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Nāyaṇmār


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The collective title given to the 63 saints of Tamil Śaivism, active between the 6th and 9th centuries ce. Many came from non-brahmin backgrounds, and the movement in general advocated the unrestricted worship of Śiva for all, irrespective of caste. Their hagiographies are recounted in Cekkiḻār's Periya Purāṇam, which became the twelfth and last book of the Tirumuṟai. The Tirumuṟai also contains the bhakti poetry of a number of prominent Nāyaṉmār (including Campantar, Appar, and Cuntarar)—works given canonical status, and incorporated liturgically into Śaiva Siddhānta temple ritual. Effectively the Nāyaṉmār established a sacred Śaiva geography across the Tamil homeland, focused on the particular shrines and temples to which they had made physical cum literary pilgrimages.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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