An Inspirational Medieval Period Bhakthi Movement Feminine Poetess in South India


  • Amit Dhawan


Andal isa popular Bakthi Movement Poetess in the nineteenth century.  She is one of the Azhvars in South India.  She is the first Woman Vaishnavite Saint in the Bhakti literature.  She is well known for her spiritual elevation and accomplishment in the Bhakti movement. Bhakti literature says how she has reached the foot of the god using her popular philosophical composition ‘Thiruppavai’.  Thiruppavai  is an admirable bhakti poem for all the fanatic lovers.  In North India, Radha Rani is celebrated as “Queen of Bhakthi”.  Similarly, in Tamil Nadu , Andal is known for her pure love and devotion.  Andal tried to show her extraordinary bhakthi and devotion towards Lord Vishnu, when she was four years child. In her young age, she started to compose the hymns of Thiruppavai, Nachiyar Thirumozhi and Vaaranam Aayiram with much affection and care towards the lord Vishnu.  Among the Vaishnavaite  Azhvars, Andal was the only female deity to be reincarnated.  Andal’s spiritual inclination towards Lord Vishnu remained us of the infinite mercy, that she had with the Lord Vishnu and the Bhakti literature using her magical,devotional, imaginative technique and creativity.  She praises  the Lord Vishnu in the poetry Thiruppavai.  Thiruppavai is a collection of thirty poems,which is composed by Andal  in Tamil.  In Thiruppavai, Andal gives a universal call to all the people to spell the name and glories of Lord Vishnu.

            Andal’s Thiruppavai is used as a ritual aid to the young girls’ procurement of good husbands and happy marriages.  Feminity in Andal is often viewed and recognized by  the scholars as the heroine of a Kavya  like  text from the perspective of traditional Indian aesthetics.  Andal’s actions can be seen as a sacrifice of her worldly possessions in order to spiritually  attain the path of  Krishna. Andal is not merely expressing her  feminine desire.  She seems to be aware that bhakthi is a path towards moksha. This paper purports to analyze the influential feminine aspects of Andal in the Bhakthi Movement in South India.