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Guru Namashivaya Of Chidambaram

Guru Namashivaya, also known as Guru Namasivayar, lived in the 17th century CE and was a disciple of Saint Guhai Namasivaya. There is little information about this early life but he became well known for his siddhis (accomplishments gained in deep penance) of clairvoyance and telepathy.

He had been a disciple of Guhai Namasivaya, who lived on the slopes of the Arunachala hills in Tiruvannamalai. There are many incidents displaying his power of clairvoyance.

Once, for instance, Namashivaya suddenly laughed. When asked by his Guru, he answered that he was able to visualize a humorous happening in Chidambaram. On another occasion, the Guru observed that his disciple was rubbing his clothes. When asked, he related the fire incident which had occurred in Chidambaram and that he was quenching the flames from his clothes.

Guhai Namasivaya knew from these incidents that his disciple had reached an advanced stage of sadhana, but attainment of siddhis was no real indication of spiritual progress. However, noting the extent of his disciple’s devotion and spiritual knowledge, Guhai Namasivaya pronounced his disciple as Guru Namasivayar. He said, “Two elephants should not be tied to the same post,” and told him to go to Chidambaram and take up the renovation work at the Nagarajan temple.

Guru Namasivayar was initially reluctant to leave for Chidambaram but obeyed the orders of his Guru. In Chidambaram, he established a Virashaiva monastery, performed devotional services in the temple and created several charitable endowments with the help of local kings.

In his poem Annamalai Venba, written during his stay in Chidambaram, Guru Namasivayar praises the greatness of Bhagavan Arunachaleshwara (one of the names and forms of Shiva) and his Guru, whom he considered to be Shiva in human form. His other compositions are Tiruvarunai-tani-Venba, Chidambara Venba and Parama Rahasya Malai.

Guru Namasivaya passed away at Thiruperundurai.