Maanikkavaacakar traveled around the
Tamil land, and reached Chidambaram.
Several legends are associated with Maanikkavaacakar's stay at Chidambaram.
Legend has it that a Buddhist ruler
from Sri Lanka, upon hearing of Maanikkavaacakar, also arrived at Chidambaram,
with the hope of getting him to perform a miracle, that would restore the power of speech
to his mute daughter.
Maanikkavaacakar was challenged to a debate by a group of Buddhist
scholars. As the debate proceded, the debaters are said to have hurled abuses on the
dancing God of Chidambaram, and are said to have miraculously rendered dumb. The awestruck
ruler from Sri Lanka, requested Maanikkavacakar, to perform a miracle and restore his
daughter's power of speech. Maanikkavaacakar's prayers, caused the princess to speak, and
to also answer every single question that had been raised by the Buddhist scholars.
Maanikkavaacakar also restored the power of speech to the Buddhist scholars.
He continued to reside at Chidambaram, where he composed the Tiruvaacakam
hymns. He is also said to have composed the Tirukkovaiyaar at the request
of Nataraja. Nataraja in the role of a scribe is said to
have written down the hymns, and left them at the Chidambaram temple sanctum.
Upon the discovery of the hymns at the sanctum, a
large crowd gathered before the residence of the saint, requesting him to reveal the
meaning of the entire text. Maanikkavaacakar led the gathering to the
sanctum, pointed out to the image of Nataraja, declared that the Cosmic Dancer
Shiva alone was the meaning of the hymns, then walked into the sanctum
and disappeared. (Also see the Story of Aandaal
which concludes with Aandaal merging with Ranganaathar, the presiding deity at Srirangam).