Perumal (Tamil: பெருமாள்) or Perumaal also called Thirumal (Tamil: திருமால்) is described by Tamil scriptures as the Hinduist deity Vishnu. He is considered most popular among Tamils and in the Tamil diaspora.
Early mention in Sangam literatureEdit
Tamil Sangam literature (200BCE to 500CE) mentions mayOn, or the dark one, as the supreme deity who creates, sustains and destroys the universe. Paripadal 3 describes the glory of Thirumal in the most excellent and quite fabulous terms.
The last line states that Thirumal is a supreme deity who is the inner controller (Antaryamin) of the entire universe. This poem glorifies God Thirumal propounded by Alwars in Prabhandams and Sri Vaishnavaite Acharyas in various commentaries.
Popularity in Tamil NaduEdit
Thirumal/Perumal is the only deity who has enjoyed the status of Paramporul during Sangam (Third) age. And a reference to "Mukkol Bhagavars" in Sangam literature indicates that only Vaishnavaite saints holding Tridanda were prominent during Sangam age and Thirumal was glorified as the Supreme Deity whose divine lotus feet can burn all evils and grant Moksha (Maru Piraparukkum Maasil Sevadi). During post-Sangam period, his worship was further glorified by Alwars and great Vaishnavite acharyas.
Prominent among these Divyadesams are
- Sri Navamukundan Temple in Thirunavaya, India
- Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, India
- Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram, India
- Sri Thirupalkadal temple in Keezhperoor, Thiruvananthapuram I
- Sri Oppiliappan Perumal Temple near Kumbakonam, India
- Sri Narashima Perumal Temple in Ahobilam, India
- Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, India
- Sri Parthasarathy Perumal Temple in Triplicane, Chennai, India
- Thirumaliruncholai (Kallazhagar Temple) in Madurai, India
- Thiruvengadam (Sri Venkateshwara Temple), in Tirupathi, India
- Thiru Narayanapuram (SelvaPillai Perumal) in Melkote, India
- Aadhi Thiruvellarai (Pundarikatchan) in Thiruvellarai, India.
Prominent Thirumal Temples (though not mentioned by Alwars) in other parts of the India and world are
- Perumal temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
- Sri Sathya-Narayana Perumal Temple in T-Nagar, Chennai, India
- Sri Venkateswara Perumal temple in the USA
- Sri Ranganatha temple in the USA
- Sri Sunderaraja Perumal Temple Klang, Malaysia
- Sri Alarmelamanga Samedha Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Batu caves, Malaysia
- Sri Krishna Temple, Singapore
- Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, in T-Nagar, Chennai, India