Thiru Sandarar Friend of Siva



Contributed by  EUGENIO & SOBHANÁ visit this wonderful website on Sri Ramalinga Swamy, a Siddhar saint who attained Light in the near recent history!)


Brief Biography:


He was a great devotee of Lord Siva flourished in the 8th century. He was born as Arurar in Thiru Navalur where the entire atmosphere was full of spiritual vibrations. The king of that place asked for the parents permission and the boy grew up under royal care. At the proper age, the parents wanted to get their son married and he gladly agreed, but an old Brahmin appeared to prevent the wedding happening. Sundarar and the Brahmin left the place. At Tiruvennai Nellur, the Brahmin promptly vanished to appear before Sundarar as the Lord himself, blessing him in this way: Oh noble soul. You are already My Bhakta. You were in My Abode in Kailasa before this birth as a man. A wrong thought made you take this birth. Now I have Myself come to save you. Because Sundarar had quarrelled with Him in the previous existence, the Lord Himself called him ‘Vanthondan’ (the devotee who used harsh words) and asked him to sing His glories. Sundarar later visited a number of holy places and sang the praise of the Lord in all of them.

In Tiruvarur, there was a chaste woman by name Paravayar who was none other than Kamalini, one of the attendant of Parvathi in Kailasa. One day, she met Sundarar in the temple and fell in love with him; Sundarar was attracted by Paravayars beauty, prompted by past karma. Lord Siva Himself appeared to both of them in their dreams and told them that they would get married. The wedding took place the very next day. Later on, he went to Tiruvotriyur and stayed there for some time, worshipping the Lord there. Aninditiyar, the other maid-servant of Parvathi in Kailasa, had also taken a human birth as Sangilyar. One day Sundarar saw Sangilyar in the temple being attracted by her beauty, due to past Samskaras. He wanted to marry her and, though he was already married, Sundarar promised he would not part from her under any circumstance and the marriage was solemnised. For a long time, he struggled between the two conflicting duties. Finally, he decided to leave Tiruvotriyur and returned to Tiruvarur, but in the way he suddenly lost his eye-sight. The Lord attended his prayers only partially and restored vision to Sundarars left eye. When reached Tiruvarur, Sundarars supreme devotion and lamentation moved the Lords heart and at once cured the other eye also. Extremely happy, he worshipped the Lord and remained completely absorbed in divine Bliss. Paravayar annoyance at Sundarars second marriage was so great. By Lords mediation, she permitted Sundarar to enter in her house with his devotees. Paravayar fell at his feet. Thus they were re-united after a long separation.

Sundarar regarded God as his friend, because God Himself had wanted it to be so. He adopted towards God the Sakhya Bhava (attitude of a dear friend). After some time, he went to Tiru Pukkoliyur Avinasi. As he entered this place, he heard how two Brahmin boys of the same age, from these two houses went to tank for a bath; and how one of them was caught by a crocodile, and the other escaped, providentially. Sundarar wanted to console the bereaved family. Their devotion moved Sundarars heart. He was prompted by the Lord to bring the dead boy back to life. So, he went to the same tank and sang a song on the Lord of Avinasi to give the child back to the parents. The Creator, pleased with Sundarar, entered the stomach of the crocodile and re-constituted the body of the boy, though it had already been digested. All were amazed at this miracle of Sundarar.

The very sight of the Lord sent him into trance. He rolled on the ground shedding tears of God-love. The hairs on his body stood on end and his mind was filled with rapture. He regained consciousness after a long time. The Lord, desiring to take Sundarar back to His Abode, commanded the celestials to bring him to Kailasa on a white elephant. Sundarar mentally wished to take Cheraman Perumal (in whose company has gone on several pilgrimages and met many of the kings of South India) also with him to Kailasa. Then he climbed the elephant and proceeded towards Kailasa. In a Padigam he sang on this occasion, Sundarar himself reveals that this departure for Kailasa was not in his physical body, but in his spiritual body. The physical body was discarded here in this world itself, and the elements of which it was composed were returned to their sources. Cheraman learnt by intuition of Sundarars departure for Kailasa and went to reach him. Both of them went to Kailasa in their spiritual body; even if the devotee is undeserving, if he is devoted to a saint (the Guru), he will also gain a place in the kingdom of God, through the intercession of the Guru. Paravayar and Sangiliyar, being purged of their Karmas, also reached Kailasa; they resumed their original duty as the servants of Mother Parvathi.




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