NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal-RESUMED

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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:55 pm

Hari Om. Pranams Br Kutastha ji.

Thanks for this delightfully enlightening topic. Eagerly looking forward to your next post.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:14 pm

Story of Andal


Before we enter into the main Nachiar Thirumozhi text, I would like to tell you the story of Andal in brief.

Vishnuchittan was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, who worshipped the form of Sri Vatabhadrasayee, the presiding deity of Srivilliputhur, a small town near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He had a big flower garden and daily he would weave a rich garland of Tulasi leaves for his dety.

Once as usual he went to his garden to pluck flowers. There he found a baby girl lying under the Tulasi plant (Holy Basil). He was so happy to have found a divine child. Vishnuchittan thereafter adopted the baby girl as his own.

Vishnuchittan named the child ‘Kodhai’, variously interpreted as ‘Mother Earth’s gift’ or ‘Beautiful garland’. He would tell stories of Lord Krishna to the child. She grew up hearing these wonderful leelas (play) of Bhagavan. She also used to listen to the great bhaktas who assembled in her house, to discuss great philosophy with her father. In this manner she grew up in an atmosphere of devotional bhajans (songs), leelas of the Lord and philosophy in her house.

In those days it was customary to marry off a girl child early. In joint families, parents would show a young boy in their family to a small girl child and tell her that he will be her husband. The girl too, on her part, would take this seriously and develop a closer relationship with the boy as her playmate, expecting him to feed her, play with her etc. We can now well relate this to Andal’s life as well.

As she grew up, Andal told her father, with a pure mind, that she was going to marry the Lord. Vishnuchittan too took it lightly and questioned her -- the Lord is in many forms, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in different forms in 108 divya desams (holy places), so which Lord would she like to marry? The girl did not expect this question from the father. She logically thought this over; then she replied to her father that he can tell about all the forms and the stories of the Lord who is worshipped in the 108 divya desams and after listening to all these she will select which Lord to marry!

Vishnuchittan became extremely joyful by this request of his daughter. Thus he began narrating to Andal the glories and leelas of the Lords of the 108 Divya Desams. It is said that as if in a svayamvaram, all the Lords from the 108 Divya Desams appeared to Andal, to impress her. Though Andal’s devotion to Bhagavan grew to a greater height while hearing about each of His manifestations in the 108 divya desams, she was overjoyed when she listened to the glories of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli district, which is called ‘Bhuloka Vaikuntham’ and first among the 108 Divya Desams.

After this, with every passing day, the thought that she has to marry the Lord, became stronger and stronger; soon she grew impatient over how long the Lord was making her wait.

And then one day she heard about plans being made to get her married. This angered her very much and the outpourings of her heart in anger is seen in one of her poems, where she cries out angrily that she will not live if even mere talk of her marriage with any man in the world is entertained.

Now Vishnuchittan understood the seriousness. He began to worry how he was to ever arrange his daughter Andal’s marriage. On the one hand she was adamant and clear that she would marry only the Lord; on the other hand to everyone else, this was madness, not possible at all!

Meanwhile, Andal despaired. She felt that the Lord in the temple is not responding to her at all. Has anybody really interacted with God and had a direct relationship with the Lord? It struck her that the Gopis of Brindavan had a direct relation with Lord Krishna. So she decided she should also become like the Gopis so that she could unite with Krishna. Now how does one become a Gopi – by dressing like them? [These days we copy only the external attributes of famous personalities and we project ourselves as their big fan. Till the end of our life we ever remain as a fan and never even achieve even half their accomplishments!]

Now, Andal decided to develop the same bhava as the Gopis. Bhava is not just imitating, imagining, but a deep sense of feeling of oneness/ sameness with the object of bhava, giving more reality to it. She felt herself to be one among the Gopis, the village Srivilliputhur to be Brindavan and her friends to be the other Gopis of Brindavan. With this kind of intense feeling absorbing her, Andal expressed her wish to Bhagavan to unite with Him........................

.................................These expressions came out as poems of divinity!

In Bhagavatam, there is an incident that once the Gopas got angry with the Gopis as they were always going behind Krishna. So they locked them up in an underground hall so that they will not be able to meet Krishna. Then suddenly there was famine in that place and there was no rain. The Gopas felt that if the Gopis can do the ‘Katyayani puja’ then it will rain and the famine will come to an end. They also knew from their experience that whenever there was any kind of difficulty, only Krishna saved them. So they requested Krishna to lead the ‘Katyayani puja’.

Thus the Gopis again got united with Krishna by the same Gopas who separated them from Him and did the ‘Katyayini puja'. As a result of that puja the whole village prospered again.

The other result of the ‘Katyayani Puja’, it is said, is that girls will find suitable grooms and marry soon. One part of the puja ritual was one where the girls would go together to the riverbeds and make small idols of ‘Mother Durga’ with mud and worship her appropriately for the prosperity of their town or village and to get a good husband. After the Puja, they would immerse the idol in the river. But the Gopis’ intention for doing the Puja was simply to get yet another opportunity to meet Krishna and be in His company!

As you think so you become. Andal in her bhava adopted the same puja, calling it “Pavai Nonbu” (worship of the Lord using a vrata). She woke up her friends in the early morning in the month of ‘Margazhi’ (approximately between Dec 15 to Jan 15) so that they too would join with her for the Puja. These bhavas find expression in her poetry called ‘Thiruppavai’ where across 30 stellar verses, she explains the intention behind the pavai nonbu (vrata) and expresses her deep love for Krishna directly to him. This along with the results of the vrata forms the essence of her 30 verses. The Tiruppavai is a master piece in Tamil Bhakti Literature.

Coming back to Andal and her nonbu, even after all this effort, Bhagavan evaded her. Unable to bear the separation of Bhagavan, she started asking for help from various sources, sending messages through them to Bhagavan, beseeching Him to marry her. These verses were called the “Nachiar Thirumozhi”. (It is this Nachiar Tirumozhi that we will examine in the posts following this one....)

Bhagavan came accompanied by a procession of 1000 elephants, with every street decorated beautifully with flowers and festoons. The vedic rituals and all other customary ceremonies were conducted, Bhagavan held her hand and circumambulated the ritual fire, which is most important in the marriage ceremony.... and thus He married her.

And Andal suddenly woke up……..

All these minute details she elaborated so far involved in a marriage ceremony, was a dream! She could not believe this, as to her, the marriage and the ceremonies were a real experience. Her close friend was distressed to see her condition following this. She shook Andal and brought her back to her senses. Then Andal explained her dream to her friend in a few verses, with extreme sorrow, the joyful marriage experience with the Lord. The tapestry of such dual feelings will fill our heart when we read those verses.

It is better if we did not get a thing which we are longing for very much, than get it and lose it. Andal’s condition is like this now. Her friend could not bear the sorrowful state of Andal. Her father also watched her helplessly.

That night, Bhagavan appeared in Vishnuchittan’s dream and told him that He will marry Andal and she should be brought to the Srirangam temple. Similarly Bhagavan appeared in the dream of the King of Madurai, Vallabhadeva and the Srirangam temples’ pujaris’ dreams. He ordered the King to send a palanquin to Andal in which she should reach Srirangam. He also told the Pujaris, that they should go and receive Andal with purnakumbham enroute to Srirangam.

Next morning, the whole place -- from Srivilliputhur to Srirangam-- every nook and corner was decorated with flowers and arches. There was a huge procession with Andal in the palanquin and the King also followed with his army to see this great unbelievable event of a marriage between a human girl and the Divine God as idol!

They reached the Srirangam temple. The Lord Ranganatha was lying on His bed of snake in His usual pose of Yoga-nidra with His beautiful smile on His Divine eyes and lips. No one had any idea how the marriage was going to happen. As soon as Andal got down from the palanquin, she ran into the temple faster than the wind, and then into the sanctum sanctorum and right before everyone’s eyes, she held Bhagavan’s feet with both her hands as if massaging His legs. And suddenly, she disappeared.

There was pin drop silence and Vishnuchittan was wondering whether he would see his daughter anymore or not, as any father would normally feel!

The Lord then appeared in His divine form with Andal dressed in her marriage costume. Everyone gathered there -- the King and the common man -- had this Darshan. Everyone was in a state of ecstacy seeing this. A sense of relief was experienced by one and all that Bhagavan had married Andal!

Such was the devotion and firm determination Andal had for Bhagavan, so that each and everyone was in fact wishing that Bhagavan should marry her, even though they did not know if this was possible or not! But the power of Andal’s love for Bhagavan invoked these feelings even in the common man.

Let that kind of feeling arise in us also so that our mind gets purified hearing this daring village girl’s inspiring story, nay history, nay His and Her story.
Until we meet again for the first verse of Nachiar Tirumozhi....

......Hari Om....!
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:39 pm

Om Sri Chinmaya Satgurave Namah



"If the reader benefits by anything here, including the interpretation or meaning of the verses-- the real credit should go to the purvacharya's and the great bhaktas, who had walked this path of God. Anything that is not suitable or not useful, or not correctly interpreted, needless to say, it is my limited knowledge and my shortcoming. I beg your pardon for these shortcomings.

NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI

Introduction

We often hear it being said, “Nothing is impossible in the world”. Be that as it may, have we in fact attempted anything that is genuinely “really impossible”? So, what to talk of achieving the impossible! From time immemorial (i) searching the cause for the world, (ii) living beings and (iii) the relationship between these three are considered to be the highest and subtlest enquiry. The name given to the cause of the world is GOD. Though this is accepted throughout the world, yet to many it is just a word. The majority thinks, to have experience of God while living in this world, is impossible. So, to define God and to express the experience with Him is just a beautiful story, fantasy, imagination etc., and it is “really impossible” according to them.

But, India is known for many great people who had direct experience of God, commonly referred to as ‘Bhagwan’. They are called by the name Bhakta (devotee) and the relationship they had with Bhagwan is called as Bhakti (devotion). We can think of defining God and we may even succeed in defining God to a great extent. But to define Bhakti is very difficult and any attempt to define it will lead to embarrassing failure! So then, how do we understand Bhakti? Or how may we develop it without knowing it in its true nature?

This question becomes even more important, as ‘Bhakti’ is the link which connects us to “Bhagawan”. We have to strive to gain it and we can be sure that when we do reach the other side, to Bhakti, it will be simultaneous to finding God and hence achieving the “really impossible”. The only possible attempt to understand Bhakti will be thinking, thinking and again thinking of Bhaktas only; and observing their bhakti and its nature, its form, its expression and not being judgemental in the ordinary sense.

To our fortune there are hundreds and thousands of Bhaktas born in our country from time to time. Each Bhakta is unique and their experiences are also unique. Through their devotion they experienced God directly with the form, as well as God’s intrinsic nature- (Svarupa) as Sat-chit-ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). These Bhaktas in their divine union with God, have expressed their divine experiences through songs which came as effortless, spontaneous outpourings of their heart.

Alwars

Among these kinds of Bhaktas, in South India, there were 12 Bhaktas of Lord Vishnu. They were called by the name”Alwars”. The word ‘Alwar’ in Tamil means ‘going deep’, which again, in this context, means, “one who is always, at all times and at all places, immersed deep in the love of the Lord ”. Among the 12 Alwars, only few belong to same periods and others different periods and also different parts of Tamilnadu. They have each expressed their love for Bhagawan and their experiences with Bhagawan in poetry. These divine songs are called “Naalaayira Divya Prapandham”, (Naalaayira – 4000, Divya- Divine, Prapandham – a collection of songs).

Among these 12 Alwars, there was only one lady Bhakta. She was called by the name “Andal”. The word “Andal” in Tamil means one who rules. She ruled Bhagavan with her Love and thus earned this name.

In this collection of 4000 songs, Andal’s contribution is 173 verses. The most famous and popular of these is the ‘Thiruppavai’ – 30 verses and the beautiful ‘Nachiar Thirumozhi’ - 143 verses.

Andal is considered as the best of all the ‘Alwars’ because of her very high and intense love for the Lord. She has really achieved ‘the impossible’. She married Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam temple at Tiruchirappalli district in Tamil Nadu, as we saw in the last post.

Is this really possible? When we go through the verses sung by her, there will be a deep sense of feeling emerging from within us, that the Lord had no other choice but to marry her! This conclusion will not be a blind belief but borne out through understanding the depth of Andal’s love for and devotion to the Lord. After this firm faith has arisen in our heart, we will start praying to this great devotee Andal and the Lord to bless us with this very kind of devotion by which we can also merge with HIM. With this only intention, we try to approach the verses of Andal’s “Nachiar Thirumozhi”.

The first stanza in Nachiar Thirumozhi is Andal’s prayer to Kamadevan – Cupid, Manmadhan -- to help her unite with Lord Venkatesha of Thirumala. The Bhava behind this worship is beautiful and the technique she adopts to attract the Lord in a different way shows the pure mind and singlepointedness of Andal. Here, we are ready to dive deep into the flood of Andal’s devotion and if we are lost and unable to come out of this flood, we are blessed!

In commenting on the 143 verses of NT, I have segmented it according to different topics and thus we will examine these 143 under 10 topics...

We begin with Topic One, Cupid, where the commentary covers the first 10 verses. In today's post, however I will be posting only 3 out of 10 of these verses,

Topic One: Cupid as messenger to Krishna
Verse One: Anangadeva, the whole month of “Thai” (Jan 15 – Feb 12) I spent cleaning the route by which you will come and during the first 2 weeks of “Masi” (Feb 13 – March 14) I spread that route with very fine soft sands and decorated the place beautifully and worshipped you and your brother “Samban”, so that I will attain good; please, I pray to you that you have to shower your grace and make me unite with Vengadavar (Lord Venkatesa)

Reflections:

If some big task has to be achieved for us through another, how much humbleness we show to that person! We will ensure that our behavior and conduct satisfies him, that he is happy in every way and we will go to any extent to satisfy him, please him. This, if we value the task whose accomplishment we seek, so highly. Pay attention, we are willing to do so much to achieve something in this world. The things and attractions of this world mean so much to us for which we are willing to trade away what life has given us.

Andal does not want anything from the world. Let that not give rise to pity in our hearts, for she is - so to say, the greediest among all, for she wants that which pervades the entire world (vyapakatvat Vishnuhu), that which is the substratum, the cause behind the world.

And look at us, for most of our life we hanker after very petty worldly things; worse, we are also unable to sustain our desire for these, as seen in our inability to put our all into achieving it. Why, within a short time we even change the object of our desire, sometimes even before we get it.

But Andal’s object of desire is ‘the Highest’ that one could desire and She was also very serious in this regard. With what intensity she sustains her desire and with what alertness and sharpness she chose the right person-- no less than ‘Manmadhan’ himself -- who could fulfill her desire. This verse highlights how she approaches him, the attitude she adopts when she addresses him, the acts she has performed to get his attention and favor, the intention with which she has done so, the precise words she uses to convey her mind to him, the clarity with which she expresses what she expects from him and the élan with which she prays to him asking him to give her these.

In the first verse, we can feel how deeply Andal is dedicated in her actions. She took a whole month to clean the place; we can understand how much care she took to do the task well and please Kamadevan, thereby not leaving any scope for error on her part so that nothing should come in the way of her union with the Lord of her heart, Venkateswara. It is as if she is telling Manmadhan “I am clearing all obstacles in your way, by cleaning the streets that you are expected to come by, so you too take care of removing all the obstacles coming in the way of my uniting with the Lord."

She is more alert when she says that ‘I worship your brother also along with you’ -- showing us practically how persons connected to the one who helps us is also to be treated with equal respect. Clearly, Andal means business.

Verse Two: I decorated the streets with fine soft white sand; before the darkness runs out and the sun rises, I took bath in the pond; then collecting sticks that are free of thorns, I created a sacrificial fire to worship you whole heartedly with so much effort (involved in performing all these actions and rituals). Now you get your arrows with the honey filled flowers ready and write on those divine arrows, His name, whose colour looks like the colour of the milky ocean, and indicate that I am desirous of reaching Him. Now you unite me with Him (who is my target) who tore off the mouth of the crane (Bakasura).

Reflection on the verse:

Here Andal emphasizes again that she took so much pain to look after ‘manmadhan’s comfort, even covering the streets with very fine soft white sand, so that his feet should not be harmed in any way. This is again to indicate that “how much effort I had undertaken for making your path smooth. So, you too please ensure that my path to my beloved Lord is also smooth.”
She also adds that she got up early in the morning, before sunrise and bathed in the cold pond water that had not yet been heated by the sun’s rays. She then collected wood that was perfect for a homam and performed worship to Kamadev. Thus she now tells Kamadev to prepare his honey filled flower arrows on which he should write that Andal loves Bhagawan and aim those arrows at her target, ie Bhagawan! Figurative meaning that we can derive from this is that just as Cupid strikes the loved person, Andal is using Cupid here as a ‘thought of love’ and in using the analogy of arrow she means to say ‘Bhagawan is the object of my love, so let Cupid direct me to Him’.

This is Andal’s desperation to reach/attain Bhagawan so that she is even willing to resort to anybody’s help to get to Him! Although her object is the paramadevata, she is using an ordinary devata to reach the apex! This can be taken as her state of mind which is impatient, anxious and desperate to somehow attain the Lord.

Verse Three I always pray to your divine feet offering “oomattha” (Datura) flower and “murukka” (Milkweed) flower which has good fragrance. Don’t make me scold you out of irritation that you are incapable. It is not fair on your part -- being in this status as kamadevan and not helping me even after I have worshipped you with so many objects. So, take the arrow made of flowers which is full of fragrance and write the name “Govinda” on it, so that I may enter that light – Vitthagan Vengadavaanan (the Lord Venkatesa)

Reflection on the verse:

In this verse the tone of Andal towards Manmadhan is changing a little. Her impatience is apparent. She tells him that until now she has been worshipping him and propitiating him thinking that as the devata of Love he can achieve anything for those in love. But this attitude of her towards him will change completely if he does not do his part after all her worship. She forewarns him that if what is expected of him is not delivered, he will have to face all the harsh words that will pour out in anger from her heart and she will not be responsible for that!

Just see her restless heart, how turbulent and impatient it is! Just a little while ago she was covering the street with white sand so that Kamadeva’s feet would be protected from the coarse street. Her tone was entreating, but now she is getting irritated. She now goes on to tell him that it is his responsibility to avoid her condemnation of him, by doing his end of the work properly -- of uniting her with the Lord.

On a re-read, it is clear, she is making it clear to him that this is give and take. That she has done her part of worshipping his feet very sincerely, not taking anything for granted, totally surrendered to him thinking that he will take care of all that has to be done. Likewise, Manmadhan also should not take anything for granted, she cautions. She then instructs him to take his flower arrow and asking him to write the name of her Lord with whom she wants to get united, aim it at her target, Bhagawan. It is as though she is making him commit to it, as if in writing, thereby ensuring her wish will be fulfilled.

What we see here is Andal’s staunch determination to get Kamadeva to do what is rightfully his role as the uniter of separated lovers. She is now compelling him to act and admonishing him for not doing what he is supposed to. She is open and frank when she says ‘this is what I want and all these rituals I am doing for this purpose only, including propitiating you’.

Needless to say, that these two extreme opposite limits of her mind at one time surrendering and at another time being annoyed with Manmadhan (Kama deva) is only the expression born out of her single pointed love for the Lord.

Hari Om!
vande guruparamparaam....
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:58 am

Hari OM. Pranams.

So nice Kutasthaji !!! :) It reminded me of something composed by Sant Jnaneshwar Maharaj (a great Jnani, Yogi and a Bhakta) in his abhang (devotional song in marathi language) "Pail to ge kau kokatahe".

Since it is believed that crow tells the omen of arrival of a guest, Jnaneshwar Maharaj is telling crow if you fly away and find out when Pandurang(Lord Krishna) will come I will decorate your feet with gold. If you tell me quickly the sweet news of arrival of my Pandharinath Pandurang I will put yoghurt rice to your mouth. If you tell me honestly whether my Lord will come to me, I will put cup full of milk to your lips. I will let you peck sweet mangoes on this branch, tell me omen right now. Understand my heart, tell me O Crow, when would I meet my Lord?
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:05 am

Hari Om Padmaja amma,

Your quote from Sant Jnaneshwarji's poem invokes wonderful feeling in the heart for Bhagavan and His devotees. Thank you very much. We can taste the real devotion from these devotees. Hari om.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:10 am

Om Shri Chinmaya SatGurave Namaha

Nachiar Tirumozhi - verses 4, 5, 6


Verse 4 I wrote your name on the wall and also drew on it sketches of flags with images of fish, horses, surrounded by beautiful women fanning and sugarcane bows adorning all this - all that belongs to you, I worshipped you. From my girlhood days my feminine beauty and charm evolved with the sankalpa that it belongs to Dwarakanayakan alone. So, I worship you (Kamadeva!), make me unite with Him fast

Reflection on the verse:

Andal explains in this verse how she worshiped Kamadevan, almost as if listing them out to him. In puja, we need a murthy of a diety -- a form, either as an idol or as a drawn picture. In that murthy, we invoke the deity’s presence (avahan) and perform various prescribed rituals. But Manmadan (Kamadevan), has no form. Remember he is Ananga, dating back to when he lured Lord Shiva and was burnt to ashes as a result. Then with the intercession of his wife Ratidevi who pleaded with Shiva, the Lord agreed that Kamadev would become eternal, unmanifest and capable of affecting anyone in love, but invisible, without a body.

Here we should see how Andal’s mind has worked. It is always said that name is more powerful than form. She indirectly explains to us the relationship between naam and roop, the name and the form.

Once she decided that to unite with her beloved Lord, Manmadhan’s ( another name for Kamadeva) blessings and grace has to be sought, she took to invoking him by writing his name on the wall and made offerings in accordance with his desires as part of her worship. She gives the details of what all she offered him. Verily offering him all those objects that he likes very much. In worship the bhava is more important, than anything else. By this act, the beauty of her intellect is seen and how it co-operates with her heart, to fulfil its desires. In other words, while Andal is intent upon attaining Bhagawan, she has ensured that her emotions do not overpower her logic and reason.

Verse 5:My body and soul is dedicated to Utthaman ( the Lord Venkatesha), who has sanka and chakra. Therefore, if there is any talk implying that I am meant for any man (any human), be sure, that my life will not sustain. (Such loose talk) It is equivalent to the’ havis’ offered by the Brahmins in the havan for the sake of heavenly persons, being smelled and spoiled by the fox roaming in the forest.

Reflection on the verse:

Nobody should even dare to think of marrying her off to some mortal man, so Andal warns Kamadeva or Manmadhan. But talk about her marriage has begun in the household and Andal is upset. She cannot bear to even hear talk in this direction. We see Andal’s determination and persistent worship of the Lord pervading her full being. So much so that she avers that the very growth and sustenance of her body and soul has happened with the Lord in mind and it is to Him that her being is surrendered. This she makes very clear to Kamadeva. And how does she express this? By saying she is the havis that is offered to the holy fire…! By her very thought, Andal has purified herself!

In comparing her self to the havis (food offered in the homa kunda according to the Vedic rituals for Gods) Andal verily refers to life as worship or as a sacrificial fire into which she offers herself as the sacred offering! Naturally therefore the idea of being offered to anything less than the Lord Himself seems preposterous to her! And to emphasise this she goes a step further and compares the mortal man to the fox roaming in the forests that wanders to the sacrificial pit and partakes of the Havis kept for the Gods, thus spoiling the offering!

Imagine! She considers herself as a divine food, to be offered to her beloved Lord and how can anyone talk of marrying her to a man in this world? She stresses that even such talk will take away her life.

How can we explain this wonderful extreme Bhakti of Andal, when our mind is already immersed with her Bhakti, unable to move further? So great is her devotion that she sees her self as meant only for Bhagawan, not another jiva.

Verse 6: I arranged well looking, disciplined young men who were expert in Vedic chanting along your route, to welcome you. In the month of “Pangguuni” I took the vow to worship you. You, with your grace, make Him who is of the colour of the rain bearing clouds, who is of the colour of the Kaya flower, to glance at me from His divine lotus shaped eyes.

Reflection on the verse:
Here, Andal is yearning for the Lord so much that she begins to doubt the purity of her worship. Panguni month ( Falguni, March-April) has arrived and yet there is no sign of her Lord. The worship and vratas she kept for Kamadevan do not seem to have borne fruit. She now wonders if her methods were wrong or inadequate. Was that why she had not seen her Lord yet? She is young and inexperienced after all and is not supposed to know the rules of perfect worship…. Even so, she orders for very wise experts to line the route on which Manmadhan will walk (may be to verify her worship as he arrives?) so that her worship is accepted by Manmadhan at least now in Panguni…and so she pleads to Manmadhan, that if his grace does not have the capacity/power to unite her with her beloved Lord, it should at least fetch her the glance of her beloved Lord.

Hari Om
vande guruparamparaam!
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby meera » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:20 am

Hari Om Padmaja,

Extremely sweet, touching bhakti!
I liked this very very much... kept visualising the scene and drawing more joy from it... I wonder how many more such beautiful verses lie in our heritage hidden from the mind...

Thank you so much for bringing this here...sincerely happy to read it...
Hari Om,
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:13 pm

Hari OM. Pranams.

Yes Meera... Sant Jnaneshwar Maharaj's ovi's are very beautiful and steeped in bhakti. Though, writing them here might disturb the flow of mother Andal's beautiful bhakti discourse given to us by our beloved Br. Kutastha ji. I am enjoying it a lot. If any ovi is relevant I will definitely produce it here. :)
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:00 pm

Hari Om. Prostrations Br. Kutastha ji.

Thanks for your inspiring and enlightening posts. Here is one reflection I have.

Burning desire and passion in the heart of a seeker(Mumukshutvam) propels liberation. I think Kamadeva represents Mumukshutvam. Unless the spark of that desire turns into all encompassing conflagration one cannot get liberation. Mother Andal's worship of Kamadeva seems to me like an effort to fan that fire of passion.

Mundaka Upanishad mantra says "Taking hold of the great weapon of the bow consisting of the theme of the Upanishads, fixing the arrow which is rendered sharp through constant contemplation, drawing back the bow-string with the power of the conscious affirmation of that, O disciple, hit that mark, the Imperishable. Om is the bow; the individual self is the arrow; Brahman is the target to be hit. " Seeker aims arrows of constant contemplation(nididhyasan) at target Brahman. Mother Andal's asking Kamadeva to shoot flower arrows with Lord's name written on them to unit with Lord, is very similar to this. However, she is using "flower arrows" for her seeking, that shows there is "love" in her seeking, it is not some dry mechanical effort, she has powerful conviction in it, which is so very beautiful. :)

Please correct and advice as appropriate any mistakes in my writing. Thanks.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:37 am

Om Shri Chinmaya SatGurave Namaha

Nachiar Tirumozhi - verses 7 and 8


Verse 7. I offer you foodgrains, sugarcane, and rice and I worship you ‘Manmadha’ with the same mantras which is being chanted by the Brahmins. You give me the blessing that the One who measured the three worlds – (may be His soft feet would have eroded with the length it measured- all the three worlds!) -- that Trivikraman with His divine hands should embrace this body which has been grown only for Him and thereby let me attain that fame in this world”.

Reflection on the verse:

What we think will defame us will bring fame when it comes to Bhagavan. Usually, a girl will try to hide her relationship with her beloved until marriage, for fear that it may defame her and the family. But, here Andal is praying to Manmadhan, instructing, actually dictating to him what blessings she needed, with regard to the object of her love.

This is a great bhakta’s authority that comes casually and not intentionally, and the devatas too will wait eagerly to do service to these Bhaktas! Such a bhakta is Andal who wears her firm authority casually, like a garment! She says that her beloved Lord should come and embrace her and she does not stop with this. She continues that Manmadhan should also ensure, that everybody should come to know, that she has been embraced by the Lord Trivikrama. That very Lord who in three steps touched the three worlds and thus attained the fame of Trivikrama (conqueror of three worlds), Andal wants that same Lord to touch her, now especially when she is praying for it. This fame would be hers, she declares!


Verse 8: Kamadeva you are bright and have great capacity! You see and remember always this tapas of mine; my body is covered with dust, my hairs have dried up and my lips have become pale; I want to tell you one thing: you should bless me, so that I attain the purpose of being born as a woman, by getting the name (fame) that I am the one who is massaging Keshava Nambi’s (Bhagawan’s) legs.

Reflection on the verse:

Here again, Andal explicitly expresses her state of longing to unite with the Lord.

A continuous unwavering, unshaken flow of thoughts for an infinite period of time, (literally not even recognizing the trace of the concept of time) towards the greatest goal of life, can be called as tapas. If we can fix that greatest goal as “GOD”, then we have found the very purpose of our existence in this form as a human being.

To maintain the instrument called the body is not wrong. We have a fixed routine and time to clean up our body, feed it, adorn it, protect it….what all we do for the sake of our body! To look after the body is one thing and to look at the body as 'I' is a totally different thing.

Andal is deeply immersed in her bhakti and worship and thoughts on Bhagwan as Kesava. So much so that she even forgets to take care of her body, for her mind transcends Time, ever yearning to unite with the Lord. She has been observing various austerities and as a result her body is emaciated and dull. Andal tells that ‘surrendering and serving the Lord’ is very much the purpose and goal of her life. This we can understand by the blessing she is demanding from Mandmadhan – to obtain for her the fame of massaging the Lords’s feet (paadaseva). It would seem here that Andal already sees herself as the Lord’s consort, wife. This is why her demands are also consistent with such role, eg, serving Kesava’s feet.

Hari Om...
vande guruparamparaam
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:51 am

Hari Om Padmaja Amma,
Salutations.

Sorry, Last one week I was without net access. So I could not reply immediately. Your reference to the Mundaka Upanishad mantra is very beautiful and apt.

While thinking about Andal and Her expression of Love towards Krishna, I am not thinking on any other aspect. Then it will become objective for me and it will obstruct my joy. The only intention here for me is to give and get the experience of Andal.

Comparing the devotees life with the Sastras, complement each other, which is a great thing to do. Whoever is interested in this angle they also will be benefited by this. So, Wherever you find any action of Andal is reflecting in any Sastras, Upanishads you can post it and we all can enjoy that too.

Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful thought on Mundaka Upanishad.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:24 am

Hari Om Br. Kutastha ji. Prostrations.

Thanks for your beautiful posts, your kind reply and your encouragement. For me it is exactly the other way round. :D

There are some who think devotee's play with Lord is as childish as pretend games with Barbie doll. Devotees don't care about what others think. However, still I find myself defending devotion fervently giving Shastra. I remember Pujya Guruji's words that we can't get Realisation without giving up 'all standpoints', so I am aware, I need to give this up too. Hope I can some day...

I am enjoying your posts...please keep writing...
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:25 am

Hari Om Padmaja Amma,
Salutations.

As I said before, the only intention of contemplating on 'Nachiar Thirumozhi' is to give and get the experience of Andal's Bhakti. But if it is coming naturally in the flow I will also try not to avoid the Vedantic concept or Sastras without disturbing this Andal's love experience with Lord Krishna. I totally agree with you. Thank you very much.

Hari Om.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:50 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

Thank you very much Kutastha ji !!! Will not disturb your thought flow now. :D ....will eagerly await your next post.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:20 pm

Om Shri Chinmaya SatGurave Namaha

Nachiar Tirumozhi - verses 9 and 10


Verse 9 :

I again and again worship you during each of the three times of the day, with fresh blossomed flowers, that if I do not get to live serving Him who is in the Milky Ocean, with no blemish (in my service), I will cry and cry unable to bear the sorrow, crying aloud “Amma, Amma” (height of sorrow). Beware, you will then have to face the consequences should this sorrow befall me. In that case your act will be comparable to the farmer who after working the ox/buffalo on his farm, starves it and chases it away with a stick.


Reflection on the verse:

In service to the Lord, there should not be any mistakes, imperfection. The body, mind and the intellect should always go together in the service of the Lord. Andal says that it is only to get this state that she is worshipping Manmadhan morning, afternoon and evening.

Whereas we, in the morning we have one kind of mood/ wish, by afternoon, the mind chases something else and by the time of sunset, the mind would have taken a direction quite opposite to the sankalpas it had made during the day. Then the mind, unable to bear its dissatisfied state, suffers and goes to sleep. Next day, the same story repeats.

But Andal says that all the time she had only one wish and desire. Her whole being is devoted to this one desire and she has been doing everything she could to fulfill that desire. She compares herself to the oxen that have ploughed the land for farming and, after reaping the result of their hard work, if the farmer does not feed the oxen, the farmer incurs untold sin. On top of this, if the farmer chases away the oxen, not even allowing them to graze on the grass in the field nearby, he is the worst. Using this analogy, Andal is threatening Manmadhan that after gaining her worship, (prayers, flowers, sugar cane etc), after all the devotion she has heaped upon him, her vratams and belief that Kamadevan unites one with one’s beloved, if he does not fulfill her wish of being united with the Lord, and instead causes her to sob pitifully, his fate will be similar to that of the farmer who having taken from the ox heavy labour, now abandons it.

Andal is now no more merely begging and pleading. She has reached such a state of desperation that she is beginning to lose her composure, her elegant talk. In giving this example of the farmer and the oxen she is saying something more, the pain of separation that we can feel directly which is beyond words.

Verse 10:

I worshipped the feet of the King of Kama (Love), who holds a bow of sugarcane, and arrows made of flowers, to unite me with Him, who is “Manivannan” of blue colour, who broke the trunk of the elephant which came to kill Him, and tore the mouth of the crane (Bhakasura).

Those who chant this garland of hymns, composed with a wish, by the daughter of ‘Vishnuchithan’, who live in “Pudhuvai” (Srivilliputthur) which has beautiful buildings, is sure to attain the feet of the King of the Devas (heavenly abodes, who is none other than the Lord Vishnu).

Reflection on the verse:

Andal takes much pride in presenting herself as the daughter of ‘Vishnuchitthan’. He is one of the ‘12 Alwars’. He is known as ‘Periyaalzwar’ (Periya + Alwar). ‘Periya’ in Tamil means ‘big, great, older’. He loves the Lord so much that he did something which has been recognized as ‘great’ – something nobody has ever dared to do; what was that?
Even in ordinary affairs of the world, it is common that a younger one should get blessing from the elder one. If that is the case, then what one should do with ‘Eshwara’? We pray for Eshwara’s blessings.

But, ‘Vishnuchitthan’ sang a song called by the name “Thiruppallandu”, where he blesses the Lord!! The opening line goes as follows:

“Let there be protection to your holy feet for many, many years –
many thousands of years- many many thousands of crores of years etc.,’.

Though some ‘Alwars’ were senior to him and had sung many songs before him in praise of the Lord, this ‘Thiruppalandu’ uniquely, forms the first in the arrangement of the 4000 songs composed by all the Alwars, merely because of this unique love of ‘Vishnuchittan’. With his Bhakti, he becomes as though the elder, even to ‘Eshwara’ and begins to bless Him!
Consequently, ‘Vishnuchittan’ came to be called ‘Periyalwar’, the elder Alwar. Thus a Bhakta became even greater than Bhagawan.

Now, we can understand the logic behind Andal’s pride in addressing herself as the daughter of ‘Vishnuchittan’ - the word itself explaining his nature as ‘One whose chitta, or mind is ever fixed upon Vishnu’, -- and this is her beloved Lord, she points out. Actually seeing the love of this father and daughter, naturally the mind wonders, how lucky the Lord is to receive this kind of pure love.

A Mind is a mind is a mind is a mind. Yes, the mind will really be jealous of the Lord, if we could grasp the love shown by the ‘Alwars’ towards the Lord, especially that of Andal.

In this verse, which we can claim to be the phalasruthi verse, (verse which tells about the result of chanting the hymn or shloka), Andal is assuring us that whoever chants this garland of hymns that she has composed as a prayer to Manmadhan, will surely attain the feet of the Lord Vishnu, that is, moksha.

When we continue to chant, our mind should also slowly start feeling the same emotions of Andal and at some point of time when the mind matures to the same level of intense love for the Lord as that of Andal’s, it is sure that it has to unite with HIM!

So, we will invoke Andal’s grace once again to give us the ability to develop the same kind of intense devotion that she had, which is the perfect arrow that will go and unite with the ‘target’ - the new name that she gives the Lord in the second verse, ie, ‘Illakku’ which in tamil means goal, target.

General Reflection

It is said in the sastras that one should have ‘Ananya’ bhakti – single pointed devotion to Eshwara, ie, a bhakti that knows none other (ananya) than the Lord. But here Andal is showing great Bhakti to ‘Manmadhan’ by using the words ‘worshipping your feet’ etc in all the verses. Is this acceptable to sastras or is this against the practice of the sastras?

Reflection on this issue:

1. Andal would have tried her best, yet Bhagawan is evading. She would have thought of various options for who can help her to unite with Bhagwan. Suddenly it would have struck her, how great ‘Mandmadhan’ is!
Manmadhan, though he knew it will be dangerous for him to disturb ‘Lord Shiva’, he could not reject the plea of the Devas. He agreed to their plan to bring about the union of Parvathy Devi with Lord Shiva. When he struck his arrow on ‘Lord Shiva’, Lord Shiva opened His Third eye, and Kamadeva was burnt. Later, on the plea of Manmadhan’s wife, Lord Shiva gave life to him but told he will have no form – nobody would see him with form. (Hence the name Ananga, Anangadeva.)

Andal would have been moved by this attitude of ‘sacrifice’ of ‘Manmadhan’. She may have decided that he is the right person who can therefore unite her with her beloved Lord Krishna. She went to the level of worshipping ‘Manmadhan’ who she had seen had even sacrificed his life to fulfill the desire of ‘Parvathy’ who wanted to marry ‘Lord Shiva’. So if Parvathy could get Shiva through Manmadhan, then why not Andal? That may have been one kind of reasoning.

2. Surely Lord Krishna, the Eshwara, knew of Andal’s love for Him. When Andal worships ‘Manmadhan’ seeking his help to unite with Krishna, Bhagawan will surely be moved by her act.

Krishna may think “Andal is my bhakta and I love her more than she loves me and she has also asked a boon from me in ‘Thiruppavai’ that ‘in as many births as I take, I should have a relationship with you, I belong to you and you alone!’ and I also granted that boon to her. But because I am delaying the fulfillment of this, unable to bear the sorrow of separation from me, she has started worshipping ‘Manmadhan’ who is only a Deva, working under me!” So Krishna will come immediately and marry her (she could be thus reasoning). With this plan, Andal surrendered to ‘Manmadhan’ and started worshipping him, so that her beloved Krishna should come running to her fast.

3. From the worldly stand point, we can see how when a person values a thing, he tries with his maximum ability and capacity to get it; and if nothing works, then he is ready to sacrifice anything for that. In the same way, according to Andal, the only thing she values in her life is ‘to unite with the Lord’. So for this, she is ready to do anything, she can even start worshipping the ‘Devas’ like “Manmadhan” although until then, the thought of worshipping the Devas has not even arisen in her mind. This again only shows how much she is in love with the Lord. This is acceptable by the sastras as it is said “yena kena prakarena mana Krishnena niveshaya” meaning: by whatever method you can adopt, the aim is to unite the mind with Krishna”.

With this we conclude the first tirumozhi (set of 10 verses) of the Nachiyar Tirumozhi, where Andal resorts to Manmathan as a means to unite with Kesava. In the next Tirumozhi we will see what her next resort is and whether her ‘Krishna’ is responding or not!

Hari Om!
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:07 pm

Om Sri Chinmayasatgurave Namaha


Nachiar Tirumozhi – Section 2

Overview Summary of Second Section

Topic: Andal pleading with Krishna not to destroy sand houses (Tirumozhi – 2, verse 1)


We ended section One with Andal nearly warning Manmadhan not to treat her worship lightly and ignore her. But she continues to worship Manmadhan.

In section Two, we see Andal and her friends begin to decorate their house fronts with ‘Kolam’ (Rangoli), and also making small houses out of sand, to please ‘Manmadhan’. While all this is going on, Krishna knew their mind. They are doing all these acts to somehow get united with HIM with the help of Manmadhan.

But HE did not like His beloved devotees praying to someone else! Krishna has now come to disturb it; to upset all these goings on, probably to assert Himself. Whatever it be, Andal and her friends’ plan is now working, for Krishna came to them! Yet, they act as if they did not notice Him. When He came near, they understood His intention: He was wishing to create confusion by spoiling the designs by walking on the Kolam patterns and kick and destroy the small sand houses. Uniquely, Andal, in these verses, pleads with Krishna not to create obstacles by destroying the decorations that have been made to please Manmadhan. Let us see how she is pleading with Krishna and whether He listened to her or not.


Verse 1:

O Narayana, you are glorified with thousand names ( [i]sahasranaama)and you also appeared as Nara, human – both as Rama and as Krishna. Then again, my aunt (Yashoda) got you as her son; although you gave us pain and joy (stealing our butter and hiding our clothes) , still you relieved our stress from our mind. This season being the month of ‘Panguni’ (Falgun, Falguni) we await the arrival of ‘Manmadhan’, who it is considered auspicious to worship in Panguni maasam (to attain You!). That is how we have decorated our place with various designs of Kolam (rangoli) and built a variety of small beautiful sand houses (like those that children make on the beach). You, ‘Sridhara’, (one who ‘holds’ Sri devi, Lakshmiji on His chest) doer of naughty actions, please do not destroy these decorations. These are for Manmadhan!

Narayana we gift our sand built houses and rangolis to Manmadan to receive the return-gift of your love or to favour us with your love; .so please, we plead with you, the troublesome one, do not to disintegrate our decorations for Manmatha!
[/i]

Reflections:

Life is very tricky. Whatever we are striving for, the same object will create trouble for us while we are trying to get it. We know how people are mad after wealth and the same wealth has created lot of difficulties for them while trying to acquire it and later after all the struggle attaining it, the same wealth destroyed them, weakened them. The same may be applicable to any kind of relationship as well. For example parents will always think of the good of their children; but children do not hear their advice or to them and do exactly the opposite. The parents want to give the children real happiness and the children are after fleeting pleasures and their decisions or choices sometimes give sorrow to their parents.

Here Andal wanted Krishna and He also loves her very much. But He always makes her suffer by avoiding her totally. She had expressed her surrender to Him in many verses. Still there was no response from Him. So she decides to try other methods and ploys. One of them is, seeking the help of ‘Manmadhan’ the god of Love. Ideally she would not like to use an intermediary, but she does not have any other option left. So in a way this is also painful for her. Now the One for whom she is doing all this, He need not help her, but now He has come and worse, He is ruining all her plans for getting the grace of ‘Manmadhan’ to unite with Krishna.

We see that worldly desires not only make us suffer as we strive for them (as explained in the first para above), but even the desire to attain the divine Supreme gives pain, (as we see in this second para).

Now if we really start thinking: Are both sufferings - the one in attaining worldly goals and the one in attaining the divine union - the same? We can see that the latter suffering is worth experiencing and this so-called suffering is in fact joyful and fulfilling!

Let us examine the situation as it presents itself: Andal has to handle Krishna and stop Him from destroying the decorations. Andal prays, ‘ Krishna, we know who you are. You are the one who is glorified by thousand names. You are the one who appeared as ‘Narayana’ and ‘Nara’ for the benefit of bhaktas.’ Andal knew the supreme nature of Krishna. Puyja Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda has aptly expressed a very subtle spiritual truth with His special touch – “Without devotion Knowledge is tasteless. Without Knowledge devotion is mere empty idol worship.” Andal knew that accepting their pure devotion the Supreme has come down and is playing with them. Though she addresses Him as ‘my aunt’s son’, she is probably using this connection to caution Him that He cannot behave like this or just expressing her love for Him as Yashoda aunt’s son. Through all this Andal is only expressing the greatness of Bhagvan in fulfilling what He has promised as below:


ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah
(Gita 4.11)

In Whatever way men approach Me, even so do I reward them; My path do men tread in all ways, O son of Pritha. Or…
I lend my power to all without any partiality and in whatever form they invoke me, in that form I serve them.

‘In whatever way my devotee worships me, I come to them in that very same way’; Andal and her companions had the madhura bhava towards Bhagavan and He has come to them as their ‘aunt’s son.

(An aside thought: In certain communities in the South of India, it is traditional for a girl to marry her father’s sister’s son. This could well be the bhavana that Andal is expressing coyly.)

In the same spirit she also chides Him saying, “You have Lakshmi –ji on your chest, how can you behave like this with us?”

Another value to reflect here presents itself through the irony of Krishna coming and spoiling Andal’s efforts to attain Him, and the seeming paradox where she tells Him “If you spoil my offerings to Kamadevan, how will he help me attain You?”

We see that Andal is struggling to find a successful way to attain union with the Lord and uses Manmadan to achieve this; uniquely her goal (Krishna) itself poses as the obstacle! This is so commonly seen in life where a relentless chasing of a goal itself becomes the hurdle on our path. Maybe the point being made is that if we get too desperate to attain something so that instead of quietly pursuing the goal we are willing to resort to any means to attain it, then that very goal will pose problems for our growth; like a person who wants to become a minister at any cost, will resort to dishonest means or suboptimal means to get the post so that those very means will become disqualifications for his becoming a minister.

In much the same way, here Krishna seems to be upset that Andal in her desperation has begun to worship lesser gods. Had He not likewise chided the people of Mathura for slavishly worshipping Indra for rains – which was his duty anyway -- when He was the provider? Did Krishna not reward Gajendra for his unconditional surrender where he said, “I have no desire to live in the elephant form from inside or outside. I desire deliverance through Him, Who is undestroyed by the passage of time and Who envelopes the entire universe in Himself.” And thus Gajendra waited for the Lord to come and save him.

Hari Om!
vande guruparamparaam...
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:09 am

Hari Om. Prostrations Br. Kutastha ji.

Thank you for your nice reflections, especially for pointing out that our goal (Krishna) itself can sometimes pose as an obstacle making us resort to lesser means so we should be careful not to resort to lesser desperate means. Gajendra's story and quote from Gita are very helpful indeed.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:56 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

Br. Kutastha ji PMed that I should continue to add my reflections and that will not disturb his thought flow... so writing what comes to my mind ...

Lord loved mother Andal very dearly and He was as desperate to unite with her as she was with Him. However, what can He do? Lord was bound by His own laws.

- Bhagvan promised in Gita "Ananyaschintayanto Maam yae Janaaha paryupaasatae. Taesham Nithyaabhiyuktaanaam Yogakshemem Vahami-aham". For Lord to be able to help, Andal needed to have "Ananya Bhakti" (Devotion to no one other than the Lord) but Andal was seeking "Anya" (Kamdev).

- Andal had doership that "I will get Lord by doing this and that". Whenever ego asserts doership like this Lord has to leave. That is Lord' law by which He is bound. If she had become helpless like Gajendra then Lord's grace could descend within no time so Lord was doing everything in His capacity to make her feel helpless.

Another thing is just like water comes in "many forms" like wave, bubble, froth; Love comes in "many shades" like mother's love, romantic love, friendship etc. Lord is like water and His Love is essence of all Loves (without any particular shade). By worshipping Manmathan she was holding on to one "shade" of love rather than "love" itself. Lord wanted her to be free of "shade" so they can unite in love.

Also the intensity of Love matters. More the intensity of Love, quicker will be the union with the Lord. Just like Lord Krishna increased love of Gopis by making them go through pangs of separation, Lord here was delaying and creating obstacles to make her love grow so they can unite quickly.

Something I have experienced while decorating Lord Krishna in Piercy is "if we insist on certain look of the Lord" in mind and start decorating, then it won't happen. Only what He wants to look like He will look like that. There will be many obstacles like crown will keep falling down while putting garland, clothes would slip, garland will keep coming undone and will have to be threaded again and again, till finally we are sweating with perspiration trying to make it all stay. Finally when we give up, something so unique comes out in just a few minutes, that it is amazing and we feel WOW..never knew Lord could look so beautiful like this. It makes us learn that we don't decide. He does. We don't have 'any original ideas'. We only get what 'He inspires in us'. He does everything and He doesn't like doership AT ALL!

I learnt from this write up of Br. Kutastha ji that 'good and bad', is given to us by the Lord for our own good and we should surrender to Him and accept what He gives cheerfully and wholeheartedly.
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby BrKutastha » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:25 am

Om Sri Chinmayasatgurave Namaha


Nachiar Tirumozhi – Section 2, Verse 2

Topic: Andal protests with Krishna - now blaming Him, now blaming herself! (Tirumozhi – 2, verse 2)

This verse can be interpreted in 2 ways, depending on the standpoint one chooses.

Through the whole day we have made these refined sand houses and kolam-s with a lot of strain to our backs. Without even allowing us to have a good look at it (our creation) you are destroying it!

Or,

If you have a good look at it (our work of creation) all our pain will vanish, with the feeling that our efforts have been fulfilled.

O Beginningless Bhagawan! That day (the day of dissolution) you were the one who as a baby, slept on the banyan-leaf; your heart has never moved (melted) for us (inspite of our love expressions); it is just our incapability or sins that is blocking the inflow or receiving your love.

Reflections:

Krishna is none other than the Supreme One who creates, sustains, and finally merges the world back into Himself. Being Omnipotent, He can be in His own state of Pure Being. He has come in the human form (as Krishna) just for Andal to unite with Him. That He has come down from His level for her, only shows His extreme Love for her. Andal says, “If despite this, I cannot merge into Bhagawan, it is absolutely my sins that are coming in the way.”

Andal rues this and recounts for Krishna the time when during pralaya all the jivas had to be protected. At that time, the Supreme One taking the form of Baby Krishna swallowed them all and held them in His stomach protecting them till the next creation; during the intervening period, Baby Krishna lay innocently as if nothing had happened, on a leaf of the banyan tree, floating in the pralaya water. It makes us realize His mercy.

This episode has been glorified by many devotees, both in visuals (how can we forget the picture of baby Krishna with His toe in his mouth) and in verse especially in the Bala Mukundashtakam:


samhrutya lokān vaṭapatramadhye
śayanamādyanta vihīnarūpam
sarveśvaraḿ sarvahitāvatāraḿ
bālaḿ mukundaḿ manasā smarāmi

I meditate on that infant Mukunda who is sleeping, holding all the worlds together, on the leaf of a banyan tree in such form, which has no beginning or no end. He is the incarnation of God for the welfare of all mankind and the Lord of all.

(Bilvamangala Thakur’s Kararavinde na Padaravindam, Bala Mukundashtakam)


Now Andal is probably thinking: as a tiny infant Krishna protected the whole world…and then He re-created the whole srishti…simply from thought, sankalpa maatra! But for us it is not like that,(she thinks); does He realize how hard it is to draw these patterns and make these sand castles? And on top of that He comes and ruins them! And so she tells Krishna, “We are putting our efforts in whatever way we know; We have drawn rangolis and made sand houses putting our heart and soul, not only that the body is strained so much in bringing the best for You. (Not like you who needs to exert only His sankalpa! For us we have to use Body, Senses, Mind and Intellect, to create anything!) Though putting so much effort physically and longing every single moment to see Your reaction, at the end, it is so heart-breaking to see that Your heart is not melted.

I am in no way blaming You than I blame myself. It is our own sin that is not only not allowing You to comfort our pain, but also it makes you reject or even diminish our effort. It is because I am a sinner that you are unable to feel any compassion towards me!"

Hari Om.
vande guruparamparaam
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Re: NACHIAR TIRUMOZHI - The Divine Counsel of Sri Andal

Postby Padmaja » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:01 am

Hari Om. Pranams Br. Kutastha ji.

Thanks for the beautiful description of Bala Mukunda, narrating His glories and brining out the higher import of these two lines.

Writing my reflections as adviced by you, based on the pointers you gave in your writeup...

* It is very touching to me to see how Andal mata did sand castles and rangolis till her back pained. She put so much work for attaining the Lord. That shows how much she loved him. It is very beautiful.
* It is important to note also that Andal knows "Narayana is the Destroyer" so she knows Narayana not as some name and form but "Lord".
* Andal knows Lord is the "creator of everything" but still she is taking ownership of creation of rangolis and sand castles to her. This shows that she is aware that there is 'Ishvara Srishti' (Lord's creation) and 'Jiva Srishti' (individual's creation) and those two are not the same. 'Jiva Srishti' is created by jiva's deluded mind. Jiva sees "name and forms" where they are not; and gets bound transacting with them; due to notion of finding joy.
* Andal is saying that it is due to her "sin" that she hasn't become eligible for Lord's grace. Sin is ignorance of jiva about his sinless nature. Jiva is not separate from Shiva. Taking himself to be separate from Shiva is the original sin. Everything else sprouts from that. Jiva is currently bound by 3 gunas of prakriti and is subject to birth and death, whereas Lord remains at the time of dissolution of the universe as Bala Mukunda because He has transcended 3 gunas. Jiva needs to go beyond 3 gunas. Jiva needs to transcend 'Jiva Srishti' (his creation) of names and forms. This needs Lord's grace. May be destroying "Andal's creation" is Lord's grace, Lord may be trying to tell her to trascend her creation to hasten their meeting which Andal may not be recognising yet. (What is happening between Lord and Andal only those two know...all we can do is 'guess work'. Of course there is immense joy in it !)

Devotees often accept Lord to be 'all powerful' but forget that He is 'all knowing' (this is Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji's statement). So they complain when things don't go their way. I think, without accepting Him to be 'all Knowing' (complete surrender) we won't be able to realise His 'all Pervading' nature (merging). Let's all strive for that by invoking grace of our Guru and God.

Love and Regards,
Padmaja
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