Author Topic: Viran Meenda Nayanar  (Read 2107 times)


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Viran Meenda Nayanar
« on: December 01, 2008, 11:35:43 AM »
There was a great Siva devotee, by name Viran Meenda Nayanar,
who hailed from Chenkunroor, now in Kerala.  He came to Tiruvarur,
and wanted to settle down there.  He was an agriculturist.  He was
praying to Tyagesar, Siva in Tiruvrur temple, everyday, and was
discussing the Siva's glories with his fellow devotees, on the outer
portals of Tiruvarur temple.  This Tiruvarur is about 100 kms from

One day Sundaramoorthy, one of the four great Siva saints came
to Tiruvarur.  Sundaramoorthy came to the temple, and ignoring
the Siva devotees, he was about to go into the temple.  Viran Meenda
Nayanar, got wild with him, saying, "O Militant fellow!  You have no
courtesy to pay obeisance to the Siva devotees, who are more than
Siva Himself.  What sort of a Siva devotee, are you?"  So saying,
he decided to go away from Tiruvarur, because he did not want to
go to a Siva temple, where Siva's devotees are slighted.  He went to
a nearby village.  He was sleeping.  In the dream, Siva appeared and
said: "Look, my friend!  That Sundaramoorthy has made a mistake in
not prostrating to my devotees first. Please forgive him and go back
to Tiruvarur."  Viran Meenda Nayanar was not ready for a compromise.
He was thinking, that any injustice to Siva devotees should not be pardoned at all.  He woke up and cut his legs so that he will not change
his mind to go to Tiruvarur, next day.  Bleeding and groaning in pain,
he went to some sleep that night.  In the morning, the legs that were
sundered, reappeared, reminding Siva's request to him, to go to

He went to the Tiruvarur temple and found to his amazement that
Sundaramoorthy was waiting at the entrance for him.  Sundarmoorthy
came near and prostrated before him and asked for his pardon!  Viran
Meenda Nayanar told Sundaramoorthy:  "Please do not mind my anger,
we are now friends.  But please, first sing the glories of Siva devotees."

Sundaramoorthy thereupon sang a beautfiul long poem praising all the
sixty* Siva Saints.  He said in each line, that he is the devotee of the
devotees of each such great devotee!  This song is called Tiru Thonda
Thokai, meaning, the list of the great saints of Siva.  It starts with
Thillai Vazh Andhanar tham adiyarkum adiyen.... I am the devotee
of the devotees of the three thousand great Brahmins in Chidambaram!**

This song is the basis from which later, Seklkizhar composed Periya
Puranam and got it read at Chidambaram temple, in the presence of
Chozha King, Anabhaya Chozha.

Viran Meendar spent a few days with Sundrarmoorthy and continued
his service in Tiruvarur temple and got merged with Siva, at a ripe age.

(* The song of Sundaramoorthy speaks about 60 saints only.  He,
his mother and father are the three more added later, making the
total 63. ** The three thousand Brahmins of Chidambaram, who do
daily poojas by turn in Nataraja temple, are the foremost Siva devotees,
and as a group, they form the first one!)

(Source: Periya Puranam, Sekkizhar. Tamil Verses.  Translation
and Prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.