PeyAzhwar also Peialvar or Peyalvar or Pei Azhwar is one of the twelve azhwar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. The verses of azhwars are compiled as NalayiraDivyaPrabandham and the 108 temples revered are classified as Divyadesam. Pey is considered third in the list of the three principal azhwars, with the other two being PoigaiAzhwar and Bhoothathazhwar, collectively called Muthalamazhwargal who are known to be born out of divinity.Pey composed hundred verses that are classified as MoondramTiruvandadhi and his composition is set in the Andhadhi style in which the ending syllable is the starting one for the next verse.
According to traditional account, the first three azhwars belong to Dwapara Yuga (before 4200 BC). Modern historians place the period of azhwars from the 5th to 8th century AD, but the chronology and relation between each other is disputed. As per Hindu legend, Pey was found in the lily flower in the pond of the AdiKesavaPerumal Temple in Mylapore. In Tamil, pey refers to one who is possessed and since the saint was madly attracted to Hindu god Vishnu, he got the name.
As per legend, the three azhwars were once were confined in a small dark enclosure during a rain in Thirukovilur and they experienced a fourth individual among them. They found out that it was god Vishnu and Poigai wished to see his face continuously but could view only from the simmering light of the lightening. With a view to maintain the continuity of light, Poigai instantly composed hundred songs wishing light to emerge. Pey and Bhoothath continued composing hundred songs each on Vishnu. The works of these earliest saints contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism. Along with the three Saiva nayanmars, they influenced the ruling Pallava kings of the South Indian region, resulting in changing the religious geography from Buddhism and Jainism to the two sects of Hinduism.
In Tamil, Pey refers to one who is possessed and since the saint was madly attracted to Hindu god Vishnu, he got the name. As per Hindu legend, Pey was found in the lily flower in the pond of the AdiKesavaPerumal Temple in Mylapore (historically called Manikaivaram), a suburb in Chennai. He is also called Mahadahvaya and Mylapuradapadhi.
As per Hindu legend, Vishnu appeared to the muthalamazhwars (first three azhwars) at Thirukkoilur. It was day time, but it darkened and started raining heavily. The wandering Poigai found out a small hide out, which has a space for one person to lie down. Boodath arrived there looking for a hiding place and Poigai accommodated him, with both sitting together. In the meanwhile, Pey also came to the same place as all the three preferred to stand because of lack of space. The darkness became dense and inside the small room, they were not able to see each other. In the meanwhile, they felt a fourth person also forced his way among them. The three azhwars realised from the light of the lightning that the fourth one had a charming face that was sublime and divine. The trio could immediately realize that it was Vishnu who was huddling among them. Poigai wished to see Vishnu's face continuously but could view only from the simmering light of the lightening. With a view to maintain the continuity of light, he instantly composed hundred songs wishing the earth to be a big pot full of ghee like an ocean where the Sun could be the burning wick.
Peyalvar was one of the twelve Alvars and was a Hindu saint. He belonged to the Vaishnavite (worshiper of Vishnu) faith.
Peyalvar was born in Tirumayilai (Mylapore, now part of the city of Chennai in the seventh century CE. Vaishnavite traditions state that Peyalvar was found on a lily flower in the pond of the AdiKeshavaPerumal Temple in Mylapore. They also believe that he was an incarnation of the sacred sword of Vishnu, Nandakam. Payalvar's 100 hymns in the NaalayiraDivyapPrabhandham are the third 100 and start with the words TirukKanden, PonMeniKanden ('I found the glorious, golden form of the Lord').