Viranminda and Tirunilakanta Nayanar

Story of Viranminda Nayanar

Viralminda Nayanar from Sengunru loved Shiva devotees more than the lord himself.

Even the lord loved him extensively.

Because- A parent likes it when the child gives greater importance to its siblings.

Hence, Viralminda nayanar’s place nobody could take.

His mood towards shiva devotees sets him distinct from the rest.

For him, shaivites are the supreme authority and the preliminary step.

Without the grace of shiva bhaktas, liberation is a far-fetched dream.

It is like an embassy.

Without getting the sanction of the local embassy, you cannot migrate to a foreign land.

Hence, without Bhakta kripa propitiating the lord is futile.

Pleasing Shiva devotees is a must.

Viralminda’s mood

The Nayanar would use hard-hitting aphorisms while conveying his inner feelings.

Indeed, this very mood makes him the lord’s favorite.

Today let us have a look at the life of viralminda nayanar and his love for shiva bhaktas.

Sundarar meets Viralminda Nayanar

The pastime begins with the wonderful meeting of two Nayanars.

On his pilgrimage to Tiruvarur, Viralminda met Sundarmurthy Nayanar.

There, he saw Sundarar directly approach the lord without acknowledging the gathered devotees.

Viralminda grew furious to see him insult the Shiva bhaktas.

So he made an open declaration- “Sundarar, you have dishonored this holy assembly of devotees.

Hence, we ostracize you from our circle.

And Siva who has unmindfully accepted your services shall be deemed an outcaste henceforth.”

The Lord himself spoke through the nayanar to glorify his people.

On hearing the chastisement, Sundarar immediately realized his elevated mood.

His ecstasy poured out in the form of a Padigam or poetry singing his praise.

On hearing the poetry, Viralminda Nayanar understood the heights of his spiritual attainment and forgave him.

Pleased by Viralmindar’s attitude, the lord awarded him the supreme position of the shiva gana chief. He hence leadered His humble devotees.

Story of Tiru Neelakanta Nayanar

Once upon a time, there lived a pious potter, extremely dear to lord Shiva.

His profession had become a service to the Shaivites.

Neelakanta Nayanar adored the Neelakanta form of Lord Shiva, the form with the beauteous blue sapphire-like throat.

He would keep citing how Lord Shiva willingly drank the fatal venom of Kalakuta to protect the three worlds.

Hence he would advise devotees to surrender all their vices to the lord and take His refuge.

Neelakanta Mahadev shall gladly drink all the venom that hinders spiritual growth.

Tirunilakanta Nayanar takes a vow

Tirunilakantha was extremely pious. However the lord had to enact a leela through him.

So, He temporarily induced lust in the heart of his devotee.

Once, the Nayanar visited the house of a prostitute.

His virtuous wife however learnt of his intentions.

She was furious although she hid her resentment.

Finally, she decided to end all sexual ties with him.

One day, Neelakanta Nayanar approached her with great fervor.

However she shunned him off and spoke with great detest-

“In the name of lord Neelakanta, from now on, do not touch ‘us’.

His wife had mistakenly used the word ‘us’, in her great rage.

Hence, Neelakanta Nayanar took the word ‘us’ as the entire woman clan. Hearing the name of lord Neelakanta, Nayanar was taken aback.

Since then, he never approached any woman as he was bound by the oath to lord Shiva.

Such was his love for the lord.

Yet, the couple continued to live an austere life together in a dispassionate manner.

Time passed by.

They grew old.

Finally, the Nayanar’s steadfastness melted Lord Shiva’s heart.

Lord Shiva in disguise

So the lord approached him in the guise of an ascetic.

Entrusting his begging bowl to him, he said-

“Oh soul! This bowl is very precious to me since it has magical properties. It can purify anything that comes in contact with it. So keep it with great care. I shall collect it once I return.”

So saying, the ascetic left the place.

Neelakanth Nayanar then entered his home and kept the bowl in a safe nook of his cottage.

Sometime later, the yogic returned to collect his bowl.

However, the bowl had disappeared. Lord Shiva had hidden it by his mystical potency.

Tirunilakanta Nayanar seeks forgiveness

Fearing the yogi’s wrath, Neelakanta Nayanar searched all places, but the bowl seemed to have vanished into thin air.

So he caught hold of the ascetic’s feet and spoke words of repentance. Yet, this did not assuage the ascetic’s rage.

The Nayanar even promised to give a richer and elaborate piece instead. But the yogi refused to give in to his explanation.

Instead, He publicly criticized and accused him of robbery.

The merciful lord in the guise of the acetic said-

“If truly you are innocent, then hold your wife’s hand, and publicly present your view.

Then only shall your words hold any meaning.”

Neelakanta Nayanar who had taken a pledge of celibacy refused to listen.

The yogi was furious. So, he dragged the Nayanar to court.

Lord Shiva blesses the Nayanar

Eventually, The Brahmins sided with the ascetic and ordered Nayanar to obey him.

So, the Nayanar reluctantly thought of a means.

He kept a bamboo stick as the intermediator. The couple held each end of the stick and took a vow.

But, the ascetic even objected to this. He wanted them to actually hold their hands.

Now, Neelakanta had no other option but to reveal the truth of his relationship.

Finally, to keep the honor of both the parties, the couple took a dip in the tank.

But to everybody’s astonishment, a youthful couple arose from the waters, their old age had gone for good.

The skies had turned mystical. The ascetic vanished, and there appeared the divine couple, lord Shiva and mother Parvati to bless them.

The lord said- “I am pleased by your devotion.

For me, you refrained from all lustful acts.

You have kept the honor of my name.

Hence you shall forever reside in my abode in your youthful form.”

So saying the divine couple disappeared.

Thus through the lives of the nayanars, we see the heights of spiritual love which compelled the lord to personify and bless them.

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