Girl who would marrry no one but God. She lived a life of innocence, purity
and toatl dedication to her God and was finally united with Him
Pandya was a kingdom in ancient Tamil- nadu. Its capital was
Madurai.Vallabhadeva was the ruler. He was a very good ruler. The people
were happy. He was always watching his officers to make sure that they did
their work honestly and well.
One day the king went round the city on horse back in disguise to inspect
the work of the guards. A man was sleeping on a pial. The king woke him up
and Enquirer who he was. "I am a Brahmin pilgrim; I am going to Rameshwaram
after a dip in the holy Ganges," said he. "Tell me anything you think
important," said the king.
The Brahmin replied, "Oh King! One has to work for eight months in order to
earn enough for one full year's living.To provide for a happy life in old
age a man must earn and save plenty of money in his youth itself. To gain
happiness in the next world one must strive hard on earth in allpossible
ways andmeans to earn Punya (Merit in God's eyes)."
On hearing this, the king was upset. 'True, I have not done anything here to
earn happiness in the other world. How can I earn merit? Different religious
codes teach different ways of earning merit. To get clear knowledge, I must
invite learned men from different countries and get a definite decision in
the matter,' he thought.
So there was a conference
of learned men.
In A Garden
Famous scholars from far and near have assembled in Madurai. The winner gets
plenty of money; and this money is placed near the main door of the assembly
hall itself. The learned men are explaining their ideas to the king.
An officer of the palace of Vallabhadeva had a dream. Lord Shrinivasa of
Simhadri, a place at a distance of ten miles from Madurai, appeared in the
dream and said, "Go at once to Shrivilliputtur and bring Vishnuchitta to
Vallabhadeva had a minister
and religious adviser, Shelvanambi by name. It was he who had the dream. He
traveled from Maduraito Shrivilliputtur and Enquirer about
Vishnuchitta. Somebody said: "Look, there is his garden."
Vishnuchitta Comes To Madurai
A very beautiful garden. Even at a distance the air was full of the
fragrance of the Tulasi plant and of the jasmine, the chapmpak and the
dandelion. The garden was full of bunches of flowers of different colors,
and was very beautiful (This garden can be seen even to this day. It is the
flowers of this garden that are used for the worship of the deity).
A middle-aged man, with twelve sacred marks on his body, was singing hymns
collecting the leaves of the Tulasi plant and flowers. He was conscious of
nothing else. His hands were busy with God's work; his mind was with God. He
was Vishnuchitta. He was a Shrivaishnava (a devotee of Shri Vishnu), a pious
and saintly man.
Shelvanambi came to this garden. They greeted each other. Vatapatrashayi
(the God who lies on a banyan leaf) was the God whom Vishnuchitta
worshipped. He too heard the call of God. God seemed to say: "Go to the city
of Madurai. There, in the assembly of King Vallabhadeva proclaim, the
Paratatva (the gospel that God is the ultimate goal)." At the same time
Shelvanambi also came with his request.
Vishnuchitta was not well read in the Vedas or Shastras (the Scriptures). He
had read them like any other devoted Brahmin of the day. He was not a
learned scholar. He himself nursed plants bearing flowers, and with his own
hands wove the garlands and offered them to God. God Himself had asked him
to visit Madurai, but yet Vishnuchitta was worried. Though Shelvanambi came
on behalf of the king and invited him, Visnuchitta was very
It was an assembly at the king’s court and the King had particularly invited
scholars to it. Renowned scholars would have gathered there. Vishnuchitta
thought to himself, ‘I have not studies the Vedas. I am not a great scholar.
What and I do in this assembly of towering scholars?’ Finally, he decided
that he should bow down to God’s wish and left for Madurai.
God had been pleased with Vishnuchitta's devotion. God's grace was with him
when he went to the assembly. Vishnuchitta clearly explained the message of
the Vedas. The learned men gathered there were compelled to nod their heads
in appreciation. Vihnuchitta won laurels.
King Vallabhadeva was very much pleased. He conferred a title 'Pattar Piran'
(Chief Priest) on Vishnuchitta. He had Vishnuchitta taken in procession on
It was Vishnuchitta who sang thedevotional poem 'Tiruppallandu' (may you
prosper). He never asked for anything for himself. 'May God bless all
mankind, and may all turn towards God' - so he prayed. In the first stanza
of his poem he prays God as follows:
'May your feet, which are like red lotus, illumine the world forever and
forever! Oh Lord, whose dark blue shoulders over come the strongest
wrestlers, may the beauty of your lotus feet illumine the world for ever!'
After eleven years of prayer and worship he concluded Tiruppallandu with the
vow that he would always meditate on Lord Narayana.
Tiruppallandu is sung every day in many Shrivaishnava temples.
Vishnuchitta came to be called'Periyalwar'. 'Alwar' means one who always
loves God; the devotees of an Alwar believe that God is so pleased with his
devotion that he follows his wishes. Vishnuchitta is the 'Great Alwar'. It
was natural that a man of boundless devotion, who yet said he wished for
nothing for himself, should come to be called the Great Alwar.
There is only one woman among the Alwars of the Shrivaishnava sect, and she
is Andal. It was Vishnuchitta who adopted and brought up the girl. Andal,
pure of heart, was the adopted daughter of Vishnuchitta, himself pure of
heart-and father and daughter were both fortunate. The adoption of Andaf by
Periyalwar is itself a very interesting story.
Treasure In The Earth
Vishnuchitta returned from Madurai and become once again absorbed in the
floral worship of the Lord.
One morning, the sun had just risen and spread his red rays every-where.
Vishnu- chitta was working in his garden preparing beds for his Tulasi
plants with a spade. He was digging below a big Tulasi plant. The spade
struck something and there was a sound. Again, holding the spade firmly, he
dug the earth and then removed the mud around. There was a box. He feared
that the box might contain money and jewels. But at the same time he thought
that with this wealth he could worship God better and was pleased. But yet
again he grew nervous and worried because he thought he should not take the
treasure. Well, all this must be the will of Vatapatrashayi! 'Whatever is
in the box belongs to Him and is for Him only', he decided. When he opened
the box,he saw something beyond his wildest dreams. A lovely female baby lay
in the box. It shone with a ' divine radiance most pleasing to the eye.
Periyalwar thought that this was the play of the Divine will. He brought the
bright baby to his dwelling.
This incident happened about one thousand and one hundred years ago.
After he brought the baby, one after another several thoughts troubled him.
Should Help It!
There was no woman in the house. Who was to bring up this baby? And how? He
did not know how to dandle a child and how to take care of it. Caught in the
whirl wind of this thought, the Periyalwar con- cluded that the child was
meant to serve God, and that God Himself should help the child. He named the
baby ‘Goda'. ('Go' means the 'earth' and 'da' means 'given by') In Tamil he
called her 'Kodai' (one who has beautiful hair). He also called her 'Andal'
(one who attracts).
Vishnuchitta developed deep affection for the baby. He brought her up with
great care and love. He was both father and mother to her and became
absorbed in the task of bringing her up.
BirthdayGod's Gracious Gift
Periyalwar never cooked for himself in the house.The prasadam (cooked rice
offered to God)given in the Vatapatrashayi temple was his food. The same
food was given to Andal also, who became accustomed to it. He wanted her to
be associated with God from her infancy.
A year passed. Andal's birthday had to be celebrated. But how was he to do
it? He was not able to do anything. God's service and meditation were all he
was capable of. He brought the sweet prasadam from the temple and gave it to
He was very happy to see the child Andal eat it with delight. The thought of
God and His prasadam always thrilled Andal. Even as a child, meditation on
God and His worship absorbed her mind.
As days passed the childiship of Andal delighted the Periyalwar ranks more
and more. Sometimes he thought' lam poor. I got this child. Should this
child also grow up in poverty?’ This made him gloomy. But he was comforted
when he saw that Andal had developed good qualities and was dedicated to the
Lord; he thought she was indeed rich and not poor.
Little Andal was always with him. Whenever he went to the garden he took
her also with him. He used to tell her stories of God's matchless strength
and goodness and mercy. He was delighted when he heard her pronouncing the
names of Rama and Krishna. Little Andal used to listen to the stories of
Rama and Krishna with rapt attention. Her interest in these stories grew.
Her love for God and devotion to Him developed from her childhood itself.
Little Andal moving about with tiny steps surprised the Periyalwar himself
by her enthusiasm for his work. She gathered the flowers and put them in
the basket. The periyalwar used to keep saying, 'Every thing is for God,
every thing is for God.' Even while collecting the flowers Andal used to
remember Periyalwar's words. While weaving the flowers into garlands she
sang like her father. Every time she chose a flower she was happy with the
thought that it would adorn God's head or feet. She would identify herself
with the flower and begin to dedicate her-self to God. She excelled ven the
professional garland-makers in weaving garlands for the Lord.
Must Please The Lord'
One day Periyalwar had prepared a big garland. Andal saw it. She was filled
with the desire to wear it. She wanted to please God, as the garland pleased
God. But she was afraid of what her father would say. But Periyalwar was not
in the hut. Boldly she put on the garland. She looked at herself and thought
God might be pleased with her, too. After some time she put the garland back
where it had been. She repeated this every day. Every day Periyalwar offered
a garland to the Lord; so every day Andal first put it on and then put it
back for worship.
My Daughter Done!'
One day Andal put on the garland and said, "This is offered to God." The
Periyalwar heard these words and turned to her in wonder. She herself was
wearing the garland meant for God! Periyalwar was shocked. He took care to
touch the flowers only with his fingers while plucking them and weaving the
garland. He would not allow any other part of his hand to touch the flowers,
The flowers were for God, and he did not want them to wither by his touch.
He used to cover his nose with a cloth while weaving the garland, so that he
not smell the flowers. He would breathe softly. With such care did he offer
the flowers to the Lord. And now his daughter had put on the garland meant
for God, and the garland had touched her entire body! On seeing this
Periyalwar was takenaback. "Oh, the garland has become defiled," he cried
"What has my daughter done? She has herself worn the garland meant for God's
worship! It is our duty to offer to God only flowers, which are fresh and
pure. A crime has been committed! Lord, forgive my ignorant and innocent
child," cried out Periyalwar and prayed to God on one side he was unwilling
to question his daughter about it, lest she should be unhappy; on the other
he felt that she must be told about it; otherwise she would continue
to commit the same mistake every day and incur God's displeasure. After all
she was a girl; she might have a natural craving for flowers. The mistake
must be corrected. It was his duty as an elderly person tocorrect her, so he
thought. He called Andal and told her gently, "Child! What have you done? It
is sinful to offer flowers to God after we wear them." Andal was pained and
at once said, "Never shall I do this, father," and begged him to forgive
Beloved Who Offered Flowers She Had Worn
That day Periyalwar had not the mind to offer the garland to God.
Vatapatrashayi did not get his daily garland. Periyalwar came to God
empty-handed and prayed to Him to forgive his daughter who had done wrong in
God Vatapatrashayi seemed to speak. "Periyalwar, the garland worn by your
daughter has the sweet fragrance of her devotion and purity; that is the
garland I love."
Alwar was very much astonished and was happy. He had been worshipping God
for a very long time to gain His grace. And God had responded to the
devotion of this young teenaged girl! 'My daughter is very fortunate. She
has, gained the grace of God! She has excelled me in divine knowledge! I did
not realize this, 'he thought. He was full of repentance. He offered to God
the very garland worn by his daughter. From that day God came to be
worshiped with the garland which Andal had worn before. She came to be
'Shoodikkodutta. Naacchiyaar'(the Beloved who first wore the flowers and
them to God). She was very happy. She won over Periyalwar by her qualities
and indeed became 'Andal' (one who attracts).
A Light To
Andal was never alone. She wanted her friends also to be devoted to God and
love him, as she did. She wanted her girl friends to please God by their
sincere devotion, meditation and worship. So she gathered a team of her
friends for the Lord's services.
A 'Vrata' (special worship) demands strict discipline. The worship in the
Margashira (winter) is of greater virtue than in other months but is
Margashira and Pushya are winter months. People shiver with cold. Often
there is thick fog. To leave the warm bed even a little early in the morning
seems difficult. Margashira Vrata requires the devotee to get up early in
the morning and meditate on God. Whatever be the difficulties, one who has
undertaken this worship must get up early. Andal offered this worship with
deep devotion. She trained her friends for this special austere worship.
Shri Krishna was the beloved Lord of Andal. She wrote thirty songs of
devotion to wake up her Lord and sang them. These songs became famous and
are known as 'Tiruppavai' ('Tiru'means the highest; 'Pavai' means devoted
worship). It is to her credit that Andal taught her friends the path of
devotion to God and introduced congregational worship and prayer.
Andal brought together five hundred thousand women for the devoted service
of God. She joined them in their meditation and hymns. She taught them to
worship God with love and devotion.
Andal showed an easy way of pleasing God. Not every one can study and
understand the Holy Texts. Not every one can serve God by spending money.
'All are equal in the eyes of God. Dedication and love are all that He
wants,' said Andal.
Andal would constantly be singing songs in praise of God. She would close
her eyes and meditate on God, and forget the world in her meditation. Seeing
all this, her father used to admire her devotion. He was happy when he saw
Andal always lost in meditation.
Many years passed.
Is My Husband'
The devotees narrate an interesting story about the marriage of Andal.
Andal grew up. She had to be married. Father Periyalwar also thought about
it. "Whom will you marry?" Vishnuchitta asked his daughter.
"The Lord of Shrirangakshetra, Shriranganatha is my husband. I will not
accept anyone else as my husband replied Andal. Vishnuchitta heard this
with deep concern. 'Where are we and where is Almighty Shriranganatha?’
thought Periyalwar. He prayed God to guide him.
Won My Hear'
One day Periyalwar had a dream. Shriranganatha appeared in his dream and
told him, " Andal has won my heart, give her to me in marriage."
Periyalwar's heart was filled with joy. His worries vanished -in no time.But
how could he go to Shrirangam? Shrirangak- shetra was nearly two hundred
miles away. In those days it was very difficult to travel that long
distance. There was no one to help him. What to do?
Periyalwar thought of the Pandya King Vallabhadeva.He sent word to him. He
told him about his daughter's decision and the wish of Shriranganatha.He
made a request : "I have to go to Shrirangakshetra with my daughter. Please
help me." The king was very happy. He considered himself as a member of the
bride's party. He made grand arrangements for Periyalwar and his daughter
Andal to travel.
The priest of Shriranganatha Temple also had dream: " I am marrying
Andal.She must be brought in a grand procession, with all honor," so ordered
Shriranganatha. The priest was surprised. But he did not delay. He started
King Vallabhadeva also came from Shrivilliputtur to join the bridal party.
Andal appeared as a bride, wearing splendid ornaments.Periyalwar was very
happywhen he saw the grand procession, which came from Shrirangam.
Andal sat in the palanquin. The marriage procession moved to Shrirangam with
musicians playing on varied instruments. It reached Shrirangam. People came
from many places to witness this grandwedding.
Andal stepped down from the palanquin and stood before Shriranganatha. She
was thrilled when she saw her attractive Lord. All watched with bated
breath.Themarriage of Andal did take place! Andal dedicated herself to the
feet of Lord Shriranganatha. Her dream came true. Shriranganatha accepted
her joyfully. Everyone realized the greatness of Andal. Periyalwar was
grieved to lose his daughter; but her supreme good fortune in being united
with Shriranganatha Himself filled him with joy.
Andal became a Goddess to everybody. She,who had been an ordinary
girl,became a deity to be worshipped. There is a beautiful temple of Andal
in Shrivilliputtur. By its side is a garden. To this day.Andal is worshipped
with the flowers of that garden. The garland worn by Andal the previous day
is presented to Vatapatrashayi the next day.
Garland Of Poems
Andal is the person who gave 'Poomaalai' and 'Paamaalai'. Just as she
presented the garland of flowers to God after having worn it, she gave Him a
garland of songs too. She had been called Goda; the word means not only (one
given by the earth' but also 'one who offers words'. The name given to her
One of Andal's works is called 'Naacchiyaar Tirumoli' ('the song of the
Beloved'). It contains 143 songs. This is a collection of beautiful songs '
'it is not enough if the devotee loves the Lord, the Lord must love the
devotee,' this is the desire expressed in the song. Meditation of the Lord
has made Andal's mind pure.. 'May God also love me,' is her prayer. She is
unable to forget the enchanting form of God. She remembers Him always. She
does not want food, she does not want sleep; such is her love of God.'How
happy I would be if I am married to God,' she thinks. She imagines that the
pomp and the splendor of her marriage with God would excel those of the
marriage of monarchs. 'Tirumoli' is a song of rapture - a song that rise'
only from the joy of deep devotion to God.
A wedding is a singularly appropriate occasion for the singing of these
Tamil songs. Andal's service to Tamil literature is
very great. For that reason she has won a very high place in Tamil
'Tiruppavai' composed by Andal is a very beautiful collection of poems. She
prays to Lord Krishna in a variety of ways and calls her fellow devotees to
The Bhagavatha is one of the famous religious books of India. The story of
Shri Krishna's childhood is narrated in it; and it contains other stories
about Him and His devotees. In one of the stories of the Bhagavatha some
girls pray to Durga- katyayinidevi 'May we get good husbands and may we live
happily after marriage' - this is their prayer. Andal has made use
of this story.But inTiruppavai the devotee's prayer is different. She prays
that God may become her husband. 'May I win Lord Krishna's love!' prays
Andal. She prays, 'May Lord Krishna rise from his bed; my heart is His
throne; and may He always shine on the throne of my heart! People who
worship Shri Krishna believe that He is an incarnation of God. Shri Krishna
was Devaki's son. Thinking that Kamsa would kill Krishna,Krishna's father
Vasudeva took the baby to Nandagokula and left himthere. Yashoda brought him
up in Nanda-gokula. Devaki, who gave birth to Krishna, and Yashoda, who
brought him up, were both human beings.Recollecting this Andal prays to
Krishna: 'we have come to you. Only you can fulfill our desires. We shall
happily sing of the boundless joy you bestowed on us.'
In one of the songs Andal wakes up a friend with these words: 'Birds are
flying. Did you not hear the sound of the conch in the temple? All hermits
are praising Shri Krishna, who pretending to suck milk killed the Rakshasi
(the demon) Pootani. All the sages are praying to Lord Hari (Krishna). So
In another poem,Andal says
to her friends: 'in the garden behind your house,theflower known as
sougandhika has opened its lips. The lotus has closed its lips. The sun has
risen. The sanyasis are going to worship God. So wake up. Let us also sing
the praise of God.'
Andal prays to God thus:
'it is our desire to worship you in the early morning and offer our services
at your feet.You are a protector of cows;accept our lovingservice ; we shall
be your servants in every birth.' Tiruppavai attracted all that followed the
path of devotion.
appreciated it very much. He approved the path of Andal and
followed it.He called her the Ideal Woman. Today the Tiruppavai of Andal is
an immensely popular collection of songs.
Of a Florist
There is a story -that a seller of flowers attained salvation by preparing
beautiful garlands and offering them to Shri Krishna.
There is a city called Mathura in NorthIndia. This is some 300 miles to the
south of Delhi. The kings of Chandravamsha (the Moon Dynasty) lived there.
Mathura was their capital. Ugrasena was the king.Kamsa was his son. He
imprisoned his father and himself became king. Many good people were
persecuted by Kamsa.
Kamsa hated Shri Krishna. He wanted to kill him somehow. He kept ready
elephants and wrestlers for this purpose. ShriKrishna was in a place
calledNandagokula. Kamsa invited Shri Krishna to Mathura.
Shri Krishna and his elder-brother Balarama came to Mathura. As they were
village boys, they wore simple clothes. But should they not go to the king's
court infine clothes?They saw a washerman of Kamsa 's palace. Krishna and
Balarama took fine clothes from him. A little later they saw a hunchback;
she used to supply sandal paste to the palace.The brothers got sandal paste
from her and applied it to their bodies.
Then they reached the house of the man who supplied flowers to the palace.
His name was Sudama, meaning a maker of lovely garlands. He earned his
livelihood by selling garlands.
When Balarama and Shri Krishna came to his house, Sudama involuntarily got
touched their feet. He gave water that they might wash their hands and feet
offered seats.The followers of Shri Krishna who had accompanied him from
Nandagokula were also welcomed in the same way.
The florist felt very happy. He said to Shri Krishna, "Lord! My life has now
meaningful. My house has attained holi- ness. By worshipping you one gains
the blessings of all other gods."
Then 'he presented beautiful, colorful garlands to both Shri Krishna and
Balarama. The complexion of Shri Krishna was Shyamala (blue black). He wore
blue back flowers to match his complexion. Balarama was of fair complexion.
He wore flowers to match his complexion. Shri Krishna and Balarama were very
happy. " 0 h, Sudama, what do you desire? I will give you whatever you
wish," Shri Krishna said to him.
The florist replied,"Lord you are everything to me. I am your devotee. Grant
devotion be firm and unwavering. And may I have the compassion to suffer
with those that suffer!"
Shri Krishna wondered that Sudama wanted nothing for himself. He said to
him, "I have given you whatever you haveasked for. But you must also listen
to what I say. Generation after generation, your family will have all that
it desires. May your family continue! May you be wealthy so that you can
serve God! Be happy and live in peace!"
So Shri Krishna blessed the florist. Like this maker of garlands Periyalwar,
too, asked for nothing. He also garlands and offered them to God with
As Sudama went on offering garlands to Shri Krishna and Balarama,
saying,'This is lovely, this is lovelier,'so Periyalwar also found
fulfillment in presenting flowers to God. He would not give even a single
flower to any one except God. Did he not grow angry even with Andal, whom he
loved so much, because she wore the garland?
Devotion Find Expression In Hard Work
In this way, both Alwar and Andal set the example of showing devotion to God
through hard work. And not only that. They nursed the garden with their
unceasing care and hard work. They never forgot that every flower grown in
the garden would be offered to God. They looked after every plant and flower
as if they were children. And they offered the flowers of these plants to
God with devotion.
How many have attained God by hard manual labor? 'God Likes hard labor which
is the highway to Vaikunta (God's Place)' - Alwar and Andal exemplified this
lesson in their lives.
To All Mankind
Periyalwar composed songs. Andal also composed songs. In the songs of both
of them there is one thing that shows their greatness. In their songs, both
of them pray God to eradicate unrighteousness (Adharma)and pray only for
righteousness. Is not this the prayer of the people of all countries and all
religions?May vice perish, may goodness grow, and may all people live in
cooperation, without harming one another - is this not the prayer of all
good people ? Such people belong to all religions, they belong to all who
the good of all mankind-. Both Alwar and Andal practiced the ideals of
selflessness and freedom from all desire, and they set an example for others
to follow. It is not wonder that people of all religions and have all times
The birthday of Andal,which falls on Pubba Nakshatra(star) day in the month
of Adi (usually in July) is celebrated every where as 'Tiruvadippoora'.
Even to this day the pleasing idol of Andal can be seen in all Shrivaishnava
TheTiruppavai composed by her is chanted everyday.
The Path Of
Tiruppavai contains the very essence of her way of life; so let us learn
something more about it.
Andal took the story of the Vraja girls from the Bhagavata. But while they
handsome and loving husbands, Andal desired that God Himself should be her
husband. She loves God and God alone. She seeks to become one with Him. Then
she will escape from the cycle of births and deaths, she will be free from
disease and sorrow. So becoming one with God is supreme bliss; it is the
But how can one become one with God? How can one become worthy of being
accepted by God?
In the first five hymns Andal explains how one may become so worthy. Both
body and mind should be absolutely pure. And God must fill the mind. No
other desire, another goal should enter it.
Then Andal preaches total surrender to God. Everyone who is filled with the
desire to reach God is like a maiden looking forward to her joyful life with
the husband she has chosen. Such a maiden lives only for her husband and
wants nothing except to live with him. The devotee who wants to be accepted
by God should show the same love and dedication.
The Lord From His Sleep
Some of the songs are to awaken the Lord. What does this mean - this
awakening of God from His sleep? God has to protect the good and punish the
wicked. But God is also merciful. Because of His mercy God sometimes does
not punish the wicked; so His mercy makes Him inactive. It is this inaction,
induced by God's mercy that Andal calls sleep in these hymns. Evil forces
grow stronger if the Lord does not help the good people. So she begs God to
awaken from His sleep and overcome the forces of evil.
Man Has To
Awaken From Sleep, Too
Human beings, too, are lost in sleep. A person's life is mere sleep until he
awakens to the greatness and the glory of God. The days and years he spends
in seeking other pleasures and objects are like time spent in sleep. When he
realizes the greatness of God he is like one who awakens from dreams to the
reality. The devotee who has surrendered himself to God finds pleasure in
nothing except the thoughts of God.
Andal seeks the grace of the Divine Mother. The divine Mother is the
gracious teacher and guide of all who seek the Lord. She is full of
compassion for one who desires to reach the Lord and through Her the devotee
achieves God's grace.
Andal begs Shri Krishna to wake up - to leave his bed and to ascend His
throne; the pure heart of the devotee is His throne. The Lord's radiant
form, His mercy and His greatness have enchanted the devotees, and Andal
invites Him to adorn their hearts
Reflecting on the story of Lord Krishna, Andal finds much to wonder at. God,
who has no birth and no death, was born as the son of a mortal woman, Devaki.
He, who is the light of all the worlds, was of dark complexion. He who
delivers men from fear was hidden in fear. The Lord of Heaven grew up in
cowsheds. Who can understand God's ways?
So Tiruppavai is a song of wonder and love, of prayer and surrender; it
sings of God's glory and man's devotion.
Life forth in the story of Ambareesha.
Andal was young in years, but she wanted to make her life meaningful. She
did not want an empty life- a life spent in eating and drinking and sleep
and trivial pleasures. The light of God-love filled her life.
'Andal Utsava' (celebrations) in Shrivilli- puttur is like a grand religious
fair. The women of the place participate in the festival with pride. Andal
is like a precious jewel among women.