Author Topic: Pugazh Chozha Nayanar (One of the 63 Siva Saints)  (Read 1459 times)


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Pugazh Chozha Nayanar (One of the 63 Siva Saints)
« on: December 19, 2008, 12:25:03 PM »
In the olden days, there was a King in Chozha Kingdom, by name
Anapaya Chozha.  His capital was Uraiyur, a small town near today's
Tiruchirapalli.  He was known for his valour.  He defeated many neighbouring kingdoms with his army.  He was the one who asked
Saint Eripatthar to cut him, when the latter had punished his royal
tusker, when the tusker had wounded a Brahmin.)   Anapaya
Chozha was crowned in Chidambaram, and he was himself a great
devotee of Siva, who constructed over  the court of Nataraja, golden
roof and covered the steps before the Court with golden plates.

Pugazh Chozha went to war with Athikan, a mountain chieftain who
was troubling his citizens.  His army killed many warriors and he
also fell many warriors.  When the severed heads of enemy soldiers
were brought to him in his new capital Karuvur, he found to his shock,
a head, with matted tresses and holy ahes on its forehead.    He was
shocked and shed profuse tears.  He exclaimed: O what a curse has come upon me! What a great sacrilege have I committed, by beheading a
soldier who was a Siva devotee, with matted locks and holy ashes!

There upon, he told his minister to invest his son with the crown as
he himself would self-immolate himself for the sin.  He made a
sacrificial fire and stood facing it.  His limbs were shining with holy
ashes.  He bent down and prostrated first, to the severed head of the
solider, killed.  He then chanted Panchkashara and dived in to the

Heavens showered fragrant flowers!  Celestials were singing.  The
Chozha King, rose to the Abode of  Siva.  He came to be called
Pugazh Chozha, the Chozha King with great fame!

(Source:  Periya Puranam, Sekkizhar. Tamil Verses.  Book XII of
Siva Canons.  Translation and Prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.