There have been 63 Nayanars who are inseparable from Shaiva Siddhanta. I was just wondering whether there can be more Nayanars or not? If Not why can't there be? If yes, what is the procedure to become a Nayanar?

  • 1
    Similar question for Siddhar?
    – Pandya
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 0:41
  • 1
    This is very similar to Salakapurusa in Jainism which are also 63 in number.
    – Pinakin
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 15:50
  • 63 Nayanmars, 12 azhvars, 18 siddhas = the numbers have more spiritual meaning inside it.... These can be imparted only thru Guru-disciple Diksha....eX: 18 stages are there to realize Atma... Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


As per Periya Puranam(Epic in which the life history of Nayanars were written), at Tiruvarur Sundaramoorthy Nayanar recited the names of all sixty-three Nayanars,including those who lived before him, and who will live after him. This recitation is called Tiruttondar-Tokai. In it, he refers to himself as the servant of servants of these saints. There he mentioned only 63, so we don't have more than that.


The Nayanmars (also referred to as Nayanars) written in Tamil as நாயன்மார்கள், means "hounds of Siva",were a group of 63 saints (also saint poets) in the 6th to 9th century who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva in Tamil Nadu. They, along with the 12 Alvar saints, (who were Vaishnavites) influenced the Bhakti movement in Tamil Nadu. In the 10th century the head priest of King Raja Raja Chola I of Thanajavur named Nambiyandar Nambi compiled the work of these 63 Nayanmars.

The Nayanars were from various backgrounds, including Channars, Vellalas, oilmongers, Brahmins, and nobles. Along with the twelve Vaishnava Alvars, they are regarded the important saints from Tamil Nadu.

The Hindu revivalism which flourished between the 6th and 13th centuries in India produced many saints and scholars. The Nayanmars were among them.

There is no monastic order of Nayanmars, into which one can be initiated. Also the life of a wandering minstrel is just about impossible in the modern era. since the 9th Century CE there have been no further Nayanmars and the Bhakti Movement of the times of Nayanmars and Alvars no longer exists.

to answer your query briefly - there will be no more Nayanmars because they were not a religious sect, but independent saint - Scholar poets devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva.

  • "there will be no more Nayanmars because they were not a religious sect, but independent saint - Scholar poets devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva." - Why I can't become independent scholar poet devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva? Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 15:52
  • You definitely can - but still you will not be a Nayanmar - you will definitely be a Shaivite Saint - Scholar Poet. The way of life of Nayanmars was difficult - they moved about barefoot and only walked - no ride even on bullock carts, carriages or horses - and in those days there were hardly any roads, but there was no region South of Vindhayas they had not traveled to. The question is similar to why I can't be a Yayavar - in today's Bharatavarsha that way of life is almost impossible (even though it is a word found only in the dictionary of fools). Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 16:17

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