[Note: This year in North America, Andal Jayanti is on July 31, 2022. Dates may be the same or different in other parts of the world, such as Asia.]
The annual festival celebrates the birthday of Andal during the month of Aadi (while Sun is in Cancer) when the Moon is in Purva Phalguni star (called Pooram in Tamil). This festival is called Andal Jayanti and also called Aadi Pooram.
Andal was a famous enlightened woman celebrated as a Tamil poet and saint. The birthdays of enlightened beings are a special time when their blessings are generously available.
Andal has been revered for her immersion in the depths of enjoyment of God and her ability to express this in lyrical Tamil verse. Some mytho-therapy stories claim her as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.
The star Purva Phalguni
The star Purva Phalguni or Pooram is associated with both Venus, planet of love and beauty, and Lakshmi, Goddess of purity, beauty, elegance, and abundance. The Moon was in this star when Andal was born.
It is said Andal was born in a grove of tulsi plants, an herb sacred to Vishnu
A Tamil saint was childless and he had prayed to Vishnu for a child. He found an abandoned baby girl while he was walking in a temple garden. He decided to adopt her. She was brought up by her new father to worship Vishnu.
Her devotion to Vishnu was such that she even began to wear the garland of flowers in the temple before the garland was offered to Vishnu in the temple. One day, her father noticed that she was wearing the garland before it had been offered. This was not the normal custom. He was shocked and scolded her.
However, that night Vishnu came into her father’s dreams. Vishnu clearly stated he only wished to wear the flower garland after Andal had worn it. Vishnu also advised her father to take her to the Srirangam Ranganathar temple, a temple dedicated to Vishnu.
Her father was surprised and filled with joy.
Andal told her father she would only marry Lord Ranganathar (a form of Vishnu). The priests at the temple made arrangements to welcome her. She arrived dressed as a bride, and when she entered the sanctum sanctorum, she merged with light into the statue of Vishnu.
In modern times, Andal as a Tamil poet is known for her intensely emotional bhakti or love of the Divine. Her exquisite poems celebrate unconditional surrender to the Divine and receiving refuge at the Lord’s feet.
One of her poems gives a reply to friends who laughed at Andal for thinking of herself as a bride of Vishnu:
“Whichever form pleases his people, that is his form;
Whichever name pleases his people, that is his name;
Whichever way pleases his people who meditate without ceasing, that is his Way,
That one who holds the discus.” ~ Andal
Andal is often represented with a parrot, and it is said she used to send a parrot to Vishnu as a messenger of her love for him. Her parrot symbolizes repetitive speaking of truth.
In some mytho-therapy stories, Andal is said to have been an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi herself.
Andal Jayanti (aka Aadi Pooram) is a wonderful day for extra SHREEM BRZEE chanting
If you are new to this mantra, please know there is a weekly, global Shreem Brzee Group Meditation and Mantra chanting program every Friday at 8 am PDT | 3 pm UTC | 8:30 pm IST on our official Shreem Brzee YouTube channel.
You are also warmly invited to many FREE events listed in the Pillai Center Events calendar.
Swamini Valli Wells is a Pillai Center Teacher who hosts free weekly Atomic Dreaming calls on Zoom. She is also an AstroVed Astrologer who does Live Astrologer Consultations for the USD version of AstroVed, Dr. Pillai’s astrology site. She also hosts a weekly livestream of Prayers to Mother Mary for Peace (Mondays at noon PDT) as well as a new Monday through Friday live Planetary Pooja using Chart of Now (7:00 am PDT) on Religion of Religions channel on YouTube.
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