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THE ROBBERS' ANGER
Now that all seven walls of the temple were completed, Tirumahgai generously rewarded all the architects. After making this payment there was not a penny left in the treasury. At that time the host of robbers, who had been his accomplices, came to him to demand their share of the wealth they had plundered. Tirumahgai thought for some time about the robbers' demands, and, finding no way he could pay them, he consulted with his disciple Nirmal Nadappan in a secluded place.In the meantime all the robbers, believing that Tirumahgai had cheated them by spending all the money for construction of the temple, made a conspiracy to kill their leader. Just as they were about to put their plans into effect, however, Nirmal Nadappan stepped amongst them, saying, "My dear brothers, somewhere hidden along the northern bank of the Kaveri there is a large amount of treasure belonging to our master. Look, here is a boat; I will take you to that place where the treasure is hidden, and then we can divide it among ourselves." The robbers happily agreed to this proposal, and all got aboard a large boat that had been used to carry blocks of stone for the temple. It was the rainy season, and the monsoon had swollen the Kaveri into a mighty flow over a mile wide. The day was drawing to a close, and dark clouds began to blot out the light of the setting sun. As Tirumahgai and his three other disciples stood on the island of SrT Rangam, they could only faintly discern the outline of the huge boat as it moved slowly towards the distant shore.Suddenly, above the roar of the water and the sound of the wind, they heard a horrible cry of dis¬tress that seemed to come from within the Kaveri itself. Then there was silence, and the boat could be seen no more. In the roaring waves of the Kaveri nothing else was noticed.
After a short while one man walking with steady strides over the water came near Tirumahgai and bowed down at his feet. This man was none other than Nirmal Nadappan, the fourth disciple. Tiru¬mahgai raised him up and said, "Do not feel con¬cerned for these men. After all the service they have rendered, surely Lord Rahganatha will protect them. Is it not better for them to leave the world at this time than to continue living as rob¬bers? Now let us all pass the remaining days of our lives in the service of Lord Rahganatha, for our purpose in adopting the robbers' lifestyle has been fulfilled.So Tirumahgai and his four disciples then absorbed themselves in rendering service to the Deity of Rahganatha. A few years later they passed from this world and returned to the shelter of Lord Visnu's lotus feet.