Arunaagirinaatar – author of the famous songs Tiruppugazh. He came from a rich family in the 15th century. He is said to have contracted a cruel disease and when trying to jump to his death from the tower of the temple at Tiruvannaamalai, Lord Muruga saved him. From then on, he was cured of his disease, became a hermit, and began singing songs in praise of Muruga. He composed about 16,000 songs, of which 2,000 are available today – and he set his verse to music himself. His great contributions to Carnatic music include his mention of several ragams and taaLams, with examples of the 35 and 108 tala systems. Some of his songs do not fit under any tala classifications, and he is undoubtedly a master of tala, which earned him the title “Candapaavlapperuman.” His songs give the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads, abandoning any division between Shaivism and Vaishnavism. He is said to have possessed the ability to migrate from one body to another. Wanting to cure the king from an intense stomachache, he entered the body of a parrot and flew away to bring the king an herb to cure him. When he returned, he found his abandoned body cremated by those who were jealous of him, so he supposedly spent the rest of his life as a parrot.
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