Periya Puranam 1

Discussion in 'Religious places & Spiritual people' started by drs3232, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. drs3232

    drs3232 Silver IL'ite

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    Peria Puranam brings to life a large cross-section of Tamil society and we realise how wide and deep Saivism had spread all over the land. Tiruneelakandar was a potter and as his favourite term for Shiva was ‘Tiruneelakandam’, he also came to be known thus. He lived a contented life. One day when he returned home after having spent a night with a courtesan, his wife became bitter. She ordered him “to touch us no more in the name of Tiruneelakandam”.

    Sanity dawned upon the potter but it was too late. However, as she had used the plural ‘us’, he gave up his extra-marital affairs and also refrained from touching his wife, thus they lived in the same house.

    One day a Shiva-yogi gave his begging bowl to Tiruneelakandar for safe-keeping. When he returned after his travels and asked for his bowl, it could not be found anywhere. Tiruneelakandar’s offer of several new bowls were rejected with disdain. The yogi accused the potter of stealing. When the potter demurred, he asked Tiruneelakandar to hold his wife’s hand, take a dip in the lake and pronounce an oath to protest his innocence.

    This, of course, the potter would not do and the devotee went to court. The case was taken up by the priestly juries of Chidambaram. Tiruneelakandar accepted all charges of the yogi expect the one about stealing. He had perhaps been careless, but he was no thief. The priests then asked him to take the oath as called for by the plaintiff.

    After some thought, Tiruneelakandar and his wife held the two ends of a stick and dived into the tank. Even as they came up, lo and behold, the petitioner vanished. In his place appeared Lord Shiva and Parvati on the sacred Bull. The potter couple too looked young and well-endowed now. Certainly this was a spiritual rebirth into a greater life.

    When he heard the oath that linked

    Tiruneelakandar with his transgression,

    He drew away saying: ‘You used the plural,

    And so I shan’t touch any woman even in thought’. 7

    As they lived thus, Shiva with fiery locks

    Decided to hold up to the world

    The holy way of sincere devotion.

    He came forth dressed as a Shiva-yogi. 10

    As they held the ends of the stick to bathe,

    The ash-smeared yogi said: ‘Hold on

    To your wife by hand’. The blameless potter

    Then explained his past to those around. 38

    The potter-couple who immersed in the lake

    Lost their old age: young again,

    They seemed to be re-immersed

    In the lake of flowers showered from above. 39

    Those who perceived this wonder did not see

    The Vedic yogi who had been there.

    ‘How come this!’, they marvelled and then saw

    Shiva with Parvati on the sacred Bull. 40
    messedup likes this.

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