Life of Andal
Vishnucitta discovering Andal.
Scultpure above the tulasi garden in Srivilliputtur
The life of Andal is remarkable in its romantic simplicity. A devout brahmin named Vishnucitta lived in Villiputtur, a town near Madurai. His daily duties included procuring flowers for the worship of the Lord at the local temple. One morning, as he went about his business, he discovered a baby girl lying under a tulasi plant in his flower garden. Having no family of his own, Vishnucitta felt it was God's grace that gave him this child and named her Godai, or "gift of Mother Earth." Filled with joy, he took her home and raised her as his own.
Godai grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion. Vishnucitta doted on her in every respect, singing songs to her about his Beloved Krishna, teaching her all the stories and philosophy he knew, and sharing with her his love of Tamil poetry. The love Vishnucitta had for his Beloved Lord intensified further in his daughter, and before long she was passionately in love with Lord Krishna. Even as a child, Godai made up her mind to marry none but the Lord of Brindavana, and refused to think of any human being in similar terms.
She imagined what it would be like to be His bride, playing the role of His beloved, enjoying His presence. Unknown to her father, she adorned herself daily with the flower garland he prepared for the Lord at the temple. After admiring her reflection and thinking of herself as His ideal bride, she would put the garland back for her father to take to the temple and offer to the Lord.