Thiruneelakanta Nayanar is among the 63 Nayanars, the great saintly Tamil Shaivaite poets. If you see the lives of our great Saints, in most of them you will see a phase of transformation. Most of them are born in very ordinary backgrounds not claiming great lineages. One such great soul was Thiruneelakanta Nayanar. He was a potter by profession. He belonged to Tillai, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Lord Shiva presides over Chidambaram in his famous dancing form. He was a very staunch devotee of Shiva and spent hours in worship and meditatio....
Thiruneelakanta Nayanar is among the 63 Nayanars, the great saintly Tamil Shaivaite poets.
If you see the lives of our great Saints, in most of them you will see a phase of transformation.
Most of them are born in very ordinary backgrounds not claiming great lineages.
One such great soul was Thiruneelakanta Nayanar.
He was a potter by profession.
He belonged to Tillai, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.
Lord Shiva presides over Chidambaram in his famous dancing form.
He was a very staunch devotee of Shiva and spent hours in worship and meditation.
He served Shiva's devotees who came to Chidambaram.
By the grace of Bhagawan he got a bride equally, if not more, devoted to Shiva.
But at some point of time, due to his purva janma vasana or prarabdha karma he got involved with a prostitute.
But he was still taking care of his wife very well.
But knowing about this, she became very sad.
One day after returning from his lover, when he tried to touch his wife, she told him in anguish, 'don't touch me'.
In Tamil, the term 'emmai' means both 'me' and 'us', both singular and plural.
In Hindi also it 'hum' is used like that to mean both 'I' and 'we'.
When his wife said 'emmai', Nayanar felt she meant the whole class of women, 'don't touch us'.
He had this guilt also in his mind that he was cheating on his wife.
He took it in the literal sense and took a vow that he will not touch any woman thereafter including his wife.
They continued to live together, devoted to each other, more so, devoted to the Lord.
Years went by.
They both became old, still they stuck to the vow.
One day, a Shiva Yogi came to their doorstep.
The couple welcomed him and served him.
When he was about to leave, the Yogi gave him a bowl made of clay and told him to keep it safe till he comes back.
He came back after a few days and asked for the bowl.
But the bowl was not there at the place where Nayanar had kept it.
He searched the entire house.
It was nowhere to be found.
He apologized to the Yogi, but the Yogi insisted that he wanted his bowl back.
'It was such a nice a bowl, you want to keep it for yourself.'
'I will make you another bowl, equally good.'
'No, I want my own bowl.'
The Yogi went to the king and complained.
Nayanar was summoned to the king's court.
He tried to explain his innocence.
The Yogi said, 'then let him prove it.'
'He should hold his son's hand and take a dip in water.'
'If he is lying, then they both would drown.'
Nayanar said, 'but I don't have a son.'
'Then hold your wife's hand.'
Nayanar was in dharma - sankata.
It was a choice between breaking his vow and proving his honesty.
Finally, the Yogi agreed that the husband and wife can hold two ends of a bamboo and take the dip.
It was effectively not different from touching each other.
Accordingly, they did so.
To everyone's surprise, when they took the dip and stood up, they both had regained their youth.
By that time, the Yogi was nowhere to be seen.
Bhagawan appeared with Parvathy Devi and his gana in the horizon.
I am pleased with the unwavering vow that this couple have undertaken.
It proves their selfless bhakti in me.
I am granting them so many more years of togetherness.
Eventually they will attain me.
See, whatever you do in the name of Bhagawan, vrata, dana, japa, puja, whatever, nothing goes waste.
The result would definitely come to you.
Bhagawan himself manifested to restore the dignity of Thiruneelakanta Nayanar and blessed him.
This is the power of being a genuine devotee.
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