The lives of Nayanmars provide an insight into spiritual life where discipline and renunciation form the basis of Siva experience or bhakti. Sekkizhar describes Chiruthondar as a physician, scholar and an accomplished warrior in the service of the king, who also remains a Siva devotee at heart. He used to honour and serve Sivanadiyars. His life is symbolic of the fact that salvation is possible only when one is able to transcend the challenge of samsara, pointed out Sri Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse.

Chiruthondar and his wife had remained childless for a long time and through the grace of Siva a son was born to them. They continued their service to the servitors of Siva. They followed the practice of hospitality and would have their food only after serving a Sivanadiyar. The Lord chose to test their bhakti in the most severe manner and came to their house in the guise of a hungry Vairava Adiyar who was particular that they should serve him the cooked meat of their son. The devout couple understood the magnitude of what this meant to them; yet they would not swerve from their commitment to their principle of fulfilling the wishes of adiyars. They went ahead and prepared the meal for the hungry servitor. Such jnana and vairagya are not attained easily. Only single-minded attachment to Siva and total surrender can sever all other attachments. The compassionate Lord brought their son back to life.

Saiva Siddhanta speaks of the three doshas (malams) that bind us here to the cycle of birth — individual ego (anava), the material aspect of the universe (Maya) and one’s good and bad deeds (karma). Only when all these are transcended can one get liberated. As long as these taints persist, the bondage too continues.

The ego sense can be relinquished when one is able to realise the relationship of the soul with God as a servant of God. When the human body and the world are treated as an opportunity to serve God, one becomes spiritually advanced.

Once the truth of God is apprehended, both the body and karma are to be seen as helpful aids to the soul in its struggle to rid itself of the taint of the ego sense.