Vaishnavite Acharyas History of Alvars - Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya Several schools of Hindu religious thoughts have been established by great saints and thinkers. Visishtadvaita is one of those schools of thought which was propounded by Sri Ramanujacharya on the basis of Brahma Sutra and Thiruvaimozhi of Nammalvar. Alwars used Tamil language as medium for their songs and prayer. The melody and charm of the verses Pasurams , which were inspired by their divine love of God and mankind, made them immensely popular. Gradually over time, they became an integral part of temple worship and are today recited during the daily poojas. Alwars saw and felt Sriman Narayana in everything.
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DivyaPrabandham The Nalayira in tamil Divya Prabandham is a collection of 4, verses composed before 8th century AD, by the 12 Azhvars the term azhvar means "the one who is immersed in". They are so called because they were immersed in their devotion and love to their Lord, Vishnu.
It was the scholar-saint Nathamuni who, in the 10th century, retrieved and compiled this divine collection and numerous commentries have been written by various poorvacharyas for this divya prabandham and it is a life time exercise to read and the understand the inner meanings of the bakthi laden pasurams. The Prabandha sings the praise of Narayana or Vishnu and his many forms. The Alvars sung these songs at various sacred shrines. These shrines are known as the Divya Desams. They lived like human beings and burst out bhakti laden great works for the sake of humanity.
The works of Alwars stood mysteriously a replica of the Vedas themselves and therefore came to be known as Dravida Veda. These Alwars are 12 in Number and out of which one is Sri Andal, who is a woman. These Alwars were born in various parts of our country but they were all united in a common subject, ie dedicating their lives and praising the Lord. He appeared on the lotus bud in a pond in tiruve:ka near kancheepuram.
PEyazhw Alwar: as an incarnation of the sword of mahAvishNu called nandaki , appeared in sevvalli Red alli-lily flower in a well of AdhikEsava perumAL koil at mylapore in madras. Thirumazhisai Alwar : an incarnation of the chakrAyudha the Discuss of maha vishnu. He thought the Perumal as his friend and has sung Mangalasasanam on Perumal.
Thirumangai Alwar : who was a great king in his starting of life but later, changed his life to work for the Perumal and for his bhaktaas. Thondaradippodi Alwar : who is also named as "Vipra Narayanar" led his life as the slave to the Perumal and worked for the Perumal by dedicating him with Garlands. Thiruppaan Alwar : who belonged to the Paanar family, praised the Perumal through his beautiful songs and Paasurams. Sri Andal : who is also called as "Soodikkodutha Sudar Kodi" is said to be the daughter brought up of Periyalwar has created "Thiruppavai" in which she considers Sriman Naryanan as her husband.
She is the only lady alwar. Nammalwar :an incarnation of Vishvaksena, the Chief administrator of Mahavishnu; who sat below the Tamarind tree without having any food and sleep, got wisdom and has sung Mangalasasanam on Perumal and he has worked hard to spread Sri Vaishnavam. Kulasekara Alwar : have a great bhakti towards Sri Ramar have also done Mangalasasanam on the Perumal particularly in Malayala Naatu thriuppathigal.
The Divya Prabandham
Nalayira Divya Prabandham