Andal



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Fast Facts
Andal.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Andal Ammal
Function: 
Guru
Traditions: 
Advaita
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
1008
Place of Birth: 
Tamil Nadu
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
1089

Biography

Aandaal is believed to have been discovered under a Tulsi(Basil) plant in the temple garden of Srivilliputtur, by a person named Vishnucitta who later became one of the most revered saints in Hinduism, Periyalvar. The child was named Kodhai (meaning, a beautiful garland, in Tamil) and she was raised by Vishnucitta. Goda (Sanskrit version of Kodhai) grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion. Vishnucitta doted on her in every respect, singing songs to her about Lord Krishna; teaching her all the stories and philosophy he knew; and sharing with her his love for Tamil poetry. As Goda grew into a beautiful maiden, her love and devotion for the Lord grew to the extent that she decided to marry none but the Lord Himself. As days progressed, her resolve strengthened and she started to live in a dream world with her beloved Lord and was constantly fantasizing about marrying Him.

Vishnucitta had the responsibility of delivering flower garlands to the Lord's temple, everyday. Goda made these garlands and sent it to her beloved Lord through her father. Eventually she started acting unusual by wearing the flower garland which was meant to be offered to the Lord. This is generally considered sacrilege in Hinduism because the scriptures teach the devotees not to offer to the Lord, a thing that has already been used by a human being. However, Goda felt she should test to see how the garland suited her and only if it did, she should offer it to the Lord. One day, she was caught red-handed by her father in this strange act, and as an orthodox devotee he was extremely upset.

He rebuked her and told her not to repeat the sacrilegious act in the future. Frightened and apologetic, Goda made a new garland for the offering that day. Legend says that that very night the Lord appeared to Vishnucitta in his dream and asked him why he had discarded Goda's garland instead of offering it to Him. The Lord is believed to have told Vishnucitta that He had whole-heartedly accepted Goda's offering all this time.

This moved Vishnucitta so much even as he started to realize the Divine Love that existed between the Lord and his daughter. From this day on, Goda is believed to have been respected by the devotees and came to be known as "Aandaal", the girl who "ruled" over the Lord. She is also known by a phrase "Soodi kodutha Sudarkodi" which means "The bright creeper-like woman who gave her garlands after wearing them".

Sources: 
WIKI

Teachings

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