The 4 Nayanmar
Also known as the Samayakuravar in Saivaism, these 4 main Saiva Saints are installed in the same shrine as Lord Nataraja in our Temple.
The divine scriptures in Saivaism are contained in the twelve Thirumarais (Panniru Thrumuraihal) composed by twenty-seven saints and comprising of 18,290 hymns which are still available today.
Thirugnanasampantharmoorthy Naayanaar – was blessed by Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi, who gave him the “Milk of Knowledge” at the tender age of three years, after which he composed and sang his first hymn “Thodudaya Sevian”.
He composed thousands of hymns, of which only 4,159 are available today and are contained in volumes 1-3 of the Thirumurai. This Naayanaar travelled to many temples, performed many miracles and attained mukthi (liberation) at the age of sixteen years.
Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanar was a contemporary of Thirugnanasampanthar and was converted to Jainism from the age of 18 years to 63 years. Then he reconverted to Saivaism, following the prayers of his elder sister Thilagavathiyar. He composed 3045 hymns (contained in volumes 4-6 of the Thirumurai) and performed many miracles to establish that Saivaism was the true religion to attain mukthi, even at the ripe old age of 83 years!
Suntharamoorthy Naayanaar is the saint who was sent back to the Earth from the heavens to live as a mortal. Lord Siva, in the guise of an old man, interrupted his wedding to say that he couldn’t get married, as he was his slave! A humiliated and angry Suntharar called Him “Pitthaa” (madman)! When He finally revealed His true self, Lord Siva told Suntharar to compose his first hymn starting with the word Pitthaa.
And Suntharar duly gave the world “Pitthaa Pirai Soodi”. Suntharamoorthy Nayanar also performed many miracles and composed 1026 hymns which make up the 7th volume of the Thirumurai.
Manickavaasga Swamigal was the Chief Minister of the Paandiyan King, who used the money given to him to buy horses to instead perform many charitable deeds. Lord Siva came himself to rescue His disciple from the wrath of the King through a series of miraculous incidents, and the humble minister travelled to many temples composing and singing the Thiruvaasagam and Thirukkovaiyar hymns – 1,056 of which form the 8th volume of the Thirumurai.