54. Pugal-thunaiyar
(pronunciation = 'pugal-thunai-yar')

By Swami Sivananda

Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar was a saint who was a pious Adi Saiva of Seruviliputhur. He was an ardent Siva bhakta. He was a pujari (priest) in the temple. His daily duty was to bathe the image, uttering mantras, and do puja according to the Siva Agamas.

Once a famine swept over the land and Pugal-thunaiyar had no money to buy food. He, however, loved the deity and his daily duty so much that he did not like to leave the place in spite of starvation. So, Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar stuck to that place and continued his regular puja. His body became so emaciated.

One day, in spite of his weakness, Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar fetched water for the Lord's bath (Abhishekam) and, when he was pouring the water on the Lingam, the water-pot slipped from his hand and fell on Siva.

Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar Nayanar forgot himself in sheer exhaustion and fainted away. The Lord appeared in his dream and said, "I will leave one coin in the temple every day till the famine was over so that you can procure the necessary food with that money and appease your hunger."

Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar woke up and found that the dream was true! The Lord, thus, enabled His bhakta to get over the famine.

Pugal-thunaiyar Nayanar continued his daily puja in the temple and finally reached the Lord's Abode.



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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