Eripatha Nayanar (எறிபத்த நாயனார்)
In the town of Karur, Eripatha Nayanar walked around carrying an axe to give protection to the Shiva bhakthas. In this town there was also an old Brahmin by name Sivakamiaandar who had the habit of getting up early morning, plucking flowers from the garden personally and take it to the local Shiva temple.
One day, when Sivakamiaandar was on his way to the temple with a basket full of fresh flowers, the king’s elephant pushed him down and the flowers fell on the ground. Seeing this, Eripatha Nayanar angrily took out his axe and killed the elephant. He also killed the mahout who tried to stop him. He then helped Sivakamiaandar up.
The news that the elephant and mahout been killed spread like wildfire as it was the king’s elephant and the king Pughazhchozha mannan came to the scene. The moment he saw Eripatha Nayanar, the King said “this man is a Shiva bhaktha. How could he have killed the elephant and the mahout?” When he understood what had happened, the king stood humbly before Eripatha Nayanar giving his sword to the Nayanar stating that the elephant belonged to him and hence he also has to be killed. Understanding the king’s humility and bhakthi towards his Lord, Eripatha Nayanar apologized to the king for his hasty action and asked the King to kill him.
All present heard a divine voice saying that all the above happened for the world to know Eripatha Nayanar’s bhakthi and the elephant as well as the mahout got up alive! The flowers strewn on the ground were back in the basket fresh as newly plucked ones!
Eripatha Nayanar requested the king to mount the elephant to go to his palace and Sivakaamiaandar to the temple with the fresh flowers.
Eripatha Nayanar continued his job of protecting the Shiva bhakthas for many years and later reached Shiva Loka!