திருநாளைப் போவார் (Thirunalaipovar) கதாகாலக்ஷேபம் (Discourse)

The Story of Nandanar as told by the divinity personified Smt Vishaka Hariji can be heard countless number of times and each time the experience will be newer and the feeling as immense as can be felt.

There can only be a few stories of this kind and listening to one such discourse is a lifetime experience. I don’t think one will tire listening to the bhakthi charithram any number of times. Towards this end and to preserve this story for the younger generations to read the Harikatha in English this blog is dedicated. I dictate this by transcribing verbatim the story of Thirunalaipovar as told by Smt Vishaka Hariji by listening to the mp3 audio file piece by piece by pausing and replaying and translating this into english whilst being careful not to omit any gems therein...

Transcribed by the grace of the Lord and Gurunathar, I place this at the feet of Guru Maharaj with my humblest namaskarams and offer this as a service to one and all to beget the satsaghAnubhAvam - Anand Sundaresan

Opening Song:

sabhApatikku vERu deivam samAnamA gumA tillai
krupAnidhi ivaraippOla kidaikkumO inda tAraNi tanil.....
oru taram shivacidambaram enRuuraittAl pOdumE paragatikku vERu puNyam paNNa vENDumA ariya pulaiyar mUvar pAdam aDaintAr enRE purANam aRindu sollakkETTOm gOpAlakrishNan pAdum in Abhogi.
Nama parvathi pathaye Hara Hara Mahadeva!!!

Thrunaalaipovar, the story of Nandanar is one which is drenched with bhakthi rasam and this is a story from about 1000 years ago. From the Periya puranams, Sekilar adigalar, over 200 years ago there lived a great bhagavathar by name Gopalakrishna Bharathiar who wrote this dance drama. This was during the same time as that of the great saint Thyagaraja swamigal. Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathiar was a very disciplined brahmacharyan and was always ready to help others and was a great siva bhakthar. In Nagapattinam there lived Kandappa chettiar and Chellapa chettiar who had come to Chidambaram where Gopalakrishna bharathiar also lived and they came with a wish to invite the bhagavathar to Nagapattinam for telling a siva kathai (story). Sri Gopalakrishna bharathiar however had a principle wherein he did not want to tell siva kathai to people who had Vishnu dwesham (abhor) as he felt that with dwesham there is no bhakthi. One who does not have any bedham (differences) between sivaperumAn and Bhagawan Mahavishnu is a good bhakthar, he then goes on to tell the characteristics of a true bhakthar. Usually Sri Gopalakrishna bharathiar would test whether one was a true bhakthar by telling them thus, “I don’t tell siva kathai, only vishnu kathai”. Based on their acceptance or not, he would determine whether dwesham existed within them. But these two bhaktas were true and said any kathai is fine and passed the test. 'Any kathai told by you from your own mouth will definitely be a very good kathai'. Sri Gopalakrishna bharathiar agreed to perform the discourse which would be a dance drama. Gopalakrishna bharathiar went to Nagapattinam and sat there in front of a big sabha where eager devotees thronged to listen to him. He had not selected any kathai and some time passed. Now there were some fruits placed in front of him. He just closed his eyes and prayed to sivaperumAn in his heart and he said, "Please can a good siva katha come to me from my heart". Instantly a flash came to him with the name “Nandanar” and in front of him there were these fruits. Mahans can just about tell anything from any object or thought such is their divine power.

Picture shows statue of Nandanar at Sivalokanathan temple - Tiruppunkur,Vaideeswaran Kovil, Mayiladuturai  
With a single Nondi Sindhu, the full Nandanar charithram was told and based on this for a period of 3 days, he poured the charithram drenched with full of bhava in various chandas, meter, eladi vritham, kambu, thukada, savaii…filled with raga bhavam. By Swabhavam itself, Nandanar Charithram is drenched with bhakthi rasam, which now being added with ragam it was like milk laced with honey. It is said the sivaperumAn himself listened to this upanyasam. Sage Upamanyu bhagavan mentioned that sivaperumAn himself listened to this story...

Nandan…Charithirama Nandan….Analum…
AnthyanthaM Bhakthi Rasam….Cholla Cholla…
Nandan… Charithirama Nandan ....

Kollida Karai Adhanur (ஆதனூர்) village (this is as if its Amaravathi, Alakapuri (Kerala Desam...filled with coconut trees by itself is so beautiful as if we have come to some heavenly place, its such a wonderful place). But instead of describing all the beauty, Gopalakrishna bhagavathar describes the cheri (a old caste custom of people who are literally treated with low work and in slums and are not allowed in prestigious areas such as temples of that time). But wherever there is siva bhakthi that place itself is Kailasam. A Village can be very beautiful but if there is no temple, it will be devoid of beauty as there is no Bhakthi, but if Namasankeerthanam is told in a temple then it will be Mangalakarakam (meaning an environment with divine surrounding) and beautiful.

Born in the Pulayar Vagupil (cheri), Nandanar was a siva bhaktha from his younger days. His cheri friends were all bad, they had all the vices – pon asai (love for gold), man asai (love for land), pen asai (love for woman) and they were after material things, whereas, Nandanar had no desire and no interest in bad things and was always chanting Namam. Namam must be chanted always, “Guruvayurappa” – if this is said in any home it will always be subhiksham (goodness) and filled with goodness. Nandanar would do any work - Seiyum Thozhilye deivam (Work is God) was his motto. Kotthadimai (slaves), even in Maharastra state, there were slaves like this and it was farmland work. Whereas Adhanur brahmins were landlords and there the slaves had to work hard for them and do so with utter submission and Nandanar had no freedom. But although externally Nandanar had no freedom, internally though he was free and filled with bhakthi and had the freedom to practice this. Many people have freedom outside but inside they have no freedom at all. Some are as bonded slaves to Kama (lust), Krodham (anger) and desire and because they cant get what they desire they are again adimai (slave) to Krodham. Like this its a cyclic process.

Nandanar had no great desire except that he had to go to siva kshetram and have the darshan of sivaperumAn. But the pulayar vaghupil community were not allowed inside temples and therefore he had no chance to have the darshan. Due to his desire to go, however, one day a message comes to his ear thus "In Tiruppungur (8 kms from Vaideeshwaran kovil near Sirkazhi Mahakshetram), Theradi (Chariot) nindram (from the chariot) siva darshanam is possible."

Picture shows the Sivalokanathan Temple at Tiruppunkur near Vaideeswaran Kovil, Mayiladuturai  
So Nandanar desires to go there. His bhakthi filled mind says, "this Siva darshanam will be such an anandam (happiness) to everyone, everyone must also have the chance to see sivaperumAn and experience the bhakthi like himself". He wants to take all his colleagues and therefore calls out to everyone and tells them that there is a message. Big vedanta vishayams, Gopalakrishna Bharathiar, has sung in very simple sentences in his song as he sings,

Arpa Sugathai Ninaithom…Aran Thiruvadiyai Maranthom…
Siva Lokanathanai Thedi…Seviduvom Vareer…
Arpa sugathai ninaithom….
Avan thiruvadiyai maranthom…
Karpidhamana prapancham idai…

…..Kanal Jalam pole…..

(Kanal Jalam pole… Here there is a description from Smt Vishaka Hariji that makes me my eyes drenched with tears, the bhavam is deep and soul exquisite reaches our inner soul….Kanal Jalam,..thats our life…mirage…Palai vanam - in the hot summer, looks like water is available, even in Tamil Nadu in hot summer days, when you are walking on the road, you can see a glitter at the bottom of a tree as if there is water there, but when you go closer there wont be any…we call this in English as “Mirage” (Kanal Jalam), an optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image...The deer will be very very thirsty and since its full of thirst it will keep on jumping…(thavi thavi)..it will get here and then put its mouth only to find its not there…should not the deer have any buddhi? but it wont get..it will keep on going here and there…so as its said in Tamil…thulli thulli…gudhichi gudhichii (skip and jump)…in Sanskrit this is called – MRIGA TRISHNA....(mrga trshna : water of a mirage), the deer doing so will eventually die of helplessness…Gopalakrishna Bharathiar says, this is not any deer story, this is OUR story…as we all are in this loka sanskaram… like the deer we think this is sukhamo (happiness), that is sukhamo – is money happiness, is fame happiness, if we buy 4-5 cars can we be happy and like the deer we keep on jumping for the Kanal Jalam. We still wont get budhhi, it should come shouldn’t it, but it wont come. We should open our arms and say “Panduranga”, “Eesha”, “Shambho Mahadeva” without any shyness or hesitation. Tears come to us but we cannot understand the simple meaning but Smt Vishaka Hariji tells us with so much Bhava in order to stir this in us… those tears should make us understand….) But should be keep on doing this and leave this world just like that, is that what we are here for, is this why this manida (human) janmam has been given to us?

சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம் வாரீர்
சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம் வாரீர்
சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம்
Come let's get the darshan of Shiva Loka Natha and seek his blessings
அற்ப சுகத்தை நினைத்தோம் -
அவன்திருவடிகளை மறந்தோம் -
நாம்அற்ப சுகத்தை நினைத்தோம் -
அவன்திருவடிகளை மறந்தோம்
We thought just about silly pleasures and forgot His lotus feet
கற்பித மாயா ப்ரபஞ்சமீதை
கற்பித மாயா ப்ரபஞ்சமீதை
கானல் ஜலம் போலே எண்ணி

Let us think of this illusionary world as a mirage
Manida Janmam Kudhuthar…
Varundha karangal Alaithar…

Sri Krishna Leela

Gopalakrishna Bharatiar

Gopalakrishna Bharati (1811 - 1896) was a Tamil poet and a composer of Carnatic music. He wrote a katAkALatcEpam, NantanAr Carittiram (Nandanar Charitram), two other works in this genre, and many independent kritis. Bharati was a contemporary of Tyagaraja whom he is said to have met, and who asked him whether he had composed anything in the rAga AbhOgi. Bharati subsequently composed on of his most popular kritis in rUpaka tALa, CapApatikku. The great Tamil literary figure, U. V. Swaminatha Iyer wrote two sources for Bharati's life: a biography of the composer and his own autobiography, which contains references to Bharati, who was his guru in music.Gopalakrishna Bharati was born near Mayavaram in Thanjavur district of today's Tamilnadu, south India. His father was Ramaswami Bharati, a musician. Gopalakrishna learnt Advaita and yoga SAstra from a guru in Mayavaram. Though he never took the vows of a renunciate, he led an ascetic life, and never married. Hailing from family of music exponents, Gopalakrishna showed inclination towards music even at a very young age. He had a commendable ability to grasp and reproduce complex music. He also listened to a number of the leading Carnatic vocalists of Thanjavur district.Gopalakrishna Bharathi composed several kritis on the principles of advaita. Gopalakrishna Bharathi's kritis, portraying several musical facades, were extremely well received by the public and were sung in a number of concerts during his lifetime. This prompted several musicians to approach Gopalakrishna Bharathi. The musicians would express his vision for a new kirtana and Bharathi would always oblige and compose a song to fit the musician's requirement. Gopalakrishna Bharati used the mudra (signature) Gopalakrishna in his compositions. These include famous kritis like varukalAmO (rAga mAnji), varuvArO (sAma) and ennEramum (rAga dEvagAndhAri). NantanAr Carittiram is a katAkALatcEpam, a genre of religious story-telling with music that was popular in Tamilnadu in the 19th and early 20th centuries before the advent of film, especially the talkies. Nandan Caritiram was based on the story of a paraiyAr (dalit or 'untouchable'), Nandanar known also as TirunAlaippOvAr NayanAr. A great devotee of Siva, he yearned to visit Chidambaram the greatest of Siva temples. He greatly feared that caste prejudice would prevent him from entering the temple, but his devotion overcame this obstacle, and he obtained his desire, becoming physically merged with Siva in a blaze of light. Bharati's version of NantanAr Carittiram is a masterly development of the story narrated in Sekkizhar's Periya PurANam. He included many forms of Tamil regional music, and is praised for his ability to capture dialect and popular expression. The eminent Tamil literary scholar, Meenakshisundaram Pillai, however, criticised him for grammatical lapses.Nandan Caritiram, as performed by Bharati, proved very popular and he published it in his lifetime. The highly regarded Thanjavur Krishna Bhagavatar, who developed the art of katAkALatcEpam by introducing elements from Marathi performance practice and elements of dance, made it one of his masterpieces. Many adaptations appeared, including stage plays and three film versions. Individual songs of Gopalakrishna Bharati became popular with Carnatic musicians. Later, Bharata Natyam dancers, including T. Balasaraswati, took up select pieces for interpretation as abhinaya. The album of the film version starring the singer M. M. Dandapani Desikar as Nandanar (with music direction by Papanasam Sivan) remains popular.The story of Nandanar, as Bharati developed it, had considerable resonance with the Nationalist movement in India. Nandanar was an untouchable (dalit), and M. K. Gandhi, among others, saw his story as expressing the plight and aspirations of India's dalits. Others argue that Nandanar, with his burning desire to see Siva at Chidambaram, captured the mood and paralleled the aspirations of Indian nationalists yearning for independence from Britain.

Nandanar Songs

  • Sivaloga naathanaikandu sevithiduvom vaareer
  • Eppo varuvaaro
  • Sababathiku Veru Deivam
  • Aiyae meththa kadinam (Punagavarali)
  • Satre vilagi irum piLLAy
  • Idhuthaano thillaisthalam
  • Pirava Varam Tharum
  • Enneneramum Undhan Sannidhiyile Nan Irruka Vendum Ayya , Ponayya
  • Kanda Mani Aduthu – Adhaik Kandu Pinivaduthu
  • VarugalAmO Ayya, Nan Undhan Arugil Nindru Kondadavum Padavum – Ange
  • Uththaran thaarum aiye – Enakkoruvarumillai Paragadhiadaya
  • VaruvArO varam tharuvArO endhan manadhu sanchalikkudhaiyyE
  • Chidambaram pOgAmal iruppEnO?
  • thEraDiyil ninRu dharisiththAlum pOdhum kOvil varamAttEn ayyE
  • Vazhi maRaiththirukkudhE malaipOlE oru mADu paDuththirukkudhE
  • Ellorum Vaarungal
  • Jaathiyenum thadai yaen
  • Hara hara hara hara shankara
  • Mudiyiloru kaal vaiththa viththaga
  • Kaamam agatriya paadhan avan
  • Kaana vendaamo kannirukkum pothae (Sri Ranjini)
  • Ellorum vaarungal sugamirukkuthu paarungal (Bilahari)
  • Pavi p*rayan indha ooril vandhum
  • Pirava varam thaarum (Lathangi)
  • Thillai ambal thalam ondrikkuthaam
  • Piththam theliya marundhondrirukkuthu perinba mandrinullae (Senjurutti)
  • Enappan allava en thayumallava
  • Varugalaamo Aiya undhan arugil nindru kondaadavum paadavum (Maanji)

சிவலோக நாதனை

சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம் வாரீர்
சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம் வாரீர்
சிவலோக நாதனை கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம்
Come let's get the darshan of Shiva Loka Natha and seek his blessings

அற்ப சுகத்தை நினைத்தோம் - அவன்
திருவடிகளை மறந்தோம் - நாம்
அற்ப சுகத்தை நினைத்தோம் - அவன்
திருவடிகளை மறந்தோம்
We thought just about silly pleasures and forgot His lotus feet

கற்பித மாயா ப்ரபஞ்சமீதை
கற்பித மாயா ப்ரபஞ்சமீதை
கானல் ஜலம் போலே எண்ணி
Let us think of this illusionary world as a mirage

சிவலோகநாதனைக் கண்டு...

ஆசைக் கடலில் விழுந்தோம் - நல்
அறிவுக்கறிவை இழந்தோம் - நாம்
ஆசைக் கடலில் விழுந்தோம் - நல்
அறிவுக்கறிவை இழந்தோம்
We fell in the ocean of desireand lost the right senses

பாசமகல வழி தேடாமல்
எமப் பாசமகல வழி தேடாமல்
பரதவிக்கும் பாவியானோம்
Instead of searching for ways
to escape the rope of Yama called Pasa
We have become lamenting sinners

சிவலோகநாதனைக் கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம் வாரீர்
சிவலோகநாதனைக் கண்டு சேவித்திடுவோம்
~~~ பக்த நந்தனார் பாடல்
~~~ Poem from Bhakta Nandanar

Historical References from Nandanar Sevashram Trust Site

Renowned Tamil Scholar Tamil Thaattha Vu Ve Saa has quoted Gopalakrishna Bharatiyar’s poetic drama on “Nandanar Sarithiram”. Upamanyu Maharishi refered in his “Bhakthivilasam”Vital informations available in Periya Puranam (Great Legend) written by Sekkizhaar swamigal. He got details from Thiruththondar–thokai of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar, compiled by Nambiyandar Nambi swamigal. Nambiyandar Nambi was a contemporary of RajaRaja I (985 AD to 1016 AD) of Chola Dynasty. Apostles of Shiva sect – Appar (Thirunavukkarasar), Gnana Sambandar, Sundarar have also praised the glory of Nandanar. Their period was 700 BC. So Nandanar must be earlier. The words- “Nandan, Nanda-Ganam, Nanda-Vatsa, Nanda Vamsam” are referred in many Tamil literatures of 200 BC. It is also considered that Nandanar belongs to 200 BC; Nandanar is also considered as a Siddha Yogi at par with Thirumoolar and Ramalinga Adigalar.

Nandanar Movie 1935

Nandanar Movie 1935
The Hindu - Article Link

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