Nammalvar, Nammāḻvār, Nammālvār: 5 definitions


Nammalvar means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Tamil. 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Nammalvar in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Nammālvār (नम्माल्वार्).—The first of the twelve great Ālvārs. The Śaivite devotees of South India are called Nāyanārs and the Vaisṇavite devotees, Ālvārs. The word ālvār means, a devotee of God. The Vaiṣṇava religion says that the twelve ālvārs are the incarnations of Ādiśeṣa and Garuḍa the followers and the embodied deities of the Conch and the discus the weapons of Viṣṇu. It is mentioned in Śrīmad Bhāgavata that divine persons who are followers of Viṣṇu will incarnate on the earth in Kaliyuga and that their native places will be the banks of the holy rivers in Drāviḍa such as Tāmraparṇī, Kṛtamālā (Vaigai), Payasvinī (Pāpanāśinī) and Kāverī. It is stated about these divine persons in Viṣṇumāhātmya that they would take birth in any caste and compose Drāviḍa songs and thereby propagate lofty truths. The collection of Drāviḍa songs thus composed by the ālvārs is called 'Divya Prabandha' (Divine Composition).

There are four thousand songs in four parts in the Divine composition and hence it has the name Nālāyira Prabandham 'Four thousand composition'. The theme of the 1st and 2nd thousands is a secret known as 'Tirumantra' (the divine spell). The third thousand is concerned with the "Caramaśloka" (the verse of death) and in the fourth "Dvayamantra" is dealt with. The Tirumantra (the divine spell) is the collection of of three words Om, namaḥ and Nārāyaṇāya. (See full article at Story of Nammālvār from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Purana book cover
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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.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (vaishnavism)

Nammāḻvār refers to one of the Teachers mentioned in the guruparaṃparā of Vedānta Deśika’s Yatirājasaptati.—The poem’s first ten verses create the context for the exaltation of Rāmānuja. This context is the lineage of teachers (guruparaṃparā) who preceded him and are listed in the first eight verses of the poem in the following order: Nārāyaṇa, Śrī-Lakṣmī, Viṣvaksena, Nammāḻvār, Puṇḍarīkākṣa (Uyyaṅkoṇṭār), Śrīrāmamiśra (Maṇakkāl Nampi), Yāmuna (Āḷavantār) and Mahāpūrṇa (Periya Nampi). In verse 11 Rāmānuja is addressed, for the first time, with the phrase “Lord of the Ascetics” (patiṃ yatīnām).

Source: Dvādaśa-mūrti in Tamil Tradition

Nammāḻvār (நம்மாழ்வார்) (shortly Nam “our”) in Tamil Vaiṣṇava tradition comes next to Tirumaṅkkai in as far as the contribution to Indian sacred literature is concerned. His works consist of the following hymnal compositions: Tiruvāciriyam (7 hymns), Tiruviruttam (100 hymns), Periya-tiruvantāti (87 hymns) and Tiruvāymoḻi (1,102 hymns). Zvelebil (1974: 107) assigns Nammāḻvār to the later half of the ninth and early tenth century, exactly 880-930 CE. [...] Nammāḻvār was known as Māṟan, Caṭakōpaṉ, Caṭāri and Tiruppuḷiyāḻvār. He was by birth a veḷḷāḷa (landlord or serf). He is considered a manifestation of Viṣvaksena, Tamil Cēṉai-mutaliyār. His disciple was  Maturakavi, a Brāhmaṇa.

Vaishnavism book cover
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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’).

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India history and geography

Source: South Asian Arts

The last of the Āḻvārs, Nammāḻvār, writing in the 9th century, expresses poignantly both the pain and ecstasy of being in love with God, revivifying mythology into revelation.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Tamil dictionary

[«previous next»] — Nammalvar in Tamil glossary
Source: DDSA: University of Madras: Tamil Lexicon

Nammāḻvār (நம்மாழ்வார்) [nam-āḻvār] noun < idem. +. A Vaiṣṇava saint, author of Tiruvāymoḻi and other works, foremost of ten āḻvār, q.v.; ஆழ் வார்கள் பதின்மருள் தலைமையானவரும் திருவாய்மொழி முதலிய பிரபந்தங்களின் ஆசிரியருமான திருமாலடியார். [azh varkal pathinmarul thalaimaiyanavarum thiruvaymozhi muthaliya pirapanthangalin asiriyarumana thirumaladiyar.] (உபதேசாத்தினமாலை [upathesathinamalai] 50.)

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Tamil is an ancient language of India from the Dravidian family spoken by roughly 250 million people mainly in southern India and Sri Lanka.

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