The Supreme Being has been described, eulogised, beseeched, prayed, appealed to, addressed, etc., by many people in various contexts for a variety of reasons and purposes. The Vedas contain the spontaneous eulogies of the Rishis to whom His transcendental glories are revealed. The Puranas and the Itihasas abound in His names as they describe His avatars. The hymns of the devout Azhwars and Acharyas are a tribute to His infinite compassion and grandeur.

In a lecture, Embar Sri Kasturi drew attention to the two commonly used names of the Lord — Narayana and Govinda — and pointed out that they signify His Supremacy (Paratva) and accessibility (Saulabhya) respectively. The Vedas address Him as Narayana which explains the truth of His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. Andal refers to this name in her works in the context of His unique capacity to grant liberation. She entreats the Jivatma to hold on to His feet, chant His names and bide by his laws to cross the limits of Samsara.

But the same Andal also affectionately addresses Him as Govinda, a common name that alludes to His association with the cows in Brindavan. She entreats Him to forgive her for calling Him so. Those close to the Lord during Krishna Avatar (Arjuna, Bhishma, Kunti, Uddhava and others) have felt this dilemma. As they savoured the nuances of His presence in human form they were also overawed by the constant experience of His infinite Krishna Tatva.

Kunti waxes eloquent on His profundity when she is emotionally moved at her nephew's departure to Dwaraka. She addresses Him as “a being who has no beginning or end and who resides in the hearts of all witnessing the entire activities of the universe tirelessly? Is it not her greatest fortune that He has been close to the Pandavas? How can one adequately feel grateful to Him for all the help He has rendered? He went as a messenger for them and chose to be Arjuna's charioteer. And guarded them against all the covert and overt dangers they had faced. His appearance as a frightened child before Yasodha is a mystifying one.

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