Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nayanmar 26 - Nesa Nayanar

Nesa Nayanar (நேச நாயனார்)

Birth place   : Kambili
Star             : Panguni Rohini

Born in a family of weavers, Nesa Nayanar weaved soft cotton cloth. As he weaved he uttered the mantra Om Namashivaya continuously. He never used to weave any lavish or decorative clothing, but just simple cotton ones. He then made loin clothes out of the cloths he weaved and presented those to the devotees of his Lord. This way he took care of the very basic need of the devotees. He reached Lord Shiva because of this bhakthi for His devotees.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nayanmar 25 - Poosalar Nayanar

Poosalar Nayanar (பூசலார் நாயனார்) 

Birth place     : Thirunindravur
Star               : Aippasi Anusham

A great Shiva bhaktha, Poosalar built a temple for his Lord in his heart. Poosalar lived in Thirunindravur and his long time dream was to build a temple for Lord Shiva. Since he did not have the resources to construct a temple, he decided to build one within his heart. Once he decided to do this, he went about it meticulously thinking of a detailed building plan and constructed a full fledged temple in his heart. Once the construction was completed, Poosalar Nayanar chose an auspicious day and requested the Lord to enter the temple. It so happened that the Pallava King had built a Shiva temple during this time and he had also fixed the same day for the kumbabishekam of the temple built by him. On the previous night, Lord Shiva appeared in the King's dream and told him to change the date of the kumbabishekam as He would be entering the temple built by Poosalar on that day. The King woke up and was curious to see the temple built by a devotee wondering if it was greater than the one built by him.

He travelled to Thirunindravur and found that no temple had been built there recently. He went in search of Poosalar and enquired. Poosalar was in ecstasy to hear that the Lord had chosen to enter his heart temple that day. He explained about his heart temple to the King and the King was amazed at Poosalar Nayanar's devotion.  

The King then went back to his capital Kanchipuram and Poosalar Nayanar continued to conduct pujas in his heart temple for his Lord and attained His feet subsequently.

Here is a link to details on Hridayaleeswarar temple in Thirunindravur:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nayanmar 24 - Saakiya Nayanar

Saakiya Nayanar (சாக்கிய நாயனார்) 

Birth place  : Thiruchangamangai
Star            : Margazhi Pooradam

A man from Thiruchangamangai near Kanchipuram was in search of God. He studied religions like Jainism and Buddhism. He had a liking of Buddhism and started following it. Buddhists were called Saakiyargal in Tamizh and this man also came to be called Saakiyar.

During his search, Saakiyar learned about Saivism. One day he saw a Shiva Lingam and he fell in love with Lord Shiva. He wanted to do puja for the Lingam at once but could not find any flowers nearby. There was only a brick lying there. He took the brick and threw it on the Lingam like archana with a flower. Saakiyar understood that it was the Lord’s will that he did archana with a brick. He decided to have darshan of the Lord everyday before eating food. He understood that the exterior appearance of the devotee does not matter to the Lord. So Saakiyar continued his Buddhist form. Everyday he went to the Shiva Lingam and religiously did archana with a brick. For the kind Lord, the brick puja was like a baby slapping the mother! Saakiyar continued this strange puja everyday. One day, by God’s will, Saakiyar forgot to visit the Shiva Lingam. As he was about to have his food, he remembered and rushed. As usual, he threw a brick at the Lord. Lord Shiva gave darshan to Saakiyar along with Goddess Parvathi and Saakiya Nayanar attained mukti.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nayanmar 23 - Karaikkal Ammaiyar

Karaikkal Ammaiyar (காரைக்கால் அம்மையார்) 

Birth place  : Karaikkal
Mukti         : Thiruvalangaadu
Star            : Panguni Swathi

A devotee who the Lord himself called his Mother, was Karaikkal Ammaiyar!

Born in the town of Karaikkal to a rich merchant, Karaikkal Ammaiyar was originally named Punithavathi. Punithavathi was devoted to Lord Shiva right from her childhood. When she came of age, her father got her married to another merchant by name Paramadattan from Nagapattinam. But as she was his only child, her father did not want her to stay away. Hence he built a house near his place for his daughter and son-in-law and made them live close by.

Punithavathi and Paramadattan started their life in Karaikkal. One day when Paramadattan was at work, a visitor brought him two mangoes. He sent the mangoes home. Punithavathiyar was alone at home. A devotee of Lord Shiva came for food. Punithavathiyar offered him lunch and also one of the mangoes her husband had sent.

Later, when Paramadattan came home for lunch, he asked for a mango and ate it. He found the mango very sweet and wanted to eat the other mango too. Worried that Paramadattan may be angry if she said she had given it away, Punithavathi went inside and prayed to Lord Shiva. Miraculously, she got a mango in her hand and took it to her husband. Paramadattan found this mango extremely tasty and asked his wife about it. Punithavathi came out with the truth that the Lord had given it to her. Unable to believe this, Paramadattan asked Punithavathi to request the Lord for one more mango. She did this promptly and gave him the third mango (the second miraculous one). The mango vanished from Paramadattan’s hand.

Now Paramadattan understood that his wife was no ordinary woman and decided that he could not continue to live with her. He said he was going out of town on business and sailed out of the country. He came back and settled down in a town in Pandyanadu. He also married again and had a daughter. He named his daughter Punithavathi out of respect for his first wife.

Coming to know that Paramadattan was living in another town nearby, Punithavathi’s relatives took her to him. When they met, Paramadattan fell at Punithavathiyar’s feet along with his family members. The relatives were surprised to see the husband falling at his wife’s feet. Paramadattan then narrated the story of the mangoes to the relatives. Understanding that her husband would never live with her any more, Punithavathi wanted to give up her youth. She prayed to the Lord to change her form to a skeletal ghost (பேய் உருவம்). Her prayer was answered and she immediately transformed into a ghost. She proceeded to Kailasam in that form. Reaching Kailasam, she did not want to walk on her feet and hence started walking on her head. Goddess Parvathi enquired Lord Shiva about the ghost form walking upside down towards them. The Lord said, it was his “Mother” who was on her way to meet him. Punithavathiyar became Karaikkal Ammaiyar as the Lord himself called her His mother. She reached the Lord and fell at his feet, calling Him her father. She conveyed her wish to see His cosmic dance and the Lord asked her to reside in Thiruvalangaadu and see his dance there forever. Karaikkal Ammaiyar reached Thiruvalangaadu and once there, she could see only the Lord everywhere and hence continued to walk on her head. Here she sang the Lord’s praise and attained mukti.

Karaikkal Ammaiyar has composed many hymns on the Lord like Arpudha Thiruvandhadhi and Irattai Mani Malai.  iHi 

Here is one of the compositions of Karaikkal Ammaiyar

இறவாத அன்பு வேண்டும்
இனிமேல் பிறவா வேண்டும்
 மறவாத பக்தி வேண்டும்
மறுபிறப்பும் அதுவே வேண்டும்
பிறழாத நடனம் வேண்டும்
என்பாடல் அதிலே வேண்டும்
உறவாக உன்தாள் கீழே
ஒன்றிட வேண்டும் வேண்டும்