Nayaṉmar, Nāyanmār, Nāyaṉmār, Nāyaṇmār: 2 definitions



Nayaṉmar 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.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

Nāyanmār.—The sculptures of all the sixty-three Shaiva saints popularly called as the Nāyanmārs are installed in twenty temples of the Śaiva creed. They are installed in the prākāramaṇḍapas. Their height usually varies from two feet to three feet.

Of these sixty-three saints, four saints referred to as Nālvar are installed separately in a few temples. They are

  1. Tirunāvukkarasu (Appar),
  2. Sundarar,
  3. Māṇikkavācakar,
  4. Tirunyānasambandar.
Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

Discover the meaning of nayaṉmar in the context of Vastushastra from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Nayaṉmar in Hinduism glossary
Source: Oxford Bibliographies: Hinduism

The term nāyaṉmār (singular, nāyaṉār) is a Tamil-language word that today generally means “leaders,” but as the term is widely known and used it specifically refers to sixty-three exemplary human figures in the Hindu devotional path of Tamil Shiva bhakti (devotion to the god Shiva), whose lives are described in a 12th-century volume attributed to Cēkkiḻār, the Periya Purāṇam (Great story), also known as Tiruttoṇṭar Purāṇam (The story of the holy servants).

The term nāyaṉār seems to have been first used in the 13th century to describe the three most famous male poet-saints (Campantar, Appar, and Cuntarar) in an inscription dated to the tenth regnal year of the Chola dynasty king, Rājendra III (1256 CE). The term nāyaṉmār may have been first expanded in the next century to refer to all of the devotees described in the Periya Purāṇam, in a text that purports to describe the making of the Tamil Shiva-bhakti canon.

The nāyaṉmār have a prominent presence in Tamil religious history as well as the present, wherever Tamils have settled across the globe—through their own compositions; biographical stories about them; their rendering in images including song, art, and film; and their incorporation into the lineage of the Tamil philosophical school, Shaiva Siddhānta. The nāyaṉmār are also fruitfully understood within the wider context of other bhakti poet-saints from Tamil tradition, as well as bhakti poet-saints from across India.

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