Manuscript of a compilation of Tamil Saiva bhakti hymns (Tēvāram) from the Tamil bhakti saints of the 6th to 8th centuries.
The 18th century palm leaf manuscript contains 230 folios in very legible handwriting, one un-inked leaf, and one leaf broken in half. The palm leaf dimensions are 23 x 3.5 cm.
The manuscript begins with the titles as above and contains a contents list from the first to the third folios. Titles of individual Tēvāram are given in the colophon.
The manuscript includes ragam (scale) and talam (beat) indications for the Tēvāram and also includes a wooden pointer called Eḻutukōl (writing reed) for the purposes of guiding the reading or recitation of the sacred hymns written on the palm leaf manuscript.
Why is it so important?
The manuscript includes Tēvāram from three of the four Tamil bhakti saints known as the Nāyaṉmār: 7th century saints Tirunāvukkaracar (Appar) and Tiruñāṉcaṃpantar (Campantar) and the 8th century saint Cuntaramūrtti Nāyaṉār (Cuntarar).
Additionally, it contains hymns by the 6th century female Saiva saint, Kāraikkāl Ammaiyār, who is one of only three female saints recognised as part of the sixty-three Saivite saints. Kāraikkāl Ammaiyār’s pious devotion earned her the epithet of ‘Mother to Lord Siva’.