Glory of Bharath  »  Santh Darshan
Sri Nandanar
Nandanar(ThirunalaiPovarNayanar) was a Naayanar saint born in South India who became a great devotee of Lord Shiva.Nandanar was born in a village called Adhanurin a poor family. He was born at the cruel time where untouchability was being practiced, as he belonged to Paraiyarcommunity, which was considered as an untouchable community.

He worked as a Naatamaikar under a Brahmin who owned around 240 acres (0.97 km2) of land. He had the love of the Brahmin who believed that Nandanar had a midas touch and that he is very loyal and sincere in his duty. But nothing was explicitly shown by the landlord towards the poor Nandan who served him devotedly.

Though Nandanar's deity was Karuppanasami, the protector lord of villages, he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He visits the Thirupangur Shiva Temple where the Nandi (bull) hides the Lord from His vision. But without losing hope, Nandanar prays and the Nandi moves aside, letting Him have the darshan of the Lord. He sings the glory of the Great God (Mahadeva) and returns, only to lose his job since the Brahmin was told that Nandan went to the temple ignoring the work that was pending.

While on His way back, He hears that the Lord who dwells also in Chidambaram must be seen at least once in a lifetime. Thus, the desire to visit Chidambaram grew in Nandanar to a great extent that he started pestering the Brahmin to grant him permission to visit Chidambaram at least once. Nandanar is named ThiruNaalaiPovar since he tells everyone that he will be going to Chidambaram tomorrow (naalai).The Brahmin refuses to grant him permission and also ridicules Him of His desire to see the Lord of Chidambaram in spite of being born in a so-called low-caste. But upon Nandanar's constant requests, he agrees but in one condition. It is that Nandanar can visit Chidambaram after all the 240 acres of land is cultivated and harvested.

Nandanar knew that it is a task next to impossibility. He cried to Lord Shiva in despair and Lord Shiva orders his Ganas to do all the work in a single night. The Brahmin gets astonished with the devotion of Nandanar, falls down in His feet and requests him to pardon him for his ignorance. Nandanar happily sets forth to Chidambaram and there too, he faces the same problem of being a low-caste born. He sits there in the entrance of the city, filled with anguish to see the Lord.

Lord Shiva appears in the dream of the 3000 saints of Thillai and instructs them to receive Nandanar with due respect.

- October 11
- December 09

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