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Nalayira Divya Prabandham

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Title: Nalayira Divya Prabandham  
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Subject: Hindu texts, Nagapattinam, Nammalvar, Uthamar Kovil, Alvars, Divya Desams, Nagapattinam district, Kulashekhara Alwar, Srivilliputhur, Poigai Azhwar
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Nalayira Divya Prabandham

The Nalayira Divya Prabandham (Tamil: நாலாயிரத் திவ்வியப் பிரபந்தம், nālāyira tivviya pirapantam) is a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses (Naalayiram in Tamil means 'four thousand') composed before 8th century AD,[1] by the 12 Alvars, and was compiled in its present form by Nathamuni during the 9th – 10th centuries. The work is the beginning of the canonization of the 12 Vaishnava poet saints, and these hymns are still sung extensively even today. The works were lost before they were collected and organized in the form of an anthology by Nathamuni.

The Prabandha sings the praise of Narayana (or Vishnu) and his many forms. The Alvars sung these songs at various sacred shrines. These shrines are known as the Divya Desams.

The Tamil Vaishnavites are also known as Ubhaya Vedanti(those that follow both vedas). In many temples, Srirangam, for example, the chanting of the Divya Prabhandham forms a major part of the daily service. Prominent among the 4,000 verses are the 1,100+ verses known as the Thiru Vaaymozhi, composed by Nammalvar (Kaari Maaran, Sadagopan of Thiruk Kurugoor).

The Tiruvaymoli ("words of the sacred mouth") is one of the Divya Prabandham, an important liturgical compilation of the Tamil Alvar Bhaktas, collected in the 9th century by Nammalvar. The author self-identifies as a lovelorn Gopi pining for Krishna.


These once thought of being lost were collected and organized in the form of an anthology by Nathamuni.

Nathamuni was born in Veera Naarayanapuram(Veeranam) or present day Kaattu Mannaar Koil. There is a lot of gap in time between Thirumangai Alvar(the last alvar) and Nathamuni. In this dark period, nobody knew what happened to the 4000 verses.

Legend has it that once Nathamuni heard some people reciting the decad of Aaraavamude of Nammaazhvaar at Kumbakonam. Captivated by these paasurams (hymns), he wanted to know more about them. One of the verses also mentioned Aayiraththul Ippaththu (Tamil: these 10 out of the 1000). When Nathamuni enquired about the remaining 990, the people who sang the 10 did not know anything about the other verses. But as the song mentioned the name and place of the azhwar (Kurugoor Satakopan), Nathamuni proceeded to Thirukurugoor and asked the people there about Swami Nammazhwar's 1000 verses.[2]

The people did not know the 1000 that Nathamuni wanted, but they told him about 11 pasurams(hymns) of Madhurakavi Alvar, who was the disciple of Nammazhwar Kanninun Siruthaambu. They asked him to go to Thiruppuliaazhwar, the place were Nammazhwar lived, and recite these 11 pasurams (hymns) for 12000 times. Nathamuni did as advised, and pleased with his penance, Nammazhwar granted him not only his 1000 pasurams (hymns), but the entire 4000 pasurams (hymns) of all the alvars.[3]

Details of Pasurams

The following table shows the details of the 4000 pasurams(hymns).[4]

Sl no Name of the prabandham Starting from Ending with Number of pasurams Sung by
1 Periazhvar Thirumozhi 1 473 473 Periyalvar
2 Thiruppavai 474 503 30 Aandaal
3 Nachiar Tirumozhi 504 646 143 Aandaal
4 Perumal Thirumozhi 647 751 105 Kulasekara alvar
5 Thiruchchanda Viruththam 752 871 120 Thirumalisai alvar
6 Thirumalai 872 916 45 Thondaradippodi alvar
7 Thiruppalliyezhuchchi 917 926 10 Thondaradippodi alvar
8 Amalanadhi piran 927 936 10 Thiruppaan alvar
9 Kanni Nun Siruththambu 937 947 11 Madhurakavi Alvar
10 Peria Thirumozhi 948 2031 1084 Thirumangai alvar
11 Kurun Thandagam 2032 2051 20 Thirumangai alvar
12 Nedum Thandagam 2052 2081 30 Thirumangai alvar
13 Mudhal Thiruvandhadhi 2082 2181 100 Poigai Alvar
14 Irandam Thiruvandhadhi 2182 2281 100 Bhoothathalvar
15 Moonram Thiruvandhadhi 2282 2381 100 Peyalvar
16 Naanmugan Thiruvandhadhi 2382 2477 96 Thirumalisai alvar
17 Thiruviruththam 2478 2577 100 Nammalvar
18 Thiruvasiriyam 2578 2584 7 Nammalvar
19 Peria Thiruvandhadhi 2585 2671 87 Nammalvar
20 Thiruvezhukkurrirukkai 2672 2672 1 Thirumangai alvar
21 Siriya Thirumadal 2673 2673 1 Thirumangai alvar
22 Peria Thirumadal 2674 2674 1 Thirumangai alvar
23 Thiruvay Mozhi 2674 3776 1102 Nammalvar
Total number of pasurams 3776

See also


External links

Nalayiram Text in different formats and languages

  • along with telugu version for key pasurams. Other key supplementary texts for Divya Prabhandam such as Thiruvoi mozhi nootrandhadi, Yethiraja vimsadhi, Mumukshupadi , Guru Paramapara and rare texts,articles, vyakhyanams, discourses available.
  • 4000 Divyaprabhandam pdf in English, Tamil, Sanskrit Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam languages.
  • Divyaprabhandam in Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit. Thiruvomozhi availabale in convenient 100 song size. Click on downloads/ free downloads
  • 4000 Divya Prabhandam In Roman text, pdf formats.*
  • Tamil Virtual University Library.
  • Download complete 4000 Divya prabhandam as a convenient single 2.16 MB pdf file. Only downside is dhanians are not complete.
  • 4000 divya prabhandham available as separate files in pdf and unicode formats for every 1000
  • Entire 4000 and supplementary texts and other mantras as a single epub file in tamil font
  • Prabhandam in English Text. Quite useful to cut and paste relevant pasurams.
  • Divya Prabhandam by DivyaDesam - extremely relevant for pilgrims travelling to 108 Divya Desam

Nalayiram with Meaning or Vyakyanam (detailed commentary)

  • and Araiyar Swami Sri Rama Bharathi's translation in English. Very useful for reference purposes.
  • For the first time online - Eedu 36,000 indepth commentary for Thiruvoimozhi at Tamil Virtual University Library
  • English text , Tamil Document and English meaning for Periya Thiromozhi.
  • Thiruvoimozhi in Roman text and meaning.
  • Thiruppavai with meaning.

Nalayiram Pasurangal - Audio

  • Araiyar Sevai, Listen to pasurams rendered in carnatic music
  • Mp3 format

Sites Relevant to Nalayiram Divya Prabandham

  • Articles on Divya Prabandham, Azhvars, Divya Desams and more
  • A comprehensive translation of Naalayira (4000) Divya Prabhandham
  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
  • Hymns of the Azhwars
  • and Shri Alavandar at their birthplace Chaturvedimangalam also known as Kuppankuzhi.

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