Tiruppavai Pasuram 7

ENGLISH TEXT

​kīsu kīsenṛu engum ānaiccāttan | kalandu
pēcina pēccaravam kēṭṭilaiyo? pēy peṇṇe! |
kācum piṛappum kalakalapak kaipērttu |
vāca naṛung kuzhal āycciyar | mattināl
ōsai paḍutta tayir aravam kēṭṭilaiyo?
nāyaka peṇpiḷḷāy! nārāyaṇan mūrtti |
kēśavanai pāḍuvum nī kēṭṭē kiḍattiyō?
tēcam uḍaiyāy! tiravēlōr empāvāy || 

WORD BY WORD MEANING 

pēy peṇṇe – deluded girl (well aware of devotion but has forgotten the same);

 engum– in all directions;

 ānaiccāttan – king-crows (otherwise called valiyan or bharatwaja pakshi);

 kīsu kīsenru – screeching of the birds in chorus;

 pēcina – talk among themselves;

 pēccaravam – sound of the talk;

 kēṭṭilaiyo?   didn’t (you) hear it?

 vāca naṛung kuzhal – with extremely fragrant hairlocks;

 āycciyar – the cowherd matrons;

 kācum – a type of ornament worn specially by cowherd people (achchuthAli);

 piṛappum – another ornament mulaithAli;

 kaipērttu– move their hands back and forth;

 mattināl – with the butter churner;

 ōsai paḍutta – making sound;

 tayir aravam – the sound of the curd;

 kēṭṭilaiyo?  – Are (you) not able to hear?

nāyaka peṇpiḷḷāy! –  oh! The Leader of all the young girls;

 nārāyaṇan mūrtti kēśavanai – Kṛṣṇa, the incarnation of Narayana;

 pādavum – even While (we) sing;

 – you

 kēṭṭē kiḍattiyō – even after listening to our song can you lie down like this?

 tēcam uḍaiyāy – Oh glittering damsel!

 Tira– please open the door;

INTRODUCTION 

Andal doesn’t get satisfied with waking up just one gopi but wants each and every gopi in thiruayppadi to join their divine experience and hence knocks at each one’s door.  A perfect devotee wants everyone to enjoy the supreme Lord equally as He is the Father of all.  Certain incidents from the life of our preceptors which show the importance of devotion towards the devotees are quoted below. 

 Once while, Nanjeeyar (one of the Srivaishnava perceptors who falls in the Guruparampara chain) met and prostrated Atkondavalli jeeyar, a direct disciple of Swamy Ramanuja. At that time, Atkondavalli Jeeyar replied “I haven’t got the real predilection towards the Lord”. Nanjeeyar was surprised to hear this and enquired,”Oh you are a great preceptor and a prime disciple of Swami Ramanuja !  How could you say like this?”.  Atkondavalli Jeeyar replied back “Our real devotion is shown when we attain utmost pleasure while meeting a devotee”. Thus, showing the greatness of servitude to devotees is more important than servitude to Lord Himself! 

 Similarly, Sri Parasara Bhattar ( another perceptor in the Srivaishnava Guruparampara) once saw some of the disciples of Nanjeeyar feeding the devotees in a small hamlet called Sridevimangalam and remarked “Even if I dont have Srivaishnavapoorthi (being a complete/perfect srivaishnava) the disciples of my disciple Nanjeeyar are perfect Srivaishnavas and hence their greatness will also indirectly reflect on me ”. 

COMMENTARY

Andal goes to the next house.  Our preceptors explain the words of Andal as an imaginary dialogue between those outside and the one inside.

 Andal: Oh are you still sleeping?

 Pei pen: is it dawn already?

 Andal: don’t you hear the bharatwaj pakshi’s sound (kīsu kīsendru ānaiccāttan | kalandu pēcina pēccaravam kēṭṭilaiyo?)

 Pei pen: what if just one bird has waken up and that too probably because of the noise you make?

 Andal: not only one but we are able to hear the sound of birds talking amongst themselves everywhere (engum). 

 [The birds make different sounds at different times.  The sound of the birds while they wake up is different and after sometime when they bid goodbye to search for food they talk among themselves with different tones. Amazingly Andal who talked about the sounds of rishis and munis chanting the Hari Nama in the previous paasuram now talks about the chirping of birds in equal pedestal. Moreover it is like enquiring when even the birds are worried to leave their spouses and stay separated how could you sleep while separated fromKṛṣṇa?]

 The gopi inside ignored and kept quiet thinking Andal and others do not have any other work.  Hence Andal calls her “pEi PennE”[Though you know the greatness of togetherness with bhagavatas you are ignoring the same. What a foolish act!] Still not much response from the gopi inside and hence Andal continues to say more reasons to prove it is already dawn.

 Andal: Are you not able to hear the ladies of this place with extremely fragrant headlocks churning the curd and making sound with the butter churner? While they do so their hands go back and forth and hence the ornaments they wear make tumultuous sound (kācum piṛappum kalakalapak kaipērttu vāca naṛung kuzhal āycciyar mattināl ōsai paḍutta tayir aravam kēṭṭilaiyo?)

 The curd in thiruayppadi is so thick that it has to be churned with difficulty and hence even the hairlocks open up spreading the fragrance everywhere. Moreover Kṛṣṇa is troubling them since he doesn’t like the curd to be turned into buttermilk or otherwise they feel tired because Kṛṣṇa is not nearby. But when so much is happening and heard everywhere what are you doing alone? Is there some curd (experiencing Kṛṣṇa differently) inside?

 The gopi inside still refused to accept saying that after the birth of  Kṛṣṇa there is abundant curd and hence it becomes necessary to churn the curd day and night. So Andal quits giving more proofs and calls her

 nāyaka peṇpiḷḷāy –  Oh! Our leader while it is appropriate for you to lead our group, is it fair for you to keep yourself inside?

 The gopi inside realized her mistake thinking – while I am a servant of bhagavatas Andal is now calling me as a leader.  Immediately Andal sings further so that the gopi hurries to join the others.

 nārāyaṇan mūrtti kēśavanai pāḍuvum -We are singing the praise of Narayanan (the One who is filled with vatsalyam, motherly affection where even the shortfalls are considered as special) who descended as Kṛṣṇa exhibiting the quality of sowsheelya (super being moving, freely, condescendingly and indistinguishably, with one and all) and during the avatara killed kesi and became Kesavan (this shows the quality of removing obstacles from the way of devotees – virodhi nirasana samarthyam)

 nī kēṭṭē kiḍattiyō? – Even after hearing the above how can you keep quiet? 

 Sita devi ran to embrace Sri Rama after the karadhooshana war like putting medicine to His wounds.  Are you not like Sita Devi?  How can you sleep even after hearing about the fight between Kṛṣṇa and Kesi? You are related to periyazhvar; shouldn’t you run out to do mangalasasanam (pray for His welfare) to Kṛṣṇa? But when the gopi inside heard the name ‘Kesava’ she got rid of fear that anything can stop their experience with Kṛṣṇa, because He is capable of removing the same and hence started relaxing even more. So Andal calls her again –

 tēcam uḍaiyāy! Tira ! – Oh! Glittering damsel please open the door.

 Amazed by the silence from inside Andal peeps through the window and visualizes the glitter added to the gopi inside on hearing them sing about Kṛṣṇa.  So Andal now requests her to open the door so that they can enjoy her glow fully. 

LESSON FOR THE DAY

  From the start you would have all noticed that Andal talks about the full moon, fully grown paddy fields and beautifully blossomed flowers, the sound of chirping birds, the sweet singing of birds etc.  We say thiruppavai is the essence of Vedas then why should Andal sing all these in her divine song?  Nature and poetry always go hand in hand.  Moreover when azhvars sing about nature they see it as bhagavat svaroopam (divine form) or admire the amazing creation of the Lord.  Thirumangai azhvar has extensively sung the beauty of each and every divyadesam he visited as he was not only interested in the Lord who resides there but was greatly attracted by the ambiance of the whole divine place.

 Today most of us complain about stress.  From a school kid to an elderly person say “Life is so hectic and filled with stress” Such was not the case with our ancestors why? That’s because they lived with the nature.  They nourished, cherished and enjoyed the nature.  Nowadays we seldom take time to enjoy the cool morning breeze, sounds of birds, the rising sun, beautiful beaches, clear river water, sparkling full moon, the tall green trees etc.  From today let us get determined to stay away from computers, mobiles and social media at least for few hours in a week to preserve, protect, and celebrate nature’s beauty to live a peaceful contended life.