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The Nalayira Divya Prabandham (Tamil: நாலாயிரத் திவ்யப் பிரபந்தம்) is a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses (Naalayira in Tamil means 'four thousand') composed before 8th century AD, 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 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.
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.
Details of Pasurams
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The following table shows the details of the 4000 pasurams(hymns).
|Sl no||Name of the prabandham||Starting from||Ending with||Number of pasurams||Sung by|
|4||Perumal Thirumozhi||647||751||105||Kulasekara alvar|
|5||Thiruchchanda Viruththam||752||871||120||Thirumalisai 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|
|16||Naanmugan Thiruvandhadhi||2382||2477||96||Thirumalisai alvar|
|21||Siriya Thirumadal||2673||2673||1||Thirumangai alvar|
|22||Peria Thirumadal||2674||2674||1||Thirumangai alvar|
|Total number of pasurams||3776|
- 4000 divya prabhandham available as separate files in pdf and unicode formats for every 1000
- Entire 4000 Divya Prabhandam verses with PBA Swamy's meaning in Tamil and Araiyar Swami Sri Rama Bharathi's translation in English. Very useful for reference purposes.
- Araiyar Sevai, Listen to pasurams rendered in carnatic music
- A comprehensive translation of Naalayira (4000) Divya Prabhandham
- 4000 Divyaprabhandam pdf in English, Tamil, Sanskrit Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam languages.
- Divyaprabhandam in Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]) by Anna Dallapiccola
- Hymns of the Azhwars