Oration on Appar


Today I had a privilege to hear the life story of Thirunaavukkarasar (Appar) by Mrs. Ilampirai Manimaaran, who is a well-versed and versatile orator on religious, spiritual and great epics. She had explained the life history of Appar along with a dozen of Thevaaram songs in her vivid words. I came to know about much information of different Saiva Temples where Appar made a visit and the verses he composed on Lord Shiva. I’m listing down some of the points which I remember on the oration.

  • In 7th century, Marulneekkiyar (name given to Appar by parents) born in Thiruvaamur. Appar lost his parents at young age and was brought up by his sister Thilagavathiyaar.
  • The would-be husband of Thilagavathiyaar (when she was at the age of 12) was killed in a war. Due to continuous child-hood sufferings, Appar had joined to Samanapalli (Jain institution)
  • Samanapalli gave him a name to him as “Dharma Senar” as he was good in Jain philosophy.
  • One day Appar had severe stomach pain and none of the Jain members were able to help him to get rid of that besides their religious chants and medicines. Because of continuous intense pain, he had decided to meet his sister at Thiruvadhikai, where she was doing temple services to Lord Shiva.
  • She asked to him to take bath in Kedila River and preached him the Panchakshara Mandhiram (Na-ma-si-va-ya), which made him to great relief from the pain.
  • This act was considered as Dheekshai to Appar given by a lady (his sister).
  • In this temple he sang “Koottrayinavaaru Vilakkagaleer” song, which is now considered as powerful verse for getting relief from all pains especially stomach pain.
  • Then he completely devoted himself to Lord Shiva and considered that stomach pain episode as an eye-opener given by the God himself. He had decided to visit all Saiva adobes and sing on Lord Shiva.
  • The Pallava ruler of that kingdom, who was a Jain follower tried to persuade Appar to Jainism again by giving severe punishments to him. Because of continuous recite of namasivaya nothing was able to change Appar’s devotion to Lord Shiva.
  • He sang “Maasil Veenaiyum” (when he was pushed into furnace), “Ondru Kolaam Avar Sindhai” (when he was given poison in his food), “Sottrunai Vedhiyan Sodhi Vaanavan” (when he was made drown into the ocean duly tied up with stone slab) and finally the Pallava ruler realized his guilty act and confessed to Appar.
  • He made a visit to Chidambaram where by seeing the Natarajar he came up with “Kunitha Puruvamum Kovai Sevvayil” song.
  • Appar and Thirugnana Sambhandhar together visited only 2 temples: One is Thirumaraikaadu (today it is Vedaranyam) and other is Thiruveezhimizhalai.
  • In Thirumaraikaadu, the temple entrance gate was closed for years together and Appar sang the song “Panni Nermozhi”, which is made the door open.
  • In Thiruveezhimizhalai, Thirugyana Sambhandhar sang “Vaasi Theeravae” (I’m not sure about the song sung by Appar in this temple)
  • The name “Appar” was given to him by Thirugnana Sambhandhar and the name “Thirunaavukarasar” was coined by Lord Shiva.
  • At his old age he had decided to visit Kayilai Malai and went till Kasi. As he couldn’t walk, he just crawled all the way to see the Lord. But Shiva asked him to take a bath in the nearby pond and once he entered into the pond, he automatically came back to Thiruvaiyaaru. In this place he had the darshan of Shiva with Parvathi and sang the song “Maadharpirai Kanni”.
  • Appar attained his destiny (Veeduperu or Mukthi) after singing the song “Yennukkor ensolli” in the temple of Thiruppugalur.
  • Out of 12 Saiva Thirumurai Pathigangal, 4th, 5th and 6th are sung by Appar. Normally out of 12 Saiva Thirumurai Pathigangal, 1 to 7 are considered as Thevaaram. But Appar’s 4, 5 and 6th pathigangal should alone be called as Thevaaram, because 1st, 2nd and 3rd Pathigangal sung by Thirugnana Sambhandhar are originally called as “Thirukadaikkappu” and 7th pathigam sung by Sundarar is called as “Thiruppaattu”.
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2 comments so far

  1. Arun Ponniah Sethuramalingam on

    Good write-up anna. Eppadi ivloo paatum nayabagam vachu irukeenga?

  2. சாணக்கியன் on

    நல்ல விவரங்கள்!


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