Story of Chandesa – an ardent devotee of Shiva who became a Gana



Story of Chandesa, an ardent devotee of Shiva, who became a Gana is a popular legend from South India. Shiva blessing Chandesa is popular sculpture at the Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple in Tamil Nadu.

Young Vicharasarman lived with his father, Yajnadatta, and mother, Kasyapagotra, in Seynalur Village on the banks of Manni River in Chola country. One day Young Vicharasarman witnessed a cowherd brutally beating a cow. Incensed at the behavior, the young boy took upon himself the duty of tending the cows of the village.

From that day the cows became happy and began to yield more milk than before. Vicharasarman seeing that the extra milk was wasted collected it and offered it to Shivling made of sand.

The cowherd who had lost his job due to Young Vicharasarman complained about him wasting milk on sand mounds to villagers.

At first the villagers did not bother about the complaint as they were receiving their regular quota of milk from their cows.

One day Yajnadatta decided to investigate the matter, he found that his son was spilling milk in the sand.

He approached the boy and stood near him, but, in his deep devotion the proximity of the father was not perceived by Vicharasarman.

On seeing the apparent mischief of his son, Yajnadatta, in anger, kicked the mound of sand; whereupon the son woke up form his meditation and cut off with his axe the leg that kicked the Shivling.

Shiva who was witnessing this incident appeared on the scene along with Goddess Parvati. Shiva told the boy that in his intense devotion he even went to the extent of cutting off the leg of his father, and gave him the boon that he will always reside near him. He made him the head of his ganas and called him Chandesa.

Shiva commanded that henceforth the offerings made to him should also be given to Chandesa. Shiva then tied round the head of Vicharasarman the flower garland then worn by him.