|The tamil country
is full with veneration for the great writers of the past, viz 63 Nayan- mars of hte Siava
sect and 12 Azhwars of the Viashnave sect, who dedicated their lives to spiritual
development of them- selves and the masses, and left their experiences in the field of
realisation of Godhood or salvation, recorded for posterity in the form of verses
which are common household poems.
These verses are
regarded as sacred as the Vedas, contained in books such as Thevaram, Thiruvachakam,
Nalayira- prabandam ( 4000 verses ) , etc. Passing references have also been maderegarding
the sculpture and other works of art in temples.
Hindu religious orthodoxy regarding rites and rituals of daily
system of worship is truly preserved in the southern temples in an unadulterated form.
Great saints and reformers like Adi Sankaracharya and Sir Ramanujacharya prescribed these
rituals in the temples, which are being scrupulou- sly followed till today, though
centuries have passed.
This could happen because of the absence of political turmoil
and inv asion by foreigners, which left the temple art and sculptures mostly intact and
unblemished. Some pictures showing hte architectural and sculptural treasures of Dravidian
art, as seen in the temples, are also given.