Pasupati hailed from Tiruttalaiyur in the land of the Holy Kaveri. Born to a noble family of Brahmins dedicated to Vedic learning, he served the Lord with earnestness and a heart over-flowing with love. Daily he chanted the centerpiece of the Krishna Yajur Veda in praise of the Lord, the Holy Rudram. Before dawn each day, he made his way down to a pool adjoining the sacred river where lotus blooms lifted their heads at the sight of the saint’s approach. He would let himself down into the water up to his neck and then raising his folded hands above his head, would intone the Rudram in a clear, sonorous voice. After each recitation he worshipped the lingam of the Lord with tender vilva leaves, fresh drona, lotus and samyaka flowers and sacred darbha grass. By such devotion, evil spirits within three yojanas obtained release. Pasupati repeated his chant at noon and night and in due time, he shone like Brahma. Though offered the eight siddhis, he was not the least enticed by them but steadfastly persisted in his recitations. The Lord showered him with his grace and took him to the gates of Svargaloka and beyond, to Sivapuri, the abode of the Lord. The saint became known throughout the world as, ‘Rudra Pasupatiyār’.
Illustration courtesy of Ramalingar Pani Mandram.