Alzhwars / Alwars & their greatness
- The Alwars (also spelled Alzhwars) “those immersed in god” are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu, India, and are famous for their poetry in praise of Vishnu.
- The collection of their 4000 poems, known as the “Nalayira Divya Prabhandam”, is considered by many to be the “Dravida Veda”. The Alwars are crucially important figures in the history of Vaishnavism. It’s principles are embodied in the their poems.
- The devotional outpourings of Alwars helped revive the bhakti movement, through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his avatars. They praised the Divya Desams, 108 “abodes” (temples) of these Vaishnava deities.
- The poetry of the Alwars echoes bhakti to God through love, and in the ecstasy of such devotions they sang hundreds of songs. The Bhakti literature that sprang from Alwars has contributed to the establishment and sustenance of a culture that broke away from the ritual-oriented Vedic religion and rooted itself in devotion as the only path for salvation.