Temples of Tamilnadu
Legends associated with
the Saivite Saints
Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar
of the 63 Saivite Saints who led the Bhakti movement
of the 1st millennium CE composed hymns on Tiruvarur.
Several other saints were also closely associated with Tiruvarur, the notable ones being Naminandi Adigal, Dandi
Adigal, Somaasi Maaranaar
and Cheramaan Perumaal.
The miracle associated with Naminandi Adigal
is referred to by the Tevaram hymns of Tirunavukkarasar.
Naminandi Adikal was a devotee of Shiva
who dedicated himself to a life of service at the Tiruvarur temple. He took upon himself
the duty of lighting the temple lamps each day. Legend has it that the Jain merchants who
sold oil, refused to supply him with the oil required for his duty. The devout saint used
water instead of oil and was able to miraculously light the lamps, thereby causing his
adversaries to repent their deed.
Dandi Adikal was yet another devotee of Shiva
who was born blind. He took upon himself the task of maintaining the temple tank. Legend
has it that his efforts were ridiculed by Jain monks who caused physical obstructions to
his completion of his work. A miracle restored the devoted Dandi Adikal to sight and
rendered his adversaries blind.
Somaasi Maaranaar was a great devotee of
Shiva and a friend of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar. It was his desire to perform a Vedic ritual
and offer the highest honor to Veedhi Vitankar of
Tiruvarur. Sundaramoorthy Nayanar
is said to have requested Vitankar to partake the offering and the latter is said to have
revealed to Sundarar that he would do so, but would appear at the site of the sacrifice in
a form of his choice.
The sacrifice proceded as planned and at the appointed moment, Shiva walked in as a Chandala
accompanied by his wife and children. A shocked congregation is said to have walked out of
the sacrificial hall, as the unfazed Somaasi Maaranaar made his offerings
to the deity who had appeared in the form of a Chandala. The site of the sacrifice is said
to have been located between the Shivastalams Ambar
and Ambar Maakaalam.