Srimathe ramanujaya namaha

Simple English Meaning for Thiruppavai



Selected Excerpts from MahA VidvAn Sri U.Ve. PerukkAraNai Swamy ' ThiruppAvai Monograph'

MahA pravEsam and First Paasuram ( Marghazhi ThingaL Dinam)

Date: 16 December 2000

Srimathyai GodhAyai Nama:
SrimathE RaamAnujAya Nama:

Dear BhakthAs:

adiyEn will provide a short Introduction on MahA PravEsam (Grand Entry ) to ThiruppAvai and cover the highlights of
the First slOkam . adiyEn will cover the literary meaning and follow it by the section on Inner Meanings by Sri PerukkAranai
Swamy .In view of the very limited space to cover these articles , adiyEn will be very brief with respect to references to
other commentaries.

MahA PravEsam( Grand Introduction )
" Every one of us is an ANDAL and like Her must long for union with the Lord. This is SuddhAntha-SiddhAntham ,
the doctrine of King's harem , the doctrine of Bridal mysticism. ANDAL was born as a girl and it was easy for Her to become
a bride for the eternally youthful Bridegroom, Sri RanganAthan.Other AzhwArs were males and they had to adopt the sentiments,
language and dress of ANDAL to become the bride , which they did successfully (as Parankusa Naayaki/Swamy NammAzhwAr
and ParakAla Naayaki/Thirumangai AzhwAr) to a large extent.THAT MUST BE OUR GOAL ; we must acquire right knowledge sitting at the feet of a SadAchArya ;The AchAryan will transform  us as a bride and offer us to the Lord , who is eager to accept us. So long as we are in this world , we must try to do KAIMKARYAM to BhagavAn and His devotees , which is like the foretaste of what we are going to enjoy ultimately in the Transcendent World "-- Professor A.SrinivAsa Raaghavan(1986)

There are many , many commentaries for ThiruppAvai. They are classified into different groups based on their length.
Twenty four padhams ( grantham in Sanskrit and PaDi in Tamil) are the units of measurement . For instance ,MoovAyirappadi commentary ( that of Swamy PeriyavAcchAn  PiLlai ) has 3000x24 Padhams. The various ThiruppAvai Commentaries are :

(1) OrAyirappadi ( 1000x 24 padhams)
(2) IrAyirappadi of JananyAcchAr of Melkote (2000x24)
(3) MoovAyirappdi of Swamy PeriyavAcchAn PiLLai(3000x24)
(4) NalAyirappadi of JananyAcchAr of Melkote(4000x24)
(5) EiyAyirappadi ( 5000x 24 Padhaams)
(6) ArAyirappadi of Azhagiya MaNavALa PerumAL NaayanAr (6000x24)
(7) Upanishad BhAshyakAra Sri RangarAmAnuja's Sanskrit commentary
(8) Sri UtthamUr Swamy's Prabhandha Rakshai(1986)
(9) Sri PrathivAdhi Bhayankaram Swamy's ThiruppAvai NaRu manam(1983)
(10)Sri PerukkAraNai Swamy's SudhA SvAdham commentary (2000 A.D)

We have to be necessarily brief in these daily postings and we refer you to these original commentaries and special articles on Bridal Mysticisms et al assembled under Bhakthi List Archives and Sri VaishNavA Home pages under ANDAL subtitle by Sri MaNi VaradarAjan.Sri Varadarajan's article on ANDAL's life and works there along withthe most beautiful home pages created for Srivilliputthur By Sri Venkat Iyengar are most valuable for NhakthAs.

The Saint-poetess ANDAL , the avathAram of BhUmi DEvi observed Paavai Nonbhu ( Paavai vratham) to attain Lord KrishNA as Her Husband (BharthA). She observed a Vratham ,which is a variation of the KaathyAyini Vratham described in Srimath BhAgavatham.The Month chosen for the vratham was Marghazhi or Dhanur Maasam.This vratham takes a whole Month to complete. ANDAL became one of the Gopis of Gokulam -- who observed the Marghazhi Vratham --and joined Her young friends to obtain the PurushArtham ( the choicest /Highest boon) of Nithya Kaimkaryam (eternal service to the Lord )and to have Him as their BharthA. ANDAL addresses Her play mates and fellow Vratham observers as " yElOrempAvAi" . Sri UtthamUr Swamy has explained that this "yElOrempAvai " refrain found in the 29 of the 30 paasurams of ThiruppAvai as Yel+ ohr+ YempAvAi ( Oh My dear friend ! I will describe the facets of this Paavai Nonbhu and please understand them , accept their meanings and practise them ).

The words "NeerAdap pOthuveer" in this paasuram and elsewhere has nothing to do with taking a bath in the YamunA river at early morning as an essentail preparatory step of the Vratham. NeerAttam (Bathing )means really the KrishNa samsLesham ( or Union with Lord KrishNa). Sunai Aadal is an ancient expression denoting the same and has been used from Sanga Kaalam .

ANDAl considered SrivilliputthUr of South as the AayarpAdi of North,the girls of Her birth place as Gopis and Herself as one of the Gopis and the temple of Vatapathra Saayee as NandhagOpar's ( father of KrishNa at Aayar Paadi )house and Lord VatapathrasAyee as Lord KrishNa Himself and performed the Vratham. This feeling state (Bhavaanai) ripened and yielded the sought-after fruits of that Vratham .She blessed us to follow this vratham and be blessed.

First Paasuram:" Marghazhi ThingaL mathi niRaintha NannALAl.."

Literal Meaning by Dr.V.K.S.N.Raghavan:
" It is the good full Moon day of the month of Marghazhi.Oh the well ornamented maidens ! Those desirous of taking the bath
(in the YamunA ) may please come on. Oh the prosperous young girls of AaypAdi ( Gokulam) that is rich and grand ( in beauty
and wealth) ! Lord NaarAyana will surely yield to us alone the drum (paRai). He is the son of King NandagOpa , of cruel deeds (towards the enemies), and holding a sharp spear in his hand always. He (KrishNa) is the young lion-cub of Queen YasOdhA
with very charming eyes.He( Lord NaarAyaNa) has a dark cloud-like divine complexion ,(lotus like) reddish eyes and (lustrous)
face (shining) like the bright Sun and Moon. ( This Lord NaarAyaNan alone is the Saviour). (Let us ) resort (to Him) performing the Paavai-Nonbhu and get the benefit of praise from the people of the world. { (Oh dear freind , may You recite and learn this)-know the purport of this hymn}. (Mention may be made of the slOkam of Bhagavath GitA :" mAsAnAm mArga-sirshOham--X.35); " Lord NaarAyanan alone will grant Moksha SaamrAjyam to the individual soul" is indicated in the seventh line of this First paasuram ".

SvApadEsArtham (Inner Meanings) of the First Paasuram
There are many inner meanings to every word used by ANDAL in this and every paasuram of ThiruppAvai.For reasons of
brevity , we will give only the condensed meanings for the words of the paasuram as revealed by Sri U.Ve.PerukkAraNai
Swamy :

Seer malhum: The place where those blessed ones ,who comprehend fully the anantha kalyANa
GuNams of the Lord reside

AaypADi In this dark SamsAric world

nErizhayeer Oh People with the noble traits of Samam and dhamam ( auspicious Aathma GuNams of Tranquility and Control over the senses)!

NiRaintha- On this day , which is like the Moon with ThingaL Mathi all its sixteen digits (kalai) just as the ShAdgunya SampoorNa BhagavAn Himself

NannALAl Since it is such an auspicious day

Maarghazhi Those who wish to follow the most noble Neerada upAyam (means) of Prapatthi (self-surrender)! pOthuveer Please join us! pOdhuminO !

Koor vEl The one with the sharp-pointed sankalpam similar to the tip of a well honed spear or javelin

kodum Thozhilan One who destroys our sins

NandhagOpan and is the eteranl Youth , who is Kumaran the BrahmAnandha Svaroopan , who initiated BrahmA into the Vedams and their meanings

yErArntha KaNNI the One , who adorns the beautiful flower garland known as Vaijayanthi

Yasodhai the One , who has attained unquestionable fame (Yasas) by granting us BrahmAnandham

iLam Singham One , who is like the powerful Lion chasing away our sins and enemies

KaarmEni One who has the hue of a dark blue rainy SenkaNN cloud and has lotus like besutiful eyes

Kadhir madhiyam One who has the lustrous face like pOl MuhatthAn the radiant Sun and the cool Moon

NaarAYaNanE That SarvEsvarn , who has incarnated as Krishnan now amidst us

pArOr Puhazha who is compassionate towards us and padinthu who is lauded by the world for His sensitivity about not failing in His duties to protect us always

NamakkE for us , BhaagavathAs , who have performed Bhara NyAsam (Aathma Samarpanam, Prapatthi ) at His sacred feet


Other thoughts on selected key words of paasuram 1
(1)The sacred Month of Marghazhi has Kesavan ( the first of the 12 Upa-VyUha Moorthys) as the presiding deity .
Therefore , any Vratham , charity (dhAnam) , SnAnam ,AarAdhanam performed in Marghazhi will quickly yield fruits
according to Swamy Desikan ( Taathparya Chandrikai). That desired fruit is Parai or nithya kaimkaryam in His SaamrAjyam (Sri Vaikuntam).

(2) Swamy JnaanyaachAr summarizes the significance of the message of this paasuram as " PrApya PrApakangaL iraNDum NAARAYANANE " .

(3) "yElOrempAvAi" --This refrain is the Chandas for the Nonbhu according to Swamy JananAycchAr. Upanishad BhAshyakArar recognizes this Makutam of ThiruppAvai as "Paadha PoorNArtham ".

(4)" PaRai TaruvAn ":As the Purushan with the greatest affection for His Pathivrathai wife , Sriman NaarAyaNan
will bless us with the requirements(tools) for Kaimkaryam and Ubhaya anushtAnam such as Jn~Anam , Seelam and other
auspicous Aathma GuNams ( Sri Abhinava Desikan ).

(5) " NaarAyaNanE--TharuvAn ": Lord NaarAyaNan Himself , the inner meaning of Thiru AshtAksharam , will bless
the ChEthanams (MakArArtha Jeevans)-- after being pleased with their AshtAkshara Japam -- will perform UpAya anushtAnam
for them (through a SadAchAryan)...(Sri Abhinava Desikan).

(6) The yEkAram in " NaarAyaNanE " and "NamakkE": This yEkAram asserts that " SadhArchanE TantharuLa Vallan ;
SathsishyanE PeRatthahunthavan" ( The SadAchAryan ALONE can bless us; the sath-sishyan alone is qualified
to receive that rarest of blessings " (Sri PBA Swamy).

Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr ThiruvadigaLE Saranam ,
Sarvam KrushNArpanam asthu
RaamAnuja Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan

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