30. Thiru Mula Nayanar
Tirumula Nayanar was a Saiva Siddha. He was one of the eight students of Tirunandi Devar Who showered His grace on them. They were all Yogis. He was called Tirumular because he entered into the mortal frame of Mulan.
Tirumular desired to see Agastya Rishi in Pothia hills. So he left Kailasa and went southwards. On the way, he visited many Saivite shrines. When he came to Tiruvavaduthurai, he took bath in the river Kaveri and went to the temple. He went round the temple twice and offered prayer to the Lord. When he was walking along the bank of Kaveri, he saw a herd of cows shedding tears. He found out the cause: the cow-herd lay dead. Tirumular wanted to pacify the cows. He entered the body of the cowherd after safely depositing his own body in the trunk of a tree. The cows rejoiced again. This cowherd was known as Mulan, a resident of Sattanur. In the evening, he drove the cows back into the village. Mulan’s wife was eagerly expecting the return of her husband. But, when she approached him that day, he would not allow her to touch him, but said: ‘Oh lady, I am not your husband. Adore Lord Siva and attain Liberation.’ He left her and went away to a near-by Math.
The lady complained to the leaders of the place, about the conduct of her husband. They examined him and came to the conclusion that he had attained great spiritual evolution. So, they asked her to leave him alone. The next day, Tirumular followed the cows, but could not find his body where he had left it. It was the Lord’s Lila. Lord Siva wanted Tirumular to write a book on Saiva Philosophy, containing the essence of all Siva Agamas, in Tamil. Tirumular understood His wish and returned to Tiruvavaduthurai. He worshipped the Lord and sat under the near-by peepul tree in deep meditation. He was in Samadhi for three thousand years. But, every year, he would come down from Samadhi and compose a stanza: thus, in three thousand years he wrote three thousand stanzas. This book is called Tirumandiram.
The Lord’s mission had thus been fulfilled. Then, Tirumular went back to Kailasa.