History of Andal (alwar)
Andal (Tamil: ஆண்டாள் Äṇţāḷ, an 8th-century or earlier is one of the female Alwar saints of South India. Andal is remembered for her great tamil works of Thirupavai and Nachiar Thirumozhi, which devotees believe it as auspicious and recite it during the Winter season of Margazhi. Margazhi falls in December with the period of 30 days, devotees used to Recite Thiruppavai from Andal. Andal(alwar) is known for her strong and unwavering devotion to the Lord Ranganatha is one of the Auspicious names of Lord Maha Vishnu.
Tiruppavai is the collection of Thirty important pasurams or you can call it as Stanzas in Tamil, by Andal, in praise of the Lord Narayana. The famous Andal temple is located in Srivilliputhur, Tamilnadu. People used to recite Thiruppavai on Margazhi month of 30 days from (Dec 15 to Jan 15)and the Nonbu is called Pavai Nonbu.
First five Pasurams of Tirupavai provide an intro to the principle and purpose.
Next Ten Stanzas, explains the importance of community participation.
The next five stanzas describe her visit to the temple accompanied by her friends.
Next Nine stanzas are on reciting the glories of the lord.
Thiruppavai must be recited early morning, ladies who recite this get married soon and reciting increases your devotion to the lord. Important thing is to recite all the 30 pasurams, even if you leave one, you willl not get the exact benefit of reciting it.
Content source: wikipedia
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* Scrolling Text ( Tamil & English ) with meaning for all verses. Manual and autoplay available.
* A very natural recital by Prof. Narasimhan Vasudevan without any background score to give an authentic experience.
By keeping it simple and easy to use, beautifully complimented by a clear and crisp recital by Prof. Narasimhan Vasudevan, we hope the app invokes some best childhood memories. We wanted the voice-over to resonate with what you might have been used to listen, at your home, a temple, an utsavam, a simple group of bhajans.
More on Thiruppavai:
Thiruppavai is part of Naalayira Divya Prabandham, a work of 12 Alvaars, and a very important piece of work in Tamil literature.
The first five verses provide an introduction to the main theme, its principle and purpose. According to Andal one should give up luxuries during this season. Sincere prayers to the God would bring abundant rain and thus prosperity. Offering Lord Krishna fresh flowers would expiate sins committed earlier and those that may be committed in future.
In the next ten verses she describes the importance of community participation. She invites her friends to gather flowers. She essays the ambience at her village, the chirping of birds, colorful blossoms, the musical sound of butter-churning, herds of cattle with tinkling bells, the sounding of the conch from the temple.She visits each household and awakens all her friends to join her for a bath in a nearby pond. She also praises the incarnations of the Lord.
The next five verses describe her visit to the temple accompanied by her friends. She desires to render Suprabhata gently to wake up the Lord. The group appeases the temple guards, enters the temple and recites prayers extolling the parents of Lord Krishna and begging them to wake up Krishna and Balarama. Then they approach Neela Devi, the consort of the Lord, to have a darshan.
The last nine verses are on the glories of the Lord. On receiving his blessings Andal lists her demands; milk for the vrata, white conch, lamps, flowers, and rich costume and jewellery, plenty of ghee and butter.
The concluding verse is an envoie identifying her as the daughter of Vishnucittar who made this garland of 30 pasurams and says those who recite with devotion will have Lord’s blessings.
Periyazhwar was the foster father of Andal, the only female azhwars.The works of Periyazhwar contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism. His contributions are Thirupallandu and Periya Azhwar thirumozhi among the 4000 stanzas in the Nalayira Divya Prabandam.
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Andal was found in the gardens of Periazhwar (Vishnuchittar) under the basil plant. She was always Krishna conscious from her childhood days and grew up listening to Periazhwar’s Krishnaleela. She was also know as Kothai (Godha). She used to get up early in the morning with periazhwar and would pluck flowers and make garland.
Andal thought if she can be an ideal bride for lord and wore the garland made for god and would look her reflection in the well. As days passed god lord revealed himself in the well along with Andal and disappeared before periazhwar arrived. One day the lord made sure that periazhwar notice this and periazhwar was disheartened at this sight and informed Andal not to repeat this again and he didn’t send the garland to temple.
Lord appeared in Periazwar dream and declared that he liked only the garland worn by Andal. From this day onwards Andal is called as Shudikudutha Nacchiyar. As days passed Andal loved Krishna like gopi’s and started Kathyayini Vrata in Marghazhi, same as Gopi’s in Dwapara Yuga.
Each of the days Andal sang in praise of Krishna collectively known as Thiruppavai. Andal has sang these songs at her 5th year. Periazhar being her guru it is no surprise that Andal was able to in her childhood days.
Vishnuchittar composed a couplet called Thirup-Palandu translating to "Long live for many years, Long live for many years for Hundreds of thousands of years!" to God. This is a very important prayer in Srivaishnava tatvam. Vishnuchittar composed some pasurams in the 4000 Divya Prabhandham called Perialvar Tirumozhi where he explores a devotee's love for God through the metaphor of Yashoda's motherly love for Krishna. He was the adopted father of Kodhai or Andal, the only woman alvar.
periyazhwar thirumozhi, thirumozhi, periyazhwar, nalayiram, Nalariya divyaprabhandam
Out of these places, Alwars, have sung on the Perumal and there are totally 108 Sthalams where Alwars have done Mangalasasanam on the Perumal. These 108 places are called as "Divyadesams".
The 108 Divya Desams or Tirupatis are sacred places were sung upon by Azhwars, the ultimate devotees of Narayana. There are 106 on the Indian Subcontinent (105 in India and 1 in Nepal). The remaining two, Tirupparkadal and Srivaikuntam, can be accessed only when one leaves this world. The Tirupparkadal is the "ocean of milk" and the Srivaikuntam is the domain where LORD NARAYANA presides.