Bhodendral then asked is he not interested in chanting the holy name of Rama? Ayyaval replied that “While Lord Shiva, the glory of whose name I have sung in these sixty verses, himself does not cease to chant the divine name of Rama even for a moment out of such taste and love for that name, how can I dare to describe the beauty and glory of the divine name of Rama?”. Hearing this Bhodendral shed tears of joy. Sri Bodendral had great respect and affection for Sri Ayyaval, who reciprocated the emotion. In his works Namamrutha Rasodayam and Nama Rasayanam, Sri Bodendral had quoted Sri Ayyaval's Bhagavan Nama Bhushanam as reference, even before they met. Sri Bodendral met Sri Ayyaval in Tanjavur province. Sri Bodendral even composed a song for his disciples to worship Sri Ayyaval, who was elder to him. This verse thus ended: "Obeisance to Sri Venkatasa Guru, who is Shiva Incarnate" or "Tam Vande Nara Roopam Andakaripum Sri Venkatesam Gurum". Sri Ayyaval worshipped Sri Bodendral thus: "Yasya Smarana Matrena Nama Bhakthi Prayajathe; Tam Namami Yathi Sreshtam Bodendram Jagatham Gurum".
Thiru-Idai-Maruthur Mahalingaswamy temple
Ayyaval used to visit the temple of Mahalinga on a daily basis as a routine to have the darshan of the Lord Mahalinga. He loved the deity very much that rain or shine he would not miss visiting the temple. To reach the temple he used to cross River Kaveri. One particular day there was a huge rain and the river kaveri was flooded. The boatmen refused to ferry the boat to cross the river. Ayyaval was saddened as he could not visit the temple that day and gazing the tower of the temple on the other shore Ayyaval stood with tear-filled eyes. He went back home and composed a soulful prayer “Aarthi Hara Stotra”. Later that day the priest of the Shiva temple visited his house and gave the sacred ash “Vibhuthi” prasada. Ayyaval felt it was Lord Shiva himself had come in the guise of the priest. Overwhelmed he then composed “Dayasathakam” i.e. 100 verses glorifying the compassion of the Lord.
From Sridhara to Gangadhara
The Brahmins congregated there were awe-struck realized that Ayyaval was none other than Lord Shiva who carries River Ganga in his head. The Brahmins later apologized to him and prayed ayyaval to stop the floods. Ayyaval then prayed to Mother Ganges to stay in his well in the backyard of his home forever. The Holy River Ganag paid heed to his prayer and subsided into the well. This incident occurred on the New Moon day in the tamil month of “Karthigai”. Even today many pilgrims travel to Tiruvisainallur to take a dip in this well every year. This year the annual “Ganga Aakarshana” celebration commences on 24th November and concludes on 5th December 2010. On the last day all the devotees take bath in this well which is equivalent of taking bath at River Ganges. [The Ganga-Avadharana-Mahotsva Patrika of 2010 is enclosed herewith for the benefit of the devotees]
One day when Ayyaval was singing songs on Lord Shiva at the Tiruvudaimaruthur temple with prema bhakti. Suddenly he ran into the Sanctum Sanctorum and embraced and merged with the Lord Mahalingaswamy. Bhaktas fainted and all were loudly uttering “Hara Hara Mahadev” “Gangadhara” and danced in ecstasy with tears in their eyes!
Lets workship the divine feet of Sreedhara Ayyaval and get his divine grace!
Sri Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval – Sriayyaval.Org
Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval – Namadwaar.Org
Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval – Namasankeerthanam.Com
Nama Sankeerthanam An introduction – Namasankeerthanam.Com
Nama Siddantham – Paranur.Org
Why Nama Sankirtan? – Namadwaar.Org
Ayyaval an embodiment of humaneness (R. Krishnamurhty) – THE HINDU
A devout savant (N.V.R. Swamy) – THE HINDU