Enchanted by VishnuCittha’s devotion, Lord Sree MahaaVishnu advances to surrender himself to VishnuCittha by sending forth BhooDhevi (BhooMaatha) to earth. As VishnuCittha was busy taking care of garden for the Lord, he finds a baby girl. She is our Aandaal Amman (Godhaa Dhevi), an Ayonija and an incarnation of BhooMaatha.
That leaves VishnuCittha in raptures with him being unaware of any worldly happiness having dedicated his life entirely to the service of Sree Mahaa Vishnu and his devotion. Thus, having found a baby girl, VishnuCittha experiences that fatherly joy Janaka Mahaaraaja did upon spotting Maa Seetha.
He raised her up with utmost love and care and with her growing up in such a Divine atmosphere, Vishnu Bhakthi had come to her just naturally. Aandal Amma had immense devotion towards Lord Krshna since her childhood, which flowered into love towards Sree Krshna with puberty. With that thought, she began to pine to marry Lord Krshna since then. The reason? Just the internal Jeeva Lakshana (with her being an incarnation of BhooMaatha, the wife of Lord Vishnu).
Daily, VishnuCiththa used to make garlands for VataPathraSaayi in SreeVilliputthoor. With Aandaal Amman experiencing youth, the thought of ‘donning the garlands made for the Lord, to check if her beauty would be a match for the Lord or not’ enters her mind. She used to check her appearance from the water’s reflection in a well in SVP (SreeVilliputthoor).
That well is extant to date just next to the SVP Temple. As this becomes a norm for her, one day, VishnuCiththa happens to catch a glimpse of Aandaal Amma doing this. Fuming, he chastises her for having worn the garlands meant to be for the Lord and committing such an ignoble act by offering the used garlands to the Lord. That day, replete with agony, he doesn’t attend the temple unable to get Dharsan of Lord Naaraayana by committing such a foul act and vows to fast by observing Praayasciththa.
That night, Lord Sree Mahaa Vishnu appears in his dream and inquires the reason for not having offered garlands to him that day. VishnuCiththa explains how his daughter was wearing those garlands before being offered to him and thus committing a great sin. Sree Mahaa Vishnu expresses the delight he experiences by donning the garlands worn by Aandaal Amma and urges him to offer them. Such unfathomable is his leela: Jagan-Naataka-Soothradhaari!
Aandaal Amma doesn’t have the realization that she is a BhooMaatha-incarnate; VishnuCiththa doesn’t know that his daughter is JaganMaatha. How unimaginably cute and mischievous is Lord Sree ManNaaraayana! Such deep is the Lord’s love for those Aandaal Amma-donned garlands, that even to date during BhaadhrapadhaMaasa, SVP’s Aandaal Amma-donned garlands are taken and offered to Thirumala Venkateswara Swaami as a Seva, just once annually.
Sree KrshnaDhevaraaya once visits Sreekaakula Aandhra MahaaVishnu (near Movva in Krshna district).
There, Sree MahaaVishnu appears to him and exhorts him to rewrite the wonderful tale of him and Aandaal Amma’s marriage and the resulting product was the ‘Aamukthamaalyadha’.
In Samskrtham, Aamukthamaalyadha means ‘The Amma whose donned-garlands are the dearest to Sree MahaaVishnu’.
With this, VishnuCiththa turns inquisitive as to what makes the Lord love and regard the Aandaal Amma-donned garlands so much while Nirmaalya of Sree MahaaVishnu is distributed to the devotees as MahaaBhaagyam. With passing day, Aandaal Amma’s love for Lord Krshna intensifies as she starts to yearn to reach him upon marrying him.
Even such a BhooMaatha-incarnate had to experience trials and tribulations in her journey to reach the Lord. Once, as VishnuCiththa narrates the tale of KaathyaayaniVratha observed by gopikas to reach the Lord, Aandaal Amma decides to observe the same Vratha to reach the Lord.
In MaarghasiraMaasa, Amma then observes that Vratha for 30 days which we call ‘DhanurMaasa Vratham’. Waking up early before the dawn, Aandaal Amma used to sing a Paasura (similar to Sloka) on Swaami. Even to date, that DhanurMaasa Vratha observed by reciting the 30 Paasuraas bestows upon an excellently ideal life partner. So intense is Swaami’s love for ‘Thiruppaavai’ that it is sung instead of ‘Suprabhaatham’ in Thirumala during the DhanurMaasa. So upon Maa Godhaa Dhevi’s austere observance of DhanurMaasa Vrath, Sree Mahaa Vishnu feels the need to act.
‘DhanurMaasa Vrath’ is not a mere ‘Vrath’ observed by a lover to obtain his love; but the exquisite yearning upheld by a Jeeva to obtain the Paramaathma. Upon a closer analysis of the ‘Paasuraas’, the meanings are manifold with a sublimely different perspective to each outlook, inner and exterior.
So Sree Mahaa Vishnu appears in Maa Godhaa Dhevi’s dream and feeds her ‘Bhog’ with love and assures to embrace her perseverance soon. The day Maa Aandaal was fed ‘Bhog’ is celebrated as ‘Bhogi’ during Sankraanthi.
Folllowing that, Sree Mahaa Vishnu appears in vishnuCiththa’s dream and enlightens him of the real form of Godhaa Dhevi and promises him that he would marry her soon. Exuberant upon hearing that, VishnuCiththa exclaims requesting his to-dos. Sree Mahaa Vishnu retorts asking Maa Aandaal to choose her most-loved form of Vishnu among the 108 Dhivya Dhesams and that he would arrive in that form to marry her.
So upon observing ‘DhanurMaasa Vrath’, one would not just encounter the most ideal partner but also be blessed to get married to the same dearest soul. As many instances involve finding an ideal life partner but fail in getting them married, DhanurMaasa Vrath is what shall curb any problems that arise in the above process. With that said, VishnuCiththa starts to discuss with Maa Aandaal upon choosing her best-loved form of Sree Mahaa Vishnu. And upon delineating each form of Mahaa Vishnu from 108 Dhivya Dhesams, Sree Mahaa Vishnu appears in the exact form for Maa Aandaal to choose from. Such outpouring love to marry her in her most-loved appearance!! Just the way an ideal wife would love to know about her appearance in every new clothing her husband gifts her with, with the same exact appearance from each of his Dhivya Dhesams, Sree Mahaa Vishnu would appear in front of her in SreeVilliPutthoor and await her volition to marry him in that form.
Upon the completion of the appearance of 108 Dhivya Dhesa forms, Maa Aandaal chooses ‘Sree Ranganaatha Swaami’s Form’ as her most-loved and wishes to marry him. On that, Sree Mahaa Vishnu appears in Paandya King’s dream and orders him to send a procession to SVP to consort Maa Godhaa for him to get married to her in Sree Rangam. With heaps of amenities, Paandya King sends forth a bustling procession and consorts Maa Aandal, her family and whole village to Sree Rangam.
That same exact 7th Praakaaram named ‘Veli Aandaal Sannithi’ is the one under which VishnuCiththa and Maa Godhaa took shelter that night as they reached Sree Rangam that night and awaited her marriage with Sree Mahaa Vishnu till the next day in Sree Rangam.
That puissant spot where Maa Aandaal has taken rest for the whole night is extant to date. Astonishingly, the whole community of Sree Rangam flocks at Sree Ranganaatha Swaami Koil (Temple) to witness such a seemingly impossible event as to how a Moorthi (idol) would marry a person (Maa Godhaa), with VishnuCiththa still uncertain in delirium about Lord’s appearance and marrying his daughter.
That morning, Maa Aandaal gets embellished with exquisite ornaments and marriage garments and gets consorted to the Sree Ranganaatha Swaami Koil. The next moment, Sree Mahaa Vishnu from his Moorthi, appears, accepting and embracing Maa Aandaal, disappears. And VishnuCiththa is all tears contemplating what a daughter he’s been blessed with by Sree Mahaa Vishnu, and also that she would not be with him thereafter.
Though an Aalwaar, he’s also been a father to a daughter, how could he not get emotionless upon his daughter’s departure??
In Abhijnaana Saakunthalam, Sree Kaalidhaasa narrating the tale of departure of Sakunthala from Kanva Maharshi, an outstanding sloka where Kanva Maharshi expresses his sorrow as his daughter departs..
(Sloka expressing Kanva Maharshi’s agony of departure from his daughter Sakunthala…)
Meaning: “My daughter is leaving, indeed inscrutable is the agony a householder would experience at this moment, with me despite being an ascetic is still incapable to bear this departure”.
As VishnuCiththa keeps agonizing over the departure, Sree Ranganaatha Swaami comforts him and presents him a Moorthi (representation of Maa Aandaal) created by Sree Mahaa Vishnu himself, and claims that Moorthi would be Aandaal herself.
That exact ‘Arcaa Moorthi’ Sree Mahaa Vishnu presented to VishnuCiththa is located in the 5th Praakaara in Sree Ranga Naaciyaar Sannithi (as in image here). That Sannithi houses 2 Moorthis: First, the one presented by Swaami and installed upon consecration, and owing to the barbaric invasions of the Venomous Mleccaas (Turks) the devotees hid Sree Ranganaatha Swaami and Maa Aandaal’s Moorthis in the sand to protect them. Later, with Sree Ranganaatha Swaami’s Moorthi having been taken out, Maa Aandaal’s Moorthi has sprung out of the sand by itself.
With Maa Aandaal being the incarnation of Bhoo Maatha, what’s surprising in her emerging out of the sand by herself? So the GarbhaGrha accommodates both of those Moorthis (the original one and the one replaced during the invasions).
Hence, please do have Dharsan of these 2 Moorthis upon your visit to Sree Rangam, and without fail, do visit SreeVilliPutthoor (just in the proximity of Madhurai), by planning a day in there.
There is Vatapathrasaayi Koil (housing the Lord on the first floor) and just adjacent to it are the places of birth of Maa Aandaal, Thulasi Vanam, the Well, and quite next to it is the magnificent ‘Maa Aandaal Koil’.
That Temple Sanctum chambers 3 Moorthis of Sree Ranganaatha Swaami, Maa Aandaal, and surprisingly VishnuCiththa Aalwaar (Garuthmantha, normally facing the Lord), on the same Peetha (along with Swaami and Maa) as his father-in-law (VishnuCiththa) is the one who’s got him married to Maa Aandaal.
At the exit of the Sanctum is the walkway with elegant sculptures on the sides, that would engross you in their exquisiteness for hours together! So whenever you visit SVP, please do bear in mind, that you’re standing in the divinest land where Sree Mahaa Vishnu has appeared with each of his 108 DhivyaDhesa Forms and sanctified every speck of dust with his Divine Feet!