SrI: SrI ANDAL samEta SrI ra’ngamannAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

nAcciyAr tirumozhi – Conclusion – 

This series was started on 15, 1998, and the write-up has been slowly moving during the past five years, and we have come to the end of the first phase. By the Grace of asmad AcAryan, aDiyAl has been blessed with enjoying the SrI sUkti’s of gOdai nAcciyAr. The first half of the series needs rework, partly because initially no reference books with detailed explanations were available, and partly because of aDiyAl’s relatively greater inexperience in the earlier stages. The first five tirumozhi-s will be re-visited and updated as the next phase. The current “Conclusion” is to formally conclude the first phase.

The motivation for this whole effort stemmed solely from SrImAn SaDagOpan, without whose initiation and encouragement this would not have even embarked upon. He provided the only copy of his hand-written tamizh vyAkhyAnam (that is unpublished) to be translated into English, and that has been the basis for this series. But when aDiyAL took the liberty of including details of pUrvAcAryas’ vyAkhyAnams, he encouraged this initiative and gave ample opportunity for freedom and independence. His support was typical of that of a great guide and motivator. He had distilled all the pUrvAcAryas’ anubhavam-s in his original write-up. Some of the experiences of the great pUrvAcAryas’ anubhavams in some detail and some word for word translations were added as additional thoughts in this series. The anubhavam-s of SrI periyavAccAn pillai, SrI uttamUr vIrarAghavAcArya svAmi, SrI P.B. aNNa’ngarAcArya svAmi, and SrI T.S. rAjagopAlan have been used to a large extent to form the basis for all the postings (including this conclusion).

With that prelude, this conclusion section is being used to share with the readers some of the thoughts based on the learning experience over the past five years. These are all purely random thoughts that come to mind, and will reflect a lot of misunderstanding (on aDiyAL’s part) of the teachings of nAcciyAr tirumozhi. bhagatOttamas of this forum are requested to please feel free to comment on these so that aDiyAL can learn and refine these thoughts.

The sequence of topics chosen below is purely arbitrary.

1. Development of a devotee from bhakti to parama bhakti:

SrI PVP’s anubhavam is that bhagavAn is subjecting gOdai to extreme suffering because He wants to develop her bhakti all the way to the stage of parama bhakti before revealing Himself to her. He comments that if bhagavAn reveals Himself to a person who is not yet at the stage of parama bhakti, this person may just not be able to take the sudden shock of this extreme delight (refer to the vyAkhyAnam for fourteenth tirumozhi - paTTi mEyndOr kArERU). The parama bhakti stage is described as that stage where the devotee is unable to live without bhagavad anubhavam even for a moment. It is at that stage that bhagavAn chooses to reveal Himself to His devotee. This is illustrated nicely in the sequence of events in ANDAL’s experience. She starts off with several attempts such as praying to kAman, kUDal izhaittal, sending messages through the cuckoo and through the cloud, trying to go divya deSam-s, etc. Gradually her intensity of devotion keeps increasing, up to the point in tirumozhi 13, where she is clearly at a stage where she won’t be able to sustain her life anymore unless there is some form of union with Him. It is then and only then that kaNNan reveals Himself to her.

The lesson for us mumUkshu-s is that we should realize that whatever ‘suffering’ we are undergoing in this life, is all because He considers it in our best interest, so that He can lead us to His Feet. Through our sufferings and ordeals in this samsAra, we should never loose faith in our ultimate and only goal, namely the nitya kainkaryam at His feet here and hereafter (ingum, angum, eppOdum, ekkAlattum).

2. ANDAL’s avatAra rahasyam:

The question arises: Why does ANDAL, who is bhU devi herself, have to go through this kind of experience? The answer lies in an understanding of the avatAra rahsyam of ANDAL.

bhagavAn and pirATTi take incarnations in this world among us for several reasons. The main reasons given for the incarnations are to protect the good and destroy the evil – paritrANAya sAdhUnAm vinASAya ca dushkRtAm, to be easily available for the jIva-s to approach Him (e.g., His arcA incarnations), etc. In His vibhava incarnations, where He has taken a human form, one of the ‘by-products’ of His incarnations is that He shows us humans how to lead our life according to the sanAtana dharma. Even though in these incarnations He retains all His powers in full, He still does not use these powers during these incarnations, but leads a life as if He is just a human (AtmAnam mAnusham manyE), and shows us in the process how to lead a life according to the SAstra-s, following the dhArmic path like doing nitya karmAs. His activities in this world during His vibhava incarnations are like His putting on a ‘robe’ during an act, at the end of which He returns to SrI vaikunTham.

ANDAL’s incarnation in this world was meant for the purpose of showing us – the bound souls, how to live a life of dedication to Him and attain Him through pure devotion. So it was an incarnation she took for our benefit, and at the end of fulfilling her role, she returned back to emperumAn - kEsava nambhiyaik kAl piDIkka. SrI maNavALa mAmunigaL aptly extols gOdai’s avatAram– “emakkAga anRO ingu ANDAL avadarittAL”.

SrI perukkAraNai svAmi gives the gist of ANDAL’s avatAra rahasyam in terms of varAha purANam. When bhUdevi was stolen and taken to the bottom of the ocean by the asuran, she was retrieved by varAha bhagavAn; at that time, she asks Him to tell her the laghu upAyam (an easy way ) for the jIva-s to please Him and attain Him. He reveals three means to her: by singing about Him, saying His nAma, and worshipping Him with flowers.

This is precisely what bhUmi devi is revealing to us through her tirumozhi. She does this with

a. Singing her pAmAlai - “innisaiyAl sonna mAlai” – NT 3.10 b. 
Saying His nAmam: 
kEsava –2.5, 
nArAyaNa –2.1, 
mAdhava –2.5, 
gOvinda –2.9, 
madhusUdhana –6.6, 
trivikrama –12.9-
ulagaLandAn , vAmana –4.2, 
srIdhara –2.1 , 
hRshIkEsa – 5.6 , 
vAsudEva – 7.3, 
dAmodara –7.4, 
tirumAlirumcOlai nambi- 9.6, 
tiruvarangar – 11.1, 
vAmananAr – 11.4, 
kaNNan – 13.1 
are just a few examples.

She waxes eloquent and calls her nAthan affectionately in many places providing a special nAmAvaLi for Him –

anRu bAlakan Agi Alilai mEl tuyinRa em Adi, guNDu nIruRai kOLarI, Seyya tAmaraik kaNNinAi, peyyumAmugil pOl vaNNa, ceRRu ilangai pUsal Akkiya Sevaka, Uzhi ellAm uNarvAne, engaL amude, kOmaLa Ayar kozhundE, mannu perum pugazh mAdhavan, vimalan, karumANikkam, koLari mAdhavan, gOvindan enbAn Or kALai, madurak kozhum cARu koNDa sundarat tOLuDaiyAn, en arangattu in amudar, kuzhal azagar, vAi azhagar, kaN azhagar, koppUzhil ezhu kamalap pUvazhagar, emmAnAr, tiru arangac celvanAr, ArAvamudan, mAdhavan en maNi etc.

c. Submitting flowers to Him, both in the form of the flower garland that she wore on herself, and also in the form of the sweet pASuram-s; she is gOdai – “sUDik kodutta suDark koDi”, “sUDik kodutta nAcciyAr”; she is “mAlAkArar magaL” (SrI PVP).

Another anubhavam for ANDAL’s incarnation among us is also provided by SrI perukkAraNai cakravartyAcArya svAmi. After taking several incarnations and trying to unsuccessfully teach the jIva-s the true purpose of their having been given a body, emperumAn felt that His patni will be able to accomplish what He could not successfully accomplish; the upadEsa inimai and soft spoken advice coming from a woman will certainly go a long way in bringing salvation to His children. He chose bhUmi devi for this task. And this is why she took birth amongst us, and showed us how to devote our thought, word and deed to His kainkaryam.

3. anya devatA worship issue:

An interesting episode in nAcciyAr tirumozhi is ANDAL’s worship of kAmadevan for attaining emperumAn as her consort (the first tirumozhi). Some tend to quote this as an example of the ‘practice of anya devatA worship” by ANDAL. This is a total misunderstanding of the concept of ‘anya devatA worship. ANDAL’s ana’nga deva worship is not to be viewed as ‘anya devatA worship’, but as the extreme desire of a devotee to attain Him at any cost. It is the extreme feeling of urgency (tvarai), the extreme desire for union with Him, that drives a soul truly interested in reaching Him, to struggle like a fish out of water to get back into the water one way or the other. ‘anya devatA worship’ refers to the situation when a person worships the lesser devatA-s for lesser benefits in life, that will lead to being reborn and repeatedly toiling in the ocean of samsAra. ANDAL’s prayer to ana’nga devan is for reaching Him as the only desire, and is not anywhere in the category of ‘anya devatA worship’. Her action is a superb example of doing everything one does only for Him, and to attain Him so that one is irreversibly united with Him in nitya kainkaryam.

SrI PVP quotes examples of nammAzhvAr, hanumAn, etc., who have also resorted to calling on anya devatA-s in order to realize Him or to assist in His kainkaryam (note: not for their selfish benefits of enjoyment). HanumAn prays to rudran, indran, yaman vAyu etc before attempting to look for sItai in aSOka vanam. nammAzhvAr, in the state of a love-lorn lady suffering from separation from emperumAn, calls all gods “deyvangAL! en SeygEn” tiruvAimozhi 5.4.8.

SrI UV gives the view of svAmi deSikan on this issue. svAmi deSikan describes ANDAL’s worship of kAmadevan as: “nAcciyAr kRshNanaip peRugaikkAkagap paNNina kAmadEvArcanam sR’ngAra samAdhyanuguNa kRshNa rUpAntara vishayam”. She undertook the ana’nga deva vratam in order to speed up the attainment of bhagavAn as her consort before she became of age, as prescribed by the SAstra-s.

4. nindA stuti (pirATTi’s right):

In several places, gOdai indulges in nindA stuti - tImai Seyyum sirIdara (2.1), irakkamE onRum ilAdAi (3.4 ), masimai ilI (3.9), peN koDiyai vadai SeydAn (8.9), “pAmbaNaiyArkkum tam pAmbu pOl nAvum iRaNDu uLa” (10.3), peNNin varuttam aRiyAda perumAn (13.1), koDiya kaDiya tirumAl ( 13.6 ), vEmbu (13.7), allal viLaitta perumAn (13.10), ElAp poygaL uraippAn (14.3), darumam aRiyAk kuRumban (14.6), puRam pOl uLLum kariyAn (14.7) etc.

The question naturally arises: Why would a supreme devotee like gOdai indulge in calling Him “names”? This can be very easily understood by an understanding of the role of pirATTi in our tradition.

PirATTi’s role in our sampradAyam is one of purushakAratvam – recommending to emperumAn to forgive our immense sins, and instead look at even the smallest good deeds we might have done, and based on that, to give us His protection. svAmi deSikan nicely describes how bhUmi devi controls Him purely by the indications of her displeasure towards Him through the movement of her eyebrows if He does not forgive her children irrespective of their sins –

“gOde guNair-apanayan praNatAparAdhAn
bhrUkshepa eva tava bhoga rasAnukUla: |
karmAnubandhi phala dAna ratasya bhartu:
svAtantrya durvyasana marma bhidA nidAnam || “
(gOdAstuti – 25).

ANDAL’s nindA stuti is the result of her impatience at her Consort for not bestowing His protection to the jIva-s right away, and instead waiting for developing their devotion to parama bhakti stage etc.. ANDAL knows only too well how few of us will develop the kind of parama bhakti that He waited for in her. In gItA, Lord kRshNa Himself declares how few people can realize Him:

manushyANam sahasrEshu kascid yatati siddhayE | 
yatatAm api siddhAnAm kascin mAm vetti tattvata: ||” (gItA 7.3)

“Among thousands of men, some one strives for perfection; even among those who strive for perfection, some one only knows Me; and among those who know Me, some one only knows Me in reality”.

bahUnAm janmanAm ante j~nAnavAn mAm prapadyate | 
vAsudEva: sarvamiti sa mahAtmA sudurlabha: || (gItA 7.19)

“At the end of many births, the man of knowledge finds refuge in Me, realizing that “Vasudeva is all”. It is very hard to find such a great-souled person”.

5. AcArya bhakti of ANDAL:

The importance of AcArya sambandham in attaining emperumAn is stressed over and over again by gOdai throughout nAcciyAr tirumozhi. She refers to herself proudly as “viTTu cittan gOdai” in the concluding pAsurams of all the tirumozhi-s except the 4th and the 9th. An example of the pride and devotion with which she considers the importance of AcArya sambandham in her accomplishing her goal of attaining Him is NT pASuram 13.10, where she describes herself as “villi puduvai nagar nambi viTTu citta viyan kOdai”.

This very important teaching, that our AcAryan is to be worshipped by us as bhagavAn Himself, is elaborately described by svAmi deSikan in nyAsa vimSati (Slokam 2). SrImad nammANDavan’s (SrI tErazhundUr ANDAvan) vyAkhyAnam for svAmi deSikan’s pAdukA sahasram (in simple tamizh for our benefit) repeatedly emphasizes this point also. Our Mother gOdai gives us this important instruction through her tirumozhi-s and through her life on this earth. “What can we do in the big universal scheme (siRu mAniDavar nAm Seyvadu en? tangaL dEvarai valla pariSu varuvipparel adu kANDume” (NT 10.10) - Our only hope is for us to surrender to our AcAryan, and he will definitely bestow his blessings on us and take us to our perumAL

SrI PVP also emphasizes this point in his vyAkhyAnam for pASuram 10.10. He notes that paramAtmA abides by the recommendation of the AcAryas. A cEtanan must fully realize that AcAryan is the sole means to reach emperumAn. Even though emperuman and cEtanan have the SEshi-Sesha sambandham, the reason why the cEtanan has not yet reached emperumAn is because of the absence of a proper AcAryan. AcAryan should be thought of as purushAkAram to reach emperumAn; this is the teaching of our Sastra-s. Instead of just stopping with the understanding that the AcArya’s role of one of purhsakArattvam, there are some great souls like madurakavi AzhvAr who consider their AcArya to be their only God “dEvu mArru aRiyEN” (kaNNi – 2). ANDAL falls in that group - “tangaL dEvarai” – which emphasizes her relationship with periyAzhvAr as the only upAyam to attain Him. It is only because periyAzhvAr considered emperumAn worthy of worship, she also prays to Him.

6. nAcciyAr tirumozhi in everyday life:

1. Used in sARRumuRai in tiruppati: tiruvEnkaTam uDaiyAn who is extolled as “agalagillEn iraiyum enRu alarmel mangai uRai mArban” is the kaliyuga pratyaksha daivam. After His tiruma’njanams are held every Friday, during SARRumuRai, the last two pAsurams of the 14th tirumozhi (paTTi mEyndor kArERu) are being recited from early days on till today. The term “vETTaiyADi varuvAnai” is taken to denote emperumAn going for hunting and finding padmAvati tAyAr, then marrying her and residing in tirumalai as SrInivAsan.

2. vAraNam Ayiram (NT 6):

This tirumozhi is a class by itself and has occupied a permanent, special place in all SrI vaishNava weddings. It has embedded in it various siddhAnta vishayams, and these are discussed in detail by SrI UV in his vyAkhyAnam for nAcciyAr tirumozhi.

a) gOdai describes in detail her dream of her marriage with kaNNan in this tirumozhi. SrI UV points out that according to our siddhAntam, just as what we see in the real world with our physical eyes is true, what we experience in our dreams is also true. The effects of puNyam and pApam come as experiences in the dream and thus they are related to the body. If one’s dream involves committing a sinful act, when one wakes up, prAyascittam is prescribed for that pApam. Thus, what happens in svapnam is as true as what happens in the waking state, according to our siddhAntam. Since emperumAn has come and married godai in her dream, and since He is aware of that, from now on, they can both think and behave as if they are husband and wife.

It is our siddhAntam that experiences in the dream are a form of our phalan for our good and bad deeds, and are just as real as are the experiences in the real world. The poet Sri Harshan describes in his work naishadha kAvyam, that according to the viSishTAdvaita siddhAnta, people will have anubhavams of special dreams according to their individual bhAgyam-s, just as they have anubhavams in their waking state.

b) The steps and sequences involved in the vedic marriage of today are not any different from the marriage ceremony that ANDAL describes in vAraNamAyiram. Arrival of the bridegroom for niscitArttam, mappiLLai azhaippu, the actual function of niscitArttam, bridegroom’s sister making the bride wear the kURaip puDavai, prOskhaNam, rakshA bandhanam, chanting of vEda mantrams, mattaLam playing, women welcoming the bridegroom, pANigrahaNam, ammi midittal, saptapati, lAja hOmam or pori iDal are all wedding rites that have been followed from vedic times onwards till today.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that the sacred ceremony of marriage has retained its vedic aspect unchanged for several centuries now (unlike many other practices such as sandhyAvandanam, dress habits, sikhA etc.).

SrI UV points out that while mA’ngaLa sUtram is just a sign that the girl is married, the true vedic rite of importance in marriage is the pANi grahaNam (“kaittalam paRRak kanAk kaNDEn”). (“pANi grahaNAt tu sahattvam karmasu tathA puNya phaleshu”; “ saha dharma carI tava, pANim gRhNIshva”).

For a more detailed description of vAraNamAyiram, the readers are referred to the following URL (this was not posted as part of the regular postings in the bhakti list, and so the web site referenced is the only source for this write-up at this stage). 

3. nURu taDA veNNai, nURu taDA niRainda akkAra aDisil:

Every SrI vaishNava housewife offers prasAdam to perumAL in the house every day by chanting NT 9.6 pASuram: “nURu tADavil veNNai vAi nErndu parAvi vaittEn , nURu taDA niRainda akkAra aDiSil SonnEn”. As we all know, ANDAL made this grand promise, but reached union with Him before getting a chance to fulfil this promise. Our beloved emperumAnAr, also known as tiruppAvai jeeyar, fulfilled godai’s wish by offering nURu taDA veNNai and nURu taDA akkAra aDiSil in golden vaTTil’s to tirumAl irum SOlai perumAL. We also recall that the title “perumpUdUr mAmunikkup pinnAnAL” for ANDAL comes about because ANDAL came out of her arcA form and called out to emperumAnAr as “en aNNA”, and thus ANDAL herself has declared emperumAnAr is her “elder brother” because of his concern and love for her.

7. The Ultimate Goal To be achieved, The Ultimate UpAyam, The rahasya-s etc.

As an incarnation in the form of an AzhvAr, as a paramaikAntin, as an AcArya in the line of succession next to emperumAn, and as Our Mother who is giving us instructions on how to attain Him without fail, ANDAL is conveying the message of nArAyaNa parattvam, the SaraNAgati SAstram, the three rahasya-s, etc., through her tirumozhi to us. Just a few instances are given below:

ANDAL reminds us of the message of SrI varAha carama Slokam in the eleventh tirumozhi -“tAm ugakkum 8 –
“pASi tUttuk kiDanda pAr magaTkup paNDoru nAL … pESi iruppanagaL perkkavum perAve ".

In NT5.11, gOdai extols the ultimate bliss that we should strive to attain: “namo nArAyaNAya enbArE”.

That nArAyaNan is the sole parampurushan to be worshipped is a point that ANDAL has stressed over and over in her nAcciyAr tirumozhi. As our Mother, she has shown as how to live like a fish out of water when separated from emperumAn and the fervor with which we should all try to obtain His attention and attain His grace. She strengthens our faith by proclaiming “immaikkum ezhezh piRavikkum paRRAvAn nammai uDaiyavan nAraAyaNan nambi” (NT6.8).

nArAyaNan is our “marundu” (NT 14.10); He is our “oushadam” for our samsAric life. This is what gOdai has been striving to inculcate into our brains, so that jIvAtmas like us can use this marundu to be rid of the disease in the form of our repeated “piRappu” and become united with our emperumAn.

The above is just a short list of the enormous chain of thoughts coming to mind on the greatness of this sacred tirumozhi. Let us all benefit by meditating on gOdA pirATTi for her purushakArattvam on our behalf. 

In this concluding section, we will enjoy the greatness of gOdai in her incarnation as a human being amongst us.

1. gOdai as a natural nAyaki:

In their overflowing love and affection for emperumAn, the different AzhvArs try to place themselves in the position of a mother to Him and fondle Him and feed Him and decorate Him and play with Him (e.g., periAzhvAr), or in the position of a nAyaki to Him (e.g., parakAla nAyaki in case of tiruma’nagai AzhvAr, parA’nkuSa nAyaki in case of nammAzhvAr etc.)., etc. But it is to be noted that when nammAzhvAr or tiruma’ngai mannan try to place themselves in the position of a nAyaki to emperumAn, there is still a level of “adjustment” they have to get used to. A born woman knows the feelings of a nAyaki better than any of the other AzhvArs could. This added innate nature of ANDAL as a woman saint in her incarnation, when added to the intense devotion and love that she had for emperumAn, resulted in the supreme outpouring towards Him that is a class by itself that cannot be excelled by any of the other AzhvAr-s.

Enjoying the union with emperumAn and suffering when He leaves is a natural behavior for pirATTimAr. Based on SrI PVP’s comment, in the case of ANDAL, “adu irrukiRa paDi Ayttu”. SrI kRshNasvAmi aiyengar expands futher - “ANgaLAgap piRanda avargaLukku adu mETTu maDayAi uLLadu. PeNNAna ivaLukku paLLa maDaiyAi iyalvAgave irukkiradu” – for other AzhvArs who are imitating nAyaki bhAvam, it is like “mETTu maDai” – it is like attempting to store water on a tank up on a steep slope, and for ANDAL, it is like “paLLa maDai” – trying to store water in a tank that is below the ground level. Or, imagine trying to make water flow upwards on a steep slope (the effort needed for all the other AzhvArs to adopt the nAyaki role), compared to ANDAL for whom the effort involved is like making water flow downwards in a steep slope.

The intensity to which her feelings are expressed are thus orders of magnitude higher than that expressed by the other AzhvArs in their outpourings of their intense love to Him. Of course, added to this is the fact that unlike the other AzhvArs who are nitya sUri-s who have taken incarnation in this world, ANDAL is pirATTi who took incarnation in this world. So in addition to being born a woman, she is also the actual nAyaki of emperumAn, and so, if anything, ANDAL had the tough ordeal of acting out the human role, being separated from Him.

2. ANDAL and kaNNan’s tiruviLaiyADalgaL: 

Among ANDAL’s great contributions is her description of kaNNan’s tiruviLaiyADalgaL that are described in detail in SrImad bhAgavatam, but she has provided us this nectar in the form of her anubhavam-s in easy-to-understand tamizh through her two SrI sUkti-s, tiruppAvai and nAcciyAr tirumozhi. SrI SaDagopan has captured the significance of ANDAL’s contribution in this area by her assuming herself to be one among the gOpi-s, by reference to SrImad bhAgavatam itself:

Sruta mAtropi ya: strINAm prasahyAkarshate mana: | 
urugAyorugIto vA paSyantInAm kuta: puna: ||

yAh samparyacaran premNA pAda samvAhanAdibhi: | 
jagadgurum bhartR-budhyA tAsAm kim varNyatE tapa: || (bhaga. 10.90.26-27)

“kaNNan is the great Lord who forcefully entices the minds of those who have heard His name even once, or who merely sing His praise through stotra-s etc. Given that, what is the great wonder in His completely taking over the minds of the girls who constantly have the bhAgyam of seeing Him always?

How can the tapas and dedication of these girls - who considered Him verily their nAthan, and who were dedicating themselves to His antara’nga kaimkaryam such as comforting His Feet with their hands etc. – be described in words?”

Having learned about kaNNan through SrImad bhagavata SravaNam and through her father periyAzhvAr’s tirumozhi, ANDAL imagined herself as one of the gOpis in tiruvAippADi and experienced the samSlesham and viSlesham anubhavams and finally got to see her kaNNan in SrI bRndAvanam. Not being able to contain her extremely delightful anubhavam, she has shared this delight with all of us. One is reminded of one of the comments that SrI VelukkuDi kRshNan svAmi made in one of his upanyAsams: Those who meditate on kaNNan’s stealing butter will be absolved of all sins of any wrong-doing that they have committed by way of any stealing etc.

3. Our pUrvAcArya-s have given us diverse anubhavam-s of the greatness of gOdai’s incarnations amongst us. SrI SaDagopan captures some of these anubhavam-s in his ma’ngaLASAsanam in his tamizh vyAkhyAnam. In gOdA stuti 11, svAmi dEsikan sings the greatness of the dakshiNa diSai (southern part of bhaAratam), wherein lies SrIvilliputtUr, ANDAL’s place of appearance in this world. His anubhavaam is that the reason why Lord ra’nganAtha is lying in SrI ra’ngam facing the south because of gOdai’s presence in that direction.

Another rasAnubhavam of svAmi deSikan is that viTTu cittar got the unique title “periAzhvAr”, that no other AzhvAr was able to get from emperumAn, purely because of his association with gOdai. All the AzhvArs including periAzhvAr sang in praise of Him with extreme devotion, but only viTTu cittar was able to offer to Him the garlands that had been first worn by godai. This was what pleased emperumAn so much that He conferred the title “periAzhvAr’ on Him (“tAtastu tE madhubhida: stutilESavaSyAt, karNAmRtai: stutiStai: anavApta pUrvam, tvan mouLi gandha subhagAm upahRtya mAlAm, lebhE mahattara padAnuguNam prasAdam”).

We have already alluded to the ma’ngalASAsanam of SrI maNavALa mAnunigaL on the greater purpose of ANDAL’s incarnation for our sake:

“inRO tiru AdippUram, emakkAga
anRO ingu ANDAL avadarittAL – kunRAda
vAzhvAna vaikuNtha vAn bOgham tannai igazhndu
AzhvAr tirumagaLarAi”

“Today is tiruvADippUram; it is only for the sake of protecting us and recommending to her nAthan about us, that ANDAL made her appearance on earth here. Forsaking the great bhOgam of being with emperumAn in the great SrIvaikuNtham, she came here as the divine daughter of periyAzhvAr”.

SrI uyyakkoNDAr (also called SrI puNDarIkAkshar), a disciple of SrI nAthamunigAL, has also sung the praise of gOdai through the following 2 tanians:

“anna vayal puduvai ANDAL arangRkup
pannu tiruppAvai pal padiyam – inniSaiyAl
pADik koDuttAL naRpAmalai pUmAlai
SUDik koDuttALaic collu”

“SUDik koDutta SuDark koDiyE tolpAvai
pADi aruLa valla pal vaLaiyAi – nADi nI
vEnkaTavaRkku ennai vidi enna immARRam
nAm kaDavA vaNNamE nalgu”

“Always remember gOdai, who made her appearance in SrIvilliputtUr surrounded by fields laden with swans, who sang the great tiruppAvai and submitted the pAmAlai and pUmAlai after gracing herself to tiru ara’ngan.”

“Oh gOdAdevi! With your exquisite, beautiful hands wearing several bangles, you gave emperumAn the garlands you wore! Please create in us a sthira bhakti for tiruvEnkaTam uDaiyAN and bless us with the knowledge of the nAcciyAr tirumozhi that you sang.”

SrI tiruvarangattamudanAr who composed the great work “rAmAnuja nURRantAdi” in praise of his AcAryan, sings the praise of his AcArya as well as that of ANDAL in the same breath, which is one of the greatness of this work that pleased bhagavad rAmAnuja himself:

“ara’ngar mouLi SUzhginRa mAlaiyaic cUDik koduttavaL
tol aruLAl vAzhginRa vaLLal irAmAnujan ennum mAmuniyE!”

“tiruvara’ngan wears on His head the flower that ANDAL first wore on her head. Such is her greatness. Our rAmAnuja mAmuni lives by the blessings of this great SUDik koDutta nAcciyAr”.

The well-known tiruppAvai taniyan that is chanted at the very beginning of tiruppAvai chanting, was composed by SrI parAsara bhaTTar, the son of kUrattAzhwAn who was a primary disciple of SrI rAmAnujar’s disciple. He did managaLAsAsanam to gOdai saying he wants to serve her for ever:

“nILA tungasta nagiri taTI sUptam udbOdhya kRshNam
pArArthyam svam sRti Sata Siras siddham adhyApayantI
svOccishTAyAm sraji nigaLitam yA balAtkRtya bhunktE
gOdA tasyai nama idamidam bhUya EvAstu bhUyah || “

4. SrI UV adds additional dimensions to the anubhavam of the greatness of gOdai. He points out that gOdai’s love for kaNNan was at a level far above the love that the AyarpADi cowherds had for Him, and much greater than the love of the AyarpADi girls to Him which itself was greater than the first one. At another level of comparison, ANDAL’s love for kaNNan was much greater than that of the Rshi-s for Him, and greater than the love that the Rshi patni-s had for Him (refer to the bhakta vilocanam incident referred to in NT 12.6). Yet another dimension of this anubhavam: ANDAL had more love for emperumAn than any of the other AzhvArs not only that, it is even greater than the composition of SrI vAlmIki. Recall that vAlmIki appeared from the “ears of bhUmi” – from the holes made by the ants on the mound of earth, for the purpose of pleasing “the ears of the inhabitants of the bhUmi”. Above all, ANDAL’s upadESam-s to us are greater than even those of emperumAn. Her upadESam to us has as its basis sheer dayA towards us out of her sole concern for us. To make sure that we reach His Feet without returning to this ocean of samsAra (Recall that the extent of the enormity of our sins is such that without pirATTis’ purushakArattvam, we will not be forgiven).

5. phala sruti:

We will be bestowed “vAyu nan maKKal” (good offsprings with great qualities, NT6.11); we will be stripped of all sins (illai pAvame – NT 4.11) and will not be drowned in the sea of sorrow (tunbak kaDalul tuvaLAre – NT 13.10) and will be blessed with saying His tirunAmam for ever (namO nArAyaNa enbAre – NT5.11) and become “aNukkar” (NT 7.10) (get to live with Him closely) by being tirumAl aDiyAr. We shall live forever under His lotus feet (perum tAL uDaiya pirAn aDikkIzh piriyAdu enRum iruppAre – NT 14.10).

Chanting gOdai’s endearing outpourings for her “perum tAL uDaiya pirAn” will earn for us a place in SrI vaikuNtham - viNNavar kOnaDi naNNuvare (NT 1.10), kuRaivu inRi vaikuNtham Servare (NT 2.10), vaikuNtham pukku iruppAre (NT 3.10), iDam vaikuNthame (NT 12.10).

With our Mother gOdai’s blessings and our AcAryan’s anugrahams, we will be blessed with nitya kainkaryam to perumAL and pirATTi – pallANDu, pallANDu, pallAyirattANDu.

ANDAL gives her final blessings to us in NT14.10: piriyAdu enRum iruppArE – “Unlike me, who had to ask everyone “kaNDIrE” (have you seen Him?), the devotees who understand this tirumozhi as the final remedy for the bondage of samsAra (namely, meditate on Him and Him alone as the Object to be attained and the means to be attained), will be permanently and inseparably united with Him, and will have the anubhavam of enjoying Him always. Meditating on Him and His glory will become their permanent pastime.

6. Thanks:

To the following great bhAgavatOttamas – SrImAn oppiliappan varadAcAri SaDagOpan (for everything, including expressing happiness over the “ratham coming to a nilai”), SrI maNi varadarAjan of San Fransisco (for providing the cyber space for the write-up and re-opening the bhakti list so that the ratham can reach its original nilai), SrI t.a. varadan of Denver/San Fransisco and SrI nArAyanan of Milwaukee (for providing a copy of SrI PBA’s vyAkyAnam and the book by SrI puttUr kRshNasvAmi aiyengAr with explanations of the vyAkyAnam by SrI PVP) SrI Anand karalapAkkam of Chennai (for providing a copy of the vyAkyAnam by SrI UV, who invariably added new dimensions to the anubhavam of nAcciyAr tirumozhi), Sri r. rAghavan of Chicago (for providing a copy of the book by SrI T.S. rAjagOpAlan), and SrI venkaT aiyengAr of SrI villiputtUr (for kindly undertaking to collect and post all the write-ups on the web and doing such a great job with patience), and to all the other bhAgatOttamas who have been encouraging aDIyAL through the bhakti list and through personal emails,

aDiYal offers with folded hands: “talai allAl kaimmARu ilane”.

tiruvADipUrattu jagattudittAL vAzhiyE
tiruppAvai muppadum SeppinAL vAzhiyE
periyAzhvAr peRReDutta peN piLLAi vAzhiyE
perumpudUr mAmunikkup pinnAnAL vAzhiyE
oru nURRu nARpattu mUnRuraittAL vAzhiyE
uyar arangaRkE kaNNi ugandaruLinAL vAzhiyE
maruvArum tirumalli vaLa nADi vAzhiyE
vaN puduvai nagark kOdai malarppadangaL vAzhiyE

sarvam SrIman nArAyaNAyEti samarpayAmi.
SrI ANDAL, SrI rangamannAr tiruvaDIgaLE SaraNam.
SrImatE vEdAnta rAmAnuja mahAdEsikAya nama:
SrImatE rangarAmAnuja mahA dEsikAya nama:

kalyANi kRshNamAcAri