Andal is one of the most extraordinary personalities in religious history. She is known
in her tongue of Tamil as an Alvar, one who is "immersed" in the depths of enjoyment
of God, the omnipresent mysterious One. Tradition reckons 12 Alvars, of which Andal
is the only female. SRI ANDAL VAIBHAVAM
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In South Indian states Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala,
vaishnavaite sect of people celebrate the Andal, is recited by all devotees. The
Tiruppavai, also spelt as Thiruppavai, is a collection of thirty paasurams or stanzas
written and compiled by Andal. All the pasurams are written in Tamil praising Lord
Tirumal or Vishnu or Perumal. Goda Devi Kalyanam is the major event celebrated
during Dhanurmasam in Tirumala Tirupati.
Worship of Lord Vishnu during the morning hours in Dhanurmasa is considered highly
auspicious. There is a belief that worshipping Lord Vishnu on a single day during
Dhanurmasam is equal to worshipping him for thousands of years. Vishnu
Sahasranama is chanted during the period. Other important mantras chanted are
those dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Thiruppavai the most popular offering made
to Lord Vishnu in the month is Rice added with Moong dal.
The `Suprabhatham,' which is synonymous with the temple of Lord Venkateswara all
over the world, would be replaced during the Dhanurmasam with an equally sacred
compendium of verses— `Tiruppavai' composed in Tamil by Goda Devi (Andal),
celestial daughter of Periyalwar (Vishnu Chiththa). This has been the practice from
time immemorial in the Venkateswara temple and in other Vishnu temples as well as a
mark of reverence to Goda Devi.
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