Aḻvar, Ālvār, Ārvār, Āḷvār, Āḻvār: 4 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Aḻvar means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Āḷvār can be transliterated into English as Alvar or Alivar, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Acta Orientalia vol. 74 (2013): Historical sequence of the Vaiṣṇava Divyadeśas

Āḻvār (आḻवार्) refers to “one immersed or lost in his love for the Lord Viṣṇu”.—The twelve Āḻvārs are brought under three groups. The Āḻvār is a divinity, one immersed or lost in his love for the Lord Viṣṇu (āḻ “immerse”, āḻvār “one immersed [in Viṣṇu-bhakti]”). The Āḻvārs are believed to have visited the venues where the temple of the Lord was, composed hymns in praise of those sacred centers, the Mūrti, the tīrtha, the flora and fauna, the pūjās and festivals, and spread the cult. Though scholars find the rudiments of bhakti in the Paripāṭal, it is in the hymns of the Āḻvārs that we really find the blossoming of the bhāgavata/bhakti tradition that germinated in the north during the early centuries of the Christian era.

Note: The Āḻvārs are considered to be the aṃśas (manifestation) of Vaiṣṇava marks of identification; e.g.

  1. Poykai – pañcajanya (a demon turned śaṅkha),
  2. Pūtam – gadā “mace”,
  3. Pēy – nandaka (khaḍga of Viṣṇu),
  4. Maḻicai – cakra,
  5. Maturakavi – Vainateya (Garuḍa, son of Vinatā),
  6. Nam - Śeṣa,
  7. Kulacēkarar – kaustubha (celebrated necklace of Viṣṇu),
  8. Periyāḻvār - Garuḍa,
  9. Āṇṭāḷ - Bhūdevī,
  10. Toṇṭaraṭippoṭi – vanamālā (garland of holy basil),
  11. Pāṇ - śrīvatsa,
  12. Maṅkai - śāṛṅga (bow of Viṣṇu).
Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

Discover the meaning of aḻvar or alvar in the context of Vaishnavism from relevant books on Exotic India

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Ālvār (आल्वार्).—See the word NAMMALVĀR.

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Discover the meaning of aḻvar or alvar in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Academic Room: Hinduism

Āḻvār refers to a group of twelve Vaishnava poet-saints from Tamil-speaking South India who lived between the 6th and 9th centuries. The term Alvar (singular) is derived from the Tamil root āḻ, “to dive,” and in the noun form means “those who dive deep.” Thus Alvar, which is both a title and a designation, emphasizes the experiential and emotive dimension of the poets’ roles in the formation of Tamil Vaishnavism. Nāthamuni (c. 10th century), the first preceptor of the sect of Srivaishnavism, is credited with compiling the poems of the Alvars into a collection known as theNālāyira Divya Prabandham (The divine collection of four thousand).

Source: Oxford Bibliographies: Hinduism

Āḻvār refers to a group of twelve Vaishnava poet-saints from Tamil-speaking South India who lived between the 6th and 9th centuries. The term Alvar (singular) is derived from the Tamil root āḻ, “to dive,” and in the noun form means “those who dive deep.” Thus Alvar, which is both a title and a designation, emphasizes the experiential and emotive dimension of the poets’ roles in the formation of Tamil Vaishnavism. Nāthamuni (c. 10th century), the first preceptor of the sect of Srivaishnavism, is credited with compiling the poems of the Alvars into a collection known as the Nālāyira Divya Prabandham (The divine collection of four thousand). This article focuses on primary sources of the Alvars that are available in translation and select primary sources about the Alvars (such as hagiographies) that are important in understanding their significance to the formation of Tamil Vaishnavism. The hagiographies are, however, not available in English translation. In addition, this article covers the commentarial traditions associated with the Alvars in general and some Alvars in particular.

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