29 November 2017

2017 Arunachala Karthigai Festival: Day 6. Day—Chandrasekhara on Silver Elephant: 63 Nayanars

In the festivities of the morning of the sixth day, a glorious Silver Elephant, leads a procession of the great Shiva devotees, the 63 Nayanars.

The Nayanars are remembered as a group of 63 saints (poets) of the 6th to 8th century who were devoted to Lord Shiva. It was they who influenced the Bhakti movement in Tamil Nadu. The names of the 63 saints were first compiled by Sundarar and the list was expanded by Nambiyandar Nambi during his compilation of material for the famed Tirumurai.

Out of the 63 Nayanars, the four Saiva Samaya Acharyas are remembered best of all. Those four are: Tirugnasambandar, Tirunanvukkarasar (Appar), Sundarar and Manikkavasagar.

The principal teachings of the four Saiva Samaya Acharyas is of love and surrender to God; and of service to God and godly men. That love, devotion, and service to God is the only way one can obtain His Grace. God is One and He is Shiva. That man must get over his bonds which keep him in ignorance and obtain inseparable union with Shiva through the Lord's Grace.

Lord Chandrasekhara on Silver Elephant

Lord Chandrasekhara on Silver Elephant on Car Street

Lord Vinayakar on Silver Rat Vahana

The saints being carried in Palanquins

School Children carrying the Saints in Palanquins

63 Nayanars in Palanquins, Car Street

Four Saiva Samaya Archaryas

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