MAIPORUL NAYANAR


Maiporul Nayanar was a pious king. He ruled over the hill tribes of Sethi. He was chivalrous
and brave. He fought many battles and was always victorious. There was peace and plenty in his
kingdom. People worshipped him as the living God.
He was well versed in the Agamas. He was an ardent devotee of the Lord. To him Siva and
His devotees, adorned with matted locks, Rudraksham and sacred ashes represented the only truth,
Absolute Truth: and all the rest of the world was straw. He saw everything as Sivamayam. Siva
Bhaktas enjoyed absolute freedom in his country: they were honoured by the king and the people
alike. Though he ruled the kingdom as the king, his mind was always at the Lord’s Feet. Daily,
special prayers and festivals were conducted in the temples in his realm.
Nayanar’s fame soon spread far and wide. This evoked the jealousy of Muthanathan, the
king of the neighbouring state. He collected a big army and attacked Nayanar several times; but he
was repeatedly defeated. So, Muthanathan resorted to foul-play. One day, he disguised himself as a
Siva Yogi (for he knew that Nayanar had supreme devotion to Siva Bhaktas) and entered the palace
at night. The gate-keepers did not question him, but allowed him to proceed. Dathan, the faithful
and intelligent servant of Nayanar, was guarding the bedroom in which the king was sleeping.
When the Siva Yogi approached the bedroom, Dathan tried to dissuade him from disturbing the
king’s sleep; but the Yogi refused to listen, saying: ‘I have some secret Shastra to teach the king. I
cannot wait.’ So, Dathan had to allow the Yogi to enter the bedroom of the king, though he was a
little suspicious. Nayanar’s wife got up and, finding a Siva Yogi in the room, quickly awakened her
husband. The Siva Yogi told the king that the Shastra was a great secret, revealed by the Lord
Himself, and that only the king was entitled to hear it. At once the king sent even the queen away
and prostrated before the Yogi, ready to receive the secret. At that moment, the Siva Yogi, who was
none else than the jealous king Muthanathan, quickly stabbed Nayanar on his back, with a knife he
had kept hidden. At that time, the shrewd Dathan, as he entered the room, found the king on the
floor in a pool of blood and Muthanathan with a knife in his hand. He was ready to strike down
Muthanathan, when the dying Nayanar said: ‘Datha, he is our man. He has the appearance of a Siva
Yogi and so must be honoured as one. Do not harm him. Kindly escort him to the borders of our
kingdom, and see that he is unharmed.’ Dathan obeyed the commands of his master. As he was
escorting Muthanathan, the people who had heard what happened went to attack Muthanathan, but,
as soon as Dathan told them of the king’s commands, they withdrew, admiring the supreme
devotion of their king. Thus, Muthanathan was safely escorted out of the kingdom. And, Dathan
hastened back to the palace to convey this news to the dying king who was eagerly waiting for it.
As soon as Dathan conveyed the news to the king, the Nayanar called all his Ministers and
relatives to his bedside, and spoke to them as follows: ‘It is our duty to serve the Bhaktas. They must
be honoured and worshipped at all times and under all circumstances. Let our people walk in the
footsteps of the Siva Bhaktas. Let the country be flooded with Siva Bhaktas. By their blessings, let
peace and prosperity reign in our land.’With these words, he closed his eyes and meditated on Lord
Siva.
Lord Siva at once appeared before him and blessed him as follows: ‘I am immensely
pleased with your devotion to My Bhaktas. I amimmensely pleased with your cosmic love and your
unquestioning devotion to My devotees. Even in a murderer you saw Me. You are, therefore, fit to
reach the Highest Abode which even the Devas cannot hope to reach. You will soon come to My
Abode.’ With these words the Lord disappeared: and Maiporul Nayanar (whose very name meant
‘one for whom God was the sole reality’) also attained His Abode.