Mangalasasanams to you all on the occasion of A:ndal Thirunakshathram. Goda devi appeared on earth about 5,000 years ago. And we still remember and offer our prayers to Her as She showed us the easiest way to do aradhana to Lord. She taught us how to sing songs with love for God and reach Him.
She did upasana to Lord in diety form – archa murthi. She perfomed vratham to Lord in archa form. She sang songs to Lord in archa form. She pleaded to Lord in archa form and ultimately she reached the lord in archa form.
Lord in Paramapada is beyond our reach. God appeared in different avathars but we cannot we see Him now. We see Him in archa form but we do not believe in that form. We are always filled with doubts – Will He listen to our pleas? Will He responds to our prayers?
But lord in archa form is easily accessible. His soulabhya guna is exhibited in archa form. We can see Him, touch Him and offer our services directly to Him. But, most of us don’t believe in deity form of Lord.
Godadevi through her practices showed that Lord in archa vigraha is as powerful as Lord in Paramapada. She worshipped archa murthi at her place. She went to various places along with her father to offer prayers to Lord in vigraha form. She chose the archa form of Lord in Srirangam to be her spouse. The celestial marriage of a human girl with deity form of Lord was perfomed. Thus She proved that God in archa form will respond and grant us what we want.
We all know the story of Goda devi appearance. Vishunchittha found Goda in the thulasi vanam. He brought her up. As She was found in garden, he called Her ‘koda’. Her name is ‘sri:ma:lika’. She used to participate in the activities of father while listening to Krushna’s stories her father told her.
She began to love Krushna. She wore garlands made by father for Lord and see herself in a mirror to ascertain if she were a fitting bride for Krushna. Then she used to place the garlands back in the basket. Father unaware of Goda’s actions took that basket of flowers to Lord everyday.
One day Vishnuchittha saw Goda wearing the garlands and placing them back. He felt bad as garlands once worn can’t be offered to God. He did not go to the temple to offer garlands that day. God appeared in his dream and spoke, “Father-in-law, why did you not come to the temple and give garlands”. Vishnuchitta told the reason. Then Lord said, “ This has been happening since long. I am receiving garlands worn by Goda. And I want those flowers which Goda which decorated herself with as they have the fragrance of love in them.” Lord appeared in the priests’dream too and instructed the same.
Vishnuchitta was shocked. He realized that she was not an ordinary girl and that she came down to earth to protect us and called her ‘A:ndal’. As she gave the garlands worn by Her, she is called A:muktha ma:lyada. In tamil, She is addressed Chu:di ( garland worn)koduttha (and given) na:cchiya:r (mother).
Goda did Tiruppavai vratham for 30 days to attain Lord. When God did not answer her prayers, she sang another song called Na:cchiya:r Thirumozhi expressing her love in different ways and taking different vows to reach God.
Sundara Bahu Swamy is a shrine in Tamil Nadu where Lord is very beautiful. He is known for His extraordinary quality of granting everyone’s prayers. Until recently, after completing the rituals in the evening, the priests used to lock the temple and place the keys in the Bhairava kshethra in front of the temple. At night, thieves used to come open the temple, and pray to Lord to be successful in stealing and promised to give 50% of their booty to the Lord.
Andal said, “Oh Lord! One who grants everyone’s prayers should grant mine too. I take an oath my Lord. My oath is different from others as others go away after receiving whatever you give. But by granting me my wish you will get good fame and as my wish is to do your service, I will never go away. I will always be with you!”
She promised that she will offer onru nu:rura:yiram – one, hundred, thousand vessels of payasam to Lord if He fulfills her wish. But she did not get a chance to complete her oath as she got married and became archa vigraha herself immediately.
Bhagawad Ramanuja noticed this 1000 years ago and offered 1000 vessels of sweet porridge to Sundarabahu Swamy. Then, He went to Srivilliputtur and said, “Mother I fulfilled your promise”. As soon as He told so, Goda addressed Him anna: – elder brother from the sanctum sanctorum. She ordered the archakas to perform all the temple honors to Him as He is Her elder brother. Hence she is also called Yathiraja Sahodari – sister of Yathiraja.
That way Lord in archa form responds. Goda proved it to all of us. She was born on when sun enters daskinayana , in karkataka lagna, purva phalguni star.
Let us chant her thirunakshathra thaniyan:
karkate: pu:rva phalgunya:m thulasi:ka:nano:bhava:m
pa:ndye: viswabhara:m go:da:m vande: sri:ranga na:yaki:m