Tiruppavai

Andal Tiruppavai

What is Tiruppavai

Tiruppavai is a writing describing the religious ritual (Vratam) undertaken by the spinsters (milk-maids) to get a good husband. This was rendered in 30 stanzas.

What is Pasura(Stanza)

In Tamil, a poem that is written in a classical style and in lyrical tradition with utmost devotion is called a ‘Pasura’ (Pausra = Stanza). In Tiruppavai, there is a word ‘pavai’ at the end of each stanza, which means a religious ritual. Some say, it also means a song.

That is why, the title, Tiruppavai is quite befitting.

God himself as one’s spouse

‘Tiru’ is a reverential expression. It is sung devotedly and respectfully in the Brahmi muhurt of Mrugasira month. It is a very strange wish to select God himself as one’s spouse.

Radha, Gopikas (milkmaids), Jayadeva, Annamaya, Meera Bai etc., are devotees for such delightful wish. Andal too acquires such a high place in that tradition.

Tiruppavai – 30 Stanzas in Total

“Tiruppavai” has 30 divine songs. Each stanza has 8 lines. Each of these thirty stanzas provides us in-depth meaning, enlightenment, clarity, natural beauty, ornate vocabulary etc.

Four Sections

Tiruppavai can be broadly divided into four sections.

  • Stanzas 1 to 5, dealing with an introduction to nature;
  • 6 to 15, dealing with the waking up of Gopikas;
  • 16-20 series of valourous episodes;
  • 21-30 total surrender to the lord.
  • The last ten stanzas depict more of the philosophy of surrender. stanzas 26, 27 and 29 have great significance; especially the 29th one delights us with the philosophy of Vaishnavism.

Some researchers feel that the foundations relating to Vaishnavism were incorporated in Tiruppavai.

To get a Good Husband

The girls go to each house to wake up other unmarried girls early for holy bath and pray Lord to get a good husband. This practice is being done during winter and in the month of Margazhi.

Andal in love with Lord Krishna

From her young age, Andal fell in love with Lord Krishna. She herself imitated as a Gopika of Vrindavan and was playing with Krishna always.

She disguised herself as Gopika and made her father Vishnuchitta (Perialwar)’s house as yadava kingdom and made him the King of Yadavas. She made her friends as Gopikas of Vrindavan and celebrated utsavams like Vrindavan Gopikas.

The style, beauty and the music reveal the ancient practices and rich Indian culture. As part of her marriage with Sri Krishna, Andal got rid of unwanted desires. She led simple living, expressed divine love towards the Lord.

The entire poetic writings are in the form of “Nayika Nayaka” bhava (emotion), show the way to express spiritual feeling. This bhava made her attain Supreme Lord, which is highly appreciable.

Even today, Andal’s poetry is highly commendable in Tamil literature and she still lives in the hearts of true devotees.

*Data Source: Saptagiri Magazine