6. Viralminda Nayanar
He was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. Through His grace, he was free from ‘I’-ness and ‘mine’-ness. He had equal vision. He served His devotees and attained purity of mind. To him worship of Siva Bhaktas was equal, if not even superior to the worship of Lord Siva Himself. He felt that no one could get Siva’s grace without first worshipping Siva Bhaktas, and that he who worships even the Siva Lingam with all faith and devotion, would not attain salvation if he insults Siva Bhaktas. Daily he used to visit the temple. Before worshipping the Lord, he used to worship the Siva Bhaktas who might be found there.
He left Sengunru on a pilgrimage and came to Tiruvarur. One day when he was worshipping the Lord, Sundaramurthi Nayanar came to the temple. Sundarar by-passed the Bhaktas who were in temple and went into the sanctum sanctorum to worship the Lord. This upset Viralmindar, who was observing this. He could not tolerate this insult to His Bhaktas. He said to Sundarar: ‘You have insulted the Siva Bhaktas. By this act you have rendered yourself unfit to remain in the holy circle of Siva Bhaktas. Hence, you are excommunicated from this circle.’ He added further: ‘And, Siva, for having so thoughtlessly accepted such improper worship at your hands, He, too, shall be regarded as an outcaste from the divine fold.’ So firm was he in his conviction that he could thus ‘reprimand’ God Himself! In fact, it was Siva Himself Who spoke through him to instruct His Bhaktas in the proper attitude they should have towards His Bhaktas.
Sundarar immediately understood Viralmindar’s inner Bhav towards the Bhaktas as well as towards Lord Siva, and prostrated before him. He then sang a Padigam praising him. The Padigam melted Viralmindar’s heart so much that he greeted Sundarar and said: ‘Your mind is well established in the service of Siva Bhaktas. You have got sincere devotion to them.’ Lord Siva was greatly pleased with Viralmindar’s great steadfastness in his devotion to Siva Bhaktas. Thus had the Lord revealed the great glory of the Bhakta. He was then elevated to the blessed plane of the Siva Ganas where the Lord made him leader of the Ganas. Glory to such Bhaktas!