What makes people, people?
What differentiates them from the mindless cattle, the directionless animals, and the immobile plants?
Aandal had always heard her father mention that word in connection with one’s desire to stay with the very things that had the power to bring them down.
If She had to define it, Aandal would say, agyaana was the willing surrender to whatever vices that tethered one to the cycle of hope and despair.
Where there was love, there was hope. And where there were expectations, there was also a risk of despair. The distinction between both was very thin, and it was as easy to slip from the state of enlivening hope to abject despair within a matter of seconds.
Much like the cattle that fed on grass day in and day out, doing nothing mindful or significant other than giving milk, the ocean of promises called life sucked one in and milked one for all the worth possible, finally churning out something unrecognisable, that had completely veered away from the original path.
The way, Aandal would say, was to seek what one was born to seek.
What one was conditioned to seek was the secondary distraction.
What one desired was probably a revolution against the conditioning.
To get into the eddying whirlpool and hope to find an exit was just one’s denial and downright refusal to see the light of God.
To see Sriman Narayanan as the sole truth;
Service to Him as the sole motive;
Moksha as the sole goal.
To do all this, Kodhai decreed, one must be aware of all the hurdles that could come, and equip themselves with the tools that would guard them against the appealing lures and focus instead on the lurking shadows that rose behind them; at once a warning and an engaging mystery.
Those who feared the unknown lived life with a blandness; those who sought the unknown were too drained by the known.
The horizon, though, beckoned to both the believers and the disbelievers.
And it was a field where everyone, big or small, good or bad, knew that the ultimate truth was one, while its forms might be perceived as many.
So if moksham was given to everyone, why would one undertake any penance of any sort? If that were not the case, was the Lord discriminating between His followers and naysayers?
Even if atheism was an alien concept, Aandal knew that at least meant a firm stand. She had seen the village ascetic who held that he was without a belief system, and the miser who refused to see any power above him.
Those people, she assumed, had their own stories to tell. Their own reasons to see what they saw.
As to the question of moksham, Aandal knew, the scriptures said various things – but her view was simple.
It was all the difference between enjoying the journey instead of running towards the destination; the primary arc between knowing that discrimination is not a weapon of choice, but handing one the products of one’s own desire was an acceptable course of action.
The boon, then, to enjoy more years away from Him, in the churning waves and the current of the whirlpool, would by itself become what one wanted to escape from – eventually.
Whatever promises life held; it also came with the uncertainty of tomorrow, the risks of discontentment, and the realisation of the lack of purpose in everything that was not Sriman Narayanan Himself.
The One who had no blemishes would know of everyone who sought Him, and His benevolence would give one whatever they desired. The care then, should be taken about the direction of that desire, and its nature.
Dawn broke again, as it always did after the darkest hour.
Aandal watched the sky turn violet, then pink, until it became a fiery orange before settling on a clear blue with specks of grey.
கறவைகள் பின்சென்று கானம்சேர்ந் துண்போம்
அறிவொன்று மில்லாத ஆய்குலத் துன்றன்னைப்
பிறவி பெறுந்தனைப் புண்ணியம் யாமுடையோம்
குறைவொன்று மில்லாத கோவிந்தா வுன்றன்னோ
டுறவேல் நமக்கிங் கொழ்ஹிக்க வொழியா(து)
அறியாத பிள்ளைகளோ மன்பினா லுன்றன்னைச்
சிறுபே ரழ்ஹைத்தனவுஞ் சீறி யருளாதே
இறைவாநீ தாராய் பறையேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.
kaRavaigal pinsenRu kaanamseerndh thuNboom
aRivonRu millaatha aaykkulath thunRannaip
piRavi peRundhannaip puNNiyam yaamutaiyoom
kuRaivonRu millaatha goovindha unRannoo
tuRaveel namakking kozhikka vozhiyaa(thu)
aRiyaatha piLLaigaLoo manbinaa luNRannaich
chiRupee razhaiththanavunj chiiRi aruLaathee
iRaivaanii thaaraay pRaiyeeloo rembaavaay.