The Poor Partner
When a family member becomes mad, all the other family members become worried. They take the mentally ill person to several doctors or astrologers. Some people have approached me too in the past. But if I were to tell them the truth, they may not take it well.
When someone is mad, he becomes like us once he is cured. He talks talking like us. Many of us try to hide behind a false social image that we try to portray others. People who talk sweet are most dangerous in this world.
No amount of sandhya vandanam or poojai-punaskaram is going to save you from the ill-effects of your bad behavior. I often pity such people because the ill-effects of their “paapam” will directly affect their children. But how many people understand this?
When a person is mad, he doesn’t commit the sins that people like the one mentioned in the above paragraph do. People often commit sins that hurt others. When they realize their follies, it is too late. If you cannot do good to others, don’t do anything bad to others. Do not carry tales about others. With such deviant behavior, no amount of mantras is ever going to help you!
The person who eats salt has to drink water. A person who continues to commit sins knowingly and repeatedly has to face the punishment. In Kalyug, no one can escape.
There are two people in this world who do not commit sins – the person who has gone mad and the innocent child. Gnanis reach that higher intellectual level because like children they are innocent and do not commit sins. Like the mad man, gnanis are so devoted that anything that is material in this world fails to inspire them.
Eswaran [Lord Shiva] is called as :Unmatthasekaran. Shiva is very fond of oomathapoo. Shiva is very fond of dressing up as a mad man. Shiva is very fond of erukkampoo and tumbaipoo. These flowers – oomathapoo, erukkampoo and tumbaipoo do not fetch much value.
Look at the kind heartedness of Lord Shiva – he does not wish to trouble his devotees – he is happy that his devotees are offering something that does not prick their pockets.
He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He lived almost 350 years ago near Virinjipuram.He has sung many hymns overcome by euphoria whenever he thought of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva is called as the poor partner. He seems to be the head of all the mad persons in this world. You cannot go closer to a king. But you can see a mad man everywhere – he is ubiquitous. Eswaran is above all the sins. Only Lord Eswaran can carry the ordinary man safely ashore by casting away all his sins.
Tamil nadu boasts of many mahans / great souls. Sundaramurthy swamigal was one such soul whom Lord Shiva was so fond of. When Sundaramurthy was about to get married, Lord Shiva came dressed as an old man and fought with Sundaramurthy remarking that the latter was his slave. So enamoured was Sundaramurthy swamigal that he started singing praises of Eswaran.
Mahavishnu is protector of the Universe. He is an Emperor – a king. Vishnu is an emperor. Shiva is a mad man.
If we were to auction the items that adorn the bodies of Maha Vishnu and Lord Shiva, we will realize that they are invaluable. No one will buy erukkampoo, oomathapoo, human skull – will someone? All that Lord Vishnu has – no one can afford to buy them. On top of it, Lord Vishnu has Mahalakshmi who resides in his heart. No one can buy her.
Deekshithar was doubtful about his devotion to Lord Shiva. When it rains heavily we do not wish to visit the temple. If we are plagued by one problem after another, our devotional standards get diluted.
Dreams are nothing but the manifestation of our unfulfilled desires. If we have a bad dream and if we see ourselves committing a sin even in our dreams, we should feel bad about it. We should not dream about bad actions or lust. Dreams are one way to test ourselves and to ensure that we do not swerve from the path of righteousness.
Appaiya Deekshithar knew this. On many occasions, Deekshithar had dreamt of meditating on Lord Shiva. Even then he wished to put himself under the radar.
Deekshithar knew all the shastras. He has written 104 granths. Most of his books are about devotion to Lord Shiva. So Deekshithar thought – if I become mad then I can know whether I am truly devoted to God. He decided to consume oomatha flower. However he was overcome by apprehension. What, if during his phase of madness, he did something bad – then he would have to suffer for it throughout his life. Deekshithar then trained his disciples so that they could cure them when he wanted to be cured from the madness.
When he was mentally unfit, Deekshithar had blabbered something and his disciples took note of the same. It turned out to be 50 shlokas that Deekshithar had composed in the form of blabbering.
As his heart was filled with devotion, there was not an iota of change in his devotion. Despite consuming oomatha flower which can make a person mad, Appai Deekshithar continued on his spiritual journey. This is why it is important to think of Lord during our last breath.
It is essential to train the mind to constantly seek God’s grace so that the mind becomes habituated. Mantra-japa helps in achieving the concentration required to calm the mind.
Prior to going bed, when you utter “eswara please protect me” you are assured of a good night’s sleep. It is not enough to utter the words of God from the mouth. It is important to think about him.
Only Brahmins are known to have sought alms – unjavrutthi for example. Lord Shiva is a beggar Brahmin. He is always immersed and surrounded by water.
Vishnu or Shiva
Ramanujacharya once told – “We should not worship any other God other than Mahavishnu”. Every village/ town/ hamlet has both a Shiva temple and a Vishnu temple. Generally, people visit Perumal temple in the mornings and the Shivalaya in the evenings. The Chola king came to know about this. The king and other scholars wondered – “ Why is Ramanujacharya advocating worship of only Lord Mahavishnu?”
10 miles from Kumbakonam is situated Gangaikonda Chozhapuram. So the king sent for Ramanujacharya asking him to come to Gangaikonda Chozhapuram. Ramanuja was in Sreerangam. When he heard that the King had summoned him, he took the advice of “Koorathazhawar”. The latter dissuaded Ramanuja from visiting the King fearing that the latter would get Ramanuja arrested. So Koorathzvar posed as Ramanuja and decided to meet the Chola King.
Ramanuja followed the advice of his disciple. Wearing a white dhoti, he left Srirangam for Thirunarayanapuram which was 28 miles away. From there he travelled 300 miles further and reached another Thirunarayanapuram that was close to Mysore. Koorathzvar’s argument about not worshipping Lord Shiva did not leave the Chola king pleased and folk lore has it that he punished Koorathzvar for the same.
Mahaperiyaval says, “More than Lord Eswaran, the offerings that are made to him are superior.” May be he hints that the debate about who is superior is pointless.
Eswaran is our partner. He is a beggar. He is a Brahmin. He is always surrounded by water. He doesn’t need great offerings at all. Thumbai flower, Oomatha flower , Erukkam flower – these 3 kinds of flowers are enough. Azhwars are knowledgeable people. They have sung so many pasuras. Many nayanmars existed who had received the grace of God.
A carpenter or a fisherman – people who do not have a formal education – they too believe in the supreme power. Eswaran is someone whom everyone can pray to. We should constantly think of him, do his nama japa, apologise to him for our mistakes, pray to him to give us abundance of positive energy. This is the only way for salvation.
Please bear in mind that Almighty is kind-hearted. He will give you what you wants. Why don’t you try asking for it?
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"1000 years ago, in a society riddled with blatant casteist oppression, one man championed the cause of the downtrodden.
One man single highhandedly heralded a cultural storm, bearing the touch of original Vedic knowledge
One man opened the doors of the temples wide to the hitherto banned “untouchables”.
And today, millions come together to pay tribute to this one man, this one man, this saint nonpareil who paved the way for a modern, inclusive spiritual awakening.
Today, Sri Ramanuja Swamy is more than a holy name. He is a beacon of the equality and hope for the generations to come.
Thank you Venkatesh. God bless you.