Periya Puranam - A Tamil Classic on The Great Saiva Saints of South India
The Tamil Devotional Classic Periya Puranam or "The Great Epic" by Sekkizhaar is the saga of the sixty-three Nayanmars or servitors of the Lord who not only lived for Him, on the other hand, adored Him in delightfully distinct ways. Lord Shiva whom these Saiva-Siddhantins worshiped is not a sectarian deity but the supreme creator preserver and destroyer of the Universe who comes in human form from time to time and 'plays' with these servitors when their devotion gets incandescent. These Nayanmars consists of devoted men and women of all ages and range from tribal hunters to emperors of vast domains. Caste, community, wealth, and status do not count with them even as they do not with the Lord. The trials and tribulations they cheerfully undergo and the incredible sacrifices they make for the Lord's sake take our breath away. To pursue their stories is to inhale the air of sanctity and blessedness. Sri G.Vanmikanathan who has rendered the highlights of the original epic from Tamil to English with a racy running commentary is an experienced litterateur who has a number of other devotional works to his credit.