16. Muruga Nayanar
To do Archana with flowers mentioned in Siva Agamas, to offer flower garlands to the Lord, and to repeat the Panchakshara Mantra is the ideal form of worship. Panchakshara Mantra is considered a very great Mantra because it occurs in the centre of the Sri Rudradhyayi, which occurs in the middle of the middle Khanda of the Yajur Veda. He who does Japa of this Mantra is at once relieved from the disease of birth and death.
Muruga Nayanar excelled in this worship. He was born in Tirupukalur, made famous by many other Nayanars also. Daily he would wake up well before sunrise, take bath, wear the sacred ash on his forehead, do his Nitya Karmas, and go to the garden with a basket. Repeating the Panchakshara he would collect flowers, and as mentioned in the Siva Agamas, make colourful garlands and offer to the Lord.
One day the great Jnana Sambandar came to his place. Muruga Nayanar invited him and worshipped him and won his favour. Sambandar took him as his dearest friend. Muruga Nayanar got the great good fortune of attending Sambandar’s wedding when he, the bride and all others (induding Muruga Nayanar) got merged in the Divine Effulgence of the Lord. Hence, the Kural says: ‘Rarest of all rare things is to win the great to one’s side by courting it.‘ Muruga Nayanar’s devotion won for him Sambandar’s friendship, and, through that, God-realisation.