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Sundaramurthy Nayanar, also called Sundarar has a unique place among all the Nayanars. He’s one of the three Nayanars who composed the Tevaram. Sundarar not only attained enlightenment but also healed his blindness by doing so. Both parents of Sunderar; Sadaya and Isaijnani Ammayar were also Nayanars. It’s a wonderful sight to behold the whole family being the masters and how they became Nayanars, while the Teacher of Sundarar, Narasinga Muniyaraiyar is also a Nayanar. Sundarar became a close friend of Cheraman Perumal, a Chera Ruler of Kerala who became a Nayanar, they together openly performed a bodily ascent to the higher planes.  

So, four of them among 63 Nayanars, while Sundarar’s mother Isaijnani Ammayar is one of the three women in Nayanars namely Karaikal Ammayar (hails from the town of Karaikal, a wealthy Merchant) and Mangayarkkarasiyar (A Chola Princess and Pandiyan Queen, who deliberately established the Shiva tradition in South India with the Help of Appar and Sambandar while Jainism took a different route away from God). The three women of Nayanars stands tall just as Goda Devi stood as a wonderful inspiration being the only woman in 12 Alvars and Akka Mahadevi among Lingayaths during the Bhakti movement.

The list of Nayanars was wonderfully composed by Sundarar in his poem Tiruthondathongai, an eleven verse poem, and also hailed the three woman Nayanar saints. But these poems only outline their greatness while their lives were documented in the poems of Tevaram. Sundarar described himself as “Servant of the servants” or ‘’Servant unto those who serve Shiva.’’ These poems were preserved by Raja Raja Chola I. The place where Sundarar performed his ascent is now a temple called Sundareswar.

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari.

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