Tiruppavai Pasuram 25

ENGLISH TEXT

orutti mahanāy piṛandu | ōr iravil
 orutti mahanāy oḷittu vaḷara |
tarikkilān āgit tān  tīṅgu ninainda |
 karuttai pizhai  pittu  kañjan vayittil |
neruppenna ninna neḍumālē | unnai
 aruttittu vandōm paṛai tarudiyāhil |
tirut takka celvamum cēvakamum yām pāḍi |
 varuttamum tīṛndu makizhundēlōr empāvāy ||

WORD BY WORD MEANING

maganāy – her Son;

piṛandu – take birth;

ōr iravil – that matchless night (when Kṛṣṇa incarnated);

maganāy – became her son;

oḷittu vaḷara – bred unknown;

tān – that tyrant (kamsa);

tarikkilān āgi – couldn’t tolerate (you growing in gokula);

tīṅgu ninainda – contemplated to do evil (kill You);

kañjan – kamsa;

pizhai pittu – made futile;

neruppenna nindra – stood as a raging fire;

neḍumālē – Supreme Being!

aruttittu vandōm –  we have come begging (what we want);

paṛai tarudiyāgil – if You will fulfill our desire;

tirut takka celvamum – the wealth that even the divine Mother would aspire;

cēvakamum – Your prowess;

yām pāḍi – we will sing;

varuttamum tīṛndu –our grief of separation will be overridden;

 INTRODUCTION

 Kṛṣṇa after listening to Andal singing benediction in the previous verse enquired to Andal ‘you have come asking for the drum and at the same time sing that you have come only to bless me’ there is a ambiguity; Andal clarified, ‘requesting drum is just a pretence, in truth we have come to You to request Your divine Self only; Kṛṣṇa retorted, ‘but there might be obstacles to grant your wish’ Andal replies’ for You who have dispelled so many powerful obstacles it is very much possible to overcome those small ones that is remaining and hence please do the required’.

This verse recalls the circumstances of Kṛṣṇa’s birth. He was born to Vasudeva and Devakī, the sister of the demonic king kamsa. Kamsa for fear of his life had imprisoned them, but at the moment of Kṛṣṇa’s birth the doors were opened and Vasudeva escaped to Vrindāvan with baby Kṛṣṇa. There He was lodged with Nanda and Yaśoda. Kamsa hatched several plots to have Kṛṣṇa killed by various demons.

COMMENTARY

 (orutti maganāy) One Dasaratha did penance and gave birth to four sons but here four people did penance to give birth to one Kṛṣṇa; Still out of the four only Devaki was blessed to give Him birth; she is peerless as she is the one who was blessed to give birth to the birth-less supreme Almighty; The Father of one and all has now become the son of Devaki;

 ’one lady’ — If the name of the lady were to be mentioned, the gopis feared that Kamsa might do some harm; and so they simply said ’one lady’ orutti. In the first line, ’one lady’ refers to Devaki and in the second line, it refers to Yaśoda. In both cases the expression means “peerless woman”. Devaki was peerless, for she compelled the Supreme Lord of the Universe, to obey her instructions! It should be noted that the Lord gave the Avatāra Rasa to Devaki and Līlā Rasa to Yaśoda.

 (piṛandu) Instead of showing up from a pillar or suddenly rush to the spot quickly to rescue an elephant, Kṛṣṇa took birth from Devaki’s womb as a result of Devaki’s penance;Kṛṣṇa(who was born due to grace) had to undergo all that a jiva who takes birth as a result of past deeds undergoes; Unlike the Rishis who while talking about His incarnation called it as appearance and even Andal Herself earlier declared it to be ‘tORRam’, now says ‘birth’ to show the extent of Him getting into the role; A son is a one who acts according to the words of the parents; Kṛṣṇa immediately after birth respected His parent’s request and hid the divine discus and conch and appeared like a normal infant;

 (ōr iravil)one matchless night; That supreme Lord who is birth-less took birth, fearless had to run as if afraid of kamsa, unable to stay in the place of birth. But only that dark night protected Kṛṣṇa while even the parents were helpless; Here lies the pathos that the Supreme Being who is beyond Time and Space is born in the night and grows in concealment!

 (orutti maganāy) born to a peerless mother, Kṛṣṇa was brought up by another peerless mother.  But the way that He was brought up, makes one wonder if He was born and brought up in the same place; Though Devaki gave birth only Yasoda enjoyed all Kṛṣṇa’s childish pranks; Devaki later laments for missing the first ten admirable years of His growth; Devaki was unable to even feed the new born child; Yasoda was the blessed mother who even beat and tied the Almighty with a rope;

 (oḷittu vaḷara) He escaped from His birth place and even in Gokula couldn’t roam about freely due to fear of the demons that kept appearing everywhere; So He had to live a secret life;

 (tarikkilān āgit) Kamsa was unable to tolerate Kṛṣṇa growing up in Gokula; Kamsa started plotting against Kṛṣṇa once he heard about Him from Narada Muni;  He did not wait for Kṛṣṇato come back but was overwhelmed with anger and fear;

 (tān tīṅgu ninainda) Kamsa who was ignorant of the future contemplated to do evil to the all powerful Kṛṣṇa; here the poetess refrains from explicitly stating that kamsa wanted to kill Kṛṣṇa, but simply says “contemplated to do evil”. Great poets will not stoop to mention explicitly harsh and inauspicious words or ideas;

 The divine quality of the Lord is to kill only those who fight Him with deep enmity (from deep inside their heart) but to protect one just utterance of surrender from one’s mouth is enough;

 (karuttai pizhai pittu) Kṛṣṇa smashed all the wicked plots of kamsa;

 (kañjan vayittril neruppenna nindra) Kamsa became so agitated by Kṛṣṇa’s existence that it was like a raging fire in his belly.  The Tyrant Kamsa plotted to kill Kṛṣṇa but was agitated himself while Kṛṣṇa and others relaxed and enjoyed;

 (neḍumālē) He took so many pains for the sake of His devotees because He is very mad in love with His devotees;

 ‘Nedumal’ can indicate His supremacy and also His great love for His devotees;

 (unnai aruttittu) we have come requesting Your divine self; We are not requesting You to be born nor do You need to grow up in a hide out or kill someone for our sake; just show up that’s enough;

 (vandōm) You have taken all pains to descend from Your divine abode to this materialistic world but ignoring Your efforts we have taken few steps towards Your place thereby lowering Your greatness;

 (paṛai tarudiyāgil) If You grant us our wish;

 Andal is yet to explicitly declare their actual intent which she reserves for the later verses;

 ‘tarudiyagil’ indicating that their request is not the means (sadhana) for attaining Him. Only His grace will grant their wish as the Lord is independent and no one can force Him to do anything;

Don’t make us forget even our wish by showing Your exquisite beauty, counsels Andal;

 (tirut takka celvamum) The wealth admired by even the goddess of wealth, Sri Mahalakshmi; or the very wealth of being the spouse of the divine Mother;

(cēvakamum) the valor to protect the above said wealth;

 (yām pāḍi) Till yesterday we were unable to even utter Your name but today we have the blessing to sing about Your wealth and might;

 (varuttamum tīṛndu) relieved of the grief we experienced due to the separation from You;

 (yām pāḍi makizhundu varuttamum tīṛndu) We will sing your praise, thereby experience joy and also overcome grief if You grant our desire; it is not enough if we are out of misery we also need to experience joy.

 Talking about Your wealth we experience joy and Your valor removes our worry (fear of enemies);

LESSON FOR THE DAY

 In all our lives we desire for two things: One is to get what we want(likes) and other is to remove our worries/miseries (dislikes); Likes and dislikes vary from person to person; While climbing up the ladder of spirituality one has to cultivate the habit of considering the duals (likes and dislikes which are certain to appear) equal as instructed by the Lord in Srimad Bhagavat Gita. Some of those duals are victory and defeat, heat and cold, profit and loss etc.  Gradually we need to reduce our likes and dislikes and have a balanced outlook of the world. Realizing our nature of servitude to God, we need to consider us as the property of the Lord present here to satisfy/give Him pleasure.  So whatever we do should be for His pleasure and not for our self enjoyment. Any obstacles we face should be considered to be for our development (learning by experience).

 But how do we get the strength to do the above? By chanting the divine names of the supreme Lord, Listening to His divine pastimes and always meditating on His kalyana gunas (divine qualities).  This is what Andal has insisted throughout Her tiruppavai.  Blessed is anyone who gets involved in the divine service of the Lord according to one’s nature.  So let us also try to slowly move away from our materialistic lifestyle and move towards Srivaishnava way of life;