Andal Thiruppavai


About Andal

Andal was a 10th century Tamil poet who is revered as a saint in the southern parts of India. Infact, she is considered as one of the twelve Alvars (saints) and the only woman Alvar (saint)  Alvars  She is also believed to be an incarnation of Sri Bhumi Devi, the Divine Consort of Sriman Narayana (a manifestation of Lord Vishnu). Andal Thiruppavai, the compilation of devotional poems sung by her, is still recited by devotees during the month of Margazhi. 

Early Life

The life history of Andal tells us that a person named Vishnucitta found her, as a little baby girl, under a Tulsi plant in the temple garden of Srivilliputtur.  (in southern TamilNadu) He gave her the name of Goda, meaning 'the gift of Earth'. Vishnucitta brought her up in an atmosphere of love and devotion towards the Lord. The intensity of her love and dedication towards the Lord grew so much that she decide to marry Sri Ranganatha, a form of Lord Vishnu.

Unusual Offering

As per Andal biography, as she grew, her determination to marry Lord Ranganatha also increased. She also started making a unique offering to the Lord. She used to wear a flower garland first herself and then offer it to God. As an explanation, she said that first wanted to see whether the garland looked good or not by wearing it herself and looking in the mirror. Only after she was convinced that the garland looked nice, did she offer it to God.
One day, her father saw her doing this and admonished her from repeating this act. Goda made a new garland for the Lord. It is said that the same night, Vishnucitta received a vision from the Lord, who told him that He heartily accepted Goda's offerings. From that day onwards, Goda came to be known as "Andal", the girl who "ruled" over the Lord.

Marrying the Lord

As Andal reached the marriageable age of 15, her father asked her to get married. She replied that she would marry only Sri Ranganatha. It is believed that after this incident, Vishnucitta again received a divine vision, in which the Lord instructed him to send Andal to Sri Ranganatha Temple. At the same time, the priests at Sri Ranganatha Temple also received a vision where the Lord ordered them to prepare for the marriage. It is said that after reaching Sri Ranganatha Temple, Andal married the Lord.
ThirukkalyaNam by Visaka Hari

Thiruppavai and Nachchiyar TirumoZhi

Andal composed two poetic works in her lifetime, both in Tamil. Even though she compiled the poems in her teenage years, they display a high level of literary and religious maturity. Her first work is known as Andal Thiruppavai. It is compilation of thirty verses, in which she imagines herself to be a cowherd girl who longs to serve Lord Krishna. The second compilation is known as Nachchiyar Tirumozhi, consisting of 143 verses. Through this poem, she disclosed her passionate yearning for Lord Vishnu.

திருப்பாைவ  THIRUPPAVAI

Andal, like Sita Piratti was born at Rangamannar’s nandavanam, just like the
ethereal fragrance of the tulasi growing nearby. After she attained a
marriageable age, when Periyazhwar was searching for a groom, Andal said, “If
you get me married to mere mortals, I shall not wish to live, I shall not allow
you to do so, I shall get wed to Paraman alone”. Whenever Azhwar used to sing
the glories of the Perumals of the hundred and eight divya deshams, and
whenever he mentioned about Arangan, His divine form and the beauty of His
thirumeni, she used to feel mesmerized and shed tears of joy and at the same
time feel thrilled. She, like the gopikas of Nandagokulam, decided to get
married to Kannan alone and adorned Herself with attire similar to that of the
Gopis and would talk hours together like them and observed the “Paavai” nombu
or festival. These actions were sung by her as Thiruppavai. This is also
referred to as Godai Tamizh that is “
ஒரு ெபண்ணின் தமிழ்” a girl’s tamizh.
The Tamizh sung by those born as a female. Other divyaprabandhams are
tamizh, which have been basically sung by Azhwars who were male with naayaka
naayakibhavam or bridal mysticism.
Thiruppavai can give one a divine experience of unity with Bhagavan.
மதுைரயில் சங்கப்பலைக ஏற்றுக்ெகாண்ட பாக்கைளக் ெகாண்டது” – It is based

on those pasurams which were accepted by the changa palakai at Madhurai,
that is Thiruvaimozhi. Kodai says “
சங்க தமிழ் மாைல முப்பதும் தப்பாேம”, one
who sings this garland of pasurams in changattamizh, shall definitely get the
divine blessings of Thirumal. There are certain periods for Vedam, when it
should not be recited, but for a few days, Thiruppavai can be recited at all
other times. The shastras taught to us by our parents are two in number. The
first one being Geethai taught by our father Kannan. The other one being
taught to us is by our mother, which is Thiruppavai. Its glory is said thus
ேவதம் அைநத்துக்கும் வித்தாகும்”, that is Vedam is the basis for everything.
And so it is said that one who does not know these (5 +( 5 x 5) = 30) thirty
pasurams of Thiruppavai is a burden to the earth. There are six main topics in
Thiruppavai –
1. Paavai nombu – The observance of paavai festival
2. Going together for observing the paavai nombu
3. Awakening Kannan
4. Singing the glories of Kannan
5. Preaching
6. Sharanagathi or Self surrender
Andal talks about the above in the same order mentioned.
Andal becomes an acharya to Bhagavan for having taught him of his own duties.
The shastras proclaim that a pupil can eat the left overs of his acharya. It is
for the same reason as to why Rangamannar wishes to adorn the flower garland
of Andal after her having worn it. This is conveyed by her name “
சூடிக்ெகாடுத்த நாச்சியார்”. Just like Gopis, Andal takes all her friends and others to observe
the festival of paavai and having preached them the ultimate truths, helps
everyone to perform sharanagathi at the lotus feet of the Lord to attain the eternal bliss of moksham.

Andal composed  30 Verses of Thiruppavai in a Structured Manner. First Five Pasurams Tells about Five Forms of Lord Vishnu - Param , viyuham, Vibhavam, Antharyamithvam , Archai.
 (For blessing the bhaktha’s with His dharshan He takes His abode in five different places, Param, Vyuham, Vibavam, Antharyamithvam, Archai.)
In Next 10 Pasurams 10 of Her Friends are woken up to join their Holy mission. Next 15 Pasurams tell about Their Mission Of Meeting Lord Krishna.
(5 + (5 x 5) = 30) thirty pasurams of Thiruppavai  are Eloborations of First 5 pasurams in the following 25.
Andal Vaibhavam

Sri Villiputhur


Popular posts from this blog

Chinmaya Tapovan Ashram - Sidhabari - Himalayas

Srimushnam Bhoo Varaha swamy

ஓங்கி உலகளந்த உத்தமன் Thiruppavai - Pasuram 3 - Oongi UlakaLaNtha Uththaman.