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More on Andal's worship in Andhra

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_WORLDNET.ATT.NET)
Date: Thu Jan 02 1997 - 22:09:30 PST

Happy New Year, everyone.

My compliments to Mr. Sadagopan for his interesting discussion on the
worship of Godha Piratti in Andhra and Karnataka.  As most of my family
hails from Andhra, this aspect of the posting was of particular interest.  I
thought I would take the liberty of adding a little to this.

Although the disconnection from the Tamil language has somewhat diluted some
of the traditions, many SriVaishnavas in Andhra still proudly conform to
many aspects of their Tamil heritage.  The bride's adorning of the Andal
Kondai during a traditional wedding is just one example of this.  This sense
of pride and legacy is further accentuated by the efforts of such notables
as SrimanNarayana Jeear, Ahobilam Jeear, and Andavan Jeear, who are doing
much to ensure the preservation and propogation of our rich sampradayam in
Andhra.

With respect to the worship of Andal, three Abhimana Sthalas stand out in my
mind as examples of the influence of Andal in Andhra.  One is probably known
to many in this group, Sri Govindaraja Perumal Koil in Tirupati.  Here,
Andal Piratti stands to the right of Perumal as His Main Consort.  

Another example is the LakshmiNarasimhaswamy Temple in the hillock of
Yadagirigutta.   The main sannidhi is located in a cavern on top of the
hill, where Lord Narasimha stands with Lakshmi. But, just outside the this
sannidhi is a small temple to Godha, who is referred to by the locals as
Andalammavaru.  Devotees generally catch a glimpse of Andal before seeing
Lord LakshmiNarasimhan, and no visit to the Temple is considered complete
without the receiving of the Satari from the Goddess after exiting the main
sannidhi.  In addition, during the performance of the Kalyanotsavam, the
Utsavar is wed both to Lakshmi, who is seated on His lap, and Andal, who
stands to His left.

Another temple where Andal receives special attention is the famous temple
to Lord Rama in Bhadrachalam.  It is my understanding that Sri Andal
Kalyanotsavam, which serves as the culmination of Margazhi here, is as
important an Utsavam, at least for the SriVaishnava community, as Sri
Sita-Rama Kalyanam. 

It is interesting to note, also, that even some of the newer city temples,
such as the Birla Temple in Hyderabad, have a sannidhi for Andal in them,
showing the role that Godha Piratti continues to have in the continuity of
SriVaishnavism in Andhra.

Daasanu Daasan,

Mohan