Showing posts with label Alvars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alvars. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Yamunacharya?

 

Yamunacharya (10th c.)  according to legend was Ramanuja's teacher. 

He was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu, who is said to be the grandson of Nathamuni.

The Nalayira Divyaprabandham, the collected hymns of the Alvars, a group of poet-saints who lived in southern India between the sixth and eleventh centuries, was compiled by Nathamuni.

The Alvars were all worshippers of Vishnu, and they conveyed their love via impassioned lyrics sung in Tamil; these hymns are so sacred among southern Indian Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu) that they are known as the "Tamil Veda." 

Ramanuja, on the other hand, was a philosopher who collected and systematized this devotional outpouring into a coherent philosophical viewpoint, and is therefore regarded as the religious community's founder.

Yamunacharya was thought to be Nathamuni's grandson, and hence heir to the religious tradition that his grandfather had helped establish.

The allegation that he was Ramanuja's religious teacher (guru) is considerably more contested, since it is more probable that Yamuna's effect on Ramanuja was passed down via Yamuna's pupils.

Still, it is undeniable that these three figures played pivotal roles in the development of the Shri Vaishnava tradition, and that Yamunacharya is one of them.


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Hinduism - Who Was Mathurakavi Of The Alvars?

 


 (10th c.) Between the seventh and tenth centuries, he was the last of the Alvars, a group of twelve poet-saints who lived in southern India.

The Alvars were all worshippers of Vishnu, and their focus on ardent devotion (bhakti) to a personal deity, expressed via hymns sung in Tamil, revolutionized and reinvigorated Hindu religious life.

Mathurakavi was the student of Nammalvar, who was drawn to him from northern India by a brilliant light in the southern sky, according to legend.

Mathurakavi was able to awaken Nammalvar from a yogic slumber in which he had spent most of his life by asking a question concerning the ultimate spirit.

From that point forward, Mathurakavi acted as Nammalvar's mentor.

Unlike the other Alvars, Mathurakavi only penned 10 songs, all of which were in honor of his teacher.

For further details, read Kamil Zvelebil's Tamil Literature (1975); John Stirling Morley Hooper's Alvar Hymns (1929); and A. K. Ramanujan's Hymns for the Drowning (1981).


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Hinduism - Who Was Kulashekhara?

 


(9th century) One of the Alvars, a group of twelve poet-saints who flourished during the seventh and tenth centuries in southern India.

The Alvars were all worshippers (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu, emphasizing ardent devotion (bhakti) to a personal god expressed via Tamil hymns.

Kulashekhara was the ruler of the Travancore territory in modern-day Kerala, according to legend.

He finally abdicated his kingdom because of his deep religious conviction.

See Kamil Zvelebil, Tamil Literature, 1975, and John Stirling Morley Hooper, Hymns of the Alvars, 1929, for further details.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Were The Alvars?



Between the seventh and tenth centuries, a group of twelve poet-saints dedicated to the deity Vishnu flourished in southern India. 


  • The Alvars led the revival of Hindu religion in relation to Buddhists and Jains in collaboration with the Nayanars, who were dedicated to the deity Shiva. 
  • Both the Alvars and the Nayanars placed a strong emphasis on ardent devotion (bhakti) to a personal deity, which they expressed via Tamil hymns. 
  • The first Alvars were a group of three seventh-century contemporaries named Poygai, Pey, and Bhutam, who were said to have sparked the devotional flame after a fortunate encounter on a wet night. 
  • The ninth-century group includes Tiruppan, Tirumalisai, Tondaradippodi, Kulashekhara, Periyalvar, Andal, and Tirumangai. 
  • They were followed by Nammalvar and his pupil Mathurakavi, who may be roughly dated to the beginning of the tenth century, as well as Nathamuni, who compiled the Nalayira Prabandham, which contains all of the Alvars' songs. 



Although the Alvars identified themselves simply as human followers (bhakta), the Shrivaishnava religious group saw them as anshavatars, or manifestations of Vishnu's qualities or associates, by the eleventh century. 

The Tamil Veda was (and still is) a common name for their collection of hymns, which formed an important component of subsequent Vaishnava devotion in southern India. 

This is especially true in the Shrivaishnava tradition, where Nathamuni himself was a prominent figure.


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