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The TŤvÓram, as we now have it, is a corpus of approximately 800 hymns (or patikam-s) to the god Civaş, that were composed by 3 saints (Campantar, Appar & Cuntarar) at a time of powerful religious fervour, or bhakti, between the 6th and 9th centuries, in the Tamil world. Most of these hymns refer and are attached by tradition to specific Civaş temples located at specific sites (or talam-s). Tradition also attaches some musical information to a great number of hymns in so far as it specifies what musical scale (or pa§) is used when singing them. As a consequence, two traditional classificational canons (or mučai) are met with in the collections of hymns, one being called tala mučai (with primary classification according to the 276 sites), and the other one being called pa§ mučai (with primary classification according to the three authors, and secondary classification according to 24 different musical scales). In the latter case, the TŤvÓram is seen as consisting of 7 sacred canonical books (or 7 tiru mučai): the 1st,2nd & 3rd book contain the patikam-s composed by Campantar; the 4th, 5th & 6th those composed by Appar; the 7th book, containing 100 patikam-s, is the work of Cuntarar.
This project (see WriteUp),
which was made possible by fundings
coming from IFP, CNRS and EFEO, aims at:
1. making available to the general public a complete english translation of Tevaram by the late VMS AYYAR (see SAMPLE TRANSLATION)
2. studying the language of that important corpus, and especially its abstract vocabulary.