About Sundaramurthy Nayanar
Sundaramurthy Nayanar was a well acclaimed Shaivaite saint of the eighth century. His real name is Nambi Arurar.
He was born in Thirunavalur village of the Kallakurichi district.
His parents Sadainayar and Isaignaniyar also come within the 63 Nayanars and have a glorious legacy.
Sundarar composed many poems glorifying lord Shiva known as Thevarams.
Out of his 3,800 pathigams (poetry), only 100 have been revived and available to us.
Some of the famous Thevarams sung by Sundarar are Pittha Pirai Soodi and Malaiyar Aruvi.
He is one of the four Shaiva acharyas which include Sambanthar, Appar and Manikkavasagar.
By the power of his devotion, Sundarar brought life in a boy gulped by a crocodile.
Sundarar’s friendship with Lord Shiva
He uses harsh aphorisms while glorifying the lord since he has the mood of friendship.
He freely speaks his heart out which makes him the lord’s dear associate.
The lord too shares a very personal yet unique relation with him making him one of the most revered saints of Shaivism.
He knew lord Shiva from his past birth as his favorite associate Alala sundaran.
However he fell in love with the two attendants of Parvati devi namely Ananditi and Kamilini.
Hence, he was sent down to earth by the lord to fulfil his desire of marriage.
To know the complete story of Sundarar’s past life click here.
Lord Shiva was the main hand in bringing about his marriage with Paravayar and Sangiliyar, the lovers of his previous birth.
His friendship was so intense that the lord agreed to become a messenger to bring about a reconciliation with his wife, Paravayar.
Sundarar travelled extensively covering thousands of kilometers on foot singing the glories of lord shiva.
There is a legend where Sundarar saves the villagers from a severe famine.
Actually the lord plans everything with a purpose.
Through this incident, the lord wanted to prove the greatness of His devotees.
The famine problem
Once a severe drought struck the Nagapattinam District, where Sundarar stayed.
It was a district calamity.
Hence, it also affected Sundarar’s hometown Tiruvarur.
Before the famine, the lord had made provisions for Sundarar’s upkeep through a farmer named Kundaiyur Kizhar.
Kundaiyur Kizhar was a devoted Shaivite who revered Sundarar.
As his spiritual discipline, Kizhar promptly delivered the monthly ration to Sundarar at the month end.
However, this time, the calamity equally affected all regions.
Even Kundaiyur Kizhar felt the loss.
Hence, he found it hard to meet Sundarar’s needs.
Being guilty at heart, he prayed to the lord to forgive him for his incapability.
Lord Shiva appears in a dream
Inorder to provide for his devotee, lord Shiva himself appeared in Kundaiyur Kizhar’s dream and took charge of Sundarar’s livelihood.
In the dream, He ordered Kubera, the god of riches to supply enough grains for Sundarar and his entire village.
Kubera who is the faithful servant of lord Shiva immediately presented enough grains that would suffice for a long period.
The dream went on to be very mysterious.
Next morning, when Kundaiyur Kizhar opened his eyes he astonishingly found heaps of grain lying before him.
He kept thanking the lord for his kindness and praised the great lord Shankara and his devotee Sundarar.
The lord loved his devotee so greatly that for his sake, he took care of the entire village.
Meanwhile, lord Shiva informed Sundarar about his divine arrangement.
On hearing the lord’s words, Sundarar immediately set out to Kundaiyur to meet Kizhar.
The distance from Tiruvarur to Kundaiyur was approximately 454.8 km.
However, at half distance itself, (i.e) at 227.4 km, he saw the ground flooded with grains.
Sundarar was overjoyed to see the calamity end.
Thus he understood lord Shiva’s grand arrangement.
Sundarar saves the villagers
Now, such large amount of grains needed adequate transportation to prevent attacks from pests and rodents.
So, to find a way out, Sundarar went to a nearby temple and presented his plea to the lord
“Oh lord kindly appease the hunger of all the villagers.”
Thus, this episode shows the large heartedness of Sundarar.
He selflessly thought for the entire village discounting personal interest.
Suddenly, he heard a celestial voice giving him the assurance.
The lord’s love for his devotee made him bend to such an extent.
Sundarar then rushed homewards and informed Paravayar about all the happenings.
At the lord’s orders, all the Bhootaganas or ghostly associates of Lord Shiva, immediately transported the grains to Tiruvarur as per Sundarar’s wish.
The famine ends
On seeing the grains, Sundarar’s wife Paravayar bowed to the lord in gratitude and sang hymns in his praise.
She then large heartedly asked the people to accept the grains.
The entire village then thanked the couple for their kindness.
Thus, this episode inspired many to take refuge under the lord and depend on him wholly for their upkeep.
The couple’s devotion destroyed the prolonged famine.
All the villagers sang the praises of Paravayar and her Ishwara, lord Shankara.
Purpose of this pastime
The lord through this episode wanted to prove to us two things-
1) A devotee spreads his light-
Just the presence of a devotee ends all calamities.
By his glory, the people who surround him shall equally reap the benefits.
In this regard, all the villagers knowingly or knowingly benefitted from such a soul.
2) A devotee shall always be the king-
The lord wanted to prove the power of devotion.
He somehow takes care of the people who solely depend on him.
Even the richest people may suffer owing to bad circumstances.
But a devotee’s house shall always remain full with grains.
Through Sundaramurthy nayanar- the lord wanted to show the power of god-reliance.
Those who depend on Him shall always be wealthy, in both inner and outer worlds.
Thanks for reading!