Avvaiyyar was a revered female poet and saint who lived in the southern parts of India during the ninth century. Her name means 'respected old woman' or 'Grandmother', and she is known for her extraordinary poetry. Despite her real name being unknown, she is highly regarded, and children learning the Tamil language use one of her specially written poems - Kondrai Vendhan. This is a collection of 91 verses and is particularly celebrated for its insights into life, love, and spirituality. The poems in Kondrai Vendhan explore a range of themes, from the beauty of nature to the importance of self-reflection and the pursuit of truth. Through her verse, Avvaiyar imparts timeless wisdom that continues to inspire and guide people to this day. The collection is a testament to the enduring power of Avvaiyar's words and her lasting impact on Tamil culture and beyond.
Avvaiyyar showed a deep interest in poetry from a young age and was extremely devoted to Lord Ganesha. Her spiritual journey began when she became a wanderer, and her love for the common man and contempt for the pretensions of the rich were beautifully reflected in her poems. She prevented a war between King Adiyaman and King Thondiaman, and it is believed that she did not die a normal death, instead being transported bodily to Kailasha, the abode of Lord Shiva, by Lord Ganesha himself.