Today we are treated to another special thanks to Satheesh. Its a very special sculpture depicting one of the Periapuranam legends.
Its a very small sculpture, and causes some wrong interpretations as Markandeyar or kannapar.
Kannapar ofcourse is depicted right next to this panel. So who is depicted here?
Lets first analyse the sculpture in more detail.
Do you notice the slight slant of the Linga. That is the clue. Its Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar. Lets see his story in full.
(courtesy : http://www.nayanmar.com/nayanmar3.htm)
Kalayanar, a brahmin devotee of Shiva lived in Tirukadavur. He considered it, his sacred duty to spread the scented smoke of kungiliyam in the temple. Even when he became poor, he continued this service. Kalayanar would rather forego his meals for several days than stop his kungiliyam service even for a day.
A time came when he had literally nothing on hand to continue this self-chosen devotional duty. In the meantime, he and his family had gone without food for several days. Kalayanar was blessed with an understanding wife.
She could stand no more the hunger of her children and so gave her auspicious golden necklace ( thali) to him requesting him to buy rice . He was to sell it and buy some rice.
When Kalayanar was going through the street with the golden ornament in his hand , a vendor of kungiliyam came on his way. Quite excited by the availability of a bag of kungiliyam, Kalayanar exchanged the necklace for the incense. The next moment found him walking to the temple, totally forgetting the hunger stricken family of his own . Entering the sacred precincts he fell unconscious as he had been without food for several days. Shiva appeared in his dream and advised him to go home and drink some milk and rich food and return . Waking up, Kalayanar was flabbergasted that Shiva should ask him to partake of a rich meal when his home had not a grain in the granary. All the same, he did not dare to disobey the Lord. He got up and went home.
Wonder of wonders! His house had changed beyond recognition. It was endowed luxuriously and the granary overflowed with paddy. The house was full of gold. Even as his darling wife fed Kalayanar and the other devotees of Shiva to her heart’s content, it was clear that for his lifetime hence forth Kalayanar would have no dearth of wealth to render his favourite service to Shiva.
As Kalayanar happily continued his service at Kadavur, he heard that in the temple at Tiruppanandal, the Linga had tilted to one side. The king had set his army to pull it back to its original angle but in vain. Kalayanar hastened to Tiruppanandal. Finding the army tired out and in a swoon, he decided to join their ranks. He bound one end of a rope to the image of Shiva and tied the other end to his neck and pulled hard. Shiva, at the touch of his devotee straightened himself in a trice to the wonder of all those present. The very heavens showered scented blossoms to mark the miracle.
images courtesy: Satheesh and http://www.kumbakonam.info/kumbakonam/darsuam/index.htm