Last Updated on February 1, 2023
About Lord Perumal
Among Hindus, Perumal is most commonly identified as a manifestation of the god Narayana. He is worshipped in Vaishnava temples and by Tamil people all over the world, but especially in Tamil Nadu and the diaspora. During the Sangam period, Perumal was the sole god to attain Paramporul (oneness with Paramatma).
The Tamil Hindu population of South India and Sri Lanka are the ones who worship Perumal the most. It is common practise to use the term “Perumal” to refer to all of the gods and goddesses venerated within a certain temple.
Honorific titles such as “Perumal” were bestowed to the kings of ancient Tamil land. Currently, Vishnu and His incarnations, such as Balaji and Venkateswara, are all synonymous with the name Perumal.
Periyalvar, one of the twelve Alvars who are considered to be part of the Vaishnava tradition, is credited with the composition of a very famous verse in the Tamil language that sings praises to Lord Perumal. The mantra is:
பல்லாண்டு பல்லாண்டு பல்லாயி ரத்தாண்டு பலகோடி நூறாயிரம் மல்லாண்ட திண்தோள் மணிவண்ணா! உன் செவ்வடி செவ்விதிருக் காப்பு (1) Translation: Honor and awe be unto thee, O mighty One, who has vanquished the Mallas; thou art as brilliant as a sapphire. Long, long, long, for thousands of years, for crores of years, for all of time, may the grace of thy holy feet be a source of infinite beauty. (1) அடியோ மோடும்நின் னோடும் பிரிவின்றி ஆயிரம் பல்லாண்டு வடிவாய் நின்வல மார்பினில் வாழ்கின்ற மங்கையும் பல்லாண்டு வடிவார் சோதி வலத்துறை யும்சுட ராழியும் பல்லாண்டு படைபோர் புக்கு முழங்கும்அப் பாஞ்சசன்னியமும் பல்லாண்டே (2) Translation: To the gods! I pray that there is never any conflict between you and your slaves. Hail Sri, who resides on your right and gives you your radiance. Hail the illustrious discus held high in thy beautiful right hand. Panchajanyam, may your sound be heard throughout the battle! (2)
Built in 1855, one of the earliest places of worship in Singapore is the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, often known as Sri Perumal Temple. Along Serangoon Road in the Little India district of the Kallang planning area, it features a large Gopuram that depicts the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu in his various guises.
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