The adhikara nandi procession may have been the prime focus this morning but for Shiva devotees there was some thing else to wait for – the procession of the Lord’s devotee – Thirugnanasambandar.
This nayanmar has a special place during this festival.
Today, images of the saint and his father
Sivapada were taken out in palaquins, some minutes after the main adhikara nandhi group had moved down the mada veedhis.
The processionists made a stop on South Mada Street, opposite where Vasantha Bhavan restaurant stands. A stop to enact a little but significant incident in the saint’s life that is now part of lore.
Of an incident when Sambandar was just three years old and was taken by his parents to a Sivan temple near home. The child was later found by the parents but the father was curious when he found drops of milk around his son’s lips.
It was then that the child explained his encounter with Lord Siva and Parvathi and in what is said to be the first verse of the Tevarams.
This lasting incident, enacted this morning on the temple tank’s banks and on the veedhi caught the attention of all the people gathered here for this purpose.
The priests transported milk from the ‘ambal’ to the nayanmar, one of the many little rituals they had to carry out here.
Many people had brought milk in vessels which they then symbolically offered at Sambandar’s image – some shared it with others and others took the milk home.