Sadhguru on Nandanar: a Shiva devotee

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Shiva The Adiyogi / Storytelling


Nandanar, was a Nayanar saint, who is venerated in the Hindu sect of Shaivism. He is the only Dalit saint in the Nayanars. He is generally counted as the eighteenth in the list of 63 Nayanars. Like the other Nayanars, he was a devout devotee of Shiva.


Duration: 5 min


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Sadhguru on Nandanar: a Shiva devotee

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Right from his childhood, Shiva has so fired him up. And just some twenty-five kilometres away there has been a Shiva temple and he feels Shiva is calling him.

But his life is not his own, he cannot make the trip. Any number of times, he presented his case to the landlord, “Just one day trip. I will go to the temple and come back.” Landlord always said, “Today there is weeding, day after tomorrow there is fertilizing, day after tomorrow there is some other work, you have to till the land. No, one day you can’t waste, what do you think? As it is, you are a useless fellow. One day you want to waste in a life?” Any number of times he presented the case. It started building up within him, he wants to see Shiva.

This time he went and stood in front of the landlord with a different kind of dignity, that a bonded labor never knows, not supposed to have. And the landlord started off, “You idiot, last time your mother was sick, before that your sister was getting married, before that your grandmother died three times over, now you want to go to the temple, nothing doing”. He said, “I will do all the work today, tomorrow just a day trip, I will go and come.” Then the landlord, in some moment, just this new dignity in the man, the new energy that was reverberating in him, in a moment the landlord gave in and said, “Okay, go and come back before evening.” Then he realized what he’s done. Then he said, “Before you leave, all the forty acres you must till and go, entire forty acres you must plough. It’s evening, before morning you must plough and then go to the temple.”

He was not foolish enough even to attempt that. He just went to bed. His entire system was reverberating. He knew he will go to the temple no matter what’s the consequence. A new kind of energy has been reverberating through his entire body. Morning before he woke up there was a big commotion in the village. What is it? Entire forty acres was ploughed, and he came out and looked, he couldn’t believe it. The landlord was standing with his mouth open. Landlord’s wife and children started coming and falling at this man’s feet, whose name we do not know. Generally, he is referred to as the tiller. He couldn’t believe this.

Then he knew – he always thought, by appealing to Shiva, he can move the laws of nature, he can bend the laws of nature. But the laws of men are so cruel that you can never bend them, but here the laws of men and gods and nature all bent. Suddenly people came, put silver coins in his hand, somebody put a food hamper in his hand, somebody gave him a stick and said, “He’s going to the temple, he’s the chosen one. Shiva himself has come and ploughed forty acres of land.”

He went to the temple with great joy in his heart, but having lived a life of an outcast, he’s not forgotten that he cannot cross the threshold of the temple. He stood there, of course they wouldn’t let him into the temple. He knew they are not going to bend the rules. And he came, all he wants to do is just see it, once. The big Nandi, which was sitting in his way, the Nandi moved to one side and later on people called him Nandanar, became a famous sage.

Nobody ever knew his name because he is just known as a tiller, but his entire life is just this one thing. You cannot even call him a devotee – just intrigued, unwilling to let go of the intrigue. The problem with most logical minds is, something intrigues you, then you give a stupid explanation to it and you would kill it right there. Most minds are incapable of living with intrigue. They want a stupid answer to it today, and they’ll come to a conclusion tonight before they go to bed. “Oh, this is like this, that is like that.”

Every idiot on the planet thinks he is a scientist because they read some textbook in the school. This stupid textbook is no more relevant. Anybody, any man of science will not accept this stupid stuff anymore. There is so much here, there is so much everywhere, unanswered. You don’t have the intelligence or the means to answer these questions. Just remain with that – that is a sincere human being.

One who knows that he doesn’t know the answers is a sincere human being. One who finds a silly logical answer is a foolish human being, but he thinks he is smart. This is all that’s needed – you just have to walk with this intrigue. If you have devotion in your heart, fantastic! If you don’t have devotion in your heart, your mind bothers you. Just maintain the intrigue. That’s all it takes.

Shiva The Adiyogi

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