The Gita states that one is prompted to seek God for the following reasons: when one faces difficulties and looks for relief in God; or to achieve worldly desires, such as name, place or possessions; or the desire for knowledge of the Sastras. But very rare is the desire to seek God for His sake. Andal is anxious that the Jivatma should understand that it is necessary to transcend the desire to achieve worldly goals though they might appear to be important targets, pointed out Vangipuram Sri Lakshmi Narasimhachariar in a discourse.

This truth is strongly emphasised in the Tiruppavai hymn where Andal, as a Gopi in Ayarpadi, never loses sight of the ultimate aim of our life — to seek surrender at the Lord’s feet. Initially the Gopis request from Krishna the ‘Parai’ and other materials needed for their vow which they observe in the month of Margazhi. But towards the end of the hymn the request assumes philosophical proportions when she says their only wish is to serve Him at all times. The everlasting bond between the Paramatma and the Jivatma is clearly established. The Gopis know that the delectable Krishna is none other than the very Supreme Brahman.

Andal extols Krishna’s Paratva which coexists with His Saulabhya when He is in the midst of devotees.

She is overwhelmed with Bhakti as she recalls His avatar as Vamana to save Indra’s face; and how He grew in size as Trivikrama to measure the world with His auspicious feet. This extraordinary act sanctified the entire creation. As Rama, He went to Lanka to kill Ravana and retrieve Sita. Now as child Krishna He saved Himself from the dangers posed by the emissaries of Kamsa who came to kill Him. He protected the entire Vraja people from torrential rains by holding the Govardhana hill as an umbrella.

Andal, like her father Periazhwar, sings a Pallandu to hail Him who is the unfailing protector of all of us. Her wish is that He should accept them as His servants though they are simple folk. This Dasya bhava is the trait of a true Bhakta and Andal teaches us how to cultivate this bhava.

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