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The Puranam of Chandesura Nayanar


(chandEsura nAyanAr purANam - Periyapuranam as English poetry)

        “He truly hailed the Lord in pooja; when his father  
        Grew wroth at this he cut off his feet 
        With an axe; he is motherly Chandi 
        Devoted to the hallowed feet of the Lord; 
        I am a servitor of this lord.” 
                        - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
1.     In the Chola-land fed by the cool Kaveri never-failing, 
    On the southern bank of Manni river is the hoary town 
    Of great foison called Seignaloor, designed by the grace 
    Of Lord Muruka who smote Mt. Crowncha into two 
    And who was to vanquish the fierce and hostile Soora; 
    This was densely inhabited by Brahmins versed in the Vedas.    (1206) 
2.     They were oned in the way of the Holy Ash; they were 
    Of two-fold birth; they tended the triple fire; 
    They cultivated the four Vedas; them followed 
    Their senses five; sextuple were their duties; 
    All the seven worlds hailed them; with such men throve the town.(1207) 
3.     The students of the Vedas, the wearers of the sacred thread 
    To which was tied a flawless piece of deerskin, 
    Had tufts of hair; such groups were found with 
    Their preceptors and so were they like the stars and the moon; 
    From the matams over the tops of which rested clouds 
    The Vedas resounded.                        (1208) 
4.     The town was rich in Yupa columns on which 
    Cloud abide the carriers of spreading wings 
    Of Vishnu and Brahma, who came thither to receive 
    The havis due to them, offered by the Brahmins 
    In the halls of sacrifice; onto a Yupa column 
    Could be fastened the mount of Indra.                (1209) 
5.     The town was rich in long streets through which passed 
    Homa-cows from whose udders sweet milk issued; 
    Students of the Vedas who collected samita-sticks, 
    Recited the Vedas as they returned home; the women 
    Of Brahmin houses bathed in pools full of flowers 
    And homeward plied their steps.                    (1210) 

Chandesura Nayanar - The Puranam of Chandesura Nayanar
6.     Spacious halls of sacrifice were situate nearby on the bank 
    Of Manni river whose waves shored up pearls; 
    The chariots of the high-priests of sacrifices and those 
    Of the celestials, were in the open place 
    Stationed close to each other.                    (1211) 
7.     Rich was the growth of red lilies near sluices; 
    Sheaves of paddy grew thick in the watery fields; 
    Nearby were areca trees and bees hummed over their spathes; 
    In long-leaved lotus-blooms carps slumbered; 
    Over pathways mullai creepers spread and formed bowers; 
    Kanchi trees with twigs full of buds were everywhere.        (1212) 
8.     The Chola monarchs variously called Senni 
    Abhaya and Kulottungka Chola form the lineage 
    Of the valiant hero, Anabhaya who roofed 
    Tillai-Ambalam with gold; this town is one 
    Of the five seats where a Chola-prince could be coronated.    (1213) 
9.     Happy hymnody is the fruit of goodly melody; 
    Nectarean taste marks the milk, and growing lustre, the eyes; 
    The guerdon of contemplation is the Panchakshara; 
    The rains are a gift of the heavens; 
    Saivism is the fruit of the Vedas; 
    Even so, this town is earth’s own fruit; 
    Can ever words articulate the glory of its bounty?        (1214) 
10.     In that gloried town was a leading Brahmin family 
    Of Kasyapa-gotra, poised in household dharmas; 
    Like a snake which gives the gem rare and the poison too, 
    Yeccha Dhatta, an incarnation of deeds, 
    -- Good and evil --, sprang from them.                (1215) 
11.     Hi wife divine hailed from a fitting family; 
    She ran the house attending well to the kith and kin; 
    She had of yore, wrought askesis, to come by a son 
    Who would prove to be uniquely helpful; 
    She was to be blessed with the greatest beatitude 
    That sons on earth can ever confer; she had snapped 
    All fetters and was solely attached to the Lord only; 
    She was pure and immaculate.                    (1216) 
12.     Of such good parents, he, Vichara Sarma came to be born 
    That the ways of the Vedas might shine in splendour, 
    That the clan of Brahmins might increase and multiply, 
    That all the seven worlds might stand redeemed, 
    That the truth of Saivism of the Dancing Lord might grow for ever 
    And the triumph of tapaswis might blaze very well.        (1217) 
13.     When he was five summers old, he became 
    Well-versed in the Sivagamas and the metrical Vedas 
    Which were granted in grace by the Lord, 
    And also the six angas of the Vedas, 
    By reason of his noetic nexus of yore; his mind, 
    Like a bud full grown into a bloom breathing fragrance, 
    Blossomed, endowed with an exquisite mellowness.        (1218) 
14.     When he was seven years old, his father invested him 
    With the glorious sacred thread at a peerless function; 
    Though he was blessed with the wisdom of all the good works, 
    In keeping with the tradition great, his parents 
    Had him initiated in the cultivation of the Vedas.        (1219) 
15.     Beholding his intellectual achievement, which had, 
    -- All unschooled --, comprehended the Vedas 
    And all the arts which confer enlightenment, 
    His preceptors wondered at him; the little one supremely great 
    Knew pellucidly in his firm-set mind 
    That the Dancing feet of the Lord are the ultimate goal 
    Of all the endless arts and sciences.                (1220) 
16.     “The Dancing Lord of roseate feet owns us” is the truth 
    Which forthwith dawned on him whenever he began to ponder; 
    This for ever upsurged in him; love in him ever soared 
    Devotion became a sweet duty with him; in this 
    He stood firm-poised.  While thus he throve, one day....    (1221) 
17.     When he proceeded with the learners of the Vedas 
    Who went alongside the kine of the townsfolk, 
    As a newly-calved cow was about to charge its neatherd 
    He beat it black and blue with a stick and without 
    Any qualms o conscience; he beheld this; 
    Love-borne he castigated him in wrath and prevented 
    Him from his act; his knowledge of truth began to upsurge.    (1222) 
18.     Through arts multifoliate, the Agamas, of great immensity 
    And the rare and glorious Vedas poised in truth, 
    He knew clearly all about the phenomena; 
    Informed by a mind of such lucidity, he knew  
    Precisely and full well all about cows; 
    (So) Vichara Sarma desired to bless the cowherd.        (1223) 
19.     “By birth, they are superior to all the species of life; 
    In them swell for ever all the holy steams; 
    Aren’t glorious Devas and throngs of saints 
    The very limbs inseparable of the goodly cows?            (1224) 
20.     “By reason of their greatness, even on the day 
    When they calve, they are entitled to provide 
    For the Lord-Dancer of Tiru Ambalam, whose crest 
    Is decked with the crescent and the Ganga, and who wears 
    A garland of laughing skulls, 
    Panchakavya, for His divine ablutions.                (1225) 
21.     “The blue-throated Lord is the Primordial Cause 
    And He sustains for ever all the worlds, inclusive 
    Of the celebrated Devas; the Lord-Dancer of ruddy 
    Matted hair wears the Holy Ash, the source of which 
    Is indeed the cows, the truthful idols of glory. 
    So, is there any limit to their greatness?            (1226) 
22.     “Should one think more to augment their glory? 
    The Lord sports the young of a leaping fawn in His hand; 
    On His matted hair the Ganga washes clean the gems 
    That issue from serpents, His jewels; 
    Both He and His Consort, the Goddess of the celestials, 
    Ride the angry Bull which is but Vishnu. 
    Are not kine of the clan of this great Rishaba-Deva?”        (1227) 
23.     Thus he thought in manifold ways and thus 
    He concluded: “There is no duty superior to that 
    Of grazing and fostering the kine with their calves 
    In the proper and pleasing way; this indeed is the way 
    To hail the feet of the Lord who dances in the Ambalam.” 
    Then addressing the neatherd he said: “Refrain 
    From grazing the kine henceforth.                (1228) 
24.     “I’ll myself henceforth graze the kine” he said; 
    Affrighted the cow-herd bowed before him 
    And gave up his calling; with the leave of the Brahmins 
    He tended the great herds; the divine Brahmin-boy 
    Fostered the cows as rain would, the green crops.        (1229) 
25.     He fared forth with the rope and the crook, and his little tuft 
    Waved in the wind; his sacred-thread dangled on his chest 
    And it was knit to a piece of deer-skin; he was 
    Clad in his bright kovanam; he daily drove the team 
    A field for grazing where they had their fare aplenty; 
    In due time calves and milch increased.                (1230) 
26.     During the season when grass grew thick 
    He grazed them well; he would himself pluck grass, 
    Feed them and thus foster them; he would rid them 
    Of their dread, lead them to cool fords where they could 
    Drink tasty water and caused them to rest under 
    Leafy umbrage; when it was time for nectarean milking 
    He would drive them to the doors of their owners.        (1231) 
27.     On the banks of the Manni and abutting the pasture land, 
    And nigh unto the beds of that river, and also 
    On the gardens of Maruta realm where pearls abound, 
    He would graze the increasing herds, collect samita-sticks 
    And also sticks of Arani and would return before night; 
    For many a goodly day this was his routine.            (1232) 
28.     During those days, the herds of kine grew beauteous 
    And increased; as with sweet grass and tasty water 
    They were fed full, they were happy in their mind; 
    This caused the swelling of their udders 
    With milk pure and sweet, whence it suffused day and night.    (1233) 
29.     The homa-cows which helped the Brahmins conduct 
    Their sacrifices, grew more and more beauteous; 
    Their yield of milk was multifold; the Brahmins were 
    Therefore happy that it was thus as the Brahmmachari 
    Tended the kine with such loving care.                (1234) 
30.     The kine too were happy beyond measure; 
    Though they were parted from their calves 
    When they beheld him -- the calf of the Gospels --, 
    They neared him and melted in motherly love for him; 
    They bellowed in joy and withoten the tug of teats 
    From their udders, milk suffused profuse.            (1235) 
31.     He grew glad that the cows rained milk 
    Even when none milked them; his mind 
    Poised in virtue divined from this an inkling 
    About the sacred ablutions for the Lord; 
    He, our patron, pondered over this and stood clarified; 
    He was impelled by a penchant to perform pooja for Siva.    (1236) 
32.     His desire to perform pooja, though a child’s was but 
    A continuum of his pious act of the past births; 
    In sweeling love, on the sand-dune of the Manni, 
    Under the spreading Atthi he wrought a Sivalinga 
    -- The formless form of the Rider of the red-eyed Bull --, 
    Of pure sand; he also built a temple with tower 
    Prakaram and all.                        (1237) 
33.     Flowers of Atthi, tender shoots and choice flowers 
    From the nearby gardens which he himself gathered 
    As fitting adornment for the holy crown of the pious Lord, 
    Were kept by him in a basket woven of fresh leaves 
    That their rich odour may be kept intact.            (1238) 
34.     He went in for the fine kumbhas and secured them; 
    The kine were grazing in the gardens and the hinterland 
    Between the river; thither he went and when he touched 
    A teat, the cow bellowed and showered milk.            (1239) 
35.     He gathered the milk in pots and came back with them; 
    He had them consecrated in the sandy shrine 
    Of the Lord of gods; with flowers and tender shoots 
    Buzzed over by bees, he duly and in accordance with 
    The sastras, did pooja, impelled by a trans-embodimental love 
    And with milk performed the Lord’s holy ablutions.        (1240) 
36.     Again and again he bathed Him in white milk; 
    The Ruler (of souls) came to be enshrined in the love 
    Of His devotees; as the love grew into passion divine 
    And pervaded the orb of Sivalinga, the Lord approved 
    The devotee’s pooja who beheld Him only and no sandy ikon.    (1241) 
37.     The gloried Son of Seignaloor, by dint 
    Of his thought of at-one-ment, could leaven with his love 
    Whatever was lacking and could not be secured 
    By him for the hierurgy, of the ablutions and the like; 
    Thus he completed his pooja, paid obeisance and felt happy.    (1242) 
38.     Nathless their, supply of pots and pots of milk 
    To the Brahmin-boy who performed with it 
    The sacred ablutions of the Lord’s feet, the cows 
    Were uberous and their plentiful udders yielded milk 
    As before; so the Brahmins suffered no lack at all.        (1243) 
39.     Thus as a game divine, the wearer of the sacred-thread 
    Did this for many a day; a man who was 
    Unaware of the true greatness of this service 
    Apprised the Brahmins of the town of the happening.        (1244) 
40.     Hearing him, the Brahmins of the rare Vedas said: 
    “He said the cowherd did not know how to tend them 
    And so he would do it; thus he came to be in charge 
    Of the herds; now he milks them and plays false; 
    Call the boy’s father to whom we’ll report.” Thus they.        (1245) 
41.     The Brahmins who stood there, proceeded 
    To his father’s house and called him; when he came 
    The assembly spake to him thus: “Hearken to the evil 
    Your son does in the guise of grazing the cows of townsmen.” 
    Thus they began their narration.                (1246) 
42.     “The cows meant to supply milk for the sacrifices 
    Of the Brahmins, are in love driven by your son 
    To the pasture, as if he would grace them. 
    On the bank of the Manni river rich in fragrant flowers 
    He milks them, pours it on earth and does all 
    That pleases his fancy; thus we are told.”            (1247) 
43.     When the Brahmins spoke thus, struck with fear 
    He said: “Not a whit of this was known to me so far; 
    O Brahmins of absolute glory! Forgive the past evil.” 
    Thus he implored them and prayerfully added: 
    “If this deed repeats, I’ll hold myself guilty.”        (1248) 
44.     He took leave of the Brahmins, performed the rites 
    Of the evening and went into his house; 
    He pondered over the stigma; 
    He would not discuss it with his son; he chose 
    To verify it himself; the night passed away and when 
    His son went forth t graze the cows, the one grown ripe 
    In the mastery of the Vedas, shadowed his son.            (1249) 
45.     To graze all the herds of cows of that town that day 
    In the fragrant pasture on the bank of the Manni river 
    The sacred son gathered them there; 
    The father saw this and to watch 
    The further happenings he climbed a kura tree 
    And thither concealed his person.                (1250) 
46.     The loving Brahmmachari first had his holy bath; 
    Then as before he built with sand the temple; 
    He gathered fresh buds and blooms; then the pots into which 
    The cows poured their milk, were set in order; 
    He also attended to the other requisites.            (1251) 
47.     He then commenced the rare pooja in accordance 
    With the rules of the Agama and with his soul oned in truth; 
    The fragrant buds and blooms he placed on the crown 
    Of the Lord-Ruler and hailed Him with mantras; 
    With flowing love he poured sweet milk as ablutions.        (1252) 
48.     Higher and higher spiraled his love; it was time 
    For the effort of his hoary deeds to fructify; 
    It looked as though the very grace of the Lord 
    The Wearer of serpents, the One of matted hair --, 
    Was out to reveal the glory of the lofty one, 
    By incensing him and throwing him into bewilderment; 
    The old Brahmin on the Kura tree beheld it all in utter wrath.    (1253) 
49.     When he beheld this, down he descended quick 
    From the tree and with a stick beat his son 
    On his sacred back besides hurling vile obloquy on him; 
    As the serving devotee, the little one of supreme excellence, 
    Was linked to the Lord in pooja and in love profound, 
    He was oblivious of all other happening.            (1254) 
50.     The angry man beat him again and again; 
    But the great one wasn’t even aware of it; he went on 
    With his service of the sacred ablutions without let; 
    Beholding this, the semi-mad Brahmin grew more angry 
    And kicked away the divine ablutionary milk-pot; 
    Lo, base had he become like his base act.            (1255) 
51.     As he thus spilt it away the holy child looked at him 
    For a while and knew the evil one to be his own father; 
    Yet as he spilt the milk consecrated for the Lord 
    He was out to punish him; he took a stick 
    Which lay nearby, and behold, it duly became 
    An axe in his hand; with that when he cut away 
    His feet, down fell the Brahmin, on the earth.            (1256) 
52.     The wielded axe served as the weapon to quell 
    The contretemps that beset the holy pooja; 
    The son that chopped away both the feet 
    Of his father that tried to obstruct the pooja, 
    With the obstruction gone, proceeded with his pooja; 
    Then the Lord of flowing matted hair and His Consort 
    Appeared on their mount, the Bull.                (1257) 
53.     Bhoota-hosts came encircling the Lord; 
    Ancient munis and Devas chanting the Vedas 
    Hailed the Lord; lo, the Lord of pure perfection 
    Manifested by reason of His sheer grace and mercy; 
    The tender boy ripe in devotion, beheld Him, 
    Adored Him and with a delighted heart 
    Fell prostrate at His lotus-feet.                (1258) 
54.     The Lord decked with a wreath of konrai blooms 
    Lifted him that fell at the shade of His feet twain, 
    And said: “For Our sake you felled down your own father; 
    We are your Father henceforth.” Thus He graced him 
    And embraced him, felt him with His hand 
    And kissed his head in delight great.                (1259) 
55.     The body of the divine child thus touched and felt 
    By the flowery hand of the Lord of the red-eyed Bull 
    Was transmuted into immeasurable Sivamayam; 
    He was immersed in the divine grace of the Lord; 
    He shone with Siva’s own lustre, hailed by the one 
    Throned on lotus and also the great celestials.            (1260) 
56.     The God of gods made him the Lord of Devotees; 
    He said: “We confer on you the beatitude of Chandesa; 
    Our Nirmalya -- food, garment and wreath --, 
    Shall all be yours only.” Thus saying, the Lord 
    From off his matted hair where shines the crescent, 
    Took out a wreath of konrai and garlanded Him.            (1261) 
57.     All the worlds rejoiced vociferously; showers of flowers 
    Poured everywhere; myriads and myriads 
    Of Sivagana-Natas sang and danced in sheer delight; 
    The Vedas of divine words, chanting hailed; 
    Throve loftily the way of Saivism; thus our lord, 
    Adoring the Lord was installed in his beatific office.        (1262) 
58.     He had wrought sin known the world over; 
    Yet by the grace of the Lord and by the punishment 
    Meted out to him through the beauteous axe 
    Wielded by the great Son of holy Seignaloor, 
    The old Brahmin with his kith and kin was blessed 
    To abide for ever in Siva-loka of the Primal Lord Original.    (1263) 
59.     With the very body with which the Gospel-child 
    Axed away his father’s feet who committed 
    The abominable sin, he was translated; he was made 
    The Son of Lord Hara; who can ever con this state? 
    Whatever is done by devotees to the Lord, 
    That is to be deemed askesis. Is it not so, even so?        (1264) 
    in praise of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar 
    “I, Arooran am a servitor of the Lord of Aroor” 
                - The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai. 
60.    The glory of the servitors of the Lord 
    Whose beauteous throat holds the venom 
    Was hailed with a heart brimming with love 
    So that all lives might con and adore, and all worlds 
    Be redeemed; he sang the Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Tokai; 
    We are blessed with an embodiment of adore 
    His fragrant flower-feet; so we deem this birth too, 
    As a great beatitude.                        (1265) 
Stanza     Line 
   9        The melodic fruit is pann which is Raga.  Hymnody is  
            cf. Psalmody. 
Sincere thanks to Sri. T N Ramachandran of thanjavur, for permitting his English rendering of the holy text periyapurANam be published here.

See Also: 
1. chaNdEsha nAyanAr purANam in English prose 
2. சண்டேசுர நாயனார் புராணம் (தமிழ் மூலம்) 
3. thiruththoNDar purANam main page
4. 12 shaivite thirumuRais 



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