for them now exponents of Bhakti cult emerged on the scene. The foremost among them was
Tunchat Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam literature, whose devotional works such as
Adhyatma Ramayanam, Mahabharatam, Harinama - kirtanam, etc., preached to the common people
the doctrine of selfless devotion and surrender to God in the form of Vishnu. As K. V.
Krishna Ayyar puts it: "The age of Love and Romance came to an end with the arrival
of the Portuguese and with Tunchat Ramanuja Ezhuthachan who lived in the 16th century
began the age of devotion in Malayalam literature."
The 16th century also produced two other poet-saints who
made their valuable contribution to the growth the Bhakti cult. They were Mappathur
Narayana Bhattatiri (1559-1625) and Puntanam. Nambudiri (1547-1640). Moppathur wrote his
famous Narayaniyam sitting on the mandapa in front of Lord Krishna of Guruvayur and
praying to Him to cure him of his rheumatism. Ad cured he was on the day he finished the
hundredth and last dasaka on December 7, 1586.