God and dating verses
The devotional outpourings of Alvars, composed during the early medieval period of Tamil history, helped revive the bhakti movement, through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his avatars.
They praised the Divya Desams, 108 "abodes" (temples) of these Vaishnava deities.
As per tradition, the first three alvars, Poigai, Bhutha and Pey were born miraculously.
Tirumizhisai was the son of a sage; Thondaradi, Mathurakavi, Peria and Andal were from brahmin caste; Kulasekhara was a Kshatria, Namm was from a cultivator family, Tirupana from Tamil Panar community and Tirumangai from kazhwar community.
Some modern scholars suggest that they lived during 5th - 9th century CE, "on the basis of a few historical evidences", although no "clear" evidence exists to fit them between 5th to 9th century CE. Lochtefeld of Carthage College, notes in his The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, the first three Alvars Poigai, Bhoothath and Pey belonged to the 7th century; while Nammalvar and Madhurakavi belonged to the 10th century; while rest of them lived in the 9th century.The Alvar is now identified as Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara (reigned 844—883 CE), the second known ruler of the Cheras of Makotai (Cranganore) (c. Joni Eareckson Tada has given us many books on the subject of God’s tender care for His children in times of suffering.Andal is the only female saint-poet in the 12 Alvars.Together with the contemporary sixty three Shaiva Nayanars, they are among the most important saints from Tamil Nadu.
Joni strikes the chord of authenticity with us so well because suffering is the world she lives in 24/7.