The Periya Puranam is a peerless opus. It is a Puranam, a Kaavya, and more than these, a hagiography. Irreproachability is its hallmark. No wonder, the great Tamil scholar R. Raghava Iyengar deplored the lack of such a work in Vaishnavism, which, no doubt, has to its credit, remarkable exegetical works - the envy of other faiths. My sincere feeling is that the ills of our nation will cease to be, only when the precepts of the Periya Puranam are followed by us. This does not mean that adherents of other faiths should embrace Saivism. A Christian is not the less a Christian for his reverential and careful cultivation of the Tiruvaachakam.
Credit goes to Prof. David Dean Shulman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the first among scholars, to give us a wholesome translation in English of a whole Saivite Tirumurai. In 1990 appeared his SONGS OF THE HARSH DEVOTEE (The Tevaram of Cuntaramurttinayanar) as Volume 6 of Studies on South Asia (University of Pensylvania). His Introduction begins with a bang.
During the sixth century and the first quarter of the seventh century Saivism was at its lowest. During the commencement of the seventh century the Pallava king Mahendra Varma ruled over Kanchi. He was a Samana. During his reign Jainism flourished with royal patronage. The Paandya who ascended the gadi in 640 A.D., was a puissant monarch. He was a staunch Samana. Though King Mahendra embraced Saivism at or about 625 A.D., and though he did his best to foster Saivism, it could not regain its former splendour. This Pallava passed away during 630 A.D. St. Tirunaavukkarasar was at this time leading a peaceful life at Tiruvatikai where his sister spent a life dedicated to the service of Lord Siva.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Brahma Sutras (77)
Yoga Vasistha (81)
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