Tiruvaymoli (Thiruvaimozhi): English translation

by S. Satyamurthi Ayyangar | 388,514 words

This is the English translation of the Tiruvaymoli (or, Thiruvaimozhi): An ancient Tamil text consisting of 1102 verses which were sung by the poet-saint Nammalvar as an expression of his devotion to Vishnu. Hence, it is an important devotional book in Vaishnavism. Nammalvar is one of the twelve traditional saints of Tamil Nadu (Southern India), kn...


Bhakti Movement in South India

The bhakti movement in South India came to the fore during the sixth to the ninth centuries A.D. This was the period in which many mystic poets, both the Nāyaṇmārs of Saivism and the Āḻvārs of Śrīvaiṣṇavism, went about singing the praises of the Lord. They wandered from place to place and composed their hymns in praise of the particular deity in that place.

The subject matter of all Tamil poetry has traditionally been categorised as broadly two—akam and puṟam. Akam (‘internal’) is what pertains to the individual and the private, the inner, the introvert. Puṟam (‘external’) is what pertains to the public man, king or officer, the outer, the extrovert. Love poetry will come under akam and the poetry of heroism or war under puṟam.

The intense devotion which the Nāyaṇmārs and Āḻvārs felt towards God would normally come under akam. The Vaishnavite Āḻvārs went one step further than their contemporary Nāyaṇmārs thinking of this devotion in terms not so much of man and God as of man and his beloved, whether a child (Periyāḷvār) or a lover (Āṇṭāḷ). The human soul longs for God as a woman for his sweetheart. It is the theme of the Biblical Song of Songs but with the roles reversed—not the man singing for the woman but the woman for the man. The parallel to this in western religious literature is the mystical poetry of St. Theresa with its passionate love for Jesus.

Recital of Hymns in Temples

The chanting of hymns in Saivite as well as Vaiṣṇava temples was in vogue long before the time of Rāmānuja. There are inscriptions relating to the reign of Pārantaka I at Lalgudi and Allur in the Tiruchirapalli district from which it is seen that provision had been made for singing the ‘Tiruppadiyam’ in Saivite temples.[1] There are similar references in inscriptions dating right from the time of Raja Raja Cola which go to prove that provision was made for the chanting of Tiruvāymoḻi by Tiruvāymoḻi Tēvar in Vaiṣṇava temples.[2] Not only the hymns, Tiruvāymoḻi, of Nammāḻvār but the hymns of other Āḻvārs also were chanted in the temples on particular occasions.[3]

Codification of Hymns

It is an interesting feature of the bhakti movement in South India that the codifications of the Saivite hymns by Nampi Āṇṭār Nampi and of the Śrī Vaiṣṇava hymns, Divya Prabandams, by Nāthamuni were effected more or less about the same period and in the same region.[4] Nāthamuṉi’s period must have been around the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth centuries.

As per the traditional account Nāthamuni once heard some visitors to his place from Kurukūr, the birth place of Nammāḷvār, recite a hymn of ten verses from Tiruvāymoḻi. He was enchanted by the melody of the hymn. Realising that they were only part of a thousand verses composed by Nammāḻvār, Nāthamuṉi journeyed to Kurukūr in the hope of discovering the remaining verses. At Kurukūr, Nāthamuni worshipped Lord Viṣṇu and then repaired to the foot of the tamarind tree under which Nammāḻvār had spent his time, in the hope of having the Darśan of Nammāḻvār. He was disappointed however. Then he started reciting Madhura Kavi’s ten stanzas in praise of his guru, Nammāḻvār. When he recited those stanzas 12,000 times, both Nammāḻvār and Madhura Kavi appeared before him and imparted to him the knowledge of the four works of Nammāḻvār. Thereafter Nāthamuṉi stayed on in Kurukūr, meditating upon the Prabhandas, till he was summoned to his native place Vīranārāyaṇapuram by the deity of that place. And in his native place he and his disciples spent their time chanting the hymns.

Apart from tradition, it is now accepted that it was Nāthamuṉi who codified the hymns, Divyaprabandhams, of the Āḻvārs, as mentioned in the Guruparampara prabhāvam.[5]

The Concept of Ubhaya Vedānta

One of the most important contributions of the Śrī Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas is the establishment of the concept of Ubhaya Vedānta, i.e., the equal validity of both the Sanskrit śruti or revealed texts and the Tamil hymns of the Āḻvārs, those who had immersed themselves in God and his qualities.

The history behind the concept of ‘Ubhaya-Vedānta’ is most significant tor it depicts the way in which the hymns of the Āḻvārs came to be considered as Vedānta in Tamil. According to the Acārya Hṛdayam, the Vedas as we know are śruti, i.e, what was heard or revealed, and anādi i.e., without beginning or authorship. They are the supreme authority. The Tamil hymns are equally claimed to be “anādi” in the Śrī Vaiṣṇava tradition. They have a ‘beginning’, ādi, from the Āḻvārs only in the sense that the latter were the instruments through which the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa, revealed His will. He says that like ‘śruti’ which was given by Lord to Brahmā, Divya Prabhandhams were also given by Lord to the Āḻvārs.[6] Āḻvārs started giving equal status to Tamil al ng with Sanskrit. For instance, Kulasekhara Āḻvār in his Perumāḷtirumoḻi refers to Lord as the northern language, Sanskrit, and the poem of sweet joy in Tamil.[7]

Tirumaṅkai Āḻvār in his Tiruneṭuntānṭakam describes the Lord as one who is in the form of the sound of Tamil, which has the power of expression and who is in the form of the Sanskrit word, Vaṭacol. It is worthy of note here that the Alvar gives prime importance to Tamil which has felicity in expression and only refers later to Sanskrit without any qualifying epithet for the northern language. In the same stanza, Tirumaṅkai Āḻvār calls the Lord as the mantra of Vedānta, denoting that all the Upanishads describe only Him. From this one can glean that the Āḻvār is attaching equal significance to Tamil, Sanskrit and Vedānta, who is God Himself, the primordial cause of everything.[8]

Maturakavi, a direct disciple of Saṭakopan, says about his Ācārya, as “He who composed the stanzas through which the inner meaning of the Veda of the great Vetiyars (Brahmins) is established in my heart.”[9]

Maturakavi says that Saṭakopaṉ has mercifully sung one thousand sweet hymns in Tamil, which would make happy the devotees, who forever engage themselves in praising the glory of the Lord.[10]

Yāmuna does not refer to Tiruvāymoḻi as Drāvida Veda, but in Stotraratna he does pay homage to the feet of Vakulābharaṇa, Nammāḻvār, whom he calls the first Ācārya (Stanza-5), Many of Yāmuna’s ideas are parallel to those of the Āḻvārs. It includes for instance, a direct translation from Kulasekhara in Stanza 26 of Stotraratna[11].

Guruparampara records that as part of his temple reforms Ramānuja included the chanting of hymns of the Divya Prabandha.[12] The author of Ācārya Hṛdayam has recorded that Rāmānuja used to explain the Brahma-sūtras with the aid of Tiruvāymoḻi.[13]

That the Divya Prabandhas had been accepted by Śrīvaiṣṇavas as equivalent to the Sanskrit Vedas as part of regular temple worship is evident from the reference to Nammāḻvar in the Stotras of some of the direct disciples of Rāmānuja, like Kūresa and his son, Parāsara Bhattar.[14]

Though Nāthamuṉi and Āḻavandar were instrumental in introducing the chanting of the Divya Prabandham in Vaiṣṇava temples, it was Rāmānuja who systematised it and arranged for the chanting of hymns as an integral part of the temple ritual. This is borne out by the inscriptions relating to the post-Rāmānuja period.[15] This is also known from the Koyil oḷuku, which is a recorded document on the Srirangam temple routine from the time of Rāmānuja.

The concluding session in Śrīvaiṣṇava daily or special worship, as in the case of a festival of the presiding deity or Āḻvār or Ācārya, has an important item called ‘Cāṟṟumuṟai which maiks the end of the recitation of the Divya Prabandham. After the recital of the last two verses of each work of the Āḻvār followed by two verses of Tiruppallāṇṭu, two verses are sung which m an the following: “May the divine command of the venerable Rāmānuja. grow stronger and stronger, with its powers unobstructed in all places and on all occasions and at all times. May the divine command of Rāmānuja shine forth every day and pervade all places, for it aims at the welfare of all the worlds. O Lord, please make the glory of Śrīrangam grow strong every day without any hindrance.”[16]

It may also be noted that Rāmānuja’s systematisation of temple worship is adopted even in domestic worship, which is is followed by Cāṟṟumuṟai. Further, the influence of Rāmānuja can also be seen in the singing of the hymns of Āḻvārs in marriage ceremonies and in obsequies.[17]

Śrī Nammāḻvār

Śrī Nammāḻvār was born at Tirukkurukūr, also known as Āḻvār Tirunakari, in the Vēlālar Community of fourth Varṇa. His parents were Kāri and Uṭaiya Naṅkai. He was given the name, Māṟaṉ by his parents.

It is said that as soon as he was born, he was so absorbed in the contemplation of God that he would not eat or drink but soon took up residence under, a tamarind tree and remained there. He radiated a saintly effulgence which could be seen from far and wide. In fact, Matura Kavi who was on tour in the North saw it and hastened to the South, following the direction of the effulgence. He reached the city of the Āḻvār and located the Tamarind tree under which Nammāḻvār was Seated. There the meeting took place between these two great souls, Nammāḻvār and Matura Kavi, the latter himself one of the Āḻvārs. Matura Kavi saw with wonder that Nammāḻvār did not take any food or water and would also not talk to anybody. He put the question to him: “A little thing born in a dead body, what will it eat and where will it live?” Nammāḻvār replied: “It will eat that and lie there.” Matura Kavi realised that Nammāḻvār meant that though the body is a dead thing and soul infinitely small, it had the capacity to stay in the body and live on it. By this Nammāḻvār sought also to convey that emancipated souls, though finite and small, dwell in God and God is their food, wealth, mind, wisdom, bliss and everything. He himself has spoken of service of God as the greatest gift of God, exceeding even the matter of liberation from the cycle of births. The teachings of Nammāḻvār are said to be capable of liberating anyone. His influence on the course of religious history was enormous.

The place of Nammāḻvār in Śrī vaiṣṇavism can be gauged from the fact that he is held to be the most important among the Āḻvārs. When one considers that he was of the fourth varṇa, one can understand the height to which a person can rise by the love of God. His very name, Nammāḻvār, our Āḻvār, shows the esteem and affection in which he is held in the Śrīvaiṣṇva community. He is also known as Satakopa, which is a symbol representing the Lord’s feet are placed on the devotee’s head in reverential worship. He himself had stated:” By becoming servants of the Lord, we have verily become, as it were, His sacred sandals” (Tiruvantāti-31). Besides Tiruvāymoḻi, his other works are: Tiruviruttam, Tiruvāciriyam and Periya Tiruvantāti,

Matura Kavi Āḻvār

The meeting of Matura Kavi and Nammāḻvār has already been described. Nammāḻvār’s statement that he was enjoying God, as his food and resting in God made Matura Kavi realise the profound truth in it; then and there he chose Nammāḻvār as his Ācārya. He learned all the hymns of the great saint and followed the method of bhakti and prapatti scrupulously. The traditional accounts include him among the Āḻvārs, though with a difference. While all other Āḻvārs enjoyed the mystic vision of God and His infinite auspicious attributes, Matura Kavi sang about the glory of Nammāḻvār alone in his only composition. It is called ‘Kaṇṇinuṇ Ciruttāmpu’ in which he sings the praise of Nammāḻvār or Saṭakōpaṉ. The fact that he has been elevated on the strength of this only work, demonstrates the significance of the deep devotion to Ācāryas.

Status of Devotees

Vedānta Desika in the Chapter ‘Prabhāva Vyavasthādhikāra’ of his work ‘Rahasya Traya Sāra’ discusses elaborately on devotees born in a lower varṇa. He refers to the Purāṉas wherein it has been stated that a devotee, even though of a lower varna, is superior to one of a higher varna who is not a devotee.

Vedānta Desika held firm views on varṇas and the Varṇāśrama Dharma. According to him a person born in a lower varṇa and who is a devotee of Lord Visnu is venerable! This veneration does not make the devotee get the social status of a higher varṇa. To establish this, Vedānta Desika has mentioned the simile of the Surabhi, Kamadhenu, which furnishes all that people desire, but is still a cow. The same thing applies to the Bhāgavata, who should be venerated but who cannot change his varṇa.

Vedānta Desika discusses about this elaborately in this chapter and cites the cases of Vyādha and Tulādhara. These two, though born in a lower Varṇa and thus ineligible to study the Vedas or teach them, were still able to clarify the doubts of the Brahmins who approached them for clarification on points in the Vedas. Desika says that they were like guides who direct travellers who had strayed into the forest. Vyādha and Tulādhara were important only for guidance but could not became members of a higher Varṇa. As regards Āḻvārs, according to Vedānta Desika, they were of a special category and could not be classified with mortals. In his Guru Paramparāsāram, he calls the ten Āḻvārs as the Navina Dasāvatara, or the new ten incarnations of this Lord.

While discussing the question of Nammāḻvār’s birth, Aḻakiya Maṇavāḷa Perumāl Nāyaṉār in his Ācārya Hṛdayamit compares to that of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa Dvāipāyaṇa, Vyāsa, but with a difference. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was born in prison in Matura and was brought up by his foster-mother, Yasoda in Gokulam. Vyāsa was born to Machcha Gandhi and was also not brought up by her. But Nam-māḻvār was born in Tirukurukūr. and brought up by his parents. The places of birth of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vyāsa and Nammāḻvār are also significant. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was born in prison and Vyāsa on the seashore whereas Nammalvar was born in a town in a fertile region on the bank of river Tamiraparaṇi.

According to the author of Ācārya Hṛdayam, the principles of Varṇāśrama Dharma cannot be applied to the devotees of the Lord, Those who do so are ignorant and wallowing in darkness. Further he cites the cases of Tiruppaṇāḻvār, Tirukacci Nampi and Kurumpu Aṛutta Nampi, who were born in lower Varṇas. He also compares Nammāḻvār’s case to that of Varahavatara and Kṛṣṇavatāra. In Varāhāvatāra, the Lord incarnated as a boar to redāeem the earth. In Kṛṣṇāvatāra, the Lord was born among the cow-herds to uplift them. In the same way Nammāḻvār was born in a lower varṇa to uplift mankind.

From the above, it will be seen that these two ācāryas approach the matter of Nammāḻvār’s birth in a lower varṇa from different angles. Vedānta Desika says that the matter of birth in a lower Varṇa should not be taken into account in the case of Āḻvārs. Aḻakiya Maṇavāḷa Perumāl Nāyaṉār, a younger contemporary of Vedanta Desika says that Nammalvar was born in low varna purposely to uplift mankind, just as in the case of Kṛṣṇāvatāra and Varāhāvatāra.

Commentaries on Tiruvāymoḻi

Upto the time of Rāmānuja, devotees and disciples learned the subtlety and meanings of Tiruvāymoḻi only by word of mouth, in a continuous Ācārya-Śiṣya tradition. The first recorded commentary on Tiruvāymoḻi was by Tirukkurukai Pirāṉ Piḷḷāṉ, a disciple of Rāmānuja, who wrote it as per the instruction of his preceptor. I was called Ārāyirappaṭi. (Six thousand Paṭi’s,—A paṭi consists of 32 letters.) In fact all the five important commentaries on Tiruvāymoḻi, so far have this suffix ‘paṭi’ added on to their titles). The other commentaries are briefly described below:


This was written by Nañcīyar who learned Tiruvāymoḻi from his Ācārya, Parasara Bhaṭṭar. This is more elaborate than Arayirappaṭi. In this, Naṉcīyar stresses the importance of the Tamil language as a vehicle for spiritual revelation. Nañcīyar’s contribution to Śrī Vaiṣṇavism is important.

Paññir Ayirappaṭi.

The author of this commentary is Vāti Keari Aḻakiya Mañavāḻa De[?]ikara disciple of Periya vāccāṉ Pillai. Almost illiterate in the beginning, he had the good fortune to be blessed with the grace of his preceptor and became erudite and wrote many scholarly treatises, including this commentary.


This commentary is written by Periya Vāccāṉ Piḷḷai, a disciple of Nampiḷḷai. Periya Vāccāṉ Piḷḷai’s contribution to the Maṇipravāḻa Literature is significant. Because of his methodical and systematic approach in his treaties, he was given the title ‘Vyakhānacakravartin’, emperor of commentators.


Of all the commentaries of Tiruvāymoḻi, that have gained prominence so far, this is considered to be the most exhaustive. This is also known as ‘ĪṬU’ and is held in high esteem by Śrīvaiṣṇavites. The author of this commentary was Vaṭakku Tiruvīti Piḷḷai, another disciple of Nampiḷḷai. This is supposed to have been recorded after listening to the discourses of Nampillai. This work is accepted as a scripture by all Tenkalai Śrī Vaiṣṇavas and the followers of Ahobila Mutt of the Vaṭakalai tradition.


It is our duty to acknowledge with grateful thanks the literary and financial help received from diverse sources in the presentation of this work. Mr. S. Satyamurti Ayengar, Retired Officer of the Indian Audit Department, is deeply interested in Śrivaiṣṇava tradition and has undergone “Kālakshepam” with Sri U. Ve. P. B. Annangarāchariār Swami among others. The English Glossary of Tiruvāymoḻi, which we are presenting is a good example of the traditional approach.

As a supplement to the first volume, we are presenting a booklet by Prof. David Kaylor and Dr. K. K. A. Venkatachari entitled, “God far; God near”—An Interpretation of the Thought of Nammāḻvāṛ, which is a critical appreciation of the original text of Tiruvaymoli and the philosophy found in the hymns as seen by these authors.

A munificent grant by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, has been vital for publishing this work and the Institute is thankful to the Government for enabling us thereby no foster the pursuit of research and study in Indology. We are thankful to the Titumala Tirupati Devasthanams, who, as ever, have come forward to our aid with financial assistance. To Prof. David Kaylor, our thanks are due not only for intellectual but also financial participation in the publication.

We are thankful to Sri B. D. Somani of West Coast Paper Mills for supplying us the required paper at concessional rates. We owe our thanks to Mr. J. Mohan for painstaking proof reading and to Hoe & Co. Madras, our printers, who through the able Mr. V. Sethuram and his devoted staff have spared no pains is seeing to the timely and fine execution of planting.

Founder Director.

7th February, 1981.

Footnotes and references:


At Lālguḍi and Allūr in the Trichinopoly district are found inscriptions of the region of Parāntaka I, providing for Brahmins singing the Tiruppadiyam during the daily service in the temples. Earlier than Parāntaka’s reign, in the reign of the Pallava Vijaya-Nandi-Vikrama Varman, reciters of the Tiruppadiyam are enumerated in the list of persons employed in the service of a temple at Tiruvallam.—(Page 637, The Colas, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri)


The mention of Tiru-Vāymoḻidevar in an inscription at Ukkal in Rājarāja’s reign, and of the recitation of Tiruppadiyam in Viṣṇu temples is enough to show the parallelism in practice between Saivism and Vaiṣṇavism in this respect.—(Page 639, The Colas, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri)


The fact that the hymn of Kulaśekhara-āḻvār beginning tettarundiṟal was recited before the deity during three nights in the course of a festival in Srirangam is mentioned in an inscription of A.D. 1088.—(Page 639, The Colas, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri)


Tradition confers upon Nathamuni the honour of having done for Vaiṣṇava lyrics what Nambi Āṇḍār Nambi achieved for the Śaiva ones. If Śrīnātha who seems to be mentioned in the Anbil plates may be taken to be the same as the Vaiṣṇava Saint Nāthamuni, his age would be the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth centuries A.D., and this accords well with the other testimony we have, meagre as it is, on the subject.—(Page 638, The Colas, K, A. Nilakanta Sastri)


Guruparamparā Prabhāvam—Āṟāyirappati, page 120.


Ācārya hṛdayam Cūrṇikai 41, 49.


Antamiḻinpapaviṉai avvaṭamoli yai ppaṟṟaṟṟārkāḷ........—(Perumāḷ tirumoḻi—1-4)


intiraṟkum piramaṟkum mutalvaṉtaṉṉai irunilam kāl tī nīr viṇ ptūam aiṅtāy
centiṟattatamḻiocai vaṭacollāki ticaināṉkumāy tiṅkaḷ ñāyiṟāki
aṅtarattil tevarkkaum aṟiyalākā antaṇaṉai antaṇarmāṭṭu aṅtivaitta
mantirattai manirattāl maṟavātu eṉṟum vāḻutiyēḷ vaḻalām maṭaneñcamē.—(Tiruneṭuntānṭakam, 4)


mikkavētiyar vētattiṉuṭporuḷ niṟkappāṭi yenneñcuḷ niṟuttiṅāṉ
takkacīr caṭakopancṉ nampikku āḷ pukkakātal aṭimaip payaṉaṉṟē.—(Kaṇṇinuṇciruttāmpu, 9)


aruḷkoṅṭāṭum aṟiyavar iṉpuṟa
aruḷiṉāṉ avvarumaṟaiyinporuḷ
aruḷkoṅṭu āyiram iṉtamiḻ pāṭināṉ
aruḷ kaṅtīr ivvulakinilmikkatē.—(Kaṇṇinuṉciruttāmpu, 8)


ar ciṉattāḷ īṉṟatāy akaṟṟiṭinum maṟṟavaḷtaṉ aruḷ ninainte aḻumkuḻavi aluvē poṉṟiruntēṉē.
  —(Kulacekara, Perumāḷtiramoḻi, 5:1)
ruṣā nirastopi śiśuḥ stanandhayaḥ najātu matuḥ carnaṇau jihāsati.
  —(Yāmuṇa, Stotraratna, sta. 26)


Guruparamparā prabhāvam—pp. 181 ff.


Bhāṣyakārar itukoṅṭu sūtra vyākhyānaṅkaḷ oruṅku viṭuvar.


(a) traividya Vṛdha jana mūrdha vibhūṣanam yat
sampat ca sātvikajanasya yadeva nityam.
yadvā saraṇyam asaraṇya janasya pumsām
tat samsrayēma vakuḷābharaṇa anghriyugmam.
  —(Śrīvaikunṭha Stavam—2) Kuresa

“Let us prostrate before the lotus feet of Nammalvar, the only refuge for even the indifferent and the uncared for. Bow before those feet which are simultaneously a unique treasure house for the Sattvikas and an incoparable jewel on their heads.”—(Stanza—2)

(b) baktiprabhāva bhavadadbhu ta bhava
sandhuksita pranayasāra rasougha purnah.
vedārtharatna nidhiḥ acyutadivya dhāmā
jīyāt paraṅkusa pyodhirsīma bhūmā.
  —(Śrī Vaikunṭha Stavam—3) Kuresa

“Hail to Nammalvar who competes with the ocean in his qualities of divine love: immeasurable is his love for the Lord, even as the full waters of the ocean. Vaticgated and most wonderful are the myriad moods of his love for Him (the Nava-rasas even as the ocean contains unheard of treasures) Immortal shall he be who is our and our Lord’s pride of possession”.—(Stanza—3)

(c) Vakuladhara Sarasvatī viṣakta Svararasa bhāvayutasu kinnaṟiṣu[?].
dravati dṛṣadapi prasakta gānāsu iha vanaśaila tatiṣu sundrasya.
  —(Sundara bahustava—12) Kuresa

“The very stones melt, when kinnara maidens, who are endowed with perception of swara, rasa and bhava, sing the “Saraswati of Vakuladhara” (hymns of Nammalvar), from the valleys of ‘Sundara’ hill—(Alakarmalai)”.

(d) rṣim juṣāmahe kṛṣṇa tṛsṇātatvam ivoditam.
sahasra sākhām yodrāksit drāviḍīm braha sanyanitam
  —(Śrī raṇgarājastava—6, Parāśara Bhaṭṭar)

“We bow before that saint Nammalvar who perceived the Brahma Samhita (Upanishad) in Tamil, having a thousand branches and who is the very personification, as it were, of the thirst for Kisna.”


Divyaprabhandha recital in vaisnava Temples.—Dr. K. V. Raman
  —(Śrī Ramanuja Vāṇī—October 1979, pp. 33ff),


sarvadēsa sadākāleṣu avyāhata parākramā.
rāmānujārya divyājñyā vardhatām abhivardhatām.
rāmānujārya divyājñyā praṭivāsarm ujvalā.
digantavyāpinīu bhūyat sāhi lokahitaiṣinī.
  —(Śrīmanna Śrīrangaśriyam anupadravā anudinam savardhaya)


The ten stanzas of “Nācciyār Tirumoḻi” beginning with “Vāraṇamāyiram”, where Āṇṭāḷ dreams of her marriage with Lord Nārāyaṇa, are usually sung during the weddings of the south Indian Śrī Vaiṣṇavite community. This may well be taken as an index of the deep penetrative influence of the hymns of Āḻvārs on the social life of the Śrī Vaiṣṇava Community.

Before the commencement of funeral ceremonies in (case of death to the members of) the Śrī Vaiṣṇava community when the dead body (prēta) is washed and the caste mark applied, at least a hundred stanzas of Nammāḻvār are chanted. This is done as if to indicate the longing of the individual soul to reach the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, at the conclusion of the ceremonies on the 13th day, thousand hymns of Nammāḻvār (i.e. Tiruvāymoḻi) are chanted to signify the liberation of the soul.

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