Thiru Neelakanta Nayanar, Lord Shiva’s ardent devotee

If we explore the histories of ardent devotees of Lord Shiva we find a name Thiru Neela Kanda Nayanar who had dedicated entire of his life to Lord Shiva. He was a potter made begging bowls and gave these bowls to other devotees of Lord Shiva.

We also know Lord Shiva by his one more name Neel Kanda; he is called so because he drank the poison to save the world. One day Neela’s wife found him with a prostitute and she took a promise from him in the favor of Lord Shiva that he will not touch her instead of prostitute. As Neela Kanda was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva he didn’t look upon or even touch any women later on.

With his dedication Lord shiva himself evolved in the form of devotee of Shiva and asked him to take care of his bowl until he returned. Neela Kanda followed his order. Lord Shiva in the form of devotee disappeared the bowl with his power and he returned back to Neela Kanda and asked for the bowl, but Neela couldn’t return it. He tried to give the devotee other expensive bowls which he denied to receive and charged Neela of steal. Neela explained the accident of how the bowl disappeared and said that he didn’t steal it.

The devotee asked Neela to pledge by holding a hand of his wife but Neela couldn’t obey the request as he made a promise with his wife. He asked if he hold a stick by its two ends and go into the tank to prove him but it was denied. Later he explained the story of pledge in the court and they were allowed to go into the tank holding the two ends of stick. When they came out they found themselves young by the blessing of Lord Shiva.

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