Viralminda Nayanar was born in Sengunru, a hilly place. He was a Vellala by caste.
He was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. Through His grace, he was free from ‘I’-ness and
‘mine’-ness. He had equal vision. He served His devotees and attained purity of mind. To him
worship of Siva Bhaktas was equal, if not even superior to the worship of Lord Siva Himself. He felt
that no one could get Siva’s grace without first worshipping Siva Bhaktas, and that he who worships
even the Siva Lingam with all faith and devotion, would not attain salvation if he insults Siva
Bhaktas. Daily he used to visit the temple. Before worshipping the Lord, he used to worship the
Siva Bhaktas who might be found there.
He left Sengunru on a pilgrimage and came to Tiruvarur. One day when he was worshipping
the Lord, Sundaramurthi Nayanar came to the temple. Sundarar by-passed the Bhaktas who were in
temple and went into the sanctum sanctorum to worship the Lord. This upset Viralmindar, who was
observing this. He could not tolerate this insult to His Bhaktas. He said to Sundarar: ‘You have
insulted the Siva Bhaktas. By this act you have rendered yourself unfit to remain in the holy circle
of Siva Bhaktas. Hence, you are excommunicated from this circle.’ He added further: ‘And, Siva,
for having so thoughtlessly accepted such improper worship at your hands, He, too, shall be
regarded as an outcaste from the divine fold.’ So firm was he in his conviction that he could thus
‘reprimand’ God Himself! In fact, it was Siva Himself Who spoke through him to instruct His
Bhaktas in the proper attitude they should have towards His Bhaktas.
Sundarar immediately understood Viralmindar’s inner Bhav towards the Bhaktas as well as
towards Lord Siva, and prostrated before him. He then sang a Padigam praising him. The Padigam
melted Viralmindar’s heart so much that he greeted Sundarar and said: ‘Your mind is well
established in the service of Siva Bhaktas. You have got sincere devotion to them.’ Lord Siva was
greatly pleased with Viralmindar’s great steadfastness in his devotion to Siva Bhaktas. Thus had the
Lord revealed the great glory of the Bhakta. He was then elevated to the blessed plane of the Siva
Ganas where the Lord made him leader of the Ganas. Glory to such Bhaktas!