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Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Produce All 63 Saiva Saints in Bronze
Category : October 1981

Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Produce All 63 Saiva Saints in Bronze

A set of the 63 Tamil Saivite Saints (or Nayanars - devotees of God Siva) has been completed by the artisans of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Corporation in Madras, South India, and now awaits sponsorship before being sent to Kauai to grace the halls of Kadavul Hindu Temple.

Each of these handcrafted masterpieces are fifteen-inch tall bronze castings with extensive hand tooling. They faithfully represent the traditional post of each Saint which symbolizes the work of his life. We saw these statues when in Madras in February 1981, and were awed with their beauty. Nowhere in South India did we see any depiction of the Saints to match them. Many Siva temples have a set of the Nayanars, usually carved in stone. They serve, much as does the murthi of the main Deity of the temple, to bring forth their presence from the inner worlds into this world.

The Nayanars have been dear to the hearts of Tamil Saivites for hundreds of years, their stories embodied in the Periapuranam. Saint Sekkizhar, author of the Periapuranam. Saint Sekkizhar, author of the Periapuranam, stated in his introductory verse, "The glory of the devotees of the Lord knows no limits. Their number knows no limits. Yet, impelled by limitless desire, I shall speak of them." Pictured below is Saint Tirumular, author of the Tirumantiram, the definitive summation of the Vedas and the Saiva Agamas. Each of the Saints, in small or great ways, served to preserve Saivism through the history of South India and Sri Lanka.

We now seek sponsors for these statues of the Saints so they may be brought and installed in Kadavul Hindu Temple. These magnificent works of art may be sponsored in sets of seven. The sets are available in numerical order only, one through six, seven through thirteen, etc. Names of the saints in each Saint can be obtained by writing to the Church. It costs $2, 107 to sponsor one set of seven saints. This amount covers the cost of producing the bronzes and shipping them to Kauai. It also provides a $707 Annual Archana Endowment at Kadavul Hindu Temple for the seven saints in the set ($101 for each saint). This money is not spent, but is deposited in an interest-bearing account. The interest earned is sufficient to provide for an annual archana honoring each saint, year after year.

Each sponsor will be honored with his name on a plaque on the wall of the Kadavul Hindu Temple. He may sponsor a set, either in his own name, or dedicate it to a loved one. In addition, he will receive a set of eight-by-ten photographs of his seven Saints, with a typeset card in memory of his devotion. What better way to honor these great saints of our religion, than by these fine bronzes to forever grace the walls of Kadavul Hindu Temple?

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.