- The Tevaram is the collected hymns of the three most prominent NAYANMARS or Tamil SHAIVITE saints, APPAR, Jnanasambanthar (also known as SAMBANTHAR or Tirujnanasambanthar), and SUN-DARAR (Suntharamurtti), whose lives spanned the sixth through eighth centuries C.E. These hymns, in the Tamil language, are considered by Tamil Shaivites to be equal in sanctity to the SANSKRIT VEDAS as scripture and MANTRA; in a sense, the Tevaram is a Veda. The text is memorized and sung by a hereditary community called Otuvars during daily temple rituals and ceremonials.The hymns of the Tevaram celebrate SHIVA with passionate devotion, dwelling on the many tales of Shiva; his wives, SAT I and PARVATI; and his two sons, GANESHA and KARTTIKEYA. They lovingly describe the deity’s physical attributes and recount his visitations to famous devotees at the sites of many important Shaivite shrines in Tamil Nadu.Further reading: Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989); R. Vijayalakshmy, An Introduction to Religion and Philosophy—Tevaram and Tivviyappirapantam (Chennai: International Institute of Tamil Studies, 2001); Kamil V. Zvelebil, Tamil Literature (Leiden: Brill, 1975).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.