32. Somasi Marar
(pronunciation = 'somaasi-maarar')

By Swami Sivananda

Somaasira Nayanar was a Brahmin by caste. He lived in Thiruvambur. He was a great devotee of the Lord and served Siva bhaktas, irrespective of their caste. He did Yagas and worshipped the Lord, without expecting any reward. He went to Thiruvaaroor and lived with Sundarar-Moorthi Nayanar to whom he had totally surrendered himself. Thus, Somaasira got Siva's grace through Sundarar.

Here is a simple life of saintliness. On the face of it there does not seem to be anything spectacular about Somaasira Nayanar. But, we have to bear in mind the conditions that prevailed in South India in Somaasira Nayanar's days. It was almost impossible for a Brahmin in those days to mix with people of other castes, however devoted they might be to God. For a Brahmin to serve them was unthinkably difficult. It required very great will power, determination and devotion to God and Siva bhaktas.

Again, in those days no one would even think of performing a Yaga without expectation of a reward. Yagas were performed only with a specific selfish desire. That Somaasira Nayanar performed them selflessly and desirelessly, shows that he had already reached a high stage of jnana or spiritual insight. He was a true Jnani and Karma Yogi.

Over and above all these, he was highly devoted to the Guru, Sundarar-Moorthi Nayanar. What cannot Guru Bakthi achieve? And, yet, foolish and arrogant man speaks lightly of it and ridicules Guru Bakthi!



Sekkilaar, and G. Vanmikanathan. Periya Puranam — A Tamil Classic On The Great Saiva Saints of South India. Ed. Dr. N. Mahalingam. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 2000.

Sivananda, Swami. Sixty-Three Nayanar Saints. World Wide Web edition. India: Divine Life Society, 1999.


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