Ilayankudi Mara Nayanar (இளையான்குடி மாற நாயனார்)
Birth place: Ilayankudi
Star: Aavani Magam
A rich farmer in Ilayankudi, Maran had the good habit of feeding the devotees of Shiva every day. Years rolled by, Maran lost all his property and became very poor. Even then he continued to feed at least one devotee every day. It came to a stage that one rainy day he and his wife did not have any food to eat the whole day and went to sleep starving.
Lord Shiva took the form of a devotee and knocked at Maran’s door. Maran opened the door and welcomed the devotee. It was obvious that the guest was hungry and there was not a single grain of rice at home. Maran requested the devotee to rest for some time until the food was prepared.
Maran went to the fields and collected the rice grains sown for cultivation which were floating in rain water. He also plucked some greens in the backyard and came back home. When he came to know that there was no firewood to light a fire for cooking, he removed the wood from the roof and asked his wife to use it as firewood. Maran’s good wife prepared food and Maran woke the devotee up requesting him to have the food. The devotee disappeared and Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvathi gave darshan to the Maran couple and blessed them with mukti.
At the Ilayankudi Shiva temple, there is a sannidhi for Mara Nayanar and the street he used to live in Ilayankudi is called Maran Street even today.