Thirumoolar is one of the main Sidhars of the 18 Sidhars. He comes under the 'Thiru Kailaaya lineage' ( Lord Shiva à Devi Parvati àNandhi àThirumoolar.). He had great liking for Sage Agastya. So he moved from Kailash towards Kanyakumari (Podhigai Malai). He reached Chidambaram and was greatly devoted to Lord Nataraj.
One day, he was crossing the river side of Cauvery. He saw a herd of cows crying around a dead body. Ot was the dead body of Moolan – a shepherd, who use to take care of these cows. Seeing the pains of the cows, the Sidhar shed his body and moved into the body of Moolan by Parakaaya pravesam ( soul moving from one body to another). Seeing Moolan alive, the cows merrily grazed and went off to their respective houses in the evening. Moolan’s wife thought that her husband is back and asked him to come in. He explained the story to her and to the villagers. He shed the body and again rentered. This made them to belived that Moolan is dead. The Sidhar went in search of his original body. But he couldn’t see that. With out options, he moved on with Moolan’s body. He reached Thiruvavaduthurai and wrote Thirumandiram .
Legend of Arasa Maram: ( FIG TREE )
Once Thirumoolar was crossing Suryapuri. The country was sad on the demise of its king Surya Varma. The Queen Sangamitra was in a devastated state of mind. People in the country were grieve struk. Seeing this Thirumoolar thought that he will get into the body of the king to keep the people away from the pain. He reached his ashram and told his disciple Jnanadevan that as per his Karmic connections, he has to be part of the royal family’s story for some time and will come back. He told that he will shed his physical body and will get into the physical body of the king for some time. Till he comes back, he asked his disciple to safe guard his original body. Jnanadevan safe guarded Thirumoolar’s body in a cave.
The king got alive as soon as Thirumoolar entered into his body. Life went on normal for all. The queen could see lot of changes in the behavior of her husband. One day she asked for the reason. Thirumoolar thought he shouldn’t hide it and explained the full story. He told that , if she wants, he will leave the body immediately. The Queen wanted to retain her husband alive.
One day he asked Thirumoolar – “ Sage, Im worried that, ur divine body will be affected by having relationship with a normal person like me.” Thirumoolar told that his physical body will not be affected by such acts. He told that his body can be burnt only by burning him on a Solar eclipse day with 7 different chemicals and told the secret of it. The queen was selfish and wanted to destroy the original body of Thirumoolar, that’s lying in the den. She ordered the tribal near the den to destroy the body of Thirumoolar that was lying in the den. The tribals did so and gave the ashes to the queen.
Meanwhile Thirumoolar at Suryapuri could understand the full story with his Jnanadrishti. He moved out and started tapas under a big tree. After a long tapas, he woke up and saw a dead body near by. It was a Bhramin’s body who passed away due to wrong practice of Raja Yoga. He wanted to give salvation to that Bhramin. He wanted to shed the body of the king and move into the Bhramin’s dead body. He hid the King’s body in a big hole of the tree under which he was meditating. He closed the hole. Since the tree gave shelter for him to meditate long, he told that, henceforth that species of tree will be worshiped by all. Since a king’s body was hid inside the tree, it was named as Arasamaram ( Arasan – king in Tamil, maram – tree)
The life of Thirumoolar continued in different physical forms. He is believed to have lived for 3000 years. He wrote 1 song / year and wrote 3000 songs in Thirumandiram.
Karuvur Sidhar constructed a temple in Chidambaram at the Samadhi of Thirumoolar. Its believed that the Original Samadhi was at Thiruvavaduthurai.