The greatest of the literary achievement of medieval India is the creation of a body of devotional poetry, by successive generations of the saint-poets spread over several centuries.
This newly formed literature emerged in Tamil Nadu, the growth and development took place between the sixth and the tenth century, and the major participants in this magnificent activity were a group of saint-poets known as the Nayanmars and the Alwars,
Nayanmars are the devotees of lord Shiva and Alwars are the devotees of lord Vishnu and his incarnations (lord Rama and Lord Krishna).
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu were the most influential deities in the life of Tamil Nadu since the sixth century onwards. Both the deities are considered to be as ancient, as because...
The methods adopted by the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas to combat the Buddhists and the Jains were public debates, but their presentations included the performing of miracles, frequent travels that the leaders led from temple to temple, singing and dancing all their way. The saints were followed by the huge number of devotees. Slowly these journeys gained more than religious importance and grew into a mass movement.
Hence the argument of recognising the activities of the Nayanmars and the Alwars that continued for several centuries, as the Bhakti Movement.
The Bhakti literature produced in the south is comprised of three great works- The Tevaram, an anthology of the poems written by the Shaiva saints, the NalayiraDivyaPrabandham, an anthology of songs composed by the Alwars, and SrimatBhagavata, one of the Puranas.
The first two works are in Tamil and the third one is in...
NalariyaDivyaPrabandham ('nal' means- four and 'ayir' means thousand) which means a collection of four thousand 'divine' songs) is also anthology o songs written by all twelve Alwars. It was compiled by Nathamuni or Ranganatha Muni in the tenth century, almost at the same time when Tevaram was compiled. The third work, SrimatBhagavata was probably composed around the tenth century, although scholars are popular.
According to NilkantaSastri- '' The Bhagavata combines a single singing emotional Bhakti to Krishna with the Advaita philosophy of Sankara in a manner that it has been considered possible only in the Tamil country during that period.''
It is now more or less well accepted that the Nayanmars, and it can be eve claimed as the supreme literary expression of a new type of Bhakti, which is very different from the Bhakti of the Bhagvat Gita. The two texts, the Tevaram and the NalariyaDivyaPrabandham are the works of the same religious milieu, results of the spiritual activities of several poets and saints that continued for at least four hundred
years. They only present the final stage stability attained by the Bhakti movement and the literature that it...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document