Viranminda Nayanar

Viranminda Nayanar belonged to Thiruchengundrur, Kerala. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. It was his practice to first pay homage to the Shivanadiyars (devotees of Lord Shiva) before paying obeisance to Lord Shiva Himself. To him worship of Shivanadiyars was equal, if not even superior to the worship of Lord Shiva Himself. He felt that no one could get Shiva’s grace without first worshipping Shivanadiyars, and that he who worships even the Shiva Lingam with all faith and devotion, would not attain salvation if he insults Shivanadiyars.

One day, in the famous Thyagaraja Temple of Thiruvarur, he saw Sundara Moorthy Nayanar going straight to the sanctum sanctorum without paying homage to the Shivanadiyars who were assembled there. This enraged Viranminda Nayanar who went up to Sundarar and told him that his act of by-passing the Shivnadiyars rendered him unfit to remain in the holy circle of Shivanadiyars and thus he was excommunicated from this circle. He told him that a true devotee of Lord Shiva should first pay homage to the devotees who have surrendered to The Lord and then pay respects to the Lord Himself.

Sundarar understood Viranminda’s deep devotion towards Shivanadiyars as well as to Lord Shiva and prostrated before him. He then sang the famous ‘Tiruthondar Thogai’. The song melted Viranminda’s heart and he told Sundarar that his mind was well established in the service of the Shivanadiyars. Later, with the Lord’s grace, Viranminda Nayanar was made him the leaders of the Ganas (the attendants of Shiva in Kailash).