Thiruvenkattadikal is one among the twelve who sung the Padhinoran Thirumurai (eleventh thirumurai)(1). This devotee of wisdom and experience, has written many poems that educate the people of the perspectives that one would not have thought about or would have been reluctant to think about. (2) This devotee of the end 9 th century ACE, has lived as the rich as well as a begging saint and provided us the wisdom out of it, "Don't get lost in logistics of life. Realize the Truth and live blissfully praising It."
The once very famous shore city of the chOza empire, which was a major hub for business given its geographical location having a port, iskAvirippUmpattinam or pukAr where the lifeline river kAviri enters the ocean. Understandable from the commercial importance of the city, there lived lots of businessmen prospering in local and international trade. There lived one rich businessman, by name chiva n^Eyar, rich not just in material wealth but also in the discipline, charity, integrity and devotion for the Lord Who made kubEra the deva of wealth. For him and his chaste wife nyAnakalai, a child was born as the fruit of their discipline and devotion. As it was born by the Grace of the Lord taken abode in the nearby town thiruveNkAdu, they named the child asthiruveNkAdar. The child grew over the mounts of wealth. When he was five years old, his father reached the Feet of the Lord praised by vEdic rites.
thiruveNkAdar learnt the art and literature and shined in discipline and devotion for the Lord on Holy Bull. When he was sixteen, he was married to the girl appropriate for him called chivakalai, daughter of chivachithambarach chettiyAr and chivakAmi ammaiyAr. The fruit of the married life is love and charity. This couple lived for it supporting the devotees of the Lord, Who goes on alms, and the righteous people. As one of the duties and the means for the married people thiruveNkAdar set to develop the business. He splendored in his effort and became the very rich person known across the borders. He brought in wealth through the trade over the sea and on the land. Though he had covetous money, he did not have an offspring till he was thirty years old. An ardant devotee of the Father of the Universe, he worshiped the Lord at thiruvidaimarudhUr pleading It to grant him a child.
The Lord marudhavANar wanted to show grace on two of his true devotees. There lived a servant of the God by name chiva charumar, who had his heart lost in the salutations to the Sweet Lord Who swallowed the terrible poison halAhalam. He regularly hosted the devotees of the Lord providing them feast and materials. In this process he became poor, but as a determined devotee did not slip in his service. The Lord marudhavANar wanting to show way for both this devotee and thiruveNkAdar appeared in the dreams of chiva n^Echar and his synchronised wife sushIla that there would be a child in the shade of thebilva tree near the abode the next day and they could take and give the child to thiruveNkAdar couple and get lots of wealth for continuing chiva n^Echars service. The same way the Lord ordered thiruveNkAdar to liberally donate to chiva n^Echar when he brings the child to him. The same happened to the joy of both the devotees and they thanked the Lord marudhavANar.
As the child was got by the Grace of Lord marudhavANar, thriuveNkAdar named the child as marudhavANan and nurtured that child of wealth in all affection. The young marudhavANan liberated the gandharva called maNibaththiran who was cursed to be a fish by a sage sindhu muni. When the age became sixteen, marudhavANan went on trade over the ocean. On return brought the bags of dung, but in which were concealed the rare valuable gems and also gave a box to the mother and disappeared ! The father who had lots of materialistic thinking developing the business, was searching the son and came to open the box marudhavANan had left with the mother. There was a ear(hole)less needle and a palm leaf wound in a silk cloth. In the palm leaf it was writtenkAdhaRRa Uchiyum vArAdhu kANum kadaivazikkE(Even the ear(hole)less needle won't come for the last journey !). This statement broke into him, shattering his materialistic illusions and grew a great wisdom in him.
With the Supreme Guru's Grace guiding him, he renounced his wealth and material life and determined to completely get into the Glorious path of Lord shiva. He commanded his dutiful head clerk chEn^dhanAr(3) to distribute all his wealth for charities and endowments, advised and consoled his wife and became a sage. The relatives who had only the status as their prime concern and not the love were unable to digest their highly wealthy relative wandering like a beggar in the streets. They gave him poisoned appam(a kind of cake) through his sister. But the enlightened saint pattinaththadikaL, realised this and through it on the roof of the house singing Ottappam vIttaich chudum. The house and the neighborhood caught fire and the relatives fell in his feet and pleaded for mercy. Then pattinaththAr extinguished it by singing another song thaN^gaLaik kEttup piran^dhilam. He stayed in that city till his mother died, on her request.
Later he went to thiruvidaimarudhUr and sang the thiruvidaimarudhUr mummaNik kOvai. He went on traveling singing the songs of wisdom in many abodes in chOza, pANdiya, malai, thoNdai, koN^gu, thuLuva states (south bharat). He went to the north also saluting the Lord of the whole world. He resurrected a boy who died of illness in thiruvArUr. In koN^gu state, one day as he was quite hungry in the late night, he knocked at the door of a house. The people in the house mistook him as a thief and beat and tortured him. The neighbours realising he is a saint, intervened and set him free. From then on pattinaththAr made a pledge that unless somebody comes and gives the food, he won't go to anybody's doorstep asking for food.
When he was in a town unychEnai mAkALam in thuLuva state, he was meditating on the all-pervading Lord shankara in a piLLaiyAr temple. Some thieves who were pleased with their robbery in the palace, threw a pearl garland towards the deity on their way. That fell on the neck of pattinaththAr who was meditating. The corps mistook him as the robber and the king without analyzing the facts ordered him to be executed on kazumaram (A sharp wood to pierce and kill). The sidhdhar sang en cheyalAdhi yAdhoNrumillai and reiterated his surrender to the dEvadEva. The kazumaram caught fire. The king realizing his potence and non-guiltiness pleaded for pardon and gave himself as the slave of the saint. pattinaththAr ordered him to renounce the throne and go to thiruvidaimarudhUr. The king became a sage called baththira giriyAr. Then pattinaththadikaL continued his to the northern abodes. On his return to thiruvidaimarudhUr he showed liberation to his disciple baththira giriyAr.
Meanwhile his headclerk chEn^dhanAr was donating tihruveNkAdars wealth as per his order for charity. But the king triggered by the relatives reprimanded chEn^dhanAr. pattinaththAr sang the Lord and got him released. He went to chirkAzi and composed the scripture thirukkazumala mummaNikkOvai. Sang the kOyil n^AnmaNimAlai on the Dancing King of thillai. Later worshiping aNNamalai he went to kAnychi where he sang kachchith thiruvan^dhAdhi, thiruvEkamba mAlai, kachchith thiruvakaval. He prostrated to the Lord, Who is present in all directions for the world to salute, at thirukkazukkunRam, thiruvAlaN^kAdu, thirukkALaththi and reached thiruvoRRiyUr as directed by the Lord at thiruvidaumarudhUr. His experience of the God's Grace flow out asmudhalvan muRaiyIdu, arutpulambal.
One of the days when he stayed in thiruvorriyur worshiping the Lord of sacrifices, he was playing with the cowboys. The boys used to cover him in a pit with sand and plants and he used to come out from altogether another pit ! When this was continuing, one time, when they covered him in a pit, he did not come out again as pattinaththadikaL, but he became a shivalingam, merging with the Supreme.