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Periavaccan Pillai – Vaishnava Commentator Of Divya Prabandhams Of Alvars

Periavaccan Pillai, also known as Krishna Suri, was hailed as the Vyakhyana Chakravarti (the king of commentators). He wrote commentaries on the Ramayana, various esoteric texts, hymns and prose compositions. The only author to have rendered commentary to all Divya Prabandhams, he elaborated his guru Nampillai’s commentary on the Tiru Vaimozhi in his Irupattinalayirappadi.

The commentaries for the other prabandhams are not known as padis. His two prabandha commentaries, called padi, are in the grantahlipi (script). They are the Irupattinalayairapadi and Muvayirappadi, the commentary on Tiruppavai.

He arranged the prabandhams in a different chronological order, determined by the psychological motive behind them.

The other works of Periavaccan Pillai include the commentaries for Gadya Trayam, Alavandar’s stotra ratnam, Abhaya Pradanam, Caramarahasyam and so on.

Sri Ramayana Tanisloka Vyakhyanam is a significant text since it is an esoteric commentary on the Ramayana based on the reference drawn from different sources. His Pacurappadi Ramayanam is composed of phrases sifted from the Alavars Prabandhams.
However, Periavaccan Pillai’s Manipravalam is unique with its usage of dialect, syntactic structure, traditional patterns, imagery and proverbs. His commentaries, at times, serve as social documents. He was the first writer to intersperse his commentary with anecdotes and phrases called from the Alvars hymns.

Some other significant features in his writings are: the preface to the text, the prologue, the key son, interrelationship between the prologues, Nikandu references for rare phraseology, etc. Periavaccan Pillais skillful craftsmanship and poetic exposition place him as one of the foremost poets of his time.