He was a Vellala by caste. He belonged to Mylapore. He was a Siva Bhakta. He constructed
temples mentally and did Manasic (mental) worship. He built the temple of non-forgetfulness, lit
the shining lamp of Self-illumination, bathed the Lord in the waters of immortal Ananda (bliss) and
worshipped Him with the elixir of supreme love. Thus he obtained salvation.
Here is the life of a Para Bhakta, a supreme devotee. He had transcended the stage of idol
worship. He had attained great purity of heart and clarity of inner psychic vision so that, without the
aid of a symbol and without the help of rituals, he could raise his mind to the sublime heights of the
The inclusion of this wonderfully simple life of Vayilar Nayanar is to point out that
devotion is of many types, to suit the taste and temperament of different individuals. Whatever be
the path the choose, ultimately they reach the same goal, union with the Lord, Siva. The Hindu
sages have always declared that the spiritual path is not a stereotyped one, the same drug for all
diseases, the same food for all people at all ages (from infancy to old age!), but that the spiritual life
is adapted (within broad limits) to the needs of each individual. Everyone pursues the path or the
combination of paths suited to him, and ultimately reaches the same goal.