CHANDESVARA NAYANAR


Vichara Sarman (who was later known as Chandesvara Nayanar) was born in
Tiruchaijnanallur, which was famous for Vedic recitations, Tapas, and Siva Bhakti. He was a
prodigy. At the age of five he had learnt the Vedas, and all the Agamas, by himself, on account of
previous Samskaras. After his Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony), he learnt the Vedas, under a
Guru: but the Gurus were wonder-struck at the intelligence of the disciple. He wanted to attain Final
Emancipation in that birth.
One day Vichara Sarman, with his friends, was walking along a road. He noticed a cowherd
severely beating a cow because it had slightly pushed him with its horn. Vichara Sarman could not
endure this. He was greatly moved and spoke to the cowherd: ‘Oh ignorant man? Do you not know
that the cow is worshipful and divine. All the Devas dwell in her. She is indispensable for all
religious activities. It is our sacred duty to tend and protect the cows. Whoever harms the cow is
hurled into the Naraka. Whoever worships the cow wins a place in heaven or in SivaÂ’s Abode. You
have committed a great sin today. Hereafter, you need not tend to the cows: I will do that myself.Â’
Vichara Sarman took the work upon himself from that day.
The cows grew healthier. They liked Vichara Sarman very much. The Brahmins who got
more milk thereafter were able to fulfil their religious duties very well, and they were pleased with
Vichara Sarman. There was so much of surplus milk now, that Vichara Sarman, who loved Lord
Siva and His worship, decided to perform Abhishekam for Lord Siva. He used to sit under an Atti
tree on the bank of the river, construct a temple from the mud, and also make a mud-image of Siva
Lingam and offer the milk, to bathe the Lingam. Then he would perform Archana with the Atti
flowers. The cows were giving plenty of milk both to Vichara Sarman and to the Brahmins.
One day, when Vichara Sarman was doing this Puja, a villager happened to pass by, and he
watched all this. He reported the matter to the owners of the cows, and complained that Vichara
Sarman was pouring precious milk on mud and river sand. These Brahmins summoned Vichara
SarmanÂ’s father, Echhadattan, and passed the complaint on to him in rather strong terms. The father
was naturally shocked. He came home, but did not speak to Vichara Sarman. He wanted to find out
for himself. So, the next day, he followed Vichara Sarman at a distance without his knowledge.
When Vichara Sarman began pouring milk on the improvised Siva Lingam, the father, without
understanding the sonÂ’s wonderful devotion, hit him with a stick. The boy was so much absorbed in
his Puja that he did not even feel pain. Then, the father, getting still more angry, knocked the
milk-pot down. It was then that Vichara Sarman realised that his father was interfering with his
worship and had committed an unpardonable offence against Lord Siva (Siva Aparadham). He at
once took a stick and hit his fatherÂ’s leg: by the will of the Lord, the stick was transformed into an
axe. Again, by His will, it killed the father. It was to test the depth of Vichara SarmanÂ’s devotion. He
was so engrossed in the worship, that he did not mind what had happened and continued the
worship.
Lord Siva was immensely pleased with the intensity of Vichara SarmanÂ’s devotion and
appeared before him, with Parvathi. Vichara Sarman prostrated before the Lord. The Lord
embraced Vichara Sarman and fondled him. That very instant, Vichara Sarman attained the divine
Form of Lord Siva. The Lord removed a garland from His own neck and put it around Vichara
SarmanÂ’s. He had attained Saroopya Mukthi (liberation, with the attainment of the form of the
Lord). The Lord said: ‘My child, you cut your own father’s leg for My sake. Now, I am Your Father.
You will soon attain ChandikesvararÂ’s Abode. You worshipped Me with food, clothes and flower
garlands. In the same manner, you will also be worshipped.Â’ The Lord disappeared. Vichara
Sarman also went to the Abode of Chandesvarar. No sin attached to him, for having killed his own
father, because of his supreme devotion to the Lord. His father, too, because he was killed by such a
great devotee of the Lord, was purged of the sin of interfering with His worship, and reached the
Abode of Lord Siva.