--> Skip to main content

Arul Nandhi Sivacariyar – Short Biography

Arul Nandi Sivacariyar was one of the three early expositors of Southern Shaivism. Meykandar and Maraijnana Sambander are the other two expositors. Arul Nandhi (also Arunandi and Arulnanti) was born in Thiruthuraiyur in and Adishaiva family. His date of birth is not exactly known, but a contemporary of Meykandar’s father, he may be taken to belong to the 12th or 13th century. Arul Nandhi was well versed in the Vedas and Agama literature and came to be known as sakalagama pandita (master of the Agamas). He was a celibate, dedicating his life to the teachings of the Vedas.

Though older than Meykander, Arul Nandhi accepted the former as his preceptor. There was an incident in which Meykandar made him realize that he was not yet free from egoism.

After Meykandar’s Sivajnanaboda, Arulnandi’s Sivagnana Sittiyar is the next work of importance on Saiva doctrine. The work is written in verse with two sections. The first is the Supakkam (true doctrine), which follows the order of the sutras in his guru’s work. The second section is Para-Pakkam, a critical discussion of fourteen rival systems, including Buddhism and two of Jainism.

Another work of Arulnandi is Irupav-Iruipathu, which owes its name to the alternate use of two meters in its twenty verses. It is in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and his pupil.