Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Appar” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Appar” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.



In the development of Indian civilisation from 300 A.D.-750 A.D. in the history of Southern India, indicated that some of the Pallava kings took interest in the Alwars and Nayanmars, the religious teachers who preached a new form of Vaisnavism and Saivism based on the Bhakti Cult. Among the Saivas were “Appar” and Manikkavacakar. In Saivism, the character and position of the Vedic God Rudra — called Siva, the Mild or Auspicious one, who together with Vishnu came to dominate Hinduism. In the minds of the ancient Indians Siva must have been primarily the divine representative of the uncultivated, dangerous, unreliable, and much-to-be-feared aspects of nature, Siva’s myths depict Him as the absolutely mighty unique one, who is not responsible to anybody or for anything. His many poses express aspects of his nature : as a dancer, he is originator of the eternal rhythm of the universe; he also catches the water of the heavenly Ganges, which destroys all sins; and he wears in his headdress the crescent moon.

Chastity, Poverty and Self-surrender are the three essential virtues of spiritual life. These virtues we see exemplified fully in the life of Appar. Appar was born in 600 A. D. in a well known cultivator family in the village of Tiruvamoor in the district of South Arcot. His father’s name was Pugalanar (famous man) and his mother’s name was Mathiniar. Appar was their second son. He was originally named Marunikear which means dispeller of darkness. He had an elder sister named Tilakvati; her husband Kalipagiar was the commander of army under the Pallav Kings. After her marriage his father died and his mother became a satee. Thus Appar lost his parents early; Kalipagiar also died in the battle. Tilakvati had desire to follow the path of her mother but she gave up the resolve considering the miserable condition of her orphan brother; it was she who brought up her young brother and spent her days in the meditation of God.

This crisis in their life paved the way for their sainthood. When one’s world is in ruins, one naturally turns within and seeks God’s compassions. So, pains and calamities have a purpose in life. The eminent French writer Anatole France says : “Pain is the lamentable pearl of this earth of Ours. We spin unceasingly the web of sorrow. It is our hell, our tribulation, but it is also our greatness. If man builds at all, it is at the price of endless efforts and tears. If we are happy, he would not progress. Every one finds a pedestal on which to raise himself and the name of that pedestal is suffering.” What is adversity in the language of men is blessing in the language of the gods.’

At that time Hinduism was fighting for its survival against the more powerful influences of Buddhism and Jainism. These latter faiths enjoyed royal support as well as popular favour. As a young boy Appar passed through a very critical period of mental conflict. He turned to religious studies for consolation and he tried social service to comfort his soul. During this crucial period of his mind, Appar was attracted by the preaching of universal love and renunciation by Jainism. He became a convert without consulting his sister and joined a Jain monastery at Tiruppapulyur. His new name was Dharmsena. His sister was very much shocked at this incident. She felt as if her heart would break, for she had lived solely for him. Now she was in constant prayer to Siva to bring her brother back to her. At last her prayers were answered. The actions of God are mysterious. He sent to Appar a disease of the body to cure the disease of his soul. Appar suffered an unbearable, excruciating pain and felt that he might die. At this crucial moment, his mind longed for his sister and one day Appar got chance to run away.

In a mood of repentance he came back to his sister. She welcomed her repentant brother and the two prayed earnestly to Lord Siva and after a while he was cured of colic pain completely. He was now determined to spend the rest of his life in the service of his Ista Siva. His heart was filled with divine bliss and from that time he went from one holy place to another, visiting the shrine of the Lord at the various places and chanting His praise.

Appar was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He wished to visit several holy places from Kanyakumari in the South to places of pilgrimage in the Himalayas. In the latter part of his life he wished to visit Mount Kailash and worship Siva. He proceeded on foot but was attacked with sore in his ‘leg: The adamantine will in him made him crawl to reach the destination but within a short time a greater obstacle stood on his way. The sore spread upto his hands. The greater the obstacle the firmer was the determination to visit the holy Kailas and see his Ista. He then proceeded by rolling when both hands and feet refused to move. –At last Lord Siva took pity on him.

As Appar was ‘worn out with fatigue and almost unable to stand he saw a monk before him who said that he would have a vision of his Ista if he took bath in the neighbouring tank. He did so and he saw the Mount Kailash and Lord Siva. The place where the Lord graced him is known as Tiruvaiyar and it lies above 16, km from Tanjore.

Appar lived for eightyone years. He composed nearly 3000 songs. He sang the glory of God, he sang of realisation as the goal of life and of the means to realisation. He has been a source of inspiration to every earnest aspirant.


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