Chapter 1 – Appearance, childhood and Krishna Bhakthi of Andal
Once Bhooma Devi (Mother Earth) worshipped Lord Vishnu in order to be born as a human form just in order to worship and attain Him. Thus she reincarnated on earth as Andal – daughter to the great Alwar saint ‘Periyalwar’. Andal is held and celebrated in highest esteem among all Alwar saints until today, as She is none other than an incarnation of Mother Goddess Earth.
The appearance date of Andal is established as 98 years after the birth of Kali Yuga, in the Tamil almanac year of ‘Nala’, month of ‘Aadi’, Shukla Paksha, Chaturthi Tithi, on a Tuesday, under the birth star of ‘Pooram’. She appeared as a golden hued baby for Periyalwar to find Her in his garden of Tulasi plants. Understanding Her as a gift of the divine, Periyalwar took Her as his daughter and gave Her the birth name as ‘Godha’ – The daughter of the soil.
Right from Her young age, Godha was told of stories and magnificence of Lord Sri Krishna by her father. Thus She developed great Bhakthi towards Lord Sri Krishna. As an obedient daughter even at a young age, Godha used to wake up in the early hours along with Her father and involve Herself in dutiful and auspicious activities to help him with his prayers and household work.
When they set out to collect the day’s flowers to offer to Lord Sri Krishna, it thrilled Her to listen from Her father about stories of childhood pranks and ‘Leelas’ of Lord Sri Krishna. Thus Andal is an epitome of Bhakthi that is developed by ‘Sravanam’ – by hearing stories of The Lord repeatedly and with great Love for Him. Encouraged by Her developing Bhakthi, Periyalwar taught Her more of Him by explaining Srimad Bhagavatham repeatedly many times.
When Godha heard the narration of Srimad Bhagavatham episodes of ‘Lakshmi Kalyanam’, ‘Rukmini Kalyanam’, ‘ Seetha Kalyanam’ etc, She developed a fervent desire to marry Lord Sri Krishna Himself. ‘Is this possible?’ ‘Will The Lord marry a human being?’ Such doubtful thoughts did not deter Her at any time.
Having been brought up by the great devout saint Perialwar himself, Godha had staunch belief that She will be able to attain The Lord by having Bhakthi towards Him. Bhakthi (Devotion to The Lord) always develops together with ‘Premai’ (Divine Love for Him) and ‘Bhavam’ (a state of fine sentiment association of mind with Him). At Her young age, Godha associated with Lord Krishna as Her constant playmate and Her soul friend.