(pronunciation = 'moorkkar')
By Swami Sivananda
Murkhar Nayanar was a Vellala by caste and he belonged to Thiruverkat in Thondai Nadu. He was a great devotee of Lord Siva and was doing Maahesvara Puja by regularly feeding Siva bhaktas at any cost. He had spent all his wealth in such feeding.
So, he resorted to a strange way. He started gambling and used the money he won to feed Siva bhaktas. He went away from his village in search of gamblers! He would not spare anybody if someone refused to gamble with him, he would resort to violence! (So the name Murkhar Nayanar which means 'wicked Nayanar'!) But, he would never utilize the money for his own expenses. It was all for serving Siva bhaktas. So, Lord Siva showered His blessings on Murkhar Nayanar.
This is an extraordinary illustration of the nature of para bakthi (supreme devotion). It is its own law. The devotee knows nothing but God and is actually oblivious of the world and its manners. He lives in God, for God and he is of God. At such a stage, God Himself takes charge of the devotee! The completeness of the surrender, however, is severely tested before this.
It is the extreme difficulty of this path that made Sage Narada exclaim that even a saint should not violate the canons of morality. Hence, so long as you are aware of your own individuality, stick to the code of right conduct: do not foolishly imitate the sages who dwell in a plane of consciousness, to which you are a complete stranger.
Sekkilaar, and G. Vanmikanathan. Periya Puranam A Tamil Classic On The Great Saiva Saints of South India. Ed. Dr. N. Mahalingam. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 2000.
Sivananda, Swami. Sixty-Three Nayanar Saints. World Wide Web edition. India: Divine Life Society, 1999.