The Tiruppavai celebrates the glory of the Supreme Lord as much as that of a true devotee. Its emphasis is on the eternal quality of the relationship between them, which when internalised by the latter, equips him with absolute humility, pointed out Sri Damal Ramakrishnan and Srimati Perundevi in a discourse. In the verse Elle Ilankiliye, the maiden who is woken up by the other girls in Ayarpadi exemplifies this attitude of humility that is the hallmark of a true devotee. Humility accepts the shortcomings and failures inherent in human nature and does not fall into the trappings of an ego-centered stance that is the greatest hurdle in the path of Bhakti. Initially, this Gopi argues with the others outside to find out if others have come. But then she accepts that she is at fault and they all proceed to sing the glory of Krishna of unlimited prowess.
The initial reaction of the Jivatma when he turns into a devotee of the Lord is to be overwhelmed by the unimaginable distance between the Lord and himself.
Could anyone ever dream to know Him, serve Him and be devoted to Him, one may wonder. But the Lord’s compassion nullifies this distance and any such doubt.
The basis of Bhagavata Bhakti is acceptance of one’s helplessness in this effort and seeking His grace. Such an attitude divests him of any ego whatsoever.
Vedanta Desika’s poetic fancy captures this sentiment and attitude of a true devotee. In a verse in ‘Daya Satakam’, he shows that though a Jivatma is full of faults and has no chance of seeking salvation, if only he accepts his inability in this issue and seeks God with unconditional faith in His compassion, there is chance of redemption. The devotee is lucky to seek the Lord who, for His part, is the very embodiment of compassion. The Jivatma is thus blessed and is able to remain a Bhagavata.
Bharata is quoted as a perfect example of a devotee who is totally devoid of any ego and pride. Despite the trauma he undergoes due to Rama’s exile and Dasaratha’s demise, he blames himself for the unwanted situation he faces. This mental maturity is because of his love and devotion to Rama and his personal integrity.