Chapter 3 – Andal observes the Margazhi Nombu to attain Lord Krishna
Andal prayed to beget Lord Sri Krishna as Her husband and even vowed to make 1000 offerings of a sweet called ‘Akkaravadisal’ to Lord Kallazhagar of Kshetram Thirumaliruncholai. She celebrated the Lord Balaji of Tirumala and Lord Ranganathar of Sriragam as the very forms of Sri Krishna. In particular, She yearned for Lord Ranganathar as Her husband.
Once when She was hearing Srimad Bhagavatham from Her father, She came to know that the Gopikas of Brindavan observed fasting and prayers in the month of Margazhi/Margashirish and attained Him. Thus She developed desire to observe the same fasting in order to get the same benefit of attaining Him. Considering Her birth and residing place of SriVilliputtur as the Gokulam and Brindavan, She observed the fasting and devotional practices in the month of Margazhi for the sake of marrying Sri Krishna. The Gopikas had prayed to Goddess Katyayani in order to attain the Lord. However Andal took to Her father’s guidance and advice that having Bhakthi to Lord Narayana is the best means to attain Him. Thus she wrote “Narayanane, Namakke Parai Tharuvaan” and prayed to Lord Sri Krishna to attain Him.
During the fasting month in Margazhi, She delivered the great ‘Tiruppavai’ pasurams in a state of highest Bhakthi & Bhavam. Tiruppavai contains the coded meanings of The Upanishads in Tamil language. Delighted with her Bhakthi but with a reason for Her to live in the world for some more time, The Lord did not reach Her at the end of Her fasting (Nombu) period. Dejected that the Lord had not accepted Her Bhakthi, Andal delivered Her yearnings for the Lord in the form of written Tamil pasurams called ‘Nachiyar Tirumozhi’. Day after day, Andal became increasingly affected that The Lord had still not reached out for Her. She passed days thinking and singing Kirtans about Him. Understanding the depth of Her love for Lord Sri Krishna, Periyalwar could only watch by, Her agony, unable to help or deter Her. It was Her friends who played a big part in keeping Her occupied either by encouraging Her Bhakthi or by mocking fun at the intensity of Her Love.
Once Andal was playing with Her friends. They suggested that ‘Godhe! Close your eyes and with your fingers try drawing circles on sand. If the ends of your circles meet, then surely Sri Krishna will come to marry you, else He will not”. She prayed that “If The Lord who did Kaaliya Narthanam is going to marry me, then let the circle ends meet” and it did, every time she attempted to close Her eyes and draw. This infused great joy for Her.
Still Andal was greatly affected by the non arrival of Lord Sri Krishna. She became weak physically and lost weight. She forgot to do even basic ‘alankaram’ to Herself; without sleep and food She was always immersed in Lord Sri Krishna’s thoughts. There is a term for this state of mind and body in Kavyas called ‘Vilpaaramba Sringaram’ – indeed She was in this highest state of being. Her father Periyalwar did not mind much about this state of Andal. But the people of Her town would complain about Her health deterioration to him and his wife. They suggested that She has been inflicted with a mental disease and could be cured only by getting married to someone. When informed about these kinds of talks, Andal exclaimed that “Yes indeed! I am caught by a black figure. But He is not some demon or devil that is possessing me – It is my black hued God, Lord Sri Krishna that is possessing me” and continued “I will marry only Him, not any human being. If you force me to do otherwise, I will end my life ”.