Poonthanam was a famous devotee of Guruvayurappan, who lived in Keezhattoor in (Malappuram district), Kerala, India. He was a famous devotee of Lord Krishna (Guruvayurappan). He is remembered for his masterpiece, Jnanappana which means 'the song of wisdom' in Malayalam. Poonthanam was the family name, his personal name is not known.

Poonthanam was born into a Namboodiri Brahmin family. He married at 20, but for a long time, they had no children. He began to propitiate the Lord of Guruvayur and a son was born. He called for a celebration and everybody known was invited, but the child died an hour before the ceremony. Grief-stricken Poonthanam sought refuge at Guruvayur and started praying with the puranic story of Kumaraharanam. He considered Lord Krishna as his son and achieved enlightenement. In his work he writes: "While little Krishna is dancing in our hearts, do we need little ones of our own?" Poonthanam spent the rest of his life reading the Bhagavatham and singing the Lord's glories in simple Malayalam. His magnum opus, Njanappana, was composed during this period. The house which he lived in Malappuram District is now taken care by Guruvayur Devaswom.

He is contemporary of Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, another famous poet associated with Guruvayur. Lord Guruvaayoorappan has appreciated Poonthanam's bhakthi various times directly and it is believed that he himself came down to earth and taken Poonthanam personally to Vaikuntam.

Poems by Poonthanam

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