is one of the Nayanmars or Saivaite saints, who was supposed to have attained
jeevan mukthi at the sanctum sanctorum of Chidambaram (The golden temple).
Nandanaar story promulgates the philosophy of God - equal love for
all creations without discrimination of caste, creed, religion, low or
higher birth. Poet Gopalakrishna Bhaarathi’s musical opera “Nandanaar
Charitam” is an immortal Tamil literature suited for singing, dancing and
reading. (Musical direction for this production is by late Sri. Turaiyur
Rajagopalasarma & Sri. Mani Iyer)
-a laborer in the service of a Brahmin land lord happens to be a great
devotee of Lord Shiva. He sings and dances in praise of Lord Shiva.
He further influences the people around him to worship the Lord. Once he
takes his entourage to the Thiruppangur Shiva Temple to have a darshan
of the Lord. At the entrance, he is disappointed to see the Big Bull blocking
the sight of the Sivalinga. Expecting scorn and abuse from his friends
for his failure to show them the Lord, Nandanaar pleads to the Lord to
ask the Nandi (bull) to move aside.
cry of His true devotee, Shiva asks his Nandi to move aside. Nandi
moves giving darshan of the Lord to Nandanaar and his friends.
deepens Nandanaar's urge to see Chidambaranaathan. He asks his land lord
permission to go to Chidambaram, which is denied several times. The
land lord reminds him that his duty is only to labor in the field and not
to pursue the duties of the higher castes. After repeated persuasions,
the land lord agrees to Nandanaar's wish, provided he is able to finish
all his field duties over night, an impossible task indeed.
prayer is answered. A miracle happens, the land lord sees his field work
completed by dawn. Surprised and realizing his servants depth
of devotion, he hugs his poor laborer and sends him to Chidambaram.
At the outskirts
of Chidambaram, Nandanaar is unable to enter the temple. He despises his
own birth and decides to end his life. Lord Shiva appears in the
dream of the priests and asks them to bring Nandanaar into the temple.
Reluctantly obeying the command of the Lord , the priests make Nandanaar walk
through fire and he comes out unhurt. He is taken to the sanctum
sanctorum where he merges with Lord Shiva.
- Reviews - Photo