As it Strikes Me

A child, who is out to play, plays for a while. Then it suddenly wants to know if its mother is in the house or not. So it gets back home on some pretext like drinking water to see if its mother is present there. After seeing its mother, it goes out to play again. Again after a while, it gets back home on some other pretext to see if its mother still there at home.

Likewise, a devotee who has had the darshan of the Lord, while doing worldly activities, suddenly gets a longing to see the Lord.  He keeps alternating between worldly activities and the Lord darshan like this little child.

When a person faces a crisis, he runs to the feet of the Lord. The moment the crisis is resolved, he goes back to his worldly actions forgetting the Lord.

In the Bhagavatam we come across the incident of curse  by the 'Sanakadiis' who were Jnanis. The guards at the gate of Vaikunta -- Jaya-Vijaya stopped them and the Sanakadiis cursed the two to be born on the earth. This led to the birth of Hirayaksha-Hiranyakasippu, Ravana-kumbhakarna and Dantavaktra-Sisupala. All of them terrorized the fourteen worlds.

To destroy them, even the Lord had to take birth. Pig is the worst kind of animal and the Lord had to take this form! As Rama the Lord had to undergo sufferings [sent away to the forest, losing Sita, etc.] and as Krishna how much abuses He had to face!

So, the anger of a Jnani will bring suffering not only to the whole world but also to God!

The world has produced famous people who have been the best in their niches, be it art forms like music and dance or virtues like truthfulness and honesty. But that does not mean that there is no one else in the world superior to them in their own fields. There is so much latent talent that goes unnoticed.

How true! Even for the talented, God's grace is required in order to be known to the world!

 

The Devas go to the Ocean of Milk (‘Ksheerabdi’) for relief from distress!
Humans go to the salty ocean (the seashore) for relief from stress!

It is the ocean which gives relief in both cases!

The throat of a snake is only as thick as a needle.  So when it catches a prey, it takes a tremendously long time to ingest it.  The snake does not use its tongue to kill its prey.  This is because the venom present in its tongue could prove detrimental to itself.  So it only crushes the prey and ingests it.    

When a frog is caught in the jaws of a snake, it sits there for an extremely long time (until it is consumed via the snake’s throat) alive, not knowing that it is truly in the jaws of death.  In the mean time, the frog happily sticks out its tongue and tries to catch the flies and insects to satiate its hunger!

Similarly, we are all in the jaws of the snake called death.  This venomous snake consumes us instant by instant.  We have lost as much percentage of our life to death as our age is!    Oblivious of this fact, we indulge in worldly matters and mundane pleasures akin to the foolish frog.  

Should we not be afraid of death?  Should we not make the best use of our time and surrender unto the Lord by chanting His Name always? 

Though there are 63 ‘Nayanmars’ and innumerable great devotees of Lord Shiva, 4 of them namely, Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikavasagar are singled out and are accorded special status.
What can be the reason for this?
The work done by these four constitutes 'complete seva to religion' (‘samaya paNi’).

Sri Manickavasagar renovated the ancient temples in Tiruperunthurai (Avudayar Kovil). Renovation of ancient temples instead of constructing new ones is a service to the religion.  Appar meticulously undertook the service of cleaning/maintenance of temples (‘Uzhavaara paNi’). Thirujnanasambandar established true faiths by condemning fakes. Sundarar was a personification of compassion for fellow beings and would often seek wealth from God to serve the poor and the needy.

These four tasks constitute 'complete service to religion' and the lives of these four Nayanmars exemplify the same.

 

It has been said that a person can attain Jnana through any of the following means:
- by practicing ‘Atma Vichara’ (contemplating the Self)
- by renouncing the world and taking to the jungle, acquiring determination and dispassion and meditating
- by performing various rituals and rigorous austerities
- by following the steps shown by Raja Yoga  - practicing ‘Pranayama’ (breath control), observances like celibacy etc.

When people hear this, they complain that the Lord is merciless because the path to attain Him is so complex and difficult.

We say that the same state of Liberation can be attained by merely chanting the Divine Names without any restrictions or regulations whatsoever.

Those who complained earlier now start doubting the effectiveness of this path because it is so simple!

This only shows the attitude finding excuses – escapism from attaining the real purpose of life.

Silence, not expression, is the highest state many would claim, while comparing the path of Vedanta and Bhakti. But, had a liberated one such as Ramana Maharshi chosen to remain in silence, would the world have known of the path of Atma Vichara?

As the Maharshi had to expound the technique known as 'Self Enquiry' to the world, He could do so through minimal use of words whereas a Bhakta never ceases to speak the glories of his beloved Lord. For him, it is spontaneous and blissful to speak of the glory of His Lord.

An able administrator thinks well, plans his course of action and executes it meticulously, irrespective of criticisms of the onlookers, be they positive or negative.  

Many a time, we see people around us chiding God for their misfortunes.  “If God were merciful, such a thing would not happen!”, they say.  

Unmindful of all such criticisms, the Lord executes His plans meticulously, thus teaching me the way to be a successful administrator - yet another precept that the Lord, as a Guru, teaches this disciple.