The Tirumurais of the Saiva saints are expressions of their devotion and unshakable faith in Siva. The underlying sentiment is the surrender of the soul to the Lord who resides as the most intimate presence in each one of us. The devotee usually longs to serve the Lord and do His bidding. The all-knowing Lord willingly yields to the devotee’s prayer especially when it is made to alleviate the grief of people.
This is what happened in the case of Tirunavukkarasar, Gnanasambandar and Sundarar when the Lord confers on them the power to bring the dead back to life, said Dr. Sarada Nambi Arooran in a discourse. Tirunavukkarasar brought back to life the son of Appoothi Adigal who died of a snake bite. He sang a ‘pathikam’ invoking God to show His mercy on the family. Moved by the power of the hymns the Lord restored the boy’s life. Gnanasambandar brought back to life Poompavai, a girl who died inadvertently. Her father Sivanesan, a staunch Siva devotee, preserved her ashes in an urn and hoped that the child saint Gnanasambandar would be able to restore her life.
The saint addressed the bones and ashes of Poompavai in a hymn. He sang with conviction: “If it is true that human birth becomes fruitful by feeding the devotees of the Lord and partaking with joy the festivals celebrated for the Lord,” the girl should rise and come before the people. But more amazing is how Sundarar brought back to life a boy who was swallowed by a crocodile seven years ago. It is said that Sundarar was torn by grief for the sorrowing parents who felt the intense pain even after such a long time lapse.
Sundarar prayed to the Lord Avinaasi at Tirupuholiyur, ordering the Lord with authority to “bid the Lord of death and the crocodile to deliver the child on the bank of this pool.” When the soul stirring ten stanzas were sung, the miracle happened. The crocodile came up to the bank of the pool and brought out the child through its mouth. More astonishment was in store for the people who found that the child revealed the normal growth during the past years since he was lost.