True bhakti is what God wants from us, explained Ilampirai Manimaran. There was a cook in the Madurai Meenakshi temple kitchen. He was extremely devoted to the Goddess. He never once thought of his comfort or his needs, but had only service to the Goddess in mind. He spent the day preparing food to be offered to the Goddess and then to be distributed to devotees who visited the temple. He was so busy, that he hardly had a few hours of rest every day.
Once a rich man came to the temple, and asked the temple authorities to prepare different kinds of food for offer to the Goddess Meenakshi. The temple authorities did not hesitate. They knew they could rely on the temple cook, who was renowned for his bhakti towards Goddess Meenakshi. Accordingly, the task of preparing the many dishes was entrusted to the cook. But he had had a busy day, and felt the need to rest. The cook used to speak to the Goddess as he would with a friend. So he told Her to wake him up after two hours, and went to sleep. But the Goddess did not wake him up. When the time came for the offerings to be taken to the sanctum sanctorum, the temple officials found that the cook had been sleeping. So they began to thrash him. He ran into the adjacent room to escape being beaten. And there the officials found all the different kinds of food had been prepared. The cook couldn't believe his eyes. Who could have cooked all this when he was asleep, he wondered.
The priest took the offerings to place before the Goddess. Just then, those gathered noticed that Her dazzling ruby nose ring, was missing. The priest said he knew nothing about the disappearance of the nose ring. The Goddess then revealed that She had cooked the food Herself, because Her devotee had been asleep, and She had not wished to disturb him. The kitchen was dark, and so She had used the nose ring to light up the kitchen. She had forgotten to wear it again, and it was on the window sill in the kitchen. The temple officials found the nose ring in the kitchen. This story shows that the Goddess is concerned about every little need of Her devotees, even their need for rest.