In an earlier post we saw how Hanuman came out alive from a Crocodile’s belly. Now, we are going to see another such feat.
Darasuram has some amazing miniature story board like freezes. One such depicts the Periapuranam legend of Saint Sundarar, by his infinite devotion to Lord Shiva, making a crocodile regurgitate a boy.
The story goes thus, in the town of Avinashi, two young boys, close friends just completing their 5th year, go for a swim in a nearby lake. Unfortunately a large crocodile swallows one of the boys, while the other manages to escape and return home. The loss of their dear son greatly grieved the parents and they never managed to get over the grief.
Couple of years pass and the other boy is old enough for his thread ceremony, so his family prepares for it in great fanfare, a festival atmosphere prevails with beating of the ceremonial drums etc. On seeing this the parents who had lost their young child, are reminded that if not for the unfortunate incident, their home would also be bedecked and resound with similar joy and celebrations. So great was their loss that years couldn’t lessen their lament.
To their good fortune. the great saint Sundarar had taken an invitation from his dear friend Cheraman Perumal to see him in tiruvelam. so as he was moving there from thiruvaroor, he passed through Avinashi. As he was passing the street, he heard laughter, rejoicing and all auspicious sounds from one house and from the other house he heard the heart wrenching lament. he inquired around and learnt the story of the two boys. Just then the weeping parents heard that the great saint was passing by, and they wiped their tears and being true devotees of shiva, offered their respects to him. Moved by their devotion and wanting to alleviate their suffering, the saint decided that he would resurrect their son and then only worship the god in the town’s temple. So he composed his divine verse right there, imploring the Lord – who loves his worshipers, he who dwells eternally in the minds of his followers,
he who is the start and end point of all, he who resides in this beautiful town of avinashi, please bring forth the boy on this tank bund.
Lo and behold there came the crocodile and regurgitated the boy, much to the delight of his parents and all around. Thus is the grace of the lord and his benevolence to his followers.
Thanks to Mr. V. Subramanian, for his valuable guidance with regard to the verse references.