Bhoothath Alvar, also known as Bhoothath Azhwar, was a renowned Vaishnava saint poet. He was one amongst the twelve Alvar mendicant saints of South India, who are recognized for their association to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism
. The temples venerated by the verses and hymns of the Alvar (Azhwars) were known as Divya desam. Bhoothath Alvar composed the literary work of Irandaam Thiruvandaadhi, containing one hundred paasurams or hymns, which are comprised in the Divya Prabandham, also termed as Nalayira Divya Prabandham. Divya Prabandham
is a collection of 4,000 verses in Tamil, composed by the 12 Alvars before 8th century AD. It was compiled by Nathamuni during the 9th century- 10th century. Bhoothath Alvar was a follower of the Vaishnava Bhakti philosophy.
Bhoothath Alvar (Bhoothath Azhwar) was born in the Pallava
kingdom, situated near Mamallapuram (now Mahabalipuram
), during the 7th century CE. He was one of the prominent Alvar saints who recited hymns at the Thirukadalmallai temple, which is presently known as Sthalasayana Perumal Temple. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. Bhoothath Alvar has several composed stunning Paasurams (verses) on Lord Sthalasayana Perumal and his companion Nilamangai Thayaar. It comprises as one of the compositions in Nalayira Divya Prabandham. The one hundred verses composed by the poet saint forms the second part of the Divya Prabhandham anthology. The hymns of Bhoothath Alvar commence with the words Anbe Tagaliya, Aarvame Neyyaaga, which means with love as the lamp and devotion as the oil. The Alvar saint is widely regarded as the incarnation of Kaumodaki, the mace of Lord Vishnu.
The hymns in the literary work of Irandaam Thiruvandaadhi written by Bhoothath Alvar mention that the poet composed the song as it granted him knowledge and wisdom. In his work, he compared his love for the Lord with lamp and the fuel of devotion as lubricant Ghee or oil. The knowledge which he acquired is compared with the braided strand or cord of a blazing torch. In the one part of the Prabandham, Bhoothath Alvar narrates that he has dedicated himself to the service of Perumal (Lord Vishnu). The Vaishnava poet saint composed 100 paasurams or hymns for Nalayira Divya Prabandham. The verses of Irandaam Thiruvandaadhi start from 2082 paasurams and end at 2181 paasurams.