63 Nayanmars !! Life of Thiru Gnana Sambandhar !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Picture courtesy-shaivam.org
Enniya Sivagnanathinnamuthai Kuzhaitharuli
Unnadisil Ennootta Umaiyammai Yethirnokkum
Kanmalarneer Thudaitharuli Kaiyirporkkinnam Alithu
Annalai Anguazhugai Theerndha Thangannar Arulpurindhar


Thiru Gnana Sambandhar was born to Shivapadha Hrudayar and Bhagavathiar, a pious couple who were lived in Shirkazhi, one of the Vedic villages in Choza Kingdom.  The people in this village were passionate devotees of Lord Shiva and had firm beliefs in Shaiva Siddantha.  Thiru Ganan Sambandhar was born as the savior of Shaiva Siddantha.  Though he was lived only for 16 years, he left behind the gems like compositions’ praising the glories of Lord Shiva in Thirukadaikappu includes Thirunitru Pathikam and Kolaru Pathikam.  At the small age of 3 he sung a marvelous verses ‘Thodudaya Seviyan’ in a reply to his father’s query.  Later, this genius child reinstated the righteousness and glories of the Supreme Lord Shiva as the quintessence of Veda.  He introduced to the world the mesmerizing nature of holy ash and its greatness in Thirunitru Pathikam.


One day Shivapadha Hrudayar brought his 3 year old child along with him to the temple pond in Thoniyappar temple.  He made the little child to be seated on the banks of the pond and preceded for ablations.  Soon, his father went deep inside the water and immersed in the worship of Lord.  Suddenly, the little Sambandhar started to cry out loudly and became uncontrollable.  There was no around him to console, he continued to cry staring at the temple tower.  Immediately, there appeared the compassionate Lord Shiva with his consort Goddess Parvati on their celestial vehicle bull.   The most considerate Lord Shiva advised Goddess Parvati to feed the child with her milk.  Goddess Parvati gracefully approached Sambandhar with a golden bowl of milk contains the ultimate wisdom about the Lord.  She affectionately feed the child with the milk and the divine couple disappeared.  This mysterious incident brought an amazing brightness in the little child Sambandhar as he was consumed the supreme knowledge of Lord.  


Shivapadha Hrudayar returned after finishing the rituals to attend the little child Sambandhar who was calmly waiting for his father.   He noticed the remainings of milk on his child’s mouth and waveringly enquired about the same.   Little Sambandhar had no reply to answer his father, instead he beautifully sang ‘Thodudaya Seviyan’.  His immense love towards Lord flew out of his mouth in the form of sacred verses as the emanation of water from the reservoir; he began his spiritual journey with his father.  He visited many sacred shrines of Lord Shiva and sang praising the glories of Lord.  This little child had so much of devotion and dedication to Lord, he was engrossed in the worship of Lord singing and clapping his little hands with ultimate joy.  His feather like little hands turned out red in color; it was unbearable for the supreme Lord and his consort.  Lord Shiva provided Sambandhar with a pair of golden cymbals at Thirukkolakka.  At the age of 7, the sacred thread ceremony was performed to Sambandhar in his village Shirkazhi.  Immediately after the Upanayanam Sambandhar was chosen to learn under the Vedic scholars, it was amazing experience for the scholars to be associated with Sambandhar who had profound knowledge in Veda Sastras. 


Sambandhar led his spiritual journey to many sacred lands of Lord, on his way he met with Thiru Nilakanda Yazhppanar a zealous devotee of Lord Shiva.  He beautifully plays the string instrument Yazh.  It captivated the attention of Sambandhar and Yazhppannar also desired to be in the company of Sambandhar.  In this way, Thiru Yazhppanar’s yearning to play for Sambandhar’s mesmerizing songs praising the Lord became real.   They both visited Chidambaram Lord Nataraja Temple, a huge crowd of Brahmins of Thillai/ Thillai Anthanar was waiting for them at the southern entrance with Vedic Hymn to receive the child of Lord.  Sambandhar was sabsorbed at the beauty of Lord Nataraja and Goddess Sri Sivakami, he sang praising the glory of Lord.  Sambandhar envisioned Thillai Anthanars  as the Ganas of Lord and prostrated before them.  They both paid reverence to each other.  Later, Sambandhar visited Thiru Yerukkathampuliyur, the birth place of Thiru Nilakanda Yalppanar at his request.


Sambandhar and his group of devotees set out to Thiru Arauthurai.  The little Sambandhar walk for some times and the remaining hours take seat on his father’s shoulder, this is way they continued their journey to Thiru Arauthurai on the sizzling heat.  They arrived at Manarpadi and decided to break the journey for the day due to tired of hunger and thirst.  On that night, Lord appeared in the dream of Brahmin priests of Thiru Arathurai and informed them about the ceremonial carriage and umbrella which was set aside for the divine child.  Lord instructed them to move to Manarpadi with the decorated palanquin and umbrella to receive the young devotee Gnana Sambandhar with great honor.    Lord appeared in the dream of Sambandhar and informed him about the precious gifts Lord had reserved for him.  Consequently, Sambandhar was brought in a bedecked ceremonial carriage to Thiru Arauthurai village with great honor.


Sambandhar on his way back to Shirkazhi, visited many sacred places of Lord Shiva and sung praising the glories of Lord.  He met with many great Shivaite saints and enjoyed blissful time in their company. Many glorious incidents took place throughout his journey.  Madurai was ruled by King Koon Pandiya, who was embraced Jainism as the prime religion.  The people in his Kingdom were forced to accept Jainism and undergone several harassments.  His Queen Magayarkkarasi was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva could foresee the threat of appalling influences of Jainism.  Queen Mangayarkkarasi with the help of their minister Thiru Kulachiraiyar invited Thiru Gnana Sambandhar to Madurai.  The Jains were protested at the arrival of Sambandhar and obstructed his entry to the Kingdom of Pandya.   So he was stayed at a hermitage in a remote village.   Jains with the consent of King Koon Pandya set out fire on the hermitage of Sambandhar while he was in deep meditation. Sambandhar’s followers informed him about the danger, but he very calmly let the blaze to go out of the place with his firm devotion and it appeared as heat blisters on the body of King Koon Pandya.   He shuddered with severe pain, Jains where tried all their luck to curtail the pain of their King Koon Pandya but it was all ended in vain.  Queen Mangayarkkarasiyar once again with the permission of King and with help of Thiru Kulachirayar requested Sambandhar to visit the palace.  Sambandhar gracefully accepted the invitation and arrived at the palace.  Sambandhar felt pitiful at the miserable state of King Koon Pandya.  He applied a handful of ashes on the heat blisters and sung praising the glories of Lord.  Instantly, the blisters vanished without leaving any trace and King was relieved out of terrible pain.  This splendid incident brought back the beliefs in Shaiva Siddantha in King Koon Pandya and became a zealous devotee of Lord Shiva.  In this way, Sambandhar once again reinstated the glories of Shiva Siddhantha and worship of Lord Shiva in Pandya Kingdom.    He travelled through the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu singing and praising the glories of Lord Shiva.  He made tremendous efforts to restore the beliefs in the worship of Lord Shiva and Shaiva Siddantha.  At the age of 16 he was decided to get married at the strict instruction of his parents.   While the marriage couple where circumambulating the sacrificial fire, Sambandhar noticed a marvelous brilliance initiated from the fire.  He advised the people gathered to embrace the spectacular flames and attained salvation.


In the Tamil month Vaikasi – Moolam is widely celebrated as Guru Puja Day, the day Thiru Gnana Sambandhar attained the Abode of Lord Shiva.

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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