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Please Post this Re: Periyalvar and Andal:

From: Lakshmi Srinivas (
Date: Wed Jul 25 2001 - 10:23:30 PDT

> (1) Periyalvar's original given name was Sri Rama 
> Andaan. As his mind was constantly focussed on 
> Vishnu, he came to be called Vishnuchitta.

> (2) Periyalvar named his daughter kOdai, but because
> he was also known as Sri Rama Andaan, she came to
> be known also as Andaal.

In this connection, one may point out that the word
"ANTAn2" in epigraphical usage means "pU tazai
iTuvOr". Usages of the type "ittaLi ANTArum" etc are
common. (I will try to find an example for you.) This
usage may mean "the person who supplies flowers and
petals to this temple" or it may mean "the person who
is responsible for the flower garden of this temple".
The Madras Tamil Lexicon, as far as I can remember,
does not give this meaning. 

It may be worth recalling that TirumAlaiyANTAn2
(mAlAdhara) of tirumAlirumcOlai also had this suffix
in his name. ANTAL may be a feminine form of this

One could speculate that the "pU tazai iTuvOR"  not
just supplied flowers to the temple but were also
allowed to decorate the tirumEn2i. In that sense it
was a high status occupation. That may be why one sees
"kalpa sUtra AkhyAtAvAn2a" (cf Vedanta Desika,
RahasyatrayasAram) PeriyAzvAr also engaged in the
nandavanam (cf 6000 paTi GPP) at Srivilliputtur. On
the other hand, one may say that growing the
nandavanam was a labor of love, hence such an eminent
bhakta was engaged in this. Maybe there is some truth
both ways. 

The fact that ANTAn2 was a common suffix to the name,
that the carrier of this name had a temple context and
that it was a high status name can also be found from
the inscription that I have reproduced in the
postscript. You may note that this inscription is from
Jambukeswaram (tiruvAn2aikkA) and may observe many
Srivaishnava names among them viz., Uttamanampi,
periyakOilnampi, nAraciGkapaTTan etc although in this
inscription the ANTAn2 name itself is carried by a
Saiva brahmin.

Incidentally, there is an ANTAr Street in Srirangam!

Hope this helps,

Lakshmi Srinivas


SII, v.8, no. 336 is an inscription in 
Jambukesvaram temple (tiruvAn2aikkA). It was in the
reign of Rajaraja III in the 13th century. It deals
with a donation of proceeds of a land sale to the
temple. The people who are  signatories/witnesses to
the deed include "uTaiyAn2 naJcuNTAn2An2a neRkuppai 
araiyan2 cayiJJAnatan2amaikku tirukkarampantuRai 
uTaiya nAyan2Ar kOyilkk kANi uTaiya civappirAmaNan2
muttan2An2a....pollAtAn2 celvan2An2a pon2n2imazai 
nATAzvAn2 cayiJJAtan2amaikku putukkuTiyAn2a
rAcEntiracOzamaGkalattu kAvalkANi uTaiya perumAn2
azakan2An2a maNavALamuttaraiyan2 ezuttu ippaTi aRivEn2
uttamanampi ezuttu ippaTiaRivEn2 tuRaiyUruTaiyAn2 
vaTakarainATTu mUvEnta....aRivEn2 kemutavan2 
ALumpirAn2 periyakOyil nampi ezuttu ippaTi 
aRivEn2 AlaGkuTaiyAn2 min2van2 pallavaraiyan2En2
ippaTi aRivEn2 tukkuTi tiruvAykkulamuTaiyAn2
zrInAraciGkapaTTanEn2 ippaTi aRivEn2 civaJJAn2akkuRai 
kavuciyan2 tillaippirAn2 ANTAn2 cattivan2appperumAn2
ezuttu....kuRai vikkiramacOzanallUruTaiyAn2 
viLAnATTuvELAn2 ezuttu ..."

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