A:nda:l appeared during 1st century of Kaliyuga, in the year 98 and lived for just 12 years.Her appearance and disappearance, both were miraculous. She was found in the holy garden of basil to Vishnuchiththa, himself a member of the nonpareil class of devotees called “A:lwa:rs”. Like basil,Thulasi, which is divinely fragrant from root to shoot,she imbibed “Krushna Bhakthi” from head to toe so much so, that she dreamt of marrying none but God Himself!
A:nda:l learnt from Her father that in order to gain the company of Krushna, the cowherd girls observed a vratham. She too followed the path of go:pikas, and received the same fruit of union with Her beloved Lord Sri:rangana:ttha.
As part of the vratham, she offered one Tamil poem called pa:suram to Lord each day for about 30 days. The vratham is called “Thiruppa:vai”, the “auspicious observance”.
This vratham is about taking an ablution, not necessarily to the body but for the a:thma. It’s about singing together the auspicious names of Lord, His qualities and His pastimes. With overwhelming love towards Him, we offer various services to Him. In the process, we unfold our true nature of “pa:ra:rtthyam”, that the very purpose of our lives is to glorify Him, our true joy is to be found only in serving Him with love.
The acceptance of Lord as the only means is the quintessential route to reach Him, also called as “Ma:rgasi:rsha”. The lunar month of Ma:rgasi:rsha during which this vratham is observed also signifies the same. In Ma:rgasi:rsha month, we adopt Him, the “Ma:rgasi:rsha”, to reach Him!
Unakke: na:m a:tcheyvo:m...“Oh Go:vinda! We do not desire any other fruit. For all the births to come, let all our relationships be with You alone. Overlooking all our disqualifications, kindly accept our various services unto Your lotus feet to Your satisfaction”, is the final submission of Thiruppa:vai. And so is the essence of all Upanishadic statements like below.
Make Pranava, the sacred syallable O:M as the dhanus, nock the arrow of a:thma onto it and aim at the target of Supreme Bliss, Bramha. With great attentiveness the arrow be released, lest it should miss the target! This is the essence of Dhanurma:sa Vratham, another popular name for this Vratham,as it comes in the month of Dhanus as per the Solar calendar. It starts on Decemeber 16th evening this year.
This is the time of the year when sathva, goodness predominates in all. The never so brilliant moon illuminates the nights, spreading a cool, pleasant feeling across the planet. This period marks the early two hours of the dawn for de:vathas, whose one day equals our entire one year. As the night recedes and de:vathas start waking up, the whole ambience is filled with sa:thvic energies. Naturally, this time is conducive for contemplating the highest purpose of life beyond any mundane pursuits.
How easy our Mother A:nda:l made it for us to practice!A child naturally imitates the mother. As Her beloved children, let’s try to imitate our Mother and perform the vratham. Standing next to the Lord, when She is assuring us of the wonderful results, why not participate and reap the benefits ?
Our mangala:sa:sanams to one and all for a blissful Dhanurma:sa Vratham – 2018.