Lord Shiva has danced as Nataraja at five temples–five sabhas–Chidhambaram, Maduarai, Thiruvilankadu, Tirunelveli and Kutralam. Chidhambaram Nataraja Temple is known as Gold Sabha or Ponnambalam. It is believed that Lord Shiva danced in the golden hall on a Thiruvathirai nakshatra to fullfill the desire of his devotees Pathanchali and Sage Vyaghra Padar. The song avaguna viraganai describes this cosmic dance:
Continuing the part 1 of Thiruvilaiyadal in Thiruppugazh, we discuss a few more divine sports of Shiva as described in the Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam.
Shiva defeats Kali in a dance contest. SivA performs Oordhwa ThAndavam to pick up the bejewelled crown that He throws into the sky and picks it up with his toes and makes the fierce and valorous Bhadra Kali bashful with embarrassment (because she could not compete in dance with SivA)
From the song vetha verpile
காதும் உக்ர வீர பத்ர காளி வெட்க மகுடம் ஆகாசம் முட்ட வீசி விட்ட காலர்
The divine plays or Leelas of Shiva are 64 in number. They describe the exploits of Lord Siva who incarnated as Somasundara, Chokkanatha or Sundaresvara — the king of Madurai and husband of Queen Meenakshi. According to the Thiruvilaiyadal Purana, composed by Paranjoti Munivar in the sixteenth century, these sports have taken place in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Legend has it that Meenakshi and Sundareswarar ruled over the city of Madurai for a long period of time. Sundareswarar also goes by the name Sundara Pandyan. Ugra Pandyan, the son of the divine couple, is believed to be none other than Subramanya.
A few of these thiruvilaiyadals find frequent mentions in Thiruppugazh. Let's study them.
In his previous incarnation, Sundarar was Alala Sundarar, one of the Shiva ganas. Alala Sundarar was living in the Mount Kailas, when he was enamored of two girls Anindita and Kamalini, the attendants of Goddess Parvathi. They, too, fell in love with Sundarar. Kamalini, the attendant of Parvathi in Kailasa took birth in Thiruvaaroor, and was called Paravayar.
One day, Sundarar meets Paravayar in the temple and both of them fall in love with each other. Sundara expresses his love for Paravai to Shiva. Shiva brings them together by appearing in their dreams and telling them to get married to each other.
Later, Sundarar marries Sangili, who was Anindita in her previous birth. Paravai is furious about her husband's second marriage and refuses to let him into the house. Sundarar again seeks the help of the Lord. The Lord goes as Sundarar's messenger to Paravai, and then she relents. The Lord's role of being a messenger of his devotee is mentioned in the following two songs:
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