Saints of Saivism
Sekkizhar popularized the 63 Nayanmar saints by rendering their lives poetically in ‘Periya Puranam’.
This epic written in Tamil in poetic form is even now revered by the Shaivaites and is soaked in Bhakti. Not only this, it is a master piece in literature, history and music.
In order that every reader is benefited, Dr. N. Mahalingam, had published the prose rendering of this work written in Tamil (‘Chittira Peria Puranam’) by Prof. A. Sa. Jnanasambanthan.
The art work, both drawing and painting, on the lives of the Saiva Saints in this book was done by S. Rajam, a leading artist and an expert musician.
Later the English narration has been carried out by Dr.Prema Nandakumar, an eminent scholar which has been published in this book form.
The cast of this book may be indicated as follows in respect of each of the 63 Saints:
a) a coloured picture, usually projecting the central episode in the particular Saint’s life.
b) a series of line drawings broadly indicating other events in the Saint’s life.
c) a Tamil prose piece on the Saint’s life based on Sekkizhar but with some comment as well when needed, — this being the work of Prof. A.S. Jnanasambandhan.
d) a set of verses selected from Sekkizhar, together recalling the particular Saint’s life.
In the present English cast of Chitra Peria Puranam, translator, Dr.Prema Nandakumar, has given English verse renderings of the original Tamil stanzas from the Peria Puranam that were selected for the Tamil editions.
She has also added concise introductions in prose to the several Saints who figure in the volume. The aim has been, as far as possible, to relate her comments to Sri Rajam’s illustrations themselves.
Author: Prema Nandakumar
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