Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | January 5, 2012




The Gopis along with Sri Aandaal express their devotion through a humble prayer,” Oh Lord kindly get up. You are Nanda’s son who owes so many milk giving cows , and in no time all the vessels are full of milk and overflow from the vessels. Oh Lord we know you are very much attached to us. Oh Supreme One the effulgent light of the sun has already spread in the world. Be pleased and rise up as we are waiting at your door singing your praise proclaiming Your greatness”.


In this pasuram Sri Devi (NAPPINAI) now goes over to the Gopis and  identifying Herself as part of the Gopi group tells them that she is not indifferent to the emtreaties of the Gopis. She explains that she was waiting for the appropriate time to  submit and discuss their cause in  front of the Lord. So she plays the role of a mediator or more aptly the conduit of compassion between Her Lord and His devotees ( MADHHYASTHHA).  Hearing this the Gopi devotees are more inspired and motivated and sing the praise of the Lord with more fervently and renewed zest.The Lord is ever effulgent ( (ULAHIL THOORRAMAAI NINRA SUDAR)  even when He appears to be  living among  GOPAS and GOPIS in Vrindavana  (MAANUSHYAAVATAARAM).  The Gopis along with Sri Devi (NAPPINAI) request to Lord to wake  up and constantly wait at the door singing His praise.

They also recognize Him to be the One who can only be comprehended through  studying the Vedas and practicing their teachings (DHRUDATARA PRAMAANA SIDDHHAM).

Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | January 4, 2012




Aandal addresses the Lord  as the Gallant and  Courageous Lord  who comes to the rescue of 33 crore  Gods and comes to the forefront to fight their  innumerable  battles  of establishing Good over Evil.

Aandaal says”Please wake up Oh Lord Naaraayana! You care about your devotees and are always ready to protect them. You are equipped with great strength and valour (SHAURYA). Oh Lord without who is totally unalloyed  and the Pure One, you defeat your enemies with great strength and vigour”. Aandaal then address Sri Devi (NAPPINAI),  “Oh Godess of great charm and beauty please wake up. One with soft bosom, rosy lips and slim waist, the very embodiment of splendour(Aishwarya, Lakshmi) please pay heed to our request. Please be happy and rise from your sleep. Please present to us your Lord so that he can preside over our celebrations. Please bestow on us a mirror and fan as auspicious paraphernalia necessary for conducting the rituals. Please bless us that we may commence our Vratham by first taking a holy dip in the river.

NOTE: This Pasuram is the last in the series of awakening the Mother Sri Devi . This Pasuranm also addresses Lord Naaraayana along with Sri Devi.  The thougths of  the Upanishads and Bhagavad Geetha  are echoed in this Pasuram.

While the 17th Pasuram (AMBARAME THANNEERE)  begins with A  and the 18th Pasuram ( UNTHUMADA KALLIRRIN)  with U , the 20th Pasuram (MUPPATHTHU MOOVAR)  begins with M thus constituting the Pranava Mantra AUM, the 19th Pasuram (KUTTHUVILLAKKERIYA)  comes between the letters U and M and represnt the vibhakti over the letters A, U and M.  

In this Paasuram the relationship between the Lord  , His  Consort and the devotee is also  highlighted.  While the Lord is the  organizer and controller(NIYANTHA) the devotee is the  servant( BHHRUTHHYA)  and the DIVINE CONSORT is the mediator (MADHHYASTHHA) the conduit of compassion and care between the Lord and the devotee. What a wonderful and blissful  relationship.

This philosophy  brings to my mind the famous Bhhadrachala Ramadasu Krithi (NANU BROVAMANI CHEPPAVE SEETHAMMA THHALLI )  wherein  Shri Ramadsu prayers and addresses Seetha Devi requesting Her to become  the mediator and a  conduit of compassion and  request Lord Rama on his behalf to come and protect him and give him refuge  under HIS (LORD RAMA’S) protection.

Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | January 3, 2012




In this pasuram Aandaal addresses Sri Devi as MAITTHATAM KANNINAI . Aandaal and the Gopis want to wake up the divine couple (DIVYA DAMPATHI).” The cluster of lamps are glowing and Oh Lord Krishan  you are lying on the soft ivory bed covered with silks. You are asleep resting  on your head on SriDevi’s bosom. Sri Devi who is beautiful with black eyes and tresses adorned with flowers does not want o wake  you up  Oh Krishna as she knows that  we will  request you to take part in the Paavai Nombu as the presiding Lord of the Vratham.  As a result Sri Devi will have to bear the separation from you Oh Lord which is unbearable for her. So she does not want to wake you up Oh Krishna. But we sincerely  pray and feel Oh Sri Devi  that it  is may not be fair on Your part to deprive the devotees of  Lord Krishna’s  company” .  The Gopis further submit that this does not behoove Her merciful Nature which is full of love and compassion for Lord’s devotees. Hence the Gopis pray, “Oh Merciful Mother please agree and wake up Lord Krishna so that He can come and preside over our Paavai Nombu”.

NOTE: In the previous Paasuram Sri Devi was addressed as NandagOpaln Maarumahale and in this Pasuram Sri Devi is addressed as one who has won the special affection of the Lord (Maitthatam Kanninai) .  According to Sri Vaishnava doctrines both the Lord and His consort Sri Devi are to be invoked and worshipped  by the devotee who surrenders himself or herself in service of both the merciful mother and the Lord. (PRAPATTI and KAINKARYAM).

This pasuram also  indicates that both the Lord and His consort compete with each other to attend to the devotees needs. Hence in order to fulfill the desire of the Gopis both Lord Krishna and Sri Devi get delayed in answering the calls of the Gopis who are waiting at the door ready to perform the ritual of chanting the name of Lord Krishna and His consort.

This is the Pasuram that became the basis of Swamy Paraasara Bhattaar’s famous Thaniyan


Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | January 2, 2012




Aandal now requests Lord Naaraayana’s consort  Sri Devi and addreesses her thus:

“ Oh daughter-in-law ( NANDHAGOPALAN MARUMAHALE NAPPINNAI) of King Nandagopa, who possesses a proud and majestic gait of an elephant,  whose is invincible in the battle-field . Oh queen of Sri Krishna( NAPPINAI)  whose black tresses are so full of fragrance  please unlock your door . The cocks ( A SAARA GRAHI, one who picks out the essentials as food  from the dirt and discards all the inessentials so also should a pure devotee do in his/her life as food for thought and soul) are calling early in the dawn, waking up everyone. The group of cuckoos are sweetly cooing again and again , calling you sitting on the boughs of Maadhavi flowers( KURUKATTHI).Oh young Lady holding the sporting ball in your hands please come and surging with joy  open the  door of your chamber with your soft Lotus petal like hands adorned with beautiful bracelets that make the sweet jingling sound.

NOTE: The esoteric doctrine of Sri Vaishnava philosophy is alluded to here. According to Sri Vaishnavism philosophy Lord Naaraayana and Sri Devi are inseparable. They serve together as the means ( UPAAYAM) and the Ultimate Goal ( UPEYAM) . This fundamental doctrine is known as  oneness of purpose (Eka Seshthitvam). Keeping this fundamental doctrine in mind Sri Aandaal now wakes up Sri Devi( NAPPINAI) the consort of Lord Vishnu.

This famous Pasasuram is also associated with Aachaarya Sri Ramanuja’s  bliss and he swoons  as he identifies  ATHHUZHAI , the daughter his teacher (AACHAARYA) with Sri Devi( NAPPINAI) when she opens the door of her house with jingling bangles adorning her forearms in order to offer alms( BHHIKSHAA) to Ramanuja  Swami who is on his daily rounds of begging for food  from house to house, as per the rules laid down  in the scriptures ( SHAASTRAAS) as one of the foremost duties of a  true Brahmin whether a householder or a Sanyaasi.  For, a true Brahmin should not possess anything but knowledge and that too for the purpose of teaching and sharing it with the true seeker.    


Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | January 1, 2012




Oh king Nanadagopa our Lord one who is reputed for giving away charity and providing the needy with abundant clothing, water and food , please wake up.  Oh queen Yashoda one who is the foremost among the cowherd families one of pure and outstanding  character.  Oh lady who is the example of excellence and a role model for all women  please wake up. Oh Lord of all the Gods who grew immense in size and pierced through the space, measuring the entire universe in two steps please leave your sleep. Oh Baladeva adoring golden anklets befitting a hero may you  both (elder and younger brother) get up soon without prolonging your sleep. (URRANGEL).

NOTE: In the previous Pasuram the gatekeepers are requested to allow the Gopis to enter the mansion of Sri Krishna, so that they can wake up the Lord along with Nandaraja, Yasoda and Baladeva. The gate keepers oblige and the Gopis now stand in front of the beds of Krishna , Baladeva, Nanda and Yashoda  requesting them to wake up and take part in the Paavai Nombu as the  most reverently worshipped Lord and His family.

Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | December 31, 2011




 The ten gopis are now awake and  proceed to Nandagopan’s house to wake up the people of His household and then wake Him up too. They first begin with waking up the gaurds.

The Gopis say, “Oh guard with flagstaff decorated with festoons protecting the entrance of this mansion of our beloved Nandagopan please open the door bejeweled with small decorative bells.  Lord Krishna the beautiful sapphire complexioned ( MANIVANNAN) is full of amazing mysterious deeds.( MAAYAN)  He has promised to bless us. We are young maidens of the cow-herd clan (GOPIS OF GOKULAM). We who are pure in thought word and deed have come here to praise the Lord and awaken Him. Oh guard with a compassionate heart please for the first time ( MUNNAM MUNNAM) do not refuse our request and kindly open the huge and heavy doors  of the mansion and let us enter the mansion of our beloved Krishna”.

NOTE: The ten Gopis are the now on their way to perform the devotional service towards Lord Krishna (Kainkaryam) as per the Paavai Nombu and begin the ritual by waking up the Lord.  As per the rituals, even today we begin by waking up  devotee friends and then after a ritual bath go to the temple to open the huge doors and enter the Lord’s mansion to perform the Paavai Nombu ending the whole worship with  a Goshthhi for all the devotees singing the Thiruppavai and partaking the Prasadam prepared for the Lord.


Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | December 30, 2011





In the group of Pasurams that are meant to awaken the Gopis to perform the Paavai Nombu, this is the last one. This one is in a style of conversation between Aandaal and the Gopi who is being awakened.

The gopis in the courtyard along with Aandaal ask:

“Hello young damsel with parrot –like beauty  why are  you still fast asleep”?

The Gopi from her chambers answers

“ Don’t be harsh and hasty  and so full of urgency in calling me. Oh girls born of reputed families, I am coming out”.

The group from the threshold replies

“Of course we know what a skilled talker you are”

The girl within answers:

“You all are no less. But for now let me be the skilled one in exchanging words. Maybe I am harsh in words for which I do apologize”.

Aandaal with other Gopis request her:

“Come quickly and join us. What work are you engaged in? Who is there who is keeping you busy inside”?

The Gopi from her chambers asks:

“Has everyone come”?

Aandaal and Gopis reply:

“Oh yes we are all here. If you want you can come out and mark our attendance. We would love to hear you sing the praise of the Lord who destroyed Kuvalayapeeda the  elephant of Kamsas court. Lord Naaraayana is very powerful in overpowering enemies and annihilates the emotions of hatred the hearts of His enemies. ”

After the ten Gopis have been awakened the Pasurams get more philosophical and brings out the sentiment of Bhakthi and its importance in one’s life very poignantly and evocatively.


This Pasuram is considered the Thiruppavai among Thirupaavais (THIRUPPAVAYILUM THIRUPPAVAI). It is said that amongst the  Sri Vaishnava spiritual and religious texts (DHIVYA PRABANDHHAM) Goda’s two Prabandhhams, the (Nachiyaar Thirumozhi and Thiruppavai ) are the most extolled. Among her two Prabandhhams the Thiruppavai holds the loftiest position.  Amongst the thirty Pasurams this is the most important Pasuram. In this Pasuram the most pivotal phrase is “NAANE THAAN AAYIDUHA”. The message carried by this phrase highlights the quality of serving the Lord as well as His devotees. (BHHAAGAVATHA DHAASYAM as well as BHHAGAVATHA DHAASYAM).

This pasuram is set in a mutual dialogue mode (PARASPARA SAMVAADAM).  To extol and give importance to the sentiment of serving the Lord’s devotees above the service towards the Lord Himself, is the highlight of this Pasuram.  The Lord Himself recognizes the importance of His devotees and he says in His Upadesams “MAMA BHHAKTHAANAAM  BHHAKTESHU”.   A true Shri Vaishnava always prays to Lord Krishna, “May I be the devotee and servant of your devotee oh Lord” ( TVATH BHHRUTHYASYA  BHHRYTHYA).










Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | December 29, 2011





Aandaal along with other Gopi friends go to wake up yet another Gopi. She says,”already it is a bright dawn. The blossoming of the red-lotus flower (SENKAZHUNEER) indicates so. The flowers like the water lilies that bloom in the evening and night ( the AAMBAL flower) have closed and withdrawn in the small pond behind  your house oh friend.   The sages wearing ochre robes having cleansed themselves after having performed the morning ablutions are already in the temple blowing their conch in front of various shrines. Oh you friend who verbally  boasted  just the day before that you will be the first one to wake up and in turn come and wake us up ,please do wake up now that we have come here to do so. You seem not to be embarrassed at your tall claims. You are only good at words and your actions do not match your speech. Let us all sing the praise of Lotus eyed Krishna ( PANKAYAKKANNAN) who loftily holds the disc and conch in His magnificent hands.

Note : Here Aandaal is trying to wake up a Gopi who has boasted that she will be the first one to wake up and then go about waking other Gopi friends. All her proclamations were in vain as she still sleeps soundly inher cozy bed forgetting her promise. Although the Gopis waiting on her are annoyed at her callousness  they still want her to come and join them in the Vratham. They want her to come along with them and meet Krishna in the temple because she alone possesses the power to persuade Shri Krishna to grant and fulfill the desires of Gopis hungry for His darshan.  Aandaal persuades this Gopi to use her skillful verbal talents to praise the Lord and not just relish good Prasadam in the name of the Lord.





Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | December 28, 2011




Aandal goes to wake up yet another devotee, a Gopi with beautiful eyes. After reaching the designated spot of the Paavai Nombu Aandal and her friends keep on chanting the holy name and praise Shri Krishna in various hymns and prayers and extol His leelas (killing of Bakasura, Ravana etc). She  then turns to the house of the Gopi and addresses her saying, ” the Jupiter has set and Venus has risen on the horizon. Birds are chirping. Oh young and beautiful girl with charming flower-like or doe-like eyes, it is time that we go and immerse ourselves in the Yamuna River and have a bath before we perform the Paavai Nombu. But what is this? You prefer to waste time in bed? Does this behoove you?  Oh dear girl please today is a great day for us leave all your restraint and aloofness and come and join us  freely to perform the Paavai Nombu”.


In this Pasuram, a Gopi  a  supreme devotee of Krishna who deserves to be placed on the highest level of  Shriman Naaraayanaa’s devotees (Uttama Adhhikaari), known for her charming beautiful eyes is being awakened. She is bewitching and her eyes attracted Krishna to her. Lying in bed she is reflecting on Krishna’s heroic exploits and also reflecting on the  heavenly and beautiful time she spent with Sri Krishna performing all service (Kainkaryams) for Him in devotion and Krishna’s acceptance of her devotion. Since she has had the glimpse of Godly bliss while conducting the services for Krishna, she now prefers to keep herself aloof. She is avoiding association of others not out of pride but out of the fear that she might lose the lingering bliss if she brings herself out of that association and memories  of heavenly-bliss which she experienced when Sri Krishna came to her and gave her the opportunity to serve Him with total devotion and surrender through His Compassion and Grace.

Posted by: swatimahalaxmi | December 27, 2011




Oh younger sister of the rich cowherd  whose house is full of milk (overflowing from the cows and buffaloes as he has not attended to them and left without milking them  due to the need of performing his duty towards Krishna worship), why do you still sleep although we have come all the to your house? Unmindful of the morning dew that fall on our head and  chanting loudly the name of Sri Krishna in a chorus  completely absorbed in Him , we have come to wake you up. We sing His praise as Lord Rama the slayer of Ravana the emperor of Lanka . Still you do not respond and are silent. Please wake up from your deep sleep and do not prolong it. People in the neighborhood are already awake.


In the 11th Pasuram Sri Aandal addresses the sleeping Gopi as her father’s daughter(KOLAVAR TAMM PORRKKODIYE) and in this Pasuram Aandal addresses the Gopi as the sister( NARRCHELVAN THANGAI)  of the brother who has left the daily duties in order to perform his duties and services towards Krishna who has commanded him to perform the service ( KAINKARYAM). He is the brother who watches over Krishna so that He is always kept out of trouble.

In this Pasuram Aandal also mentions about the rule in the Shaastraas that if there is an urgent service to be performed for the Lord (AJNA/ KAINKARYAM commanded by the Lord as a must and that cannot be abandoned as it is a Special event or Prabhala Nimittam/ Vishesha Kainkaryam), then one must first attend to that and then get back to the daily duties to be discharged . That is what Aandaal is  alluding to in this Pasuram when she says that the cows and buffaloes are yet unattended by the brother who has left the house early in the morning for performing the service to Sri Krishna.

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