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From: Raghu Seshadri (
Date: Thu Jul 06 1995 - 11:47:06 PDT

>From: Mani Varadarajan <>

I think the word "aazhvaar" has two meanings.
When used for the saints proper, it is usually
interpreted as meaning "one who is immersed in
the Lord". When used for others, such as kooratthaazhvaan
or chakkratth aazhvaar it is added as a respectable
suffix meaning "one who rules", or "one who is lordly". 
Someone else may be able to supply the exact
Tamil etymology of the two words.

Friedhelm Hardy suggests that the latter meaning
was the original one even for the saints.  Which is
why he thinks that "aandaaL" is the feminine equivalent
of "aazhvaar", i.e., "one who rules".


But isn't the word for ruler "aaLvaar" and not "aazhvaar" ?
Unless aazhvaar has this alternate meaning that i don't
know about ...

Raghu Seshadri