57. Kotpuli Nayanar
This saint was a Vellala by caste. He was the Commander-in-Chief of a Chola king. He was highly devoted to Lord Siva. He was very pious and virtuous. It was his practice to purchase paddy out of his income and give it to Siva temples for the Lord’s food. He was doing this for a long time.
Once he had to go out on military duty. So, he stocked a sufficient quantity of paddy for the temple use, handed it over to his relatives, with clear instructions that it was meant only for the Lord and that they should not touch it for their own use. During his absence, there was a famine and his relatives had to suffer for want of food. So, they laid their hands on the paddy meant for the Lord and appeased their hunger. The Nayanar returned from his duty and heard of his relatives’ action. He was annoyed with them. He called them to his house and killed them, including his parents, for this crime. His supreme love for the Lord had so completely overshadowed his love for his own near and dear ones! The Lord appeared at once before him and blessed him, and also all the relatives who had died at his hand, and took them all to His Abode.