Murkha Nayanar, also known as Moorka Nayanar, Murka Nayanar, Moorkha Nayanar, Murgga Nayanar, Moorkka Nayanar and Murkhar, is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, and is considered as one among the 63 Nayanars.
Murkha Nayanar was born in Thiruverkadu in Chennai. He is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, and he developed shiva bhakti from his childhood. He used to serve food to the devotees of Shiva by preparing various delicious food items along with ghee and rice. Through his activity, he had spent all of his belongings and even then, he continued his practice of serving food to shiva devotees.
In order to provide proper food to the devotees of Lord Shiva, Murkha Nayanar had become a great gambler. He travelled to various places for gambling and spent the money earned through gambling by serving shiva devotees. In Kumbakonam, he won large amount of money through gambling, and spent the money towards performing temple pujas and offered Prasad to Lord Shiva in various temples at Kumbakonam and served food to the devotees of Lord Shiva. He also punished the people who had cheated the wealth earned through gambling. Through his actions, he was called as Murkha Nayanar, which means fierce and violent person. He lived a noble life by serving food to shiva devotees, and after his death, he reached Kailash, Lord Shiva’s abode.
In the Tamil month of Karthikai (November–December), his festival is celebrated in a grand manner in most of the shiva temples. He will be decorated with flower garlands and various abhishekhams will be done to him.A shrine is dedicated to Murkha Nayanar in Vedapureeswarar Temple, at Tiruverkadu.
He is a great Shiva devotee, who had lost all of his wealth by providing food to Shiva devotees. He never thought about his wealth. He thought only about doing pujas to Lord Shiva and feeding his devotees in a proper manner. Through his great act, he had become a Nayanar and is living in Kailasa by chanting Shiva mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”.
Let us worship the great saint and be blessed.
“OM SREE MURKHA NAYANARE NAMAHA”