Andal is held to be the incarnation of Bhu Devi and the purpose of her avatar is to show mankind how to woo God and attain salvation. She spent her brief life only in thoughts of the Lord and composed 30 verses of the Tiruppavai and 143 hymns of Nachiyar Tirumozhi.

In Nachiyar Tirumozhi, she yearns and pines for the Lord as a lovesick maiden desirous of seeking union with Him. In these hymns, she appeals to the Lord at Tirumalai hills, Kallazhagar at Tirumalirumsolai and to Lord Ranganatha, expressing her resolute aim to seek the Lord as her consort.

In one of her hymns, Andal promises the Lord that she will offer a special preparation called Akkara-adisal (a sweet rice preparation with ghee) on condition that He takes her as His bride. In a discourse, Sri Zakir Hussain drew attention to the common doubt that arises in each one of us about whether God really needs our offerings, He being beyond all such needs and absolutely self-sufficient in all respects.

The answer to this perhaps rests in the belief that in the archa form, God accepts our offerings merely to enable us to show our gratitude to His infinite kindness towards us. In the Bhagavad Gita, He makes it clear that any offering from the jivatma is welcome to Him, be it merely a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even a drop of water. But what He expects from us is only the sincere devotion. That Andal is immersed in the Lord in a state of longing to attain Him finds expression in her hymns that reflect the shifting moods of one who is hopelessly love-struck. True love runs through the sentiments of impatience, anger, hope or frustration she undergoes. But all her hymns reveal the Lord’s accessibility (saulabhyam) and excellent disposition (saushilyam) — auspicious qualities for which humanity has to remain ever grateful to Him.

It is believed that when she was taken to Srirangam temple as a bride, she entered the sanctum sanctorum and was gathered into the Lord’s presence and Periazhwar and others present were wonderstruck by this turn of events. True Bhakti is a mature and ripe stage of God realisation that the jivatma attains after experiencing various facets of worldly joys.

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