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Introduction to ALwArs in telugu.  If you cannot see the contents properly, please download baraha software)


No work on any philosophy can be complete without an understanding of the architects who made it possible. This is even more so in the case of Religious philosophy because  the hagiographic background of the great savants who had the 'savoire faire' thereof would reinforce the credibility in the system  which they not only preached but also practiced in their lives.


The works of Alwars stood mysteriously a replica of the Vedas themselves and therefore came to be known as Dravida Veda. In fact, there is a view that even the great Rishis are no match to the greatness of the Alwars because these Rishis got their 'Gnanam'

 ( wisdom) as a result of their own  actions of 'spiritual merit'

( Punyam) and therefore called ' Aarsha' whereas the wisdom of the Alwars was the direct result of the Lord's divine grace and therefore called ' Divyam'. It is because of this that the works of Alwars is called ' Divya Prabandham'.



 These works are non-pareil in every sense- be it in  sentiment, style or syntax. They take even a casual reader on a guided tour into the esoteric exegesis of the Vedas without offending the provisions of exclusions and prohibitions enjoined in the study of the Vedas in original.


Due perhaps to historical reasons, much of these treasures had been lost to humanity for a while. It was given to the great Nathamuni to retrieve and revivify them in their pristine glory for the benefit of posterity. The long line of the lineage of preceptors who followed him kept the torch burning and handed them over to  successive generations . We can justifiably be proud of the rich heritage . It is our bounden duty, therefore, to familiarize ourselves with the lives and works of these preceptors , the least we can do as a token of our gratitude for the invaluable treasures bequeathed to us.



Hence, this Chapter on ' Alwars and Acharyas' - which purports to be a  very brief introduction to their lives and works. We would like to remind our readers that this does not claim to be a complete list of the great souls nor exhaustive in point of details of even those included. It does not mean that any of the Acharyas not mentioned here are any the less important. The omissions reflect only the author's  lack of exposure to the full facts of the invaluable  contributions of these innumerable savants. Here we start...

Poigai Alwar, Bhoodath Alwar and Pei Alwar are collectively called as "Mudhal Alwars" and they are contempararies.

Thirumazhisai Alwar thought the Perumal as his friend and has sung Mangalasasanam on Perumal.

Thirumangai Alwar, who was a great king in the beginning of his life but later, renounced all material attachments to serve the Perumal and his bhaktaas.

Thondaradippodi Alwar, who is also named as “Vipra Narayanar” led his life as a servant of the Perumal by offering Him with flower Garlands.

Thiruppaan Alwar, who belonged to the Paanar family, praised the Perumal through his beautiful songs and Paasurams.

Periyalwar, is considered as the Mother, Father for Sri Andal and Father-in-Law to Perumal, and has sung Mangalasasanam on Perumal.

 Srimati Andal, who is also called as "Soodikkodutha Sudar Kodi" is said to be the daughter (brought up) of Periyalwar, the author of most fervarantly devotional flavoured "Thiruppavai", in which she considers Sriman Naryanan as her lover. She is the only lady alwar.

Nammalwar, who sat in trance in love of Sriman Narayana, below the Tamarind tree without taking any food and sleep for 16 continuous years, and has sung Mangalasasanam on Perumal and he has worked hard to spread Sri Vaishnavam.

Madhurakavi Alwar, who is said to be the Sishyan (Student) of Nammalwar is also one among 12 Alwars.

Kulasekara Alwar, is a great devotee of Sri Ramar, has also done Mangalasasanam on the Perumal, particularly in his Malayala Naatu thriuppathigal.

FAQ: Alwars and their contributions

athAto "brahma" zignAsA - Then thereafter be inquisitive to enquire about "the Absolute"