Tiruppāvai

(‘holy vow’)

This is a very famous poetical treatise in Tamil composed by Āṇḍāḷ (or Godādevī). (See ĀḶVĀRS for details.)

There are thirty pāśuras or verses. Āṇḍāḷ imagines that she is one of the gopīs performing the special Kātyāyanī-vrata to get Kṛṣṇa as their husband. In her imagination, Śrīvilliputtūr (her little town) becomes Nandagokula and the temple of Vaṭapatraśāyin (Viṣṇu) becomes Nanda’s palace. She goes about the streets of the town in the early morning, waking up her girl-friends, to go to the Yamunā river for bath and worship!

This highly poetical treatise is centred round Kṛṣṇa-bhakti, love of Kṛṣṇa as one’s lover and husband.

This work has been commented upon by innumerable scholars.

All the verses have been set to music and are very popular. Singing them as also discourses on them during Dhanur-māsa or Mārgaśira (usually in December-January) has become a tradition among the Śrīvaiṣṇavas.