Nammalvar holds a high place among the poet-saints of Tamil Nadu. 'Come, poets' cries this saint-poet, 'if you want to live, labour with your hands and earn your bread with the sweat of your brow. Why sing a rich man's praises? And who is really rich on this earth? I see no one. Sing of your gods.'
In this well-written monograph, the late Prof. Srinivasa Raghavan introduces to the readers the Alvars in general and Nammalvar in particular; explains the four works of Nammalvar in detail; comments on Nammalvar's 'inner life', his Journey to the Real, as revealed in his poetic outpourings; summaries Nammalvar's philosophy and poetry. The author has brought to his task a lifetime's reverent intimacy with the poetry and personality of Nammalvar; and within the limits of this monograph, has done abundant justice to the achievement of Namalvar as Bhakta, god-intoxicated singer and inspired poet. The numerous illustrative quotations read well in English, considering the fact that Tamil mystic poetry like Nammalvar's defies translation.
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