(From the Thiruvasagam publication of Socio Religious Guild, Thirunelveli)
Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe has a time span of 12,000 divine years for each
day and another 12,000 divine years for each night. In terms of time-span, 12,000 divine years
would tantamount to 4,320,000,000 earth-years. During Lord Brahma's night-time (between
sunset and dawn) there would be unusual stillness, with no activity whatsoever, and the entire
universe would remain absorbed (submerged) in a static condition. It is called the periodical
termination of an 'Age' or 'Kalpa'. At such a night, Lord Brahma felt desperately to ascertain
who is the chief of the universe. Then he went to Lord Vishnu who was residing cosily on a
thousand-eyed-cobra Ananthan's head, over the ocean of milk and making his presence felt everywhere.
Lord Brahma touched Lord Vishnu and asked him "Who are you - Tell me?" Lord Vishnu
replied "Welcome my son- Don't you know that I am the Supreme Being solely responsible
for the entire creation of the Universe, preservation and dissolution" Lord Brahma refuted
his statement and asserted that he is the only Supreme Being and not Lord Vishnu.
The dispute (between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu) remained unresolved in regard to
the supremacy of the one over the other, and in regard to the subject who would constitute
the Supreme Being. Lord Vishnu further had brought to notice that Lord Brahma had actually
emerged from his divine body (from the navel). At this juncture, a 'Pillar-of-Fire', most
impressive in titanic proportions arose within the cosmos without having any beginning or end.
Also an eternal voice was heard as under "Among you both who can reach first the top (head) or
the bottom (feet) will have the supremacy over the other”
In order to seek illumination on the issue relating to supreme reality Lord Vishnu
took the shape of a blue-complexioned-boar and gnawed into the bowels of the earth in order to
know precisely the base of the structure. On the other hand, Lord Brahma took the form of a
beautiful-swan and rose-up to great heights into the skies to find the 'summit'.
After wandering for several thousands of years in search of truth to unveil the mystery
behind the 'cosmic creation' , both Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma returned, utterly exhausted and
humiliated. Soon after, "The Pillar of Fire" had transformed itself into an extraordinary "Civa Linga”
reaching infinity, and proclaimed that "He alone was Brahmmam - the supreme reality"
and thereby suppressed the egoism and self deception of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. With great
devotion and humility, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma offered prayers to the Civa Linga. Besides,
Lord Civa was infuriated on account of a big-lie propagated by Lord Brahma stating that he had
identified the 'summit of creation'. Therefore, he wrenched out Lord Brahma's fifth head,
and as a result Lord Brahma had to get along thereafter with four heads only.
There was a demon in the form of an wild elephant, who had received great boons by
performing intense-tapas (Devotion) to Lord Brahma. Thereby the demon had acquired infinite
physical-strength, second to none, along with other blessings such as longevity and great wealth.
The demon roamed about the three lokas viz., the heaven, the earth and the hell, and plundered
and destroyed possessions. He created havoc over wide areas and constantly disturbed peace.
Besides he put to flight the bodyguards, and managed to twist and pull out the tail of the
white elephant: Iraavatham owned by Indira. After perceiving the vast destruction, devas and sages,
as well as men and women abandoned their apartments and belongings and had sought refuge at the
sacred town of Kasi.
Not knowing his myriad-strength before the Almighty Lord Civa, the demon who was
bloated with conceit had decided to fight against those who had escaped to Kasi-town. When the
demon stood before the Kasi-temple making thunderous sounds to commence fight, Lord Civa in
order to protect his devotees, immediately appeared and kicked out the demon, and cut his trunk
in no time. After evoking terror, Lord Civa took the form of a dazzling-figure having great
luminosity and the devotees had been blinded for a brief period. Later on, for showering his
grace on devotees he made the skin of the elephant-headed Kaayasura into a fine cloak for his
use (which covered the luminosity). On account of the annihilation of Kaayasura the inhabitants
of all the three-worlds greatly rejoiced.
Sage Duruvasa installed a sacred Civa Linga and worshipped it with supreme devotion.
By Lord's grace a fragrant golden-lotus flower dropped down from the Civa Linga to his delight,
and with folded hands he received it. He took it with great adoration and respectfully carried it
to the golden land of the celestials (Swarga). In Swarga he found devas celebrating the
victorious return of Indira after the active warfare with asuraas.
Indira, who rode a white elephant called Iraavatham was surrounded by devas and sages
singing his praises and chanting his name. In this gala-festival several gifts were provided to
Indira after obeisance. When sage Duruvasa presented the golden lotus flower which was received
after intense worship - to Indira, he received it with a lukewarm attitude and not knowing its
high value placed it on the head of the white elephant. Since the elephant was exhilarated
over this, the flower had fallen immediately, and was trampled over. Sage Duruvasa was filled with
anger on account of the egoistic attitude of Indira and the arrogance shown by his elephant.
He therefore muttered a 'curse', which would bring about humiliation to Indira through a
Paandya King, besides transforming Iraavatham into an ordinary black-jungle-elephant
which would roam about helplessly in a jungle.
Accordingly the white elephant left devaloka, and became an ordinary black-elephant,
and wandered about the jungle. After several years the black elephant reached Kadambavanam
and bathed in the lotus tank. Soon after it regained full knowledge of its true self since it was
absolved of its former curse, and was also transformed into the magnificent white Iraavatham.
It fervently worshipped Lord Civa who appeared as Chokkalinga. Iraavatham with intense
devotion brought sacred-water from the lotus pond and bathed the statue and showered on it lotus
flowers by way of worship. Lord Civa, who was immensely pleased, showered his grace on the
white-elephant proclaiming that it would hence forth would serve as conveyance to Indira.
Anthakan a great demon challenged Lord Civa but was killed by His trident. It is stated
that Anthakan is also known as Lord Yama, the god of death. Besides the demon is also
designated as Sani (Saturn) the most malignant of all the Planets.
For the benefit of Saint Thiruvathavurar, Lord Civa assumed the form of a Brahmin and
provided him illumination as a Spiritual Guru.
Lord Civa reached an arid tract of land called Thiruperunturai by descending through
As per ancient epics, among the four great Abodes of Kailash, the western Kailash
referred to above is a renowned place. It is reasonably conjectured that the Civa Linga,
which had descended from air, could have actually reached "Mecca" in the land of Arabia and had
acquired universal appeal in all religions - Some others interpret that this reference relate to
a place called Kazhip-paalai (கழிப்பாலை). Different other interpretations are also found for
7. Tossing away Lord Brahma's Head
See story no. 60
8. Mutilation of Lord Brahma's Head
Lord Civa was infuriated, when the pompous five-headed-Lord Brahma propagated a big
lie that he had caught sight of the 'summit of creation'. In addition, Lord Brahma began to throw
lustful-glances when he came across one of the Damsels created by Lord Civa. That was the
reason why, Lord Civa had wrenched out the fifth-head of the pompous Lord Brahma. There is
also a story, which narrates that Lord Brahma had made an inappropriate request, to Lord Civa,
to grant him a boon that would facilitate Lord Civan be born as a son to him. On account of this,
Lord Civa had cursed Lord Brahma immediately and plucked one of his heads by His nail.
Raavanaa was the king of Raakshasaas who were well-versed for their travel across land,
sea and air without much effort. Raavanaa, who had his kingdom in Srilanka guarded all the
three worlds. Raavanaa, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Civa, by his intense penance and
religious-austerities had received innumerable boons from Lord Civa. On account of this,
he was pompous, and with great egoism entertained the idea that he was beyond compare in his might
even with reference to the three - Gods (Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Rudhran) and the
five Bhutas (Elements) viz., Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.
Once while travelling in his plane, he came across mount Kailash. Forgetting that he had
received all the boons from Lord Civa only and out of arrogance, Raavanaa issued a command that
the plane could very well fly over mount Kailash, without paying obeisance. Suddenly the plane
had lost momentum and Raavanaa got down from the plane. He had gained a distorted perception
sheerly out of arrogance that mount Kailash was obstructing his way; therefore with his mighty
shoulders he proceeded to lift the mountain and place it away from his path.
The mountain shook and Goddess Paarvathi as well as Lord Civa were much annoyed by
his wild audacity. On observing this, Lord Civa pressed his toe immediately to trap the Raakshasa
King with the mountain over him, and the entire body of Raavanaa was jammed like a tiny fig fruit.
With great agony and pain Raavanaa composed several beautiful hymns in praise of Lord Civa.
On hearing these, Lord Civa's heart melted and he let him off with his blessings.
Raavanaa returned to his Kingdom in Sri Lanka.
See story no. 1
See story no. 60
See story no. 1
See story no. 14
Lord Civa was providing detailed explanation of the great truths enumerated in the Vedas
in addition to describing the Cosmos to Goddess Umadevi. She was listening with wavering attention
and this had infuriated Him. He cursed Goddess Umadevi for such indifference, and ordained that
she would be born as a fisherwoman. Goddess Umadevi was in tears stating that she would find it
extremely difficult to live in separation. Since it is not possible to change the curse, he
indicated that he would however be marrying her at a suitable time in her ensuing birth as a
fisherwoman and thereby would completely absolve her from the curse.
Lord Ganesa and Lord Subramania were greatly perturbed on account of this, and
imagining that the books on Vedas and Aagamaas had brought about this misfortune to their
mother, threw these away into the sea.
Lord Civa got infuriated over this. However, his fondness towards his children prevented him
from punishing his sons for such an act of mischievousness. Therefore, He took Nandikeswara to task,
since his non-restrictive attitude had resulted in such a great mishap. He therefore cursed Nandikeswara
to be born as a shark to roam about and to carry in its back all the books on Vedas and Aagamaas.
In a sea coast town called Thann-thuraip-paakkam (திருத்தண்துறைப்பாக்கம்), a chieftain of
fishermen community was leading a pious life devoted to Lord Civan. He had no issues for a long time.
One day, when he was going to the sea shore, he heard a crying noise of a child and went towards
the area wherefrom the cry was coming. There under a mast wood tree (Calophyllom inopayllum) (சவுக்கு மரம்),
he saw a most brilliant girl child was crying.
Immediately, he took the child, went home and gave it to his wife. With utmost happiness, she
received the child and cared her, but then they were not aware that this girl was none else than Umaa Devi.
Nandhikeswaraa who was transmuted as a big shark was also in the nearby sea carrying Vedas and Aagamaas,
and constantly remembering Lord Civan. It was roaming about in the sea coast, terrorising everybody,
and as a result the fishermen were hesitant to go about fishing in their boats and floats.
Since fishing activity had dwindled considerably the fishermen had lost much of their
earnings. Therefore the fisherman king had announced that his daughter Paarvathi would be given
in marriage to the daring person, who succeeds in capturing the big trouble-making shark.
Lord Civa in the disguise of a fisherman came to the fisherman king and offered his help
in capturing the shark and if he succeeds he will then marry and take away his daughter. The
fisherman king agreed to this proposal. After displaying great deftness went into the sea and
managed to capture the shark with ease. Thereby the fishermen were greatly relieved. The
fisherman king gave his daughter in marriage to the new comer as promised. When Lord Civa and
Devi Paarvathi revealed their true identities, the king as well as the entire fisherman community
greatly rejoiced. Thus Devi Paarvathi and Nandikeswara were absolved of their curses
and were showered with His Grace.
At a certain time the devas (celestial Beings) had lost their mighty powers and the Asuras
had gained the upper hand. The Asuras in due course had misappropriated all the wealth and
possession of devas. The devas became panicky on account of the great losses and were inclined
to think, that the entire clan may disappear after some time. Therefore the devas approached
Lord Brahma, prostrated before him and fervently prayed for suitable help. Lord Brahma, accompanied by
all the devas sought and prayed for the help of Lord Vishnu to tackle their sad plight.
Lord Vishnu assured them that he would certainly mitigate their suffering if they could
make concerted endeavours as per his suggestion. Lord Vishnu indicated that only by churning
the primeval waters called the celestial sea of milk, and by drinking the beverage of 'nectar' the
devas could hope to attain immortality. Besides they could also hope to enjoy abundant wealth
and lasting happiness by taking 'nectar'. In this regard Lord Vishnu was of the opinion that this
feat could be achieved by utilising, mount Mandara as the celestial axis and serpent Vasugi as
the coir. This noteworthy act could be accomplished only if the devas could stand in a row on
one side, and the asuraas on the other so as to churn the ocean with great might. He also gave a
hint that it would be necessary to enlist the cooperation of the Asuras by assuring them to provide
a portion of the 'nectar' so obtained. Later Lord Vishnu said that he would some how manage to
distract the attention of the Asuras and apportion the entire Nectar for the use of devas.
In line with Lord Vishnu's suggestion the devas stood in a row near the tail of the
serpent, and the asuraas stood near its head, and with mighty force involving great team spirit
they began churning the sea of milk at a rapid-pace. Serpent Vasugi started writhing in pain,
and emitted dreaded poison. Also, poison came from the sea. Both got mixed known as 'aalahaala'
(ஆலகால விஷம்) poison threatened to destroy the entire cosmos.
The devas became much panicky and immediately ran and surrendered at the Feet of Lord Civa
and prayed to save them from the dreaded poison. Lord Civa asked Sundarar to scoop up the entire
poison of 'aalahaala', and bring it to Him. It was brought and He drank it to the amazement of all,
and thereby saved the devas. The poison which had seeped upto his neck had turned his neck blue
complexioned. His grace and timely help had saved the lives of devas as well as everybody
in the universe.
See story no. 14
See story no. 60
See story no. 15
19. Preaching Yoga sitting under Banyan Tree (கல்லால மரம்)
Sitting under a great banyan tree Lord Civa in his aspect as Lord Dakshnamurthi
(Southward looking) imparted wisdom to the four renowned sages: Sanakar, Sanantanar,
Sanaatanar and Sanat kumarar.
As a great cosmic-teacher, He explained details of 'Chariya' (initiation) 'Krya'
(Religious rites as per shaastraas) and 'Yoga' (Key to enlightenment). However, He explained
the fourth part, i.e., Gnanam (ஞானம்) in silence by simply showing a 'mudhraa' by his right
hand fingers. The sages understood what He meant.
For those who have stilled their minds, with intense faith and steadfastness and immersed
in great devotion to Lord Civa, and for those in possession of great compassion for all living
beings, the Lord provides illumination on Aram (Virtue), Porul (wealth), Inbam (Pleasure)
and Veedu (Heavenly felicity).
To the highly evolved souls who have controlled their senses, and meditate with intense
devotion, to reach the Feet of the Lord, the path of liberation is envisioned.
The Lord under the banyan tree bestowed spiritual enlightenment through the sacred vedas
and preached the highway being taken by noble souls - pure beings.
Saint Thirugnanasambandar has remarked that besides providing explanations on the four
great vedas Lord Civa under the banyan tree indicated the pathways leading to the peerless light
of bliss. Saint Tiruvadavurar states that Lord Civa provided realistic exposition of the terrestrial
nature of life to the sages.
Once in mount Kailash, Lord Civa, the cosmic spirit, in eternal union with Goddess
Paarvathi was elucidating the divine precepts and vedas to the Civaganas and Sages. At this
juncture, the six Kaarthigai Devis who had fed infant Lord Muruga appeared and prayed to the
Lord for providing them enlightenment on Ashta Mahaa Siddhis (eight super natural powers).
Lord Civa turned towards his consort Goddess Paarvathi and indicated that if the
Kaarthigai devis could meditate upon her (Paarvathi) who is the manifestation of all matter
and energies - they would certainly acquire all Ashta Mahaa Siddhis.
Kaarthigai Devis however on account of earlier sins had forgotten the need for
developing deep devotion on Goddess Paarvathi in order to acquire the Ashta Mahaa Siddhis.
Since they had miserably failed, Lord Civa was much infuriated over this, and cursed them to
become stone slabs and to lie under a banyan tree in a village called Pattamangai near Madurai.
After thousands of years Lord Civa, who was then ruling the Pandyan kingdom bearing
the name as Lord Sundareswarar occasioned to visit Pattamangai village. There He came across
the stone slabs and blessed the stones to regain their original stature of Kaarthigai Devis.
The six Kaarthigai Devis offered worship to Lord Sundareswarar and goddess Meenakshi (Paarvathi)
in all fervour and requested the Lord to teach them the Ashta Siddhi. Lord did so and all of them
returned to the abode in Kailash.
For the benefit of Saint Thiruvathavurar, Lord Civa appeared as a Spiritual Guru, and
explained to him the illusory nature of terrestrial life.
In the life of plurality nothing is permanent, and life itself is transitory. Jugglery,
dream and mirage are transitory and illusory.
This idea pertaining to the act of jugglery performed by the Lord is well portrayed
in the story of jackals being transformed into horses by His Will.
See story no. 60
Our main tenets/beliefs classify demigods/demons and so on into 18 categories as
1. Amarars Immortals in Swerga
2. Siddhars Persons who have reached Godhood
3. Asuras Demons
4. Dhydhiars Demons
5. Garudars A kind of lower Gods
6. Kinnaraars Celestial musicians
7. Dhirudhars A kind of demons
8. Kimburudars Celestial musicians with human face and body as a bird.
9. Gandharvas Heavenly choristers
10. Iyakkars A Hendants to Kubera
11. Vinjayars Heavenly magicians
12. Budas Ghosts
13. Bisas Devils
14. Andarar Wanderers
15. Munivars Sages / Hermits
16. Uragars Serpents
17. Agayavasis Those who dwell in the air
18. Boga-Boomiar Abodes of Happiness for people with meritorious deeds
Among the above 18 classes of demigods- demons, Iyakkars are functioning as
attendants to Kuberaa (Guardian of Riches). Sixty-four women who belonged to this group
performed severe austerities, and took refuge in Lord Civa. They accordingly attained eight
super natural powers such as:
(i) Self restraint / self-discipline
(ii) Physical purity
(iii) Physical fitness / Right posture (yogic)
(iv) Intutive wisdom
(v) Infinite knowledge
(vi) Achieving detachment
(vii) Divine Grace
(vii) Infinite happiness (Supreme Bliss)
The above methodology aiming at ethical perfection has much influenced the thinking of
the people in Andhra Pradesh, Canara and south Maharashtra states of India.
In some temples Deities and Divinities have been carved by way of expounding
the above religious indoctrination.
See Story No. 9
25. Lord Civan's Grace on Mandothari
Lord Civa was imparting the knowledge of Aagamaas to 1000 sages in the place known
as Thiru-Uttara-Kosa-Mangai. At the same time, Mandothari was doing her usual Civa Pooja
with highest devotion and making her request to Civan that He should land in her arms as a
male child. This prayerful request of Mandothari came to the mind of Lord Civan while He was
imparting the knowledge of Aagamaas to the sages. He overlooked His teaching to the 1000
sages and became a boy child in the arms of Mandothari. She was indeed immensely happy of
Civan's grace and gladly gave the child to Raavanaa who also had the good fortune to hold
Civa in his arms and delighted in hugging the baby. The child instantaneously disappeared.
26. Removal of Dakshan's Head by Veerabadran
See Story No. 60
The vedic scholars in the earth carry out the Sacred Fire Ceremony to appease the devas.
This Fire has three aspects called Aagavaniyam (ஆகவனீயம்), Kaarugapaththiyam (காருகாபத்தியம்)
and Dakshinaakini (தட்சிணாக்கினி). Lord Civa graced the effect of those 'Srauta' ritual to reach
the devas, our ancestors and others.
See Story No. 60
Once, Lord Civan and Goddess Uma were relaxing in Mount Kailash. All of a sudden,
Goddess Uma closed both the eyes of Lord Civan (the eyes are the Sun and the Moon) just to
make merry. Alas! The whole cosmos became dark. Every being was trembling without
knowing what had happened. Goddess Uma removed her fingers from Lord Civa's eyes and
light returned in the cosmos. Everybody was happy.
Lord Civa got angry with HIS consort for Her childish act, which resulted in fear and
shock for the entire universal life. As a retribution, He destined Her to be born on Earth and do
penance by doing diligently the thirty two virtues (32 அறங்கள்) after which She could join Him.
Accordingly, she was doing the thirty two virtues earnestly in the Ekambaram temple in
Conjeevaram. She carried out the Civa Poojas solemnly on the banks of the river called Kambai
Aaru (கம்பை ஆறு ). On one of these days, the river Kambai overflowed due to unprecedented
rains in the catchment area and the flood waters entered all around the place. Goddess Uma
feared that the flood water may affect adversely the Civa Lingam, she was worshipping. She,
therefore standing on Her knees, embraced the Lingam tightly so that the Lingam may not get
washed away by the surging flood waters. What a miracle! Lord Civa came out of the Civa Lingam
and gave darshan to His servitors in the marriage attire along with Uma Devi and
disappeared. The flood waters also receded in the Kambai river.
Quite a long time ago a Vellala Commander of the Army in Paandyan Kingdom had
twelve sons who had become orphans on account of their parents' sudden demise. These
orphans had settled down in a forest, and managed to live by collecting forest-produce.
One day, when a hermit was in meditation, they made many sarcastic remarks which made him
furious. The hermit immediately cursed them to be born as pigs and roam about as orphans
without the mother pig. On realising their fault, they fervently requested to forgive
and withdraw the curse.
The hermit indicated that the curse would lapse only by the grace of Lord Somasundarar
after sometime. The cursed twelve were roaming about the forest having been born as piglets
and began crying, when a hunter had killed the mother-pig. Soon, out of compassion Lord
Somasundarar assumed the form of a mother-pig and nourished the piglets. Since these piglets
were fed by 'Him'- they acquired enormous strength and roamed about the forest land.
Later out of God's grace these twelve piglets were born as 'sons' to a chieftain
in vellala community and possessed great intelligence besides having identical personalities
and amiable qualities like their father.
The Paandyan King, on hearing the noble qualities of the young men appointed all of
them in his cabinet as ministers. They performed their duties with admirable qualities to enhance
the prosperity of the kingdom, and later reached the Feet of Lord Civa through 'His Grace'.
The original place where the above people lived is being called 'Panrimalai' near Dindigul.
An Asura bearing the name 'Hiranyakshan', was autocratic and was harassing devas now
and then. One day he dragged Bhoomi Devi (the Mother Earth) to the bottom of 'Padala-Loka'
and had hidden her. On seeing this, devas (the celestial - beings) had been profoundly agitated.
In order to effectively tackle this havoc, Maha Vishnu taking the form of a wild boar
dived into 'Paadala Loka' and brought back Goddess Bhoomi Devi to her former position after
destroying the Asura by his sharp and powerful weapon. Maha Vishnu, glorifying his own
action, and considering himself as the 'Supreme-Being', started digging the Earth,
and thereby segregated the ocean-waters.
On seeing the arrogant act of Maha Vishnu, Lord Civa taught him a lesson by twitching
the big-horn of the Boar (the form assumed by Maha Vishnu). Soon after, Maha Vishnu regained his
super conscious state, and bowed in reverence to Lord Civa. Lord Civa, to symbolize his
superiority, started wearing the horn, plucked out from the boar as an 'Ornament'
While Paandavas were living alone in the forest for several years, Dharmar the eldest
among them, was much annoyed over going to war with his kinsmen to acquire their appropriate
share in the Kingdom. At this juncture, Indira in the guise of an old brahmin appeared before
him and suggested earnestly that Arjuna as a warrior was incomparable, and therefore, if he
could fervently approach Lord Civa, he would be in a position to acquire the most powerful
weapons / missiles required for overthrowing Duryodhana and his clan very easily. As per this
advice, Arjuna reached Himalayan - Jungle, and began worshipping Lord Civa with great devotion.
One day during his penance he was distracted by a Wild Boar approaching him fast
with an intention to kill him. Arjuna - immediately raised his powerful bow, sent an arrow and
killed the boar. He saw another arrow hitting the Boar' at the same time and Arjuna was
surprised to find a 'Hunter' coming near him. A quarrel arose between them as to who killed
the boar. Both claimed that the boar was killed only by their arrow. Then they decided to fight
each other with their bow and arrow to decide about the victor. Arjuna's bow and arrow were
smashed by the hunter. Then they decided to fight by hands. Here also, Arjuna failed, but to his
amazement saw Lord Civan in his original form with Umaa in the place of the hunter. Arjuna
prostrated before Lord Civan and prayed to take him to His abode. He did not require any missiles.
But Lord Civan prevailed that he came to receive missiles only and that he must be
satisfied with the missiles he will give in this birth. After repeated prayers by Arjuna,
Lord Civan promised to take him to His abode in his next birth. Lord Civan gave him the missiles
and disappeared. Arjuna was born as Kannappar in his next birth and was graced by Lord Civan
and taken to His abode.
In Daarugavanam (a Forest) quite a good number of ego-centric sages were engaged in
performing rituals and austerities with the inner conviction that several Boons could be obtained
through 'Karmic Forces' alone. They were not aware that only through the 'Grace of Lord-Civa'
they could attain salvation. As a result, the welfare of several lives on earth were affected
and evils were permeating.
To eradicate evils and to impress the Role of God's Grace, Lord Civa arrived at the
Forest in the form of a very handsome young hermit (Bikshadanar - பிட்சாடனர் ) and began
singing prayers without wearing any clothes.
The captivated wives of the sages ran behind the hermit and later gave birth
to forty-eight thousand children.
Besides, when Lord Vishnu in the form of a most beautiful damsel (Mohini Avatar)
wandered in the same area singing and dancing. The sages came out and by seeing the most
beautiful damsel the like of which they have never seen were attracted towards her.
They had become intensely emotional, displaying gestures full of passion. As a result,
the sages had lost all their 'Spiritual Powers'.
All of a sudden the young hermit and beautiful damsel had disappeared from the scene.
The sages who became furious by these events attributed their miserable downfall to
Lord Civa, and began performing "Abisara - Homa" in all eccentricity that it would destroy Lord Civa.
When a powerful tiger emerged out of the sacrificial fire, they directed it towards Lord Civa.
Immediately Lord Civa caught it alive, and skinned it. Later a 'Trident' appeared in the Yagna
and was directed towards Lord Civa. He caught it, controlled it and held it for His use.
The 'Deer', which came out was held in his left hand. Besides, out of the sacrificial fire,
'Goblins', a 'Skull' and a 'Rattle-drum' also emerged and all of these were duly subordinated
by Lord Civa. They all later took refuge under him.
On realising the futility of their attempts, the hermits towards the end arranged to send a
'Goblin' named 'Muyalagan' and a 'Ball of Sacrificial Fire'
Lord Civa, immediately jumped over the back of 'Muyalagan' and held the 'Ball of Fire'
in one of his hands.
Amidst the sages who remained stunned and frightened, Lord Civa performed his most
inspiring dance shaking the entire firmament.
Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Indira immediately descended from the heavens,
to watch the thrilling and inspiring 'Civa Dance'. On observing the uneasiness and irksomeness
and awe of the souls as well as universe Lord Civa stopped dancing.
Devas and Devotees who had assembled were immensely pleased and the sages of Daarugavanam,
apologized profusely for their irresponsible behaviour. Lord Civa took mercy and showered
His grace on the sages.
An ardent Adisaiva devotee of Lord Ayyaarappar and Goddess Aramvalartha Nayagi of
Tiruvaiyaru, once visited Kashi town to worship Lord Civa, after bathing in the holy waters of
Ganga river. On account of various reasons, he was held up in his tour, and could not return to
Tiruvaiyaru for years.
In the meantime, the other Adisaivites, who were his neighbours in Tiruvaiyaru, had
taken possession of his landed property and the legal documents illegally.
The above devotee's wife was deeply perturbed and fervently offered her prayers
explaining her sad plight and surrendering at the Feet of Lord Ayyaarappar.
Lord Civa manifested Himself in the form of her husband, the Adisaiva Devotee and
arranged to get back all the possessions, which had been taken away by the miscreants.
Besides, He started worshiping the icon at the same place. In the meantime the original
'Adisaiva Devotee' who had gone on tour to Kasi returned home. He was startled to find an
Adisaiva exactly resembling him offering prayers sitting at his residence. He was much
agitated and frightened, and went about shouting and proclaiming that he alone was the
true Adisaiva Devotee who had gone over on tour and had returned.
At this juncture, Lord Civa who had taken the guise of an Adisaiva devotee walked away
and disappeared into the temple. All the devotees who were present, were greatly inspired and
thrilled and in blissful enjoyment, praised Lord Civa's grace.
Quite a long time ago, in Perum-Gramam - a small town in Paandyan Kingdom,
a devotee of Lord Civa well known for his noble traditions and virtues wanted to perform the
marriage of his daughter Gowri after finding a suitable Brahmachari (Bachelor with virtues)
as bridegroom. He was keenly interested in selecting a handsome young man of stature with
compatibility to his daughter.
One day a young Bhagavatha-Brahmachari, well-versed in Vedas and having excellent
personality came to his house asking for alms.
Since the devotee of Lord Civa was much impressed by the mendicant, he suitably
arranged to marry off his daughter to the young Brahmachari in accordance with Tantric Rituals.
The neighbours, relatives and well-wishers of the newly married Brahmachari expressed
boundless joy and praised his parents owing to the fact that the young man who had left the town
as a wandering mendicant had returned home with a charming bride in all splendiferousness.
However, the bridegroom's mother was greatly upset on account of her daughter-in-law
being a 'Saivite'. The young bride: Gowri was quite unhappy, since the guests who often visited
her home were only the close relatives of her husband and not even a single devotee of Lord Civa
wearing 'Vibhuthi' (a saivite) had been found.
On a certain day Gowri's father-in-law, as were her mother-in-law had gone on tour and
they had locked the main store room of the home for the purpose of safety while Gowri was
staying in the house.
During this time an old brahmin gentleman in the form of a saivite-devotee came to her
house. Gowri felt extremely sad that she was not in a position to offer food to the saivite-devotee
and explained the position. The above saivite devotee indicated that he was quite hungry, and
therefore suggested that if the young lady would approach the storeroom, it will automatically
open. Acting on His advice, Gowri went near the main storeroom to her surprise the door got opened.
She entered therein and took out all food articles that are required to prepare tasty food for
the mendicant. Food was prepared and offered to the mendicant. The saivite mendicant ate the food
but all of a sudden got transmitted himself into a baby boy and started crawling on the floor.
At this juncture. Gowri's father-in-law and mother-in-law returned home. Her mother-in
law who was much perturbed that a stranger's child had been given protection by Gowri, started
scolding her and asked Gowri to go away along with the newly found child. Immediately Gowri
and the boy child had disappeared. Suddenly Lord Civa along with his consort Umaa Devi
appeared in the horizon. It is believed that the above incident had actually taken place
in 'Oriyur Town'
See story no. 14
37. Lord Civa as 'Kankaala' (கங்காளர் ) Wearing Bones
After the final destruction of the entire cosmos, everything would become desolate. Lord
Civa transcending everything bedecked with skulls, bones and ashes of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu
(on account of Boons obtained) would be playing the eternal music on veenaa.
38. Trapping the Mighty River Ganga
There are three different stories about Ganga Devi .
a) Ganga and Umaa Devi are the first and second daughters respectively of Imavaan. The River
Goddess Ganga was drifting, sporadically over the firmament, carrying mighty swirls of water.
To tone down its ferocity Lord Civa adorned it on his matted hairs.
b) Once Goddess Umaa Devi in an adventurous and playful spirit covered the eyes of Lord Civa
with both her hands from behind. At this juncture the sweat emanating out of Umaa Devi's
hands had swollen like the large expanse of the sea and had branched off into ten mighty rivers
(Ganga) all over the cosmos. Since the very existence of the cosmos was threatened,
everyone was panicky, and took refuge under Lord Civa. Immediately Lord Civa controlled
the mighty influx of water and adorned it on his matted hair.
c) Realising the importance behind dissolving the bones and ashes (skeletons) of his ancestors
in the river Ganga so as to facilitate their soul's upward movement, one Sri Bhaageeratan
performed severe penance invoking Lord Civa. In response to the above, and out of compassion,
Lord Civa after containing of the waters of Ganga in his matted hair let it into the earth.
See story no. 14
Once upon a time there was a hill town called Uduppoor which was situated in
Poththappi hill state encircling Tirukalahasti.
There dwelt a forest chieftain bearing the name 'Nagan' who was well known for his
hunting expeditions. He had married a woman named Thatthai and the couple who were keen
devotees of Lord Muruga fervently prayed for getting a child. After several years of marriage,
in accordance with their prayer, a well-built sturdy boy child was born and they named him as
Thinnan was imparted excellent education in addition to his learning and mastering of the
skills of archery and hunting. A special hunting festival in honour of the boy was also arranged.
Nagan the renowned hunter had become weak because of old age, and the wild animals of the forest
had started creating havoc over wide areas. On realising that his old age acted as a great obstacle
for hunting,Nagan announced that the young Thinnan would hence forth function as their chieftain.
A woman uttering 'Oracles' was invited to bless the young man taking up seriously the
hunting activity. She also indicated that there were several positive signals auguring well
for his bright future.
Thathai blessed her son Thinnan and asked him to proceed with hunting activity and
succeed as an expert hunter. Dressing in a hunters outfit, Thinnan after bowing down in
reverence to his father, mother and the priestess began his maiden hunting expedition
surrounded by drum beaters, hunters and hounds.
In accordance with the principle of fair treatment, after leaving aside young and pregnant
animals, they killed other animals. At this juncture, they saw a very big wild boar at a distance
and chased it. It ran away with high speed that none of the hunter group could follow except
Thinnan and his two body guards Naanan and Kaadan. These three chased it for a very long distance
and finally Thinnan succeeded in killing the boar. By running a long distance, all the three were
dead tired, while Thinnan asked for water to quench his thirst. Naanan told him that there is a
river running by the side named Ponmuhali river (பொன்முகலி ஆறு) and took Thinnan to the river side.
Before proceeding, Thinnan asked Kaadan to cut the flesh of the boar and roast it to enable
them to eat on return from the river. When Naanan and Thinnan reached the river side, Thinnan heard
some temple bell ringing. When asked for, Naanan described that the noise of the bell emanated from
a temple in the top of the hill where Lord Civan known as 'Kudumi Thevar' is having His abode and
gracing the devotees. Thinnan instantly wanted to proceed to the temple. As desired, Naanan showed
him the way and they both proceeded to the temple. Even while climbing up the hills, Thinnan felt
strange divine feelings in his mind and body. The moment he reached the temple and saw Lord Civan -
The Civa Lingam of Kudumi Thevar, he was transmuted as an embodiment of love towards Lord Civan
having uncomparable affection to the Lord.
With deep reverence and love, thinking that Lord Civa was left alone without food
and proper care, Thinnan decided to bring food for the Lord. He went back and brought the
roasted pig's flesh as his offering to the deity after tasting its suitability. After taking
fine pieces of flesh in a leaf plate and gathering a mouthful of water from the nearby river
to give bath to the deity,collected flowers and put them on his head wear. He wanted to offer
his prayers. On seeing his behaviour, Naanan was much astonished and thought that he had
actually become crazy.
On reaching the Civa Lingam, Thinnan removed the flowers which had already adorned
the icon with his foot, sprinkled the water gathered in his mouth over it and tilted the flowers
he collected on his head and offered the boar's roasted flesh brought over by him in the leaf
plate. He fervently caressed the Lingam and offered food to the deity with boundless devotion.
At this juncture the sun had gone down in the western horizon. To prevent any mishap, he kept
awake throughout the night and at day break he once again went to the nearby place to make
suitable arrangements to feed the lord.
In the meantime the brahmin priest namely 'Civakochariaar' came to perform the rituals
and worship as usual. He was perturbed to find pieces of flesh scattered around the Lingam. He
removed these with a stick and cleaned the premises, and after completing the rituals
and worship, left the place.
Soon after,Thinnan reached the place and in prayerful attitude offered to the Lord,
flesh pieces more delicious than those offered by him on the previous day and stood watch
the whole night. The hunters who had gone back informed, Nahan, the father of Thinnan about
They again reached the forest and beseeched Thinnan to return home unsuccessfully.
They felt that Thinnan belonged to the category of highly evolved, liberated souls, and felt
left the place.
Analogous to a steel rod becoming "Gold" Thinnan had been liberated from the shackles
of his karmas and the three impurities (aanavam, karmam, maaya) and had become the
personification of 'love' and 'virtue'.
On witnessing this horrendous spectacle, the brahmin priest was much agitated and asked
the Lord why his sacred shrine has somehow got polluted constantly for the last five days.
Immediately on the same night Lord Civa appeared in his dream and announced that,
"Such offerings are not being made by a mere hunter. This person is filled with love and
devotion to me and is endowed with supreme knowledge and his offerings are made out of pure
love, highly adorable" and "therefore, tomorrow I will show you adequate proof of his great
devotion. Please conceal yourself somewhere and observe what is going on in the evening"
As indicated by the Lord in his dream, the priest concealed himself to observe
the actions of the hunter. Though Thinnan brought his customary offering, he was much
perturbed that certain premonitions and evil signs had appeared on his way. To his harassment,
Thinnan perceived blood oozing out from one of Lord's eyes in an endearing manner. He was much
and wondering who might have disgracefully performed such a sacrilege. He could not
identify any enemy in the nearby places.
He brought medicinal herbs from the forest and squeezed them over the eye,
to stop bleeding. The bleeding could not be stopped, and Thinnan was helpless; suddenly
it dawned on him that such a wound could be cured only by flesh for flesh. Therefore,
without hesitation he removed his 'right-eye' with the help of his arrow, and pasted it
over the bleeding right eye of Lord Civa. The bleeding had miraculously stopped!
Thinnan was overjoyed, jumped and shouted in joy.
Soon blood began flowing down from the left eye of the Lord.
Thinnan was determined to tackle this problem by removing his right eye,
and making a paste-up of the left eye also: While he was attempting to remove his left eye
out of great devotion - an ethereal voice was heard thrice - "Stop Kannappa" and his hand
was caught by Lord Civa's hand which protruded from the Lingam. "You shall always be
by my side at Kailash" This was keenly observed by the priest.
Saint Manickavachakar pays eloquent tributes and observes that the devotion
shown by Kannappar to Lord Civa is uncomparable and is indeed adorable.
See Story No. 60
A Sparrow having a weak constitution lived in a thick forest in a distressed condition.
It was always in anguish since it had already been attacked forcefully by a crow - its arch
enemy and with blood oozing out, it remained in a dazed condition without knowing a way of
Escape. At this juncture, a passer by advised the bird to seek the grace of Lord Somasundarar
(Civa) of Madurai who would ward off all evils.
By developing intense devotion to Lord Somasundarar, it had learnt the 'Mrityunjaya' -
'Mantra', which conferred several benefits, besides capability to conquer all opponents.
The Sparrow had thereby gained immense strength, and became a 'Bird full of Stamina'.
Besides it preached the Secret Mantra to its own species by way of rendering noble service
at the Feet of Lord Civa.
'Sirkali' was known as Kazhumalam in those days. The foremost miracle relating to
Thirugnana Sambandar, one of the four Saiva Saints, is reported to have occurred here.
Thirugnana Sambandar, the renowned saint was born to the great delight of brahmin
parents 'Civabaatha Irudhayar' and 'Bagavathi Ammaal' after austere penance. Once, at the age
of three, the child stubbornly insisted to accompany his father to the temple tank. On arrival
at the temple tank, the father entered the water for bathing, chanting prayers to the Lord after
leaving the child on the bank. Unable to locate his father, the child cried aloud gazing at the
Holy-Spire of Thiru Thoniappar temple and called 'Oh Mother! Oh Father' (Ammaiye! Appaa!).
On hearing his wailing, Lord Civa along with his consort Uma, mounted on his bull and
arrived at the spot. Goddess Uma (Paarvathi) with gracious compassion took a golden-cup and
offered milk blending sweet-ambrosia (Milk of Gnana) and pacified the weeping-child.
On drinking the milk - the child gained rare'Gnosis'- the mystical divine knowledge supreme
(Civa Gnanam) - an unparalleled meritorious happening and became 'Gnana Sambandar'.
His father, after finishing bath, came up the steps and noticed that the child was
glowing, with droplets of milk in his mouth. Angrily he shouted 'who had fed you with milk?
and how you can receive it from others?'.
The child pointed out the temple tower as well as Lord Civa and Goddess Uma who had
instantaneously appeared above and indicated that 'They' had provided the milk of divine knowledge.
Soon after, Thirugnana Sambandar the Child Saint, began singing the enthralling song
"Thodudaya Seviyan ... Ivan Andre!". He continued singing in praise of Lord Civa who had stolen
his heart, attributing the great illumination he had gained to Divine-grace.
Quite a long time ago Vada Madurai was being ruled by Kamsan - a notorious despot.
Kamsan gave his own sister Devaki in marriage to Vasudevar - a Man of noble qualities.
The local astrologers had predicted that a son born to Devaki and Vasudevar would ultimately
be instrumental in the death of Kamsan.
The enraged Kamsan had resolved to kill the children born to the above couple,
and managed to kill all the six children born to them - which had resulted in a life full
of agonizing episodes.
On receiving information on Devaki's seventh pregnancy-Kamsan immediately
sentenced the couple to rigorous imprisonment
By divine grace the seventh pregnancy was transferred over to the womb of Yasodha,
living in Ayarpadi, a nearby place where herdsmen live.
In the meantime Devaki became pregnant again. To Yasoda living in Ayarpadi, a boy
child namely Balaraman and a girl an illusory form were born. At the same time, a charming
baby known as 'Kannan' was born to Devaki. To save the newborn 'Kannan', Vasudevar took the
baby immediately over to Ayarpadi, on the same night and left the baby under the care of Yasoda.
Simultaneously, he brought the girl-child born to Yasoda (in illusory form) to Devaki
who was then in prison.
Kannan was safe and sound at Yasoda's (Nandagopan) residence and was groomed well
by Yasoda. Baby Kannan was performing playfully several miracles which were widely admired.
Knowing that his death would be brought about by this lad, Kamsan made sinister
designs to kill Kannan. He once engaged an 'Asura' to suitably deal with him. Kamsan
suggested that the Asura should take the form of a 'Wood-Apple Tree' and when Kannan
approached the place and along with the herd-boys- the 'Asura' after taking the form of a
"Wood-Apple Tree" should suddenly fall upon Kannan and smash him. Besides this, another
'Asura' was engaged to take the form of a 'Calf' and Kamsan had suggested that the 'Calf'
could easily bump against 'Kannan' on approaching the place and could be killed by its horns.
Kannan was amazed to find a New Tree and a Calf roaming about unusually at the place,
and soon realized that it was really a conspirational arrangement made by his uncle.
Kannan was awaiting for the appropriate juncture, when the calf came near the wood-apple
tree he grabbed it and smashed it over the tree. Immediately, the wood-apple tree fell down,
with all the fruits lying scattered. The calf had also collapsed.
Kannan had indeed achieved the Extermination of the two 'Asuras' (enemies) in a single
stroke. The souls of both dead 'Asuras' praised Kannan and departed for their abodes.
Saint Ilangovadigal has paid great tributes to the Supreme for performing such wonderful
Once a Pandya king was ruling his kingdom in a benign and most befitting manner. He
was an ardent devotee of Lord Civa, and had developed the inner-conviction, that no power
greater than the Supreme Lord Civa could provide the required support in times of distress
or crisis. Accordingly, he devoted little attention to military power and spent the major
portion of his time instilling faith in God, laying accent on noble qualities among his people
and administering justice. At this time, a Chola king having great lust for conquering New
Territories, ascertaining that he could conquer the Paandyan Kingdom very easily with his
mighty armed forces formulated a suitable strategy to attack the Pandya kingdom. The Chola
king began his army manoeuvers at a suitable time. However contrary to his belief the mighty
army of Chola kingdom received a heavy jolt in the dreadful battle that ensued. The Chola
army had fled when the mini army of the Pandya king displayed unusual might on obtaining
The Chola king who had been highly perturbed mounted on his horse back and led his
forces. At this juncture, Lord Civa in the guise of a 'Forest Hunter' holding a Big-dart,
went near the Chola king, challenging his might. The Hunter threw the dart aiming to hit
the Chola king. The highly enraged king attempted to tackle suitably the hunter, who had
already managed to escape at unbelievable speed. On seeing this, the Chola king swiftly
followed him. When the Hunter was running away chased by the Chola King, a very deep pool
of water was on the way into which the Hunter jumped and disappeared. The Chola King also
jumped into the water but drowned along with his horse. The disheartened Chola warriors
fled back immediately to their country.
The people of Paandyan Kingdom with immense gratitude praised Lord Somasundarar
(Civa) for His timely help.
Once Lord Civa was immersed in deep meditation. The entire universe reflected
stagnation and the living creatures remained motionless and Time had ceased to be.
Realizing the imperative need for the 'Dynamism of the Universe', Lord Brahma
indicated to Kamadeva, that Lord Civa sitting in trance should somehow be disturbed
from his deep state of meditation. Though initially Kamadeva was hesitant, later he agreed
when all the devas made a fervent plea for promoting overall happiness and benefit,
for the entire Universe.
With fear clutching his heart, Kamadeva accompanied by Rathi Devi, approached the
greatest resplendent and graceful Yogi Lord Civa in meditation, with his flower tipped arrows
to interrupt and kindle the 'Flame of Love'. Though he was trembling with fear and had an inkling
that such an act may even result in his death, he consoled himself with the thought that people
of the whole world would be immeasurably benefited. Therefore when everything was stirring with
Life and Enchantment 'Kamadeva' lifted his bow and drew the flower tipped arrow from its quiver -
and it hit Lord Civa's forehead. Lord Civa recognizing that his deep meditation had been
interrupted and with anger blazing, flickered his 'Third Eye' and as a result Kamadeva was
reduced to ashes. Soon after this, Lord Civa once again plunged into deep meditation.
Rathi Devi, with tears streaming down her cheeks, wailed and cried aloud saying how her
beloved husband Kamadeva had been put to death by Lord Civa, when her husband was renowned for
performing several wonderful feats meant for captivating the hearts of Gods and Sages.
Rathi Devi was inconsolably crying out for her husband Kamadeva. Later Lord Civa out of
compassion restored Kamadeva in his Spirit Form.
Quite a long time ago, sage Mirugandu and his wife Marutthuvathi had intense longing
to have a child and after several years of 'penance' they had the good fortune to have a
radiant child with divine characteristics.
The child named as Maarkandeya had developed intense devotion towards worshipping Lord Civa.
The child Maarkandeya grew sturdy and handsome, and brought much happiness to his parents.
However his parents were always in gloom and sadness.
Maarkandeya out of curiosity enquired his parents the reason for their excessive
melancholy. They tearfully replied that Maarkandeya was doomed to die at the tender age of
'Sixteen' as per the prophecy announced by Lord Civa prior to his birth.
Maarkandeya was fully aware that with 'Lord Civa's grace' one can overcome any obstacle
or barrier. Therefore he spent most of his time praying and contemplating on Lord Civa
and thereby obtained the boon of escaping the clutches of Lord Yama.
On the day he attained the age of sixteen, Lord Yama, mounted on his buffalo and
accompanied by messengers of death reached the place where Maarkandeya was performing
Civa worship. The messengers of Lord Yama on approaching the place announced that the time
had come for Maarkandeya for the final departure. Maarkandeya tightly hugged the
'Civalingam' he was worshipping and refused to move.
On seeing Maarkandeya's indifference, Lord Yama cast his noose, to drag Maarkandeya's
life out of his body.
On seeing his Bhakta being dragged by Yama, Lord Civa immediately appeared and kicked off
forcefully Yama with his left leg. Yama who was thrown out had collapsed immediately.
Maarkandeya had thus obtained the rarest boon of immortality.
See Story No. 47
See Story No. 32
In Paandya kingdom, in a small village called Thiruvathavur, near the capital city of
Madurai, an eminent personality was born and bred in the noble traditions of the family. He was
quite learned and impressed everyone by his intellectual brilliance, executive skills and
Therefore Paandya king had appointed him as a Minister in his cabinet. On a certain
occasion, the king deputed him to buy horses meant for use in the palace as well as for
strengthening his Cavalry and had provided him with sufficient funds for this purpose.
Accordingly, the Minister had set out on his 'Mission'; however on his way he came
across a Great Saint (Lord Civa himself) preaching the 'True Knowledge of Saivism' sitting
under Kuruntha tree (குருந்த மரம் ) in the place called Tirupperunthurai.
Vaathavurar had completely been transformed by the learned-preceptor and had
completely forgotten himself as well as his errand. Besides he had indiscriminately utilized
all the money meant for the purchase of horses on religious activities.
Though several attendants who had accompanied the Minister had warned him on the
consequences of such erratic behaviour, which he could not absolve as he was transmuted by the
touch of Lord Civa.
Soon after the attendants apprised the king in Madurai of the actual state of affairs.
On hearing this, the enraged king sent a messenger with a note written on a palm leaf, that the
Minister should immediately return to Madurai to explain the position.
Vaadhavoorar who had already been initiated into 'Spiritual Life' indicated his sad plight
to his Guru - the Learned-Preceptor. His Guru remarked "Be bold and go over to Madurai" and
inform the king that all the horses would arrive in Madurai on the Aavani Moolam day (August -
Since there was no indication connected with the arrival of horses at the stipulated time,
the king ordered his attendants to put the Minister in Jail and inflict much suffering so as to
The Minister in the king's court was much 'grief-stricken' and was lamenting over the
fact that how unfortunately the expectations on the arrival of the horses had been shattered
and why such humiliation had taken place.
On hearing his wailing the Benevolent Lord Civa ordered his 'Civa Ganas' (Guardians)
to transform a group of jackals into horses and they could become their riders.
It had been planned that Lord Civa himself would be riding on a horseback as their
Leader (horses of vedas) and the entire Civa Ganas acting as Horse Riders would be reaching
Madurai on the appointed day.
On seeing the horses (jackals transformed) swarming Madurai city, the king was
overjoyed and ordered for the immediate release of his minister.
All the horses were accepted and taken to the stable, since Lord Civa acting as Merchant -
Horseman explained and demonstrated several attractive qualities and attributes of the horses.
The king was delighted since the horses were impeccably fine and therefore he offered
fine silk apparel as gift to the Merchant leader. The Merchant leader extended his horseman's
baton in a dignified manner and received the apparel stylishly and had worn it.
Since, the Minister was born in Vaathavoor he was called Vathavurar with great
admiration and held in high esteem. Since he had been designated as a Minister in King
Pandya's Court, he was also known as 'Thennavan Piramarayan' in those days, a title
given to him by the King.
See Story No. 30
See Story No. 14
53. Story behind Vishnu Chakra
See also story no. 56
Lord Vishnu was confronted with problems in tackling 'Jalandhara' a very powerful
demon. Therefore, he had decided to worship Lord Civa with thousand lotus flowers everyday
and to get the missile 'Sudharshan Chakra'. However, on one day, one lotus flower was found
missing out of the thousand flowers required for Civa worship. Hence, Lord Vishnu with great
devotion plucked out one of his eyes and finished his worship.
On perceiving this, Lord Civa was immensely pleased, and He provided Lord Vishnu a
Mighty Disc known as 'Sudharshan Chakra' which would tackle and kill all the powerful
demons in the universe.
54. Captivating the Assembly of Sages-Wives (Rishi Pathnis)
The wives of sages living in Taarugaa Vanam (forest) led a highly conceited life
(Egoistic) proclaiming that no one can be considered their equal in respect of "Chastity".
In order to subjugate them, Lord Civa assumed the form of a most beautiful lad
'Bikshadanar' (Begging Form) and captivated the minds and hearts of the Wives of Sages.
When Lord Civa reached Taarugaa Vanam (forest) the 'Rishi Pathnis' were much
infatuated by Lord Civa's captivating personality and began offering Him their Bangles
and other belongings in addition to giving Him Alms.
The Sages, on realising that their wives had lost their mental purity and had become
distorted cursed all of them to be born in the merchant community in Madurai.
When their wives enquired in all sadness when this curse would be absolved - the Sages
stated that it would automatically lapse when Lord Somasundarar of Madurai touches their
Accordingly all the sages wives (Rishi Pathnis) were born in the merchant community in
Madurai and attained their teenage. Lord Civa with the view to absolve the curse, assumed the
form of a vendor of bangles and came to the big street in Madurai calling upon repeatedly to
customers - "Oh, shining bangles for sale?"
The young teenage girls (the transformed wives of sages) approached the vendor with
great emotional excitement and circled around him to buy their requirements.
With outstretched hands, they pleaded that their hands should be well adorned with
appropriate bangles. Smilingly, the Lord (Bangle Seller) fixed suitable bangles on their
wrists and won their hearts also.
With great infatuation, the teenage girls (Formerly Sages' wives) approached the
handsome vendor again and again for new bangles after deliberately breaking their newly
acquired bangle all the time.
In addition, they pleaded, that they would effect payment on the next day, for the bangles
bought by them stating that they had never seen before such sparkling varieties to their liking.
They also wanted the bangle vendor to make repeated visits.
The Lord agreed to take the payment on the next day, and disappeared and
instantaneously dissolved into Civalinga Form.
The Damsels who had bought the bangles realized that the vendor who had fixed
the bangles, on their wrists was no other than Lord Civa - Himself and derived much
ecstasy and fulfilment.
See Story No. 60
Lord Indira used to make obeisance to Lord Civa everyday. One day, when Lord Indira
was suddenly overcome by arrogance, proceeded to mount Kailash without paying his customary
obeisance to Lord Civa.
On perceiving this, Lord Civa appeared before him in the form of a monstrous ghost.
Lord Indira, who was much annoyed that the ghost had blocked the entrance, while proceeding
for 'worship', took his mighty thunderbolt and vigorously attacked the ghost. Suddenly,
the ghost had been transformed and Lord Rudhra had appeared! Lord Indira fervently appealed to
protect his life - and Lord Civa, out of compassion had thrown away his shaft of anger
into the seawater which ultimately took the shape of a child. The child was brought up by Lord Varuna.
One day, the child born amidst the sea, had started crying, and on hearing this, Lord
Brahma curiously enquired Lord Varuna from where such a crying sound had been emanating.
Lord Varuna immediately handed over the child to Lord Brahma, who enfolded it in his arms.
The devas had given the name 'Jalandharan' to the child since he had arisen from
seawater. By performing great austerities Jalandharan - the demon had become quite mighty
and started inflicting injuries to devas. He had established a city namely: 'Jalandharam', married -
'Virundhai' terrorized everyone, and led a luxurious and happy-life. One day he had decided to
reach the mountain Ranges where devas were hiding out in fear of him.
On hearing the sinister - designs of Jalandharan, Lord Indira immediately approached
Lord Vishnu for offering protection to devas. Lord Vishnu with all his mighty-powers could not
however overcome 'Jalandhara' in battle.
To tackle this great danger devas approached Lord Civa in Kailash, after getting the
approval of Nandikeshwara. They entreated the Lord, to offer them protection since Jalandhara,
the leader of demons had inflicted much suffering and humiliation to them.
After proclaiming him victory over Lord Vishnu - Jalandharan along with his warriors
reached mount Kailash.
Virundhai - who knew much about Lord Civa's mighty-powers and ingenuity tried to
prevent Jalandhara from entering into a battle with Lord Civa. Jalandharan refused to listen
to his wife's words and started his journey.
On his way, to mount Kailash, Jalandharan encountered Lord Civa who had appeared in
the guise of an 'Old Brahmin' with a walking-stick. The old-brahmin enquired him "who are you?
where you are proceeding?" Immediately, Jalandharan remarked, that he belonged to the planet earth',
and had gone over here to win a battle against devas and Lord Civa!
The old brahmin remarked that it was no easy task! However, he marked a 'big-circle'
on the ground, and indicated, that if Jalandharan could carry the piece-of-earth marked by him,
it may be possible to succeed in his mission, Jalandharan ripped out the big-piece of the earth,
and placed it on his own head. The big-piece of earth started spinning violently, and cracked
his body into two-pieces and thereby destroyed him!
Once upon a time, a Paandyan King having great devotion for 'Saivism' [saivite - philosophy]
was making extra ordinary endeavours to spread vedas and Civa - Agamas by weeding out
the newly sprouting Buddhism and Jainism.
At one stage a king of Kaancheepuram, who was a devoted Jain desperately wanted to
bring the entire Paandyan Kingdom under his rule. Since the Jain King's efforts to subjugate
the Paandyan Kingdom, had proved futile, he formulated a suitable - strategy that would bring
He arranged to perform ' Abichara Homa' which would help him to kill his adversary
Viz., the Paandyan King, and thereby wanted to fulfill his aim.
From the ' Homa Kunda', of 'Abichara Homa' performed by Jain Sages and Munis, a
gigantic elephant arose and it was given suitable instructions to destroy the Paandyan King
as well as his kingdom.
The ferocious elephant proceeded towards Paandyan Kingdom, causing great havoc on
the way by upturning hillocks in a tempestuous manner, making thunderous sounds. People were
terrorised and agitated.
The Paandyan King sought refuge in Lord Somasundarar (Civa) of Madurai. Lord Civa
took the form of a "skilled archer" by concealing his real stature and wearing a dress made of
peacock feathers and adorned with a sword!
He appeared as a full-fledged 'archer' with a mighty-arrow, on the eastern side of a big
tower, and when the roaring elephant approached the spot, -"He" immediately shot the 'most-powerful-arrow',
which ended the life of the mighty-elephant. The elephant had fell down making uproarious sounds.
The Jain sages / Munis who came in a retinue behind the mighty elephant ran helter skelter.
The mighty elephant's destruction and Lord Civa's appearance as an 'archer' with Paandyan King
bowing in reverence resembled the scene: 'when young "Maarkandeya' was saved by Lord Civa from
the clutches of Lord Yama, who had been forcefully kicked off by the Almighty'.
See Story No. 1
See Story No. 60
Daksha, the eldest among the ten sons of Lord Brahma was renowned for his intellectual
calibre and for displaying great skills.
Acting on the advice of his father Lord Brahma, he sat on intense Meditation of Lord
Civa, the 'Supreme God' on the banks of River Manasa, and he had thereby acquired innumerable
boons to his credit.
Invariably all his boons were connected with the enjoyment of prosperity and power
mostly enjoyed by the Gods, and he was not so keen on reaching "Mukthi" in order to enjoy
The boons conferred upon him by Lord Civa were mostly found beneficial in carrying out
the worship of gods as well as asuras, and in acquiring certain benefits through Lord Brahma.
"Dakshapuri" was made into a Capital City, from where he was reigning in all pomp and splendour.
He married Vedavalli, a beautiful lady of impeccable - chastity and virtues and gave birth
to innumerable sons. However 'Dakshas' - Sons had become the ardent - disciples of Sage
Naradha and unlike their father, they had taken up 'Civa-Worship' meant for attaining "Mukthi"
Later Daksha had borne Twenty seven  girls, - who had become 'Nakshatras',
and all of them were given in Marriage to the Moon God 'Chandran'.
Chandran who had developed intense fascination particularly for two of his wives
namely 'Kaarthigai and Rohini' showered all his love and affection on them, behaving
indifferently towards his other wives.
The girls, who had thus been neglected, approached Daksha and narrated their tales of
suffering on account of Chandran's indifference.
Daksha immediately pronounced a curse by which the Moon God Chandran would lose
all his radiance and wither in humiliation.
Immediately, the Moon God approached Lord Civa, and fervently sought and got graced
by Lord Civa to absolve him from the curse.
Since Lord Civa had helped the mitigation of the curse on Chandran, Daksha had
developed an antagonistic attitude towards Lord Civa.
At this juncture, Pulagar - a sage well known to Daksha had sensibly advised him to shed
the prejudice he had developed towards Lord Civa. Daksha was also pacified when he recapitulated
that as per a 'Boon' already announced Lord Civa would also become his 'Son-in Law' in due course.
In accordance with the boon conferred, 'Umaa Devi' was born as daughter to Daksha
known as Dhakshaayani and subjected herself to great penance, so as to become the 'Consort' of
Lord Civa. Lord Civa who was greatly impressed, appeared before her, and accepted her as 'His Wife'
When the 'dazzling' wedding - function was in progress, Lord Civa had suddenly disappeared.
Again Dhakshaayani started her great penance. Once again, Lord Civa riding on His Bull descended
at the spot in the form of a 'Mendicant' with great serenity and took Dhakshaayani on His Bull,
and rode away for his abode in Kailash.
Daksha, who was intolerably angry, immediately proceeded towards Kailash to see his
daughter. Lord Civa was seated along with his consort at the 'Temple Mansion' in Kailash, and
when Daksha had sought entry into the 'Temple Mansion' the 'Bhootha Ganas' [Goblins] had
flatly refused to permit him to go inside! Daksha who had become much furious returned to his
abode developing hatred towards Lord Civa.
Dakshan by now had decided to conduct a great 'Yagna' without inviting 'Lord Civa',
his Son-in-Law, who had brought much humiliation to him. He planned like this, so that Lord Civa
will not have the benefit of having the 'Avibagam' taken out of the sacred prayer (Homa
Gundam) which is considered as the super beneficial one in such Yagnas.
Though several devas, with great reluctance attended, the 'Yagna' conducted by
'Daksha' with due regard for his Mighty - powers acquired by 'Tapas' some Pre. Eminent Sages
like Agasthiar, Sanagaathi Rishis (சனகாதி முனிவர்கள்) and so on, were conspicuously absent.
Though Sage Dadhisi ( ததீசி முனிவர்) , had warned Daksha, that his line of approach, was
quite inappropriate he had adamantly refused to invite Lord Civa to the "Great Yagna"
Sage Dadhishi's explanations to Dakshan that Lord Civa - the 'Supreme Being' was solely
responsible for the cosmic activities of creation, preservation and dissolution, had fallen on deaf ears.
The 'Great Yagna' had commenced, and 'Kamadhenu' - the 'Fabled Cow' supplying the
needs of Gods had brought several mouth watering - delicacies for the Yagna feast. Besides it
had arranged to provide Chintamani, Sanganidhi, Padumanidhi as well as ornaments and garments
meant for the adornment of the Divine Guests!
The Guests comprising devas, Sages and Priests highly appreciated such wonderful
arrangements, and hospitality shown to them on the occasion. People, everywhere displayed
boundless - joy and enthusiasm!
The "Garuda" of "Thirumal' (Lord Vishnu) the daggling ' White Swan' of Lord Brahma,
elephant Iravatham of Lord Indira, the 'Wild Sheep' on which Lord Agni travels, the Buffalo
of Lord Yama were standing in line and raised their voices in Jubilation.
'Rambhas'- the dancing girls in the court of gods, sang melodious - songs, which
warmed the hearts and provided much delight to the audience. In such enchanting surroundings
the 'Main Yagna' was initiated!
Daksha, selected the foremost 'devas' at the Hall to be honoured and had been offering
"Avibagam" - the sacred and delicious-divine food.
At this juncture, Goddess - Dhakshaayani entered the sacrificial hall, and in all
seriousness pointed out how 'Daksha' her father had committed a 'great - blunder' in not
inviting his own daughter as well as Lord Civa for the Yagna!
On the other hand Daksha was castigating Lord Civa as well as Goddess Dhakshaayani
using harsh words.
Goddess Dhakshaayani immediately returned to 'Kailash'.
Lord Civa ascertaining the turn of events, had decided to put an end to such 'Yagna'
proceedings. With great indignation Lord Civa and his consort created 'Veerabhadra' and
'Bhadrakali' out of their Eyes - to teach a lesson to Dakshan.
Veerabhadra and Bhadrakali landed in the Yagna Hall. He glanced at the devas who
had assembled there, and remarked that an 'Yagna'- conducted in an unscrupulous manner is
being attended by Great Gods and Goddesses! Dhaksha had clearly revealed his decidedly
antagonistic attitude towards Lord Civa and to his own daughter!
Veerabhadra took a final decision. He took his Mighty Trident and banged it over
Lord Vishnu's chest. He gave a hard stroke on Lord Brahma's head and tossed him down.
Lord Brahma's consort's Nose had been badly mutilated!
Devas ran helter-skelter to save themselves.
He grabbed the Moon God Chandran, and scrubbed him against the floor. Besides Veerabhadra
gave a heavy-blow on Sun God's cheeks, and as a result his teeth had crumbled and dropped off.
His eyes had also been smashed. Lord Yama's head had been cut off by a deadly blow.
Lord Indira had assumed a Cuckoo Bird's form, and on noticing this, Veerabhadra
grabbed and smashed him.
Lord Agni's hands and tongue were cut into slices. His wife Swaha-Devi's Nose
was plucked-away, Lord Varuna and Lord Vayu received severe injuries, when they were
attacked by a steel club and a battle-axe.
Lord Kubera was forcefully attacked by a trident, and had been killed.
Further Veerabhadra took a powerful arrow and got rid off the 'Chief of the Asuras'.
The Presiding Deity of the Great Yagna (Dakshan himself) took the form of a Deer and tried to
escape! Its (his) head was destroyed immediately.
'Rudras' who had bowed down in reverence before Veerabhadra were forgiven, and were
asked to leave the place!
The head of 'Dhaksha' who remained highly agitated, and depressed was smashed -
and 'Lord Agni' was asked to burn it out.
'Bhadrakali' - on the other hand severely handled Daksha's wife, his other daughters
and other women in the 'Yagna Hall' and most of the participants had been assassinated!
Thus the great destruction had been completed!
Lord Civa accompanied by Goddess Dhakshaayani appeared at the Yagna Hall.
Only Lord Vishnu, and Lord Brahma, who had been badly hurt in all humility paid their obeisance.
Goddess Dhakshaayani fervently pleaded for the Resurrection of the dead. Out of
compassion Lord Civa restored all their lives!
Since Dhaksha's - Head, had been totally devoured by the 'Lord of Fire', Lord Civa
arranged to fix on him a Goats' Head, and brought him back to life.
Dhakshan, - at long last realized his great-blunder and earnestly requested Lord Civa
to forgive him. Later Lord Civa showed mercy and showered His Grace.
Thevaram songs of the illustrious saints of Tamil Nadu have paid glowing tributes to the
most attractive Lord Civa, who is instrumental in the annihilation of absolutely worthless
pursuits and functions as "Protector par Excellence" to His Devotees.
When Paandyan Kingdom was being ruled by Rajendra Pandyan, the Chola King known as
Kaaduvetti Cholan had developed great fascination for worshipping Lord Somasundareswara
of Madurai. After worshipping the Lord, in a friendly spirit the Chola King had offered
several gifts to the Paandyan King. Later he had decided to give his daughter in marriage
to Rajendra Pandyan.
Rajasimhan the younger brother of Rajendra Pandyan, who came to know of the above
arrangement had developed intense desire to marry Kaaduvetti Cholan's daughter. He conspired
against his elder brother and reached Kancheepuram. On learning this, the Chola King extended
a warm and cordial welcome to Rajasimhan and gave his daughter in marriage.
In addition, Kaaduvetti Cholan in treacherous co-ordination with his son-in-law planned
to invade Paandyan Kingdom with the view to anoint Rajasimhan as 'King'
The rival army of Chola kingdom along with Rajasimhan had established a camp at an
adjacent place near Madurai. The emissaries of Rajendra Pandyan immediately passed on the
above information to him.
The agitated Paandyan King immediately reached the temple, and prostrated before Lord
Somasundarar and fervently sought divine help explaining his plight; how Kaaduvetti Cholan
who came all alone one night, just for worship at Madurai temple, had at the outset attracted his
attention by providing gifts in a friendly fashion had later turned treacherous by invading
At this juncture, an ethereal voice announced: "Oh Paandyan King .. go ahead and
bravely fight against the rival army. I would ensure your victory"
On the next day a fierce battle had ensued, and the small Paandyan army had difficulties
in tackling the mighty army of the Chola kingdom. By Lord Somasundareswara's grace the Pandyan army
was able to present an illusory effect appearing several times 'expansive' than the actual
to the enemies' eyes.
Indefatigably, both armies clashed until the middle of the day. On account of the
scorching 'Sun', trees had withered, and water-resources had been depleted. Both the armies
encountered great hardship combined with agonizing thirst.
At this juncture, Lord Somasundarar appeared amidst the Paandyan army as a mendicant
and installed a water stall. A large brass pot filled with Ganga water having several nozzles
to provide refreshing water to the afflicted soldiers was arranged by Him by 'His Grace'.
The soldiers of the Paandyan army after quenching their thirst, began attacking their
enemies with renewed vigour, and great team spirit. The enemies were trounced in a short while.
The Chola king as well as Rajasimhan were captured and subdued and were brought before
the Paandyan king.
In this context to ascertain the 'Divine Will', the Paandyan king appealed to Lord Civa.
On hearing this, a 'Voice' from the skies announced that the most appropriate course of action
could be taken. On hearing this 'Divine Command', the Paandyan king sent away the Chola king
and also arranged to expel Rajasimhan from the Royal circles.
The Paandyan king who emerged successful led a life full of prosperity and all happiness.
At the time of universal destruction with turbulence all around, the entire universe would
be engulfed by 'Fire'. At this juncture, Lord Civa- The Supreme Destroyer – in the presence of
Goddess Uma Devi would perform the 'Dance of Destruction'. Once even Lord Vishnu who was much
agitated, approached Lord Civa, the Supreme Deity and took refuge in 'Him'. Lord Civa bestowed
'Immortality' on Lord Vishnu and provided him a New Garb: Rishaba (a bull), which would function
as Lord Civa's (Vahana) vehicle besides being the leader of all deities and living creatures.
See Story No. 1
See Story No. 60
See Story No. 15
Lord Civa's Dance represents the source of all movements of the universe encompassing
primarily 'Five Acts', such as (i) creation, (ii) preservation, (iii) dissolution,
(iv) embodiment and (v) release from bondage.
Life pulsating in the womb of every living creature is inextricably interrelated
to this Cosmic Dance, and every enlightened thinker is ready to accept this mysterious fact.
After the great destruction, Lord Civa performs His dance providing a new meaning that
all the 'Thoughts, Actions and Events' are burnt-away and the Dancer remains!
At a certain time Goddess Kali, wearing a garland of skulls performed the most dynamic
and awe inspiring Dance shaking wildly the entire firmament. Every creature in the universe
trembled and became panicky and concluded that everything was leading towards destruction.
At this juncture to pacify the situation, Lord Civa performed the most enchanting
(filled with Ananda) and venerable dance and thereby saved the 'Universe' from destruction.
At a time when Brahmin priests abandoned certain important austerities and showed an
attitude of indifference towards preaching 'Vedas', social, discipline had reached a low ebb.
A few priests preaching the Sacred Vedas were not aware of their paramount importance,
and were largely ignorant of several essential details besides having perverted minds.
In this regard when some sages made an earnest appeal to Lord Civa, 'He' explained to
them the full import of the vedas by appearing in Tiruavalavaai known as Madurai city.
In the renowned publication 'Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam' it has been stated that Vedas which
were revealed by Lord Civa had actually taken place in Madurai city,
It is conjectured that when Thiruvaathavoorar known as Saint Maanikkavaachakar lived,
this incident could also have taken place either in a coastal town or in Vedaranyam in Thanjavur
district. It is also thought that the area known as Nanthambaadi might have also been a part of
Madurai city in those days.
See Story No. 50
See Story No. 60
The word 'Panchapalli' may be treated as having two connotations.
It may be treated as the name of a town or a 'Fine Couch' possessing cool and fragrant
characteristics with fineness full of sparkling whiteness.
By considering 'Panchapalli' as a place, it could be treated as a Divine Episode.
However, when considered as a 'Couch' it may also denote how Lord Civa had married
Thadathahai and enriched the society and the kingdom, by His benign rule.
In the days of yore in mount Kailash, Lord Civa sitting under a stone banyan tree
in his aspect as Dakshinaamoorthy was imparting wisdom to the chief of sivaganas and to the
renowned four sages viz., Sanakar, Sananthanar, Sanaathanar and Sanat Kumaarar.
At this juncture, six Karthigai Devis (goddesses) wearing apparels symbolic of
religious austerities, prostrated before Lord Civa and fervently requested the noble lord
to preach the about Ashtamaa Sidhdhies.
On hearing this, Lord Civa suggested that they could learn the comprehensive secrets of
such Siddhis from Goddess Uma Devi, if they would opt to render devotional services at her feet,
deeply contemplating on her. However, Lord Civa explained the essential details.
Unfortunately, these Kaarthigai Devis on account of destiny - resulting from previous
births, failed to devote proper attention to goddess Uma Devi and thereby forgot the essential
details also of Siddhis preached by Lord Civa.
Lord Civa on perceiving this, had become furious and uttered a curse as per which these
devis would laid down as stone slabs under a banyan tree in Pattamangai Village. The Kaarthigai
devis who were much depressed pleaded to Lord Civa in all earnestness to get
relieved from this great curse.
Lord Civa indicated that after a period of one thousand years, He would Himself appear
in person in Pattamangai and grant them absolution from the curse. Thereafter, the Kaarthigai
Devis became stone slabs for one thousand years! Towards the end of thousand years,
Lord Somasundarar (Civa) who was then ruling Pandyan Kingdom with His capital in Madurai
came near the stone slabs of Kaarthigai Devis in Pattamangai village and showered His grace.
Immediately all of them regained their original personalities and prostrated at the Feet of
Lord Civan. Lord Somasundarar blessed them and preached the intricacies of Ashtamaa Sidhdhis.
Ashtamaa Sidhdhis are being classified into eight wonderful powers known as Animaa,
Mahimaa, Lahimaa, Karimaa, Piraarththi, Piraakaamiyam, Eesaaththuvam and Vasithuvam.
They left for Kailaash and after intense meditation on goddess Uma Devi, who preached them all
the details and thereafter they became fully conversant with the Ashtamaa Sidhdhis.
Note: There is a different version of the Ashtamaa Siddhis. See Story No. 23.
When Varaguna Paandyan was ruling the Paandyan Kingdom, a musician known as
Baanapathiran was regularly performing recitals with 'yaazh' (a sophisticated stringed
instrument) at Paandyan King's Court in Madurai.
One day, it dawned on him, that henceforth he should spend the time reciting his yaazh
only before Lord Civa who provided illumination to the soul. With dedicated love and conviction,
he was engaged in the noble service of reciting thrice everyday in front of Lord Somasundarar
(Civan) in the Madurai Temple. As a result, his regular earnings had declined and poverty
had set in. On perceiving this, Lord Somasundarar arranged to provide regularly some funds
to Baanapathiran for sustenance and he was leading a contended life. After some time,
Lord Somasundarar had stopped arranging for the payments. Baanapathiran had become
poverty stricken once again. One day the Lord appeared in his dream and asked him to go
and meet one of His devotees, the Chera King who will help him with funds. By telling this,
He also handed over a letter written in Palm Leaf addressed to Chera King. Baanapathiran woke up
and to his surprise saw a palm leaf in his hand. He read through the letter and with a great
delight proceeded to meet the Chera King. Lord Somasundarar also appeared in the dream of
Chera King, and advised him to provide abundant funds / riches to His great devotee - Baanapathiran -
who would be meeting him with His introductory letter.
The Chera King awoke and with great awareness of his responsibility, asked his messengers
to find out the arrival of Baanapathiran. The messengers came across Baanapathiran
and took him to the Chera King.
Sri Cheramaan Nayanaar, the King was an ardent devotee of Lord Civa; invited
Baanapathiran to his court and perused the divine letter.
The letter written by Lord Civan reads as under: "This is from Lord Civa that residing in
the magnificent temple town of Madurai - renowned for the architectural embellishments and
grandeur. May King Cheramaan who is well known for his meritocracy in providing gorgeous
gifts to poets may please take note. Baanapathiran is a highly dedicated devotee on par with you.
When he approaches, you may provide him with abundant riches and send him back to me".
King Cheramaan Nayanaar showed his big treasury and requested that Baanapathiran
may take whatever amount he needed. Baanapathiran bowed in reverence and took funds that
he needed from the treasury and returned to Madurai. On reaching Madurai, he paid obeisance
to Lord Somasundarar and lived happily and peacefully, continuing his services to Lord Civan
Lord Civa's spectacular performance in subjugating the intellectual arrogance of Rishis
performing thapas in Thaarugaavanam forest, by crushing the gobblin - Muyalagan (Symbolic of
Egoism), instigated and sent by the Rishis, had greatly captivated the mind of Aathisesha.
In order to observe once again, the great splendour of Lord Civa's dance, for subjugating the
gobblin, Aathisesha made a fervent plea to Lord Vishnu that he may be granted permission to go
to mount Kailaash to see Lord Civa's dance. Lord Vishnu agreed, Aathisesha having the
thousand studded heads (Snake serving as lounge for Vishnu) reached mount Kailaash and began
his thapas. On perceiving this, Lord Brahma had decided to detract the attention of Aathisesha
from his thapas. Brahma's efforts failed.
Lord Civa was quite amazed to find Aathisesha performing rigorous thapas appeared
before him and advised that he may transform his dreadful figure at the outset and then proceed
to Thillai and worship the Civalinga along with the tiger legged Viyagrabatha and other ascetics.
He also indicated that He would display His cosmic dance of ecstasy in the hall of Ponnambalam
at Thillai, where he can also see and enjoy His cosmic dance. Acting on the advice of Lord Civa,
Aathisesha transferred his figure into an ardent devotee reached Thillai and was overjoyed by
watching the dance of Civa performed in ecstasy at Thillai in Chidambaram.
Aathiseshan was given the nick name Pathanjali with reverence and affection. Sage Pathanjali
once visited Madurai to participate in the grand wedding ceremony of Lord Somasundarar - but soon
started leaving the hall without having dinner. As a true devotee, he strongly adhered to the
'niyamaa' (religious duty) of taking food only after witnessing daily the dance of Civa being
performed in ecstasy at Thillai. On knowing this, Lord Civa immediately performed his dance of
ecstasy exclusively for the benefit of Sage Pathanjali who then continued to stay on for dinner
in Madurai itself. Lord Civa then showered His blessings on the sage Pathanjali.
See Story No. 50
Lord Civa after marrying Thadaathagai Piraatiyaar was ruling the Pandyan Kingdom with
great commitment to excellence. His mistress one day informed Lord Civa that her mother
Kaanchanamaalai was keenly interested in having a holy sea bath. Lord Civa on hearing this,
arranged for a sea bath by summoning all the seven seas to form into shape and to have a
water spread in Madurai itself, so as to facilitate and fulfill His mother-in-law's wishes.
However, Kaanchanamaalaa had the inner conviction that bathing in the sacred water of seven seas
would confer optimum benefits only when both husband and wife bath together. On knowing this,
Lord Civa bid Malaiyathuvaja Pandyan who was then in Devaloha to go over to earth to meet his wife
People were exhilarated when they came to know that Malaiyathuvaja Pandyan
had returned. Along with his wife adorned in auspicious form, Malaiyathuvaja Pandyan had the
sacred sea bath wherein all the seven seas had confluenced. After this auspicious bath -
both had acquired absolute freedom from bondage (Free of Illusions - Paasam) as well as
the 'sorubaa' state highly revered by earthly inhabitants. After passing through all the
other logas, the noble couple finally reached Civa Loga.
In Seinjalur Town situated on the banks of river Manni several brahmins and learned
sages led a happy and contended life, meticulously performing all the six rites and rituals
to be performed by them. In the noble clan, a person called Echcha Thaththan got married to
one Pavithraa the bride selected by his clan, and they led a happy family life. A son was
born to them and he was named Visaara Saruman. The boy had undergone several excellent training
courses in education and had accumulated meritocracy. On attaining the age of seven, Upanayanam
was performed for him. Though the young lad was well versed in several branches of knowledge,
he developed the inner conviction that everything ultimately emanated from the
golden Feet of Lord Civan.
He began to nurture intense devotion and love for Lord Civan. It so happened that
on one occasion, when the lad went along near a cow herd, he witnessed how cruelly
a cow was thrashed just for hissing. The lad was much perturbed, intervened and indicated
that a cow having several divine attributes should not be treated in such a cruel manner.
Besides, the lad announced that hereafter he would take the responsibility of tending
With great devotion, Visaara Saruman started tending the cattle by suitably allowing
all the cattle to graze in excellent pastures and by providing sufficient water to drink and
rest for the animals. Since then, the cows started yielding more milk than before. Beneath an
aathi tree in the river bed, he built a small nichi for Lord Civa in Linga form out of sand.
He plucked aathi flowers from the tree and ritually bathed the Civa lingam with milk, and
A stranger who had observed the lad's activities informed it to the inhabitants of the town,
the lad's father Echcha Thaththan also came to know about this. To ascertain the position, Echcha
Thaththan one day went behind his son who had left earlier for tending the cattle. Hiding behind
a suitable place, Echcha Thaththan observed that his son Visaara Saruman was performing archana
for the sand Civa Linga after bathing It with plenty of milk.
Echcha Thaththan got furious, took a big stick and started thrashing the lad. After witnessing
that his son remained unmoved he displayed his temper by kicking the milk pot meant for the Lord's
sacred bath. On observing that the milk had been spilt, the young lad took the stick and throwed it
forcefully on his father's feet. And as a result, Echcha Thaththan's leg had been severed and he fell
flatly on the ground.
On seeing this, the immaculate Lord Civan appeared in the scene and graciously stated that
out of intense devotion for Him (the Almighty), he had gone to the extent of striking down his own father.
He further indicated that it would be Lord Civan's privilege to have the lad as His own son in the
lad's next birth. He also made him the leader of all devotees and gave him the title as 'Sandeeswarar'.
All the devas were delighted and showered blossoms and blessings on the greatest young devotee
of Lord Civa who had been transformed to take the form of 'Son of Lord Civan' called Sandeeswarar.
The Falcon (the bird Garuda which serves as vehicle to Lord Vishnu) and the Serpent are
the two offsprings of the two wives of a single father. However, on account of hostility among
the two wives these creatures also invariably quarreled with each other. The 'Falcon' used to
chase and torture the serpents whenever it sees it. Out of fear, the serpent took refuge in
Lord Civa who gave protection by wearing them as his jewellery. While the sages of "Dharugavana"
were performing the spiritual rites, the serpents, which emanated from the holy fire came wildly
hissing towards Lord Civa. He took these serpents also smilingly and they remained coiled all
round His neck. Only when Lord Civa was getting ready for his wedding function, He commuted all
the serpents into fine glittering jewellery and wore them. He then looked as personification of beauty.
See Story No. 35.
Child Upamanyu, son of Viyakrapathar used to consume only the milk of Kamadhenu
while living in heavenly abode. When his father came to Chidambaram to have dharshan of
Lord Civa's dance, he brought the child also along with him to Chidambaram. When the
ordinary cow's milk in Chidambaram was fed, the child refused to take the milk and was crying.
Viyakrapathar prayed to Lord Civa about the situation. Lord Civan immediately arranged for
the best quality milk from the ocean of milk (Thiruppaarkadal - திருப்பாற்கடல்). The boy child
consumed this milk and stopped crying.
When Pandyan King directed his ministers to take immediate steps to control the flood in
'Vaigai River' which was in furious spate, it was announced that every householder in Madurai Town
should contribute necessary labour (supportive - effort) towards controlling flood waters.
Each individual was allocated a portion on which adequate sand and other filling materials
should be suitably dumped so as to contain the flood water. Vandhi, an old woman having none
to help her was selling Pittu (a sweet dish) to eke-out her living. She was a great devotee
of Lord Civa. She used to commence her sales every day, only after offering her preparation of
Pittu (as Naivedya - offering in devotion) to Lord Civa.She was much worried that a portion on the
river bank which had been allotted to her had remained unattended. She fervently prayed to
Lord Civa to tackle this problem.
Lord Civa (listening to her prayers) clad in the clothing of a labourer approached her
and asked her whether he could undertake any job for her. She simply overjoyed and accepted the
offer of the labourer to complete the work allotted to her on the bank of the river Vaigai.
She said that she will give all the Pittu that comes out in a loose state to him as wages.
On that day the entire Pittu she prepared came out loosely. The Labourer (actually Lord Civa
in disguise) wanted to consume the Pittu immediately stating that he was quite hungry.
Later he proceeded to the river bank, with a basket of sand and other accessories assuring
Vanthi that he would complete her portion of job. However after reaching the spot, the Labourer
was simply whiling away the time, pretending as though he was busily engaged.
Since the portion of work to be completed by Vanthi remained unattended the matter was
brought to the attention of the King by the subordinates. The enraged King proceeded to the spot
and gave a stroke on the Labourer with his cane for not doing his job. Alas! The stroke given by
the king on the labourer's back, was felt instantaneously by the king, the minister, the people
all around, the people in the town and by everybody in the cosmos. The labourer dumped a basket
fill of sand on Vandhi's portion and suddenly disappeared.
An eternal voice was heard as under "To perpetuate the greatness of Maanikkavaachakar
which you have not realised so far and the entire people of the earth to know that Maanikkavaachakar
is a highly evolved sage, all these events took place on my orders. Serve Maanikkavaachakar
and lead a good life. Be it known to you that Vandhi, the old woman, had reached Civa Loka
on account of her true and unalloyed devotion to Him".
Chandran, the Moon God, had married twenty-seven daughters of Dhakshan. These
Twenty-seven are being recognised as twenty-seven stars (Nakshatras) in the firmament.
Though Chandra the moon had married twenty-seven wives, he had intense fascination and love
for the most charming among them viz., Rohini and Kaarthigai. He also devoted most of his
attention to them forgetting the rest of his wives. His indifference towards the other wives
had much infuriated Dakshan who cursed the moon Chandra to witheraway.
The Moon God Chandran soon after noticed that he was losing his lustre gradually,
and the entire body was becoming slim and pale. On account of this, Chandran became extremely
sad, and was totally upset. Therefore, he approached Lord Civa, the Supreme Being for seeking
release from this great curse. By the time, he reached Lord Civa's abode only one ray of
Chandran's splendour was intact. Lord Civa, who is renowned for rendering immediate help to
the downtrodden devotees, blessed him against the curse and crowned the Crescent Moon amidst
his locks of hair. The curse for waxing had ceased, and Lord Civa's blessings for waning of
the Moon had commenced. Lord Civa was seen at the outset wearing only one ray of the Moon
as his crown on his Head.
See Story No. 33
In the southern Pandyan Kingdom, there was a forest abounding in Kadappa Trees.
In the above forest, a Doe (female deer) with her fawns were living in a secluded place.
Invariably, before proceeding to drink water or feed on grass, the mother deer used to leave
its fawns in a bush for safety. One day, it so happened that while the mother stag went out
to drink water in a nearby pond, a hunter noticed it, and immediately took his bow sent an arrow,
killed it and took it away. The fawns waited for quite a long time to have milk from
their mother in vain. Lord Civa, well known for his boundless compassion took pity on these fawns.
He made a Tigress (a female tiger) to feed the young ones living in a desperate condition.
The tigress accordingly fed all the fawns until they were able to roam and feed by themselves.
See Story No. 80
Himavan, who was acknowledged for his divine attributes was ruling the Himalayan
Kingdom, and he was fortunate in having Goddess Uma as his daughter, who was born after his
long penance. However, Uma had developed intense - earnestness to become the consort of
Lord Civa and therefore she was always found engaged in constant Tapas (Penance). She married
Lord Civa as per traditional rites and after the marriage, Lord Civa and Goddess Uma had been
transformed into a captivating Divine Whole (Ardhanaareeswara) with Goddess Uma occupying
the left half, and Lord Civa on the right half of His body (Concorporate)
The Mighty Demons were in control of Three Flying Cities built around Fortresses
made out of Gold, Silver and Steel! These demons were terrorizing the celestials (devas)
constantly, with great ferocity causing vast destruction all around. Since destroying
such demons would not be an easy task, the devas decided to transform themselves into parts
and components of a Great Chariot as well as in the forms of weapons in disguise, and suitably
arranged that Lord Civa would occupy the seat on the Great Chariot to fight and destroy them
and their cities. The devas were immensely proud of their wonderful plan since such a
concerted endeavour alone would destroy the demons
Lord Civa understood the thinking of the devas and wanted to teach them also a lesson.
The Devas approached Lord Civa and told them their plans to destroy the three flying cities.
Lord Civa without the help of the chariot simply smiled. The three cities were destroyed.
The story provides ample testimony to the fact that Lord Civa, the Almighty who is in control
of the entire cosmos could take any suitable manifestation - depending upon the situation to
protect whatever is good and destroy the evil found in any form.
See Story No. 3
See Story No. 2
See Story No 25
See Story No. 60
See Story No. 33
See Story No. 45
Goddess Thadathakai (Meenakshi), the supporter of the world, had acquired intense
fascination to court the graces and submit to the discipline of Tamil Literature and to
disseminate its oriental exuberance all around. Thadathakai, along with Lord Civa bearing
the name Soundara Pandyan and Lord Kumara Vezh bearing the name Ukkira Kumara Pandyan
were ruling the Pandyan Kingdom with Madurai as their capital city. During His Governance,
Lord Civa at Velambuthur town presented to Lord Ukkira Kumaran a Vezh, certain essential
weapons of warfare such as A Fine Lance, Boomerang and A Sharp Bifurcated Rod (Missile)
in recognition of his extra ordinary qualities. All the three - Lord Civa, Thadathakai
and Kumara Vezh greatly rejoiced in internalizing and disseminating Tamil Language
and Tamil Culture - having divine attributes besides endeavoured to transform Tamilnadu
into a revered and sacred place.