Nathamuni was a Vaishnava theologian who collected and compiled the Nalayira Divya Prabandham. Considered the first of Sri Vaishnava āchāryās, Nathamuni is also the author of Yogarahasya, and Nyāyatattva.
Birth and family
Nathamuni is generally considered to have been born in 824 AD and to have died in 924 AD. An alternative view is that he was born in 582 AD and died in 922 AD. Yet another view is that Nathamuni was born at Viranarayana Puram sometime shortly after 907 AD and flourished in the 10th century. Though there is difficulty in fixing Nathamuni's date of birth and age, he is considered to have lived during the lifetime of Nammalvar. That Nathamuni was in contact with Nammalvar is attested by the Guru-paramparā, Divya sūri charita, and Prappannāmŗta. The Prappannāmŗta also attests that Nathamuni was born in the village Viranarayana. Viranarayana is today generally identified as Kattumannarkoil. Nathamuni is said to have died at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. His father's name was Iśhvara Bhațța and his son's name was Iśhvaramuni. His grandson was Yamunacharya.
It is believed that his other names were Sadamarsana Kula Tilakar and Sottai Kulaththu Arasar.
He spent time travelling in north India.. He came to know about Nalayira Divya Prabhandam, but he heard only 10 hymns. He wanted the rest. He recited 12000 times, Kanninun Siruthambu, a poem in praise of Nammazhwar. Nammazhwar appeared and gave the 4000 hymns(Nalayira Divya Prabhandam). He was the one who brought back the 4000 hymns back. In addition to teaching the hymns to his two nephews at Srirangam, he introduced them into the Srirangam Temple Service at the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam where he was the Temple Administrator.
He is thought to be the originator of the Araiyar Sevai. The modern days 'Thathachariars' a sect of Tamil Nadu Iyengars are the descendants of this Aacharya, housing a lot of great people in SriVaishnavism ranging from Sri Alavandar ( Sri Yamunacharya), Sri Thirumalai Nambikal, Sri Emberumanar, Sri Kurugesar, Sri Panchamatha bandhana Thatha Desikan, Sri Kotikannikadhana Sri Lakshmi Kumara Thathachariar. The disciples of this Aacharya known as 'Melayagaththalwan' and 'Keelayagaththalwan' families propagated this Aarayar Sampradhayam.
- Dasgupta, S. N. (1991). A History of Indian Philosophy 3. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 94–96. ISBN 9788120804142.
- Srinivasa Chari, S. M. (1994). Vaiṣṇavism, p.22-24. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 8120810988 
- Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri (1964). The culture and history of the Tamils, p.149
- Desikachar, T.K.V. (2010). The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, p.231. Inner Traditions, Bear & Co. ISBN 1594778922 
- Padmaja, T. (2002). Temples of Kr̥ṣṇa in South India: History, Art, and Traditions in Tamil Nadu. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 8170173981 
- Subrahmanian, N., Hikosaka, S., Samuel, John G., & Thiagarajan P. (1998). Tamil social history, Volume 2, p.342. Institute of Asian Studies.
- Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami (1911). Ancient India: Collected Essays on the Literary and Political History of Southern India, p.409, 413. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120618505 
- Neevel, Walter G. (1977). Yāmuna's Vedānta and Pāñcarātra: Integrating the Classical and the Popular, p.15. Issue 10 of Harvard theological review. Harvard dissertations in religion. Scholars Press. ISBN 0891301364
- Jagadeesan, N. (1989). Collected Papers on Tamil Vaishnavism, p.126. Ennes Publications.
- Es Vaiyāpurip Piḷḷai (1956). History of Tamil language and literature: beginning to 1000 AD, p.130. New Century Book House
- First Preceptor The Hindu, Sep 28, 2007 Retrieved on 2008-4-23.
- Rare event: Srinivasarangachariar performing Araiyar Sevai at Sri Mahalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar The Hindu, Oct 26, 2007 Retrieved on 2008-4-23.
- Dubey, D.P. (1996) Rays and Ways of Indian Culture, p.49. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd.. ISBN 8185880980. 
- Bartley, C. J. (2002). The theology of Ramanuja: realism and religion. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7007-1459-9.
- Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 132–136. ISBN 0-521-43304-5.