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Andal continues to mesmerize me, like Meerabai. A striking aspect of her life is her passion, her uninhibited love and a commitment to her lord. Read about her life, it seems that it was obvious to her that she loved a God, a lord who was deified and is the ultimate God in the Hindu divinity. It is intriguing that did not stop her from her inclination and leaning to the lord. She seems to have led her entire life, thinking unendingly about the Lord, a dual-emotion of love & passion, of devotion & prayer, Andal expressed all her feelings in the great works she composed.A woman whose life is an inspiration in the 21st Century, a woman who I feel like reaching out to from the 8th Century. A woman who makes me feel timeless. A woman uninhibited, a woman inspired, a woman devoted, a woman yielding, a woman whose life journey was to discover her lord and a woman unstoppable. I am excited to read what you think about Andal.
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Andal: A great Alvar poet of India
Andal or Godadevi is the only female Alvar among the twelve Alvar saints of India. The Alvars are specifically renowned for their affiliation to SriVaishnavism. Andal’s greatest creations are Thiruppavai (The path to Krishna) and Nachiar Tirumozhi (Sacred Songs of the Lady), and is said to have lived around the 7th – 8th Century.
Andal, or she who ruled, is fondly remembered for her unconditional love, devotion and submission to Lord Vishnu. In her great work Thiruppavai, she emphasizes that the ultimate goal of life is to serve and surrender to the feet of Lord Vishnu.
In this classic work of 30 verses, she imagines herself as a Gopi, who unconditionally loves Lord Krishna. For eternity, she yearns to be given a humble opportunity to serve the lord. It is said that this great work also teaches philosophical values like unconditional love, unquestionable faith, devotion and dedicated, single-minded focus and a life-long yielding to the lord’s feet.
Andal has a magnetism, an appeal and a mysticism to this day. In the 9th Century, she was considered a great writer empowering the Bhakti movement. She is also a symbol of love, passion and eternal bonding. She was also audacious, she refused to marry any mortal, for her undying love of Lord Vishnu. Her works are considered to be bold & audacious, her language embedded with moments of passion, succumbing to wisdom as she concludes her works. By the 16th Century, she was deified and worshipped as a Goddess.
Legend goes that at the tender age of 15, she entered the sanctum of Lord Ranganatha’s shrine and never returned. It is believed that she achieved oneness with the Lord out of her intense love and dedication to the lord.