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

Part I Alwars- Section 2.9.5 on Andal
Date: Mon May 20 1996 - 08:41:49 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
Please find enclosed Section 2.9.5 on Andal. I would appreciate your feedback
to enable me to effect any corrections you may suggest ( after due
verification). Any words of appreciation would certainly enthuse me to
improve the quality of my contributions.
Anbil Ramaswamy

Those kings who thought that they were all powerful came down on their knees
defeated and humiliated . cf.  "Oru Naaykamaai Oda Ulagu Aandavar /  Karu
Naai Kavarndha Kaalar /  Sidhaikiya Paanaiyar /  Perunaadu Kaana Immayil
Pichai Thaan Kolwar " Even the one who as  an Emperor ruled over  the whole
world, on losing  his kingdom returns at dead of night to his old place. In
the pitch darkness, he steps on a black dog and gets bitten by it; In the
melee, he stumbles over mud pots with a bang; And, even as his erstwhile
subjects witnessed  him, he takes up a beggar's bowl - All this happens even
within one's lifetime. What a tragedy ?
AM+KANN : Beautiful eyes; Also, beautiful places.
BHUVI ARASAR : Those who rule the beautiful earth
SANGAM IRUPPAAR POL : When referring to Acharyas, it means that by the grace
of the Acharyas, We have come seeking your Kainkaryam Vide Swami Desika's "
Jaathaa Kaankshyaa Janani Yuvayoh Eka Sevaadhikare Maayaaleedam Vipulam
Akhilam Manyamaanaah Trinaayaah"
SENG KANN SIRU CHIRIDHE VIZHIYAAVO? : According to 6,000 Padi - When the Lord
sees our faults, He closes his eyes:And, opens them on hearing our pathetic
wail . So, even sidelong glances will do to save us.
THINGALUM AADITYANUM EZHUNDAAR POL : Lord is at once merciful to his devotees
like the moon and gives the heat of Gnana like the Sun. cf. " Chandra Suryou
Cha Netre". cf also  " Kadhir Madhiyam Pol Mugathaan". Acharyas open both our
physical eyes and the inner eyes by their Upadesa. It also means the Lord
favours his devotees with cool grace and scorches their enemies. Swami Desika
compares this  to  a lioness who even while ferociously attacking a prey
continues  affectionately  breastfeed her cub.
ANG KANN again : Suddenly, the Gopis remembered thathow Sun and Moon were
also subject to eclipses and so the comparison was not quite appropriate. So,
they repeat ANG KANN to show the Lord's pair of eyes of incomparable beauty.

The lion that would not come out of its cave during winter but sleep.
Chakravarti Tirumagan stayed in Maalyavaan and let Sugriva have his vacation
and enjoy the cosy comfort with his spouses during the winter.
MALAI : Mountain : Refers to the Vedas.- Even in the worst rains, floods and
storms the mountain stands majestically and unaffected. So also, the Vedas
stand unperturbed even during the worst of times. cf Indra Bharadwaja Samvada
where Vedas are compared to mountains. " Tham Ha Threen Giri Roopaan
Avignaathaanaiva Darsayan Chakaara". 
MUZHAINJIL : The caves of Vedas are the Vedantas.
URANGI : The Lord rests (Yoga nidra) during the deluge containing within
himself  animate beings and inanimate things  Chandokya Upanishad describes "
Sadheva Somya Idham Agra Aaseeth Ekameva". And, when the time came again
issued forth with a view to recreate them cf " Bahu Syaam Seyam Devathai
Aikshada" ( i.e) ARIVUTRU
THEE VIZHITHU : refers to Gnanam. Maitraneya Upanishad explains how the Lord
who held within his body the jivas in a dormant state released them with
Gnana at the beginning of the next Kalpa." Yethaasaam Prati Bhaodanaaya
Aapyaantaram Vivisathi Iti"
MOORI NIMIRNDU : In the ' Kaarana Dasa ' (Time of deluge), Brahman shrank
himself; In the ' Kaarya dasa'(Time of Re - Creation), Brahman expanded
himself  cf " Aham Kritsnasya Jagatah Prabhaavaat" Like the Bhagavad Simha,
our Acharyas out of sheer compassion come out of the caves of Vedanta awaken
us into ' Viveka'
MUZHANGI PURAPPATTU : like coming out of the cave. Valmiki describes "
Parvakaath Eva Nishkramya Simho Giri Guhaasayah". Is not Krishna " Yasodai
Ilam Singam'?.
The very onometapoeia employed brings forth vividly a mental picture of the
emergence of the lion from its cave at the outset of spring, its shaking away
its slumber, its fiery glance and its royal gait. And, it is this kind of
royal regalia that Andal wants the Lord to adopt in listening to her request.
POOVAIP POO VANNA : The Lord is compared to the lion only in his majesty of
gait and strength but his heart is as tender as a flower and his form is as
enjoyable as a flower.
SEERIYA SINGAATHANATHU IRUNDHU :The Gopis say-" Let it not be like ' pillow
talk '. They refer to occasions when he gave his word. " Once, you  gave a
word to Arjuna while in the driver's seat in a battlefield; On another
occasion, you  gave word to Vibishana on the sands of the beach and kept up
your  words. But, You are also well known for breaking your promise. Did you
not challenge that you will not take up weapons against Bhishma and broke
your plighted word? So, we want to make ourselves doubly sure that you will
keep up your word now. You should come out, occupy the royal throne 'Simha
Aasana', listen to our petition and grant our prayer. It should be a
declaration uttered from 'dharmaasana'.cf.  ' Tasmin Dharmaadhi Peedum '
NAAM VANDHA KAARIYAM : What is the object of our coming to you? To do
faultless service at your feet at all times, at all places and in all manners
' Sarvadesa, Sarva Kaala, Sarva Avastha'cf. "Ozhivil Kaalamellam Udanaai
Manni Vazhuvilla Adimai Seyya"
ARUL : O.K " What do you want me to do for this?"asks Krishna. " Arul"- "
Give your grace. And securing this is our very objective"

This is considered to be Andal's Mangala Aasaasanam. ' Potri' occuring in
every line is reminiscent of her father's 'Pallaandu'.
POTRI : Why Potri? The devas to whom the Lord restored the earth from Bali
did not thank Him. Andal compensates this omission by referring to Trivikrama
Avatara.The Acharya measured out the scriptures  and showed the Parabrahmam
for the benefit of humanity
THENNILANGAI... THIRAL : Andal admires the feet of the Lord which wandered
over the rough and tumble of the forests in Rama Avatara cf ' Yevvaaru
Nadanthanaiyo Yemmi Raamaavo? ' and destroyed Ravana and Lanka- all for the
sake of a woman. Acharyas also release the ' Atma ' (Sita) imprisoned in the
Sarira (Lanka) and help in achieving Moksha by destroying the mischief of the
10 Indriyas (Ravana's heads). cf. Swami Desika's ' Darbhod agra Dasendriya
Aanana ' and Saaswatha Samhita Sloka ' Dasa Indriya Aananam Ghorum Yo mano
Rajanee Charam Viveka Sara Jaalena Samam Nayati Yoginaam'.
PONRA SAKADAM UDAITHA : Wheel. The Acharya is one who releases the Atma from
the ' wheel' of life and death  to which the body is subject.
PUGAZH POTRI : Why Pugazh - fame.? Rama's exploits in walking in the forest
came much later in his life when he had grown up but in Krishna's case he
used his feet even while he was still a baby lying in the cradle. Therefore,
it had Pugazh.
KANRU KUNILAAI YERINDHAAI : refers to how Krishna hurled Vatsasura at
Kapithasura killing both at one stroke. Andal visualizes the beauty of the
posture of Krishna's hands  at the time of this action.
KUNRU KUDAIYAAI EDUTHAAI GUNAM : He lifted the Govardana Mountain to protect
the defenceless innocent folk of Gokulam. His compassion ' Gunam ' is
admired.The incident proved His Paratvam in lifting the heavy mountain by the
tip of His finger while His crediting the mountain with having protected them
concealed His ' Paratvam ' in His ' Soulabhyam '.
VENRU PAGAI KEDUKKUM VEL POTRI : How Spear  in the hands of Krishna? Did not
Andal say ' Koor Vel Kodum Thozhilan' while referring to Nandagopa? Another
interpretation is that Vel referes to the numerous spearlike sharp points in
' Sudarsana Chakram '. Like the Chakram, the Acharyas defeat with their sharp
intellect the arguments of those who misinterpret the scriptures and thus
establish our ' Siddhaanta '.
YENRENRUM UN SEVAGAME : The Gopis express what they seek in clear terms.
" We have come to serve you forever ".
IRANGU : O.K. What do they want Him to do? "Irangu ' they say.
" Show mercy on us"

PIRANDHU : What a wonder that the one who is birthless 
' Pirappili', who cuts off births in others came to be born in this world!.
ORUTHI : Among those who came to be mothers of the Lord in His various
Avatars, the Vedas praise Devaki as incomparable :  " Devaki Putrah Brahmanyo
Madhusoodhanam"  Why Devaki is not called by her name? She was so great that
it would not be etiquette to call her by her  name. With reference to
Acharya, it refers to MoolaMantra as mother and Guru as father- " Mantro
Maatha, Gurur Pithaa". Together, the Mantra and the Acharya save us from
Samsara languishing in the grip of the five ' Aavi Thigaikka
Aiyvar Kumaikkum Sitrinbam Paaviyenaip Pala Kaattip Paduppayo?'
ORUTHI MAGANAAI OLITHU VALARA : Though Decaki gave birth to Krishna,  it was
Yasoda who actually reared Him .cf;' Ellaam Deiva Nangai Yasodai Petraale'.
Thus, she is unique in her own way. Hence, again ' Oruthi ' here.
THARIKKILAANAAGI : The " Param Porul ' unable to tolerate the wayward
behaviour of Jivas came down to earth concealing all His Paratvam and
assuming the garb of ordinary beings in order to show the correct way of
living. The Acharya is so upset at our wasting away our precious life as
human beings secured through Punya karmas over several lives- proceed to
impart true knowledge to save us.
KANJAN VAYITRIL NERUPPU :Kamsa developed ' goosebumps'
in his stomach due to fear on seeing the superhuman feats of child Krishna in
despatching all the demons he sent to despatch Krishna. He understood that he
was destined to die at the hands of Krishna and was mortally consumed by the
fire of fear of Krishna. In the hearts of Gopis, however, he consumed them
with a different kind of fire - the fire of pangs of separation " ' Viraga
Taapam '
"Your compassion was such that he blessed all those who remembered him- The
Pandavas, Devaki, Yasoda and others who remembered him with love and
affection as also Sisupala and Kamsa who constantly remembered him out of
dread and hatred. In any event, it was the  very thought of You  that
consumed their every moment. And, you granted Moksham even to your  enemies.
This being the case, remember,  that we have come praising you - ARUTHITHU
VANDHOM. Can you not show compassion to us?' asks Andal.

NEDU MAALE ! : Maal means compassion ( Vatsalyam). Nedumaal is the very
personification of compassion in showing which  He converted Himself into as
the very fire and destroyed the evil Kamsa.
PARAI THARUDHIYAAGIL : " We do not know whether we are worthy of you. Whether
you bless us or destroy us ( like you did Kamsa),we do not know. What we
know, however, is that we have come seeking your grace"
SEVAGAMUM : Service; Doing one's bidding.
VARUTHAM THEERNDHU MAGIZHNDHU : If you bless us, we will get rid of our
miseries and become happy. Here both  ' Anishta Nivritti " and 'Ishta Praapti
' are prayed for.

MAALE : The Gopis say " Your love for us is evn greater than our love for
you" When the Jivan says -" Oordvam Maasaath Na Jeevishye", the Lord replies
" Na Jeeveyam Kshanamapi". Did not the Lord say " Priyah  Hi Gnaaninno
thyartham Aham Sa Cha Mama Priyah "?. This is what Acharya does and so he can
also be called  Maale!.
MANIVANNAA : By His Soulabhya, the Lord is like  ' handheld ' precious stone
for  the Bhakta. Like the Kaustuba gem, Acharya is always in the heart of the
Lord. So, he is also Manivannan. Mahalakshmi who came out of the milky ocean
chose to embrace Lord Narayana of her own ' Srikaanthya Aalingitham
' . By such embrace, she enslaved the Lord whom she wound and knotted up at
her saree strings
(Munthaanai Mudichu) like holding a precious gem safely.
NEERAADUVAAN : means Prapatti- Surrendering to the Lord
MELAIYAAR SEIVANA : They say " We are not doing this without any precedents
but We are  only  following the ' Sishta Aachara'. As we are backed by the '
Anushtaana ' of the elders which has greater authority and validity than the
Vedas , you cannot turn as away" Apasthambar gives greater importance to  '
Sishtaachaara' than even the Vedas.
PAAL ANNA VANNATHU : Applied to Acharyas, they are Paal Vanna- ( Bhogya) like
milk and AnnaVanna - Swan that separates milk from water; They can identify
the difference between the  essential Atma from the non- essential sense
PAANCHAJANYAM : " Your conch is also white like milk and swan".  It
represents the form of Pranavam and imparts the meaning  ( Pranavaartham) of
Seshatvam of the soul to the Lord.
POLVANA SANGANKAL : This Panchajanyam is cherished by Acharyas since it
conveys the ' Pranava Gatitham' i.e Moola mantram.
For Tiruppalli Ezhuchi ( Ceremonial waking up),we need conches; for setting
out, we need Parai (literally drums); for praising you we need Araiyars well
versed in singing your praise ( Pallaandu Isaippar); for denoting the
auspicious event, we need lamps (Mangala deepams- Kola Vilakku); for
publicizing our coming, we need flags and banners (Kodi); for protecting us
from Sun and Rain on our outing, we need a huge canopy all over (Vidhanam).
The conch represents Omkaram; the drum represents the Sabda, the Pallaandu
represents the Vedas; the lamp represents Gnanam; the flag represents
Kainkaryam (Bhagavta Seshatva gnanam) and canopy represents protection from
the clouds of  rains from Aviveka ( indiscretion). Acharyas are those who
give us all these. 
AALIN ILAIYAAI  : Andal admires how the Lord who does all this takes the form
of a small baby reclining on a banyan leaf  containing within His tummy the
entire world and its contents. The Acharyas are also like the banyan tree
that gives shelter and shade to relieve our suffering from the heat of
Anbil Ramaswamy