Year of birth of Kothai Andal
Sreemat Andal is one of the 12 Azhvars who devoted their whole life in the devotion on Sreemath Narayana. These 12 Azhvars also sang devotional songs on Sreemat Narayana which are collectively known as Nalayira Divya Prabhantham. Kothai Andal who is worshiped as Mother Goddess by Hindus especially Vaishnavits, is famous for Her song Tiruppavai which was sung by Her in the holy month of Margasirsa. Sreemat Andal, who is worshiped as the incarnation of Mother Earth, was born in the holy city Srivilliputhur which is in southern part of Tamilnadu state of Bharat, close to the western mountain range. Sree Vishnu chittar who is famously known as Periyazhvar (one of the 12 Azhvars) is Her father. (zha is a special la in our Tamil language)
The time at which these 12 Azhvars lived is not given adequate importance, as the people gave more attention to their teachings and show more interest on the devotional songs sung by them and the devotees are always fond of dipping in the ocean of these songs and immersing in the spiritual enjoyment of the immense feelings in the devotion and realising their identity and oneness with the Almighty. However, there are references either internally in their devotional songs or in the sloka of later Vaishnavits about the time of these Azhvars.
In this article, let us analyse the year of birth of Kothai Andal. If we search internet or any text about the period of Sreemat Andal or of any other Alvar, it is said that they belong to 7th or 8th century C.E. Actually speaking, there is no research or study have been conducted on the dates of Alvars and even Nayanmars, the great Saiva Bhakta Jnanies. It is commonly said that 7th and 8th century can be considered as the period of Bhakti movement in Tamilnadu and hence these Alvars and Nayanmars were belong to this period. Then if we ask the question why 7th and 8th century C.E. is considered as the period of Bhakti movement, the answer told was that this is because the Alvars and Nayanmars lived in this period and they spread Vaishnava and Saiva Bhakti among the people during this period. Thus it is clearly a circular argument, where one proves the other and the proof of the first theory is the second theory which is totally based on the first theory. Except this, there is no other proof. Hence it is essential to derive the date of Sreemat Andal independently, not based on any type of circular argument.
Sreemat Andal’s birth year is given in the text of Pinbazhakiya Perumal Jeeyar who was a disciple of Nampillai who in turn is a strong Vaishnavit and lived during the time of Sreemat Ramanujar. Since this text was composed during the period of Sree Ramanujar, it is 1000 years ancient. This text was published by Se.Krishnamacaryar and printed at Noble Printing Press, Tiruvallikeni, Chennai in 1927. In his “Araayirappadi Guru Parampara Prabhavam” Pinbazhakiya Perumal Jeeyar wrote as,
“siddhaanaam Saradaam Kalaavapagame Varshe Nalaakhye Ravaau
yate karkkatakam vidhaavupacite shashti ahni Sreemati
nakshatra aryamadaivate Kshitabhuvo vaare caturthyaam tithau
Godaa pradurabhooda cintyamahimaa Sreevishnucittaatmajaa”
(S is pronounced as in Sankara, s is pronounced as sarasvati, sh is pronounced as shanmukha, aa is long vowel, a is short vowel.
Thus, it means that Sreemat Andal, the daughter of Sree Vishnucitta, was born in 97 years of Kaliyuga (‘siddha” in Katapayati sankhya and by Angaanaam vaamato gati denotes the number 97, s is 7 and dha is 9 and we have to reverse it and thus it is 97), in Nala year, in Ashadha month (Sun in Karkkataka), Poorva Phalguni (Poora) Nakshatra, 6th day, Sukla Paksha 4th thithi, Tuesday.
In the same way the year of birth of Periyazhvar, father of Sreemat Andal is mentioned in the same text as,
“tatvaabdaapagame Kalau yugavare samvatsare krodhane
canDaamSau mithunangata ahni navame pakshe valarksha api ca
svaatyaam Bhaaskaravaasare SubhatithavekaadaSeenaamani
Sreemaanaavirabhooda cintyamahimaa Sreevishnucitta Anagha:”
(ta, tha, da and dha are of “tha” series and Ta, THa, Da and Dha are of “Ta” series)
Thus, it means Sree Vishnucitta (Periyazhvar) was born in 46th year of Kaliyuga (‘tatva” in katapayati sankhya and anganaam vaamatogati denotes 46 as ta is 6 and va is 4 and we have to reverse it and thus it is 46), in Krodhana year, in Jyeshtha month (Sun in Mithuna), 9th day, Sukla paksha Ekadasi thithi, Sunday, Svati Nakshatra.
Thus Periyazhvar (Vishnucittar) was born in 46th year of Kaliyuga in Krodhana year i.e. 3101 – 46 = 3055 B.C.E. and Sreemat Andal was born in 97th year of Kaliyuga in Nala year i.e. 3101 – 97 = 3004 B.C.E. The difference between the birth year of Periyazhvar and Sreemat Andal is 51 years and Periyazvar actually found out the child in a flower garden and took the child to his home and brought Her up and that child is Sreemat Andal. That is why the age difference is 51 years. The difference between the 60 years cyclic year Krodhana to Nala is also 51 years i.e. from Krodhana to Nala and thus it also fits within correctly.
Now we are going to analyse the internal evidence for the birth time of Sreemat Andal.
Sreemat Andal’s highly devotional poem is Tiruppavai (Tamil). It has 30 songs. Here one song is for each day and thus 30 songs are for 30 days of Margasirsa month and first song was sung on the first day and second song on the second day and like that up to 30 days of the month. These songs were sung to wake up the young girls in the early morning before Sun rise and to motivate them in Sree Krishna Bhakti. In Tiruppavai in 1st song, which was sung on the first day of Margasirsa month, Sreemat Andal mentioned two things.
The first line is,
“Maargazhi thingal Mati niraintha nannaalaal”
This means that on the first day of Margasirsa month (Maargazhi Thingal), the Moon was either Full Moon or near Full Moon (Mathi is Moon in Tamil and Niraintha means with fully filled in). In Candramana calendar, based on Moon’s revolution around Earth, there are two types, one is Paurnamanta where the Candramana month begins on the next day of Full Moon (Pratama thithi after Paurnamai Krishna Paksha) and ends on the day of Full Moon and Amanta type where the Candramana month begins on the next day of New Moon (Pratama thithi after Amavasya Sukla Paksha) and ends on the day of New Moon. Since here the Month began with Full or near Full Moon, it is Paurnamanta type of Candramana month of Margasirsa.
In Tiruppavai, at the 4th line of 13th song (which was sung on the 13th day early morning before Sun rise) it was mentioned as,
“Velli ezhunthu Viyazham urangitru”
which means that on the 13th day early morning before Sunrise, Venus rose (in the East, Velli is Venus and ezhunthu means rose) and Jupiter set (in the west, Viyazham is Jupiter and urangitru means set). Thus on the 13th day early morning i.e on the near completion of 12th day of Margasirsa month, Venus rose in the east before Sun and Jupiter set in the west. Since the rise of Venus and setting of Jupiter especially the rise of Venus must be before Sun rise, because if the Venus rises after Sun rise, one cannot see the rise of Venus, as it will be obscured by the bright Sun light. Venus is always close to Sun because it revolves around the Sun within the elliptical orbit of the Earth. The maximum elongation of Venus i.e. the difference between the longitude of Sun and Venus is 45 to 47 degrees only. The songs were sung in the early morning before Sun rise. Hence it means that Venus rose in the east just before Sun rise in the east on this day. Then Jupiter is revolving the Sun external to the elliptical orbit of Earth. Hence it always rises in the east and sets in the west, as the Earth rotates on its axis from west to east. Thus on the 13th day early morning Jupiter set in the west at Sunrise. This means that Jupiter was opposite to Sun and Venus in the zodiac circle i.e. around 180 degrees away from Sun and Venus.
Since this Margasirsa month began on the first day of pratama thithi of Krishna Paksha, then on the end of 12th day, the difference between the longitude of Sun and Moon will be 24 to 42 degrees, depending on the time of occurrence of Paurnamai and Amavasya, as Amavasya occurs after 14th to 16th day from Paurnami. Hence the longitude of Moon is 24 to 42 degrees less than that of Sun, on the completion of 12th day in Krishna Paksha. Since this is Margasirsa month in Candramana Paurnamanta calendar, Sun and Venus will be at Dhanus or in Vrischika zodiac sign. There is a difference between Candramana and Sauramana Calendar. Sauramana Calendar is based on the Earth’s revolution around the Sun. In Sauramana Calendar only, at the beginning of Margasirsa month, Sun will be at 240 degrees. In Candramana Calendar it will be less than 240 degrees, up to a maximum of 27 degrees less and when the difference touches 30 degrees, it will be calculated as excess (Adhika) month, as in 30 days, the Earth will revolve 30 degrees around the Sun making it as a month. (Earth’s revolution around the Sun is counted as Sun’s revolution and hence Sun’s revolution for 30 degrees in 30 days is counted as a month). Thus the longitude of Sun can be less than 240 degrees and hence Sun can be in Vrischika zodiac sign. Then Moon will be in Vrischika or Tula zodiac sign, Venus in Vrischika and Jupiter is in Mithuna or Vrishibha zodiac sign, in the year of Tiruppavai, i.e. when Sreemat Andal had grown up as a young girl.
Now since Jupiter revolves around the Sun in 11.8609631541 years for one full revolution. Thus once in (almost) 12 years only Jupiter will be at Vrishibha or Mithuna zodiac sign. Based on this, we can calculate in which year Jupiter was at Mithuna or just before Mithuna. After that we can fix Sun and then Moon. Finally the longitude of Venus is calculated and it must be just 5 to 10 degrees less than the longitude of Sun, as Venus rose just before Sun rise. The year which satisfies all these 4 conditions, will be the year of Tiruppavai.
The Graha Laghava is an astronomical text wrote by Sri Ganesa Daivajna in 1442nd year of Salivahana Saka i.e. 1520 C.E. (500 years before present). He lived in the area of Maharashtra. In that text he wrote the mean (Madhya) positions of Graha and Sighrakendra of Venus and Mercury, at Sun rise on the Sukla Paksha Pratama thithi of Chaitra month of 1442nd Salivahana Saka year at Ujjaini. From that using the Trigonometric calculations as found in the ancient astronomical texts of our Nation, any one can calculate the mean positions of Graha for any date either past or future or for the present year. From the mean position of Graha, by applying Desantara, Manda, Sighra and Bhujantara corrections, we can get the exact (sphuta) positions of the Graha for any day at any place. First we have to calculate the Ahargana (the number of days elapsed since the epoch i.e. the reference year) and then calculate the Mandoccha and Sighroccha of the Graha for the required year. Based on this we can calculate the exact Graha position. The details of these calculations are fully explained in my book “Astronomical Evidence of the Date of Mahabharata War” which can be read as a Kindle edition in amazon.in, amazon.uk.in and amazon.com.
Now the results are,
On the 108th year of Kaliyuga (2993 B.C.E.) when Sreemat Andal was 11 years old girl, on completion of 12th day, on the early morning of the 13th day of Candramana Paurnamanta Margasirsa month, the exact positions of 4 Graha were,
1. Sun 233 Degrees 36 Minutes, 2. Moon 191 Degrees 43 Minutes, 3. Venus 227 Degrees 35 Minutes and 4. Jupiter 61 Degrees 17 Minutes.
Venus was 6 degrees and 1 minute less than Sun and hence satisfied. Jupiter was 174 degrees and 19 minutes less than Sun and 166 degrees and 18 minutes less than Venus and hence it is at the opposite of the zodiac sign to Sun and Venus. Hence it is satisfied. Moon was 41 degrees 53 minutes less than Sun and hence satisfied. Sun was in the end part of Vriscika (210 to 240 degrees) and hence it is acceptable for Candramana Paurnamanta Calender. Venus was in Vriscika, Moon was in Tula and Jupiter was in Mithuna zodiac sign. Thus all are acceptable.
All these satisfy the fore mentioned 4 conditions. Hence the year at which Sreemat Andal sung Tiruppavai is 108 Kali (2993 B.C.E.)and it confirms the birth year of Sreemat Andal at 97 Kali (3004 B.C.E.) as given in the sloka of the text Araayirappadi Guru Parampara Prabhavam written 1000 years ago by Pinbazhakiya Perumal Jeeyar, who was a disciple of Nampillai who in turn lived during the time of Sreemat Ramanujacaryar.