There is a joy in our midst which we do not enjoy because of our ignorance. This joyful presence is that of God. Thirunavukkarasar says the five senses urge us to do wrong and keep us from enjoying Lord Siva.

Arunagirinatha says his five senses torment him and do not let him think of the feet of Lord Subrahmanya.

But we all say that we experience the joy of one kind or another. These joys we enjoy are fleeting and will eventually result in sorrow, said K. Sambandan in a discourse.

An example can be given to illustrate the nature of the joys we experience in this world, and how the only true joy is the experience of Siva.

A tortoise is swimming in water; it is exceedingly cold because of winter. The tortoise is not at all comfortable in the cold water. A woman, who comes there, picks it up and takes it home to cook it for supper.

She puts water on the stove to boil. When the water is beginning to warm up, she dumps the tortoise in it.

The tortoise finds the warmth of the water comforting after the stinging cold of the river in which it was swimming.

So the tortoise swims around happily in the warm water, thinking how lucky it is to have found such a warm place in the winter. As the water heats up, the tortoise becomes uncomfortable, suffers, and finally dies. Such is the nature of our worldly joys, pleasant initially, but uncomfortable soon, and sorrowful eventually. Like the ignorant tortoise, we do not know that at the end of the pleasant experience, agony awaits us.

When we feel itchy, we scratch ourselves and find this pleasant and soothing. But when we stop scratching, we find that we have scratched ourselves so badly that the self-inflicted scratches bleed and hurt. This too is an example of initial comfort becoming pain.

When there is a permanent source of joy in our midst, namely God, we do not enjoy this, but think constantly of that which shall vanish. Shunning fleeting joys, we must hold on to the feet of God and be liberated from this world of sorrow.

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