The Religion and Philosophy of Tevaram (Thevaram)

by M. A. Dorai Rangaswamy | 1958 | 410,072 words

This page describes “nayanar 50: ninra seer nedumaara (ninracir netumara)” from the religion of the Thevaram: a comparative study of the Shaivite saints the Thiruthondathogai. The 7th-century Thevaram (or Tevaram) contains devotional poems sung in praise of Shiva. These hymns form an important part of the Tamil tradition of Shaivism

Nayanar 50: Ninra Seer Nedumaara (Ninracir Netumara)

The 50th saint is Ninracir Netumara Nayanar (Ninra Seer Nedumaara). The words of Arurar are, “Niraikkonta cintayal nelveli venra Ninraclr Netu-maran atiyarkkum atiyen”— ‘I am the servant of the servants of Netumaran or Sri Mara, the great, of abiding glory, who won the battle of Nelveli because of the subjugated mind’.

Nampiyantar speaks of this Pandya as the one in whose presence the Jains were defeated by Campantar and who impaled them all. He is thus identified with Kiln Pandya.

Campantar speaks of him as Tennavan (the Lord of the south), Pantiyan, Pancavan, Parttivan (or the king of this earth), Korravan (the victorious king), Pan-kamilan (one who has no blemish), Pattiman (one who is learned), Paravinan (one who worshipped and praised the Lord) and Bhaktiman (the king of divine love or bhakti). The repetition of the name Tennavan Tennan shows probably that he became the undisputed king of the southern land after the Nelveli battle.

Arurar also speaks of Netumaran of sacred ashes on whose crown was Shiva as Tennavan or Tennan, “Potiydtu tirumeni Netumaran mutimel Tennan”.The idea of Shiva beings on the crown of the Pandya is also referred to by the Pantikkovai where the author describes this patron Netumaran, “Naraiyarrakattu venran mutimel ninran Manikantan"’, Villinattu venra malliyal tol mannan cenni nilavinan var cataiyan”. We have elsewhere referred to this idea as being explained by the epigraphists. Therefore, this seems to be a popular idea of Arurar” s age. “Netumaran"” is identified with Arikesarimaravarman of the Velvikkuti grant.

Cekkilar refers to him as the king who ruled, thanks to Campantar, in such a way that Dharma and Shaivism flourished. He gives the description of the Nelveli fight reminding us almost of the Kali rhythm of some of the lines of the Velvikkuti grant and of the epigraphic description of the Pallava war with the Chalukyas of that age. “The enemies attacked the Pandya at Nelveli with a sea of horses and rows of angry elephants. There was a flood of blood in which floated the corpses of man and animal. The Pandya took up the spear even as his great ancestor did to make the sea dry up. The joyful neighing of the horses, the clash of the weapons of the soldiers, the roaring noise of the elephants, the music of the military band resonating like the thunder on the final day of destruction. The bhutas and the peys bathed in the blood and drank that liquor and danced after the feast of the foxes. In such a battlefield, the army of the chief king of the northern country, broke down and fled and the Pandya was crowned with the laurel of victory”. This is an information which we do not get elsewhere.

The Velvikkuti grant speaks merely of “Vilvelik katarranaiyai Nelvelic ceruvenrum”. The Sinnamanur plate speaks of the conquest of the Villavan being conquered at Nelveli. Villavan usually means the Cera but this will be opposed to the specific reference in Periyapuranam, unless we take the Nelveli there as another battle. Or, the Villavan read as Villavar may refer to the bow-men who are referred to as Vilveli in the Velvikkuti grant. Villavan may also be a mistake for Vallavan, a name which occurs in Pantikkovai, which may then refer to the ChalukyaVallabha’ From the description given by Cekkilar, it is clear that he is referring to the Chalukya invasion when Vikramaditya came as far as Uragapuri or Uraiyur to be defeated by Paramesvaran, the Pallava at Peruvalanallur.

There is an intriguing reference in the Smaller Sinnamanur plates: “Jayantavarman makanakip pakai pupar talai panippa Paramesvaran veli (c) pattu Arikesari Asamasaman.... Paravanipakulam irainca”? One wonders whether it refers to Netumaran’s conquest of the Chalukyas before Paramesvara conquered the Chalukyas. Or, did Paramesvara attack the Chalukya from behind at Peruvalanallur after the Pandya defeated him at Nelveli? Nelveli, if we are to connect it with the battles around Uraiyur and Peruvalanallur should be in the Cola country; it is probably the Nelveli referred to as being in the “Ten-karaippanaiyur natu” in the Cola country. His battle was considered to be very important probably because it released the Tamilians from the fetters of the Northern kings. The victory was felt to be very miraculous because Arurar assigns the victory to the subjugation of his own mind by the Pandya and it is curious that he refers to this conquest and not to the conquest over the Jain. This king is the husband of Mankaiyarkkaraci; he did all the divine services or ‘tontu’ and made the path of the sacred ash flourish. Cekkilar tells us that he ruled for a long time.

The Sanskrit and Kannada traditions speak of him thus: “Kadumaranayanar or Dirghamara, also called Kuna and Kubja was the King of Madura. He embraced Jainism under the influence of Jinasena, Bhattakalanka and others. He was reconverted to Shaivism by Tirujnanasambandar”

The Darasuram sculpture represents the king on a raised seat or simhasana wearing a crown and a sacred thread. On his right, stands a person with a sacred thread and a tuft knotted to the left probably Campantar. Right of him stand two persons probably being marched to be impaled.

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