Appar also known as Thirunavukkarasar Nayanar was one among the 63 nayanmars. His birth name was Marulneekkiyar. He was considered to be the “father” for the entire “UNIVERSE” hence he was fondly called as “APPAR”. Appar had contributed a portion of his writings in the famous writing Thiruthondarthogai. All the contributions of Appar, Sundarar and Thirugnana Sambandar are collectively called as Tevaram. All the three Nayanmars had contributed a major role in promoting the Shaivism Sect among the people.
Appar was born in 7th century AD in Tiruvamur, Tamil Nadu. His sister Thilagavathiyar liveda saintly life and took care of him properly. He is regarded as an avatar of the holy “SIVA GANAM VAGEESAR” in KAILASA.
At his younger age, Appar was very much attracted to Jainism and converted to Jainism and stayed in the Jain Temple and was known as Darmasena.
Once he suffered from severe stomach pain, and after praying to Lord Shiva, he got cured. Then he again converted to Shaivism from Jainism. He also converted the Pallava king, Mahendravarman to Shaivaism. He was called as Tirunavukkarasu, due to his divine speech.
Navukkarasar met Thirugnana Sambandar at Sirkali and both of them travelled together by singing devotional songs on Lord Shiva. Appar is believed to have travelled to most of the shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, and preached the importance of shaivism among the people. He attained SALVATION at Tiru Pukalur Siva temple at the age of 81.
Appar’s Tevaram is very famous even in today’s world, especially among the shaivites.
One of his famous songs verses are as follows:-
Lord Shiva’sdivine lotus feet are like
1. The Veena,
2. The Full Moon,
3. The Cold breeze,
4. The Early Morning Sunshine,
5. The refreshing pond,
6. The Holy Mountain,
7. The blossomed flower
The great shaivite saint Sri Nambi Andar Nambi, recovered some of the divine scripts of tevaram through the blessings of Lord Shiva in 10 century AD.
Appar was a great saint who removed the sins of the devotees by chanting the shiva mantra “OM NAMASHIVAYA”. He was praised for his kindness, wisdom, courage, knowledge and devotion to Lord Shiva. Though he was a great scholar in all the subjects, he never showed any pride among others. He was a humble and a soft spoken saint, who cured the dreaded diseases of the devotees by applying the holy ash (VIBUTHI) of Lord Shiva on their body. He was famous for offering food to shiva devotees. Daily he had served food for several hundreds of shiva devotees with much pleasure and joy in his mind. He will be always remembered for his “TEVARAM” and for his pure bhakti on Lord Shiva.
Even still in most of the shiva temples, his famous work “TEVARAM” is recited every day, and especially on Mondays. It is believed that by singing the verses of Thevaram, one will get relieved from their past and present birth sins and will be merged with Lord Shiva. Along with Sambandar and Sundarar, Appar is also praised for his great contribution in the Shaivite siddantha and for his good nature and devotion to Lord Shiva. We must cultivate the habit of chanting the verses of Tevaram on a daily basis in order to live a peaceful life.
Let us the chant the holy name of the great saint “SRI APPAR” and be blessed.
“OM SREE APPAR SWAMIGALE NAMAHA”
“OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”