Rajashekhara (9th century AD), was also called as Cheraman Perumal Nayanar, was a Chera ruler at Kodungallur in Kerala. He was a great ruler and got good knowledge in penning devotional poems. He was considered as one among the 63 nayanar shavite saints. He ruled his kingdom in a well versed manner with great shiva bhakti in his mind. He also renovated the temples and conducted regular puja services and performed rituals in the temples and rewarded the shaivite poets and provided food to the devotees of Lord Shiva in the shiva temples. He cultivated the bhakti spirit and developed the habit of chanting the Shiva mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” among the people.
He had contributed three sacred texts in praise of Lord Shiva. They are as follows:
1 Ponvannattandadi – In praise of Lord Shiva
2 Tiruvarur Mummanikkovai – In praise of Lord Thyagaraja in Thiruvarur Temple
3 Tirukkailayajnana Ula – In praise of Lord Shiva
His importance was described in the tamil text Periyapuranam, written by the popular poet Chekkizhar. He was the friend of Sundara Murti Nayanar.
At his younger age itself, he was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and regularly worshipped him at the Tiruvanchikkulam Temple. Even he was not interested in enjoying the pleasures and comforts in his royal palace. He kept on meditating Lord Shiva and recited his mantra and chants his various names with pure bhakti. He later became the king of Kerala, and ruled his kingdom in a proper manner. He met Sundarar at Thiruvarur, and they were become good friends and went on pilgrimages to several shiva temples throughout south india. After several years, he reached the holy abode of KAILASA along with his friend SUNDARAR and attained MUKTI.
He had gifted several lands to the temples and constructed Annadana choultries throughout his region, for providing food to the tired traveller and also to the poor people and for the shiva devotees. Due to his good activities, his name and fame was spread across the state. People began to follow shaivism and worshipped Lord Shiva with much eagerness and great devotion. He was praised by the people for his courage, knowledge, wisdom, good ruling capacity and devotion on the god. He was also mentioned in several ancient tamil texts, and describes his greatness and gentleness towards shiva devotees and to his people.
Let us worship the great nayanar and be blessed.
“OM SREE CHERAMAN PERUMAL NAYANARE NAMAHA”
“OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”
“OM SAKTHI PARASAKTHI”