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Aandal Thiruppavai (Thiruppavai in the month of dhanu is considered auspicious)
Submitted by content on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 03:27.
Submitted by UMAMAHESWARI on Mon, 2006-12-04 19:58. Other
The life of Andal is remarkable in its romantic simplicity. A devout Brahmin, Vishnucitta lived in Villiputtur, a town near Madurai. He procured flowers for the worship of the Lord at the local temple. One morning, he discovered a baby girl lying under a tulasi plant in his garden. Having no family of his own, Vishnucitta felt it was God's grace that gave him this child and named her Godai. Naturally Godai grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion. Vishnucitta sang songs to her about his Beloved Krishna, taught her all the stories and philosophy he knew, and shared with her his love of Tamil poetry. Gradually the love for the Beloved Lord intensified in her. Even as a child, Godai made up her mind to marry none but the Lord of Brindavan. She imagined what it would be like to be His bride, playing the role of His beloved, enjoying His presence. She adorned herself daily with the flower, and thinking of herself as His ideal bride, she would put the garland back, for her father to take to the temple and offer to the Lord.
Andal blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Her desire was to become the consort of Sree Ranaganatha, the Lord at the great temple town of Srirangam. Vishnucitta became desperate. Lord Ranganatha again appeared in his dream and asked that Andal be sent to Him in all her wedding finery. Andal waited with excited anticipation as the wedding party approached Lord Ranganatha's shrine. As the procession entered the temple, she jumped out of the palanquin. Unable to restrain herself any longer she ran into the sanctum sanctorum, embraced Lord Ranganatha and disappeared in a blaze of glory.
The tulasi garden in which she was found is preserved in Srivilliputtur. Vishnucitta's house, adjacent to Lord Vishnu's temple, has been converted into a temple in honor of Andal and contains the well in which she admired her reflection while wearing the Lord's garlands.
The second is the Nacciyar Tirumozhi, a poem of 143 verses. This poem fully reveals Andal's intense longing for Vishnu, the Divine Beloved. Utilizing classical Tamil poetic conventions and intermixing stories from the Sanskrit Vedas and Puranas, Andal creates imagery unparalleled in the whole gamut of Indian religious literature. Commentaries on Tiruppavai, in various Indian and foreign languages are available today.
Although this great classic can be recited everyday it is auspicious to do so in the month of Markazhi[Dhanu] The general practice is to offer an predawn service to the Lord Vishnu by reciting each stanza [pasuram] a day
She visits each household and awakes all her friends to join her for a bath in the nearby pond. She cajoles them and asks whether Kumbakarna had cast a spell on them? She also praises the incarnations of the Lord in between. The next five stanzas she describes her visit to the temple accompanied by her friends. She desires to render Suprabhata gently to wake up the Lord. The group appeases the temple guards and enters the temple cleverly. The group recites prayers extolling the parents of the Lord Krishna and begs them to wake up Krishna and Balarama. It was not fruitful and so they approach Neeladevi the consort of the Lord to have a darsan.
The last 9 pasurams are on the glories of the Lord. On receiving his blessings she list out her demands, which include milk for the vrata, white conch, lamps, flowers, and rich costume and jewellery to adorn after the vrata, and plenty of ghee and butter enough to sink her elbow, and finally seeks pardon for taking the liberty. In the concluding stanza she identifies her as the daughter of Vishnucittar who made this garland of 30 pasurams and says those who recite with devotion will have Lord’s blessings.
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