the Supreme Lord and due to which the gopis would have come to know about them.

 (ceppam uḍaiyāy!) In case of protecting the devotees the Lord is very sincere; The Lord’s mind, words and action always directed towards welfare of devotees;

 Andal sarcastically says – Your sincerity is very nice.  You asked us to come and You are sleeping in spite of us begging for Your darisanam;

 Ceppam can also mean Rakshai (shield); while thinking about the Lord fighting the enemies of devas, immediately since Andal is periazhvar’s daughter She is worried about some harm to the Lord and hence She consoles herself that there are shields to protect Him, the divine weapons and bhakthas who sing for His welfare (pallandu);

 Further Andal says, this honesty doesn’t hold good for His foes; they necessarily have to face only His valour;

 (tiṛal uḍaiyāy!) Your power and strength has purpose only if You protect innocent, incapable girls like us; Forgetting to show sincerity in protecting us don’t show Your valor to us.

 (cettārkku veppam koḍukkum vimalā!) The beauty of this address lies in the fact that although the Lord terrifies and dispatches His enemies, He will not, in the least, be tainted with sins and will remain perfectly pure.  For the Lord every jiva is part of His divine form but enemies to His devotees are considered as His enemies and He terrifies His foes but still remains immaculate.

 Because He kills one and protects other, some may consider the Lord to be partial but since the Lord delivers grace or anger only due to one’s past actions (karma) what He does is justice and not partiality; So the Lord is always pure (faultless); While getting rid of the enemies of devotees He feels as if His job is done and doesn’t do it for the sake of the devotees;

 (Tuyilezhāy) Don’t lose Your name and fame due to protecting the Devas and killing the foes by not gracing us;  You don’t have to fight any vigorous war now, just get up and give us darisanam (darshan);

 After all these still the Lord didn’t turn up and hence they once again wake up Nappinnai;

 (ceppanna men mulai) Those who are afraid of famine, stick on to places near mountains and ocean; For the purpose of attracting devotees the Lord also resides in mountainous and oceanic Divya desas like Thirumaliruncholaimalai, Thiruparkadal etc.  But now He is mesmerized by the mountain like bosoms of Nappinnai; He is like a copper with innumerable precious things inside but Nappinnai’s bosoms has entrapped even that superior Lord;  The breasts are told to be soft because of her subtle nature of not able to accept a little separation from Kṛṣṇa.  A gem studded in copper will not come out on its own, only if Nappinnai allows Krishna can come out;

 (cevvāy ciṛu maruṅguḷ) Residing in the above mountain, His food is sourced from the rosy lips; those who peep from top of the mountain are frightened unable to see the ground; Similar is Nappinai’s fragile waist;

 (nappinnai nangāy!) nangay refers to the beauty of all the other parts not mentioned earlier;  you are complete shouldn’t you make us also complete?  Your completeness is also a reason for His completeness (svarupa nirupaka dharmam-that which establishes His svarupa)

 Is Nappinnai piratti svarupa nirupaka dharma? Is it not Sridevi nachiyar (sriyapathi:)? Yes in krishnavatara, while in gokula Nappinai takes the role of Sridevi nachiyar;

 (tiruvē!) If you have taken the role of Sridevi nachiyar shouldn’t you behave like her?  She stayed in ashoka vana without sleeping for freeing the devis(goddesses) captured by Ravana but you are sleeping now. 

 It may be considered they are calling her ‘tiruve’ out of respect indicating supremacy or as a part of Sridevi nachiyar;

 (Tuyilezhāy) Even if He is unable to understand our grief, you being a female can you be without understanding the same?  Please wake up and grace us with happiness;

 Listening to all these, Nappinnai says ‘I am not sleeping but thinking of what to do to you. Let me know what you want.’

 (ukkamum taṭṭoliyum tandu) We have come requesting the essential things for our vratha; like the hand fan, mirrors grant all that is required;

 (un maṇāḷanai tandu) Like the above objects also give your beloved (spouse); The Lord gives the devotees such a liberty that they can give Him to whoever they want;

 (Ippōdēy) Don’t delay; this has to be done immediately during this time when the villagers have accepted for our vratha;

 (Emmai) We, who are suffering so much due to the pranks of separation;

 Though there are so many difference between the gopis still they all are united in considering the Lord as the means and goal; Devotees can be divided as bhakthas, prapannas (Artha prapanna and truptha prapanna) and each one may reach the Lord at different times but once they reach the ultimate experience is same for all;

 (Un maṇāḷanai Emmai nīr āṭṭu) First with your sweet words convince your spouse to forgive our mistakes and accept us; Then bathe us in your ocean of grace; Later as per the role assumed act fruitfully like ‘Sri:’ and mediate to join us with Him and bathe in the ocean of divine experience;


 In the commentary we saw that there are different type of devotees:

 Prapannas, otherwise called saranagathas, are those who consider the Lord to be both the means and goal; Now that for the prapannas the Lord (His unconditional grace) is the means, just the act of mentally surrendering to Him is enough to break our cycle of birth and death and take us to the divine abode of the Lord to involve in permanent service unto the holy Feet of the almighty.  But even among the prapannas there are two categories: those who are filled with extreme thirst to immediately leave to the divine abode, not being able to tolerate the separation, are called Artha prapannas and those like us who are assured of moksha as we have surrendered to Him but patiently wait till the day we shed the mortal body and reach His divine abode are called as truptha prapannas.

 But as Srivaishnavas/prapannas it is required for us to slowly develop our jnana (knowledge), vairagya (dispassion) and bhakthi (devotion) to peacefully shed this mortal body  and follow the divine path to salvation.