Bhakti is meditation on the Lord when one’s entire being yearns for Him. The Jivatma realises the absoluteness and supremacy of the Lord and wishes to serve His will and knows for certain that such service is the only goal of religious experience. The Gopis led by Andal typify this experience when they seek Krishna’s grace, said Vangipuram Sri Lakshmi Narasimhachariar in a lecture. They are unable to bear separation from Krishna and have no other succour except His grace. Getting up early in the morning they reach Krishna’s abode in Ayarpadi. They wake up the guards so that Krishna can be informed that they have come to see Him with pure hearts. Andal eulogises Krishna as the very essence of the Vedas and the Supreme Lord who has chosen to live among them as the son of Nandagopa. She alludes to Narasimha avatar wherein He shows that He cannot brook any harm to His devotees. The word picture in this verse captures the ceremonial majesty of this incarnation. “As the sleeping lion in the mountain cave in the rainy season wakes up on hearing the sound of forest elephants and, with fiery eyes and hair standing on ends, shakes itself up and roars and comes out of the cave in the most regal manner, you Krishna, whose valour outshines that of the lion and tiger, should arise from the chamber of Nappinnai and walk up to the ‘mani mandapa’ and seated on the exceptionally brilliant throne, grant us our wishes for surrender.” She is overwhelmed by the compassion of the Lord towards the Jivatma. This Lord is partial towards those who have sought surrender at His feet.

The sentiment expressed here refers to the contrasting display of anger and compassion in this incarnation — anger towards Hiranyakasipu and compassion towards Prahlada. Those who have erred against the Lord cannot withstand His prowess and finally seek His feet in obeisance. The bhava of surrender is complete when she leaves it to the all-knowing Lord to examine their eligibility in this matter. There is no need to spell out what they want. Such is her implicit faith in His Sankalpa in the matter of protecting His devotees.

Keywords: BhaktiJivatmaGopisAndal

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