Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thiruppavai - Pasuram16

naayaganaay ninRa nandhagOpan udaiya
kOyil kaappaanE! kodi thOnRum thOraNa
vaayil kaappaanE! maNi(k) kadhavam thaaL thiRavaay
aayar siRumiyarOmukku aRai paRai
maayan maNi vaNNan nennalE vaay nErndhaan
thooyOmaay vandhOm thuyil ezha(p) paaduvaan
vaayaal munnam munnam maatraadhE ammaa! nee
nEya nilai(k) kadhavam neekkElOr embaavaay

நாயக னாய்நின்ற நந்தகோபனுடைய
கோயில்காப் பானே! கொடித்தோன்றும் தோரண
வாயில்காப் பானே! மணிக்கதவம் தாள்திறவாய்;
ஆயர்சிறுமிய ரோமுக்கு அறைபறை
மாயன் மணிவண்ணன் நென்னலே வாய்நேர்ந்தான்;
தூயோமாய் வந்தோம் துயிலெழப் பாடுவான்;
வாயால் முன்னமுன்னம் மாற்றாதே அம்மா! நீ
நேய நிலைக்கதவம் நீக்கேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.

----- MEANING ----

Dear BhakthAs: The ten girls symbolizing “the pancha-Laksham gOpis” of Gokulam are awakened now and proceed together to NandagOpan's palace to awaken the residents of that mansion.

“Oh the guard at the entrance of the mansion of our overlord NandagOpan! Oh the guard at the flag-staff decorated with festoons! May you please release and open the lever bolt of the bejewelled doors with bells! (let us submit to you that) the Lord, Sri KrishNA --who is very charming with the color of blue-sapphire gem (maNi vaNNan), and who is of mysterious deeds (Maayan)-- has assured us even yesterday that He would give the announcing drum (paRai) to us, the young maidens of the cow-herd clan (gOpis of Gokulam). We, who are pure in heart and soul, have come here to sing in praise of, and awaken, the Lord. Please, Oh Mother-like compassionate guard, for the first time (munnam munnam) without refusing, kindly open the giant-like heavy doors (and grant us entry).

The awakening of the ten gOpis is Upalakshanam for awakening the gOpis of the five lakh

You, the guard (kaappaan) of the temple (kOyil) of the Lord who stood (ninRa) as our savior (naayagan)! the guard (kaappaan) of the arched ornamented (thOraNa) door (vaayil) decorated (thOnrum) by garlands (kodi). Please open (thiRavaay) the latch (thaaL) of the jewelled (maNi) door (kadhavam). The mystic (maayan) Lord (maNi vaNNan) has given his word (vaay nErndhaan), yesterday (nenne) itself, to the children (siRumi) of aayarpaadi (aayar), that he would give them, the drum (paRai) used for beating (aRai) during the period of 'paavai nOnbu'. We have come (vandhOm) fresh and clean (thooya) to sing (paaduvaan) in order to wake him (thuyil ezha). Ah (amma)! First of all

(munnam munnam), you (nee) remove (open neekku), the barrier (nilai kadhavam) without any denying (maatraadhE) or discussing (vaayaal).


You, the sentry guarding the temple of our Lord Nandagopa! And you sentinel at the inner gate ornamented with flags and festoons! Please open the latch of the gem-studded door! For us the cowherd girls, our mysterious and radiant Lord Krishna promised yesterday itself to give us the heralding drum. We have all come here, with a pure mind, to wake him up with songs. Please therefore, open the heavy doors and let us in.

More Insight

Thus in ten pasurams Andal woke up girls of differing natures and thereby all the girls of Gokula were woken up and they all proceed to Sri Nandagopan's mansion and request the door keeper to let them in.

Cowherd colonies in those days may have contained only huts and Nanda's mansion may be a big hut, without a doorkeeper. And all this may be Andal's fertile imagination. But what she is doing is to tell us how one should enter a temple in Archavatara, and worship the Lord. Sri PARASARA BHATTAR in his SRI RANGARAJA STAVA lays down the procedure for temple entry based on this stanza. The door keepers are really our Acharyas. In our daily pooja we open the door of our 'koyil azhwar' (the box where the home idol is kept) by reciting the Acharya Parampara and finally this verse without fail.

TUYOMAAY VANDOM - we have come with purity. What is the purity meant here ? Not the usual physical or even mental purity. The physical purity of cowherds is well known, say the commentators. The purity referred to here is the fact that they have come to do service to the Lord WITHOUT ASKING ANYTHING IN RETURN. Kainkarya itself is the end (Swayam Purushaartha) and is not the means to an end. This point should be ever fixed in the heart of a Sri Vaishnava.


PramANam, PramEyam and PramAthA are of three kinds. Vedam, Smruthi, PurANam, IthihAsam, dhivya prabhnadhams, Brahma soothram are PramANams. Lord Sriman NaarAyaNan in Parama padham, vyUham, Vibhavam, Archai and antharyAmi are PramEyams. AchAryAs like Naathamuni are PramAthAs. Similarly, Rahasya-Thrayams (The three manthrams) are PramANams; PerumAL is PramEyam; the AchAryan initiating us into these manthrams is PramAthA.

In the context of this Paasuram, “Koil KaappAnE” denotes Moola manthram; “kodit thOnRum --vaasal KaappAnE” refers to Dhvayam; nennalE vaai nErnthAn” stands in for Charama slOkam of the Lord. The Gopis describe themselves as the ones that have arrived with MukkaraNa suddhi (Vaak, Manas, Kaayam) at the Lord's door. MukkaraNa Suddhi here also refers to that they have come with paripoorNa visvAsam in the holy triad--Manthram, Devathai and AchAryan-- for liberation from the deep sleep of SamsAram and to gain MokshAnandham.

There are two sections to the door defended by the guards: One door of Moola Manthram (1) “praNavam and Nama:” and (2) NaarAyaNAya. Again Dhvayam (1) Sriman NaarAyana --prapadhyE and (2) srimathE--Nama: Also charama slOkam is also constituted by its two doors of PoorvArtham (Sarva DharmAn--SaraNam vraja and aham thvA -- maa sucha:). Thus manthram, EmperumAn and AchAryan are covered in this paasuram as PramANam, PramEyam and PramAthA.

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