Author Topic: Tiru Navukkarasar Nayanar (Appar) - (One of the 63 Siva Saints)  (Read 1958 times)


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Tirunavukkarasrar, was born in a town called Tirunamoor, on the banks of Pennai river.  His father was Puhazhanar and his mother
was Madini.  The couples who were ardent devotees of Siva, also had
a elder daughter by name Tilakavati.  The saint's original name is Marulneekiyar.  He grew as devout Siva devotee and also was very
intelligent in learning.  Soon Puhazhanar wanted to marry away his
daughter Tilakavati and accordingly a handsome bridegroom Kalippahai was chosen.  Kalippahai belonged to warrior class.  Before the wedding could take place, Kalippahai had to go for a war to support his king.  The wedding was thus postponed.  In between
both Puhazhanar and his wife Madini, died one after another.  Tilakvati was struck with exterme misery and despair.  The younger son, Maulneekki prostrated to his sister and said:  You are my mother and father. You should take care of me and make me a learned person in this land.  As if the miseries that afflicted Tilakavati were not adequate, news came from the battlefront that  Kalippahai had also attained veera-swarga.  Tilakavati stood speechless. In a few days, she decided that having been betrothed to Kalippahai, she would not marry anyone and she would live only for her brother.

The young Marulneeki was then sent to Pataliputra, (today's Cuddalore) for learning.  There, the young boy took to fascination for Jainism and learned all the Jaina scriptures. He shone well in the gurukula and could even defeat Buddhists in the debate. He was conferred the title of Dharmasena.  This news brought extereme sadness in the mind of Tilakvati and she decided to pursue Saivism and then pray intently to Lord Siva, to show the correct way to her younger brother. She was fasting and praying in the temple of Tiru Adigai, near the river Gadilam.

Soon the Lord's grace began to act in a peculiar way.  Marulneeki,
started having unbearable colic pain. He rushed to the elders in the Jain Math for succour. But their mantras and peacock feather touching could not heal him.  His suffering continued for days and finally he sent a messenger to Tilakvati to tell her about his predicament and to come to Pataliputra to help her.  Tilakvati refused to go to the precincts of Jaina Math in Pataliputra and so
Marulneeki came to her in Tiru Adigai.  At dead of night, leaving all the robes of Jain monks and other possessions, he went to Tiru Adigai.   Tilakavati welcomed him and asked him to stay with her.
Tilakavati then went to the temple of Siva, prayed intently in the shrine and then brought vibhuti and applied on the body of her brother, who was lying in the house, with wreathing pain.  Upto the early morning , she chanted Panchakshara and applied the holy ashes. With the dawn, Marulneeki's colic pain, disappeared into darkness!   In the early morning, Marulneeki went to the temple along with other servitors with an axe in his hand, (to remove the weeds in the temple) and did service with other servitors and then had a darshan of Siva, circumambulated the temple.  He then sang his first song:  Kootrayina varu Vilakkahileer... O Siva, please remove the deady disease of mine!   He became totally healthy and cheerful.  The voice from heavens then said: From today, you will be called
Vageesar or Tirunavukkarasar, one who is the Master of Tongue!
Thus Marulneeki, nee Dharmasena became Tirunavukkarasar!

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

Arunachala Siva.