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Re: thirup pAvai - ANDAL - part 3

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Tue Dec 16 1997 - 14:55:03 PST

Ramagopal Mudumbi <> wrote:
> May Lord Narayana and Bhakti List Members pardon my Azwar and
> Bhagavatha Apacharam!  Longtime ago I read an article mentioning that
> PeriAzwar wrote ThiruppAvai in the pseudoname of ANDAL.  I would
> appreciate if any learned Bhakthi List members comment on this.

There is really no evidence for this.  Stylistically,
all the Alvars (as with most Tamil poets), when they
sign their poems in the phalasruti verse at the end,
sign off using their real name.  This is even if they
are composing in moods and voices other than their own,
such as nAyikA bhAvam (in the mood of a lovelorn maiden),
or mAtR bhAvam (motherly affection).  You can see this 
clearly in Thirumangai's and Nammalvar's poetry, and even
in the thirumozhi of Periyalvar. 

Consequently, stylistically there is no support for a
theory that claims that Andal was actually Periyalvar
in a different mood.  "bhattar pirAn godai" can only
refer to the woman Godai who belonged to a person
renowned in Srivilliputtur as bhattar pirAn.

Since Periyalvar often signs his poems as bhattar pirAn,
Andal must be Periyalvar's daughter.

Periyalvar even sings of his daughter having been taken
away by the Lord in one of his paasurams.  [Can someone
supply the paasuram?] This certainly sounds like an 
autobiographical note, composed by the Alvar after his 
beloved daughter married her Lord and went to paramapadam.

There is really no reason to doubt the traditional accounts
in this instance, as all the evidence corroborates the

adiyEn mani