Meykaṇṭār was a teacher of Śaiva Siddhānta doctrine who composed the Tamil-language text called the Civañāṉapōtam (lit., “Aphorisms on Knowledge of Śiva”) (sometimes Sanskritized as the Śivajñānabodham). In 12 pithy statements, the work summarizes the basic doctrine of Śaiva Siddhānta. The work has been of enduring importance in Tamil Nadu and has attracted several commentaries.
According to legend, Acciyutaṉ, a chieftain from a village near Tiruveṅkāṭu in the Tanjore area, prayed to Śiva for a child. One day he found an infant near a temple tank and adopted him as a gift from God. He named the child Cuvētavaṉa-perumāl after the name of Śiva as the Lord of Cuvētavaṉam (transliteration of the Sanskrit Śvetavana; Tiruveṅkāṭu in Tamil). Impacted by rumors that the child was low-caste, Acciyutaṉ handed him over to the care of his brother-in-law who lived in Tiruveṇṇainallūr. The boy soon attracted the attention of a sage called...
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