By Sri U.Ve. Mahavidhwan Elayavilli Srinivasa Bhuvarahachariar Swami
M.A (Retd) Prof of Sanskrit, Alwar Thirunagari
Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha
Srimathyai Godayai Namaha
Srimathe Baladhanvi Mahagurave Namaha
Srimad Varavara Munaye Namaha
Sri Andal's greatness is unparalleled and beyond the ken of speech and writing. Of the three divine consorts namely Sridevi, Bhudevi and Neeladevi, she is the incarnation of Bhudevi and excels the other two due to following reasons. They are worth remembering on this happy day of her birth festival. That is the proper way of paying our tributes to her.
1. Sridevi and Neeladevi are not born in this world without the company of Sriman Narayana. But SriBhudevi incarnated in this world leaving the company of her Lord at Srivaikunta. She was born at Srivilliputtur as the dearest daughter of Sri Vishnuchita or Periyalwar.
2. As she was the incarnation of Bhudevi , she was worried about her children who are lying on her lap, i.e., in this mortal world. So when she was retrieved from the deluge by her Lord Sriman Narayana in the form of an wild boar, she requested Him to tell Her the easiest means of salvation by having recourse to which all Her children could reach Srivaikuntam. The Lord told her "If a man sings songs of devotion and offers garland to Me, I will be pleased to entertain Him to my world". Sri Bhudevi replied "O my dear! My children (mortals) are steeped in the ocean of ignorance. Therefore I will go down to the mortal world and sing devotional songs (pamalai) and offer You flowers of garland (poomalai) on their behalf. If they recite these songs and offer garlands to You, You must certainly bless them with your service, putting an end to their cycle of birth and death, the root cause of all their sufferings". The Lord became speechless on observing the mother's affection. He gladly consented to do so and bade farewell to her. So she came down to this world as Periyalwar's daughter. This kind of motherly affection is not to be seen in the case of the other two spouses namely Sridevi and Neeladevi.
3. This behavior of SriBhudevi (Sri Andal) is reminding us of a mother's benevolent attitude. When her child is afflicted by a severe malady the mother takes a strong dose of medicine. That medicine cures the child when it drinks the mother's milk. All the mortals are suffering from the disease called Samsara (birth and death) for their sake Sri Andal took the medicine namely birth in this world. This proves her unlimited affection for her children.
She offered garlands and sang two divine poems Thiruppavai and Nacchiyar Thirumozhi for our sake. The moment we sing these songs or offer flowers to Him, He thinks of His promise to SriBhudevi and keeps up His promise by granting salvation to all of us.
In Thiruppavai She made it very clear to us that taking refuge unto the lotus like feet of Narayana is the sole means of salvation. But Acharya Abhimana is much easier and the safest means of salvation.
She declared in Nacchiyar Tirumozhi that whenever a man takes refuge unto the lotus like feet of the Lord, he is not sure of reaching the abode of the lord. It is because the Lord is free to act according to His whims and fancies i.e., He is Swatantra. He may look at our sins and may push us down to this world or He may grant us salvation by showering His grace on us out of pity. Thus He may act in either way. But an Acharya is full of the milk of human kindness and will never allow us to be born in this world. He is sure to get us a berth at Srivaikunta by his strong recommendation to lord. So Acharya Abhimana i.e., the Acharaya's unbounded affection alone is the surest and safest means of salvation. This cardinal and very secret principle of our sampradayam which was closely guarded by our Acharayas was first brought to light by Sri Andal, which none other had done. Thus we can go on sketching the unique and distinctive features of Sri Andal. Now our duty is to sing her divine songs in front of Andal and Rangamannar by way of service to them.