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The Divine Devotion of Andal - The Story of Goda Devi



In the rich tapestry of Hindu mythology and devotion, Andal, also known as Goda Devi, stands as a radiant figure of pure love and unwavering devotion. Her life and spiritual journey, deeply rooted in the Bhakti tradition, continue to inspire generations of devotees. Let us embark on a journey to discover the remarkable story of Andal, the only female Alvar saint among the twelve poet-saints of South India.


Birth of Andal


Andal's story begins with her birth in the 8th century (some suggest the 7th century) in Srivilliputhur, a town in Tamil Nadu. She was born to Periyalvar, a devoted Vaishnavite, and her birthplace itself is steeped in divinity, being associated with Lord Vishnu.

An Unusual Discovery:

Periyalvar, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, used to string garlands for the deity daily. His deep longing for a child led to a divine intervention. One day, while tending to the garden inside the temple, he discovered a beautiful girl child underneath a Tulasi plant. Believing her to be a divine gift, he named her Kothai.


Transformation of Kothai into Andal

Kothai grew up in an environment filled with love and devotion to Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. As she matured into a beautiful young woman, her love for Krishna deepened to the extent that she resolved to marry only Him. She became known as Andal, and her dedication to Krishna was unparalleled.


The Garland Incident

Andal's devotion took a unique turn when she started adorning herself with flower garlands before offering them to the deity. One day, after she wore a garland herself, Periyalvar found out and reprimanded her. However, this incident had profound spiritual significance.


Divine Marriage

Lord Vishnu, recognizing Andal's pure love, appeared in Periyalvar's dream and instructed him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal to Him. It was a sign of divine acceptance of her love. Andal was now seen as the "Chudikodutha Sudarkodi," the lady who wore and gave her garland to Vishnu.


The Spiritual Journey

Andal's love for Lord Krishna transcended the earthly realm. She composed two remarkable works, Tiruppavai and Nachiyar Tirumoḻi. In Tiruppavai, she identified herself as a Gopi from Vrindavan and emphasized the surrender to the Lord's feet as the ultimate goal of life.


Divine Union

In the realm of devotion, Andal's marriage to Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam is a symbol of her ultimate union with the divine. It is believed that she merged with the deity, becoming one with Him. This divine union is celebrated as Rangamannar, highlighting the extraordinary connection between Andal and Lord Krishna.


Legacy and Inspiration

Andal's life and teachings continue to inspire countless devotees, especially in the Sri Vaishnava tradition. Her unwavering devotion, deep love for Lord Krishna, and her profound spiritual journey serve as a timeless example of the path of Bhakti. She remains a beloved figure in South India, and her story continues to be cherished, sung, and celebrated during festivals and spiritual gatherings.


The story of Andal, or Goda Devi, is a testament to the power of love and devotion in the realm of spirituality. Her life's journey, from an ordinary girl to a divine saint, exemplifies the boundless potential of pure devotion. Andal's legacy lives on, reminding us that true devotion knows no boundaries and can lead us to a divine union with the Supreme.

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prabha harsha
prabha harsha
22 dec. 2023

Please Update Ekadashi pics and videos

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