44. Kalia Nayanar
Kalia Nayanar was an oil monger of Tiruvotriyur. His adoration of the Lord, to Whom he was highly devoted, took the form of lighting the temple lamps daily. He was rich. But, in order to reveal his greatness the Lord made him poor. His family people also refused help. He began to work as a labourer to earn the oil. Even this became impossible. He wanted to sell his wife: but no one would buy. At last, in despair, he wanted to cut his own throat and use the blood instead of oil, to burn the lamps. In that attempt, Lord Siva caught hold of his hand and blessed him.
What greatness, and what intensity of devotion is portrayed in this simple life! Self-forgetfulness is the key-note in devotion. Remembering God always, the devotee is so thoroughly absorbed in Him, that nothing but God and His worship matters to him. By all means His worship must go on: no obstacle shall stand in the way. The devotee’s heart and mind are always positive, never letting a negative thought enter them. He sees opportunities in difficulties and is never beaten by any obstacles which serve him as steps to God!