Nayanmars - The 63 Great Saiva Volunteers
Hinduism is very ancient and the oldest. The main sub-sect is Shaivaism. The worshipping of Lord Shiva who is the first and foremost diety of Shaivaism, is 5,000 years old.
When the influence of other religions increased and the Shaivaism was affected, there were some god-sent volunteers emerged to safeguard it. 7AD was the golden era of Shaivaism.
In this century, Appar and Sambandar emerged and served to the glory of Shaivaism. Many others followed them. Because of their great volunteering work, we still have Shaivaism around.
These volunteers are known as ‘Nayanmaars’. There were 63 of them. 3 of them were female.
Out of those 63, Sambanadar, Appar, Sundarar, and Vathavoorar have sung on Lord Shiva and they are known as ‘Samaya-Kuravarkal’
Sekkizhar was a saint and a contemporary of king Kulothunga Chola II of the 12th century, . He compiled and wrote the ‘Periya Puranam’ in 4253 verses, recounting the life stories of the 63 Shaiva Nayanars, the devotees of Shiva.
We will see these Nayanmars here in this section
Sambanadar, Appar, Sundarar, and Manikkavacakar (‘Samaya-Kuravarkal’)