Marulneekkiyaar was the name given by his parents,
Thiru-naavukku-arasar was the title conferred on him (by God),
and 'Appar' (father) was what Thiru-gnaana-sambandhar hailed him affectionately as. And it is as Appar that this saint poet of the 7th century is known to the common man in Tamil Nadu. Born in a wealthy family, Appar had ponds dug, wells sunk, water booths set up, instituted endowments for charitable inns, bestowed largesses on the learned and gave liberally to the poor. Realizing the impermanence of worldly life, he turned God ward and sang over three thousand stanzas in Tamil of great sweetness and greater devotion to the Lord. The message of Appar is fearlessness, faith humility, service and voluntary poverty.
About the Author:
Sri G. Vanmikanathan (b. 1901) has already written on Maanikkavaachakar and Ramalingar in this Series. Now he introduces the life and work of Appar, mainly to the non-Tamil readers.
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