Chapter 2 – Godha becomes Andal – the Divine sharing of Garlands!
Godha once had a dream of playing with her friends at the banks of river Yamuna. They were making small houses of sand on the riverbanks. Being a naughty prankster, Sri Krishna destroyed every sand house built by the girls, inspite of their attempts to save the structures. Having made them chase Him for a while, Sri Krishna beamed His magnificent and lovely smile at Sri Godha, making Her spellbound with Love for Him. “sittrilodu engal sindhaiyum sidhaikka kadavaiyo Govindha?’ She uttered to Him then.
“Hey Krishna! You destroyed the sand houses we built for our play. But when we chase to get you to reprimand, you smile at us this way such that we are confused if to get angry with you or just be spellbound with the beauty of your smile. Is it right on your part to destroy our minds with such a smile”, She asked Him and chanted His names ‘Krishna!’ “Krishna!” even in the state of her dream!
When She reached her age for marriage, Godha’s Bhakthi to Lord Krishna had only developed by leaps and bounds. Once in order to test the suitability of Her marriage alliance with her Lord, She wore the flower garland that Her father had prepared for offering to The Lord. She derived great joy by wearing the garland and considering Lord Krishna as Her groom, standing in front of the mirror. The garland will then be removed and kept in its place for Her father to offer the same (unknowingly) to The Lord. This activity of Godha continued daily for a long time.
When Periyalwar observed a strand of Her hair in the flower garland to be offered to The Lord, he was shocked and made another fresh garland to offer to the Lord. Very soon he caught Godha during one of Her acts of wearing the Lord’s garland and standing in front of the mirror. He advised Her “ The offering of clothes, flowers and sandalwood paste for the Lord Vishnu should only be partaken by us after offering them first to Him”. A fresh new garland was made and offered to The Lord that day. That night, the Lord Himself appeared in Periyalwar’s dream and conveyed that the flower garland offered on that day did not feel as fragrant and lovable as those offered on the previous days. When Periyalwar requested for the reason of the Lord’s displeasure with the offered garland, Bhagwan replied that “Offer those garlands to me, that Godha has worn on Her first – I prefer to wear only those garlands!”. When out of the dream state, Perialwar realized that Godha was none other than an incarnation of the Goddess Herself and that She will not marry any one other than Lord Krishna. He gave Her the name of Andal then, implying that She had attracted the Lord to Her with the worn garlands. To this day, whenever the holy vaibhavam of ‘Andal Kalyanam’ is conducted in temples Worldover, it is tradition to first offer the worn garland from Her to Him. Thus She is also called the “Soodi Kodutha Sudarkodi”