Friday, October 23, 2009


In order to make ordinary humans realise the mercy of the Lord, Bhumi devi made a descent & assumed the avatar. According to the hindu Almanac the exact day is determined as Nala year - Aadi Month -Shukla Paksham - Pooram Star - Chathurthi Thithi - Tuesday. She was found in the gardens of Vishnuchittar (Periazhwar) without any gestation in the womb and under the sacred basil plant (tulsi).All our scriptures claim that the soul will be uplifted by bhagwat bhakti and nama sankirtanam and just to prove that the great Lordess took birth in the holy land.

She was always Krishna conscious right from her very young days and grew up listening to Perialwar's Krishnaleela. She was also known as 'Kothai'. In tamil, Kothai literally means one who has curly hair and 'Godha' in Sanskrit means one who is dear to the Lord. As a child, Aandal would get up at dawn, along with her father Sri Vishuchitthar (fondly known as Periazhwar) and would pluck flowers to make a garland and enjoy Krishnaleela. Perialwar was dedicated to the service of the Lord Vadapadrasayee and would offer a garland daily to the Lord. Aandal grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion towards Lord Krishna.

She wondered if she could make an ideal bride for the Lord and hence started adoring the garlands made by Perialwar on a daily basis. She would bend and look at her reflection in the well and admire her match in marrying the Lord. All girls should get attracted to Lord Krishna alone and try to attain Him as husband. It is possible and only if we have total faith on the Lord. Human love is about physical attraction but is never related to the soul. The pure heart and the intense devotion of Aandal finally prevailed and helped her attain the Lord.

As days passed, The Lord too revealed His form when Aandal used to admire her reflection in the well. She would get immersed in Krishnaleela and the Lord would disappear before Perialwar arrived. Aandal in turn would place the garland that she had worn in the basket for Perialwar to take it to adorn the Lord. In order that the world understand Aandal's bhakthi, the Lord played a leela. One day while being immersed in Krishna Leela, the Lord made sure that Perialwar noticed this daily admiration of Aadal's reflection in the well. Perialwar was disheartened at this sight and by the desecration of what was meant only for the Lord and scolded Aandal for her action and in the process discarded the used garland. Kothai in turn was deeply saddened as she felt that she was the cause that deeply hurt her father.

The same night Lord appeared in Vishnuchittar's dream and declared that He liked only the garlands worn by Aandal. From that day onwards Aandal was known as "soodi kudutha" (Soodi - One who has worn -garland, Kudutha - Given).As days passed Aandal loved the Lord like a Gopi and had an intense desire to mingle with the Lord. Perialwar suggested that she observed the vows in the month of Margazhi as done by the Gopis. The Lord Himself has proclaimed in Bhagavad Gita that of all the twelve months He is the month of Margazhi.

Margazhi month signifies the end of dhaksinayanam (the sun changing its course). For all the devas, it signifies the beginning of a day. Hence Aandal, bearing the cold weather that is characteristic of the month, woke up early and tried to wake other fellow female friends and observed a vow to attain the Lord very much like the Gopis had done. This is what has come to known as Marghazhi nombu (or the vow taken in the month of Dec-Jan to realise God).This vow is not regulated by the vedas or shastras and since it has been casaded down by our ancestors we are continuining to observe it even today.

Each of the thiry days, Aandal sang in praise of the Lord which is collectively known today as "Tiruppavai". It has been said that Aandal had sang these verses in praise of the Lord as early as her fifth birthday. Is it possible for a girl of five to achieve such a feat and the answer would be yes if the blessings of Sathguru be made available. Periyalwar (father of Aandal) being her guru, it is no surprise that Aandal was able to achieve this feat at a very young age. Aandal to her part also exhibited all the qualities of a good disciple. It is of no use to have a illustrious teacher (guru) if the disciple had no faith or does not adhere to guru's words. If the guru and disciple both are exemplary then only can bhakthi and bhagawan (the Lord) can be realised very easily. Tiruppavai belongs to that rare category which was sung as a result of the blessing of her guru (her father).

Sri Nikamantha Desikar also has explained in his work Godaa sthuthi, the extraordinary character of Aandal.The first slokam of Godaa sthuthi goes thus :

sAkshAt kshamAm karuNayA kamalAm-ivAnyAm
gOdAm ananya-SaraNaS-SaraNam prapadyE

Meaning :

The flower garden in which Aandal is termed as a golden vine which belongs to the clan of Perialwar, in conjunction with the Lord of Srirangam who is described as a sandal wood tree which hosts the golden vine, the incarnation of Bhooma devi, the divine Aandal who displayed the mercy of PeriyaPirati, I (Desikar), who does not have any means, offer my salutations.

Even a sinner if surrenders unto Thaayar, will make sure that She takes up the case with the Lord and ensure bliss and liberation from future births. Hence each of us should lead the life as prescribed by Aandal in her Tiruppavai.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Maargazhi thingaL madhi niRaindha nannaaLaal
neeraada pOdhuveer pOdhuminO nErizhaiyeer
seer malgum aayppaadi chelva chiRumeergaaL
koorvEl kodundhozhilan nandhagOpan kumaran
Eraarndha kaNNi yasOdhai iLam singam
kaar mEni cengaN kadhir madhiyam pOl mugaththaan
naaraayaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvaan
paarOr pugazha padindhElOr empaavaay


In the sacred month of Margazhi, on an auspicious day of full moon, I (Aandal) beckon all the wealthy young girls of (Aayppadi) Gokulam to take a sacred dip and worship the almight Lord, son of Nandagopar, who by means of his sharp spear disposes off his enemies, mother Yasoda's child who resembles a fierce lion, has a dark cloud like divine complexion, with a pair of eyes that resembles a beautiful lotus, whose face shines like a combination of the sun and the moon, let us all pray and request the Lord to dictate us the service that He expects us to do.


vaiyaththu vaazhveergaaL naamum nampaavaikku
cheyyum kirisaigaL kELeerO paaRkadaluL
paiya thuyinRa paramanadi paadi
neyyuNNOm paaluNNOm naatkaalE neeraadi
maiyittu ezhudhOm malarittu naam mudiyOm
seyyaadhana seyyOm theekkuRaLai chenROdhOm
aiyamum pichchaiyum aandhanaiyum kai kaatti
uyyumaaReNNi ugandhElOr empaavaay.


Mortals of this planet, listen to the things that we have to do to satisfy the vow (of worshipping the lord through the whole of this month) that we have undertaken. Let us sing the glories of the lord whose in milky ocean doing yoganidhra by getting up early in the morning to have a bath and by not including ghee or milk in our diet. Let us not beautify ourselves or adorn our hair with flowers. Let us abstain from doing things that have been forbidden by shastras and not speak ill about others. Let us donate to the needy, alms to brahmacharis and sanyasis and immerse ourselves in bliss


Ongi ulagaLandha uththaman pEr paadi
naangaL nam paavaikku chaatri neeraadinaal
theenginRi naadellaam thingaL mum maari peydhu
Ongu peRum senN nel oodu kayalugaLa
poonguvaLai pOdhil poRi vandu kaN paduppa
thEngaadhE pukkirundhu seerththa mulai patri
vaanga kudam niRaikkum vaLLal perum pasukkaL
neengaadha selvam niRaindhElOr embaavaay


Let us take a dip for the sake of our vow and sing the glories of the Lord, who assumed a gigantic size and scaled the three worlds. This action of ours will result in eliminating the evil from our country, results in adequate rain three times a month. These inturn will lead to beautiful fishes enjoy between the saplings of the farmland, bees relaxing among the flowers, cows, without any hesistations, ensuring that milk overflows from their huge udders and overall resulting in wealth that does not vanish with time.


aazhi mazhai kaNNaa onRu nee kai karavEl
aazhi uL pukku mugandhu kodu aarthu ERi
oozhi mudhalvan uruvam pOl mey kaRuththu
paazhiy am hOLudai paRpanaaban kaiyil
aazhi pOl minni valamburi pOl ninRu adhirndhu
thaazhaadhE saarnga mudhaiththa sara mazhai pOl
vaazha ulaginil peydhidaay naangaLum
maargazhi neeraada magizhndhElOr embaavaay


Oh Lord of the rains, who is as majestic as that of the beautiful sea, don't hesitate to dive into the ocean, collect as much water, rise to the sky and assume the colour of the Lord (black). As with the Lord, who has graceful and powerful shoulders, oh rain god, without any delay, shine like the discus (chakra) that he holds in His right hand and resound to produce the same impact that occurs when the conch (sangu) on his left hand is blown, instantly produce the rain as how the Lord will shoot his arrows, to allow us take bath during the vow and happily flourish and thrive in this world.


maayanai mannu vada madhurai maindhanai
thooya peru neer yamunai thuRaivanai
aayar kulaththinil thOnRum aNi viLakkai
thaayai kudal viLakkam seydha dhaamOdharanai
thooyOmaay vandhu naam thoomalar thoovi thozhudhu
vaayinaal paadi manaththinaal sindhikka
pOya pizhaiyum pugudharuvaan ninRanavum
theeyinil thoosaagum cheppElOr embaavaay

Lord of wondrous deeds, prince of Mathura, abiding in the banks of the pure Yamuna river, the sacred light that took birth in the shepherd's community, who by your very birth glorified the womb of mother Yasoda, whose belly was tied with a string (damodara). To You we come with a pure heart and worship by offering flowers, singing your praise, thinking about your wholeheartedly. Such worship shall burn our past sins and the ones to be committed in future much the same way cotton burns when it comes in contact with fire.


puLLum silambina kaaN puLLaraiyan kOyilil
veLLai viLi sangin pEraravam kEttilaiyO
piLLaay ezhundhiraay pEy mulai nanchundu
kaLLa chakatam kalakkazhiya kaalOchchi
veLLaththaravil thuyilamarndha viththinai
uLLaththu kondu munivargaLum yOgigaLum
meLLa ezhundhu ari enRa pEraravam
uLLam pugundhu kuLirndhElOr embaavaay


The birds are up and chirping and did you (Aandal's female companions) not hear the sound from the great white conch emanating from the temple where the Lord of the king of birds (Garuda) resides? Oh girl, please wake up and worship the Lord who drank milk from the poisoned breast (of Putana, a female demon), who killed the demon (Sakatasura) who came in the form of a cart wheel, who rests on the snake in the milky ocean and who is the seed of the universe, who is worshipped at heart by the ascetics and yogis - whose resounding chants of Hari enter our hearts giving bliss