Nandanar (7th Century AD) was a Nayanar saint, and a follower of Shaivism. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva, and spent his life towards worshipping Shiva with sincere faith and devotion in his mind.
Nandanar belonged to Adanur in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. He was born in the Dalit community, and during that time, they were considered as untouchables among the people. The Dalits were lived their life by working as labourers in the agricultural fields and as singers and musicians, and they were highly regarded for their great interest in spirituality and bhakti towards the god. They lived honestly and faithfully with controlled mind, and considered themselves as the servants of the god. They are to be considered as the children of the god, for their good nature and pleasing manners.
Once, in Sivalokanathar Temple, Tirupunkur, due to his prayers a giant stone bull had moved to some distance, and still appears in the moved position in the temple. Nandanar ritually purified himself in the fire at Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, and become a bright looking person and appeared as a holy Brahmin.
Sundarar also praises Nandanar in his sacred text. Nambiyandar Nambi also mentioned the greatness of Nandanar in his divine text “Tiruttondar Tiruvandhadhi”.
He lived his life by making leather items, and also a maker of musical instruments. Nandanar also undertook the task of cleaning the temple tanks and painting the walls of the temple, and done various repair works in the shiva temple, due to his love and affection on Lord Shiva. He also regularly provided food to the poor devotees of Lord Shiva in the shiva temples.
Nandanar is specially worshipped in the Tamil month of Purattasi and also worshipped as a nayanar in the Shiva temples.
A sculpture of Nandanar is found in the Chidambaram temple, and also in Airavatesvara Temple of Darasuram.
Though he was born in a lower caste family, he purified himself in the fire, and come out as a holy Brahmin. His mind was fully filled up with the thoughts of Lord shiva and he attained spiritual energy through the divine grace of Lord Shiva. He chants the shiva panchakshara mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” on a daily basis, and also insisted others to recite the mantra. He was against caste discrimination, and contained good thoughts in his mind. By worshipping him, we will get great peacefulness in our life, and can eliminate our bad and unwanted thoughts in our mind, and will get more strength in our body and in our mind and our spiritual energy will get boosted.
Let us worship the great nayanar saint and be blessed.
“OM SREE NANDANAR NAYANARE NAMAHA”
“OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”
“OM SAKTHI PARASAKTHI”