ThirumALigaiththEvar is the first among the nine devotees who sung the Divine Music thiruvichaippA, which is the ninth thirumuRai. He was born in the tradition of the peasants practicing pure shaivam. His ancestors living in thiruvidaimarudhUr were the initiation guides called shaivarAyar for the chOza kings. (It is also said that he came in the shaivite priests tradition) His ancestors lived in a place called mALigai madam. So he is called thiru mALigaith thEvar. It is said that he renounced the worldly things, went to thiruvAvadu thuRai and there he practiced austerity under arachu tree (fig tree).
Later he founded a monastery to the south of thiruvAvaduthuRai and continued his worship of the Supreme. He got the nyAnOpadhEsham (instructions of wisdom) from the sidhdhar bhOgan^Athar. Due to his austerities he had a charming body. He had attained the miraculous powers (sidhdhi). He researched and patroned shaivam and sidhdhantha.
One day when he was returning having a bath in the river kAviri with the holy anointation water, flowers and offerings for the Lord's worship, people were brining a dead body to cemetery. To avoid the worship material from being dissanctified because of the dead-body, he threw the material in the sky and ordered them to stay (!) there and commanded the dead body (!) to walk to the cemetery. Later he took back the worship material and proceeded for praying the God.
When he was in thiruvIzimizalai he made the temple chariot, which could not be pulled by the group of local people, to run automatically without even the rope to pull ! His charming body radiating through his austerities attracted many women. In his thoughts they gave birth to children who looked like him. People suspected this great yogi and maligned about him with the local king n^arachiN^gan who was ruling the small state under the pallava emperorkAdavarkOn kazaRchiN^gan (825 - 50 B.C.E.) (1). The king n^arachiN^gan without analysing the facts sent his sentinels to capture him. But when they went to his monastery they all returned catching each other. Irked king came with his army. The saint realizing the king's mind made the bulls on the wall of the gOmuththIshwara swamy temple go live and drive away the army of the king !!
He made many other miracles like changing the stinking smell that emanated from the burning bodies in the cemetery, drying the never-drying pot of a sidhdha called koN^gaNavar, planting and reeping the yield from the boiled lintels (payaRRany chuNdal) that he got as the shiva prasAdham (the food already offered to the God) !! He has sung four thiruvichaippA (2) padhikams (ten hymns song) on the Dancing Lord shiva of thillai chithambaram.