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Affinity with the Tamil culture

Narayana Guru knew Tamil even in his boyhood days. Before going to Marutvamalai and even after settling down in Aruvipuram, he was in close contact with several Tamil scholars and the well-known ashrams and adheenams in Tamilnadu In the ashrams of the Saivites in Karaikudy, Madurai, Kumbhakonam and Tiruchendur the Guru was always received with great honor. The Sannyasins of the Kovilur mutt in Karaikudy even now remember him as a Guru of their spiritual hierarchy. Narayana Guru was very thorough with,Sivapuranam and all the works of PattanathuPillayar, ManickaVachakar, Appar, Sundaramurti, and TirujnanaSambantar. He even translated part of Tiruvalluvar'sTiruKural, RamalingaSwamikal, who became very famous in Tamilnadu as an advocate of integral vision (samarasam) and social equality ('samerasesuddhasammirganilai), was like an elder brother to Narayana Guru. Taimanavar's hymns such as Sukhavari must have influenced Narayana Guru's composition of hymns and psams. The Guru was, however, critical of Taimanavar's sentimentalism. Narayana Guru was not in the habit of writing compositions in his own hand. He always sung them for his devotees and only very few of such compositions were recorded by people. Among these are three Tamil works, which have been recovered from the fast disappearing records of those days. One Such work entitled Tevaram has been recently published by Dr. T. Bhaskaran of the Malayalam Department of the Kerala University. To understand • the Malayalam compositions of Narayana Guru, one should have a fairly good familiarity with the myths and legends popularly sung in Tamilnadu and also should know some of the basic terms used by the followers of SaivaSiddhanta and Sivadvaita.

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