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Adipatthar or Adhipattha Nayanar is one of the 63 Nayanmars. He was a sincere devotee of Lord Shiva and lived in the Chola kingdom at present day Naagapattinam (referred in sangam literature as Naagai) by the sea shore.
He was the head of his group of people called Paradhavar. The main source of income and food for them was fish gotten from the sea. As a way of expressing love to God Siva, Adipatthar would toss the very first fish he earned every day back into the sea, dedicating to God. He would practice this ritual even if he got just one fish on a day, thereby deciding to stay hungry for the entire night. Chekkizhar's Periya Puranam about Adipatthar:
" The head of Paradhavarfor God. He then got a big golden fish one day which he gave to God happily and thus attained Lord forever"
The dancing God of golden court decided to test his love and patience. Therefore, Adipatthar started to get just one fish for many consecutive days. Even then, the ardent devotee left them back to sea happily saying "Let this be to Thy who is our father and Mother". As a result, Adipatthar started becoming more and more poor. Days passed in the same way and one day his clan saw a miracle. They got a big golden fish filled with nine types of gems in their net. Adpatthar admired the fish and told "This wonderful fish shines like the Sun. It is the first one we got today and we are blessed to give it back to Shiva". He then left it back to the sea. Having felt his sincere love, the Lord who wears the crescent descended from the sky and blessed Adipatthar and his people saying "Let you and your people be with me forever". Adipatthar thus attained the glorious place near God Himself.