The history of Thiru-Naalaip-Povaar Nayanar (Nandhanar)

Thirunaalaippovaar, a great devotee who rose up to rejoice in the lotus feet of the Lord in spite of all the troubles thrusted on him because he was one from the so called lower caste. The only hold he had throughout in all the hard times was the love, not an ordinary love to die off at the meeting of obstacles, a determined, pure, sincere love for the Almighty. While the real devotees like chun^dhara mUrthi n^AyanAr who came in the brahmin tradition and brought up like a king was looking forward to say, I am a slave to thirun^ALaippOvAr, it is the people who do not digest the philosophy make the chaos. Imagining and feeling of thirun^ALaippOvAr's dedication to God in the kind of society he lived would be a kindler to conquer the hurdles and reach the hara.

On the banks of river koLLidam that sprinkles the water with its tidal hands onto the hands of the lotuses that lean up on both the banks to receive it in bloom, is the village AdhanUr. In that fertile village was a slum that gave birth to the pearl by name n^an^dhanAr. The real affection only to the glorious feet of Lord shiva, peerless, disciplined in his profession were his characters. The simple devotee who knew only love, devotion, dedication to the Lord and nothing about ostentation, self-pride and worthless talk did the best of the service he out of his traditional profession could do. He made the drums and parts of the various music instruments like vINai, yAz that are played in the worship of the Lord who chants the vEdhAs in the tune of vINa when all the noises of the world have settled down. He offered the kOrOchanai for the worship of the Lord of dhEvAs. (In the middle ages while the Supreme is praised that It is traditionless (kulamili) people were differentiated by their birth with the caste system according to profession. The people of the so claimed lower hierarchy were refused entry into the temples of God. What a pity ! When the Lord is worshipped as the Lord of all creatures from the worm that moves in the gutters to the superior celestial powers, how could one refuse a human being an entry into the holy abodes which facilitate enlightening the self and pave way for liberation - a basic requirement and ultimate goal of all the lives ! There would of course be distinctions in accordance with ones discipline but how could the permit be refuted to one to the Form of Mercy's abode just because of the birth ?)

This man of immense love for the Lord, which was probably not understood by anyone around other than that Lover Himself, would stand outside the temple wherever he finds one, chant, sing , dance and enjoy in that Glory that is Omnipresent. He wished to salute and serve the shiva lOkanathan of thiruppunkUr. With an immense interest to worship the God he came by the doorside straight in front of the Lord's altar. The holy Bull that is in front of the Lord came in between his vision to the Lord as he had to stand outside the temple. The Lord Asutosha, the Easily Pleased, knowing the ardent love of this splendid simple devotee showered Its grace by asking the Bull to move aside a little bit so that n^AyanAr could see Him. He showed the world that it is the sincerity of devotion that matters to Him and not the caste, creed or race. The differences are only in the crooked eyes of the human beings and not in Its graceful vision. For Him the so claimed higher caste, so called untouchable, a black, brown, white, blue, rich or poor, a male or female all the same and what matters is the love. The humble devotee who felt on the top of the world saluted, bowed down, fell down, prostrated. The poor devotee wanted to do whatever service he can possibly do to the Lord of shivalOka. Looking at the bad state of the surroundings of the temple he with growing enthusiasm cleaned up and digged a nice pond. At the completion of service circumambulated the God and returned back to his place happily.

This way he went to many of the Lord's abodes to salute and did whatever service he could. A wish to see the Blissful dance at thillai came often in his mind. He won't sleep that night, in the dawn he would think he might not be able to go because of his so called low caste birth and wouldn't go. Still he never wanted to drop that thought, he would say, "I will go tomorrow". (n^ALaippOvan - hence he became known as thirun^ALaippOvAr). The tomorrows went on and on and he couldn't bear it. Finally he convinced himself to go to thillai. Reaching the frontier of that holy place, he saw the smoke from the sacrifices that were being made and heard the sound of vEdhas being chanted. Scared to enter the town that appeared so holy with what he thought an inferior birth, he circumambulated the town many times and out of fatigue he slept there. How can the Lord who comes to us taking us as His slaves giving bliss, toler His sincere devotee who was longing to see His dance lying outside the town anxiously ? He came in the slave's dream telling him to enter through fire His holy abode.

The Lord appeared in the dreams of the priests of thillai instructing the same to them. The fearful priests came to the devotee and told the Lord's saying. Feeling blessed the excellent devotee of the Lord whose love can never be charred by any fire entered the flame praising the Holiest of the holy things, His graceful feet. n^an^dhanAr came out amidst the shower of flowers by the dEvAs, salutations of the priests of thillai, rejoice of the devotees as a reverend sage to worship the Dancing Marvel. With the priests following he saluted the tower of the Lord raising deer in His left, he entered fast the Holy abode. They all saw him entering the Cosmic dancer's place and they saw only the Cosmic dancer's idol. The Supreme which could not be stained by the blots of human manners took this sincere devotee in Its blissful Feet. Let the reverend wonderable devotion of thirun^ALaippOvAr n^AyanAr because of which in spite of the mountain of hurdles he reached the Lord stay in the mind.

chIrERum ichaipAdith thiruththoNdar thiruvAyil ,
     n^ErEkum bidavENdum enan^inain^dhArk kadhun^ErvAr ,
     kArERum eyiRpunkUrk kaNNudhalAr thirumunbu ,
     pOrERRai vilaN^ga aruL purin^dharuLip pulappaduththAr

  • Gurupujai : Purattaasi - Rohini
  • Birth place of Thirunaalaippovaar Nayanar
  • Thirunaalaippovaar (Nandhanar) Nayanar puranam in English Poetry
  • திருநாளைப்போவார் (நந்தனார்) நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்)
  • திருநாளைப்போவார் (நந்தனார்) நாயனார் புராணம் (உரைநடை)
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