Sunday, April 9, 2017

Know your Nayanmars! - Part III (The Warriors)

Continuing on the series of Nayarmars, we now look at the warriors!  Although their roles were taking lives of the enemies for the sake of their king and homeland, they have performed incredible deeds to be included among the Nayanmars!

8. Eanadhinadha Nayanar
Birth & Mukthi – Eananallur
Guru poojai – Purattasi Uthiradam
Temple – Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Eananallur

Eanadhinadha Nayanar was a valiant warrior of Eananallur. In the same village there lived another fighter, Adhichuran, who was a bully. Not many students frequented his school, while they thronged to learn the art of warfare from Eanadhinadhar. Angered by this, Adhichuran challenged Eanadhinadhar for a combat. The warriors and their students fought each other valiantly but in the end, Adhichuran had to run away from the arena. The next day, he planned to win over Eanadhinadhar through deceit. So he smeared the holy ash across his forehead, and covered it with a cloth. He then invited Eanadhinadhar for a duel. Accepting the challenge, Eanathinathar got ready to punch. At that moment, Adhichuran removed the cloth. On seeing the holy ash on the enemy’s forehead, Eanadhinadha froze and allowed him to have his way. He did not drop his sword and shield, for he did not want the sin of attacking an unarmed enemy, to befall Adhichuran. Such was his devotion to Lord Shiva and his devotees!

11. Manakancharar Nayanar
Birth & Mukthi -Kanjarur (Anandathandavapuram)  
Gurupoojai – Markazhi Swathi 
Temple – Panchavateeswarar Temple, Ananadathandavapuram

Manakancharar was a chief of army, a very humble and pious man, whose life was dedicated to Lord Shiva. For a long time, he did not have a child, and through his prayers, a girl child was born. She grew up into a beautiful woman, with long hair. Manakancharar wanted another pious devotee to be her groom and chose Eyarkon Kalikamar. On the day of the wedding, Lord Shiva arrived at the hall, in the form of a Mahavradhi. When Manakancharar saw him, he fell at his feet with his wife and daughter seeking his blessings. The Mahavradhi saw the girl’s long and beautiful hair and said he could use it for his “Panchavati” (Sacred thread made of human hair worn across the chest). Without any hesitation, the father pulled out his sword, and chopped off his daughter’s hair, and offered it. The Mahavradhi disappeared, and Lord Shiva appeared as Rishabaruda and blessed them. By this time, Eyarkon Kalikamar had reached the wedding hall and was delighted to hear about what happened but was not sure if it was appropriate to marry a woman whose head was shaven. To their surprise and delight, the girl’s hair grew back to how it had been before. They all bowed to the Almighty’s grace.

28. Eyarkon Kalikama Nayanar
Birth  & Mukthi – Thiruperumangalam
Guru poojai – Aani Revathi
Temple – Virundheeswarar Temple, Thiruperumangalam

Eyarkon Kalikamar was the son-in-law of Manakancharar Nayanar and the General of the State Army. He heard about Sundaramurthy Nayanar sending Lord Shiva to Paravaiyar’s house to pacify her after his marriage to Sangiliyar. He was furious that a devotee of Shiva would attempt to send the Lord barefoot, in the night, as a messenger. He thought if ever he met Sundarar, he would kill him. The Lord wanted both devotees to be friends. So he created a severe stomach ulcer in Eyarkon Kalikamar, and told him that only Sundarar was capable of curing his pain. At the same time, he appeared in Sundarar’s dream, asking him to go to Kalikamar and help him. Kalikamar did not want a life given through Sundarar. So he tore open his stomach and died. His wife prepared to join him in death, when she heard of Sundarar’s arrival. Asking everyone to stop crying, she received him. When Sundarar enquired about Eyarkon Kalikamar, she said he was out of pain and sleeping. Sundarar insisted on seeing him and when he did, he found he had killed himself. When he came to know that he was the cause of Kalikamar’s death, Sundarar took out his sword to end his life too. At that moment, Lord Shiva brought Kalikamar back to life. The two devotees fell at each other’s feet and became thick friends.

35. Siruthonda Nayanar
Birth & Mukthi – Thiruchenkattankudi
Guru poojai – Chithirai Bharani
Temple – Uthrapadheeswarar Temple, Thiruchenkattankudi
Siruthondar and Thiruvenkattu Nangai cutting Seeralan for feeding the Bhairagi
Paranjothi was born in the Mamathra clan of Thiruchenkattankudi. He joined the Pallava army and rose to the position of the general. He led a battle against the Chalukyas to Vatapi (Badami),and brought back a Ganesha who is now called Vatapi Ganapathy. After the war, he expressed his desire to go back home and spend time in the worship of God. Paranjothi married Thiruvenkattunangai and had a son named Seeralan. He spent all his riches and time in feeding the devotees of the Lord for which he was called Siruthondar. One day, the Lord appeared as a Bhairagi in Siruthondar’s house. Thiruvenkattunangai welcomed him warmly. But he said he would not come when the man of the house was not in, and that he would wait under a tree near the temple. Siruthondar on his return, humbly requested the Bhairagi to visit his house for lunch. The devotee said that he would only take the meat of a child less than five, with no physical impairment, the only child in the family and the parents must cook the meat happily. Siruthondar heard the impossible and came back to his house. 

He discussed with his wife, and they decided they would cook their son, Seeralan. So they brought him back from school, bathed and dressed him, and with the mother holding the hands and feet, the father cut off the head. Thinking the head would not be appropriate, the mother cooked the rest of the meat. When the Bhairagi sat down to eat, he asked if all parts had been cooked, they said they had cooked everything except the head. He responded that he liked that too. Immediately the maid Santhananangai brought the head curry which she had cooked separately. The Bhairagi said that he would not eat alone, and asked Siruthondar to invite other devotees. Siruthondar went outside and looked around but could not find anyone else. So the Bhairagi asked Siruthondar to take lunch with him. He also asked about Seeralan. Siruthondar said he would not be of any use. But the Bhairagi insisted. He asked the couple to go out and call him. When the couple called their son, he came running as if coming back from school. They found the Bhairagi and the meat missing. Overwhelmed, the couple wept in joy. The Lord appeared before them as Somaskanda and gave mukthi.

50. Munaiyaduvaar Nayanar
Birth & Mukthi – Thiruneedur
Guru poojai – Panguni Poosam
Temple – Arutsomanadheswarar Temple, Thiruneedur

Munaiyaduvaar Nayanar was a valiant warrior who took pleasure in feeding the devotees of the Lord every day. He would fight on behalf of those who offered him riches and win the battle for them. With the money he received, he would welcome devotees to his house and feed them. Because of fighting for others, he came to be called Munaiyaduvaar Nayanar.

55. Kotpuli Nayanar
Birth & Mukthi – Thirunatiyathankudi
Guru poojai – Adi Kettai
Temple – Manickavannar Temple, Thirunattiyathankudi
Kotpuli Nayanar Shrine & depiction in Thirunattiyanthankudi Temple

Kotpuli Nayanar was a general in the King’s army. He gave grains for the worship of the Lord in various Siva temples. As he was called away for war, he stored a lot of grain at home, asking his family members to pass it on to the temples. After Kotpuliyar left, there was famine in that area. So his family members thought, it is better to consume the grain, rather than give it away.After few months, Kotpuliyar returned victorious, bringing back gifts and money that the King had given. On coming to know that the Lord’s grain had been consumed by his family members and relatives, he took out his sword and killed them one by one. Finally only an infant was left. One of the soldiers who was witness to the incident, asked Kotpuliyar to spare the child because he had not consumed the grain. But Kotpuliyar replied that the child was also guilty because it had drunk the milk of a mother who had consumed the grain. He threw the child up in the air and killed it as well. The Lord was pleased with his devotion, and gave mukthi to Kotpuli Nayanar and all his relatives. 

Check out other posts about the Nayanmars on Aalayam Kanden:

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