"I am a serviteur of the servitors of
Gananaathan of sea-girt Kaazhi."
- The Tiru-th-Tonda-th-Toka.
1. Gananaathar was the chief of the divine clan
Of Vedic Brahmins of the great city of Kaazhi,
The aeviternal source of creation that would float
Even during the boundless oceanic deluge at the end
Of the yuga; it is invested with the splendour
Of the avatar of divine Gnaanasambandhar
Who was blessed to drink of the hallowed and nectarean
Breast-milk of the Mother of the sea-girt world. (3923)
2. This servitor in all love rendered daily
Goodly service to the Lord of the sacred Ark enshrined
In the beautifully walled city of Sanbai;
Poised in such divine servitorship, he trained
The devotees that came to him willingly and in love,
In each branch of the holy manual service of Charya
Which befitted them. (3924)
3. The rearing and fostering of flower gardens, the gathering
Of fragrant flowers from bunches, the weaving
Of manifold garlands, the securing of holy water
For the ablutions, the coating with cow-dung after
Sweeping the holy premises during day and night,
The lighting of innumerable lamps, the inditing
And reciting of the Tirumurai: (3925)
4. In such and such like multifoliate and holy acts
Of service, he flawlessly trained the devotees
That came to him willingly, as became their skill,
And caused their servitorship to thrive in splendour;
By fostering the growth of such skill in servitorship
The devotees increased in number. Poised in loving and true
Domestic life, he flourished exemplarily, gladdening
The way of adoration of the devotees. (3926)
5. The serviteur blessed with this great glory, by reason
Of his devotion to the feet of the Partaker of gnosis
Of truthful and great divinity, who hailed from Kaazhi
Of ever-growing glory, performed daily, unswervingly
During the three great divisions of the day, pooja
In love-impelling devotion, and thus thrived in joy. (3927)
6. The great serviteur who was thus established
In such serviteurship, gaining in this vast world,
The fruit of the daily pooja rendered to the lotus-feet
Of the Partaker of the nectarean gnosis, reached
The immense and radiant Kailaas of the Lord
Who wears on His crown konrai blossoms of pure fragrance
And was blessed to become the chief of the great
And goodly Host of Siva; thus was he graced
With this inheritance of aeviternal beatitude. (3928)
7. Established in the true and deliverance-conferring
Consciousness of servitorship to the Lord, who ate
The poison for the worlds to flourish, Gananaathar
Of vast and glorious Pukali, conferred such knowledge
On innumerable servitors as befitted their individual skill
And caused their service to thrive
In the world; hailing his feet, we proceed to narrate
The principled greatness of Kootruvanaar
Firmly poised in the piety of the holy ash. (3929)
2. Gananaathar began with the beginning. He took care of Charya -- the foundation of the edifice of Saivism. Charya is holy manual service. Our Naayanaar of Seekaazhi followed the advice of St. Sambandhar of Seekaazhi. “Kai vinai cey(thu)” is the command of the boy-saint.
3. In this verses are enumerated the acts that constitute Charya. The inditing and reciting of Tirumurai: This constitutes Pati-punya.
4. Our Naayanaar is an eminent trainer of devotees. His is a proper judge of men and things. He can draw out the skill that lies recondite in a man. That his methods were persuasive is seen from the fact that devotees flocked to him willingly.
5. Our Naayanaar is a performer of Siva-pooja which is informed by devotion.
6. Gana Naathar is our Naayanaar’s holy name. He eventually becomes a Gana Naathar -- the Chief of Siva’s Host.
It should be remembered that Charya is the foundation of Saivism. It paves the way to Kriya and Yoga and through these Gnaanam is gained. So, it is that Saivism defines tapas as the pursuit of Charya, Kriya, Yoga and Gnaanam. This is the affirmation of the Saiva Aagamas.
Here ends the Puranam of Gananaatha Naayanaar
Sincere thanks to Sri. T N Ramachandran of thanjavur, for permitting his English rendering of the holy text periyapurANam be published here.