This saint was a petty chieftain. He lived in Tiru Munaipadi. He was highly devoted to Lord
Siva. He was a champion of Saivism. On every Tiruvathirai day he would conduct special Puja,
feed Siva Bhaktas in whatever form they appeared and offer the gift of a hundred gold coins to each.
On one such occasion, one Bhakta came with sacred ashes on his stark naked body: this evoked
disgust in the hearts of the other Bhaktas. Nayanar understood this and fell at the naked devoteeÂ’s
feet and welcomed him with more respect. He fed him nicely and gave him 200 gold coins. This
earned the LordÂ’s supreme grace for the Nayanar.
Here is an illustration of the subtle way in which saints manifest their cosmic vision, and
also the subtle way in which they bring about the necessary change in the outlook of others. To the
Nayanar, all the devotees are the manifestations of Lord Siva. The naked man does not evoke the
least trace of disgust or contempt. When he finds this unhealthy attitude in others, he does not
violently correct them. In his own subtle, mysterious but very effective way, he demonstrates the
truth: and brings about a change in the attitude of the ignorant. Both these lessons are important.