Kotpuli Nayanar / கோட்புலி நாயனார்


Thanks to Shri Karthikeyan for motivating me to post about Nayanars. We all know the story about Thirugnana Sambandar, Kannappa Nayanar etc. There are other nayanmars about whom we have not heard much. I thought of sharing some of them….Here is the first one….Scroll down for English summary too. I take this as an opportunity to read about these mahans along with you all..

காவிரி பாயும் சோழவள நாட்டிலே – நாட்டியத்தான் குடி என்னும் சிவத்தலத்தில் – வீரவேளாளர் மரபிலே வாழ்ந்தவர் கோட்புலி நாயனார். இச்சிவத்தொண்டர் சோழருடைய படைத் தலைவராகப் பணியாற்றி வந்தார். இவர் அஞ்சாத வீரர். கொலை செய்வதில் வல்ல புலி போன்ற குணம் மிக்கவராதலால், இவருக்கு கோட்புலியார் என்று காரணப் பெயர் ஏற்பட்டது. இப்பெயர் இவரது இயற்பெயராக இருக்கும் என்று எண்ணுவதற்கில்லை. எண்ணற்றப் போர்க்களம் சென்று பகையரசர்களை வென்று மன்னர்க்கு எல்லையற்ற வெற்றியைத் தேடிக் கொடுத்தார். அதனால் அவருக்கு இச்சிறப்புப் பெயர் ஏற்பட்டிருக்கலாம். வீரம் வளர்த்த கோட்புலியார் அரனாரிடத்து எல்லையில்லா பக்தி பூண்டிருந்தார். இவர் தமக்கு கிடைக்கும் அளவற்ற நிதிகள் அத்தனைக்கும் நெல் வாங்கி வீட்டில் மலை மலையாகக் குவித்தார். சேமித்த நெற்குவியலைக் கோயில் திருப்பணிக்குப் பயன்படுத்தினார். ஒருமுறை நாயனார் அரச கட்டளையை ஏற்றுப் போர்முனைக்குப் புறப்பட்டார். போருக்குப் போகும் முன்னே தம் குடும்பத்தாரிடமும், உறவினரிடமும், சுற்றத்தாரிடமும், எம்பெருமானுக்காகச் சேமித்து வைத்த நெல்லை யாரும் தன் சொந்த உபயோகத்திற்காக எடுக்கக் கூடாது. அவ்வாறு எடுப்பது சிவத்துரோகமாகும். இது இறைவன் ஆணை. கோயில் திருப்பணிக்கு எவ்வளவு வேண்டுமென்றாலும் எடுத்துக் கொடுக்கலாம் என்று திட்டவட்டமாகக் கூறிவிட்டு புறப்பட்டார். கோட்புலியார் சென்ற சில நாட்களுக்கெல்லாம் நாட்டில் பஞ்சம் ஏற்பட்டது. மக்கள் எல்லோரும் உணவு கிடைக்காமல் கஷ்டப்பட்டனர். அச்சமயம் கோட்புலியாரின் உறவினர் பசியின் கொடுமை தாங்காமல் அடியார் வழிபாட்டிற்காகச் சேமித்து வைத்திருந்த நெல்லைத் தாராளமாக எடுத்துச் செலவு செய்தனர்.

போருக்குச் சென்றிருந்த கோட்புலியார் வெற்றி பெற்று நாடு திரும்பினார். சுற்றத்தார்களும், உறவினர்களும் நெற்குவியலை எடுத்து உண்டதை அறிந்து சினங்கொண்டார். எம்பெருமானுக்கு வழிபாடு செய்யாமல் தங்கள் வறுமைக்கு நெல்லைப் பயன்படுத்திக்கொண்ட சுற்றத்தார் அத்தனை பேரையும் அழைத்தார். ஒருவரையும் தப்பி ஓடிவிடாதபடி காவல்புரியச் செய்து தம் தந்தையார், தாயார், உடன்பிறந்தார் மனைவியர்கள், சுற்றத்தார் ஆகிய அனைவரையும் வாளினால் வெட்டி வீழ்த்தினார். அதன் பிறகு அவரது வாளுக்குத் தப்பிய பிழைத்தது ஓர் ஆண்பிள்ளை! அப்பிள்ளையைக் கண்ட காவலன் நாயனாரிடம், ஐயனே! பாலகன் நம் குடிக்கு ஒரே புதல்வனாகும். இவன் அன்னத்தை உண்டதில்லை. இக்குழந்தையை மட்டுமாவது கொல்லாமல் அருள்புரியும் என்று பணிவோடு வேண்டினான். அவன் மொழிந்ததைக் கேட்டு, மேலும் கோபம் வளர நாயனார், இப்பாலகன் அன்னத்தை உண்ணாவிடினும், அன்னத்தை உண்ட அன்னையின் மூலைப் பாலை உண்டவன் என்று கூறி அக்குழந்தையையும் தமது வாளினால் இரு துண்டாக்கினார். அப்பொழுது சடைமுடிப் பெருமானார் விடையின் மீது எழுந்தருளினார். அன்பனே! உன் உடைவாளால் உயிர் நீத்தோர் அனைவரும் பிறவி என்னும் பாவத்தை விட்டு அகன்றவராயினர். அவர்கள் சிவபுரியில் இன்புற்று வாழ்வர். நீ இந்நிலையில் நம்முடன் அணைவாய் என்று அருள் புரிந்தார் சிவபெருமான். கோட்புலியார் காட்டிய பக்தியின் சக்தி அனைவருக்கும் பிறவாப் பெருவாழ்வைக் கொடுத்தது!

குருபூஜை: கோட்புலி நாயனாரின் குருபூஜை ஆடி மாதம் கேட்டை நட்சத்திரத்தில் கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது.

வேல்நம்பி கோட்புலிக்கும் அடியேன்.

This saint was a Vellala by caste. He was the Commander-in-Chief of a Chola king. He washighly devoted to Lord Siva. He was very pious and virtuous. It was his practice to purchase paddy out of his income and give it to Siva temples for the Lord’s food. He was doing this for a long time. Once he had to go out on military duty. So, he stocked a sufficient quantity of paddy for the temple use, handed it over to his relatives, with clear instructions that it was meant only for the Lord and that they should not touch it for their own use. During his absence, there was a famine and his relatives had to suffer for want of food. So, they laid their hands on the paddy meant for the Lord and appeased their hunger. The Nayanar returned from his duty and heard of his relatives’ action.He was annoyed with them. He called them to his house and killed them, including his parents, for this crime. His supreme love for the Lord had so completely overshadowed his love for his own near and dear ones! The Lord appeared at once before him and blessed him, and also all the relatives who had died at his hand, and took them all to His Abode.



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11 replies

  1. Excellent. Information

    By reading. This it self. One becomes a. Sivan adiyyar

    By the. By. The. Importance. Of. Gayathri has been described. At all. Times

    Mahaperiyaval. Says. That. Sahasra gayathri. On. Every. Sunday. Will be good in kalyuga. For office. Goers

    Why not. Form a Forum. Under your. Banner. And pledge. And. Confirm that we all can. Do. From. This. Weekend

    Regards

    Karthikeyan
    Chandigarh

    • I have great reverence for the Kanchi Periyaval. The thought I am expressing here is in no way to diminish this reverence.
      It is an observation that the stories of our nayanmargal often exhibit and eulogise blind Bhakti that is cruel.I begin to wonder, what is the difference between a man who massacres a baby for the love of Shiva , and the Taliban who massacres for the sake of his faith. Is this Dharma?

      • drawing the comparison between Taliban and Nayanmars itself is very weird. Like you said, Talibans have blind faith. in our vedic culture, it isnt blind – it is a proven path to self-realization/mukthi. Among the three margas (karma, bakthi and gnaan), without bakthi no route will take us to moksha. All these stories reveal only that. I am sure if Kotpuli Nayanar were to respond to this, He would say “you don’t have to do what I did or what Kannapa Nayanar did, but have the bakthi as we had”. Hope this helps. I am sure there are much learned people in this forum – I will let others also to comment…..

        I am curious to see what your response for Shri Poosalar Nayanar would be?! I will post it tomorrow….

        Mahesh Sent from my iPad

      • Agree a lot with Chanrdra Ravikumar here. I really find it hard to distinguish this act to the act of Talibans. When you say Talibans have blind faith and Nayanmars don’t, this is highly ludicrous when you see this act of kotpuli nayanar from an objective perspective. And you can’t really claim that your path of self realization/mukti is holier than others. For each, his own.

        Hitler also killed thousands of children because of a screwed up ideology. At some point, we need to painfully accept the fact that ideology, faith, bhakti all these culminate into an indiscernible nebula.

        So by all means Mahesh sir, I humbly condemn this act which is totally against H=humanity. (Not that Kotpuli was an Arjuna fighting against other warriors in the battlefield to justify the act).

  2. While his act may be appreciable based on his conscious, God never says that hungry
    person should not be fed. However he was sincere person to serve the God and he
    did not want to take any thing from the temple. Siva Sothu Kolai Nasam.

    Balasubramanian NR

  3. Some things are not acceptable to the mind. Particularly when Maha Periyava even on His Upavaasam days, never allowed anybody visiting Him to go hungry. The Bhakthi Bhava here possibly is important. Maha Periyava and Lord Siva are one and the same!

  4. I would like to address this story in 3 perspectives :

    1. The historical or mythical perspective: If it is mythical then there could be a cryptic meaning, in which case we do not know what is the core of the story which is true, and what is added or corrupted by repeated transmission from generation to generation. It is for this very reason that in those days grandparents and the elderly proscribed certain stories to be told to children. Many stories, especially from the Puranas were not recounted very readily. In fact, even the Mahabharata was told to children only after they attained a certain age.

    2. The spiritual perspective : Any inquiring mind will ask these questions of Kotpuli Nayanar : a) Is not Shiva present in the hungry family and children? In which case why was the food denied to them? b) All the while he was away in other lands, did he not eat? And was that not Shiva’s food? Is not all food Shiva’s food?
    (In fact for each story like this, there are a thousand stories that say that feeding the hungry is feeding the Lord)

    3. The contemporary perspective: I am sorry. But this is the age of Kali. Kali rides the horse, which is a symbol for the mind. Doubt is a part of this age and all salvation attains in the watershed of ‘awareness,’ complete or ultimate knowledge. Yes, salvation through ‘faith’ or ‘bhakthi’ is one way to reach this ‘awareness’. But it is faith in the Lord, not in mythology anymore. This can work only in an innocent age, which the present Kali, certainly is not. It is possible that such stories may be misunderstood, serve as indoctrination tools and inadvertently lead to the talibanisation of a religion.

    Remember the even more famous story of Nakkeerar and “Netri kan thiranthalum kutram kutrame” ( A fault is a fault even if the third eye is opened)
    And this was said of Shiva himself and the lesson therein endorsed by Him!

    And also Kautilya’s (Chanakya) famous quotation which is still relevant today, “It is easy to inject blind faith into the faithful.”

    • I am seeing a growing complaints against Nayanmars and painfully comparison with Talibans. Specifically to Smt Savithri – are you against these posts (or) the acts of the nayanmars, which you call as “kutrams”?

      • I am not against such posts or against the acts of the Nayanmars.
        I also would like to clarify that I did not say the act of the Nayanar was a ‘kutram’, or otherwise. I just gave the instance of a much earlier story, that of Nakkeeran ( which illustrated how Shiva tested his devotee Nakkeeran on his integrity, which he would not forsake even for the love of his lord) to show that such stories exist too.
        As for this Post I personally have gained so much of knowledge and insight from some of the posts. (The photo of the periyava happily lying curled up among the rubble in a corner of a half constructed room in Kasi still gives me goose pimples!) I really think, with my limited brain, that our Kanchi Periyava was a giant among sages, with an intellect that cannot even be comprehended by us ordinary folk.
        This is an interactive site and invites comments. Such stories will invite comments and can lead to discussions. This is a healthy trend. This is the essence and beauty of Sanathana Dharma (Hinduism) There should be only one condition, discussions, views and counter views, all should be in civil language and form. Let us not forget that Adi Sankara himself chose the debate mode to bring about the Hindu renaissance.

        [As for the story of the Nayanar, we have to go into history to seek the veracity or details. I do not know if a true version even exists even though the Alwars and Nayanmars belong to a very recent age (between 5th and 10th Century A.D) There are several versions of this particular incident too including one in which Shiva himself appears just before the Nayanar kills the child and stops him, and takes the Nayanar back with him.]

  5. Any way i humbly disagree with KOTPULINAYANARS Bakthi,His cruel killings cannot be considered as Bakthi..Now a days this kind bakthi is explained as “FATWAH BAKTHI” or “TAliban Bakthi”,It is not the fault of the Kotpuli nayanars relatives,who eat the grains,As a truthful Husband he should show a path to those people,what to do in a situation like this.This is not Real Bhakthi,this ARROGANT Bakthi only. I really feel very Sorry for this comment.

  6. KOTPULLI NAYANAR may be the incarnation of KAMSA,who killed many new borns to save himself. from Death,

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