The Periya Puranam is a classical Tamil scripture that describes the lives of 63 Saivite saints. Down through the centuries it has had immense influence over the devotional tradition of Saivism in South India.
Towards the end of 1895, Venkataraman, later known as Sri Ramana Maharshi, found at home a copy of the Periya Puranam. He picked it up and, being the first religious book he had ever read, was tranported to a hitherto unknown sphere of existence. Waves of admiration, awe, reverence, sympathy and emulation swept over his soul in succession.
It was not long after this that the boy Venkataraman, fully absorbed in the effulgence of the Self, made his way to Arunachala. Throughout the next fifty-four years of his life, the Sage of Arunachala, never tired of recalling the stories of these saints and reciting their inspired poetry with deep emotion.