Did you Know who is Andal and How she married the Lord?
Life History of Andal
Andal’s Birth and childhood
Andal appeared as a baby in the garden of a temple in Srivilliputtur under a Tulsi plant when another Alwar called Vishnu Chitta was digging there to season the soil. He considered it God’s blessing. He took the baby and brought her up at his house. As Vishnu Chitta (also known as Periyalwar) was a great saint, he used to worship God in that temple, treating Him as his own son and doing every service since early morning to night with great love and affection. Naturally, the girl also learnt all those habits and developed an intimate attachment to God.
Andal’s attachment with God
As she began growing into teenage, Andal developed great attachment and longing for God. She used to think of Him throughout the day and talk about His beauty and glories and everything about Him. She began craving for Him very deeply. She used to wear herself the flower garlands prepared by her father for offering to God to see whether they are good and suitable to God. She used to see in the mirror and admire herself before offering them to God. One day, her father witnessed this and grew angry at her and threw the garland into the dust bin and prepared fresh garland for God. But God appeared to him in a dream and asked him to bring only the garlands worn by his daughter as they are the true garlands offered with pure devotion and love. Then, Vishnu Chitta began knowing about her true love and attachment towards God. Andal began realizing that she loves God and wants to marry Him and nobody else.
Tiruppavai and Dhanurmasa vratam
Andal found out the method of Vrat or keeping austerity and fast by Gopis to attain Sri Krishna. She also wants to possess the blessings of God and marry Him. So, she performs the vratam of Dhanurmasa during the 30 days period of the entry of sun in the Dhanur Rasi or Sagittarius till his entrance to Makar Rashi or Cancer. This period is considered as very much auspicious and liked by God as all angels worship him during this period (Margashirsha masa or month). This period generally falls during 16th December to 14th January each year. The last day is known as Makar Sankranti. Andal decides to keep fast all these 30 days and she composes hymns daily to worship Him with one hymn daily. These 30 hymns are known as Tiruppavai. God Vishnu is pleased with her humble and sincere worship, dedication, and love. So He decides to grant her wish of marrying Him.
Andal’s marriage with God, Sri Ranganathaswamy
On completion of the Tiruppavai and Dhanurmasa Vrat of Andal, God one night appears in the dream of her father Vishnu Chitta and asks him to come to Srirangam Temple along with his daughter. Then God tells his temple priests at Srirangam to bring Andal and her father with a full welcome to His abode by appearing in their dreams also. Immediately, the priests bring Andal fully decorated as a bride along with her father to the temple. Andal enters the sanctum sanctorum and the wedding ceremony takes place with full rituals by positioning Andal by the side of God. After the ceremony is completed, Andal also transforms herself into an idol to stay with God forever in that temple.
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