By Swami Harshananda
Mular is also known as Tirumular Nāyanār, Mular is one of the 64 Śaiva saints of Tamil Nadu, who probably lived in the 6th century A. D. He was one of the eight disciples of a great teacher Tirumandi Devar. It seems he was living on a hillock called Potiyān. Once he strongly felt to see the sage Agastya and came to the southern country, visiting many Śiva temple on the way. In one village, on the bank of Kāveri he found a herd of cows shedding tears. He came to know that the cowherd named Mulan had just died.
Out of pity for the cows, he, using his special yogic power known as ‘parakāyapraveśa’ entered into Mulan’s body, but kept his own body safely hidden in the cavity of a huge tree. The villagers found this ‘Mulan’ different from the old Mulan, discovered that he had become a saint Tirumular and let him go freely as he liked. Tirumular later found that his original body had disappeared. Hence he was forced to live in his new body. He often used to go into samādhi and compose his work Tirumandiram of 3000 verses whenever he came down to normal consciousness.
- Tiru means Śrī.
- Nāyanār is a Śaiva saint in general.
- Parakāyapraveśa means entering into the dead-body of another person.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore