Thoughts - 64 th n^AyanAr ?

mANikka vAchakar was a great saint who gave us the beautiful thiruvAchakam which is considered one among the best in the bhakti literature. He is held in high esteem in the thamiz shaiva tradition. He is one of the four great people responsible for spiritual revolution in the state. His name does not figure in the list of 63 n^AyanmArs. So there was a question why not add mANikka vAchakar as the 64 th n^AyanAr.

Actually a deeper analysis of the sun^dhara mUrthi n^AyanAr's thiruththoNdaththokai(1), would answer this question. The blessed poet sun^dharar in his thiruththoNdath thokai, has listed a few of the devotees of marvellous deed who lived before his time or who were his contemporaries. At the same time that devotee of great vision did not fail to add salutations to all the devotees who lived before, in and after his period. These devotees are called the group devotees (thokai adiyAr). There are nine such devotee groups mentioned.

In fact mANikka vAchakar comes in many such groups (poets of non-false submission, Saluteful devotees, Singers who sing only Lord shiva, whoever has Lord shiva in heart, Sages smeared in Holy Ash). So it may not be required that mANikka vAchakar be said as the 64 th n^AyanAr. It is a tradition that 63 are the individual n^AyanmAr, and why to break it when mANikka vAchakar is held in high respect all throughout. So adding any names on our own could cause confusion and not required as all the devotees in the three tenses would be present in the form of thoakiadiyAr.

vAzga chIr adiyAr ellAm

Ref: 1. thiruth thoNdaththokai

Posted On : 25.12.1997

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