Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar (குங்கிலியகலய நாயனார்)
Birthplace : Thirukkadaiyur
Star : Aavani Moolam
In the town of Thirukkadaiyur there was a Brahmin named Kalayar who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. His service to his Lord was to burn incense (kungiliyam – sambrani) in the temple every day. He never failed in doing this that he came to be called Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar.
Years rolled on and Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar lost all his wealth and became very poor. Even in his poor state, he continued his service to Lord Shiva without fail.
One day, there was no rice to cook at home and Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar, his wife and children were hungry. Kalayar’s wife removed her mangalsutra, gave it to him and asked him to buy some rice with the same. In the market, Kalayar came across a vendor with a sack full of incense. Without hesitation, he exchanged the incense for the mangalsutra and proceeded to the temple to do his daily service of burning incense and spreading the fragrance in the temple. He forgot all about his family and stayed in the temple with his Lord. The kind Lord did not forget his family and filled Kalayar’s house with wealth and plenty of food grains. He also advised Kalayar in the form of a divine voice to go home and eat well. Knowing well that there was not a grain of rice at home, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar went home and was stunned to see the riches! His wife explained to him that all this was the grace of Lord Shiva. Delighted by the Lord’s grace, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar continued to serve the Lord and his devotees!
During this time, the Shiva Linga at the temple of Thirupanandhal was leaning to one side and was not straight. The King tried to straighten the Linga with the help of his soldiers, horses and even elephants by tying the Linga to these, but nothing worked. When he went to Thirupanandhal, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar put the noose around his neck and pulled the Linga. The Linga became erect right away! Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar did not do this to show that he was superior to others, but only wanted to be part of the devotees trying to serve the Lord. But his humility and bhakthi for Lord Shiva brought instant results!
All present were surprised and fell at the feet of Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar.
Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar belonged to the same period of Thirunaavukarasar and Thirugnanasambandhar and had to opportunity to serve them food at his place.
After many years of service to Lord Shiva, Kungiliyakalaya Nayanar reached the feet of his Lord.