Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nayanmar 14 - Moorthy Nayanar

Moorthy  Nayanar (மூர்த்தி நாயனார்)

Birth place : Thiru aalavai (Madurai)
Star           : Aadi Krithigai

In Madurai, Moorthy Nayanar was doing the service of grinding sandal paste for Lord Sundareswarar everyday. At the time, the Pandya king of Madurai was defeated by a king from Karnataka. This Karnataka king was a follower of Jainism. He was against Shaivism and was giving trouble to the Shiva bhakthas in Madurai. He was troubling Moorthy Nayanar by ensuring that he did not get sandalwood to make the paste for the Lord.
This did not stop Moorthy Nayanar. In the absence of sandalwood, he scraped his elbow on the grinding stone offering his skin to the Lord instead. As blood flowed from the elbow, Lord Shiva gave darshan to Moorthy Nayanar asking him what he wanted. Moorthy Nayanar promptly said he wanted sandalwood to serve the Lord everyday as the king had put a stop to this. The Lord granted his wish saying “you take care of the kingdom”

Next day the Karnataka king died and since he did not have any successor as per the usual norms, an elephant was allowed to roam around the town with a garland to choose the King. The elephant garlanded Moorthy Nayanar and made him the King of Madurai. Showing his devotion to his Lord, Moorthy Nayanar accepted only the sacred ash for abhishekam, rudraksha as jewels and the matted hair as the crown to become the King. He requested that all the people of Madurai become Saivaites. He then ruled the kingdom for a long time before attaining the feet of Lord Shiva.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nayanmar 13 - Aanaya Nayanar

Aanaya Nayanar (ஆனாய நாயனார்)

Birthplace  : Thirumangalam
Star           : Karthigai Hastham

Aanayar was from a family of cowherds. His job was to herd the cattle everyday for grazing. A great devotee of Lord Shiva, Aanayar was used to playing the praise of his Lord in the flute he always had with him.  One day when he had taken the cattle for grazing he saw a Konrai tree. The huge Konrai tree with its flowers in full bloom reminded him of Lord Shiva. Aanayar took his flute out and divine music in praise of the Lord flowed. First the cattle stopped grazing, as though in a trance. Then even the trees were standing still and the whole world came to a stop mesmerized by the heavenly tune. Won’t the Lord, in praise of whom Aanayar was playing, be attracted by this music? Lord Shiva gave darshan to Aanayar and took him to Shiva loka so that Aanaya Nayanar always played the flute for the Him!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nayanmar 12 - Arivattaya Nayanar

Arivattaya Nayanar (அரிவட்டாய நாயனார்)

Birthplace : Kanamangalam
Star          : Thai Thiruvathirai
Arivattaya Nayanar’s history shows the importance of Neivedhyam (offering) to the Lord.
Thayanar lived in Kanamangalam and had the habit of offering food to his Lord at Thandalacheri across the fields. The offerings weren’t ordinary, but first quality red rice, freshly cooked red greens and pickled baby mangoes (maavadu மாவடு). Without fail, every day Thayanar took this food cooked by his wife and offered it to Lord Shiva at Thandalacheri. To test Thayanar and to show his devotion to the world, Lord Shiva made Thayanar’s wealth reduce day by day. Despite this, Thayanar did not give up the habit of offering the best quality food to his Lord. At one stage, Thayanar did not have any rice and had to work in the fields to earn some rice. Even then, he and his wife offered their earnings of good quality rice to their Lord and they themselves ate poor quality rice. Days worsened that the couple could get only some greens to eat after offering the little rice to their Lord.

After that they could not anything to eat and they starved but still continued to offer the best possible food to Lord Shiva. After many days of starvation, Thayanar and his wife carried the offerings and were walking in the fields to reach the temple in Thandalacheri. Thayanar fainted in hunger and the offerings fell to the ground.

Shocked to see the offering strewn on the ground and nothing to offer his Lord, Thayanar took out his scytheand tried to cut his head. He then heard a crunchy noise of somebody biting the pickled mangoes and a left hand came out of the earth to stop Thayanar cutting himself! Lord Shiva gave darshan to Thayanar and his wife appreciating their bhakthi. Thayanar came to be called as Arivattaya Nayanar as he had tried to cut himself with a scythe (arivaal அரிவாள்). 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nayanmar 11 - Maanakanjara Nayanar

Maanakanjara Nayanar (மானக்கஞ்சாற நாயனார்)

Birthplace  : Kanjaarur now known as Aananthandavapuram
Star           : Margazhi Swathi

In the village of Kanjaarur, there lived a devotee of Shiva by name Maanakanjara Nayanar who was known for giving away whatever the devotees of Shiva requested for. He was the commander-in-chief of the Chozha King. Maanakanjara Nayanar and his wife did not have any offspring and many years later by Lord Shiva’s grace, his wife conceived and they had a girl child. Manakanjara Nayanar brought up the girl child well and soon it was time for her to get married. Manakanjara Nayanar chose another Shiva devotee Eyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar as the groom and the wedding was to take place in the bride’s place.

Lord Shiva chose this moment to show Maankanjara Nayanar’s devotion to the world. He came in the disguise of an ascetic Shiva bhaktha to Maankanjara Nayanar’s house. As he usually did to all Shiva bhakthas, Nayanar greeted the ascetic inside and offered him food. The ascetic enquired about the pomp and splendour at the house and Maankanjara Nayanar replied that his daughter’s wedding was to take place. He also asked his daughter to fall at the feet of the ascetic to receive his blessing. The ascetic saw the girl and commented that she had such long hair and it could be useful for making the sacred thread “Panchavati” used by ascetics. Without hesitation, Maanakanjara Nayanar took out his sword, cut his daughter’s hair and offered it to the ascetic with great respect. The ascetic vanished and Lord Shiva appeared with Goddess Parvathi on Vrushabha vahanam and gave darshan to Manjankkara Nayanar blessing him and his family for their devotion.

When the groom Eeyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar - another great devotee and one of the 63 Nayanmars - wondered how to marry a girl whose hair has been cut off, Lord Shiva blessed that the girl’s hair grow immediately and the wedding took place as scheduled!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nayanmar 10 - Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar

Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar (குங்கிலியகலய நாயனார்)

Birthplace  : Thirukkadaiyur
Star           : Aavani Moolam

In the town of Thirukkadaiyur there was a Brahmin named Kalayar who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. His service to his Lord was to burn incense (kungiliyam – sambrani) in the temple every day. He never failed in doing this that he came to be called Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar.

Years rolled on and Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar lost all his wealth and became very poor. Even in his poor state, he continued his service to Lord Shiva without fail.

One day, there was no rice to cook at home and Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar, his wife and children were hungry. Kalayar’s wife removed her mangalsutra, gave it to him and asked him to buy some rice with the same. In the market, Kalayar came across a vendor with a sack full of incense. Without hesitation, he exchanged the incense for the mangalsutra and proceeded to the temple to do his daily service of burning incense and spreading the fragrance in the temple. He forgot all about his family and stayed in the temple with his Lord. The kind Lord did not forget his family and filled Kalayar’s house with wealth and plenty of food grains. He also advised Kalayar in the form of a divine voice to go home and eat well. Knowing well that there was not a grain of rice at home, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar went home and was stunned to see the riches! His wife explained to him that all this was the grace of Lord Shiva. Delighted by the Lord’s grace, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar continued to serve the Lord and his devotees!

During this time, the Shiva Linga at the temple of Thirupanandhal was leaning to one side and was not straight. The King tried to straighten the Linga with the help of his soldiers, horses and even elephants by tying the Linga to these, but nothing worked. When he went to Thirupanandhal, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar put the noose around his neck and pulled the Linga. The Linga became erect right away! Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar did not do this to show that he was superior to others, but only wanted to be part of the devotees trying to serve the Lord. But his humility and bhakthi for Lord Shiva brought instant results!

All present were surprised and fell at the feet of Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar.

Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar belonged to the same period of Thirunaavukarasar and Thirugnanasambandhar and had to opportunity to serve them food at his place.

After many years of service to Lord Shiva, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar reached the feet of his Lord.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nayanmar 9 - Kannappa Nayanar

Kannappa Nayanar ( கண்ணப்ப நாயனார் )

Birthplace : Uduppur
Mukti       : Kalahasti
Star          :Thai Mrigaseerisham

This is one of my most favourite Nayanmar story having heard it many times from my Thatha

Naakan was head of a tribe in Uduppur. He and his wife Thathai did not have any children. Praying to Lord Muruga, they begot a son many years later. The named the child Thinnan. Thinnan grew up to be a handsome young man and he took over the responsibility of hunting when his father  became old. During one of his hunting trips with his friends Naanan and Kaadan, they felt very thirsty after chasing a wild pig and killing it.  Thinnan and Naanan went to the hillock nearby from where River Swarnamukhi (பொன்முகலி ஆறு) flowed. Atop the hill, they saw a lone Shivalinga. The moment Thinnan saw the Linga, he fell in love with the Lord. The Linga was decorated with some flowers. Naanan explained to Thinnan that a Brahmin came daily in the morning to do abhishekam and alankaram to the Lord.

In love with the Lord, Thinnan did not have the heart to leave the place. He wondered what the Lord will eat. He came back down the hill where Kaadan had started cooking the pig they had hunted. Thinnan took over the cooking, ensured perfection and selected the choicest meat. He then plucked some wild flowers and leaves from nearby, inserted it in his hair, held the meat in his hand, collected some water from the river in his mouth and reached the Shiva Linga. With great love, he cleared the flowers placed by the Brahmin with his shod feet, poured the water from his mouth on the Linga as abhishekam, offered the meat to the Lord and placed the wild flowers and leaves decoratively on the Linga. Thinnan continued to sit near his Lord the whole day and night. He wasn’t even aware that his friends had left him. 

When it dawned, Thinnan went in search of fresh offerings for the God. The Brahmin came to do his daily duty to the Lord and was shocked to see meat and wild flowers. He cleared the place, went to have bath again in the river as he had touched the meat and came back again to do abhishekam and alankaram for the Lord. Meanwhile Thinnan again hunted, cooked the meat and brought it along with wild flowers on his head and water for abhishekam in his mouth. This went on for some days. Thinnan’s friends had reported his strange behaviour to Thinnan’s parents and Naakan’s attempt to bring Thinnan back to their place was in vain.

The Brahmin was very upset that the Lord was being offered meat every day and prayed to the Lord for a solution. After five days of Thinnan’s offerings to the Lord, on the fifth night, Lord Shiva came in the Brahmin‘s dream and told him that Thinnan’s shod feet on the Lord’s head was more sweet to Him than the feet of Lord Muruga, the water poured from Thinnan’s mouth was purer than river Ganga, the wild flowers offered were greater than the offerings by Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and the meat offered by Thinnan was superior than the offerings made to the Lord during yagnas. Lord Shiva finally advised the Brahmin to hide behind a tree next day and watch Thinnan.

Next day morning as usual the Brahmin completed his ritual of abhishekam and alankaram and hid behind a tree waiting for Thinnan. 

As usual, Thinnan came with the best meat in his hand, flowers for the Lord in his hair and water for abhishekam in his mouth. When Thinnan came nearby, he saw blood trickling down the right eye of the Lord. Shocked by this, Thinnan tried to stop the blood flow with his hand; he also tried to use some herbs from the hill. Nothing worked. Finally, he decided that only his eye can stop the blood. The moment he realized this, without hesitation, he took out an arrow, plucked his right eye as though he would pluck a flower and placed it on the Lord’s eye. The blood flow instantly stopped. Thinnan was very happy and smiled for a moment. Next moment the blood started gushing from the left eye of the Lord. This time Thinnan did not try any alternate methods. He right away put his foot on the bleeding left eye of the Lord to mark the position to place his eye, as he would be totally blind the moment he plucked his left eye. He then brought the arrow near his eye to pluck it out. Lo and behold, a hand came out of the Linga and stopped him, and a voice endearingly called him “Kannappa”

Lord Shiva appeared before Thinnan and appreciated his bhakthi. The Lord also blessed Thinnan with both eyes intact and called him Kannappa Nayanar as he was ready to sacrifice both his eyes for his Lord!  The Devas showered Kannappa Nayanar with flowers. The Brahmin came out of his hiding and fell at the feet of Kannappa Nayanar. Lord Shiva took Kannappa Nayanar with him as he could not bear to be separated from him.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nayanmar 8 - Enathinatha Nayanar

Enathinatha Nayanar (ஏனாதிநாத  நாயனார்)

Birthplace : Einanoor (Yenaanallur)
Star           : Purattasi Uthiradam

In the Chozha kingdom, Enathinatha Nayanar was an expert in swordfight. He ran a school where he taught the martial arts. Enathinatha Nayanar was a great Shiva bhaktha and helped the devotees of the Lord with his income. Due to Lord Shiva’s grace, the popularity of his teachings grew and students thronged his school.

Another sword fighter by name Athisooran was jealous of Enathinatha Nayanar. He challenged Enathinatha Nayanar to a sword fight and declared that the winner will continue to run Enathinathar’s school. Enathinathar accepted the challenge. There was a terrible fight and Enathinathar defeated Athisooran.

Even more resentful, Athisooran planned another attack on Enathinathar.

This time, knowing fully well that Enathinathar respected Shiva bhakthas, Athisooran smeared himself with the holy ash and stood in front of Enathinathar for the battle. Looking at Athisooran in the form of a Shiva bhaktha, Enathinatha Nayanar’s only thought was that a devotee of his Lord should not be attacked and he was about to throw his sword and shield away. But he also knew that Athisooran will definitely kill him and he did not want a Shiva bhaktha, though it was only a disguise, to commit the sin of killing an unarmed man. Hence he held his sword and shield as though in defense but let Athisooran attack and kill him.

Lord Shiva appeared in front of Enathinatha Nayanar and took him to heaven.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nayanmar 7 - Eripatha Nayanar

Eripatha Nayanar (எறிபத்த நாயனார்)

Birthplace  : Karur
Star           : Maasi Hastham

In the town of Karur, Eripatha Nayanar walked around carrying an axe to give protection to the Shiva bhakthas. In this town there was also an old Brahmin by name Sivakamiaandar who had the habit of getting up early morning, plucking flowers from the garden personally and take it to the local Shiva temple.

One day, when Sivakamiaandar was on his way to the temple with a basket full of fresh flowers, the king’s elephant pushed him down and the flowers fell on the ground. Seeing this, Eripatha Nayanar angrily took out his axe and killed the elephant. He also killed the mahout who tried to stop him. He then helped Sivakamiaandar up.

The news that the elephant and mahout been killed spread like wildfire as it was the king’s elephant and the king Pughazhchozha mannan came to the scene. The moment he saw Eripatha Nayanar, the King said “this man is a Shiva bhaktha. How could he have killed the elephant and the mahout?” When he understood what had happened, the king stood humbly before Eripatha Nayanar giving his sword to the Nayanar stating that the elephant belonged to him and hence he also has to be killed. Understanding the king’s humility and bhakthi towards his Lord, Eripatha Nayanar apologized to the king for his hasty action and asked the King to kill him.

All present heard a divine voice saying that all the above happened for the world to know Eripatha Nayanar’s bhakthi and the elephant as well as the mahout got up alive! The flowers strewn on the ground were back in the basket fresh as newly plucked ones!

Eripatha Nayanar requested the king to mount the elephant to go to his palace and Sivakaamiaandar to the temple with the fresh flowers.

Eripatha Nayanar continued his job of protecting the Shiva bhakthas for many years and later reached Shiva Loka!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Colony programme - another gala day in the colony

Another gala day in the colony

8th April was yet another gala day at the colony with different programmes the whole day. The last few programmes have been organized by a professional company called Akshaya Events.

As I was preoccupied with other personal work, I had not been able to attend these programmes, but this time I was asked to take part in the cookery competition.

The programme began in the morning itself, but I was out and could not participate in the first half. When I went down around 4 pm, I could see the first few rows of chairs occupied by kids getting ready to watch the magic show.

There were many stalls around and I could see the snack stall also being set up.

I just checked out one magic performed by the magician with one of the colony boys and rushed back to get the snack ready for the cookery competition.

Here is the video of the magic the magician performed with one of the colony kids

I went down an hour later and was surprised to note about 17 entries for the competition. I have to mention here that there was no specific item or even the kind of meal (like lunch/snack/sweet etc) and hence the entries were wide. It ranged from pal paniyaram, sabudhana vada, pineapple pudding, milk shake, rice payasam, coconut poli, ambur briyani, a mutton dish, badam cake, carrot halwa, corn upma, fruit salad, butter puttu, halwa, paniyaram, naan-katai biscuits, kheer and tepla by yours truly.

Judges were TV fame Bell Bhaskar  and Abhinaya which I must say excited the Tamizh serial followers greatly! The judges teased the participants as they tasted the items and it was good fun. 
Bell Bhaskar

contestants lined up

Kids get to taste the items

Finally the results were announced and the first prize went to  Mrs. Banumathi  for naan-kataai biscuits. Mr. Bhaskar announced that the way this item was displayed in a ferrero rocher box has to be appreciated. The second prize went to Mrs. Shoba for pineapple pudding/sabudhana vada/milk shake. The prizes were coupons from Mega mart.


All participants were given participant prizes by Mother’s Recipe and JS Honda. There were surprise prizes for two well dressed ladies which were won by Mrs. Manju Bose and Mrs. Preetha!

On the other side, small games were conducted for kids. All had a great time enjoying the chaat and other snacks that were available at the food stall.

The cookery competition was followed by a music programme with some good Tamizh film songs being sung!

Kids enjoying

Kudos to Ms. Revathy of Akshaya Events for organizing events in our colony!

Ms. Revathy of Akshaya Events