Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Divine World of the Alvars

Author: Pravrajika Shuddhatmamata (Cecile Guenther)
Published: 2003
Paperback:  128 Pages

Between sixth and ninth centuries there lived in South India ,Vaishnava saints known as Alvars. They were well known for their deep devotion and ecstatic love towards the God Vishnu and composed several songs expressing the same. These songs are still sung as an integral part of the prayers and worship in many Vaishnavite homes.  Andal's composition Thiruppavai is one such example.
This book  consists of  twelve short, well-researched and well-written biographies of  Poygai-Alvar, Pudatt-Alvar, Pey-Alvar, Tirumalisai Alvar, Nammalvar, Madhurakavi Alvar, Periyalvar, Andal, Tiruppan Alvar, Tondaraippodi Alvar, Kulasekhara Alvar and Tirumangai Alvar.
It also has extracts from their compositions which very well convey  the essence of their devotional outpourings.
A good read for those interested in spiritual/ religious literature.

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