Nammalvar was a poet-mystic from the Tamil region of India, devoted to the worship of Vishnu. He is considered the greatest of the twelve Alvars, meaning one who dives deep in the ocean of the divine. Little is known for certain about his life. Tradition says that he was born in 3059 BCE, but scholars propose a birth date for him of 798 CE. Tradition also says that he was born illuminated, and neither ate nor spoke until a seeker addressed a spiritual question to him at the age of 16. The verses of Nammalvar and other Alvars are offered as prayers in Vaishnavite temples and ceremonies.
O Lord, infinite in Thy glory,
I have ripened and lost myself
In Thy grace,
Do not change, I pray Thee.
I do not desire freedom from birth,
Nor to be Thy servitor in Heaven.
All the wealth I want
Is not to forget Thee.
Translation A. Srinivasa Raghavan