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Multi Language Web-Mag on Hinduism for the Kids

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Kidsworld Club

Sweet Divine Stories

Ahh... Kids,

finally we are at a place where we we will spend lot of time, we can't wait anymore. Let's get down to business in this key section.

Let us know of what you think of these stories. ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

You can also use the form in the Contact Us section to write us.

The stories list will grow bigger to delight you...

Little Lord Ganesh & The Wonderous Mango

Story on Lord Ganesh and Lord Muruga

This is a sweet story of how little Ganesh won a mango by his wise act.

As you read earlier that the new things starts off with prayer to Lord Ganesh, you will also notice here that this impotant area, the stories section starts off with Lord Ganesh.

Hope you will enjoy this sweet story and let's pray the Lord for the blessing to the HKW Team to bring you more.

Little Lord Ganesh & The Wonderous Mango

The sage Naratha and the Golden Mango

Long ago,Shiva, the Lord of the Universe was seated on Mount Kailash with his consort Umadevi. Shiva-Ganas, the servants and armies of Lord Shiva, devotees and sages stood around them in worshipful reverence. 

 

Little Lord Muruga and Lord Ganesha were playing some distance away.

The poet sage Naratha appeared on the scene singingsweetly. "Narayana... Mahadeva...."He held a "Magathy Veena", a musical instrument, in one hand and in the other was a beautiful mango fruit.

The sweet smell of the mango, which shone like gold, filled the whole of Kailash."Welcome, Naratha... Welcome... My blessing to you", Lord Shiva blessed him.

"Lord, this fruit that I have in my hand is a rare fruit with wondrous powers.

My father, Lord Brahma gave it to me. Rather than I eating it, it would be more appropriate that you, the Lord of the universe, eat it. So, I have come here to give this to you. " Naratha said respectfully and placed the mango at the feet of the Lord.

Lord Shiva accepted the fruit with a smile and handed it over to Umadevi,his consort."Devi, it is the sacred truth that there is no Shivam without Sakthi (refers to the power of Umadevi), and that  I cannot exist without you. So, you should eat the fruit", said Lord Shiva.

Umadevi smiled affectionately."Lord, I have merged myself into you, forming one half of your being. I need no greater boon than this. So, let us give the fruit to the children", replied  Umadevi.

The Troble is how to share a mango between two kids

The children who had all this while been playing, came running and stood before their parents."Father... Mother... let me have the fruit", said little Muruga, holding out his hand quickly.

"Father... Mother... I am the elder. So the fruit should be given to me..."claimed little Ganesha, reaching out with his trunk."Lord, cut the fruit into two halves and let them share it" said Umadevi feeling sorry for them.

The Lord laughed."No, Devi. This is a rare fruit with special powers. It should not be shared. It ought to be given to only one person. I want to find out which of our sons deserves this fruit. I am going to give them a test" said the Lord.

The solution is.....

Then he addressed his sons.

"Sons, the one who goes round all the three worlds, heaven, nether world and earth, and comes back first will get the fruit", he said.

Both his sons bowed before him and said "Let it be so, father".

The time is of the essence

The younger one little Muruga was very enterprising. Not wasting even a second, he got on his vehicle, the peacock. The beautiful peacock flew into the skies carrying him.

Lord Ganesha's vehicle, the mouse, swished its tail getting ready for the ride.

But, Lord Ganesha did not mount his vehicle. Instead he was lost deep in thought.

At the same time, Lord Muruga's vehicle, the peacock was carrying him round the three worlds.

The devas, humans, and giants living in the three worlds worshiped him and showered him with flowers.

Meanwhile, Lord Ganesha who was thinking had an idea.

"Lord Shiva is the ruler of the Universe. His consort Umadevi represents his power. All lives and all worlds originated from them both.

So, if I came round them, I would not only have gone round the three  worlds, but also all the entire universe" he thought.

Thinking along these lines and coming to a decision, he went around his mother Umadevi and Father Lord Shiva  and bowed before them.

Lord Shiva, pleased with his son's intelligence, respect and affectiontowards his parents, gave the precious mango to little Lord Ganesha and blessed him.

and the winner is...

Little Ganesha bowed before his parents again and accepted the fruit happily.

Dear children, our parents are the first Gods to us and they are our whole  world. We too should learn to show respect and affection towards our parents like little Lord Ganesha. Always remember that with their blessing there is nothing we cannot achieve in this world.

By the way, you may wonder what could have happened when Lord Muruga returned. He would have been annoyed or even very crossed., Right?

Well, that is another big story and we will catch it up later.


Abiramipattar

The Story of Abiramipattar and Devi Abirahmi

This is a story on Goddesses Bharvathi (khown as Abirahmi) consort of Lord Shiva and her devotee, Pattar

Devi Abirami and her great devotee Abiramipattar

The holy town of Thirukkadavur is on the banks of the Cauvery in Tanjore district, Tamil Nadu, South India.

A magnificent temple stands majestically in this holy town. The presiding deity of this temple is Annai Abirami, or Aadhi Prasakthi. She showers her blessings on all those devotees who seek her out here.

The Lord who keeps company with her at this shrine is Lord Shiva who goes by the name “Amirthakadeswarar”.

About two hundred years ago, a devotee by name Abiramipatter lived here at Thirukkadavur. His devotion and love for Annai Abirami knew no bounds.

Abiramipatter’s parents had named him Subramaniam. But as he was devoted to Annai Abirami right from his early childhood days, the townsfolk referred to him only as Abirami-Patter.

He undertook the task of calculating and announcing the auspicious days and auspicious times at the temple of Annai Abirami. He often used to sing and dance in praise of Annai Abirami out of his devotion for her.

The town’s folks who were not aware of the truth used to envy him and criticize him saying that he consumed liquor and that he was dancing and singing under its impact. They spoke ill of him.

The King's visit

One day, King Saraboji, the ruler of Tanjore district came to offer his prayers at Thirukkadavur.

The townspeople stood in long rows and welcomed King Saraboji and his queen who were brought in a procession atop the royal elephant.

When the king and queen reached the temple doorway, they were welcomed with the “Poornakhumba” by the Brahmin priests. They entered the temple delighted and offered their prayers to Annai Abirami who entranced by her beautiful appearance.


Pattar and the King

At the same time, another spectacle there in the temple surprised King Saraboji. He saw Abirami pattar sitting in the sanctum, both his hands up folded in prayer and in a deep trance unaware of himself and the surroundings.

When people saw the king coming in a distance, they got up hurriedly and respectfully and offered their greetings. But Abirami Pattar alone seemed to be unaware of the king’s presence. “Who is he?” asked the king.

“Lord, he is Abirami Pattar. He is under the influence of liquor and therefore unaware of your presence and is sitting with scant respect for you”, said the towns-folks enviously. The king did not believe the towns-folks.

He went near Abirami Pattar and looked intently at the face of the innocent devotee. Abirami Pattar’s face was filled with joyful radiance as he was intensely meditating with only the goddess’s face permeating his whole mind.

Annoying the King and earnig the wrath

The King wanted to test Abirami Pattar, ‘What thithi is it today, Abirami patter? According to your Panchanga calculations, is it the new moon? Or is it the day of the full moon?” he asked.

The question echoed in the ears of Abiramipatter who was in deep meditation entranced by the visage of the goddess. He shook his head slightly. His mind and thought were permeated by the moon-like radiant face of the mother goddess.

So entranced was he by the visage of the goddess that he replied, “Lord, it is not the new moon day today. Today is the day of the full moon”, and returned back to his meditation. King Saraboji became very angry, because it was actually the day of the new moon. The moon cannot be seen that night.

“Hey! When the others said you were under the influence of liquor, I did not believe them. But I do now. How will the moon appear today on the day new moon?”asked the king angrily. “Abiramipatter, if the moon does not appear as you predicted, I will order your head to be beheaded tomorrow morning” thundered the king and returned back in wrath to his castle.

The King's wrath vs the grace of the Goddess

When Abiramipatter regained consciousness after a while and after the departure of the king, he realized what had happened and was worried. He was not afraid of losing his life, but he was afraid that his prediction made in the sanctum of the goddess under the influence of her beautiful face would turn out to be not true.

“Goddess Abirami, mother…you are my only salvation! You were the one who made me say it was the full moon . Therefore, it is up to you to prove I am right….”He said and sought refuge at the feet of the goddess. “if I don’t get your blessing, I will throw myself into the flames and die”, he swore in deep devotion.

He dug a deep pit in front of the temple and kindled a flaming fire in the pit. Above the pit he erected a swing like board hung suspended on hundred strings.

He got on the board and there meditating on the goddess Abirami. “Mother, delivering me or abandoning me up is now in your hands.

By your divine intervention make my words come true and save me. Or else, I’Il fall into this flaming pit and kill myself” ,prayed Abiramipatter.

The devotional song 'Anthathi' sung by Pattar

He began his prayer by first dedicating a “kaappu” song to lord Vinayaga. Then he went on to sing the Abirami Anthathi starting off with the verse that begins “Uthikkunra senkathi ucchith thilagam” which was the first of the hundred songs in praise of goddess Abirami.

Anthaathi is a kind of Tamil Verse form. It is very difficult to compose an Anthaathi.The last word of verse has also to be the opening word of the next verse.

When he completed singing each song, Abirami pattar cut off one of the strings that held the board on which he was sitting. His life for the goddess’s blessings moved the heart of the goddess, the mother of all living things. The Sun began setting and darkness began to envelop the World.

Apperanace of Devi Abirami

When he had sung seventy-eight songs and had cut off seventy-eight strings and was singing the seventy- ninth song which began “Vizhikke Arulundu…”in all earnestness, Aadhiparasakthi, the goddess of all Worlds, appeared in the skies as Annai Abirami.

The Moon on the no moon day

She smiled affectionately at Abiramipatter.

“My son…this drama was enacted by me so that the townsfolk and the people of the World would realize your greatness. As a result of your devotion, this World would see the full moon today”,she blessed.

Then she took off one of her ear rings she was wearing(it is known as ‘thaadangam’)and threw it into the skies.

The ear rings which spiraled swiftly into the skies emblazoned the World with the light of a thousand moons. Abiramipatter was enthralled by the bounty of the goddess, and delighted by her darshan he went on singing songs in praise of the goddess.

He thanked her through his songs, praised her and reached sublimity by doing so. He did not cut off the remaining strings and went on to finish the hundred songs of the Abirami Anthathi with the word “Uthikinrave” (arise)

The return of the King

At the same time, King saraboji who was on the balcony of the castle saw the full moon appear in the skies and was surprised. It was thousand times brighter than usual and that enlightened King Sarabogi..

Realizing tht Abiramipatter was a true devotee of Annai Abirami, he rushed to the temple with his wife. Abiramipatter had just finished singing hundred songs in praise of Annai Abirami including the last song that describes the importance of the composition and was sitting on the board in dazed devotion.

King Saraboji asked him to come down from the board and fell at his feet in worship. “Abirami patter …! I was not aware of the depth of your devotion and spoke ill of you. You must forgive me and the townsfolk”,he begged pattar.

Abiramipatter laughed like a child and raised the king, “O Lord! I am not angry with you. This is the drama of Annai Abirami who is our savior. Can we fathom her intentions?”he replied.

Then Abiramipatter who entered the temple to thank the goddess. The king, queen and the rest of the people who followed Abiramipatter into the temple offered their prayers to the goddess.

Historical note: King Sarabogi I, referred to in this story, is believed to have ruled Taanjore from 1712 AD to 1728 AD according to inscriptions. Ancient copper plates indicate that this incident could have occurred at about this time.

Let us now sing one of the higly popular song (69th song) of Pattar

thanam tharum, kalvi tharum, orunNaaLum thaLarvu aRiyaa
manam tharum, theyva vadivum tharum, nenchil vancham illaa
inam tharum, nallana ellaam tharum, anbar enbavarkkE--
kanam tharum pooNG kuzhalaaL, abiraami, kadaikkaNkaLE,


Meaning: The slanting sight from the beautiful eyes of the flower adorned haired mother Abirami will give her devotee; the great wealth, the education, the divinely beauty, a mind that never get depressed and also relatives and friends who never deceive and all these and many more.

Shall we also watch and enjoy this song beautifully sung by Nithysree Mahadevan

 

Also let us listen the same song sung by immensly talented singer of yesteryear, Late Dr Seerkaali Govindarajan: (note there are two Patter's songs and the later one is the 69th song)

Lord Shiva & the Poor Old Lady

Stories on Lord Shiva

Hello Children,
 
This is our first story on Lord Shiva from 'Thiruvzhiyadal Purana' (Divine Play) in which the Lord enacted a divine play to help his devotee Chemmana-Chelvi, the Granny .
 
I am sure that you will only be delighted with this story.
 
And remember many more stories like this will follow.
 
Shall we move on into the story....
 
Lord Shiva & the Poor Old Lady
 
 

The Lord, the King and the city of Madurai

 
Once long ago, a king called Arimarthana Pandiya ruled over the Pandiya Kingdom in South India. 
 
He was a wise and good king and an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He ruled his kingdom ably with the assistance and advice of his good prime minister, Thiruvathavooran.
 
Lord Shiva, with his consort Meenakshi was the presiding deity of the city of Madurai, the capital of the Pandiya Kingdom.
He was known as Lord Soma-sundareswara in Madurai and he wished to enact one of his divine plays in the Pandiya Kindom.
 

The Divine Play

As a result of his divine paly, the Vaigai river which adorned and cradled the cityof Madurai, transformed into a big flood.
 
The flash floods which came swirling and snarling at an unbelievable pace, overran the river banks and entered the city. As if to assist the flood, there was a continuous and heavy downpour.
 
The whole city was submerged in the raily darknesss.The houses andproperties of the people, trees and everything else were caught in the vice like grip of the flood and people lost their bearings. The domesticated animals like goats and cows were carried away by the flood.
Because of the onslaught of the flood the people suffered greatly, with no shelter and no roof over their heads.
 

The King and his subjects

Stricken with grief, where would the people go to complain their sorrows? Is not the king the guardian of the people? Hence, the people of Madurai ran to their king's palace.
 
Standing at the palace entrance, they wailed, "Oh KIng, we are in danger... Please do save us..."
King Arimarthana Pandiya heard the cries of his people and came running to the palace entrance.
 
"Oh, King,.. The Vaigai river is overflowing. It is washing away all our houses and belongings. The rain too has joined hands with the flood to make our lives more miserable. You alone can save us, Oh King", cried the people is unison.
 
"Do not worry. I will make necessary arrangements to reconstruct the banks of the river, wherever the flood has found its way through." the king reassured his people and asked them to return in peace.
 

The King's decision

Then he callled his ministers, lieutenants and other court officers together and held discussions with them."The banks of the Vaigai are very long.
 
Unless we heighten the banks immediately, There will be great damage. It is not possible to do this with the assistance of only a few pairs of hands.
 
All the people of the city should come forward to help complete the building of the banks." It was thus decided by the king at the end of the discussion.
 
The number of families living in the city of Madurai were taken into account and each family was allotted a division of the long river bank.
 
The king also had it that each family should raise the portion of the bank allotted to it by pilling and packing soil on the river bank.
 
The heralders went round the streets of the city announcing this information. Thus, each family was apportioned a part of the river bank.
 
And the king ordered that each family should raise its part of the bank before the end of the day, failing which they would be liable for punishment.
 
Accordingly, the people of Madurai gathered on the banks of the Vaigai. They brought with them spades, baskets, iron rods, ropes and such accessories. Those who were weak and infirm, had brought with them hired hands to help finish their portions of the bank.
They all started working at a fast pace. They dug up the earth from elevated  areas in the vicinity, filled their baskets with it and carried it to the river bank and deposited it there, to raise the banks. 

The poor old lady

While efforts were on vigorously to raise the banks of the river, one small part of the bank alone remained untouched. The task of raising it was allotted to an old woman who lived all alone with no one to care for her.
 
The old woman was known as Chemmanachelvi. She lived in a hut in the southeast part of Madurai. She had no kith and kin.
 

The Lord and the old lady

The infirm and humped old lady was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Not wishing to beg for alms and living off it, She earned her living making 'pittu' and selling it in the streets of Madurai.
('Pittu' is a delicacy made of steamed rice flour with jaggery and grated coconut added to it.)
 
She had a lot of devotion and love for Lord Shiva. She always offered the first helping of the pittu that she cooked every morning, to Lord Shiva and only then would she start selling it.
When she was alloted a division of the bank to be built, she was at a loss to know what to do. And therefore, weeping, she ran to the temple of Lord Shiva. Raising her hands up in entreaty, she prayed to the Lord.
"Lord,... Is this also one of your ways of testing me? I, an old woman, do not have any relative so to speak. I do not have the physical strength to build the bank myself.
 
Nor do I have the resources to hire someone to do it,..and if I do not raise my part of the bank in time, the flood might gush through it, bringing down the whole stretch of the bank,... and the king would punish me....
 
...O' Lord, I have always treated you as my son and offered 'Pittu'. You must save me from this diffcult situation, in this my hour of need."
 
She cried out her heart to Lord Shiva.
 
Lord Shiva, who had been accepting with pleasure the pittu that she offered lovingly every morning, smiled knowingly.
 
The time had come for him to participate in the divine play. He decided to do this by helping the old lady who had showered love on him treating him as her near and dear one.
 

The Lord as wage earner

The Lord who showers his immense benevolence on the people of the earth, expecting no wages in return, took the form of a wages earner to help the woman who had no one to assist her.
The Lord whose complexion is fair, whose face radiates such brightness and whose beauty is such that it attracts the attention of all, wrapped an old cloth around his waist. With a need basket balanced on his head, the approached the old lady smilingly. A spade was slung over his shoulder.
On nearing Chemmanachelvi, the old lady, he cried out loudly, "Does any one want a hired hand?.. Does any one want a hired hand?

The Granny and the Young Man

The old lady who was full of worry and downcast, brightened at the sound these words.
 
Humped down by age  and infirmity, she looked up at the serene face that beamed at her."young man,.... ?
 
Will you work for wages?....." she asked.
"That is what I do for a living," said the young man.
 
"Young man,... I have been entrusted a part of the Vaigai bank to be repaired. But, I do not have the strength to do it,... nor do I have the money. Will you repair my portion of the bank for my sake?..." she asked appealingly. 
 
The young man laughed, "Yes, grandma. I'II do it. But, what will you give me as wages? "he enquired her.
 
"Young man,... I do not have the money to give you wages, but I shall
 make steaming hot pittu to satisfy your hunger and that will be your wages?" she replied.
 
"All right, grandma... I shall accept your pittu as my wages. I am very hungry right now. If you give me some steaming hot pittu now, I shall eat it and set to repair your part of the bank," said the Lord.
 
Chemmanachelvi was delighted. She ran to fetch the necessary things. Sitting under a tree on the banks of the river, she lighted the fire and speedily baked delicious pittu and served the divine young man affectionatively.
 

Sitting in the shade of a Mahila tree, the young man ate the 'Pittu'. When he had his fill, he said, "Okay mother. My hunger is satisfied. Now, I shall repair your allotted part of the river bank within seconds and then come back to you to get more 'Pittu' as the rest of the wages".
 

The young man at work

Saying this, he walked speedily towards the bank of the river Vaigai. Work was in full swing on the banks of the Vaigai.
 
The young man went to the overseer who was supervising the bank construction work and registered his name saying that he had come to do the work on behalf of Chemmanachelvi.
 
The young man then tightened his waist cloth and started work. But,.... the manner in which he conducted his work was strange and playful. He would dig up the soil and fill his basket with it.
 
Then he would try lifting the basket. Then, saying that it was too heavy, he would drop the soil, fill the basket again with lesser soil and take it to the river bank where he would deposit it. Then he would go to sleep in the shade of the trees like one who had worked very hard. After dozing for some time, he would get up and eat some of the pittu he had brought with him. Then he would work for sometime. In this manner, he worked, dallying, taking his own time.

The Young Man and the King's men

In the evening, the overseer came round, supervising the construction work. he noticed that only Chemmanachelvi's portion had not been repaired. He realized that because of it, there was the great danger of the whole bank giving way under the impact of the flood and this made him furious.

"Where is the hired hand who is supposed to mend this part ?" he asked angrily.
 
The soldiers pointed out to him the celestial young man who was sleeping in the shade of a tree, a little distance away.

 
"Drag him here ", ordered the overseer and the soldiers woke the Lord up from his sleep and brought him to the overseer.

"Hey, you are the hired hand appointed to close Chemmanachelvi's portion. Am I right ? " the overseer asked.

The Lord nodded with a beatific smile on his face.


"Then why have you been wasting your time, loitering and sleeping instead of finishing the work given to you " he demanded.

The divine young man did not reply, but stood majestically and smiling serenely, as if to say it was all his own divine play.
 
Seeing his guileless, innocent, divinely beautiful face and his erect posture, the overseer was afraid to punish him and reported the matter to the king.

The furious king and the young man

When he heard the news, king Arimarthana Pandiya came rushing towards the spot. He too hesitated for a fraction of a second on seeing  the heavenly beauty of the young man.
 
 
But, then, realizing how the whole repair work had suffered because of his playfulness and reminded of the hardships encountered by his people, he became angry.

At the same time, learning about what had happened and worried about the outcome, Chemmanachelvi came rushing to the spot and stood transfixed.
 

 
"Hey, you hired worker, what do you think of yourself ? Because of your carelessness, the whole bank is now in the state of giving way. What do you have to say for yourself ? " asked the king.

But, the divine worker just looked up at the king with a smile, uttering not a single word.

"What?.. .. Won't you talk ? Have you forgotten that I am the King of this land ? " asked Arimarthana Pandiya angrily and instructed his servant to carry out the punishment.

The King's punishment

The servant who stood erect like a mountain beside the king bowed before the king, raised the whip in his hand and lashed the fair back of the divine young man.
 

At the same instant ...............

The lash fell ................

................  on the king,

................  on all the people who were assembled there,

................. on all the living beings of the world,

................. on the Devas of the heavens and

................. on the Asuras of the nether world.

Unable to bear the impact of the lash, everyone shrieked in pain.

At the same moment,..............
 
The rain which had been lashing the city for many days stopped and the flood subsided in an instant.
 

The Lord and his devotee

A heavenly chariot came down from the skies and landed near the old lady who had been watching everything that had happened there, with tears in her eyes. Overwhelmed with devotion, Chemmanachelvi boarded the chariot and it lifted into the skies and disappeared from sight.


Arimarthana Pandiya and the people who had been watching all these in a daze, realized that it had been the Lord himself who was amongst them. They realized their folly and weeped for forgiveness.

"Lord, please forgive us " they lamented.

At that instant, Lord Shiva appeared in the skies in the midst of radiant clouds with his consort Umadevi.
 
"Arimarthana Pandiya,.... I wished the whole world to know about Chemmanachelvi's devotion and hence this divine play of mine " said the Lord in a thundering voice and blessing them all, vanished.

The king and his people, overwhelmed on hearing the divine voice of God, praised his benevolence.
 
 " The Lord never lets down those who have faith in him and are willing to stand and wait. "
 
Lord Somasunderar with Meenadchi

Krishna and the Govarthan Hill

Stories on Mahavishnu

Dear Children,

This is our first story on Lord Mahavishnu, one of the Three Murties.

We hope this story will delight you.

shall we move into the story..

Krishna and the Govarthan Hill

The Bridavan

Long time ago, there was a beautiful little village  called  Brindavan in North India.  Herdsmen, whose only occupation was to  graze goats and cattle, lived in this pretty little village.


The chief of these herdsmen was Nandagopar. Krishna was the foster son of Nandagopar and his wife Yasodha.


He grew up in the company of his brother Balaraman. 


The ever mischievous child

Krishna was a mischievous little child. There was no end to his pranks and strange games.


To the north of Brindavan was a hill called Govardhan.  Krishna and the children of the herdsmen used to take their cattle to the hill and let them graze on the rich green grass.


The festival of Indra

Every year, in the months of November and December, the herdsmen used to hold a festival for Indra. Indra is the king of the Devas including the Varna Deva (Lord of water) and Vayu Deva (Lord of wind).

Therefore this festival was held to worship Indra so that he might bestow plentiful rain for them. That year too, preparations were in full swing to celebrate the festival. The chief of the herdsmen, Nandagopar was supervising the festival preparations.

Indra's Arrogance

Indra is the ruler of all the three worlds. This fact made him very proud and he became arrogant. As a result he ignored the worship of the Three Murthis - Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. Krishna who was aware of Indra’ arrogance wished to teach him a  lesson.

He went to his father who was looking after the festival preparations and said to him, “Father, let us not hold this festival for Indra”.


Nandagopar was surprised and asked, “why do you say that?”line “Father, the Three-murthies are greater than Indra. They are the ones who perform the three important acts of creation, protection and destruction and look after the existence of the worlds and the lives.

“There is no place where they are not present. They are omnipresent.  

They are here even in this Govardhan hill, looking after us benevolently.  Moreover, the Govardhan hill has an important place in the lives of us, the herdsmen.

 

It gives us pure water, gives rich green grass for our cattle to graze. So, we should hold the festival for this Govardhan hill and perform pooja in its name“  said Krishna.

The festival for Govarthan hill

Can there ever be a refusal to Krishna’ utterances? 

Nandagopar consented. He ordered that preparations should be made to hold pooja and festival for Govardhan hill the next day.

All the people got together. They cleaned up the Govardhan hill; planted plantain trees, put up streamers made of mango leaves and  created Rangolis of many colours and hues; they lit up ghee lamps. Govardhan hill looked heavenly.

The next day, the Govardhan festival began. Men, women and children of Brindavan put on new clothes, and gathered at the foot of the hill. Women cooked pongal (sweet rice) made of newly harvested rice. They prepared a feast of vegetables and fruits.

Men lined up their cattle, bathed and decorated them, applied  sandalwood paste on the foreheads of the cattle and performed pooja for them.

The priests erected yagna saalai (tent)at the foot of the hill and kindled a fire pouring ghee and putting scented items like akil and sandalwood in the fire. They chanted mantras and performed pooja.

The sweet rice and the delicacies that were prepared were heaped at the foot of the hill. This food heap looked like another little hill beside the Govardhan hill.

Nandagopar called his son Krishna and said to him, “on, Krishna... The food has been heaped here as you instructed. Will the God residing in Govardhana hill accept the food we have offered?


Krishna smiled his usual benign smile and replied, "He will certainly accept the offering”

Saying this, Krishna himself took the form of the God of the Govardhan hill.

The God of the Govardhan hill

He appeared as a beautiful and tremendously large figure on top of the hill. He consumed the food heap in a second. Then he blessed all the herds people assembled there and vanished.


The people who had witnessed the God of Govardhan himself appearing in person and accepting the offering, were  greatly delighted. Their joy knew no bounds.


They celebrated the event dancing and singing. Then they all feasted together and returned home happily.

The rage of Indra

While the people of Brindavan were brimming with happiness, in Indralok, Indra was fuming with anger. He was enraged that the herds people had ignored him and performed pooja for a hill. 

He wanted to revenge on the herds people and Krishna who was guiding them and giving them suggestions. He was blind with fury and forgot that Krishna was the avatar of Lord Vishnu himself. 

Indra ordered the Varna Deva to form rainy clouds over Brindavan and caused a heavy downpour of rain and thereby destroyed Brindavan.

Then he called Vayu Deva and ordered him to perpetrate severe tornadoes and to cause destruction to the dwellings of the people of Brindavan.

Great strom and heavy downpour

A great storm raged in Brindavan. The rain poured heavily. The hurricane was severe. The houses were submerged in the floods. Trees and huts came down in the ferocious wind that kept blowing endlessly.

The herdsmen, women and children ran helter-skelter with no place to give them shelter. Cows and domestic animals wailed pitifully. People wailed and lamented, “Is there no one to save us?”line They all approached Krishna seeking safety and shelter. Krishna consoled them smilingly.

“Oh, dear father, mother and my own herdspeople, none of you need to worry.This is a dangerous game that Indra is playing. But the Govardhan hill which accepted our offering will now save us. Come, bring your cows and your domestic  animals. We shall all go to the Govardhan hill,”he said.

The lifting of Govardhan hill

While Krishna led the way, Nandagopar, Yasodha and the rest of the herdspeople followed him. Cows, goats, hens, dogs, cats and other domestic animals followed them.

Krishna who led the crowd reached the Govardhan hill.

Not even hesitating a second he lifted the hill in his two hands. He lifted the big hill as easily as a child would lift its doll.

Krishna, who lifted the hill above his head, let it rest on the tip of the little finger.

Then he called out to his people affectionately. The people of Brindavan sat under the hill along with their domesticated animals. Govardhan hill turned out to be an umbrella of safety for the thousands of people under it.

Outside, the heavy rain continued to lush. The wind roared at its utmost. But the people of Brindavan were all safely and happily retrenched in the custody of Krishna, under the Govardhan hill.

The rain continued pouring like this for seven days.  But the people of Brindavan were not worried.

Indira, the humble

Indra who realised he had been defeated, was ashamed. He felt retribution for having forgotten the truth that Krishna is the avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu who is the protector of all worlds.

He stopped the rain and wind and called back the clouds.  The rain stopped. The herdspeople returned home, overjoyed, with their cows and other domestic animals.

Indra came running and fell at the feet of Krishna and asked to be forgiven.

“Indra, I am happy you have at last realised the truth.  You had to suffer because you forgot the three Murthies, and became arrogant. At least from now on, shed your arrogance, and discharge your duties in a straightforward manner. Never forget God. Then you will never have any worries” Krishna thus advised Indra.

The herdseople happily welcomed Krishna who came back to Brindavan. They sang songs narrating the greatness of Lord Krishna, danced, sang and lived happily.

Prahaladhan - the Pious Child

Prahalad - the Pious Child

Demon Iraniyan

Ages ago there lived a sage called Kasshibar in the land of Bharath. He had two wives, Thithi and Athithi. Thithi had two sons and they were Iraniyan and Iranyaatchan.

Both her sons were cruel by nature. They grew up with committing crimes being their only past time.


Iranyaatchan grew up to be a very cruel Rakshasa (demon). Even as he was young he conquered all three worlds and made the Devas and humans his slaves.

To save the Devas and humans who were leading miserable lives under the tyranny of Iranyaatchan, Mahavishnu took the avatar of Sri Varaha.


With a face like that of a white wild boar and a stature that reached the skies, Mahavishnu, in this avatar of Sri Varaha killed Iranyaatchan with his sharp teeth.

The Devas and humans worshipped Mahavishnu who redeemed the world with his sharp teeth. Then, he replaced the earth on its axis which had lost balance because of the cruelties of the Rakshasa.

Iraniyan's vow

When Iraniyan heard that his brother Iranyaatchan had been killed, his anger knew no bounds.


He wanted to kill Mahavishnu and avenge his brother's death.“I will avenge the death of my loving brother. I will kill that Narayan (another holy name of Lord Maha Vishnu) and all his devotees. I will see to it that there is no one to worship Mahavishnu in all the three worlds” swore Iraniyan.

Therefore, Iraniyan wanted to perform penance to get rare powers to enable him to carry out his revenge. He went to the Mantra mountain to perform his penance.

There, in the midst of a jungle that teemed with wild animals, he stood unmoving on his toe and performed a severe penance invoking Lord Brahma.


He performed the penance for several years continuously, without food and sleep, as a result of which his body became skeleton-like. An anthill formed around his body.

The Boons of Lord Birahma

Lord Brahma, pleased by Iraniyan's penance, appeared before him. He sprinkled holy water from his kamandal (an oblong water pot used by sages during pujas. see picture) on the anthill.

The anthill disappeared. Iraniyan appeared from out of the anthill all rejuvenated in his former glory and bowed before Lord Brahma.

“Oh my devotee! I am pleased with your penance. What boon do you want?”asked Lord Brahma.

Iraniyan began listing what he had already decided to ask.


“Dear Lord Brahma! I must be the sole king of all the three worlds. I should not meet my death at the hands of anyone created by you. My death should not occur within the house, nor outside, neither at night nor in the daytime....

...I should not die on earth nor in the skies. My death should not be at the hands of the Devas, plants, or animals. No weapon should cause my death. Give me this boon”, asked Iraniyan.

Lord Brahma smiled. He granted Iraniyan his boon and vanished.

Iraniya, the arrogant

Iraniyan returned to his land armoured with all the boons he wanted. He enlisted a large army and conquered the heavens, the earth and the nether world.

He conquered the land of Indra and made Indra, the king of the Devas, his slave.

Varuna, Agni, Vayu, Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Yama and all the Devas were overpowered by Iraniyan and were made his slaves.

Iraniyan declared that he was the God of all worlds and ordained that everyone should worship only him.

He ordered that no one should worship Mahavishnu, that is, Sri Narayan. If anyone were to break the rule and mention Mahavishnu's name or meditate his name they were to be put to death. Thus Iraniyan derived pleasure by harassing thousands of Vishnu devotees.

The people lived in constant fear and worry yearning for the end of the rule of Iranya.

The Visit of Sage Narada

One day, sage Naradha came to Iranyan's palace to meet him. Sage Naradha who was a seer went to see Iranyan's wife, Kayaadhu Devi, too.


Kayaadhu Devi welcomed him with joy and piety. She offered him delicious fruits and was a wonderful hostess. 

Sage Naradha was amazed that such a cruel king as Iranyan was blessed with an affectionate and pious woman as wife. He told her about the greatness of God Maha Vishnu and his holy avatars to save the worlds.

He narrated several stories about the divine play of Lord Vishnu. Kayaadhu Devi fell asleep while listening to the stories. Sage Naradha did not realize that she had fallen asleep and went on narrating his stories. Sage Naradha did not realize that she had fallen asleep and went on narrating his stories.

While he was narrating the stories a small voice kept acknowledging, uttering, “mm…mm…”.

It was only when he finished narrating one of the stories that Naradha realized that Kayaadhu Devi had fallen asleep. Then who else was listening to him and responding, wondered Naradha.

To find this out, he began narrating a fresh story. When he heard the “mm” sound this time Naradha found out the source of the voice.

It was no other than the baby in Kayaadhu Devi's womb that was listening to his stories with such rapt attention.

Naradha was happy to note this. He blessed the child and told some more stories about the greatness of Lord Vishnu and then left the place.

 

Birth of the baby boy, Prahalad

The divine child was born on an auspicious day. People on earth and the heavens were happy that someone had at last appeared to deliver them from misery.


The baby that radiated like the full moon was christened “Prahalad” by Iraniyan.

Prahalad's Learning at Gurukul

Prahalad grew up to be a beautiful boy with each passing day. When he reached the schooling age, Iraniyan wanted to send him to Gurukul.

This is a form of education in which the pupil stays with the master in his house, attends to his needs and also learns from him many arts, science and religion at the same time.

Sukracharya, the guru of the rakshasas, had two sons, Sandan and Amarkkan. Prahalad was sent to the Gurukul of these two teachers to gain education. The two teachers began to teach Prahalad. The first lesson was in praise of God.

At that point of time, Iraniyan was declared to be the god of all three worlds. So, the teachers taught Prahalad to worship Iraniyan as god and pray saying “Om Iranyaya Namaha”.

The Narayana Mantra

The child Prahalad folded his hands in prayer, closed his eyes, and his pretty lips pronounced “Om Namo Narayanaya”. Hearing that forbidden prayer from the lips of the crown prince, both the teachers were aghast.


They were afraid that if Iraniyan came to know of this he would send them both to their death.

They told Prahalad, “Oh, dear child Prahalad, don't utter these words. Your father Iraniyan is the king of all worlds. He is also the god of all worlds.”  


Prahalad laughed.

“Oh, my teachers. You both are wrong. It is true that my father is the king of all three worlds. It is also true that he is very powerful. But he cannot look after all the life forms living in all the worlds. 

Only Lord Mahavishnu has the capacity to do that. Therefore, you should worship only him saying “Om Namo Narayanaya”, he advised his teachers.

Father and the Son

After a few months, one day his teachers took him to his father Iraniyan.

Iraniyan who was seeing his son after many days embraced him affectionately and had him sit on his lap.

“Oh! My son Prahalad! Are you learning well? Are the teachers training you properly?,”he asked.“

Yes, my father!” replied Prahalad.

Iraniyan was overjoyed. 

“Ok! Let us see! Tell me some of the important lessons that they have taught you” he asked.


Prahalad closed his eyes, folded his hands and devoutly uttered, “Om Namo Narayanaya”.

The Rage of Iraniya

Iraniyan was shaken as if he had stepped on a snake. His eyes reddened in anger. He pushed his son away and came stomping to confront the teachers.

“Foolish idiots! You have taught my son to utter the name of my sworn enemy. How dare you?” he thundered.

oth the teachers trembled. “Oh, King! We taught your son to utter only 'Om Iranyaya Nama'. But he keeps uttering only the name of Mahavishnu all the time.

And not only does he alone do that, but he has also taught the rest of the pupils to say that,” they pleaded.

Iranyan came back to his son.

Advising the Father

“Oh my son, Prahalad, Is it right to ignore all the good things that your teachers have taught you and utter the name of my sworn enemy alone?”he asked.

“My dear father, you are my father. I have that sincere love for you. But Lord Mahavishnu is the father of all living things. He is the saviour of all the worlds. What is wrong in worshipping him?” he asked fearlessly.

Iranyan's anger increased when he heard the name of “Mahavishnu”. How could his son utter the name of one whom he was waiting to avenge?

“My son, don't say that again. Narayan is our sworn enemy. He killed your uncle. My life's ambition is to avenge his death” hissed Iraniyan.

Prahalad laughed, “But, my dear father, can you conquer Lord Vishnu who permeates all worlds? Take refuge at his feet and worship him. You will be delivered,” advised the son.

Cruel Punishments to ths little boy

“How do you dare to advise me?” screamed Iraniyan with rage and flung his son to a corner.


 

He called his rakshasa soldiers and said to them, “Oh! Warriors…this is not my son. He is a misfit to my lineage. If we leave him alive, he will destroy our rakshasa generation. Bind him up and drag him away. Torture him and kill him,” he ordered them.

The soldiers bound Prahalad in chains and dragged him away and tortured him with swords, spears and other such deadly weapons.


The boy Prahalad kept uttering Lord Mahavishnu's name and when the soldiers' weapons touched him, the weapons broke and were shattered.

The soldiers stood amazed.

They were furious at the small boy's power and tried to make poisonous snakes bite him. The snakes that had been hungry for several days fell on Prahalad and bit him.


But how amazing! The snakes' teeth broke and shattered. Lord Mahavishnu saw to it that their poison did not harm Prahalad in any way.

The soldiers who tried their best to have Prahalad killed somehow, got frenzied elephants to attack Prahalad. They thought that Prahalad will be trampled to death under the legs of the frenzied elephants.


But the elephants that surrounded and cornered Prahalad furiously and trumpeted loudly, suddenly bowed before him in obeisance.

Then they turned around and attacked the soldiers who had goaded them. They snatched the soldiers by their trunks and thrashed them to death. The rest of the soldiers ran for their lives.

Prahalad returned to the palace singing “Om, Namo Narayanaya.”

Iraniyan was furious when he heard that the efforts of the soldiers had been futile and that Prahalad had escaped the attempts on his life. So he decided to confront Mahavishnu on his own grounds.

He called for a very powerful asura (another name for rakshasa, the demon) called Sambasura and commanded him to kill Prahalad.

Sambasura transformed himself into a large giant and tried to kill Prahalad.


But he could not even get close to Prahalad who sat chanting in praise of Vishnu devoutly. Mahavishnu's power surrounded Prahalad and saved him from any harm. Sambasura retreated in shame.

Iraniyan who saw this was even more furious. He called upon some of his strongest soldiers and told them to tie up Prahalad with deadly snakes and to drop him in the middle of the ocean.

The soldiers did just that. They brought the deadliest snakes from the depths of the Pathala lokha, the underworld and tied up Prahaldad with those snakes. 

Then they put him on a ship, sailed to the deepest part of the ocean and threw Prahalad into the water.

The water rose up sharply where Prahalad was thrown in. The king of the oceans appeared from amidst the sea. Prahalad was saved and the deadly snakes had all been returned to the depths by the power of Mahavishnu.


The king of the oceans carried Prahalad to the shores of the ocean, blessed him and departed. Prahalad who was left on the shores thanked Mahavishnu for saving him.

The most bounteous Lord Mahavishnu appeared before Prahalad and gave him his blessings and many boons. Prahalad walked back to the palace, singing sweet songs in praise of Lord Mahavishnu. 

Iraniyan was amazed to see his son Prahalad who returned happily to the palace.

Though Iraniyan was happy to see his son return safely, he was furious that his son kept uttering the name of his sworn enemy.

The return of the son

He called his son and spoke to him, “My son, Prahalad…all three worlds tremble in fear of my strength.


The Devas, Asuras and human beings worship me calling me their god. You alone defy me and keep uttering my enemy's name. Who gave you this audacity? Tell me,” he demanded.

The omnipresent Sri Maha Vishnu

Prahalad smiled at his father fondly.

“My father, one who has surrendered himself to Lord Mahavishnu, who looks after the welfare of all the worlds, will never be afraid of anyone. Any harm that befalls him would be taken care of by Mahavishnu,” he answered.

“Oh! Is that so? Then where is that Vishnu who is looking after your welfare? Where is he hiding now?” snarled Iranyan.

“My father, he permeates everything. There isn't any place that does not have his presence. He is in every pillar and every dust,” said Prahalad.

Iraniyan laughed victoriously. He had formed a master plan in his mind.

‘That Mahavishnu had saved Prahalad's life many times from danger. It is true. So if Prahalad invokes him now, Maha Vishnu will appear here now. And I can kill him immediately,' thought Iraniyan.

He wielded his katha (mace, a deadly weapon), made of iron, in preparation.

“Prahalad, you said your Vishnu would be in every pillar…Is he in this pillar too?”, he asked pointing at a huge pillar.

Prahalad replied unperturbed. “Yes, my dear father, there is no place without Mahavishnu's presence. He permeates everything here”. “Is that so?” laughed Iraniyan boisterously. “In that case, I am going to break this pillar into pieces with my katha.

If that Mahavishnu is really powerful let him appear before me,” he said and wielded his katha. He struck the pillar a heavy blow.

Then…

The pillar broke into two with a huge sound.

Sri Narayana Moorthy


Lord Mahavishnu appeared like lightning from the pillar with the face of a lion and the body of a human, known as the Narasimha avatar.

His appearance was accompanied by an explosive sound that shook the whole world. Just as Iraniyan had asked in his boon, the lord had appeared in the strange but beautiful and dangerous form that was neither man nor animal.

At that time it was neither day nor night but twilight.Iraniyan stood awestruck when he saw Narasimha moorthy. 

All his cruel deeds were coming to an end. 

Narasimha moorthy caught him like an insect, and dragged him along the floor to the steps of the palace where he sat down. He straddled Iraniyan across his laps, clawed at his stomach with his sharp nails, pulled out his intestine and strung it around his neck like a garland.

The cruel giant met his end.

The rest of the Rakshas ran into hiding.The Devas showered flowers and praised the powerful Lord Maha Vishnu.

Prahalada sang songs in praise of Mahavishnu who had taken the avatar of Narasimha in order to save him and the three worlds.


Sri Narasimha moorthy appeared before Prahalad bathed in illuminating light. He was accompanied by his consort Sri Lakshmi. He crowned Prahalad  king of the rakshasas, bestowed boons on him and left.


With the blessings of Lord Maha Vishnu, Prahalad ruled his country justly for a long time.

Ohm Namo Narayanaya Ohm Namo Narayanaya

Ohm Namo Narayanaya Ohm Namo Narayanaya

 Shall we listen to a beautiful song...

Divine Child - Sampandar

Story of one of the 63 Nayanars: Thirugnana Sampantha Moorthy Nayanar

Divine Child

 

Sirkazhi is a small village in south India. It is a pretty little village with paddy fields and flower gardens everywhere. The village has a very famous temple in which Lord Shiva is the presiding deity. He has been also known as Thoniappar.

An anthanar by name Sivapaada Irudayar lived in Sirkazhi. He was a learned and good hearted man. His wife was Bhagavathy. Both of them had constant affection and devotion for Lord Shiva.

At the time of this story, Jainism had spread in South India. Jain priests and the people of that faith used to cause hardships to people of the Saiva sect. People lived in ignorance unaware of the greatness of the Saiva sect. Sivapadar was very much hurt by the attitude of the Jain sect and the hardships suffered by the Saivas.


He stood before the sanctuary of Lord Shiva and prayed with joined hands, "Lord, open your eyes and see the sufferings of the people of Sirkazhi. Bless us with a child who will spread Saivism again in this country" he pleaded.

With Lord Shiva's blessings and grace, Bhagavathy conceived. She gave birth to a beautiful son.


 

The child who shone bright and beautiful like the rising sun was named Aaludaippillaiyar and he was brought up with much care and affection.

One day, when Aaludaippillaiyar was three years old, Sivapaadar started for the Shiva temple to perform Shiva puja as usual. His son Aaludaipillai too ran after his father.


Sivapaada Irudayar got angry when he saw his son following him."Do not follow me... Go back home to your mother", he chided his son. But the child refused to listen to his father. He stamped his little feet on the ground stubbornly. The anklets on his feet also sounded musically in rhythm to his stubbornness. The father burst out laughing at the sight and he took his son with him.

One has to take a bath to purify one's body before entering the temple. There was a beautiful pond beside the Shiva temple.

Sivapaada Irudayar reached the pond with his son.He made his son stay on the bank of the pond. He was worried that his son might fall into the pond accidentally while he was taking bath. So, he prayed to God, "Lord, I leave the child in your care. Look after him", he prayed and stepped into the pond and began to bathe.

While bathing, he uttered the mantras of Lord Shiva and dipped into the water. The child was watching his father all the time. He became alarmed when his father disappeared into the water.

He was afraid his father might have drowned in the pond. He looked around. There was no one around to help.

He looked up with his beautiful eyes.

He saw the sight of Lord Shiva with his consort Umadevi on the temple tower. The figures seemed life-like.

Tears trickled from the child's eyes, "Mother... father..", he began to cry.

Sivapaada Irudayar who was bathing in the pond could not hear his son's cries. But, the wailing voice of the child was heard by the Lord of all worlds, Shiva and the mother of all lives, Umadevi.

This was probably because the child had done a lot of good karma in his previous birth.

Lord Shiva's and Umadevi's hearts softened on hearing the pitiful cries of the child. The next instant, Lord Shiva and Umadevi appeared before the child. The child blinked at the wondrous sight that no one could hope to see.

Lord Shiva smiled at Umadevi and told her affectionately, "Devi, give this child your milk of enlightenment and knowledge".


As soon as he drank the milk of Umadevi, the supreme mother who fills all worlds with knowledge, he stopped crying. The divine child that had received the light of knowledge, smiled. Having received enlightenment in that instant, he became Thirugnana Sambandar.

It was a gift that the devas and sages could not get even after having done penance for a lifetime.


 

Lord Shiva and Umadevi blessed the child and vanished.

Soon after, Sivapaada Irudayar came out of the pond and reached the spot where he had left his child. He was amazed to see the radiance that shone from his son's face. Milk was trickling from the corners of his son's mouth. Sivapaada Irudayar became very angry.

"Who had given you milk to drink?", he demanded of the child.

The divine child did not reply but stood smiling. On seeing his smile, the father became even more angry.

He took hold of a stick that was Iying beside him. Wielding it over his son, he demanded, "Tell me who had given you milk, or else, I will spank you".


The child looked up smiling all the time. He looked up at the figures of Lord Shiva and Umadevi on the temple tower. He noticed the golden earrings on the figure of Lord Shiva.


Lifting his right hand, he pointed at the golden earrings and began to sing in a sweet voice,

"The Lord who wears golden earrings and is mounted on a bull,

He who wears the pure white crescent slice of the moon on his head,

He who applies the ashes of the dead all over his body,

He who resides in the famous Brahmapuram,

He is the one who blessed me with the gift of poetry

So that I might shower him with flowers of verse in his praise."

Sivapaada Irudayar was amazed to hear his three years old child sing the beautiful Devaram song. The stick on his hand slipped unnoticed from his grasp.He realised that it was one divine play of the Lord. He embraced the divine child of Shiva.

The Devas showered flowers on hearing the beautiful song sung by Thiru Gnana Sambandar.
Hearing the wondrous news, all the devotees gathered at the temple of Shiva.
Thiru Gnana Sambandar entered the temple walking with his beautiful little feet. He was followed by his father.

Singing Devaram songs in praise of Lord Shiva, Thiru Gnana Sambandar worshiped the main deity of the temple, Lord Shiva with love and affection. He prayed to the Lord and attained bliss.

From then on, Sivapaada Irudayar carried his son on his shoulders and visited all the holy temples of Lord Shiva. Thiru Gnana Sambandar sang many Devaram songs in praise of the presiding deity of each temple.

Saivism and Hinduism flourished again. Devotees of Shiva praised him and revered him.

Thiru Gnana Sambandar was one of the four Saivite saints who sang songs in praise of Lord Shiva.

 

The other three were Thiru Navukkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar.

Among these four, Thiru Navukkarasar lived during the same period as Thiru Gnana Sambandar. But, Thiru Navukkarasar was elder to Sambandar by many years.

Thiru Gnana Sambandar was also one of the sixty three Nayanmars who devoted their lives in serving Lord Shiva.

The devotional songs sung by these four Saivite Saints have been compiled into what is known as the 'Panniru Thirumuraigal', ie: the 'Twelve sacred Saiva books'.

Dear children, we shall read later, more stories about Thiru Gnana Sambandar who was also a sweet little child like you.

Moreover, the other Saivite saints and Nayanmars referred to above are eager to meet you all in other pages of this website.

Please Check this Page and Link: 'Nayanmars - The 63 Great Saiva Volunteers' under http://www.hindukidsworld.org/index.php/en/great-sages-saints-holy-persons



Lord Shiva and the hungry Piglets

Lord Shiva and the hungry Piglets

At the southern border of the holy city called Madurai in South India, there was a small village called Kuruvaruntha-thurai, near the banks of the river Vaigai.

At a small distance from that village, there was a dense forest. Lot of animals lived in that forest. Along with cruel, man eating wild animals such as fierce tigers, leopards, foxes and wolves lived many herds of pigs in that forest.

Family of Pigs

There was a pig king to those herds of pigs. It was bigger in shape and had a commanding look. The pig king lived at a cave in the middle of the forest with his wife and their twelve newborn piglets (baby pigs).


Those twelve piglets looked beautiful with plumb body and cute little eyes. The parent pigs were very fond of their babies.


They were living peacefully and happily in that forest.

But all were about to change and as a result lives of those piglets is going to be affected pathetically.

As we all know that the pigs are very peaceful animals and they never harm anyone. But, the cruel animals such as tigers, leopards, foxes and wolves always hunt them for their food. However they were busy killing the domestic animals such as cows and goats and at times humans too by ambushing them in the village Kuruvaruntha-thurai .

This in a way helped the pigs to live in peace without troubles but the villagers were badly affected and so they complained to the officials.

Hunting of the King

The Pandiya dynasty king called Rajarajan who was ruling that country from the city of Madurai got that news and in order to protect his people and their properties, he began a massive hunt for cruel animals living in the forest.

During those days, hunting and killing cruel animals in the forest was also a duty of the kings. According to that custom, King Rajarajan set out to hunt wild animals with his faithful warlords and some brave soldiers. There were skilful hunters to show him the way in the dense forest and some fierce hunting dogs were went them with too.

After hunting and killing many such dangerous wild animals, the king's team reached the dense forest. While the talented hunters showed them the ways to the hiding places of the wild animals, the king and his hunting team killed many wild animals which appeared before them with their swords, bows and arrows and other such weapons.

Further to that, some of the wild animals got caught in the nets and traps set by the hunters. Terrified wild animals ran here and there in the forest trying to escape from the deadly hunting force of the King.


One older pig saw all these and came running to its pig king.

He called louder, "Oh king, a great danger is nearing us. The Pandiya King and his big hunting team are nearing our place in this forest hunting and killing all animals which appeared in their eyes. They will reach our place within minutes. What can we do?"

The pig king replied boldly, "Do not be afraid we did not harm anyone to run like cowards and I will fight those hunters unto my last breath to protect you all". The pig king made preparations for a big fight. The wife pig saw the arrangements and was much worried.

The Pig King in battle

The pig king called his wife nearer and told, "Oh, Dear, do not worry. As the king of all these herds of peaceful pigs, it is my duty to fight with the cruel hunters and protect my subjects. I am not sure whether I will succeed or not in this fight to the death struggle. So, now, it is your duty to protect our babies and rear them even in my absence. You take them all to another place in the forest and take care of them".


But, the wife pig strongly opposed its husband's words. "No, my dear. I will never leave you. I shall come with you to fight with those cruel hunters. Your enemy is always my enemy and I will fight those enemies till my death if it is necessary" she told bravely.

The pig king who was worrying became much more worried about the fate of their newborn babies. "Oh my dear, look at the innocent and playful faces of our babies. If both of us get killed in the fight, who will look after our babies? Who will take care of them and feed them whenever they become hungry?

If both of us get killed, our children will have to live like orphans or they too will be mercilessly killed by those cruel hunters" the pig king expressed his deep worries to its wife, pleading it to stay back and take care of the babies.


"Oh dear, 'Lord is there to help the helpless'. Lord Shiva is looking after all the worlds and all living beings on these worlds. He will not abandon our innocent babies. Do not worry about our babies. Leave them at the hands of Lord Shiva. We will go and fight with those devilish hunters to protect our subjects" it advised the husband and lead it out to fight the enemies.

When they saw their parents leaving, the twelve little piglets began to follow them crying. The babies ran behind the parents. But, they could not catch their parents' speed. So, the tiny piglets sat together on a small mound and began to cry calling for their parents.

The mountain of the Pigs

The pig king and its wife pig gathered a big army of pigs to fight with the enemies and went in search for the king's hunting team. They did so, because they did not want the fight to take place near their dwelling places.

They met the king and his violent hunting team with valour and fought fiercely. That war was very severe and in the mean time it looked very pathetic as the pigs fought against the king and his team of talented soldiers who had many powerful weapons and very violent hunting dogs with their sharp teeth and nails.

They did not have any weapon. So, one by one, the pigs got killed by the king and his soldiers. The pig king got killed by the sharp arrow shot by the Pandiya king. When the wife pig saw the death of its husband, it sprang towards the king and tried to fight him. But, alas, the wife pig was killed by the leader of the hunting team at the instructions of the Pandiya king.



The king of the pig and its wife fell dead at the same moment.

The place where the pig king's body fell near a mountain and even today, it is called "the mountain of the Pigs" ("Panri Malai" in Tamil language)


When the pig king and its wife got killed by the Pandiya king and his soldiers, other soldier pigs fled away in all directions with fear for their lives.

The Piglets

Without knowing that their parents had been killed at a fierce war, the innocent tiny piglets called for their parents, crying loudly. They walked here and there at the mound and the surrounding area searching for their mother as they had become hungry.

When they saw some other pigs, they ran behind them thinking that they were their parents. When time passed they became weak with severe hunger and unable to walk and joining together at one place, they all jointly cried loudly calling their parents.

The pitiful cry of those tiny piglets was heard up to the sky.


 

The Kindness of the Lord

The cry was heard by the Lord and Devi Uma, the divine mother to all living beings on the world began to weep hearing those pathetic cries.

 

Without any hesitation, the merciful Lord Shiva came down immediately to the place where the piglets were lying.

The Lord who fed the piglets as a mother

In order to pacify their hunger, merciful Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of their mother pig. In the form of their mother, Lord Shiva called upon the babies for feeding. The twelve baby pigs which were suffering from severe hunger ran towards their god-mother with love and eagerness.

According to their usual habit, they made small pet sounds towards the mother and the holy mother pig gave them motherly milk. The milk there were fed was not ordinary milk. The Lord fed the hungry piglets with his boundless divine wisdom as milk and the hungry piglets drank that milk till their stomachs full.

Divine Wisdom

When the tiny piglets drank the milk of divine wisdom fed by Lord Shiva himself, they became very wise and got the divine wisdom to sort out good from bad, bodily and mental strength and enlightenment.

With the divine knowledge given to them by the Lord himself, they realized that the 'pig mother' who had fed them was none other than the merciful Lord Shiva himself and they worshiped him with love and devotion.


Lord Shiva blessed them and changed their forms to magnificent forms which had the heads of pigs and the bodies of men.

By doing this graceful act, Lord Shiva proved that he is the true divine mother and father (Ammaiappan' in Tamil) to all living beings on the world.

After the disappearance of Lord Shiva, the twelve wise piglets joined together to praise Lord Shiva and spread his glory all over the area. They looked like suns with wisdom and discipline and had a godly appearance.

At the same time, Mother Uma Devi asked her doubts to Lord Shiva, "My dear Lord, pigs are considered to be the ugliest and foolish among all animals living in the world. But, you have shown your grace to them and given your divine knowledge as milk to them. What is the reason behind this act, my Lord?".


Lord Shiva smiled with love and kindness. "Devi, all the Vedas, Puranas and all other divine literatures describe me as a merciful god who is kind towards man and animals alike. In my view, I never see any difference between the love of man, animals or birds; or beautiful or ugly.

When the innocent newborn babies cried in hunger, it has become my duty to protect them. So, I gave them pure divine wisdom and strength mixed with the motherly milk. Now, they have become bodily and mentally strong and wise with divinely knowledge.

From now on, they will become the knowledgeable ministers to the King of Madurai and guide the king and people with their wisdom and after living glorious lives; they will come to my Sivaloga and serve as my faithful servants." Lord Shiva explained.

Dream of the King

That same day, Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of Pandiya king and said, " Pandiya king, in the area called 'Mountain of the pig', there are twelve pig brothers who have the heads of pigs and bodies of men. They have drunk the divinely milk of wisdom and are blessed with godly knowledge.


 

They are suitable to work as ministers at your palace. Tomorrow morning, send your headmen and bring the twelve divine brothers to your palace and appoint them as your ministers. They will guide you and the people of your country well".

Next morning, the Pandiya king called his headmen and told them about the dream and asked them to go to the forest and bring the twelve divine pig brothers. The king's headmen went as instructed and found the twelve pig brothers living like suns of divine wisdom in that forest. They brought the brothers to the holy city of Madurai with much respect and celebrations.


Pandiya king welcomed them and heard their history and astonished to hear about the merciful act of Lord Shiva in protecting the twelve orphaned piglets and making them into twelve wise pig brothers.

He was very glad to find them very wise and intelligent in ministerial matters and appointed them as his ministers at his palace.



The twelve divine pig brothers behaved well with love, discipline and devotion on Lord Shiva. They performed their duties well by guiding the king and the people of Madurai in selecting good over bad and lived lives of pure love and devotion on Lord Shiva.

They served the king and the people honestly and at the end of their lives, reached Shivaloga (the adobe of Lord Shiva) and became the leaders to the Lord's devoted army.

Lord Muruga and the Granny, Avvaiyar

The Learned Granny, Avvaiyar

Tamil Language is an ancient language and also it is categorized as a classical Language. The language generated lots of wonderful scholars whose works had been translated into different other foreign languages. Thiru-Valluvar who lived 2000 years ago and produced 'Thiru-Kural' was one among such great scholars and another one is 'Granny Avaiyar' who was an exceptional poet and also a wonderful disciple of Lord Muruga, the second son of Lord Shiva.

This is a story is about Granny Avvaiyar and Lord Muruga.

The Granny Avvaiyar was a fantastic Tamil poet lived very long time ago in Tamil areas of Southern part of India. She did not have any kith and kin and so lived as an orphan. However she was a learned scholar and as a result she had access to Kings Palaces and also in their courts at any time. She did not have any type of long-lasting place to live for and so often travel around by strolling.

She wrote several poems for youngsters like you to abide by a strongly disciplined life.

Granny Avvai's poems such as 'Aaththisoodi', 'Konraiventhan', etc which have been served as pleasant simple poems that instruct youngsters a great deals about living in the right way.

Here are some of the short words poems of the Granny Avvaiyar:

'Mathiyathar Thalai-vasal Mithiyaathey' means 'Never step-on the doorsteps of those who do not respect you'

'Enn-Eluththu Ihalel' means 'Never, ever ignore the importance of learning'

'Eeatpathu Iehalvu' means 'Begging is a disgrace' (and so work hard to earn)

(You can see a list of 'Aaththisoodi' at the end of this story)

She has been applauded by everyone as an excellent female poet of all time that the Tamil language found.

Dear children, now, we welcome you all to read a pleasant little story about our poet granny Avvaiyar and our great playful God, Lord Murugan.

As like other tales in this site, we hope this also will definitely delight you.

Cozy or Chilly Fruits for the Granny Avvaiyar?

Granny Avvaiyar

We have indicated you earlier that Avvaiyar was a great poet. No one determined properly yet about the native place where she was born.

Yet, she belonged to the whole Tamil globe, and while she was alive, she used to wander all over Tamil areas, teaching young children on great principles via her sweet little poems. While roaming in villages, she ate whatever meals the people of that village offered her with love.

Wherever she travelled, kids used to gather around her shouting fondly," 'Grandma', 'Grandma', sing a sweet song for us!" and she obliged with new sweet songs for them.

Great devotee of Lord Muruga

Avvaiyar was a great devotee of Lord Murugan. She worshipped Lord Murugan as her dearest God. She did not have a family or kids for herself, but, considered all kids she meets up in the villages as her own grand children, loved them all and instructed them with her really good moral poems and songs. As such, Avvaiyar had treated Lord Murugan also as her God - child, and loved him with great devotion.

Granny's Pilgrimage to Pazhani

Once, she wanted to see the renowned Murugan temple called Pazhani which was located at the top of a a big hill. As she was poor and could not afford to any mode of transport such as horse or bullock cart, she was walking towards the temple, glorifying Lord Murugan.

On the way, she occurred to pass a thick forest where she found it really hard to walk on the rough way. As she had actually been walking from the morning, she was incredibly weary and famished.


She had no meals. So, she looked occasionally for any type of trees which bear edible fruits or roots.

The tree with fruits and a...

At a brief distance, she discovered a Jambu tree which bore a lot of of sweet Jambu fruits on its branches.

The fruits looked ripe and yummy as well as Avvaiyar wished to eat some fruits. Yet, as the tree was really high, the old granny might not climb up the tree to collect the fruits.

She was older and also fragile. She thought that it would be a lot more better if there was anyone who can be of assistance to pick up some fruits. And on nearing the tree, there she saw a little boy sitting on a branch of the Jambu tree itself.


The illitreate shepherd boy

Avvaiyar felt happy. She looked upon the face of the little boy. The boy looked gorgeous with an innocent but playful face. But he undoubtedly looked illiterate, village boy. Avvaiyar thought that he might be a shepherd boy and of course, she was right. There were some buffaloes grazing grass at a little distance away from the tree.

'This boy seems like an illiterate, village boy that tends to buffaloes for his living. It is actually a shame to beg of such an ignorant boy's help to fill my tummy and also quench my thirst,' the learned Granny thought with little ego.

But, the extreme hunger and tiredness joined together to urge her to request the boy's help to get at least some of those rich and tasty fruits.

So, Avvaiyar went near the tree and called the boy," Hey, young boy, I have actually been walking since the morning. I am exhausted and also starving. Will you be of some help to pluck some of those Jambu fruits from the tree to enable me to eat as well as relieve my thirst?"


The shepherd boy looked down at the old woman and laughed divinely.

Which fruit?

"Okay, grandmother, I will pluck some fruits for you. Yet, advise me one thing initially. Do you want cozy (warm) fruits or chilly (cold) fruits?" he asked funnily.

Avvaiyar stood perplexed. She had learned a great deal in Tamil literature and gained enough knowledge and also discussed a lot of it with much learned scholars. She had actually learned of lots of trees as well as many fruits and flowers. Yet, nowhere in the world had she became aware of a 'cozy fruit' or 'chilly fruit' fresh from a tree. But, as that illiterate shepherd boy spoke about a cozy fruit, she thought that there must be some fun behind that.

So, she made up her mind and asked, "Okay, little boy, give me some cozy fruits!".

the Granny and the Shepherd Boy

The boy laughed once again and shook a branch of the tree which was full of ripe fruits.

A great deal of ripe fruits and green fruits fell off to the ground below from that branch.

Granny Avvaiyar went near the tree eagerly and picked a couple of the fruits which looked appropriately ripe to consume.

The fruits looked ripe, yet there were some soil particles staying with the fruits.

In order to take out the soil bits, Avvaiyar sealed her lips and blew air heavily on the fruits similar to what we do to cool up a very warm cup of tea or coffee.

Seeing that, the shepherd boy giggled heartily and asked her, "Granny, are the fruits too cozy? ..mm. m,, mmm ..., blow well, blow well."


Avvaiyar, who had actually not expected such an inquiry from that shepherd boy stood in astonishment. She recognized then that the boy previously referred the ripe fruits as 'cozy fruits' and unripe green fruits as 'chilly fruits' to tease her.

She felt embarrassed to the fact that she was defeated by an illiterate shepherd boy. She wanted to beg for his forgiveness for thinking low of him as an illiterate boy, and so looked up the tree for him.

The boy was not to be seen there.

The Lord and the Granny

But, suddenly, at the middle of that thick hilly forest, Lord Murugan appeared before her and giggled divinely with love and admiration.


Lord Murugan was seated on his beautiful peacock and also looked divinely magnificent. He held his powerful weapon, the spear in his hand.

"My dear Grandma Avvai, I recognized that you were tired and famished and that there is nobody to assist you at this thick forest. That is why I came right here to help you. In the meantime, I wanted to tease you a little. You yourself have actually educated all that we ought not to evaluate people by their appearance.

You are a much learned and also talented Tamil poet. I bless you with a longer and also worthwhile life on this earth", Lord Murugan blessed her as he disappeared.

Feeling very pleased that her dearest God himself had actually come there to assist her and bless her, the Grandma Avvai sang several stunning songs glorifying Lord Murugan and worshipped the lord with love.

Pazhani Murugan


 

Granny Avvaiyar's Aaththisoodi

 
1. அறம் செய விரும்பு / 1. Learn to love virtue.

 

2. ஆறுவது சினம் / 2. Control anger.

 

3. இயல்வது கரவேல் / 3. Don't forget Charity.

 

4. ஈவது விலக்கேல் / 4. Don't prevent philanthropy.

 

5. உடையது விளம்பேல் / 5. Don't betray confidence.

 

6. ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல் / 6. Don't forsake motivation.

 

7. எண் எழுத்து இகழேல் / 7. Don't despise learning.

 

8. ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி / 8. Don't freeload.

 

9. ஐயம் இட்டு உண் / 9. Feed the hungry and then feast.

 

10. ஒப்புரவு ஒழுகு / 10. Emulate the great.

 

11. ஓதுவது ஒழியேல் / 11. Discern the good and learn.

 

12. ஒளவியம் பேசேல் / 12. Speak no envy.

 

13. அகம் சுருக்கேல் / 13. Don't shortchange.

 

14. கண்டொன்று சொல்லேல் / 14. Don't flip-flop.

 

15. ஙப் போல் வளை / 15. Bend to befriend.

 

16. சனி நீராடு / 16. Shower regularly.

 

17. ஞயம்பட உரை / 17. Sweeten your speech.

 

18. இடம்பட வீடு எடேல் / 18. Judiciously space your home.

 

19. இணக்கம் அறிந்து இணங்கு / 19. Befriend the best.

 

20. தந்தை தாய்ப் பேண் / 20. Protect your parents.

 

21. நன்றி மறவேல் / 21. Don't forget gratitude.

 

22. பருவத்தே பயிர் செய் / 22. Husbandry has its season.

 

23. மண் பறித்து உண்ணேல் / 23. Don't land-grab.

 

24. இயல்பு அலாதன செய்யேல் / 24. Desist demeaning deeds.

 

25. அரவம் ஆட்டேல் / 25. Don't play with snakes.

 

26. இலவம் பஞ்சில் துயில் / 26. Cotton bed better for comfort.

 

27. வஞ்சகம் பேசேல் / 27. Don't sugar-coat words.

 

28. அழகு அலாதன செய்யேல் / 28. Detest the disorderly.

 

29. இளமையில் கல் / 29. Learn when young.

 

30. அரனை மறவேல் / 30. Cherish charity.

 

31. அனந்தல் ஆடேல் / 31. Over sleeping is obnoxious.

 

32. கடிவது மற / 32. Constant anger is corrosive.

 

33. காப்பது விரதம் / 33. Saving lives superior to fasting.

 

34. கிழமைப்பட வாழ் / 34. Make wealth beneficial.

 

35. கீழ்மை அகற்று / 35. Distance from the wicked.

 

36. குணமது கைவிடேல் / 36. Keep all that are useful.

 

37. கூடிப் பிரியேல் / 37. Don't forsake friends.

 

38. கெடுப்பது ஒழி / 38. Abandon animosity.

 

39. கேள்வி முயல் / 39. Learn from the learned.

 

40. கைவினை கரவேல் / 40. Don't hide knowledge.

 

41. கொள்ளை விரும்பேல் / 41. Don't swindle.

 

42. கோதாட்டு ஒழி / 42. Ban all illegal games.

 

43. கெளவை அகற்று / 43. Don't vilify.

 

44. சக்கர நெறி நில் / 44. Honor your Lands Constitution.

 

45. சான்றோர் இனத்து இரு / 45. Associate with the noble.

 

46. சித்திரம் பேசேல் / 46. Stop being paradoxical.

 

47. சீர்மை மறவேல் / 47. Remember to be righteous.

 

48. சுளிக்கச் சொல்லேல் / 48. Don't hurt others feelings.

 

49. சூது விரும்பேல் / 49. Don't gamble.

 

50. செய்வன திருந்தச் செய் / 50. Action with perfection.

 

51. சேரிடம் அறிந்து சேர் / 51. Seek out good friends.

 

52. சையெனத் திரியேல் / 52. Avoid being insulted.

 

53. சொற் சோர்வு படேல் / 53. Don't show fatigue in conversation.

 

54. சோம்பித் திரியேல் / 54. Don't be a lazybones.

 

55. தக்கோன் எனத் திரி / 55. Be trustworthy.

 

56. தானமது விரும்பு / 56. Be kind to the unfortunate.

 

57. திருமாலுக்கு அடிமை செய் / 57. Serve the protector.

 

58. தீவினை அகற்று / 58. Don't sin.

 

59. துன்பத்திற்கு இடம் கொடேல் / 59. Don't attract suffering.

 

60. தூக்கி வினை செய் / 60. Deliberate every action.

 

61. தெய்வம் இகழேல் / 61. Don't defame the divine.

 

62. தேசத்தோடு ஒட்டி வாழ் / 62. Live in unison with your countrymen.

 

63. தையல் சொல் கேளேல் / 63. Don't listen to the designing.

 

64. தொன்மை மறவேல் / 64. Don't forget your past glory.

 

65. தோற்பன தொடரேல் / 65. Don't compete if sure of defeat.

 

66. நன்மை கடைப்பிடி / 66. Adhere to the beneficial.

 

67. நாடு ஒப்பன செய் / 67. Do nationally agreeables.

 

68. நிலையில் பிரியேல் / 68. Don't depart from good standing.

 

69. நீர் விளையாடேல் / 69. Don't jump into a watery grave.

 

70. நுண்மை நுகரேல் / 70. Don't over snack.

 

71. நூல் பல கல் / 71. Read variety of materials.

 

72. நெற்பயிர் விளைவு செய் / 72. Grow your own staple.

 

73. நேர்பட ஒழுகு / 73. Exhibit good manners always.

 

74. நைவினை நணுகேல் / 74. Don't involve in destruction.

 

75. நொய்ய உரையேல் / 75. Don't dabble in sleaze.

 

76. நோய்க்கு இடம் கொடேல் / 76. Avoid unhealthy lifestyle.

 

77. பழிப்பன பகரேல் / 77. Speak no vulgarity.

 

78. பாம்பொடு பழகேல் / 78. Keep away from the vicious.

 

79. பிழைபடச் சொல்லேல் / 79. Watch out for self incrimination.

 

80. பீடு பெற நில் / 80. Follow path of honor.

 

81. புகழ்ந்தாரைப் போற்றி வாழ் / 81. Protect your benefactor.

 

82. பூமி திருத்தி உண் / 82. Cultivate the land and feed.

 

83. பெரியாரைத் துணைக் கொள் / 83. Seek help from the old and wise.

 

84. பேதைமை அகற்று / 84. Eradicate ignorance.

 

85. பையலோடு இணங்கேல் / 85. Don't comply with idiots.

 

86. பொருள்தனைப் போற்றி வாழ் / 86. Protect and enhance your wealth.

 

87. போர்த் தொழில் புரியேல் / 87. Don't encourage war.

 

88. மனம் தடுமாறேல் / 88. Don't vacillate.

 

89. மாற்றானுக்கு இடம் கொடேல் / 89. Don't accommodate your enemy.

 

90. மிகைபடச் சொல்லேல் / 90. Don't over dramatize.

 

91. மீதூண் விரும்பேல் / 91. Don't be a glutton.

 

92. முனைமுகத்து நில்லேல் / 92. Don't join an unjust fight.

 

93. மூர்க்கரோடு இணங்கேல் / 93. Don't agree with the stubborn.

 

94. மெல்லி நல்லாள் தோள்சேர் / 94. Stick with your exemplary wife.

 

95. மேன்மக்கள் சொல் கேள் / 95. Listen to men of quality.

 

96. மை விழியார் மனை அகல் / 96. Dissociate from the jealous.

 

97. மொழிவது அற மொழி / 97. Speak with clarity.

 

98. மோகத்தை முனி / 98. Hate any desire for lust.

 

99. வல்லமை பேசேல் / 99. Don't self praise.

 

100. வாது முற்கூறேல் / 100. Don't gossip or spread rumor.

 

101. வித்தை விரும்பு / 101. Long to learn.

 

102. வீடு பெற நில் / 102. Work for a peaceful life.

 

103. உத்தமனாய் இரு / 103. Lead exemplary life.

 

104. ஊருடன் கூடி வாழ் / 104. Live amicably.

 

105. வெட்டெனப் பேசேல் / 105. Don't be harsh with words and deeds.

 

106. வேண்டி வினை செயேல் / 106. Don't premeditate harm.

 

107. வைகறைத் துயில் எழு / 107. Be an early-riser.

 

108. ஒன்னாரைத் தேறேல் / 108. Never join your enemy.

 

109. ஓரம் சொல்லேல் / 109. Be impartial in judgement.

 

Lord Shiva and the Hunter

Kannappar- The Hunter

This is a story on Lord Shiva and his devotee, Thinnanar who is one of the 63 'Nayanars'.

Many years ago, there was a mountainous region called ‘Poththappi’ in South India. There were lots of hillocks and tall forest trees in this mountainous region, which seemed to reach out to the skies. In  the middle of this region was a  village called ‘udupoor’ where hunters lived with their families. The chieftain of the hunting community was ‘Nagan’. His wife was ‘Thatthai’.

This couple was childless for many years. This grieved them a lot and they appealed to lord Muruga. The graceful God, Lord Muruga blessed them with a beautiful baby boy. Since the baby was fat and chubby at birth, they named it ‘Thinnan’(the strong and sturdy one) and brought it up with much love.

Thinnanar grew up learning well all the different forms of the  art of hunting. He was able to handle the bow and arrow, the sword, the spear and the knife with equal skill.


His father was getting old and was unable to go hunting as in his younger days.

So he wanted to make his son Thinnanar, who just turned sixteen, as the chief of the hunters. He called for the chief priest of hunters, ‘Devaratty’ and consulted with him. With the blessing and good wishes of Devaratty, Thinnanar was made as the chieftain.

Next morning, Thinnanar set out his first hunting expedition. He put on the garment made of tiger’s skin, and armes himself with the sword, spear, bow and arrow. The first hunt was known as the maiden hunt.

Setting out of the new chieftain,on the maiden hunt, was a cause for celebration among hunters. The hunters and their women folk were dressed gaily. Playing their native musical instruments, they danced, sang and feasting happily.


Then Thinnanar started out on his hunting expedition with his close friends. Nannan, Kaadan and other youths. The hunting dogs ran with them close on their heels.

The hunters entered the dense forest and hunted all kinds of animals - deers,rabbits and wild boars  were killed for their food. Wild animals like tigers,leopards, foxes and wolves that harm men were also killed by them.

When they were hunting thus, a big fat boar cut through the hunting nets, freed itself and escaped fast. Thinnanar and his two friends Nannan and Kaadan ran chasing after the wild boar.

The boar which ran like lightening reached a grove that was at the foot of a hill. It hid itself behind a tree. While both Nannan and Kaadan stood exhausted, Thinnanar alone reached it bravely and killed it with sword. His friends praised him for his brave act.

Then they addressed  Thinnanar and said, “Chief, we have come very far from our village. We all are very thirsty and hungry. We shall roast this boar, eat it, satiate our hunger, quench our thirst and then return home.”

“Oh yes, we’ll do that. But then, where shall we go for water?. Asked  Thinnanar.

“There is  a large hillock beyond the grove over there. At the foot of the hillock runs the ‘river ponmugali’ replied Kaadan.

“All right, we shall go there and you carry the boar there”, Thinnanar ordered and walked ahead. Nannan and walked towards the river bank carrying the boar. On reaching the bank of river Ponmugali, they lighted a fire and made preparation to roast the boar.

Thinnanar was attracted by the beauty of the river Ponmugali which bubbled past.  On the bank of the river, farther away was a pretty hillock covered with green trees. Thinnanar expressed his desire to go and the hillock.

“You have well said chief… That hill is known as ‘Thirikkaalaththy where lord Shiva, resides in the form of Shivalinga. Let’s us worship him who is known here as ‘Kudumithevar’” answered Naanan.

On hearing this, Thinnanar’s heart was filled with a sort of strange, unexplainable eagerness and rediance. He was impatient to go and see Kudumithevar immediately.

He Ordered Kaadan to roast and season the boar and addressed Nannan and said,”Nanna, take me to the place where Kudumithevar is”. With Nannan leading the way, Thinnanar followed, climbing the hill rapidly.


While Thinnanar climbed up and up over the hill, his heart was filled with love for the Lord. With all his links to the world being severed one by one, he seemed an embodiment of love. With Naanan preceding and his love on God, leading him, Thinnanar climbed the hill rapidly.

On reaching the hill summit, he saw Kudumithevar, that is, Lord Shiva in the form of Shivalinga.  The beautiful sight made him forget everything else. He forget himself, the friend stand in besides him and the world around him. He became unaware of everything around him.

Overjoyed on seeing the Lord, he embraced  the Shivalinga and danced and sang with happiness.


Suddenly a thought stopped him and made him to worry. The Lord resides alone here in this dense jungle, where wild animals like elephant , leopard, tiger, wolf and fox too live.

Many dangers await him in this wild forest. He worries further that the Lord does not seem to have eaten anything. May the Lord be hungry,...He wondered.

“Naana?.. Come, we shall bring some meat for Kudumithevar”, said Thinnanar and started down the hill. He came down to the foot the very reluctantly, unwilling to distance himself from the Lord.

Kaadan had chopped the boar into small pieces, seasoned them, cooked them and had them all ready to eat.

Not wasting even a minute, Thinnanar picked up the meat pieces with the sharp point of his arrow and cooked them over the fire again.


Then he bit on the pieces of meat, tasted them and selected the tastiest and tenderest of them. He then gathered them on a large teak leaf.

He plucked some wild flowers and inserted them in his hair. He waded into the river ponmugali and filled his mouth with clean water. With the bow in one hand and the meat wrapped up by leaf in the other hand, he climbed up the hill swiftly.


Both Naanan and Kaadan, who were watching these strange acts of their chief, became very worried. Thinking that their chief had gone insane, they left for their village to inform Thinnanar’s father.

Thinnanar who climbed the hill and reached Kudumithevar’s place, was worried that the Lord might be very hungry. He used his footwear clad feet to remove the flowers which were on the Shivalinga and spat the water that he had brought in his mouth on top of Shivalinga. He took out the flowers that he had inserted in his hair earlier and adorned the Shivalinga.

Then, placing the meat that he had brought in front of the Lord and said,” Load, I brought this meat as I thought you might be hungry. Please, do eat it”.


At that moment… A wondrous incident happened. All the meat on the leaf vanished in a fraction of a second. Lord Shiva was moved by the affectionate gesture of his devotee, who was a personification of a love.

Therefore, he accepted his devotee’s offering and consumed the meat with great  happiness. Thinnanar was overjoyed on seeing this.

At the same time, the sun set over the horizon and dusk set in. Thinnanar thought that the kudumithevar would be in danger from wild animals during the night.

He decided to do something about this. So, he armed himself with the bow and arrow in one hand and the sword in the other hand, and kept guard the whole night, walking side to side and front to behind of Kudumithevr.

When the sun rose the next morning, Thinnanar went down the hill for hunting in order to bring food for Kudumithevar.

After his departure, an anthanar (Brahmin Priest) by name Sivakosariyar came to the hill. He used to come there every morning and perform shivapooja to Kudumithevar according to agama rules.

When he apporoached the Shivalinga to perform pooja as usual, he saw leftovers of meat and bones scattered all over the place. The sight pained him. He thought that some senseless hunters must have done these wicked deeds in a holy place like this and praying the god to forgive them and then he cleaned the area and did the shivapooja as usual and then left for home.

 

Little later the Thinanar returned hurriedly. He removed the flowers and leaves placed by the anthanar, with his footwear. And as before, spat the water in his mouth over the linga, decorated him with flowers and fed him with the meat. Then he kept guard over the Lord all through the night. He did not sleep even a wink.

Five days  passed like this.

Sivakosariyar  was very much devoted to lord Shiva.That someone wicked should spoil his pooja and litter the sanctuary with meat and bones hurt him very much. He went to sleep very disturbed.

Lord shiva appeared in his dream and said, ''My devotee, you need not worry. The man who performs pooja for me with meat and the rest is not an ordinary hunter. He is very much devoted to me.

..His heart and soul are filled with love and devotion for me…

…The water he brings in his mouth and spits over me is more holy than the waters of the river Ganga. When his footwear clad feet touches me to clean me, I feel more joy than when my dear son Muruga kicked me with his tender legs. His loving words are more powerful than the veda mantras….”…

"Tomorrow morning, after finishing your pooja, hide yourself from his view. I will show you the strength and power of his love".

Sivakosariyar work up with amazement. He was eager to see the devotee of whom Lord Shiva spoke in his dream. Yet, he waited patiently for dawn, then got up and went to the hill.

He performed the Shivapooja as usual and hid himself as the Lord had told him to. Lord Shiva wanted the whole world to know  the unbound love that Thinnanar had for him.

On the sixth day, Thinnanar came up the hill rapidly, as usual,with meat, flowers and water. His only thought was that the Lord would have to be fed immediately.

When Thinnanar approached the Shivalinga, he stood still in shock. The sight he saw made him tremble with grief. Blood was flowing from the right eye of the Shivalinga.”


When he saw this, Thinnanar cried aloud with concern, his heart beating faster. He went running towards Kudumithevar and not knowing what to do, he fainted. Then, consoling himself, he got up and went near the Shivalinga.

He was furious that some wicked people or animal should have hurt and wounded Kudumithevar. Drawing his sword, he ran in all directions, looking for the culprits. But there was no one around.

He embraced the Shivalinga affectionately and began to weep, “Lord, who did this wicked deed to you? What shall I do now?” he cried. Then he ran nearby  and plucked medicinal leaves and applied  them to the bleeding eye, but bleeding did not stop.

Then he remembered a saying that was common among hunters,” skin can be replaced only by skin.” Wasting not even a second, he took out a sharp arrow. He plucked his right eye with the arrow and fixed it to the bleeding right eye of the Lord.

How amazing…The flow of blood stopped. Thinnanar was overjoyed.

He jumped about in happiness as the Lord’s affliction had been cured.

But, Thinnanar had another test waiting for him.

The Lord wanted to test him further. As a result, blood started flowing copiously from the left eye of the Shivalinga.

Thinnanar was shocked for a moment to see it. But, he did not worry and weep as before, because now he knew the cure for the malady.

He decided to pluck his eye and fix it on the Lord. But there was a small problem. He was left only with one eye and if he plucked it off, he would be sightless.

Then how would he fix the plucked eye in the right place of the Lord? Thinnanar thought for a second, and then he found a way.

He raised his left leg and placed his food close to the bleedingleft eye of the Lord, for identification. Then, taking his sharp arrow out, he began to dig and pluck his left eye.

The anthanar Sivakosariyar’s heart began to tremble on seeing this blood curding scene. His hair stood on end. Uttering the Lord’s name, “Siva-sivaa….Siva-sivaa..  “He joined his hands in prayer.

Lord Shiva who is an embodiment of kindness was moved by Thinnanar’s act of pure love. The next instant… He  extended his hand from within the Shivalinga. Lord Shiva’s hand held on to  Thinnanar’s poised hand.  “Stop, kannappa…stop… My  ardent devotee… stop, kannappa..” said  Lord Shiva in his thunderous voice.

Shivakosariyar’s body shivered  on seeing this rare and wonderous sight. Coming out and uttering the lord’s name “Ohm Nama Shivaya.. Ohm Nama shivaya”, he lifted his hands above his head and worshiped the Lord and his great devotee.


Devas showered flowers from the skies. The Shivaganas chanted, “Harahara…Sivasiva..Harahara Sivasiva”, in accompaniment. “Kannappa, I am moved by your devotion. Henceforth, you will remain on my right side as my personal guard forever”. said the Lord.

Shiva affectionately unified Thinnanar, with himself. From then on Thinnanar came to be known as “Kannappa Nayanar”.

Kannappa Nayanar had expressed his love for the Lord through very difficult feats. Feats not easily possible for any of the Lord Shiva’s devotees. And he had achived this in mere six days and had attained the lotus feet of Lord Shiva.

Many poets have sung in praise of his rare feats. Ways and means that considered unholy, dirty and ugly by our Hinduism, were handled with love by Kannappa Nayanar and therefore he was able to receive God’s blessing.

Though he was a hunter by birth and illiterate, his heart and soul were filled with pure love for Lord Shiva. This was the reason why he was graced with  God’s love so soon.

Note: The Place where Kannappa Nayanar worshiped Lord Shiva is presently known as “Sri Kalahasti”, a popular pilgrimage center. This place where thousands flock to worship the Lord Shiva, is close to Tirupathy, a famous pilgrimage center of Lord Vishnu.

Sri Kalahasti, also known as, ''Dakshina Kaashi'' as of today's fully commersalised enviornment. However please note the hill and the river