The 63 wonderful saints called the Nayanars brought the knowledge of Shiva to this land for this civilization. The Nayanars literally means the hounds of Shiva or the Teachers of Shiva, which evokes the manifestation of Shiva within every individual. They composed several writings in the 8th century AD. But their writings were all gathered by The Raja Raja Chola I along with his minister Nambiar.
The works were compiled together as Tirumyurai and apart from that, the Saints, Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar’s works were called the Tevaram. There were earlier Nayanars which were unknown to the public, but Saint Sundarar and his parents were also Saints and attained enlightenment, so they were also the Nayanars. Sundarar healed his eyesight with the knowledge of Shiva, became a remarkable documentation of self-healing.
Poet Sekkizhar, the 63rd Nayanar, added the Periya Puranam the historic collection, with the more detailed stories of The Nayanars. The Nayanars were from various backgrounds and different sects. They’re all simple minded and dedicated people who realised the divine within and put that knowledge into vigorous practise into their life and started the Bhakti Movement in the southern parts of the nation.
-Viswanath Venkat Dasari