Vaadavoorar was a minister of the Pandya King. The King
once entrusted to Vaadavoorar the responsibility of buying
horses of good quality. Vaadavoorar set off to carry out the
king’s orders. But Lord Shiva had other plans for Vaadavoorar,said Malayaman, in a discourse.
When Vaadavoorar reached Tirupperundurai, he saw a
sage seated under a tree. The sage was none other than Lord Siva Himself. Vaadavoorar lost himself in love for the Lord. He became a servant of the Lord, and forgot all about the King’s instructions. He sang the Lord’s praises through
verse. The Lord gave him the name Manickavachagar — the
one whose speech is like a gem. The Lord ordered Manickavachagar to build a grand temple for him at Tirupperundurai, and Manickavachagar spent all the money that the king had given him for the purchase of horses, on building a temple for Lord Siva at Tirupperundurai.
When the Pandya King discovered that money from the
treasury had been used by Manickavachagar to build a
temple, he ordered Manickavachagar to bring the horses immediately.
But how could the saint do so, when he had no
money with which to buy horses? But Lord Siva came to the
rescue, and he turned jackals into horses! But the jackals
again turned back into horses and headed for the forest, and the furious king ordered that Manickavachagar should be tortured. Lord Siva then caused a flood to flow through
Madurai. The King told the people to build bunds to stop the water, and every citizen of Madurai had to do his share of work.
When an old woman called Vanthi was unable to contribute
to this effort, the Lord took on the guise of a labourer
and helped her, even getting caned, when he dozed off on
the job. Such is the extent to which the Lord goes to help His devotees.