44. Sathi
(pronunciation = 'sath-thi')

By Swami Sivananda

Sathi Nayanar was a Vellala by caste. He was born in Varinjiyur in the Chola kingdom. He was a sincere devotee of Lord Siva and honoured Siva's devotees. He could not tolerate anyone speaking ill of them. If anyone did so, Sathi would cut off the slanderer's tongue. Lord Siva understood Sathi's pure inner bhava and showered His grace on Sathi.

Besides revealing the glory of Sathi Nayanar's devotion, this simple life also holds for us a great object lesson — never speak ill of the saints or devotees of God. They have attained union with God: and, so, if you vilify them, you are vilifying God Himself. It is the greatest sin, the greatest Himalayan blunder. You cannot judge them: they live on a different plane of consciousness from yours. Our scriptures contain numerous illustrations of the strange behaviour of saints, sages, and yogis. Sometimes they behave as little children; sometimes as mad-men; sometimes as fools. Mysterious is the nature of saints. Always worship and adore them and you will be benefited. Do not criticise them or speak ill of them or find fault with their conduct. Our scriptures say that, "He who blames the conduct of the sages, gets bad Karma and suffers doubly in consequence." Beware!

If anyone speaks ill of a saint or devotee of God, in your presence, leave that place at once. Otherwise, your own moral and spiritual structure will be dangerously undermined. Beware!



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.


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