The significant refrain in the Tiruppavai is that of waking up in the early morning to seek Krishna. Andal, believed to be the incarnation of Bhu Devi, imagines she is a Gopi in Ayarpadi and undertakes the lead in this effort. The deeper import is to help us shed the slumber of ignorance and wake up to the awareness of the Lord and of our relationship with Him, pointed out Kalyanapuram Sri. R. Aravamudhachariar in a discourse.

In the ninth Pasuram “Thumani Madathu”, Andal calls out for a friend who is still asleep in her luxurious abode, and since there is no response, she entreats the friend’s mother to wake her. Is she deaf, dumb or in the grip of some magic spell that makes her impervious to their pleas to get up, wonders Andal.

Andal then suggests that the mother should utter the names of the Lord, specially the epithets Ma-mayan, Madhavan and Vaikuntan to wake the daughter. These names indicate Krishna’s auspicious qualities of Saulabhya and Saushilya that blend with His Paratva — His absolute supremacy over the transcendental realm as well as the entire universe created by His Maya. The term Madhavan draws attention to Sri, the Divine Mother who toils with Him to help the Jivatma get out of the turbulent Samsara.

Ma-mayan is the Lord’s Maya which continues to baffle all. “My Maya is difficult to cross,” says Krishna to Arjuna. But Andal reassures us that there is no need to worry about the distance between us and the Supreme Being’s Paratva because He can be bound by Bhakti. He is drawn to those who seek Him sincerely. Andal advocates worship of Him with a pure heart, offer of sacred flowers and prostrations to Him, singing His names and meditating on His glory. These simple measures can reap big rewards in the form of getting oneself rid of the sins done in the past as well as those that are likely to arise in the future. Such is the power of His names that our sins get absolved and reduced to ashes just as objects cast in fire.

During Krishna’s early days in Ayarpadi His supremacy is masked by His childlike innocence and it is this exceptional combine that overwhelms His devotees.

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