Amarneedi Nayanar

Amarneedi Nayanar was born in Pazhaiyaarai, near Kumbakonam. He was a trader in gold, diamonds, silks and cotton goods. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He would invite Shivanadiyars (devotees of Lord Shiva) to his house and worship them. He would give them Kowpeenam (loin cloth), clothes, etc., and feed them well and send them away happy with other gifts.

He used to visit the sacred temple of Tirunallur during festivals and worship Lord Shiva with intense faith and would repeat the Panchakshara Mantra daily. Not being satisfied with visiting the Lord only during festivals, he decided to settle down in Tirunallur once and for all. In Tirunallur, he could now enjoy the Lord’s Darshan and serve the Shivanadiyars by offering them food. He also built a beautiful Mutt to accommodate Shivanadiyars who visited the temple. It was his daily routine to invite Shivanadiyars home and to offer them Kowpeenam along with food and other gifts.

Lord Shiva was highly pleased with Amaraneedi Nayanar’s generosity and kindness to Shivanadiyars. One day, he came to his mutt in the guise of a Brahmachari. He held in his hand, a staff with two Kowpeenams tied to it. He gave one of the Kowpeenams to Amarneedi and requested him to keep it safe till he came back for it, after a bath. Later, as per the Lord’s plan the Kowpeenam disappeared.

Soon, the Brahmachari came back after his bath, and asked for the dry Kowpeenam as rain had drenched the Kowpeenam he had on the staff. Amaraneedi searched high and low but could not find the Kowpeenam that he had safely kept. He prayed to the Lord, but he couldn’t find it. He approached the Brahmachari, trembling, with another Kowpeenam, and explained his difficult situation to him. But, the Brahmachari was not in a mood to take any explanation and refused to accept any other compensation offered by Amarneedi.

Finally, the Brahmachari demanded a Kowpeenam equal in the weight of the lost Kowpeenam and kept his other Kowpeenam on one bowl of the weighing scale. Amarneedi placed a Kowpeenam in the other bowl. To his dismay, the Brahmachari's Kowpeenam was heavier. He placed a few more Kowpeenams on the bowl but to no avail! The Brahmachari’s Kowpeenam was always heavier. He then kept his other possessions like gold, jewels etc. Still, the Brahmachari’s Kowpeenam remained heavier! Now, Amarneedi realized that this was the Divine Lord’s Leela and without any hesitation he, along with his wife and son sat on the bowl. Instantly, the weighing scale turned into a divine chariot and took Amarneedi and his family to Mount Kailash!