Lord Krishna: "O Gopis! your words are selfcontradictory.
       You say you have come for getting materials for the NONBU,and
       in the same breath that it is for enjoying my company.
       Those who desire my company need to eschew all other
       desires.Moreover what is this vow you mention? who has
       prescribed it and what are the accessories needed?"
       Gopis - "The cowherds proposed this vow.As it came in handy
       to see your face and sing your glory and as it is in no way
       opposed to our primary purpose of enjoying your company we
       readily responded.We do it also to express our gratitude
       towards these cowherds who have brought about our union
       under this pretext.
       "Although there is no direct Vedic injunction ,we do it
       because our ancestors have done it (Melayaar seyvanagal).
       We give more importance to the practices of our very
       learned ancestors,than to any other injunctions."
       Age old customs,traditions and practices of our Acharyas
       are to be respected and observed with great care - is
       the message of Andal in this paasuram.By enumerating all
       the accessories for the Nonbu,Andal is actually speaking
       about SAAMYAAPATTI- where the delivered soul gets emblems
       similar to the Lord's in Sri Vaikuntha; and the warm welcome
       it receives there after casting off this human mantle.
       MAALE -depicts the LORD's excessive,boundless and unlimited loving 
       care and affection for the soul.It is the meaning of MAAM
       in Geeta Charama Sloka.
       AALINILAYAAY -mentioning His immeasurable and most wonderful
       prowess brings out the sense of AHAM in the same sloka.
       MAAM shows His SOULABHYA (accessability) and AHAM His

       Sri Krishna,after hearing their list of articles needed for
       the vow said- "O girls! If there is a God equal to Me then you
       may find a conch equal to my Paanchajanya.You have asked
       for 'many conches'I can give the conch blown at the temple
       PULLARAYAN KOIL you mentioned in St.6,and  the one I used
       to blow to bring back the cattle from grazing and my
       "As regards PARAI - I can give the kettle drum JAAMBAVAAN
       beat when I measured the whole universe; and the huge drum
       beaten to celebrate my victory at Lanka;and the big one I
       tie to my waist to attract all girls to my dance of the
       pots (Kudakkoottu).
       " PALLAANDU ISAIPPAAR - are your father Sri Vishnuchittar
       and Sri Nammaazhwaar.
       " KOLAVILAKKU - is Nappinnai; KODI - Garuda;and VITAANAM
       (canopy) is Ananta.Are you satisfied ? Now you may go."
       Gopis - "These are for the observance of our vow.But
       after the vow we have to receive certain honours.They
       are exclusively for us.You have to give them to all
       to us."
       This is the prayer of ANDAL in this paasuram;the inner
       meaning being MUKTA BHOGA - the delivered soul's
       enjoyment in the Lord's company at Sri Vaikuntha.
       Incidentally Andal leaves a message for posterity.The
       Lord can punish a soul for a wrong only if the the soul 
       is not prepared to take refuge unto Him i.e., only as
       long the soul is bent on protecting himself by himself.
       The moment he accepts His protection, the Lord cannot
       punish him for his sins.This is the means to secure a
       victory over him.This is the inner meaning of the first
       line KOODAARAI VELLUM SEER.For ex: 1)Parasurama,instead
       of confronting Rama with a bow and losing,could have 
       come with clasped hands,and won.This,perhaps he was not
       aware of. 2) Ravana was allowed by Rama to get back to
       his palace when he had lost everything and stood there
       unable to defend himself.He came back the next day fully
       furnished with with chariot and weapons,and lost his
       life.Had he come without weapons he could have conquered
       Rama.Gopis won Him over by their humble submission to
       The ornaments referred to in this stanza are ornaments
       not only for the body but the soul also.The food (SORU)
       is the Lord; ghee and milk are His virtues (KALYANAGUNA).
       MUKTA BHOGA is the quintescence of this stanza.

          In the very first paasuram Sri ANDAL declared unequi-
          vocally that Sriman Narayana alone was the Means(UPAAYA)
          for getting emancipation and His Service."NarayananE
          Taruvaan"- the "E" is very significant.Similarly Lord
          Krishna in His CHARAMA SLOKA commanded "Maam EKAM
          Saranam Vraja." - "EKAM" = Me ALONE. This is very well
          brought out By Sri Andal in this verse.
          A Prapanna who firmly believes that the Lord alone is
          capable of putting an end to our ever-revolving cycle
          of births and deaths should possess SIX essential
          1.He should have no truck with any other "means" like
          Karmayoga etc( this is his AAKINCHANYA).
          2.Moreover to observe such Yogas he does not have any
          legitimate right,as sanctioned by the Scriptures.He
          has to declare his "lowness".(ANANYAGATITVA)
          3.He has to keep thinking constantly of the Fullness
          or unimaginable capabilities of Lord Almighty who
          is the "MOOLA SUKRITA".
          4.He should concentrate on the indissoluble relationship
          that he has with God.
          5.He should beg pardon of the Lord for all his countless
          acts of misbehaviour in the past.
          6.He should pray to God for the realisation of his
          aspiration,namely Service to the Almighty.
          Sri Andal in a very  dramatic manner brings out all
          these in this verse.
          Sri Krishna observed,"O Girls! When your aspiration
          is for the highest End - my Service (KAINKARYA),you
          must have also performed the prescribed rites for it
          like Karma Yoga etc. Have you done so ?"
          Gopis: (emphatically) No,O Lord! To perform them we
          should in the first place have learnt the Vedas by
          sitting at the holy feet of a great Acharya(Prasaanta-
          chittaaya samaanvitaya etc) reputed for his erudition
          and practice of rites. But our "gurus" are the milch-
          cattle  and our vocation is tending them to fill our
          stomachs.(KARAVAIGAL PIN SENRU etc)
          To add to this we are born of a race which has no claim
          for knowledge.(ARIVONRUMILOM)
          Krishna: If that is the case I can't help you.
          Gopis: We are imperfect creatures but your perfection
          should fill up this gap.(KURAIVONRUM etc)
          Krishna:Now you claim a relationship with me,but this
          can be broken off very easily by performing a rite
          called "Ghata Sraaddha"
          Gopis:That rite is applicable only to the relationships
          which are the result of Karma.But our relationship(namely
          the one between the Soul and God)is indissoluble either
          by you or us or both together.(UNTHANNODU etc)
          Krishna: Now you correctly understand our relationship
          and call me "Govinda" signifying my being one amongst
          you.But in the past you have called me as 'Narayana"
          which has caused me considerable pain.(NOTE: NARAYANA
          indicates the Lord's relationship with every created
          being,prapanna as well as non-prapanna;where as GOVINDA
          was the title He received indicative of His special
          Accessibility(SOULABHYA) and compassion towards calves,
          cows and cowherds.)
          Gopis: we apologise to you for this oversight on our
          part.But after all we are innocent cowherd girls.Out
          of our affection for you we lost our balance of mind.
          Please forgive us.(ARIYAADA PILLAIGALOM etc)
          Krishna then summoned NAPPINNAI and ordered her to
          give them what they desired.
          Gopis: No! she has played her role by recommending our
          case to you.(PURUSHAKAARATVA).Now it is your turn.You
          are the UPAAYA,the bestower of your very valuable and
          much sought-after Service.(NOTE: in a similar case Sri
          intercession and when she said ,"Astu te; tayaiva sarvam
          sampatsyate", he proceeded to pray to the Lord for
          Kainkarya.)Please do it.(IRAIVA etc)
          "Sriman Narayana charanau...etc" - the First Line of
          the DVAYA Mantra is well illustrated in this paasuram.
          The stanza needs to be understood with an elaborate
          explanation by an erudite Guru.The sum and substance
          of the stanza is that He alone is the sole Means of
          Salvation; and a person who has no claim for any Sat
          Karma as the Means of salvation and a refugee, alone
          is fit for surrendering himself unto the Lord.

         This stanza clearly tells us of the highest Purushaartha
        (the end of human life),explaining the meaning of PARAI.
        Asking  for Parai is a pretext; as the cowherds proposed
        this "nonbu' for getting rain and as it came in handy for
        Gopis(Andal) to keep looking at the face of Lord Krishna
        for as long as they liked,they accepted it.Their real
        intention is to get KAINKARYA (eternal service)at the
        lotus-feet of the Lord.The word NARAYANANE used in the
        first stanza was explained in the previous verse;the
        word PARAI is explained here.
        Both "Means" and "End" are the same in Sri Vaishnava
        Sampradaaya;it is Sriman Narayana himself.If those who
        take Him as the "Means' have contact with other "Means"
        like Karmayoga etc,it is akin to pollution due to contact
        with a dead body(because Karma Yoga etc are by nature
        inert and need His Presence to give Result).And if they 
        consider their act of Surrender to the Lord
        (Prapatti) itself to be the "Means", it is like accretion
        of sin due to contact with a chandaala(because anything
        which has the taint of the ego pollutes the purity of
        the Prapanna).
        Similarly regarding the "End" also there are two mistakes
        which need to to be avoided: 1)Desiring other mundane
        things from Him,which would be like desiring to eat poisoned
        or contaminated food; and 2)serving the Lord for one's own
        enjoyment rather than exclusively for His pleasure(Swaartha
        Kainkarya),which would be like eating food left over from
        another eater (Uchchishtha Bhojana).
         Both these types of Purities (UPAAYA SUDDHI and UPEYA
         SUDDHI) need to be strictly ensured by a Prapanna.The
         previous verse (28) speaks of UPAAYA SUDDHI -"UNTANNAI..
         ..PUNNIYAM YAAM UDEYOM"- You ALONE are our Means.The
         present verse enjoins UPEYA SUDDHI - "UNAKKE NAAM AAT_
         SEYVOM" -We serve you for the sake of your happiness
         ALONE,and we derive happiness on seeing your enjoyment.
         Even the least trace of selfish enjoyment is to be
         totally erased in the service of God.It is just as in
         the case of sandal paste,cool breeze,flowers,ornaments
         etc which give pleasure to man,without themselves feeling
         any;the only difference being that man not being inert like
         them  feels happy looking at the pleasure of the Lord.
         Krishna ordered His servants to bring the huge kettle-
         drum (PARAI).Then Andal says,"O Wonder! you have not 
         understood us.We require only your everlasting,most
         enjoyable service.We wish to be always born alongwith you,
         and  keep company with you always to serve you.(Like
         Lakshmana who served Rama whether He was in Ayodhya
         or in the forest.).Kindly guard us from evincing
         interest in anything except you."
         Just as the body serves a man,the Soul,which is the
         body of the Lord (Yasya aatma sareeram),should serve
         Him.This is the natural law.This is the message of
         Andal in this crowning verse.

         Those who study this Tiruppavai are forever acceptable to
         Sri Mahalakshmi and Sriman Narayana - this is the gist of
         this stanza.In days of yore,in Dwaapara Yuga,Gopis actually
         performed this Nonbu.Later on Sri andal imitated them in 
         her heart.Both Gopis and Andal got the service of the Lord.
         So also even without performing the rite or imitating it,
         just by chanting this Divya Prabandha,people will get the
         same fruit (Kainkarya).Sri PARASARA BHATTAR said,"Just as the
         mother cow gives milk even in the presence of its dead and
         stuffed calf (TOL KANRUKKUM IRANGUMAPOLE) so also the Lord
         will bless us even though we are absolutely devoid of the
         supreme devotion of Andal,merely because we are repeating
         her words."
         Gopis had surrendered themselves to Sri Krishna;but their
         Saranaagati would gain fruit only through the PURUSHAKAARA
         (recommendation) of Sri Mahalakshmi.The Lord had churned
         the Milky Ocean to get her; and so the Gopis begin by chanting
         that herculean effort of the Lord.VANGAKKADAL was churned
         only to get Sri Devi who had remained hidden there.Thus
         He became MAA(Lakshmi's)-DHAVA(husband).In stanza 2 Andal said
         ADI PAADI- singing the glory of His Feet; here in 30 she
         says KESAVANAI -of Him who has fascinating locks of hair.
         Thus she enjoys the Lord's Form from His Holy Feet to His
         Head (Aa paada choodam).
         The meaning of the POORVA KHANDA (first half) of the DVAYA
         Mantra is implied in this first line.
         The word "SRIMAT" (He who is ever in the company of SRI) in
         DVAYA mantra is represented here by MAADAHAVANAI.
         " NARAYANA" in DVAYA means He who has the noble qualities
         These are brought out in the present paasuram as under:
         1.KADAL KADAINDA -Lord Vishnu ,turning a blind eye (Kaanaa-
         kkannittu) towards the blemishes of all the gods and demons,
         churned the ocean to get them nectar;this is VAATSALYA.
         2.He established His Supremacy by managing the entire
         operation single-handedly; this is SWAAMITVA.
         3.He even worked in cooperation with worst criminals -
         the lowliest of the lowly; this is SAUSHILYA.
         4.He took the guise of a charming cherub and personally
         distributed the nectar;this is SAULABHYA.
         5.He had the requisite knowledge,the know-how to churn
         the ocean; this is GNAANA.
         6.And He had the required strength to complete the task
         up to the end; this is SHAKTI.
         KESAVANAI- By referring to the locks of hair, His Form is
         implied; that is the meaning of "CHARANAU" in the DVAYA.
         Those who recite the Tiruppavai paasurams are sure to be
         blessed by Him.They will get everything here and finally
         attain Salvation.Sri PARASARA BHATTAR used to say,"every
         one should every morning recite all the 30 verses;or at
         least the 29th one-SITTAM SIRUKALE; if he finds even that
         difficult, he should at least bring to his mind how much
         exquisite joy WE added to our days and nights through  
         chanting,understanding,discussing and in fact living
         with these Divine Verses (Naam irunda iruppai ninaippadu)."
         Those who thus take refuge unto Him will serve Him for
         ever and ever;no rebirth for them.Let us also chant these
         sweet songs and make our mother SRI GODA DEVI's appearance
         in this world useful and purposeful.




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