Thirunavukkarasar

Thirunavukkarasar (Tamil:திருநாவுக்கரசர), popularly known as Appar, was a Saivite saint who lived in Tamil Nadu during the seventh century CE. He is one of the 63 Saivite saints known as Nayanars. He was a contemporary of the Pallava king Mahendravarman I and was responsible for the conversion of the king to the Hindu faith. Thirunavukkarasu himself spent a few years of his life as a Jain ascetic under the name Dharmasena. He eventually returned to the Saiva faith.

Appar then started singing Tamil hymns while travelling from village to village. He is known to have travelled to about 125 temples in different cities or villages in Tamil Nadu HIs hymns are set to melodic patterns known as Pann. Around 3066 of his songs are available today. These have been collected into the Tevaram along with the compositions of Sundarar and Sambanthar.

His life

The details of Appar's life come to us from his own hymns, Sekkizhar's Periyapuranam and Sundarar's Thiruttondartokai.[1]

Appar was born Marulnikkiyar in Thiruvamur, on the banks of the river Pennai (near Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu), to a Vellalar family. His parents were Puhalanar. Marulnikkiyar had an elder sister named Tilakavathi. When the children were still young, the parents died. This and other setbacks in life led Marulnikkiyar and Tilakavathi to seek spiritual guidance. This led Marulnikkiyar to the Jain faith and he travelled to Patalipura (near Cuddalore) to join a Jain monastery.[2] He was given the name Dharmasena by his Jain teachers and he learnt the Jain scriptures there. Meanwhile Tilakavathi became a devout Saivite.

After a while Dharmasena was afflicted by a painful illness which foreced him to come back home to seek his sister's help.[3] At her behest Dharmasena went to the Siva temple and prayed for relief and was cured miraculously. Dharmasena sang his first hymn kurrayinavaru vilakku and was acclaimed as 'Navukkarasu' (meaning 'king of the tongue' in reference to his poetic skills).

The reconversion of Dharmasena into the Saivite faith prompted the Jains to complain about him to the Pallava king Mahendravarman I. the king subjected Appar to a number of ordeals and punishments.[4] Navukkarasar overcame all of these apparently miraculously. The ashtonished king himself converted into the Hindu faith from Jainism.

Navukkarasar began travelling from village to village singing hymns at the various Siva temples. After many years he hear of Sambanthar and went to Sirkali to meet him. Sambanthar respectfully addressed Navukkarasar as Appar (father). Sambanthar and Appar travelled together singing hymns.

Appar died at the age of 80.

Appar's Tevaram

Appar’s Tevaram hymns, as we have them now, are grouped into three books, which form the fourth, firth and sixth Tirumurai of the Tamil Saiva canon. The compilation of these books is generally ascribed to Nambi Andar Nambi in the 10h Century.

Some of Appar's hymns set to various Panns, melodic meters of the Ancient Tamil music which the rest are set to Thirunerisai and Viruttam metres. Sundarar in his Tiruttondartokai states that Appar composed 4900 hymns of ten verses each. This is repeated by botth Nambi Andar Nambi and Sekkilar. Out of these only 313 have survived.[5]

Notes

1. ^ Excerpt from Dr R. Nagasamy, Siva Bhakthi Chapter 1
2. ^ Dr R. Nagasamy, Siva Bhakthi Chapter 3
3. ^ Dr R. Nagasamy, Siva Bhakthi Chapter 2
4. ^ Dr R. Nagasamy, Siva Bhakthi Chapter 2
5. ^ Dr R. Nagasamy, Siva Bhakthi Chapter 2

References

  • Dr. R. Nagasamy. Siva Bhakti. Tamil Arts Academy. Retrieved on 2007-07-10.
  • Anna Dallapiccola. 'Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. 
Tamil}}} 
Writing system: Vatteluttu 
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Official language of:  India,[4][5]

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Tamil Nadu (Tamil: தமிழ்நாடு pronunciation  
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For other uses of the name, see Nayanar


Nayanars were Saivite saints from Tamil Nadu, who were active between the fifth and the tenth centuries CE.
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The Pallava kingdom (Tamil: பல்லவர்) was an ancient South Indian kingdom. The Pallavas claimed to be "Brahma-Kshatriyas" and King Mahenda's title was "Samkirnajati" basically translating as mixed caste.
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Mahendravarman I (600 - 630 CE) was the Pallava king ruling in the northern regions of Tamil nadu state in India. He was the son of Simhavishnu, who defeated the Kalabhras and re-established the Pallava kingdom.
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Hinduism (known as Hindū Dharma in modern Indian languages[1]
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This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support, you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

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Pann (Tamil:பண்) is the melolic mode used by the Tamil people in their music since the ancient times. Pann is the precursor to the Raga system of Carnatic music.
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Tevaram is a body of ancient Saivite religious hymns composed in the 6th-9th centuries by the thousands in the popular Tamil language by Saiva Nayanars. These saints, such as Appar (6-7th century A.D.), Sambanthar (6-7th century A.D.) and Sundarar (9th century A.D.
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Sundaramurti Nayanmar(8th century C.E.), shortly known as Sundarar, was one of the four most prominent Nayanmars.

Early life

Sundarar was born as Nambi Arurar to Sadaiyanar and Isaignani in Thirunavalur village.
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Thirugnana Sambanthar was a Saiva saint, who lived in the Pandya country in the ancient Tamil Nadu during the reign of Ninrasir Nedumaran (c.7th century CE).[1] Sambanthar, is one of the 63 Nayanars, Tamil Saiva Bhakti saints, who lived between the sixth and the tenth
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Periya Puranam (that is, the Great Puranas) or Tiruttontarpuranam (that is, The Puranas of the Holy Devotees) is a great Tamil work, depicting the legendary poetic account of the lives and time of the sixty-three Nayanmars.
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Sundaramurti Nayanmar(8th century C.E.), shortly known as Sundarar, was one of the four most prominent Nayanmars.

Early life

Sundarar was born as Nambi Arurar to Sadaiyanar and Isaignani in Thirunavalur village.
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Cuddalore pronunciation   (Tamil: கடலூர்) is a fast growing industrial city and headquarters of Cuddalore district in the Tamil Nadu state of
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Thirugnana Sambanthar was a Saiva saint, who lived in the Pandya country in the ancient Tamil Nadu during the reign of Ninrasir Nedumaran (c.7th century CE).[1] Sambanthar, is one of the 63 Nayanars, Tamil Saiva Bhakti saints, who lived between the sixth and the tenth
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Tevaram is a body of ancient Saivite religious hymns composed in the 6th-9th centuries by the thousands in the popular Tamil language by Saiva Nayanars. These saints, such as Appar (6-7th century A.D.), Sambanthar (6-7th century A.D.) and Sundarar (9th century A.D.
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The word Tirumurai means literally 'sacred book' and it is a compendium of songs or hymns in Saivism.

Saivas have the Tirumurai as their religious text, while Vaishnavas have the Nalayira Divyaprabandham as their sacred work.
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Pann (Tamil:பண்) is the melolic mode used by the Tamil people in their music since the ancient times. Pann is the precursor to the Raga system of Carnatic music.
..... Click the link for more information.
The ancient Tamil music was the music of the ancient Tamil people, who resided in the lands of the ancient Tamil country. Many poems of the Sangam literature, the classical Tamil literature of the early common era, were set to music.
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Sundaramurti Nayanmar(8th century C.E.), shortly known as Sundarar, was one of the four most prominent Nayanmars.

Early life

Sundarar was born as Nambi Arurar to Sadaiyanar and Isaignani in Thirunavalur village.
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