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Story Of Chandeswara Nayanar

Chandesha or Canda or Chandeshwara or Chandesura is one of the 63 Nayanmars and his story is found in the Periya Puranam.

The name given to Chandeswara Nayanar by his parents was Vicharasarman.

When the boy was five years old his mind was filled with the knowledge of the Vedas, the Vedangas, and the Agamas. Teachers were amazed at his grasp of all learning and his affection for Bhagavan.

One day, while walking along with the other Vedic students, he saw an angry cowherd strike one of the cows. The tender-hearted boy intervened and drove away the cowherd, proclaiming the cow as “the most glorious of all beings, in whom abide the holy tirthas and whose panchagavya (milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung) become worthy for worship of Bhagavan. I will hereafter undertake this service. You, cowherd, may give it up once for all!”

With the consent of the owners Vicharasarman began to tend the cows of the town, safeguarding them from all harm.

He led them along good paths and let them repose in the shade when they needed rest. At sundown when it was time for milking, he took them to their respective owners and their yield doubled. All exclaimed: “This Brahmachari has made our cows glorious!”

The cows developed maternal affection for the boy and began pouring forth milk on the ground near the boy.

Seeing this, Vicharasarman decided that the milk should not be wasted but rather be used for abhishekam. So he fashioned a sand image of Shiva on the river bank. Next he let the cows pour their milk into clay pots with which he anointed the murti. Shiva lovingly accepted this offering. Notwithstanding the plentiful milk the cows gave for worship in the morning, they still gave a full supply to their owners in the evening.

One day, someone complained to the town elders of the apparent waste of milk. The elders complained to the father of the boy.

The following morning Vicharasarman set out as usual to tend the cows and fashion the image of Shiva with river sand, and then with due rites, began to bathe Shivling with milk. Father of Vicharasarman who followed him got angry at the apparent waste of milk by his son and rushed towards the boy and beat him mercilessly.

But Vicharasarman, absorbed in his devotion, was unconscious of the beating and continued his worship. The enraged father then maliciously kicked over the pot of milk collected for worship.

When the milk spilt out onto the ground, the child seized a stick, which by the grace of Shiva became in that moment an axe, and hurled it at the offending foot. His father soon lay prostrate on the sand with foot cut asunder. Meanwhile, the youngster resumed his worship and Shiva manifested Himself before them.

The youngster fell down in adoration at the gracious feet of Shiva. “For My sake, you challenged even your own father.” At the touch of Shiva, the little boy’s ‘maya’ body rose up in Saivic splendor and he appeared in a halo of light. The father too, by the grace of his devoted son, was cleansed of his offence and along with his kin, attained Shivaloka.

Source – Saranagati Newsletter of Sri Ramana Ashram – January 2013 page 7