Jai Shri Hari!
Kalaya Nayanar was an ardent devotee of Mahadev. Being an Brahmin the only sound he uttered everytime was “Om Namah Shivaya”. Living in Thirukadavur he thought of doing any kind of selfless service to Bhagwan.
In the temple of Thirukadavur, each one were already appointed for specific acts. There were priests to do Nitya Puja (Daily worship) and Abhishekam (Anointment). There were people to ring bells, chant mantras and sing the glories of Bhagwan. Being said that he searched for any other ways to serve his Mahadeva. He thought of drawing water from the pond for abhishekam but the priest resisted as it was his duty. He then took a decision to atleast work on cleaning the temple but as there were already people appointed, they didn’t allowed him to involve in that act. Then he looked for something more that made him fragrant.
There was an incense named kunguliyam which was offered to the deity in the sanctum. When that incense was burned it produced an divine fragrance and removed all the negative energies around the environment. Kalaya made burning this incense in the sanctum as his life long duty.
But does that mean he became an worthy recipient of Divine’s grace?
Ah! If testing his devotees was an art, Mahadev is an master of it!
The first test he gave to kalaya was poverty. All crops grown in his own land were burned and the sacks of grain he had became an ash. Kalaya became more depressed with this situation. But he continued to serve Bhagwan by buying and burning incense with the money he had in his hand.
Seeing the loss of only income they had, Kalaya’s wife decided to sell the gold pendant she had in her Mangala Sutra to feed themselves. Kalaya accepted as there were no other options.
But will Mahadev stop testing his devotee right here?
Shiva manifested before him in the form of a kunguliyam incense seller. Kalaya forgot his hunger when he saw the incense seller. Giving the gold pendant to the seller he bought the incense from him.
When he returned to his house with the incense, he thanked his wife for giving her gold pendant with which he was able to buy incense and continue to serve Bhagwan for a week!
His wife was none other than a manifestation of mother divine herself (This is not a part of story, I’m just adding my own thoughts because for me every men is Shiva and every women is Shakti).
She accepted her husband’s unwavering devotion and gave up her hunger as it was nothing but grace because they got an other opportunity to serve Mahadev.
Here, Bhagwan Ashutosh was easily pleased!
Anyday will Mahadev let go of his devotees?
Seeing this unwavering devotion of Kalaya, Mahadev thought of not testing his devotee any more as that may lead him to sell everything he had for buying incense.
Sacks of grain along with a lot of gold were manifested in front of his house. All was just a play of Bhagwan through Kubera!
The only thing Kalaya said was, “Ah! Not only me, even my children can burn incense for Mahadev without any hindrance!”
How Divine was that?
Har Har Mahadev!
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