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Story Of Poosalar – Devotee Who Made Shiva Temple In His Heart

There is a famous story of Poosalar in Tamil Nadu. He was a Shiva devotee who built a temple for Shiva in his heart and Shiva resided in the temple.

In Tinnanur, an ancient town in Tamil Nadu, there dwelt a pious devotee of Shiva, Poosalar. His mind was forever fixed on the feet of Shiva.

Wishing to build a Shiva temple, he tried to raise money. But try as he might, he failed. In grief he pondered, "What shall I do?”

Story Of Poosalar – Devotee Who Made Shiva Temple In His Heart

He resolved at last to raise within his heart a temple to his Lord. From far and near he fetched in fancy, little by little, stone and metal and other building material. Skilled masons and sculptors too he engaged and instructed in thought. And at an auspicious hour, he dug the ground and laid the foundation stone. Devoted, busy, sleepless even by night, he watched the temple grow, part by part and layer by layer, gateway, tower and central shrine, all planned according to the rules of Agama, and wrought in detail with minutest care. On top of the domed turret over the holy of holies he installed a stone a cubit long. And so with hard, steady effort of the mind, he completed the structure, plastered chinks with lime; dug wells and tanks, put up the outer walls; and fixed in his mind the auspicious day and hour for consecrating the shrine and installing the Presence of Shiva.
A Pallava King had built in the city of Kanchi a mighty granite temple and appointed a day for the grand ceremony of its consecration.

But, on the night preceding, Shiva appeared to the King in his dream and said, "Poosalar, my friend, has labored lovingly for many months and raised a temple for me, and I must be there tomorrow at its consecration. So you postpone your temple ceremony to some later day."

The King awoke eager to visit Tinnanui and greet this favored servant of Shiva.

He reached the place and enquired of the people, "Whereabouts of the temple built by Poosalar?" But they all said, "We know of no such temple."

Then he sent for the leading Shiva devotees of the town and asked them, "Who is this pure and perfect man, this Poosalar?"

They answered, "A Shiva devotee of that name does dwell in this town. We shall go and bring him."

But the King would have none of it. Instead he went himself to the man's house and, falling at his feet, asked, "Where is your famed temple? Today, I know, the Lord comes there to dwell. And at His bidding I too have come, to meet you and greet you on this day."

Staggered by this speech, Poosalar told the King the story of the building of the temple thought by thought in his heart.

The King heard it all, fell again at the good man's feet, and marched back to Kanchi.
Poosalar through many seasons performed the daily pujas in the temple in his heart at the due times in the prescribed manner and in the end attained the Feet of Shiva.