▪ Tamil poet-musician
      any of the Tamil poet-musicians of the 7th and 8th centuries AD who composed devotional hymns of great beauty in honour of the Hindu god Śiva (Shiva). The images of the poets Ñānacampantar, Appar, and Cuntaramūrtti (often called “the three”) are worshiped in South Indian temples as saints. They were approximately contemporary with their Vaiṣṇava counterparts, the Āḷvārs. The hymns of the Nāyanārs were collected in the 10th century by Nambi Āṇḍar Nambi as Tēvāram and set to Dravidian music for incorporation into the services of South Indian temples. An inscription of the Cōḷa king Rājarāja the Great (985–1014) records his introduction of the singing of the hymns in the great temple at Thanjāvūr (Tanjore). Often associated with the Nāyanārs, though probably slightly later in date, is the superb devotional poet Māṇikkavācakar, whose hymns are collected as Tiruvācakam (“Sacred Utterance”).

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Universalium. 2010.

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