Story of a great devotee- Nandanar


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Value- Love

Sub value- Faith, Devotion

In a small village of Aathanoor, in Tamil Nadu, India , Nandanar was born in a dalit (lower caste) family. Nandanar, a great devotee of Lord Shiva,  worked  as a laborer  for Brahmin land lord. Once along with some of his friends, he visited a temple called Thiruppunkoor, which was near his village.  As Dalits or people of lower castes, in those days,  were not allowed  to enter the temple , Nandanar could not enter the temple. He however yearned to have a glimpse of his favorite Lord. The idol of big bull Nandi, in front of Lord Shiva,  was blocking the Nandanar’s view of the Lord. Nandanar  poured his heart out pleading the Lord to let him a glimpse of Him. Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and heard his prayers. Lo and behold,  Nandi moved aside for the devotee  to have the glance of his beloved Lord. Nandanar was in bliss seeing his Lord.

While in Thirupunkoor,  Nandanar heard about the great Nataraja temple at Chidambaram. He yearned to visit Chidambaram to see his Lord. He would tell his people every day, that he would visit Chidambaram the next day; but was  unable to do so.  The people around him teasingly called him as Thiru Nalai povaar,( The divine one who will go tomorrow) .Nandanar had to get his master’s permission to take a day off to visit the temple. After several pleas one day the Master gave him an arduous task of cultivating his agricultural land in a short span of time. Nandanar had full faith in his Lord; who did this difficult task for His devotee , so that he  could see the Lord in Chidambaram. Nandanar was filled with joy at the prospect of seeing his Lord at Chidambaram.

Nandanar reached Chidambaram, but being a dalit or person of lower caste, he was afraid to go near the temple. He saw the smoke coming from the fire sacrifices and heard the chants of the Vedic scriptures. Desperately wanting to see his Lord Nataraja, he circumambulated the temple town number of times. Soon he was exhausted and dozed off. Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and told Nandanar to enter the temple through a holy fire. Simultaneously the Lord also informed the Brahmin priests of Chidambaram to prepare a pyre.

Next day when Nandanar approached  the fire; the brahmins realised that the Lord had indicated to prepare the pyre for Nandanar. Nandanar entered the holy fire chanting the name of Shiva and reappeared in a new purified form. He shone like gold. He now looked like a Brahmin sage wearing the sacred thread, matted hair and body smeared with sacred ash. The gods showered flowers on him from heaven and the Brahmins rejoiced. Accompanying the brahmins; Nandanar entered the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja. He was ecstatic on seeing his Lord and soon merged as a light form into his beloved Lord.

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Story based on Periya Puranam


Devotion and love is more important to the Lord than mere knowledge or external paraphernalia of worship. Lord cares for the devotion of any devotee irrespective of caste, creed or gender. When the creator who has created the entire universe doesn’t differentiate among His children who are we to do so? Let us also develop love, faith and devotion to the Lord and treat everyone equally.






High Five

Master had recently spoken about the parenting puzzle of how a child’s behavior is tell a tale sign of its treatment by its parents when he saw a mother scolding her child thus “you always trouble me and I am at the end of my patience. If you do not stop now you will not get your pocket money this week”.

Master came back to his abode thoughtful and in his evening sermon he was still at the subject.

“The way we speak to our young” he started “gives them three pictures.First of themselves, second of you and third of the world. To give them the right visuals to pin to their young minds you must choose your words ,very carefully.

To tell them about themselves, say these five things as often as you can

1) you are uniquely complete as you are.
2) you are creative and imaginative.
3) you are full of joy
4) you are capable of anything that you set your mind upon.
5) you are very generous and that you have such a big heart.

To tell them about yourself,say these five as often as you can:

1) I love you and am so proud of you.
2) Being your parent is such a joy for me.
3) I will always be there for you, no matter what.
4) I am listening to you.
5) As I look at the world from your perspective, I learn so much.

To tell them about the world say these five things as often as you can:

1) You cannot win every-time as losing is part of success.
2) You do not have to be perfect to be complete.
3) Follow your heart always and always trust your instincts.
4) Hard work beats talent and intelligence every time.
5) It is good to question all authority. Accept things on evidence not assertion.

One of the disciples who was listening to master’s discourse, asked tentatively” Master doesn’t it become necessary sometimes to call out certain things for the sake of honesty”.

“Yes it does” replied the master.“In such cases, however be extra careful and when you want to make a negative statement, make it about the action and never about the person. Say this action is not correct or how you are behaving today is not right.

Though never deviate from the above mentioned 5 categorical affirmations that I have told you when you are referring to their person as a whole.

Sweetness of Sour Oranges

Value- Love

Subvalue- Concern

A man often bought oranges from an old lady. After purchasing the oranges he would peel it and taste a segment and as soon as he would taste those he would complain that those were sour and insist the old woman to taste.

The old lady would put the segment in her mouth and retort, “why do you complain, it is so sweet,” but by then the man would have gone off.
His wife wondered on this daily act of her husband and asked him about his charade.
He smiled, “the old lady only sells sweet oranges but never eats them herself. This way I get her to eat one, without her having to spend and I feel good seeing her eat those.”
The vegetable vendor  next to the old lady, observed this daily happening and
one day chided her, “every time this man fusses over your oranges but you always weigh a few extra for him. Why?”
The old lady smiled, “I know he does this to feed me an orange, only, he thinks I don’t understand. I never weigh extra. His love tilts the scale slightly every time.”

One should also learn the art of giving and sharing. There is no pleasure more than seeing others happy by a simple kind act of ours. Life’s joys are in these sweet little gestures of love and respect for our fellow beings. And in giving, not usurping. Not in money.

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