You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1996

Part I Alwars- Section 2.9.4 on Andal

VVijay1068_at_aol.com
Date: Sat May 18 1996 - 12:56:31 PDT

PART I  - SECTION 2.9.4 ON ANDAL
Dear Bhagavatas,
As I have already stated, due to space constraints, I have to content
myself with brief references withut  too much elaborations. Those
exposed to the nuances of the 'Arulicheyals ' and have a fair insight
into the ' specialities ' native to Tamil and Sanskrit languages
would be  better able to appreciate the various quotations. Those
who have had no such backgrounds will have to approach their
Acharyas to seek  further elucidations. For my part, I shall make
myself available to explain to the best of my understanding, if any
particular point is brought to my notice through PRIVATE mail. I
am sure that  the scholors in the group will forgive me for any
errors in my presentation of the views of Acharyas, which  I have
tried to reflect.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy

VERSE16 NAAYAKANAAI NINRANANDAGOPANUDAIYA...
As per 6,000 Padi, In the verses 6 to 15, Andal is said to wake up
the 10 Gopis representing the 10 lakhs Gopis of Aayarpadi
 ( Pathulaksham Gopiyar). Another interpretation is that after
referring to the 10 Indriyas, Andal now refers to Mind, the 11 th
sense characterizing it as a door - ' Neya Nilaik Kadavam'. Mind
due to its contact with material interests acts with its twin doors of
Ahamkara and Mamakara  as an impediment to the realization of
Bhagavad Anubhava.
NAYAKAN : Nayakan is approached because it would be proper
to approach the Lord through those who are dearest and nearest to
Him.We have earned the wrath of the Lord by our countless sins
for which in the normal course, the just Lord would like to punish
us. But, if we approach through those whose recommendations He
cannot and will not ignore, we can be sure of securing his grace.
NANDAGOPAN KOVIL : Why Nandagopan kovil instead of 
Krishnan Kovil? The Lord who is a ' Sarva Rakshaka' , placed the
burden of protecting Him  on Nandagopa. KO in Tamil means both
King and God. YIL means both Home and Temple. Thus, the
integration of King with God and Home with Temple had become
complete.
AAYAR SIRUMIYAR OM : When the guard asked " Who you
are?" the Gopis answered that they were little girls ( and NOT like
Putanai or Surpanakai). Lest the guard should object saying that
Sakatasura and Vatsasura also came in the garb of 'little ones', they
added the Pranavam ' OM' to indicate their ' Satvik' approach.
NENNALE VAAI NERNDHAAN : Lest he should raise any
further objection, they say that Krishna had already promised to
give them audience. To further disabuse his mind, they aver that
they have only  the  purest of intentions THOOYOMAAI
VANDOM.
MUNNA MUNNAM MAATRAADHE : Indirectly, they remind
him of the fate that overtook Jaya and Vijaya who refused
admission to Sanaka and others. 
Applied to Acharyas, they are indeed Nayakans- leaders who are 
' Saastra paanis' ( armed with Sastra) and not ' Sustra Paanis ' 
( armed with weapons) and request him to open the 
NESA NILAIK KADAVAM : The twin doors of Ahamkara abd
Mamakara which impede ' Atma Darsanam'

VERSE 17 : AMBARAME! THANEERE! SOREY! ...
AM means beautiful PARAM means the Supreme Lord,Bhagavan.
THANNEERE! SOREY! When there was a famine in Gokulam,
Nandagopa threw open his granary and water resources freely.
EMPERUMAANE NANDAGOPALA! : It was Nandagopa who
gave us the Pramapurusha like " Unnum Sorum, Parugu Neerum".
URANGAADHU EZHUNDIRAAI : Kannan is ' Sarva Rakshakan'
- the Protector of all. Can a watchguard afford to sleep? Indirectly,
they remind the Lord how he slept over on an earlier occasion for
which He has admitted feeling sorry like a debtor steeped in debt
mounting with compound interest. The reference is to the delay in
his rushing succour to Draupadi when she cried to him ' Govinda!".
KOMBANAARK ELLAAM KOZHUNDE! KULA VILAKKE! :
When a creeper gets hurt, it is the tender shoots that are affected
first. Similarly, when creeperlike womenfolk get into any
difficulty, the first one to feel sorry would be Yasoda.
YASODA ! Yasoda also means one who  shines by her fame. 
'Yasasaa Jwalanthi'  She was famous because she gave birth to
Krishna.
SEM POR KAZHAL ADI SELVAA! : Baladeva  is an incarnation
of Adisesha.  In Ramavatara, Ilaya Perumal is referred to as 
" Lakshmano Lakshmi Sampannah"- one who is wealthy in his 
'K ainkarya Sri'. Is it not because  he was born in the womb of
Devaki before Krishna that the fate that overtook the earlier babies
was averted in the case of Krishna? Hence, his feet are indeed
golden- glorious. Since you know the value of Kainkaryam, you
can appreciate us better than anyone else- they say.
Applied to Acharya, Swami Desikan says  that " Acharyan Kai
Pugunthavare Tirumanthiram Kai Pugum; Tirumantiram Kai
Pugunthavare Iswaran Kai Pugum". " Only through Acharya, one
can get initiated into Tirumantram and only through Tirumantram
one can get to reach God".  The Acharya shows us the way to
secure the ' Aprakrita Sarira' (Ambaram) and help us cross the '
Viraja river' ( Thanneer) and feasts us with the food with the
proverbial 6 tastes ( Shad Gunaadyam Annam)- ( Soru)  all
through the grace of the Lord.

VERSE 18 : UNDHU MADHA KALITRIN ODAATHA ...
After invoking the Acharya, it is but proper  to pray to ' Piraatti '
because without  her ' Purushakara', nothing can be achieved.After
referring to Tirumantram, Andal is now referring to Dwayam
which speaks of SRI first even before Narayanan. 
ODAATHA THOL VALIYAN : Our Acharyas never turn their
back in arguments with ' Kudrishtis' and in taking us to ' Piraatti'.
NANDAGOPALAN MARU MAGALE! : After Krishna's birth,
every Gopi in Aayarpaadi considered herself as the daughter in law
of  Nandagopalan. Then, what is the speciality of Nappinnai?
NAPPINNAAI ! : That is why, they called her by her name in
recognition of her being the most favourite daughter in law of
Nandagopalan. The word NAPPINNAI has several connotations.
NAL + PINNAI = The good one that followed.i.e Mahalakshmi.
Followed whom? the Elder sister also called MOODEVI. Another
interpretation is that she made the Lord to follow her-  NAM+
PINNAI. Yet another interpretation is that as the Amsam of
NEELA DEVI, she is junior to ' Periya Piraatti' among the Lord's
consorts.
GANDHAM KAMAZHUM KUZHALEE ! : On finding no
response from Nappinnai, the Gopis say " Don't think that you can
mislead us into believing thet you are not home. The irresistable
natural fragrance of your hairs betray your presence!"
KUYILGAL : refer to Acharyas like Nathamuni
KOZHI : Rooster. This is said to refer to'Bhaagavata Lakshana'.
Once a disciple of Bhattar was staying with Anantaalwaan.In the
beginning, the Sishya was treated very well. As time passed by, he
could notice a marked decline in the treatment he was accorded.
But, he never flinched in his devotion to the Acharya. While
explaining Srivaishnava lakshanam, Aalwaan said  -
"Like a crane that let go the smaller fish and waits for the big
catch, a Srivaishnava would leave off all petty desires and seek
after the major gain; Like a rooster that discards everything except
those grains it needs, he would absorb only those that would show
him the way to salvation; Like  Salt that loses its identity when
dissolved in water, he would by his simplicity seek to be a non-
entity. And, finally, he would be like YOU who never felt
huniliated  but remained humble"
MAITHUNAN PER PAADI : The Gopis say " You should let us in
at least for acting as umpires and declaring you as the winner in
the ball game you played  throughout the night and defeated
Krishna  "- What an entreaty !
SENTHAAMARAIK KAIYAAL SEERAAR VALAI OLIPPA :
Once, Emperumaanaar visited the home of Periyanambi. Even as
he was about to knock at the door, unexpectedly, Athuzhaai, the
daughter of Nambi opened the door with the jingling sounds of
bangles in her arms. Emperumaanaar imagined that it was
Nappinnai herself who appeared before him and opened the door
and in that experience, he  swooned.

VERSE 19 : KUTHU VILAKKU YERIYA KOTTUK KAAL...
KUTHU VILAKKU : Lamp indicates wisdom.
KOTTUKKAAL KATTIL : The legs of the cot are the 4 Vedas. 
PANCHA SAYANAM : The bed should have 5 characteristics
viz., Beauty, Softness. Whiteness, Coolness, and fragrance.
KONGAI : Literally means Breasts. Figuratively, it means Gnana
and Bhakti.
VAAI THIRAVAAI : The Gopis seem to say " You may give your 
' MalarMarbu' Chest to Nappinnai but at least give us your word.
MAITHADAM KANNINAAI : With colleyrium in her eyes, the
'Piraatti ' makes the ' Perumal ' do whatever she wants him to do.
THATTUVAM ANRU THAGAVU : " Not letting Him give His
grace to  us is quite unbecoming of your Nature ( Swabhava
Viruddham). It is not proper for you to ignore us.
There is an interesting point here. There is an indirect reference to
Periyalwar's "Than Adiyaar Thirathu Thaamarayaal Aagilum
Sidhagu Uraippaalel" etc. ' Piraatti' is the one who recommends  to
the Lord tothe accept  the jiva - Purushakara (One who makes the
Lord the Purusha). Once, accepted, respecting her words, the Jiva
becomes ' THANN Adiyaar ', not ' THAMM Adiyaar'. So, even if
Piraatti were to complain about HIS Adiyaar, He would not heed
saying " Avar Athu Seyyaar, Seythaarel Nanre Seithaar ". So far as
the Jiva is concerned, Piraatti begs on our behalf; After Prapatti,
even if she complains, the Lord would not let us down !.
Referring to Acharyas, it means that while the Lord in His regard 
for justice would mete out reward and punishment in accordance
with our merits and demerits, the Acharyas out of their ' Kripa'
would temper Lord's justice with Lord's mercy.

VERSE 20 : MUPPATHU MOOVAR AMARARKKU ...
MUPPATHUMOOVAR : Refers to 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12
Adityas and 2 Aswinidevas.
MUN SENRU : Andal asks -"In the case of the 33 croes of Devas,
they ungratefully forget you, once their work is over. And, to such
Devas, you rush to relieve them of their sufferings (KAPPAM-
Trembling out of fear) even before they ask you for help. But, we
are poor ignorant girls without any refuge ( Ananya Prayojanas).
Can you not come to our rescue even after we have surrendered
ourselves to you and pleaded with you?
KALIYE! means 'Antharyaami' - Indweller.  It is He who as
Antaryaami of the Devas accepts the 'Havis' offered at 'Yagnas.'
SEPPAM UDAIYAAI THIRAL UDAIYAAI : indicates Capacity
and Prosperity.  With reference to Acharyas, it means that it is they
who give us proper Upadesa on Vedas and other scriptures.
THIRUVE! : refers to Periya Piraatti who in her incarnstion as Sita
bore untold sufferings at the hands of Rakshasis and yet asked 
 " Na Kaschit Na Aparaadhyati?". Should you not be like her?"they
ask her.
UKKAM : Dwayam; THATTOLI : Flat one that reflects i.e Mirror
of Tirumantram. Also means the ' Alavattam ' that is worn while
observing ' Nonbu '.

VERSE 21 YETRA KALANGAL YEDIR KONDU MIDALIPPA
YETRA KALANGAL : Nandagopa's cows give milk so profusely
that  any number of vessels are found inadequate to hold the milk.
YETRA has meanings like, Fit, Great, and Recipient. 
Referring to Acharyas, it means that they enjoyed the milk of
divine kindness in abundant measure. Acharyas are great in the
sense that they can make even the Lord their Sishya. Cf
Tirumangai Alwar's " Kurippu Unakku Adaiyum Aanaal Neeyum
Karkalaam Kavi"
VALLAL PERUM PASUKKAL : Vallal is one who gives  without
expecting any rewards. Like cows giving milk, Acharyas give their
Upadesa in abundance. 
AATRAL PADAITHAAN : In Tiruvoimozhi, Alwar says 
"Aazhiyaan Arul Tharuvaan Amaiginraan Adhu Nam Vidhi
Vagaiye "(i.e) The Lord obeys the commands of Bhakta and
showers His grace.
ARIVURAAI : There is a subtle challenge to the Lord. Andal
seems to say "While in Srivaikuntam and Ksheeraabdi, you have
no occasion to demonstrate either your ( Paratvam), or your Mercy
(Kaarunyam) and Accessibility ( Soulabhyam). All these things are
of no value there. That is why you came down to earth. Just think
who you are and why You have come here. If you reflect on this,
you will realize ( Arivuraai) that it is for showing off all this."
UTRAM UDAIYAAI : It is because of your ' Utram'intense love
for us that you were born in the ' Idai Cheri ' as the son of an
'Idaiya'.- (Cowherd boy).You demean yourself as a messenger, as a
Chauffer out of your compassion. Have you forgotten all this?"
PERIYAAI :" You are the one who cannot be understood even by
the Vedas." Hence, Periyaai.Cf. "Apraapya Manasaa Saha".
THOTRAMAAI VANDHA SUDARE! : But, such a You - you
have taken this Avatar for the benefit of all.
AATRAADHU VANDU : Without any refuge (Ananya Gati )
ADI PANIYUMAAP POLE : The kings came scared of your
prowess; We came attracted by your auspicious qualities.
POTRI YAAM VANDHOME : We  have not come to you with the
attitude of  " SOHAM" but as " DASOHAM"

DASOHAM
Anbil Ramaswamy