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time. In the meantime, a Siva Yogi appeared before her. He was hungry and completely exhausted. Punithavathy worshipped him and offered him Bhiksha. She had nothing to give him, except the mangoes. She gave one to the guest. At midday Paramadattan came to the house. The wife served him with one mango. He liked it, and asked for the other. She was upset. She appealed to the Lord for help. When she finished her prayer, mysteriously a mango fell on the palm of her hand. She gave it her husband. He tasted it. It was exceptionally sweet. He asked her to tell him from where she got it, as he was quite sure it was not the mango he had sent. Punithavathy told him the whole truth. Paramadattan, however, would not believe this and challenged her to produce another. She prayed again to the Lord. Another mango appeared on her palm. She gave it to him. But, at once it disappeared from his hand. He was astounded. He understood the greatness of his wife. He felt that it was a great sin to live with her as her husband. On the pretext of going to a foreign country for trade, he sailed with a ship load of goods. On return, he established himself in a big city in the Pandyan kingdom. He married a Vaisya girl and lived happily. He had a daughter by her and he named her Punithavathy, after his first wife.

Punithavathiyar’s relatives came to know of her husband’s whereabouts and took her also there in a palanquin. When Paramadattan heard that Punithavathy was coming to him, he, with his second wife and child, went forward, and fell at Punithavathy’s feet. When the people demanded an explanation, he revealed that he regarded her, not as his wife, but as a Goddess. Punithavathy understood his mental condition, and prayed to the Lord: ‘In that case, Oh Lord, deprive me of the present physical charm and let me have a demonaical form.’ Her prayer was immediately granted and her charming body was transformed into a skeleton.

Then she went on a pilgrimage to the holy Kailasa. Feeling that it would be a great sin to place her foot on those sacred grounds, she made the last part of the journey on her head. Mother Parvathy was surprised to see Punithavathy’s strange form and her wonderful devotion. Lord Siva told her of Ammaiyar’s greatness. When she went near Him, Lord Siva welcomed her with extreme love and granted a boon to her. She fell at His Feet, and prayed: ‘Oh Lord of Mercy, give me sincere, pure, unalloyed, eternal and

overflowing devotion unto You. I want no more birth. If, however, I have to take birth here, grant me that I should never forget You. Whenever You dance, I must be at Your feet singing Your praise. This is my only wish.’ Lord Siva granted the boon and asked her to proceed to Tiruvalangadu to witness His dance. She went to that place and spent her life singing the praise of Lord Siva.

இன்றும் என்றும்...

Nagarathars are involved in religious services all around the globe, be it in the USA, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore or in their own native villages. Kavadi Attam and Paal Kudam during Thai Poosam, Vaikasi Visakam and Panguni Uthiram in Malaysia, Singapore and for that matter, in every region in the USA has become part of our lives today. These values and traditions are the seeds of our culture and religion that we are leaving for our future generation to flourish on.

Most recently Chettiars donated the Swarna Lingam to Kasi Visalakshi Temple made of 24ct. gold, with contributions of gold overflowing even after the Lingam was made.

With His divine grace, Nagarathars will continue their service to the Lord, His devotees, and communities that they live in forever!

காடு தேட்டி மபாட்டு கடிய நிலம் திருத்தி ேீடு கட்டி தகாண்டிருக்கும் மேள்ேணிகர் ேீடுகட்கு அன்டறக்கு ேந்த எங்கள் அம்ோ இலக்குேிமய என்டறக்கும் நீங்காது இரு.

நம பார்வதி பதயய ஹர ஹர மகாயதவா!

ததன்னாடு உடைய சிவயன யபாற்றி! என்னாட்ைவர்க்கும் இடறவா யபாற்றி யபாற்றி!!

Nagarathars set apart a portion of their income from their businesses for charity. This custom, called Mahamaiin Tamil, is akin to that of ancient Jews and certain present day Christian groups who believe in giving regularly a share of their monthly income to the maintenance and support of synagogues and churches to which they belong and the worthy causes which these religious entities may espouse.

— Extracted from the book, “The Nagarathars of South India” by S. Chandrasekar (1980); compiled by Selvi Annamalai, NJ Volume 13, issue 1 31

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