Who is the winner?

The unique story of Meiporul Nayanar illustrates many valid
issues on truth, dharma, values of life, etc, besides
highlighting his unalloyed devotion to Siva and Sivan
Adiyars, pointed out Sri M. Janakiraman in a lecture.
Meiporul Nayanar is a staunch Siva devotee and his
kingdom is prosperous under his righteous rule. A
neighbouring ruler Muthinathan is jealous of the king’s fame
and after many attempts to win him over by war he resorts to the path of deceit. He dons the role of a Sivan Adiyar and
gains entry into the kingdom. He gatecrashes into the private apartments of the king despite the polite request of the king’s loyal servant, Dathan, who informs him that the king is resting. The king, who looks upon all Sivan Adiyars as the very Lord, welcomes him and honours him. “What is the
purpose of your visit,” he asks. “I wish to impart Your Lord’s teaching of yore,” says Muthinathan and adds that he will do so only when the two of them are alone. Dathan’s instinct makes him suspect this haughty Adiyar while the
unsuspecting king asks everyone to leave the room.

Muthinathan is quick to draw the sword even as the king
bows down to receive the instruction. When thus struck, the king cries out ‘Siva Siva.’ The dutiful Dathan, always anxious for the king’s safety, rushes in and is ready to kill the traitor. But the king prevents him and orders Dathan to lead the Adiyar safely out of the kingdom.

Sekkizhar makes it clear that the king’s tremendous faith
in the sacred ash and the rudraksha as the very truth of the
Lord is the true winner, though the enemy had successfully
killed the king. Siva, along with his consort Uma, appears
before the king to grace him during his last moments.