Composed by three poet saints between the sixth and eighth centuries A.D., the Tevaram hymns are the primary scripture of Tamil Saivism, one of the first popular large-scale devotional movements within Hinduism. Indira Peterson eloquently renders into English a substantial portion of these hymns, which provide vivid and moving portraits of the images, myths, rites, and adoration of Siva and which continue to be loved and sung by the millions of followers of the tamil Saiva tradition. Her introduction and annotations illuminate the work's literary, religious, and cultural contexts, making this anthology a rich source book for the studyof the South Indian popular religion. Indira Peterson highlights the Tevaram as a seminal text in Tamil cultural history, a synthesis of pan-Indian and Tamil civilization, as well as a distinctly Tamil expression of the love of song, sacred landscape, and ceremonial religion. Her discussion of this work draws on her pioneering research into the performance of the hymns and their relation to the art and ritual of the South Indian temple.
"Peterson's graceful and clear style makes for a smooth reading of this arcane study, which is supplied with voluminous footnotes, a glossary and an indexÄ . Peterson has broken new ground in introducing to her readers the first large-scale devotional son
About the Author(s)