(Last Updated on : 12-09-2009)
The Aluvars were twelve individuals, who were renowned in different ways in the first establishment of Vaishnavism. They are regarded with high admiration by modern votaries. They were considered metaphorically as the incarnations of Vishnu's arms, ornaments or attendants.
These twelve Aluvars were:
Yempramanar or Yetiraja, or Ramanujacharya
These twelve heads and original leaders of the Vaishnava faith existed in the Peninsula only. They were born in various places, and lived in different times. Earlier, the Shaivism was much prevalent in the Peninsula and in some cases it was established by exterminating the Buddhists or Jains who preceded them.
When the Vaishnavas or the Aluvars came, they had not only to deal with a rude and savage people but also had to contend with the shrewd and powerful Shaivas already in possession. These Aluvars started translating portions of the Vedas into Tamil poetry, now known as the 'Tirumorhi' or sacred word.