(pronunciation = 'gaNa-naathar')
By Swami Sivananda
Gananathar was a pious Brahmin of Sirkali. He was a great bhakta of Lord Siva. People admired his virtue and devotion and came to him for advice. He invariably gave them some work connected with the temple, according to their ability. They would clean the temple, make garlands, work in the gardens, burn lamps in the temples, etc. Thus, Gananathar infused devotion in them for the Lord and transformed them into Siva bhaktas.
Gananathar was greatly devoted to Thiru-jnana-sambanthar. All these earned Siva's grace for him.
Here is another great but simple spiritual practice. Talk to other people about God and the glory of devotion, etc. You will be building up a powerful spiritual fortress around you. You will be able to avoid people wasting your time. You will not indulge in, nor allow others to lead you into, gossip which is the spiritual aspirant's arch-enemy. People who may in the beginning, think that you are strange in your behaviour, will soon understand you and they will, of their own accord, avoid useless talk in your very presence. At the same time, you will be rendering a very great service to humanity, by directing everyone's mind towards God and dharma. Here is a wonderful yoga which helps you and others, too, at the same time. Put it into practice and realize its miraculous effect.
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.