How doing things from the heart works?

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

How many times in life have been behind things that bring in stress but nothing else? 

Ever thought of stopping for a while and going within and checked if things are done from the heart? 

Ever felt so aligned with the heart, feeling satisfaction briming, sometimes overflowing? 

And by the end of the day consciously took a deep breath of satisfaction and had a sound sleep? 

If the answers are no for the above questions, the one stop solution is, all these happen when one does things from the heart.

And while doing things from the heart, people may not be recognised instantly. Because most things related to the heart are invisible. 

Say, one person sows a seed and waters daily. Just how roots are invisible, few things in life are invisible as well, but it’s power is enormous. And when one realises the power of the invisible roots he or she becomes more powerful. Whatever he or she does, others can sense a classic touch in their works. Can feel their soothing vibes when around them. That is the power of doing things from the heart. It serves you and all.

Here, in Periya Puranam there is the history of this Nayanmar. He is the 58th Nayanmar. Poosalar. The number of Nayanmars so far is 63 and why am I speaking from the last? I follow no order in this series. Just going by the flow. 

This history is close to my heart. This was part of my Tamil syllabus in my school days. So only with his life history I got to know about Periya Puranam and Nayanmars. Before analysing the contemporary aspects from his life history, a brief note about him.

Poosalar was a Brahmin Priest and was living in Thirunindravur, a place near Chennai. In other terms Chennai ku miga arigil. He was so devoted to lord Shiva and wanted to construct a temple for him. But he was poor and had no money to build a massive temple for his god.

So, everyday after his usual work, he would sit in meditation and imagined how he could build a temple for his beloved god. He dwelled deep into detailing to every aspect. He was into such a detailing that he took the same time that it takes to build a temple in reality. If it takes a month for a sculptor to carve out an idol for a pillar he took that time to carve in his heart. He ensured all the detailing was captured to perfection. Despite no one knew, other than him he went on to be sincere in his thoughts. 

People around him thought he was someone who used to sit and sleep every day. But he had his own plans and kept going with his hearty construction. 

Meanwhile, the Pallava ruler, the king of the land, King Kadavarkon was constructing a Temple in the capital city Kanchipuram. The temple is still there. Kailasanadhar Temple. He wanted to construct the temple in a way where Lord Shiva can come and stay from Mount Kailash, his dwelling place and take rest here as this temple would be much more comfortable than Mt. Kailash. The king was indeed proud about his concept. The temple was coming up grandeur. For the temple sculptures even his wife, the queen of the throne posed as dancing dolls. Such were the efforts that went into the construction. 

The illustration of the Temple built in heart depicting Poosalar’s life history.

The king had set the date for the consecration. It was festive all over the capital city. Poojas, ygyanyas were happening day and night. Just the night before the consecration, Lord Shiva appeared in the King’s dream. He said he cannot be in his temple for the ceremony the next day as he had to attend Poosalar’s consecration ceremony. The lord also asked him to change the date of the ceremony. The king was taken aback and wanted to know who Poosalar was and about his marvel construction. He changed the dates and set out to Thirunindravur. He searched for the new temple all around but couldn’t find one. He asked for people if anyone knew Poosalar. Everyone said he was someone who sleeps at noon, sitting. He met him and asked about his temple and Poosalar was astound. 

Because only he knew that the temple was constructed in his heart. He revealed the truth to the Pallava king. The Pallava king was stunned by his devotion. The king felt small as he realised the greatness of his heart. He was moved and said to him that his temple is small compared to the temple that he had build in his heart. People later built a temple in Thirunindravur to make Poosalar’s visualization a reality.

Even today the presiding deity in Thirunindravur Shiva temple is known as Hrudhaishwarar, the one, who lives in the heart. 

Coming to the contemporary aspect of history, in this busy world, people hardly connect with themselves. Looking at Poosalar, the one who had smeared the sacred ash all over his body, have shown what single minded devotion is and what doing things from heart can bring in. He visualized and it came into existence. His desire, his devotion was so strong that the universe heard his inner voice, helped him to achieve the same.

Some people may not feel connected with any god as it’s their belief system. But they look up to the Universe. As one does things from the heart, the entire universe conspires to achieve it. When it is for the greater goodness and is positive its power is many folds and is good for the seeker and the entire mankind. 

Poosalar slept in peace, led a peaceful life. Though he had little, his heart was large. A normal middle class man has much more than him in terms of materialism. 

We have Money to buy things. 

We have food on the table, a roof over the top. We have some savings. 

We have a beautiful family.

But all it takes is a deeper connection with ourselves. 

It is not necessary that we have to sit in meditation all day and visualize building a temple. We can just be aware of the useless thoughts and tweak them as purposeful ones. 

Though not easy it is still possible with consistency. 

Once achieved, we can distinctly see the difference in the way of life, the Quality of thoughts and purity in deeds. We can sense satisfaction brimming. Ultimately, can sleep better.

Happy Sunday! 

With Love,

Rukmini 

References: 

  1. Suki Shivam About Poosalar Nayanar – https://youtu.be/HZpuqs5w9zY
  2. 63 Nayanmar Varalaru, Shri Swami Sivanandha, Rasipuram Deiviga Vazhkai Sanga Veliyeedu 
  3. Wikipedia
  4. The temple structure is a recreation from YouTube video tutorials of Balaj Arts.
  5. The Shiva Lingam’s base design is an inspiration from the Youtube channel drawing kolors.

Periya Puranam – A History And Beyond

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton

Hello All,

Hope you are doing good. With lock down there is no way out on weekends. Sometimes it’s difficult but at times it does constantly remind me that there is a way in. And to learn or know something new, Sky’s the limit.

Hailing from Srirangam called Bholoka Vaikundam, I know very little about Nayanmars. Do not ask me if I know more about Alwars. I do not know them as well. But I have seen Alwars frequently during Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam also known as Pagal Pathu, Ra Pathu Utsavam, here in Srirangam which is celebrated during Vaikunda Ekadashi every year. But I have never been to Arubathi Moovar Vizha which is the famous festival in Mylapore every year in the month of Panguni. 

So, I thought I should start knowing more about Nayanmars. Hence writing about Nayanmars. And when it is about Nayanmars, it’s nothing but Periya Puranam that strikes my mind. As I learn about them I would like to share with you for two reasons. If you know about Nayanmars please do comment on this blog and let me know if the story is right or wrong. Another is to send some spiritual vibes which are more positive and powerful. And I guess we need this with the situation we are in. 

So, now straight into the introduction for Periya Puranam. 

Periya Puranam is also called Thiruthondar Puranam. It is 12th in the list of 12 Thirumurais (Panniru Thirumuraigal). These are 12 sacred texts of Shaivites. And this Periya Puranam is a treasure, a collection of life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. This was compiled by Sekkizhar in the era of Kolothunga Chola II, King Anabaya Chola. 

Sekkizhar was the prime minister and poet in his court. Kolothunga Chola II was dazzled by the work Seevaga Chindamani. The work is about how a prince Seevagan conquers his kingdom back, by marrying eight dames exhibiting his heroics and errotics, gains the support of those kingdoms and becomes powerful. Ultimately, he renounces his kingdom realising the impermanence of the world and becomes a hermit. 

But King Anabaya Chola was stuck with the materialistic part of the work beyond the balance. Which naturally happens for any human. All that matters is to be aware of it and strive for balance. But the Chola king has gone so deep to make him aware of his off balance state. To put him back on track, Sekkizhar, a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva wanted to pen about Nayanmars. 

Some Illustrations Depicting Periya Puranam and Sekkizhar. Illustrations inspired from the pins Enrich Minds and 123RF from Pinterest.

To lead a peaceful life being spiritual helps. Too much erotica could spoil and ruin one’s life to destruction. And if a King goes off balance, the entire kingdom is at stake. So Sekkizhar travelled places to collect evidence and life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. 

Most of the Nayanmars were leading a normal middle class life yet were strong about their spiritual seeking and their devotion to Lord Shiva. Despite hurdles, they were strong willed to go with their conviction.

Periya Puranam is a treasure as it clearly reveals about the time, place, the way of living of all Nayanmars. And Nayanmars are not from the same caste or sex. They are from all castes, creed and sex. The book is an epitome of Inclusiveness.

The book says that devotion, god, the elements of nature is for all. All that it requires is a heart full of love, conviction and purpose.

Most quotes on History say that it is a waste of time to read them and urge people to create one rather. But in Reality, one can read, relate and be inspired from History. And Periya Puranam not only says about devotion to God. Along with that it clearly emphasizes on love, compassion, acceptance. These aspects of life seem trivial but are difficult to put in practice in real life. But Periya Puranam is all about these little things that matter in life through the life histories of Nayanmars. 

So Periya Puranam is much more than to be seen as history as such. 

Planning to read and write about Nayanmars in the coming weeks as well. Hope things go as planned. 

Happy Week ahead! 

With Love,

Rukmini

References

www.shaivam.org

Periya Puranam Aaivu Nool, Vijaya Publications