Sundara Moorthi NAYANAR

Sundarar (Moorthi Nayanar) lived in the 8th century. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He is one of the 63 Nayanars and one of the 4 Tamil Samaya Kuravars (served to glorify the God) who sang on Lord Shiva.

Sundarar sang the glories of Lord Siva at all the sacred places that he visited. These hymns are called “Thevaaram”. They have been collected into a book-form. Devotees sing the Thevaaram even today. The hymns sung by Sambanthar, Sundarar, Appar, and Manikkavasagar are called Thevaaram.

Their songs are compiled into 12 chapters known as ‘12 Thirumuraikal’. The 1 – 3 contained the song os Sambanthar and 4 – 6 are of Appar and 7 is of Suntharar and 8 contained Manicavaskar’s and the remaining 9 -12 are of other authors.

Like 63 Nayanmars of Saivaites, there were 12 Azhwars of Vainavaites. Among those 12 Azhwars, only 1 female Azhwar, Aandal had treated the Lord Narayana as her fiance. And Sundarar had the attitude of a friend towards Lord Shiva. He freely demanded the Lord whatever he wanted and got them all. He did not do so with selfish desire, however. Whatever Sundarar asked for was for the sake of those who were dependent on him.

He lived only eighteen years.

Sundarar was born in Thiru Navalur where the entire atmosphere was full of spiritual vibrations and Saivism was well established. In this place, there lived a pious, devout and respected Brahmin by name Sadaiyar — whose ancestors were all ardent devotees of Lord Siva. Isai-Gnani Ammaiyar was his dutiful wife. She gave birth to a divine child whom the parents named — Nambi Arurar — after its grandfather.

In his previous incarnation, Arurar was Alala Sundarar, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva. When the milky ocean was being churned by Devas and Asuras, a deadly poison began to spread on the surface of the ocean threatening the existence of all beings. Then Alala Sundarar collected that poison in his hand and gave it to Lord Siva who drank it for the protection of the world. Hence, Sundarar got the word Alala (for Halahala, the poison) prefixed to his name.

Once, when Alala Sundarar was living by the side of Lord Siva in the Sivaloga, serving the Lord and bringing flowers from the garden for His worship, Sundarar cast a lustful look at Aninditi and Kamalini, the attendants of Goddess Parvathi who had also gone to the garden to collect flowers for the Divine Mother’s worship. They, too, fell in love with Sundarar.

 

Lord Siva, through His divine vision, understood all that had happened in the garden. He called Alala Sundarar and said, “Sundarar, since you fell in love with these girls, you and they, too, will go down to the earth and take a human birth. You will marry them and enjoy the pleasures of the world.”

Sundarar wept bitterly, regretting his folly which had resulted in his separation from the Lord. He prayed to the Lord, “Oh Lord! It is due to my evil thought that I have to undergo this separation from you. I am afraid lest I should be steeped in ignorance and forget you. Oh Lord of mercy! Let this not happen to me. Oh Lord of compassion! Dispel my ignorance soon and take me back to your lotus feet.”

Lord Siva granted this wish.

There was another cause for Sundarar’s human birth. To an ordinary man, it may appear that Sundarar was a victim to lust in the divine realm of Kailasa. It was not so. Sundarar was only an instrument in the hands of God.

It was Lord Siva’s wish that Sundarar should sing ‘Thiru-Thondar-Thogai’ for the benefit of mankind.

So, it was a divine play of Lord Siva that made Sundarar’s mind to  desire for these two girls.

Sundarar was, therefore, born as Arurar. While he was playing outside his home, the king of that place, Narasinga Munaiyar, happened to see the beautiful child and fell in love with Sundarar. The childless King wanted to adopt and bring Sundarar up himself and asked for the parents’ permission.

Which parents wouldn’t like their child become a prince and a heir to the kingdom? However Sadayar and Isai-Gnaniyar, both later regarded as Nayanmars later, were pious and believed in not attaching their mind on anything in this world. Hence they immediately complied with the childless king’s wish

The boy grew up under royal care. At the proper age, the parents wanted to get their son married. Sadaiyar sought Sandakavi Sivachariar’s consent to obtain his daughter’s hand for his son, Arurar. Sivachariar gladly agreed.

But, they were unaware that the wedding was not to take place.

Just when the ceremony was to begin, an old Brahmin, with sacred ashes on his body, rudraksha around his neck and matted locks on his head, had rushed in and shouted, “STOP, STOP… This man, Arurar, is my bond-slave, I have a document to that effect executed by his grandfather. He cannot marry.”

There were arguments between the old Brahmin and Sundarar who maintained the document was fake and the old man was a “Piththan” to spoil a holy wedding ceremony.

Piththan in Tamil means madman and Lord Siva who delights to be called a “mad man,” to exemplify the state of the highest Yogi whose behavior resembles that of a mad man but who teaches us that there is nothing in this world worth taking any notice of and the worldly “wise men” are all mad people in truth.

The old man pulled out a leaf to show that Sundarar great grandfather signed a proclamation that he and his generations to come will be slaves of him forever.

Sundarar did not even wait for a second but to picked it from the old man’s hand and thrown into the yagna fire.

Crying out that Sundarar played a foul game, the old man demanded the case been heard by the village wise-men.

You just lost your evidence to that fire and what is the point in going to the village wise-men, asked Sundarar.

“I knew you are a fraud and so I gave you a copy and I keep the original still, don’t waste any more time, let go to the wise-men panel”, said the old man and started walking out.

Speachless Sundarar just followed him.

The wise-men checked the document which read as follows:

I, Aruran, the Aathi Saivite of Thirunavalur, execute this bond of slavery with heart and soul. I and my progeny for all time to come are bond-slaves to Piththan of Thiruvennai Nallur, and we are bound to serve him by all means.

After examining the witnesses cited in the document and verifying the grandfather’s signature, the assembly confirmed the old man’s claim. Sundarar had to accept it as God’s will.

The old Brahmin, thus, put an end to the ceremony and told Sundarar that he was his slave.

The old man ordered Sundarar to follow him and stated walking fast.

Sundarar and the old man had a heated argument. Sundarar asked him, “You are acting like a Piththan and who are you and from where have you come?”

To which the Brahmin replied, “I am from the village called Thiruvennai Nallur.”

Sundarar called the Brahmin a liar and said, “how long still to walk”

“Not that far, just keep quiet and walk faster,” said the old man.

“Look, there is my home,” said the old man to the tired young man, after walking a long distance, pointing the direction of the Thiruvennai Nallur Shiva temple.

Sundarar shouted at him saying, “instead of showing your home, you are showing me the Shiva temple, ah..hah.. you are indeed a mad person, Piththan”.

Smiling, the old man entered the temple, walked into the sanctum and promptly vanished.

Sundarar looked here and there for the old man who walked in with him. “Where did you go”, he asked in total disbelieve.

A voice came out from the sanctum which said, “O, young man, I am visited daily by thousands of devotees, still I came out to you to listen to your Tamil”, didn’t you realise yet Sundara?. 

Totally taken by surprise, Sundarar cried out loud saying; “Were you the one who came to stop the wedding and taken me into your fold? Have I argued with you this long and shouted at you?, oh God, can I be pardoned?

The Lord appeared again and said, “Sundara, let the memory of your previous birth return and your subconscious mind open”.

“Oh, God, I came to the earth to sing your glories but I forgot you and from now onwards I will glorify you with my Tamil”, said Sundarar.

Because Sundarar had quarrelled with, the Lord Himself called Sundarar Vanthondan (the devotee who used harsh words -rude devotee-) and expressed his desire to listen a song in his smart voice. Sundarar told him, “I don’t know how to begin with”.

“My dear child, you called Me Pithan (madman) during your quarrel. So, begin with this word and compose a poem,” said Lord Siva.

Sundarar did so. The result was that inspiring poem Piththa Pirai Soodi. The Lord Himself came to be known as Thadu-thaat-konda Iswar (the Lord stopped and saved him from samsara (marriage life)).

piththaapi’rai soodeeperu
maanaeyaru ‘laa’laa
eththaanma’ra vaathae:ninaik
kin’raenmanath thunnai
vaiththaaype’n’naith thenpaalve’n’ney
:nalloorarud du’raiyu’l
aththaaunak kaa’laayini
allaenena laamae

(Transliteration of the Tamil song)

Sundarar later visited a number of holy places and sang the praise of the Lord in all of them. Sundarar came to Adigai Virattanam, the sacred place where Appar (One of the four Saivaite saints who sang on the Lord) served the Lord Viratteswarar and was blessed.

Sundarar thought that he was not deserved enough to place his foot on the sacred ground and so stayed on the outskirts of the village.

That night when Sundarar was asleep, the Lord in the guise of an old man entered the mutt. The old man lay down close to where Sundarar was sleeping and pretended to sleep. He then placed His feet on the head of Sundarar. When Sundarar objected to this, the old man apologized.

Sundarar went over to another corner of the room. There, too, the old man repeated the same action. Sundarar did not lose his temper — instead Sundarar calmly asked the old man for his identity and explanation for the abnormal behavior.

“Oh friend, don’t you know me?” replied the old man, who then disappeared.

Sundarar realized that it was again the Lord Himself. Since Sundarar had not gone into the sacred place (Adigai Virattanam) for Siva’s darshan, the Lord Himself had come out to where the devotee was! Sundarar prayed, “Oh Lord! How kind and merciful you are! Even devotees who are well-versed in Vedas and Agamas cannot touch your feet. Out of love towards this poor creature, you left your abode and came here to bless me with your holy feet.”

Sundarar again continued his pilgrimage. At Thillai (Chidambaram), he went into a trance even as he saw the temple tower. In his ecstasy, Sundarar rolled on the ground and shed profuse tears of love. He had the darshan of Lord Nataraja. A heavenly voice commanded him to go to Thiruvaaroor.

He then visited many other shrines and came to Thiruvaaroor. The Lord appeared to the Brahmins of Thiruvaaroor and asked them to receive Sundarar with due honours. They did so. As Sundarar was worshipping the Lord in the temple, he heard a heavenly voice, “Sundarar! I have made you my friend. I prevented you from getting married. Hereafter, you will appear for ever as a bridegroom and sport on earth.”

Immediately, Sundarar became a handsome bridegroom. People called him “Thambiraan Tholar (friend of God).”

In Thiruvaaroor, there was a chaste woman by name Paravayar who was none other than Kamalini, the attendant of Parvathi in Kailasa. Daily she would go to the temple and worship the Lord with faith and devotion and sing Siva’s glories.

One day, as usual Paravayar came to the temple with her friends to worship the Lord. At the same time, Sundarar, with his devotees entered the temple. Prompted by past Karma, Sundarar was attracted by Paravayar’s beauty. He wanted to marry her and entered the shrine of the Lord with this thought. The Lord was Sundarar’s friend, and so, he expressed his desire to Siva!

Paravayar who had seen Sundarar in the temple also fell in love with him and wanted to marry him.

The marriage was pre-ordained by Lord Siva Himself and it was now Siva’s duty to bring it about. He appeared to both of them in their dreams and told them that they would get married. Siva also commanded the temple’s Brahmins in their dream to arrange for the wedding of Paravayar and Sundarar the very next day. This was done accordingly, to the joy of both Paravayar and Sundarar.

One day, Sundarar went into the temple and found a number of devotees of the Lord there. He wanted to sing their glories. The Lord Himself sang the first line of the famous poem Thiru-Thondar-Thogai and (by Siva’s grace) Sundarar completed it. In fact, the purpose of him to come down to earth is to compile this.

During Sundarar’s stay at Thiruvaaroor, a Vellala (a Farmer)by name Kundaiyur Kilar (who was very highly devoted to Sundarar) was regularly supplying Paravayar with enough grains and groceries for the maintenance of Sundarar and the devotees. Suddenly, there was famine in the district and people suffered for want of food. Kundaiyur Kilar was also affected. He was afflicted at heart because he could not supply the needs of Sundarar. Lord Siva appeared in his dream and promised enough grain!

The next morning, Kundaiyur Kilar found huge heaps of grain. At the same time the Lord appeared before Sundarar and informed him of the incident. 

At once Sundarar left for Kundaiyur to meet Kilar. They met half-way. Sundarar saw the heaps of grain at Kundaiyur and knew that it was Siva’s leela. He went to a nearby Kovil (temple) and sang the praise of the Lord, and entreated Siva to have the grain removed to Thiruvaaroor.

:nee’la :ninai:nthadiyaen unai
:niththalung kaithozhuvaen
vaa’lana ka’nmadavaa ‘lava’l
vaadi varu:nthaamae
koa’lili emperumaan ku’ndai
yoorchchila :nellup pe’r’raen
aa’lilai emperumaan avai
addith tharappa’niyae

(Transliteration of the Tamil song)

 A celestial voice immediately assured Sundarar of this.

Sundarar returned to Thiruvaaroor and informed Paravayar of all that happened. That night the Shiva Sehna (servants of Lord Siva) removed the heaps of grain and filled the entire town of Thiruvaaroor with it! Paravayar offered repeated prostrations to the Lord and sang Siva’s glory. She asked the people to take the grain to appease their hunger. Thus, the famine came to an end. All the people glorified the Lord and Paravayar.

It was Paravayar’s custom to distribute plenty of money and other articles in charity on Panguni Uttaram, a festival day when Siva and Parvathi united.

However, this time around there was not enough money or other items and so both worried.

Sundarar went to Thirupugalur and prayed to the Lord to give him gold for the sake of Paravayar and the festival.

That night he slept there with a few bricks as his pillow.

The next morning, Sundarar woke up to find that all the bricks had been converted into gold.

Sundarar was surprised at this miracle of Lord Siva and sang Siva’s glory and returned to Thiruvaaroor. On the way, Sundarar had a vision of the Lord at Thiru Panaiyur.

He gave all the gold to Paravaiyar who was happy that her divine works would continue without any disturbance.

Then Sundarar came to Thirumuthukunram. He worshipped the Lord, and sang a pathigam expressing his desire for gold coins. The Lord gave him 12,000 pieces of gold. Sundarar prayed to the Lord to remove these gold pieces to Thiruvaaroor.

The Lord asked Sundarar to throw them into the river Manimukta and to receive them back at Thiruvaaroor. Sundarar did so, keeping a piece for identification.

On return to Thiruvaaroor, Sundarar described Paravayar what has happened and along with her went to the tank to get back the gold pieces.

Sundarar dived into the eastern side of the tank and searched for the gold, as though he had put them there. He could not find them.

At this point, Paravayar laughed off at him and said, “are you searching in the pond, that you dropped in a river”

Sorely afflicted at heart, he sang a song. That was what the Lord wanted. Sundarar got the gold. All were amazed. 

But, on identification, it was found that the gold was inferior in value to the piece that Sundarar had kept back with him. Sundarar sang a song again and the Lord restored to them their original value.

Later on, Sundarar went to Thiruvotriyur and stayed there for some time, worshipping the Lord there.

Aninditiyar, the other maid-servant of Parvathi in Kailasa, who had also taken human birth, was now Sangilyar in Jnayiru in Thondai Nadu.

Her father was Jnayiru Kilar, who was also a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. Sangiliyar was grown up enough be a pretty young lady to get married. But she rejected all and indicated she can only marry the one who the Lord recommends and shows her.

Jnayiru Kilar took her to Thiruvotriyur and built a small Ashram for her there and told her to carry out the services to Lord

Part of Sangiliyar’s daily routine was to weave garlands for the Lord in the temple. She regularly visited the temple and worshipped the Lord.

One day Sundarar and the devotees went to the temple. After the worship, they came to the place where some devotees were making garlands for the Lord. Sangiliyar was also there. Sundarar was attracted by her beauty, due to previous birth occurrences. He wanted to marry her and expressed this wish to the Lord. The Lord promised to fulfill his wish.

The Lord appeared in Sangiliyar’s dream and said, “Oh noble soul, I am highly pleased with your devotion. Now I tell this for your own good. Sundarar wants to marry you. He is my friend. He asked me to arrange the marriage. So, marry him. You will be happy.”

Sangiliyar prostrated before the Lord and said, “Oh Lord, I will obey your command and marry him. But, he may desert me since he is already married.”

The Lord asked her to get a promise from Sundarar that he would not part from her under any circumstance.

Then the Lord appeared before Sundarar and said that Sangiliyar had agreed to marry him on condition that he would not part from her. Sundarar said, “Oh Lord, how can I agree to this condition since I am constantly moving about visiting many holy shrines? But, if you so desire, then assure me that you will withdraw your presence from the Lingam in the temple and will take your abode in the nearby tree when I take the oath before your image.”

The Lord granted Sundarar this wish and disappeared.

Siva again appeared before Sangiliyar and said, “Oh noble soul, Sundarar has agreed to your condition. But, ask him to make this promise, not before the Lingam in the temple, but in front of the nearby tree.”

The next morning Sangiliyar came to the temple. Sundarar was waiting there for her. Sangiliyar’s friends told Sundarar that she wished the promise to be given in front of the nearby tree. Sundarar was taken aback by the request but accepted the proposal. The promise was given.

The marriage was immediately solemnised.

In Thiruvaaroor, Vasanta Utsavam was being celebrated on a grand scale. Sundarar remembered the festival and longed to go there. He also recollected that Paravayar would sing and dance there in front of the Lord. At the same time, he could not part from Sangiliyar. For a long time, he struggled between the two conflicting duties. Finally, he decided to leave.

When Sundarar crossed the border of Thiruvotriyur, he suddenly lost his eye-sight. He realized it was due to breaking the promise he gave to Sangiliar. He prayed to the Lord but determined to go to Thiruvaaroor.

In spite of the blindness, however, Sundarar’s thirst for the darshan of the Lord at Thiruvaaroor did not abate.

With the help of some people on the way, Sundarar came to Thiru Mullaivayil. Here, again, he prayed to the Lord to give him eye-sight. At Thiruvembakkam, Sundarar again prayed to the Lord in a similar strain. In the temple, he prayed and asked, Oh Lord, are you inside the temple?”

The Lord gave Sundarar a blind-man’s stick and a stern reply, “I am here, you can proceed (on your way).”

Oh Lord, you made me marry Sangiliyar adviced her to get the promise under the tree. But tricked me by being under the tree instead of sanctum when the promises was given

But, now you give me the blind-man’s stick and say, ‘You can proceed.’ Oh Lord, am I unfit to receive your mercy? Pardon me and relieve me of my sufferings.” He cried out and sang song for mercy.

Then, completely resigning himself to God, Sundarar came to Conjeevaram, after visiting many holy places on the way. He worshipped Mother Kamakshi and expressed his sufferings to her and pleaded to her to relieve him of his sufferings. Sundarar then worshipped Lord Ekambareswarar. Mother, who is seated on Siva’s left side, had already been moved by Sundarar’s prayers and wanted to shower Her grace on him. Lord Siva understood this. He at once restored vision to Sundarar’s left eye. In ecstasy, Sundarar rolled on the ground, shedding profuse tears of love.

Restoring the sight of Left Eye

After spending some days there, singing the glories of the Lord, Sundarar proceeded to go to Thiruvaaroor. At Thiruvaavaduthurai, Sundarar again prayed to the Lord to forgive him and restore sight to the other eye, too. Sundarar then came to Thiruthurithi. The Lord asked Sundarar to take a dip in the northern tank there. Sundarar did so, and came out of it. To the surprise of all, Sundarar’s body had become as bright as polished gold. People were amazed at this change. Sundarar went into the temple and prayed.

Restoring the sight of Right Eye

Sundarar reached the outskirts of Thiruvaaroor. He grieved that, due to his partial sight, he could not get a complete darshan of the Lord. The very sight of the temple tower entranced him. Sundarar wanted to feast both his eyes on the beauty of the Lord and so prayed to Siva to restore vision to his other eye also.

Sundarar’s supreme devotion and lamentation moved the Lord’s heart. Siva at once cured the other eye also. Sundarar was extremely happy. He worshipped the Lord and remained completely absorbed in divine bliss.

Sending the Lord to Pacify Paravayar

Suntharar then wanted to get back home to Paravayar. But he knew she would be angry knowing her marriage to Sangiliyar and so he sent some wisemen to negotiate with her but she refused and informed them of her great annoyance and if they persuade her to change her mind on reunion, she would kill herself. So they left and informed Sunthar of her position.

At midnight when all the devotees were asleep, he prayed to the Lord for His help in pacifying Paravayar. The Lord appeared before Sundarar and assured him of His help. The Lord disguised Himself as Sundarar’s messenger, a Brahmin priest, and went to Paravayar’s house. The Brahmin pleaded Sundarar’s cause and asked her to accept Sundarar back. She refused, though she herself was grief-stricken at the separation from Sundarar. Her annoyance at his second marriage was so great! The Lord coolly returned to Sundarar, who was anxiously awaiting His return. When the Lord informed Sundarar of all that had happened, Sundarar fell down on the ground, in grief, “If you do not help me, Oh Lord, I will give up my life.”

The Lord seeing Sundarar’s pitiable condition, assured Sundarar of help and again set out to go to Paravayar’s house.

In the meantime, Paravayar had realised that the Brahmin was no other than the Lord Himself and was suffering from terrible anguish for not recognizing Siva.

The Lord appeared before her in His real form and said, “O Paravayar, I am here again to plead his case. Do not refuse this time, accept him and allow him to come to your house.”

Paravayar prostrated to the Lord again, with folded palms and said, “Oh Lord, first you came in the guise of a Brahmin but I did not recognize you. Oh Lord, how kind you are to come back once more. I will accept and obey your command.”

The Lord was immensely pleased with her. He blessed her and returned to Sundarar. The Lord informed Sundarar that He had pacified Paravayar and that Sundarar could now return to her. He then disappeared. Sundarar was overwhelmed with joy.

The next morning Sundarar, with entered the house and thus, they were reunited after a long separation with the help of the Lord.

In the company of Cheraman Perumal, Sundarar went on several pilgrimages and met many of the kings of South Tamil Naadu.

Once, when they were at Thiru Kandiyur, they saw Thiruvaiyar on the opposite bank of the river. Cheraman desired to visit that place also. The river was in flood, and it was impossible to cross it. Sundarar sincerely prayed to the Lord to help them by singing a pathigam that easily pleased the Lord. At once the river gave way, leaving a sandy track through which they could walk across to the other bank. As soon as they reached the other bank, the river resumed its former form. They were delighted at this miracle of the Lord.

Cheraman then took Sundarar to his own palace, with great honour and pomp. Sundarar stayed with Cheraman for some time. Sundarar suddenly remembered the Lord of Thiruvaaroor and wanted to go there. Cheraman could not accompany Sundarar and was therefore grief-stricken. Sundarar consoled him and asked Cheraman to stay behind and rule the country wisely and justly and left.

Once, when they were at Thiru Kandiyur, they saw Thiruvaiyar on the opposite bank of the river. Cheraman desired to visit that place also. The river was in flood, and it was impossible to cross it. Sundarar sincerely prayed to the Lord to help them by singing a pathigam that easily pleased the Lord. At once the river gave way, leaving a sandy tract through which they could walk across to the other bank. As soon as they reached the other bank, the river resumed its former form. They were delighted at this miracle of the Lord.

Cheraman then took Sundarar to his own palace, with great honour and pomp. Sundarar stayed with Cheraman for some time. Sundarar suddenly remembered the Lord of Thiruvaaroor and wanted to go there. Cheraman could not accompany Sundarar and was therefore grief-stricken. Sundarar consoled him and asked Cheraman to stay behind and rule the country wisely and justly and left.

After some time, Sundarar again desired to see Cheraman Perumal. On the way to Kundakolur, he went to Thiru Pukkoliyur Avinasi. As Sundarar entered this place, he heard simultaneously — auspicious, as well as, wailing sounds emerging from different houses.

On enquiry, Sundarar learnt how two Brahmin boys of the same age, from these two houses went to tank for a bath; and how one of them was caught by a crocodile, and the other escaped, providentially. The latter was being invested with the sacred thread that day, and hence, the auspicious sound from that house. The people in the deceased boy’s house were bemoaning the loss of the boy, sore at the feeling that, had he been alive, he would also be celebrating the sacred thread ceremony that day.

Sundarar wanted to console the bereaved family. As he stood in front of the house, the people stopped wailing and came out to receive Sundarar. They were eager for a long time to get Sundarar’s darshan, and so, forgetting their sorrow, they came to welcome him. Their devotion moved Sundarar’s heart. Sundarar was prompted by the Lord to bring the dead boy back to life.

So, Sundarar went to the same tank and sang a pathigam on the Lord of Avinasi to give the child back to the parents. The Creator, pleased with Sundarar, entered the stomach of the crocodile and re-constituted the body of the boy, though it had already been digested. Lord Yama, too, released from his custody, the life he had once removed and the crocodile vomitted the boy! To the wonder of all, the boy was much more handsome than when he met with the accident, and he showed signs of growth, appropriate to the lapse of time.

All were amazed at this miracle of Sundarar. The parents of the boy were immensely pleased and embraced Sundarar’s feet. Sundarar took the boy to the temple and worshipped Lord Avinasiappar. Sundarar himself performed the sacred thread ceremony for the boy.

At Kodunkolur, Cheraman received Sundarar with still greater love and veneration than before. Sundarar stayed with the king for some time.

One day, Sundarar visited the temple alone and worshipped the Lord. The very sight of the Lord sent Sundarar into trance. He rolled on the ground shedding tears of God-love. The hairs on his body stood on end and his mind was filled with rapture. He regained consciousness after a long time. Sundarar was tired of worldly existence and so requested the Lord to take him back to Kailasa. Sundarar sang a pathigam expressing his wish.

The Lord, desiring to take Sundarar back to His Abode, commanded the celestials to bring Sundarar to Shivaloga on a white elephant. Siva also informed Sundarar of this.

As Sundarar came out of the temple, where he sung the pathigam to Lord Siva, a white elephant was waiting for him. Sundarar mentally wished to take Cheraman Perumal also with him to Kailasa. Then Sundarar climbed the elephant and proceeded towards Kailasa.

In the pathigam he sang on this occasion, Sundarar himself reveals that this departure for Kailasa was not in his physical body, but in his spiritual body. The physical body was discarded here in this world itself and the elements of which it was composed were returned to their sources.

Cheraman learnt by intuition of Sundarar’s departure for Kailasa. At once, Cheraman mounted a horse and came to Thiru Anchaikalam. There he saw Sundarar going along the sky on the celestial elephant. At once, Cheraman pronounced the Panchakshara Mantra in the ears of the horse. The horse flew up and reached Sundarar. Cheraman worshipped Sundarar there. Both of them went to Kailasa in their spiritual bodies.

At the Gate of Kailasa, Sundarar was allowed to enter, while Cheraman was not. Sundarar went into Siva’s presence and praised the Lord’s mercy, “Oh Ocean of mercy, you have pardoned my sins and released me from the quagmire of samsara. You have taken me back into your fold and bestowed on me the immortal bliss. How kind and merciful you are!”

Sundarar then informed the Lord that Cheraman was outside the Nandikesvarar to bring Cheraman also in and the Lord asked Nandi Devar to allow him in.

The Lord asked Cheraman how he could come to Kailasa without an invitation from Him. Cheraman replied that when he saw Sundarar proceeding to Kailasa, he could not bear the separation from Sundarar and so accompanied him.

He requested the Lord to listen to his psalms, ‘Thiruvulapuram”. The Lord was delighted hearing it.

Sundarar, as before, engaged himself in Lord Siva’s service with all his heart and soul. Paravayar and Sangiliyar, being purged of their karmas, also reached Kailasa. They resumed their original duty as the servants of Mother Parvathi.

Note: 
The last poem of Sudarar while he was in a spiritual body and Cheraman’s psalms, ‘Thiruvulapuram” were both made known to the devotees in the earth via the divine act.

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