Pakalli Koottar

By Sri Swami Sivananda

Here is a unique instance of a Vaishnava by birth becoming a devotee of Lord Subrahmanya. Pakalli Koottar lived in Chaturveda Mangalam some centuries ago. He suffered from the most excruciating pains of stomach ache, and spent anything and prayed to any god but found no relief. Then he prayed to the Lord of Thiruchenthur and got a miraculous cure.

Pakalli Koottar soon went to Thiruchenthur to pay homage to Sri Subrahmanya for the great relief the Lord had given him. Pakalli Koottar stayed at Thiruchenthur for sometime and showed his gratitude in the form of one of the most inimitable pieces of literary devotion called “Pillai Tamil.”

The scholars assembled in the temple for hearing it and exclaimed it to be the finest in existence. Even now they recite it in the holy service at Thiruchenthur every day.

Though his production was applauded unanimously, they did not accord to Pakalli Koottar due honours from the temple due to the fact that Pakalli Koottar was born a Vaishnava.

The Lord was far more important for Pakalli Koottar than all these penny-a-wise consideration of human honours; and so, he went home without any sort of perturbance caused to his mind.

Lord Subrahmanya is, however, no partisan of this sort of learned men who honoured not Pakalli Koottar for his being born a Vaishnava; and Bhagavan Murugan wanted to teach these people a lesson severely.

So it was that night! God Skanda took a costly jewel, which the priests had placed over His bosom and transferred it to the bosom of His Vaishnava bhakta; for, was it not from that part of the bhakta’s body that those ecstatic songs of divine praise bubbled forth, which they enjoy even today?

The authorities, who discovered the loss in the temple the next morning, searched round for the thief; but when they came and beheld Pakalli Koottar jewelled with the Grace of God, they were taken aback; and soon they knew from the previous day’s experiences that they had sinned against God Himself in not according to this sage due honours in the temple. They begged Pakalli Koottar pardon, and placing him in a stately palanquin bore him in grand procession round the village, proclaiming the glory of Sri Shanmukha and the greatness of the Sage’s devotion.

References:

 Sivananda, Swami. Lord Shanmukha and His Worship. World Wide Web edition. India: Divine Life Society, 2000.