Thursday, June 18, 2009


6 to 15) These stanzas bring into prominence another peculiar tenet of Sri Vaishnavism. A solitary quest after God is not likely to be as fruitful as a quest in the company of the godly. Unlike earthly pleasures which dwindle on being shared with others, godly pleasure multiples when it is partaken with others. The company of a right-minded person whose heart-throbs are all for God isa great asset in approaching God. Just as one takes help before getting into a flood, the tendency in every lover of God before he steps into the flood of God-love is to secure the help of similar lovers of God. Further one always desires to share one’s pleasurable enjoyments with others. In that mood, here we see Sri Andal waking up those that are not with her, to get up and partake of the divine bliss that awaits them all. The company of the Godly is preferable to that of God Himself and rather than leave behind some of their number they would all tarry and delay their proposed visit to Sri Krishna.

One may ask : do the godly sleep and indulge in indolence so as to be roused into activity by others? The answer to that is that they are not sleeping at all. They are imbued with the same god-love abd are keeping awake. With Sathrughna each of them could also have answered “No, I am not sleeping. I am fully awake thinking of that very Person who occupies your thoughts” (Srimad Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda 89-3). But thought awake they are not able to get up. They are chained to their beds, as it were, by various and mixed feelings towards God which make it impossible for them to rush out and join their companions. At the top of the note on each stanza, the particular mood of the girl who is sought to be roused by stanza has been indicated. It talks volumes about the psychological insight of Sri Andal that she could picture those several moods, personify them and sing them into activity so beautifully.

An attempt has been made, and is being made by several learned commentators and pandits, to say that the ten Alwars are being indicated by these ten stanzas,-One in each. It is a very good study and though it might not have been Sri Andal’s intention to refer to any Alwar, still the words employed are capable of being so interpreted. It is a textual process and hence is not attempted here.

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