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The Child Saint Campantar, Chola dynasty, 12th century India, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Tirugnana Campantar (திருஞானசம்பந்தர்)(also Champantar, Sambandar etc.) was a young Saiva poet-saint of Chola Tamil Nadu during the reign of Ninrasir Nedumaran (c.7th century CE).[1] He is one of the most prominent of the sixty-three Nayanars, Tamil Saiva Bhakti saints who lived between the sixth and the tenth centuries CE. Campantar's hymns to Shiva were later collected to form the first three volumes of the Tirumurai, the religious canon of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta. He was a contemporary of Appar, another Saiva saint.



Information about Campantar come to us mainly from the Periya Puranam, the eleventh-century Tamil book on the Nayanars that forms the last volume of the Tirumurai, along with the earlier Tiruttondartokai, poetry by Cuntarar and Nambiyandar Nambi's Tiru Tondar Tiruvandadi. The first volumes of the Tirumurai contain three hundred and eighty-four poems of Campantar. Reputedly he sang more than 10,000 decads but only 4,232 have survived.

Campantar was born to Sivapada Hrudiyar and his wife Bhagavathiar who lived in Sirkazhi in Tamil Nadu. According to legend, when Campantar was three years old his parents took him to the Shiva temple where Shiva and his consort Parvati appeared before the child. The goddess nursed him at her breast. His father saw drops of milk on the child's mouth and asked who had fed him, whereupon the boy pointed to the sky and responded with the song Todudaya Seviyan - the first verse of the Tevaram.

At his investiture with the sacred thread, at the age of seven, he is said to have expounded the Vedas with great clarity. As a wandering minstrel Campantar sang hymns opposing Jain and Buddhist thought and is credited with the conversion of a Pandya king from Jainism.[1].

Campantar attained liberation (mukti) in "Visaka Nakshtara" in the Tamil month of "Visakam" at the age of sixteen soon after his marriage.


  1. ^ a b Dr. R. Nagasamy. "A New Pandya Record and the Dates of Nayanmars and Alvars". Tamil Arts Academy. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 


External links

[1]Life of Thirugnanasambandar (in Tamil)



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