Article

Āṇṭāḷ

Archana Venkatesan

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online June 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0006
Āṇṭāḷ

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Āṇṭāḷ is the epithet of the 9th-century Tamil female Vaishnava poet named Kōtai. She is the author of two major mystical poems, the Tiruppāvai and Nācciyār Tirumoḻi, both of which are included in the first book (Mutal Āyiram) of the Nālāyira Divya Prabandham (Divine Collection of Four Thousand). The sect of Śrīvaiṣṇavas consider the Divya Prabandham to be revealed. Within this formulation Āṇṭāḷ’s two compositions are regarded as equivalent to the Upanishads. Āṇṭāḷ whose name means “she who rules,” is counted as one of the twelve Āḻvār poets. However as she is believed to have married Viṣṇu, she is also sometimes left out of the list of Āḻvār poets, and is instead worshipped as a manifestation of Bhū Devī, the goddess Earth. As one of the most important and popular figures in Tamil Vaishnavism, there is a wide range of source material—primary and secondary—produced about Āṇṭāḷ. This includes traditional hagiographies, commentaries to her two poems in Maṇipravāḷa, Tamil, and Sanskrit, in addition to a substantial bibliography in English. This article focuses on the most significant primary and secondary sources about Āṇṭāḷ ––with an emphasis on her crucial role in the formation of Tamil Vaishnavism, both as a participant in the religious milieu of 9th-century devotionalism and as a recipient of devotion and religious practice in the period thereafter.

Article.  4817 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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