You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1997

(Thirup)pAvai pAdiya pAvai- Sri ANdAL

From: V.MADHAKKANNAN (madhavan_at_cyberway.com.sg)
Date: Sun Nov 02 1997 - 03:43:01 PST

Dearest Sri VaishNavALs,

Anna vayal pudhuvai ANdAL* arangarkku/
pannu thiruppAvaip pal pathiyam *-innisaiAl/
pAdikkodutthAL naRpAmAlai* poomAlai/
soodikkodutthALaich chollu.

chhodukkoduttha sudar kodiyE* tholpAvai/
pAdiyaruLavalla palvaLaiyAi!*- nAdi nee/
vEnkadavaRkku ennai vidhi yenRa immARRam*/
nAmkadavAvaNNamE nalgu.

After being conferred "Bhattar pirAn", periyAzhwAr continued on his mAlai
kainkaryam, while he enjoyed singing pAsurams on kaNNan. He sang as if he
bacame His mother, yasOdhA. He bathed Him, fed Him, dressed Him; played
with Him; and enjoyed and imagined all thollai inbam which yasOdhA had
undergone. The Child's azhaghu, mischiefs, leelAs, were all sung by
periyAzhwAr. All his pAsurams are to be read, re-read and enjoyed. All were
bhakti laden pAsurams and taste like Grape fruit soaked in Honey. 
One such day (on Adi pooram day) when he was plucking flowers and thulasi
leaves in his beautiful nandhavanam, he heard a faint cry of a baby, which
appeared as an incarnation of BhoomAdEvi. He was pleasantly surprised to
find a little bundle of joy with beautiful pretty limbs and a divine golden
face with great amount of tEjas, he immediately picked up the female child
with both the arms lovingly and showered her with lots of kisses.  
His wife vrajai was extremely thrilled to hug the God-given child in their
nandhavanam and melted with vAtsalyam for the kid. When they hugged the
child they felt as if it is Lord BalakrishNan Himself whom they were
holding; They were getting tremendous amount of joy by bringing up this
blessed pretty girl, whom they named "kOdhai".

Kodhai with their love, affection, and bhakti laden pAsurams and Bhagavadh
kankaryam grew up with a GREAT amount of Bhakti for kaNNan (not
surprisingly, since, kaNNan was also brought up by periyAzhwAr in the same
house through his pAsurams). KOdhai grew up with "koLLai azhaghu", and with
lots of intellect and GnAnam on bhagavadh vishayangaL. She also developed a
great amount of affinity to kaNNan while she helped her father in his
kainkaryam. She also used to pluck flowers and prepare garlands along with
her father. Her talks and thoughts were always on kaNNan. With the
garlands, she used to accompany her father to VadapathrasAyee temple to
have His darshan. 

Years rolled by and kOdhai grew up like a beautiful mullai creeper(kodi);
Along with that, her bhakti for kaNNan too exponentially grew up and she
longed to see Him and be blessed by Him. Her love fir the Lord was so much
that she even wished to marry HIM. She took a vow to marry Him only and
could not think of getting married to any other person. She even dreamt of
Him coming to her like a male elephant adorned with pattu and peethAmbharam
for the Great marriage with kOdhai. She spent her time always with such
dreams of SenkaN thirumAl holding her hands and "agni valam".  PeriyAzhwAr
seeing all this got worried as to how he could make his darling daughter
accomplish her wish( when it is not just impossible for anyone to marry the
Lord). 

Once, periyAzhwAr as usual prepared garlands of flowers and thuLasis and
kept them in a safe, clean place and came out. KOdhai, seeing such
beautiful garlands, thought for a while, "If I am going to marry only Him,
why should I not wear these garlands before He does?" and she did wear
them. ( What an apachAram for an ordinary person! But our kuzhandhai is
sAkshAt BhoomAdEvi and is there any thing wrong in wearing His garlands?)
She saw herself wearing the garlands one by one and admired her beauty by
looking at the mirror. When she heard some footsteps, she immediately
removed them and placed them as usual. Whem periyAzhwAr adorned the Lord
with those garlands, that day the Lord looked exquisitely beautiful and
there was even a smile on his lips. The garlands were spreading an
excellent sughandham throughout the temple and every one was talking about
the speciality of garlands that day. PeriyAzhwAr did not know why on that
day it was so different and special when there was nothing extraordinary he
did on that day. It was same flowers; same thuLasi and same way of
preparations. Why then all this good smell and beauty? He did not know. (We
know.). This continued everyday. Kodhai wear them secretly and saw herself;
Lord enjoyed wearing them with great amount of happiness and satisfaction
with good smell. No one knew why. One day on a krishna jayanthi day,
periyAzhwAr saw kOdhai wearing the garland and he got terribly angry and
depressed; felt very much sad and hurt and with lots of sorrow and vEdhanai
asked her" kOdhaiyE, my child, why did you do such a mahA pApam? Is it not
meant for the Lord, Sriman nArAyaNan? How can you impurify by your wearing
them, my child?".
Kodhai replied with regret and justification" appA, When there is Sriman
NarayaNan is in my heart I wished to see Him wearing them; Will the Lord
get angry by a bhakthA wearing it?". 
She was welled with tears with the feeling of guilt and periyAzhwAr's heart
melted seeing his darling child crying. He lightly hugged her and consoled
her saying "Not that, kOdhai, This is meant for the God our Lord, Will it
not become impure by our wearing it, kaNmaNi.. Okay. Do not worry.. Do not
do this again. Today I will make another garland. Let it become waste.
Don't cry."  He made another set of garland and adorned the Lord and that
day there was no smell; no beauty and no brightness on His face; nor there
was any smile on His lips, too. The bhattars (archakAs) were also confused.
PEriyAzhwAr felt sad that he became angry with his sweet child that day for
the firest time and the Lord also did not look well with the second set of
garlands. He had a restless sleep and just before dawn, Govindhan appeared
in his dream. He opened His red beautiful coral lips and said" My dearest
vishNuchittarE! PeriyAzhwArE!, BhattarpirAn!, For singing
paamaalai(pAsurams) and wearing my poomaalai(garlands) only, kOdhai
appeared as your daughter and that is what I love to wear, too. She has
ruled over me with her paamaalai and poomaalai and hence, shall be called
"AnndAL" hereafter. Do not try to stop her from wearing the garlands. She
should continue wearing them." PeriyAzhwAr woke up and realised kOdhai's
perumai and greatness. He became excited greatly thrilled to know that she
is the one who ruled the Lord and called her " ANdALE!". He explained
everything to her and AndAL's face became red with "vedkam"(shyness) and
blushed.She became widely known as "Soodikkoduttha sudar kodi". 

AndAL wrote TiruppAvai (30 verses) as a nOnbu to perform prapatti to the
Lord and seek refuge at His Lotus feet. There were great seers who came
later appreciated the depths of this philosophical composition of AndAL. 
When periyAzhwAr brought marriage discussion to kOdhai, she mentioned only
Govindhan's name as Her groom. PeriyAzhwAr knew well of her intentions,
since he himself was the culprit for his bringing her up only with kaNNan's
thinking at all times. He also knew that Sri AranganAthan was her
heartthrob who stole her heart. He was rightfully worried as to how it is
possible to get her married to the Almighty. His worry and burden increased
day by day as much as Sri AndAL's love for the Lord increased.

The Lord appeared in periyAzhwAr's dream and asked him to come to Sri
Rangam the next day. He also appeared in the king Pandyan vallabhan's dream
and asked him to arrange to bring AndAL and periyAzhwAr to Sri Rangam with
full honours. Next day the King along with his parivArangal, Srirangam kOil
archakAs, the chief officers, ministers, all people of Sri villiputthoor,
thronged at periyAzhwAr's house. Palanquin, kudai(umbrella), kavari, temple
elephant and Royal elephant were all brought to bring the blessed great
father and the daughter. The ladies beautified the already beautiful
lloking AndAL with pattu, ponnagai, maNI, etc.,. PeriyAzhwAr and vrajai
brought kOdhai slowly lovingly and affectionately to the palanquin. Sri
AndAL boarded and sat down in the palanquin symbolifying "peNmayin
ilakkaNam". Throughout the way there were arches of floweres and
decorations and festive looks. People thronged to see the blessed Beauty of
Villiputthoor. (How nice it would have been, sister and brothers.- How
great our Sri AndAL would have looked in such an attire with the pretty
face getting prettier with "nANam".) 

They reached Sri Rangam and the temple. They were guided straight to the
Sanctum sanctorum, the sannidhi of Thiruvarangan. Our kOdhai stepped into
the inner court, looked at Him and His face and immediately merged and
united with the Lord as a JOTHI (a light). 

PeriyAzhwAr and Vrajai were saddened with terrible grief and were crying
heavily for having missed their darling daughter to the Lord. Even though
periyAzhwAr knew all bhakti and vEdha poruL, etc., etc., he could not
control his tears for the separation from his dearest kOdhai. "Oru magaLai
udaiyEn; ulagam niRaindha pugazhAl/ ThirumagaL pOl vaLartthEn senkaNmAl
dhAn koNdupOnAn//" (meaning: Only one daughter I had; The one who became
very famous (with her love for Lord); I brought her up like mahAlakshmi;
(Now I have lost her;) That Red lotus eyed Lord has snatched her from me)

(Poor periyAzhwAr. We can really feel his feelings and sadness. Those who
have sisters and daughters will know the feelings; More so when the
daughter will not even come home for thalai DeepAvaLi or delivery, etc.,
She has gone for ever!)

periyAzhwAr and vrajai felt old suddenly for having lost the child. With
the help of the king, he consecrated an AndAL statue in Sri Villiputthoor
and till last day he was doing his usual kanikaryam of Malai to Sri
VadabhathrasAyee but with a heavy heart thinking of kOdhai always. 

pAthagangaL theerkkum paramanadi kAttum*/
vEdham anaitthukkum vitthAgum *- kOdhai thamizh/
ayyaindhum ainshum aRiyAdha mAnidarai/
vaiyam sumappathum vambhu./

(The one which removes all our sins and shows the feet of The Lord; Equal
to all vEdAs and even the essence of all vEdAs; they are the THIRTY verses
of ThiruppAvai sung by kOdhai; and if one doe not know that, he (or she) is
a BURDEN to the earth.-

Oh my dearest sisters and brothers, Please make it a point to recite these
excellent 30 verses every morning and be blessed by Sri ANdAL, who is none
other than Bhoomi pirAtti and can only save us from our samsaaric
afflictions.)

PeriyAzhwAr thiruvadigaLE saraNam

AndAL thiruvadigaLE saraNam

Ram Ram
AdiyEn madhava dAsan