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Encyclopedia > Appar

Thirunavukkarasar, also spelt as Tirunvukarasar, and popularly known as Appar, meaning father-figure, or a high one in Tamil is a Shaivite saint who lived in Tamil Nadu. He is one of the 63 saints known as Nayanmars. He is treated as one among the four most prominent or leading Nayanmars and refered as 'kuravar' (குரவர்), which means a leader or Guru. He lived in the 7th century and composed and sang several devotional songs, dedicated to Shiva. He is known to have travelled to about 125 temples in different cities or villages in Tamil Nadu and singing in each place mystical songs set to melodic patterns known as Pann (equivalent to Raga) and some 3066 of his songs are available today[1]. His songs are compiled, along with the songs of two other saints, in a work called Tevaram, which means Sacred songs. A junior contempeory of Thirunavukkarasar is saint Thirugnana Sambanthar and together they are known to have visited many temples singing melodic songs set to Pann (Raga). Tamil (தமிழ் ) is a classical language and one of the major languages of the Dravidian language family. ... Tamil Nadu (&#2980;&#2990;&#3007;&#2996;&#3021; &#2984;&#3006;&#2975;&#3009;, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... The Nayanars were the sincere and ardent devotees of Lord Siva. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Shiva (Sanskrit: शिव; Hindi: शिव; Malayalam ശിവന്‍ (when used to distinguish lordly status), also known as Siva and written Åšiva in the official IAST transliteration, pronounced as ) is a form of Ishvara or God in the later Vedic scriptures of Hinduism. ... Pann (பண்) is the melolic mode used by the Tamil people in their music since the ancient times (< 400 BCE). ... Raga (rāg /राग (Hindi), raga (anglicised from rāgaḥ/रागः (Sanskrit)) or rāgam /ராகம் (Tamil)) are the melodic modes used in Indian classical music. ... This article needs cleanup. ...


The legend

The legend states that in his early adulthood, he converted from Shaivism to Jainism, and then back to Shaivism. The reason stated for the final conversion, according to the legend, is that he had become afflicted with a serious illness, and his prayers to Shiva, as advised by his sister, resulted in Shiva curing him of the illness. This conversion was not taken lightly by the-then establishment, controlled by the Jains. The Pallava king, Mahendravarman I, was also a Jain. Appar was called to the court of the king. Having been warned to reconsider and rescind his conversion, Appar did not change. He continued to sing the devotional songs dedicated to Shiva and explained the basic tenets of Shaivism through his hymns. Ultimately the king himself was converted to Shaivism. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Jaina redirects here. ... Shiva (Sanskrit: शिव; Hindi: शिव; Malayalam ശിവന്‍ (when used to distinguish lordly status), also known as Siva and written Śiva in the official IAST transliteration, pronounced as ) is a form of Ishvara or God in the later Vedic scriptures of Hinduism. ... Pallavas were a South Indian dynasty. ... The rock-cut temples at Mamallapuram. ...


His image

Thirunavukkarasar’s image and iconography shows him as completed shaven head, and his palms are shown joined in Anjalimudra. A weed is shown on his shoulder. The weed is said to symbolize his determination to remove all grass and weeds from the vicinity of temples.



  1. ^ Thirunavukkaruc cuvaamikal theevaara (thalamurai)(திருநாவுக்கரசு சுவாமிகள் தேவாரம் (தலமுறை)), Thirupanandaal madam, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 612 404, 1995
  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola

  Results from FactBites:
Appar on Metaphysical Life-1 (7491 words)
Appar was not a martyr in the Christian sense but rather a social reformer who lived to the ripe old age spending most of his time not in penance and vain philosophical disputes and so forth but rather in meaningful social service.
Appar as the truly liberated individual and as one who has seen the essence of Metaphysical Life describes in a nutshell what OUGHT to be the genuine rituals of metaphysical life.
Appar was one who LIVED out this life and which is cherished to this day by representing him with the Uzavaarap Padai, the scrapple that he used to clean up the temples.
The Psychoanalysis of Appar (9787 words)
Appar putting himself in the position of a typical man shows that the appreciation of animal sexuality and understanding the DIVINITY behind it all, at the very depths,  would also serve to severe all the worldly ties or bonds and with that prepare the soul to enjoy the blessings of Njanam by BEING.
Appar sees or led to see the Dance of Bliss of Siva and Sakti at the depths of all sexual activities and this is that which leads him to extol that he has been graced by BEING  with an understanding that is so rare and difficult.
Appar notes that it is possible for Siva to depart from Sakti and becoming the Mahayogi teach Njanam to the rishies who have overcome the sexual desires.
  More results at FactBites »



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