Andal

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9th century

Also known as Antal, Kothal, and Godai
Hindu saint and poet

In Tamil Nadu tradition, Andal was a girl (by some considered to be a manifestation of the goddess Bhoodevi) found under a tulsi bush in the flower garden of the temple of Vishnu at Srivilliputtur in the eighth century. She was raised by Periyalvar (or Vishnucitta), a devotee of Vishnu, and grew up to be a religious mystic. Her real identity was eventually revealed to him and the temple's priests in dreams. She married a statue of the Lord Brindavana (or Ranganatha), a local form of the god Vishnu and was miraculously absorbed by his embrace when she was 15.

She was the author of two collections of religious poetry, the Tirruppavai and the Nacciyar Tirumoli.

References

"Adoption: A Historical Perspective", ICCW-TN [Indian Council for Child Welfare, Tamil Nadu] Newsletter, 1(5) (June 1994)
"Sri Vaishnava: Alvars: Andal: The Remarkable Girl Who Would Marry None But the Lord." Available at: http://www.best.com/~mani/sv/alvars/andal/andal-bio.html

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