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56. PUSALAR NAYANAR Pusalar Nayanar was a humble Vedic scholar hailing from Thirunindravur of Thondai Nadu. He had an extensive knowledge of the Vedas. He surrendered his mind, body and soul to Lord Shiva. He had a strong desire to build a magnificent temple for Lord Shiva. He started collecting money to fund such ahuge project. But, however hard he tried, he couldr't get enough money. His finds failed to meet even a small percent of the amount needed. Dejected, he decided instead to build a temple in his mind for Lord Shiva. He contemplated upon this wonderful idea every moment of his day. He visualized the temple plan, chose a scenic place for the grand temple, supervised the building of the giant pillars, designed the intricate temple art and he even dug a beautiful pond near the temple. Finally, he chose an auspicious date and planned to ritually install the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. This ritual is to make the temple ready for Lord Shiva to reside in. He was visualizing all this in his mind, as practically, it couldn’t be executed Incidentally, the Pallava King was also a great Shiva devotee. He made huge arrangements, spent copious money and built a splendid temple for Lord Shiva. He fixed an auspicious day for the final rituals. He was very pleased for contributing in such an impressive manner for Saivism. A few days before the opening of the temple, Lord Shiva appeared in his dream. He asked the exhilarated King to change the date of his temple ritual, as he has to enter the beautiful temple built by Pusalar of Thirunindravur on that same day. The King on waking up was both happy and curious. Happy for having had the good fortune in seeing Lord Shiva and very curious to know how grander would this other temple would be. He personally went in search of Pusalar. He reached ‘Thirunindravur and enquired around for this Shiva temple. ‘To his surprise, no one had any idea about this temple. They told him that a Shiva devotee named Pusalar was residing in the Vedic quarters, however, they haven't heard of any temple built by him. The confused King went to meet Pusalar. He saw a humble man sitting under a tree, meditating on Shiva, The King approached him and told him ofhis dream and asked to see the temple he had built, Pusalar had tears of happiness on hearing, that Lord Shiva had spoken of him. Then he explained to the King that it was certainly true that he had built a temple, though not in the material world, but in his mind ‘The King was stunned on hearing this. He humbly bowed to Pusalar’s devotion and returned to his capital. He changed the date of his temple's final rituals. Thus, Pusalar Nayanar became the embodiment of the universal truth that for Lord Shiva, the greatest temple is in the minds of his devotees.