Pastimes of Sundaramurthy Nayanar

pastimes of sundaramurthy nayanar

Lord Shiva places foot on Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

Sundaramoorthy Nayanar visited many pilgrimages and blessed the common people of that place.

However, on reaching Adigai Veerattanam, he refused to place his foot on the land since he considered the place too sacred.

Here, Lord Viratteshwar had blessed his great devotee Appar.

Hence Sundar preferred staying at the outskirts of the village.

Thus this episode displays Sundarar’s great humility and respect for the devotee.

However, the lord couldn’t bear the separation from his devotee.

So, the loving lord, assumed the form of an old Brahmin and entered the mutt.

He saw Sundarar and quietly pretended to sleep by his side.

He then placed his foot on Sundarar’s head.

When Sundarar showed his annoyance, the man apologized.

Then Sundarar moved elsewhere to sleep.

But once again this old man followed him and repeated the same act.

Sundarar did not lose his cool. He gently asked the old man “Who are you? Why do you do this?”

To this the old man said “My friend, don’t you know me”.

So saying the man disappeared.

Sundarar immediately realized that his lord had personally come to bless him.

With a heart full of emotions he cried thus-

“Oh lord you are so merciful. For a despicable creature like me, you left your abode.

Even the most knowledgeable are bereft of the privilege of even touching your feet.

Oh lord, your mercy is unparalleled.”

Thereafter Sundarar commenced his journey.

Lord Shiva sings Tiruthonda Thogai

Once in the sanctum, Arurar (Sundarar) spotted Shiva devotees.

He wanted to sing their praises.

So, to accompany Sundarar lord Shiva sang the very first line of the famous poem Tiruthonda Thogai.

Sundarar then by His supreme will completed the poem.

Kotpuli Nayanar meets Sundarar

This embarks the meeting of two Nayanars- great devotees of lord Shiva.

It is certainly a memorable one.

Kotpuli Nayanar of Tirunattiyattankudi invited Sundarar Nayanar to his humble residence. Sundarar agreed.

However, when he entered his home, Kotpuli Nayanar offered his respects at his lotus feet along with his two daughters Singadiyar and Vanappahaiyar.

He then urged Sundarar to kindly accept his daughters as his wives.

But, Sundarar fondled them with the care of a father.

He looked upon them as his own daughters.

Owing to this episode he composed a wonderful Thevaram where he calls himself ‘Singadiappan’ which means the ‘father of Singadiyar’.

Lord Nataraja gives his vision

At Chidambaran (Tillai), when Sundarar saw the temple tower, he rolled on the ground shedding tears of joy.

Lord Nataraja had blessed him with his vision.

Thereafter, a voice ordered him to march to Thiruvarur.

On his way, Sundarar visited many holy sites.

Finally, he set his foot on Tiruvarur.

Lord Shiva had already informed the Brahmins about Sundarar’s arrival.

Hence, they were ready to receive him with all pomp.

Sundarar meets Cheraman Perumal Nayanar

Sundarar composed a Thevaram in which he asked the lord to bless him with royal possessions.

Thus we see the free-flowing friendship between him and the lord.

We realize that the lord enjoys all types of relationships.

There is a multiplicity in the mood of His devotees.

Sundarar and Cheraman travelled extensively and paid a visit to many royal households of south India.

Once, Cheraman wanted to go to the opposite side of the river bank at Tiruvaiyar.

However, they were anticipating floods.

Yet they prayed to the lord sincerely by singing a Padigam.

The lord was delighted.

So, He immediately ordered the river to pave way for his devotees thus fulfilling every desire of theirs.

Also Sundarar had become Cheraman’s guest for a short period.

But now he misses his homeland Tiruvarur.

Since Cheraman was bound by royal duties, he couldn’t accompany Sundarar.

However, he laid royal presents at his feet for his farewell.

Robbers loot Sundarar

With the acquired riches, Sundarar set off for Tiruvarur.

Now the lord was very possessive about his friend.

He shared a unique bond with Sundarar.

So the lord devised a small plan.

He sent his servants to rob Sundarar of all his riches.

To retrieve the riches, Sundarar sang a Padigam in the temple.

Astonishingly when he stepped outside the temple door, he saw all the possessions lying intact.

Sundarar brings boy back to life

Sundarar wished to revisit his friend Cheraman Perumal.

But when he entered Tiru Pukkoliyur in Avinasi, he strangely heard contradictory voices coming from two Brahmin households.

One was celebrating the thread ceremony and singing auspicious chants while the other was mourning over the death of their Brahmin son.

As Sundarar approached the household of the deceased, the family men controlled their pain to cordially receive their guest.

Sundarar was moved by their hospitality.

So he decided to pray to the lord to restore life for the deceased boy.

The entire body was nothing more than a carcass since it had already been digested by the crocodile.

Yet the body formed astonishingly due to Sundarar’s devotion.

Now the boy stood calmer and disposed of than his previous version.

He appeared more attractive and displayed signs of growth befitting his age.

His kith and kin were indebted to Sundarar.

Such is the unparalleled mercy of the Nayanars.

When Sundarar reached Kodunkolur, Cheraman received him with great love and affection.

Thus Sundarar became a royal guest for some time.

Sundarar departs for Kailash

Once Sundar visited the temple in solitude.

He was overcome with great love for the lord.

His body began to display signs of spiritual ecstasy.

He then entered into a meditative trance.

Now, he wished to retire back to his lord as he was tired of material life.

Image Source- Himalayan Academy

So, the lord sent a grand white elephant along with his attendants to bring back his devotee in great pomp and grandeur.

Sundarar mounted on the elephant happy to eternally unite with the lord of Kailash.

Know that Sundarar Nayanar departed for Kailash in his spiritual body leaving behind his mortal body.

Cheraman who was a close associate of Sundaramurthy Nayanar learnt of his departure.

So he set off on his horse and reached Tiru Anchaikalam.

When he uttered the Panchakshara in the ears of his horse, his horse galloped into the skies.

There he worshipped Sundarar with great reverence and left for Kailash along with him.

Image Source: Himalayan Academy

Greatness of Sundaramurthy Nayanar

However, Sundarar got access into Kailash while Cheraman did not.

On getting united with the lord, Sundarar spoke-

“Oh lord, how mercifully you have taken me back to you.

You have given me the elixir!”

However Sundarar felt for Cheraman since he wasn’t given entry.

So he requested the lord to accept Cheraman too.

The lord to fulfil his friend’s wish sent his own mount to receive Cheraman.

When Cheraman entered, the lord enquired “Cheraman, without my permission how did you enter?”

Cheraman replied “I am deeply attached to your devotee Sundarar. 

It is due to his grace that I have got an entry here even though I wasn’t eligible for it.”

Hence, if a devotee endorses on your behalf, you shall inevitably attain the same state.

This is the supreme truth and the easiest means.

Finally, Sundarar resumed his past services to the lord and absorbed himself in Seva.

Paravayar and Sangiliyar attained their original place as servitors of Parvati Devi.

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