Monday, Sep 15, 2003
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The turning point in his life happened when he received initiation from his Guru at Tiruperundurai. Until then as chief minister of the then Pandya ruler, his engagement was dictated by worldly pursuits and interest in spiritual life was not all consuming to warrant such a sudden turnaround. Hence it is with immense gratitude that he speaks of the manner Lord Siva claimed him as His own and after that there was no looking back. His hymn opens on this note and he gives vent to how he was transformed by the Lord's compassionate grace. But in some verses he remembers how he was caught in the lure of sensory attractions and desires earlier.
One need not despair that such divine intercession will not happen in one's case. The shrill cries of anguish of His devotee in dire circumstances are bound to make God rush to his rescue as it happened, for instance, in Draupadi's case. Till she made attempts to save her modesty nothing happened but the moment she remembered Lord Krishna and surrendered to Him, He protected her from being humiliated before the vast assembly.
In his discourse, Sri T.V.Venkataraman said Manikkavasagar in a verse compared the Panchakshara Mantra to a raft, which would enable a devotee to cross the boundless, choppy ocean of worldly life to the other shore of liberation. Mantras constitute the body of God and mystics have envisioned the forms of God corresponding to the Mantras they practised. Mantra literally means that which protects the one who chants it. The saint describes his plight, with which a spiritual seeker can immediately identify: "All alone, I was tossed about by the huge and cruel waves of the vast ocean of birth with nothing to support me... I thought, `How at all can I gain deliverance?' I caught hold of the raft of the mystic pentad of letters... The Lord redeemed me and ruled me, the intractable one."
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