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Chandesura Nāyanār

When Vichārasarman was five years old his mind was filled with the knowledge of the Vedas, the Vedāngas, and the Agamas, propagated by the Lord Himself. Teachers were amazed at his grasp of all learning and his affection for the Lord.

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 the Lord. I will hereafter undertake this service. You, cowherd, may give it up once for all!”

Illustration courtesy of Ramalingar Pani Mandram.
Thus it came to pass with the consent of the owners that Vichārasarman began to tend the cows of the town, safe-guarding 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 proved greater than ever before. All exclaimed: “This Brahmachari has made our cows glorious indeed!”

The cows of their own accord began pouring forth milk on the ground before Vichārasarman simply out of maternal affection. Seeing this, Vichārasarman decided that the milk should not be wasted but rather be used for abhishekam. So he fashioned a sand image of the Lord on the river bank. Next he let the cows pour their milk into clay pots with which he anointed the Lord’s image. The Lord 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. They sent for the boy’s father, who upon hearing the complaint, said, “I hold myself fully responsible”. That night the boy’s father went to bed without making any enquiry of his son, whom he intended to surprise the next morning. The following morning the unknowing celibate set out as usual to fashion the image of the Lord with river sand, and then with due rites, began to bathe the Lord with milk. The Lord now wished to disclose to the world the full glory of this devotee. Not realising the Lord’s grace, the Vedic father grew angry at the apparent waste of milk by his son and rushed towards the boy and beat him mercilessly. But the child, 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 the Lord. When the milk spilt out onto the ground, the child seized a stick, which by the Lord’s will 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 the Lord manifested Himself before them. The youngster fell down in adoration at the gracious feet of the Lord who spoke in a mighty voice: “For My sake, you challenged even your own father.” At the touch of the Lord, 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 Siva Loka.

Reproduced from the January 2013 issue of the Saranagati eNewsletter
published by Sri Ramanasramam. The above text has been freely adapted from editions
of Periapuranam, Siva Bhakta Vilāsam (published by Sri Ramanasramam) and other texts.

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