Story of a great devotee- Nandanar


nandanar 1

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.

nandanar 2

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.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 25 Feb 2016 | Premaarpan
  2. nandini11
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 10:37:49

    God is concerned with the devotion and love of the devotee and there is no place for caste, religion,region etc this is very much relevant in todays context in India


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