Bhūmi, Bhudevi or Bhūmī-Devī is the Hindu goddess representing Mother Earth. She is the consort of an avatar of Vishnu. Bhumi is the daughter of Prajapati, she is known by various names such as Bhuma-Devi, Bhuvaani, Avni, Varahi,Dharti, Dharani, Vasundhara, Kashyapi, Ira, Ela, Dhanshika and Hiranmaya. She is worshipped in patala and is depicted as seated on a platform which rests on the back of four elephants, representing the four directions of the world, she is depicted with four arms holding a pomegranate, a water vessel, a bowl containing healing herbs, another bowl containing vegetables. She is sometimes depicted with two hands, the right hand holding a blue lotus known as Kumuda or Utpala, the night lotus, while the left hand may be in the Abhaya Mudra, the fearlessness or the Lolahasta Mudra, an aesthetic pose meant to mimic the tail of a horse
Periyalvar known as Vishnucitta was one of the twelve alvar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. His name is transliterated as Periyalwar, Periyazhwar, or Periyazhvar The verses of alvars are compiled as Nalayira Divya Prabandham and the 108 temples revered are classified as Divya desam. According to some accounts, Periyalvar is considered the first in the line of the twelve alvars, while other accounts place him as the eighth, his original name is Vishnuchittar, since he blessed Lord Vishnu assuming he is elder to the Lord, he is called Periyalvar. According to Hindu legend, Periyalvar was the foster father of the only female alvar; the works of Periyalvar contributed to the theological ideas of Vaishnavism. His contributions are Thirupallandu and Periya Azhwar thirumozhi among the 4000 stanzas in the Nalayira Divya Prabandam. In South-Indian Vishnu temples, Periyalvar has festivals associated with him; the Garudasevai festival in Srivilliputhur temple, where five Vishnu temples in the region participate, is an event dedicated to him.
The verses of Periyalvar and other alvars are recited as a part of daily prayers and during festive occasions in most Vishnu temples in South India. A poem of Periyalvar names the ruling Pandya king as Netumaran, states that the king extolled the lord of Tirumaliruncolai; the Pandyan kings were staunch Shaivites: the only king described as a parama-vaishnava in the Pandyan inscriptions was Jatila Parantaka, known as Netun-jataiyan. His successor Shrimara Shrivallabha was known as Netumaran, although he is not known to be a Vaishnavite. Either of these kings can be identified as the "Netumaran" mentioned by Periyalvar. Thus, Periyalvar can be placed in the first half of the 9th century. According to the Vaishnavite tradition, Vishnucitta or Periyalvar incarnated on this earth in the 47th year after the beginning of the Kali Era; the word alvar means the one, immersed/dives deep into the nectar/ocean of the countless attributes of god. Alvars are considered the twelve supreme devotees of Vishnu, who were instrumental in popularising Vaishnavism.
The religious works of these saints in Tamil, songs of love and devotion, are compiled as Nalayira Divya Prabandham containing 4000 verses and the 108 temples revered in their songs are classified as Divya desam. The saints belonged to different castes; as per tradition, the first three azhwars, Poigai and Pey were born miraculously. Tirumizhisai was the son of a sage, Mathurakavi and Andal were from brahmin community, Kulasekhara from Kshatria community, Namm was from a cultivator family, Tirupana from panar community and Tirumangai from kazhwar community. Divya Suri Saritra by Garuda-Vahana Pandita, Guruparamparaprabavam by Pinbaragiya Perumal Jiyar, Periya tiru mudi adaivu by Anbillai Kandadiappan, Yatindra Pranava Prabavam by Pillai Lokacharya, commentaries on Divya Prabandam, Guru Parampara texts, temple records and inscriptions give a detailed account of the alvars and their works. According to these texts, the saints were considered incarnations of some form of Vishnu. Poigai is considered an incarnation of Panchajanya, Bhoothath of Kaumodakee, Pey of Nandaka, Thirumalisai of Sudarshanam, Namm of Vishvaksena, Madhurakavi of Vainatheya, Kulasekhara of Kaustubha, Periy of Garuda, Andal of Bhoodevi, Thondaradippodi of Vanamaalai, Thiruppaan of Srivatsa and Thirumangai of Saranga.
The songs of Prabandam are sung in all the Vishnu temples of South India daily and during festivals. Periyalvar was born into a Brahmin family in Srivilliputhur, near Madurai and was named Vishnuchittar meaning "one who has Vishnu in his mind". Legend says he rejected the vedic philosophical debates of his upbringing to focus on Bhakti on doing simple tasks for god, he would make garlands of flowers for the deity of the temple. Once the Pandyan king Vallabhadeva had a competition between scholars to find out the path to paramapada. Vishnuchittar won the competition by explaining, he quoted various Vedic reference to prove his point. The king was satisfied and he honored Vishnuchittar by taking him around the streets of Madurai, it is believed that Koodal Azhagar, the presiding deity in the Koodal Azhagar Temple near Madurai witnessed the event with his consort. Periyalvar was surprised and he composed Thirupallandu, the first twelve verses of Naliyara Divya Prabandam. In the Hindu legend, Andal is believed to have been discovered under a Tulsi plant in the temple garden of Srivilliputtur, by Vishnuchittar.
The childless Vishnuchittar named her Kodhai. The child was brought up by Vishnuchittar in an atmosphere of devotion. Vishnuchittar doted on her in every respect, singing songs to her about Vishnu, teaching her all the stories and philosophy he knew and sharing with her his love for Tamil poetry; as Kodhai grew into a maiden, her love and devotion for Ranganatha grew to the extent that she decided to marry none but the Ranganatha himself. As days progressed, her resolve strengthened and she started to live in a dream world with her beloved and was fantasizing about marrying him. Vishnuchittar had the responsibility of delivering flower garlands to
Sri Vedanta Desikan was a Sri Vaishnava guru/philosopher and one of the most brilliant stalwarts of Sri Vaishnavism in the post-Ramanuja period. He was a poet, devotee and master-teacher, he was the disciple of Kidambi Appullar known as Aathreya Ramanujachariar, who himself was of a master-disciple lineage that began with Ramanuja. Swami Vedanta Desika is considered to be avatar of the divine bell of Venkateswara of Tirumalai by the Vadakalai sect of Sri Vaishnavite. Vedanta Desika belongs to Vishwamitra gotra. Desika was born in the year 1268 CE, to a pious couple named Ananta Suri and Totaramba, who named him ‘Venkatanatha’; when he was five, his maternal uncle, Kidambi Appullar took him to attend a spiritual discourse of Nadadhoor Ammal, a revered Sri Vaishnava scholar of that time. As soon as Ammal saw the divine radiance of the child, he stopped his discourse, hugged Venkatanatha affectionately; when Ammal told the audience that he had forgotten where he had stopped his discourse, it was Venkatanatha who reminded him to the astonishment of the assembled scholars.
Impressed, Ammal blessed him and predicted that Venkatanatha would become the main torch-bearer for Sri Vaishnavism. When Desika turned seven, Kidambi Appullar accepted Venkatanaatha as his disciple, taught him arts and scriptures. By the age of 20, Desika became famous for his mastery over poetry, linguistics, Vedanta and allied arts. Though Desika was multi-faceted and famous, he lived a humble and simple life with the support of his wife, Thirumangai, he undertook a vow called uchhavritti, whereby he depended wholly on the Supreme Lord for his household needs by accepting grains and vegetables donated by disciples voluntarily, without seeking it. Desika stayed in several cities and towns through his life such as Thiruvaheendrapuram, Srirangam and Melkote, he travelled all over India on foot. At each place, he composed many different works in languages such as Tamil, Sanskrit and Manipravala that revealed his ingenuity, logic, linguistic expertise, devotional fervour and erudite scholarship.
He composed over hundred works in the following genre: • 28 devotional poems in Sanskrit such as Hayagriva-stotram, Kamasika-ashthakam and Gopala-vimshati • 24 devotional poems and treatises in Tamil such as Gitartha-sangraham and Charama-sloka-churkku • 11 philosophical treatises such as Shata-dushani, Mimamsa-paduka and Tattva-mukta-kalapam • 10 commentaries on the works of previous acharyas such as Stotra-ratna-bhashya, Chatus-shloki-bhashya and Tatparya-chandrika • 5 Narrative poems such as his magnum-opus, the Paduka-sahasram, the epic poem called Yadavabhyudaya which rivals the decorative poetry of Mahakavi Kalidasa’s works, the Hamsa-sandesha • 32 esoteric texts revealing the hidden meanings of prappati-marga such as Srimad Rahasya-traya-saram, Paramapada-sopanam, Amrita-ranjani and Amrita-svadhini • 1 drama named Sankalpa-suryodayam • 13 works on arts and sciences such as Bhugola-nirnayam and Silpartha-saram • 4 works that codified religious rites and practices such as Sri-vaishnava-dinasari and Bhagavad-aradhana-vidhi Appaya Dikshitar, the great mediaeval scholar appreciated Desika by composing a verse in Sanskrit: tam vichintyas sarvatra bhavaah santi pade padhe kavi tarkika simhasya kavyeshu laliteshvapi "Even in the simple and soft compositions of this lion of poetry and lion of logic, there is poetic excellence evident at every step he took, indeed in every word he wrote.”
Desika composed his poems in various poetic metres. Vedic literature is written in the form of hymns set rhythmically to different metres, called ‘chandas’; each metre is governed by the number of syllables specific to it. Poets are expected to conform to these norms in their compositions. Swami Desikan has employed 22 metres in the 862 verses he composed on presiding deities of various temples in India; the following are some of the compositions of Vedanta Desika that provide a glimpse of his mastery over poetry, logic and philosophy: Hayagriva Stotram: a hymn on Lord Hayagriva, the Lord of Learning, who bestows real knowledge to the reciter, banishing the darkness of ignorance from within him. Abheethistavam: a prayer to Lord Ranganatha for relief from different types of fear seeking and being bestowed refuge at the lotus feet of the Lord Achyutha Satakam: hundred verses in praise of the Lord of Lords Devanatha, in which Desika expresses his passionate love in the form of a bride Bhagavat Dhyana Sopanam: twelve stanzas that describe the steps for meditating upon the Lord of Srirangam, Ranganathaswami Dasavatara Stotram: describes the ten important incarnations of the Lord to protect the world and uphold the principles of dharma or righteousness Daya Satakam: hundred verses eulogising the mercy or daya of the Lord of Tirumala.
The work is divided into 10 decads, each portraying different qualities of the personified mother, Dayadevi. It commences with the short anushtab metre; each successive decad employs a more complex metre, till it culminates in decorative poetry, a sheer delight to hear. Sri Suti: a prayer to ‘Sridevi’ the Goddess of Fortune, said to have been composed when a bachelor was sent to Desika, seeking financial help for his marriage. Since Desika himself lived a life of voluntary poverty, he took him to the temple of the Goddess and sang Sri Stuti; this culminated in a shower of gold coins. Sudarshanasthaka: eight verses set in the rare ‘dhritichhandas.
Rama or Ram known as Ramachandra, is a major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, one of his most popular incarnations along with Krishna and Gautama Buddha. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Being. Rama was born to Dasharatha in Ayodhya, the ruler of the Kingdom of Kosala, his siblings included Lakshmana and Shatrughna. He married Sita. Though born in a royal family, their life is described in the Hindu texts as one challenged by unexpected changes such as an exile into impoverished and difficult circumstances, ethical questions and moral dilemmas. Of all their travails, the most notable is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the determined and epic efforts of Rama and Lakshmana to gain her freedom and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds; the entire life story of Rama and their companions allegorically discusses duties and social responsibilities of an individual. It illustrates dharmic living through model characters.
Rama is important to Vaishnavism. He is the central figure of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a text popular in the South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures, his ancient legends have attracted bhasya and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts. Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana – a spiritual and theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries, the Ramcharitmanas – a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances during autumn every year in India. Rama legends are found in the texts of Jainism and Buddhism, though he is sometimes called Pauma or Padma in these texts, their details vary from the Hindu versions. Rāma is a Vedic Sanskrit word with two contextual meanings. In one context as found in Arthavaveda, states Monier Monier-Williams, it means "dark, dark-colored, black" and is related to the term ratri which means night. In another context as found in other Vedic texts, the word means "pleasing, charming, lovely".
The word is sometimes used as a suffix in different Indian languages and religions, such as Pali in Buddhist texts, where -rama adds the sense of "pleasing to the mind, lovely" to the composite word. Rama as a first name appears in the Vedic literature, associated with two patronymic names – Margaveya and Aupatasvini – representing different individuals. A third individual named Rama Jamadagnya is the purported author of hymn 10.110 of the Rigveda in the Hindu tradition. The word Rama appears in ancient literature in reverential terms for three individuals: Parashu-rama, as the sixth avatar of Vishnu, he is linked to the Rama Jamadagnya of the Rigveda fame. Rama-chandra, as the seventh avatar of Vishnu and of the ancient Ramayana fame. Bala-rama called Halayudha, as the elder brother of Krishna both of whom appear in the legends of Hinduism and Jainism; the name Rama appears in Hindu texts, for many different scholars and kings in mythical stories. The word appears in ancient Upanishads and Aranyakas layer of Vedic literature, as well as music and other post-Vedic literature, but in qualifying context of something or someone, "charming, lovely" or "darkness, night".
The Vishnu avatar named Rama is known by other names. He is called Raghava. Additional names of Rama include Ramavijaya, Phreah Ream, Phra Ram, Megat Seri Rama, Raja Bantugan, Ramar. In the Vishnu sahasranama, Rama is the 394th name of Vishnu. In some Advaita Vedanta inspired texts, Rama connotes the metaphysical concept of Supreme Brahman, the eternally blissful spiritual Self in whom yogis delight nondualistically; the root of the word Rama is ram- which means "stop, stand still, rejoice, be pleased". According to Douglas Adams, the Sanskrit word Rama is found in other Indo-European languages such as Tocharian ram, reme, *romo- where it means "support, make still", "witness, make evident"; the sense of "dark, soot" appears in other Indo European languages, such as *remos or Old English romig. This summary is a traditional legendary account, based on literary details from the Ramayana and other historic mythology-containing texts of Buddhism and Jainism. According to Sheldon Pollock, the figure of Rama incorporates more ancient "morphemes of Indian myths", such as the mythical legends of Bali and Namuci.
The ancient sage Valmiki used these morphemes in his Ramayana similes as in sections 3.27, 3.59, 3.73, 5.19 and 29.28. Rama was born on the ninth day of the lunar month Chaitra, a day celebrated across India as Ram Navami; this coincides with one of the four Navratri on the Hindu calendar, in the spring season, namely the Vasantha Navratri. The ancient epic Ramayana states in the Balakhanda that Rama and his brothers were born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, a city on the banks of Sarayu River; the Jain versions of the Ramayana, such as the Paumacariya by Vimalasuri mention the details of the early life of Rama. The Jain texts are dated variously, but pre-500 CE, most sometime within the first five centuries of the common era. Dasharatha was the king of Kosala, a part of the solar dynasty of Iksvakus, his mother's name Kaushalya implies that she was from Kosala. The kingdom of Kosala is mentioned in Buddhist and Jaina texts, as one of the sixteen Maha janapadas of ancient India, as an important center of pilgrimage for Jains and Buddhists.
However, there is a schola
Silappadikaram is one of Five Great Epics according to Tamil literary tradition. Ascetic-prince Ilango Adigal is credited with this work, the younger brother of reputed warrior-king Senguttuvan of the Chera dynasty; as a literary work, Silappadikaram is held in high regard by the Tamil people. It contains a total of 5270 lines of poetry; the epic revolves around Kannagi, who having lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom. Regarded as one of the great works of Tamil literature, the Silappadikaram is a poetic rendition with details of Tamil culture. Silappadikaram has been dated to belong to the beginning of Common era, although the author might have built upon a pre-existing folklore to spin this tale; the story involves the three Tamil kingdoms of the ancient era, which were ruled by the Chola and Chera dynasties. Silappadikaram has many references to historical events and personalities, although it has not been accepted as a reliable source of history by many historians because of the inclusion of many exaggerated events and achievements to the ancient Tamil kings.
At the end of the Sangam epoch, the Tamil country was in political confusion. The older order of the three Tamil dynasties was replaced by the invasion of the Kalabhras; these new kings and others encouraged the religions of Jainism. Ilango Adigal, the author of Silappatikaram lived in this period and was one of the vast number of Jain and Buddhist authors in Tamil poetry; these authors influenced by their monastic faiths, wrote books based on moralistic values to illustrate the futility of secular pleasures. Silappatikaram used akaval meter, a style adopted from Sangam literature. Silappatikaram does not use the convention of regarding the land divisions becoming part of description of life among various communities of hero and heroine; the epic mentions evenings in the spring season, as the prime time that exacerbates the feelings of longing in those who are separated. These patterns are found only in the works of Sanskrit by Kalidasa; these authors went beyond the nature of Sangam poems, which contain descriptions of human emotions and feelings in an abstract fashion, employed fictional characters in a well conceived narrative incorporating personal and social ramifications thus inventing Tamil Epics.
The story of silappatikaram is set during the first few centuries of CE and narrates the events in the three Tamil kingdoms: Chera and Pandya. It mentions the Ilankai king Gajabahu and the Chera Senguttuvan, it confirms that the northern kingdoms of Chedi and Vajra were known to the Tamil people of the time. The epic vividly describes the Tamil society of the period, its cities, the people's religious and folk traditions and their gods; the authorship of Silappatikaram is credited to the pseudonym Ilango Adigal. He is reputed to be the brother of Chera king Senguttuvan, although there is no evidence in the Sangam poetic works that the famous king had a brother. There are claims that Ilango Adigal was a contemporary of Sattanar, the author of Manimekalai; the prologues of each of these books tell us. From comparative studies between Silappatikaram and certain Buddhist and Jain works such as Nyayaprakasa, the date of Silappatikaram has been determined to be around the fifth and the sixth centuries CE.
In the pathigam, the prologue to the book, Ilango Adigal gives the reader the gist of the book with the précis of the story. He lays the objectives of the book... Kovalan - Son of a wealthy merchant in Puhar Kannagi - Wife of Kovalan Masattuvan - A wealthy grain merchant and the father of Kovalan Madhavi - A beautiful courtesan dancer Chitravathi - Madhavi's Mother Vasavadaththai - Madhavi's female friend Kosigan - Madhavi's messenger to Kovalan Madalan - A Brahmin visitor to Madurai from Puhar Kavunthi Adigal - A Jain nun Neduncheliyan - Pandya king Kopperundevi - Pandya Queen Silappatikaram depicts the life of Kannagi, a chaste woman who led a peaceful life with Kovalan in Puhar the capital of Cholas. Kannagi was born in a wealthy sea merchant family, her father, was a reputed ship captain of Puhar. She was brought up with discipline, she was married to Kovalan, the young son of a rich caravan trader, whose family were sea traders and had the sea goddess Manimekalai as patron deity. Her life went astray by the association of Kovalan with another woman Madhavi, a dancer.
Kovalan settled at Madhavi's house. But Madhavi's mother started to get money from Kannagi in the name of Kovalan's request, without knowledge of both Kovalan and Madhavi; the loyal and astute Kannagi lost all the wealth given to them by their parents. One fine day Madhavi unknowingly utters a line of knowledge within the song she was singing and Kovalan finds his error of leaving his wife, he leaves Madhavi to rejoin Kannagi. Reluctant to go to their rich parents for help, the duo start resurrecting their life in Madurai, the capital of Pandyas. While Kannagi stays in the outskirts of Madurai, Kovalan goes to the city to sell one of Kannagi's two ruby anklets to start a business. At the same time, the royal goldsmith had stolen a pearl anklet belonging to the queen, for which he frames Kovalan. Th
Andal or Godadevi is the only female Alvar among the 12 Alvar saints of South India. The Alvar saints are known for their affiliation to the Srivaishnava tradition of Hinduism. Active in the 8th-century, with some suggesting 7th-century, Andal is credited with the great Tamil works and Nachiar Tirumozhi, which are still recited by devotees during the winter festival season of Margazhi. Periazhwar was an ardent devotee of Perumal and he used to string garland to Perumal every day, he was childless and he prayed to Perumal to save him from the longing. One day, he found a girl child under a Tulasi plant in a garden inside the temple; the child was goddess Sri Mahalakshmi. He and his wife named the child as Kothai, an avatar of Perumal, she is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periazhwar, who found it, was upset and remonstrated her. Sri Vishnudeva appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal to him; the girl Kothai was thus named Andal and was referred as சூடிகொடுத்த சுடர்க்கொடி,or Chudikodutha Sudarkodi to Lord Vishnu.
The practise is followed during modern times when the garland of Andal from Srivilliputhur Andal temple is sent to on Garudotsavam during the Tamil month of Purattaasi and during Chitra Pournami. Kodhai was brought up by Vishnuchitta in an atmosphere of devotion; as Kodhai grew into a beautiful maiden, her fervor for the Lord Perumal grew to the extent that she decided to marry only the Lord himself. As time passed, her resolve strengthened and she thought about marrying Ranganathar of Thiruvarangam. In North India, Radha Rani is celebrated as the "Queen of Bhakti." In Tamil Nadu Andal is remembered for her pure love and devotion. In the Thiruppavai, Andal, as a Gopi in Ayarpadi, emphasizes that the ultimate goal of life is to seek surrender and refuge at the Lord's feet, it is believed that Ranganatha of Thiruvarangam Ranganathaswamy temple married Andal, who merged with the idol. Since Andal married Thiru Ranganatha, who came as king Raja Sriman Andhra Vishnu, the presiding deity is called Rangamannar.
For Tirupati Brahmotsavam, garlands worn to Andal in Srivilliputhur temple are sent to Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. These traditional garlands are made of tulasi and sampangi flowers; these garlands are worn to Lord Venkateswara during Garuda seva procession. Every year Tirupati Venkateswara’s garland is sent to Srivilliputtur Andal for marriage festival of Andal. Andal garland is being sent to Madurai Kallazhagar for Chithirai Festival day. Andal's hairstyle and ornamentation are unique to Kerala; the tuft of hair is worn in front of the head similar to the Nambudiri priests of Kerala Thiruvillipuththur Andal's hand-crafted parrot is made with fresh green leaves each and every day. This parrot is kept in the left hand of Andal, it takes four and half hours to make this parrot. A pomegranate flower for beak and mouth, Bamboo sticks for legs, banana plant, petals of pink oleander and nandiyavattai are used to prepare this parrot. Andal is one of the best-loved poet-saints of the Tamils.
Pious tradition holds her to be the incarnation of Bhūmi Devi to show humanity the way to Lord Vishnu's lotus feet. Representations of her next to Vishnu are present in all vainava temples. During the month of Margazhi, discourses on the Thiruppavai in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi take place all over India; the Andal Temple at Thiruvilliputhur consists of twin temples, one of, dedicated to Andal. Most South Indian Vishnu temples have a separate shrine for Andal. There are a number of festivals dedicated to Andal, among the most notable being the Pavai Nonbu in the Tamil month of Margazhi, Andal Thirukalyanam in Panguni, Rapathu, Adi Thiruvizha, when Andal is depicted seated in the lap of Ranganathar. Andal is known for her unwavering devotion to the God of the Gods. Adopted by her father, Andal avoided earthly marriage, the normal and expected path for women of her culture, to marry Vishnu, both spiritually and physically. In many places in India in Tamil Nadu, Andal is treated more than a saint and as a form of god herself and a shrine for Andal is dedicated in most Vishnu temples.
Thousands of people from the state participate in the "Aadi Pooram" festival celebrated in the Andal Temple. After early morning special pujas, the presiding deities, Shri Rengamannar and Goddess Andal are taken in decorated palanquins to the car; the festival marks the adoption of presiding deity, Andal, by Periyazhwar after he found her near a Tulsi plant in the garden of Vadabadrasai Temple at Thiruvilliputhur on the eighth day of the Tamil month of Adi. In poetry, 9th-century Andal became a well known Bhakti movement poetess, states Pintchman, historical records suggest that by 12th-century she was a major inspiration to Hindu women in south India and elsewhere. Andal continues to inspire hundreds of classical dancers in modern times choreographing and dancing Andal's songs. Andal is called Goda, her contributions to the arts have created Goda Mandali in the Vaishnava tradition. Goda Mandali, named after Andal was formed in 1970 and reorganized in 1982 spreads Andal songs through TV and radio programs Andal composed two literary works, both of which are in Tamil verse form and express literary, religious, and
Varaha is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu who takes the form of a boar to rescue goddess earth. Varaha is listed as third in the ten principal avatars of Vishnu. In a symbolic Hindu mythology, when the demon Hiranyaksha tormented the earth and its inhabitants, she sinks into the primordial waters. Vishnu took. Varaha slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting her on his tusks, restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe. Varaha may be depicted as a boar or in an anthropomorphic form, with a boar's head and human body; the rescued earth lifted by Varaha is depicted as a young woman called Bhudevi. The earth may be depicted as a mass of land balanced on his tusk; the Sanskrit word Varāha means "wild boar" and comes from the Proto-Indo-Iranian term uarāĵʰá, meaning boar. It is thus related to Avestan varāza, Kurdish beraz, Middle Persian warāz, New Persian gorāz, all meaning "wild boar"; the word Varaha is found in Rigveda, for example, in its verses such as 1.88.5, 8.77.10 and 10.28.4 where it means "wild boar".
It means "rain cloud" and is symbolic in some hymns, such as Vedic deity Vritra being called a Varaha in Rigvedic verses 1.61.7 and 10.99.6, Soma's epithet being Varaha in 10.97.7. The rain-relationship led the connotation of the term evolve into vara-aharta, which means "bringer of good things". Like Vishnu's first two avatars – Matsya and Kurma – the third avatar Varaha is depicted either in zoomorphic form as an animal, or anthropomorphically; the main difference in the anthropomorphic form portrayal is that the first two avatars are depicted with a torso of a man and the bottom half as animal, while Varaha has an animal head and a human body. The portrayal of the anthropomorphic Varaha is similar to the fourth avatar Narasimha, the first avatar of Vishnu, not animal. In the zoomorphic form, Varaha is depicted as a free-standing boar colossus, for example, the monolithic sculpture of Varaha in Khajuraho made in sandstone, is 2.6 metres long and 1.7 metres high. The sculpture may not resemble a boar realistically, may have his features altered for stylistic purposes.
The earth, personified as the goddess Bhudevi, clings to one of Varaha's tusks. The colossus is decorated by miniature figurines of gods and goddesses and other world creatures appearing all over his body, which signify the whole of creation; such sculptures are found in Eran, Badoh, Gwalior and Apasadh. In the anthropomorphic form, Varaha has a stylized boar face, like the zoomorphic models; the snout may be shorter. The position and size of the tusks may be altered; the ears and eyes are based on human ones. Early sculptors in Udayagiri and Eran faced the issue of how to attach the boar head to the human body and did not show a human neck. However, in Badami, the problem was resolved by including a human neck. While some sculptures show a mane, it is dropped and replaced by a high conical crown – typical of Vishnu iconography – in others. Varaha sculptures look up to the right. Varaha has four arms, two of which hold the Sudarshana chakra and shankha, while the other two hold a gada, a sword, or a lotus or one of them makes the varadamudra.
Varaha may be depicted with all of Vishnu'a attributes in his four hands: the Sudarshana chakra, the shankha, the gada and the lotus. Sometimes, Varaha may carry only two of Vishnu's attributes: a shankha and the gada personified as a female called Gadadevi. Varaha is shown with a muscular physique and in a heroic pose, he is depicted triumphantly emerging from the ocean as he rescues the earth. The earth may be personified as the goddess Bhudevi in Indian sculpture. Bhudevi is shown as a small figure in the icon, she may be seated on or dangling from one of Varaha's tusks, or is seated on the corner of his folded elbow or his shoulder and supports herself against the tusk or the snout, as being lifted from the waters. In Indian paintings, the whole earth or a part of it is depicted lifted up by Varaha's tusks. In Mahabalipuram, a rare portrayal shows an affectionate Varaha looking down to Bhudevi, who he carries in his arms; the earth may be portrayed as a globe, a flat stretch of mountainous land or an elaborate forest landscape with buildings, humans and animals.
The defeated demon may be depicted trampled under Varaha's feet or being killed in combat by Varaha's gada. Nagas and their consorts Naginis, residents of the underworld, may be depicted as swimming in the ocean with hands folded as a mark of devotion. Varaha may be depicted standing on a snake or other minor creatures, denoting the cosmic waters; the Udayagiri Caves Varaha panel is an example of an elaborate depiction of Varaha legend. It presents the goddess earth as the hero as the colossal giant, his success is cheered by a galaxy of the divine as well as human characters valued and revered in the 4th-century. Their iconography of individual characters is found in Hindu texts; the panel shows: Vishnu as Varaha Goddess earth as Prithivi Brahma Shiva Adityas Agni Vayu Ashtavasus Ekadasa Rudras or eleven Rudras Ganadevatas Rishis (Vedic sages, wearing barks of trees, a beard