The single-minded aim that runs through the hymns of all the Azhwars is the enjoyment and relish of God experience and this sentiment is also predominant in Andal. Their hymns express intense feelings of love and devotion, demonstrating that it is easy to approach God via Bhakti. Bhakti is an experience which sees the presence of the God everywhere and the sense of fulfillment from this perception is so forceful, that there is no further longing for anything else except God. Andal captures the essence of this experience (Krishna Anubhavam) and its high-yielding benefits in the Thiruppavai, pointed out Sri Ku. Satagopan in a lecture.

The Vedas prescribe the observance of certain rituals for the welfare of all beings in general and for the fulfillment of goals as well. All worldly benefits are time-bound and the Jivatma, after the period of enjoyment, reverts to whatever state he is eligible according to his Karma. Even the offer of a life in heavens (which many find attractive and strive hard to attain through yagas), is subject to this fate. A true devotee of the Lord considers all these as worthless and cherishes only the association with the Lord and His devotees.

While acknowledging that the welfare of the world — animals, plants and living beings — is important, Andal’s call to observe the vow which the Gopis in Brindavan used to observe is to instill discipline and to engage in worship of the Lord. She draws attention to the true nature of the Jivatma and of its everlasting relationship with the Lord and the eternal bliss to which every Jivatma is eligible. This is what we should strive for and surrendering our entire being to Him is the only way to attain this ultimate goal.

She alludes to the various forms of the Lord — Para and Vyuha (in the transcendental worlds), Vibhava (divine incarnations), Archa (deities in temples) and Antaryami (indwelling spirit in every aspect of creation) to highlight His extraordinary qualities. Constant thoughts of the Lord in all these forms and of His boundless compassion can gradually dissociate us from worldly leanings and turn our longings towards salvation.

It is said that contemplating on the Lord’s compassion that allowed Yasodha to bind Him to a grinding stone sent Nammazhwar into a six-month trance. Such devotion to God is the best wealth a Jivatma can possess.

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