a very rich Vaisya of Tirumulam near River Kaveri, having squandered all his ancestral
wealth in sensual pleasures, became a pauper at last. He played a hoax against his
villagers and relatives, and was driven away to a forest. He was killed by a lion.
Unnatural death by suicide, accident, or by wild animals, according to Hindu belief, makes
the soul a ghost under torture, moving in the ether from place to place till the time
comes for his birth. Dharmavatsalan took many births in various species. In his birth as a
man, according to his past Karma, he contracted leprosy.
He took advice from his spiritual preceptor Bhargava who directed him to
worship the deity at Totadri for three years using gingelly oil for ablution every day,
and distribute ample alms among the needy and feed the poor. Every day, after the ablution
of the deity, the oil drained off was collected by him and besmeared over his body. Lord
Vishnu was very pleased with this pious act of Dharmavatsalan arid healed his disease and
relieved him of sins. The poor man gradually regained his original form and dedicated his
life for the improvement of the temple till his last days.