Lord Subrahmanya humbled Brahma, the Creator, by asking him the meaning and significance of the Pranava mantra — AUM. Brahma was at a loss to explain this. Lord Subrahmanya then asked Brahma how he could be the creator if he did not even know the meaning of the Pranava mantra.
Lord Subrahmanya then curled up His fingers and gave Brahma a knock on each of his heads, and Brahma’s heads broke into pieces and scattered all around. One might feel sorry for Brahma who was punished for his ignorance. But was what Brahma received, indeed, punishment? Wasn’t it a boon to be knocked on the head by Lord Subrahmanya, who could explain the Pranava to the satisfaction of Lord Siva?
Brahma’s ignorance turned out to be a blessing for him, because if he had known the meaning of the Pranava, he would not have been touched by Lord Subrahmanya, said Panasai Aruna. There are many types of deeksha, such as manasa deeksha and sparsa deeksha. Sparsa deeksha is initiation of a devotee by touch. That is the kind of initiation which Brahma received at the hands of Lord Subrahmanya. Brahma was also kicked by Lord Subrahmnaya and thus was doubly blessed, for it is at the Lords’ feet that we must seek refuge and worship for liberation.
Sundaramurthy Nayanar was another who was blessed to receive a touch of God’s feet. While going to Chidambaram, he had to pass the village of Thiruvadigai. Sundaramurthy stayed in a place outside the village. That night, an old man came to the place and spent the night there. But he did not allow Sundaramurthy Nayanar to sleep in peace. He rested His feet on the his head. Sundarmurthy moved away from the old man. But when Sundaramurthy Nayanar moved away, the old man moved too, and would not give up. The Nayanar then asked the old man why he thus annoyed him and did not allow him to sleep. The old man asked, “Sundara! Do you not recognise Me?” He then disappeared. The Nayanar realised that the old man was none other than Lord Siva Himself. Thus, Sundaramurthy Nayanar received sparsa deeksha too, for his head was touched by the Lord’s feet.