Forgetfulness is a crucial factor in every individual’s life. The decree of the Lord is that at every birth, the soul is enveloped with forgetfulness of its past life so that it is able to live its new one, determined by prarabdha karma and vasanas. In the course of this life, it has to discover its nature and try to realise its association with the Lord. This is possible through His boundless grace and compassion.
This truth is exemplified in the life of Nambi Arooran, hailed as Sundaramurthy Nayanar, Sri T. Balaji Bhagavathar said in a lecture.
In the guise of an old sage, Siva stopped the wedding of Arooran and claimed him as His servant, producing documentary proof. Knowing that he had lost the case and acknowledging his new master, Arooran was just curious to know his dwelling place. He followed the sage, entreating him to stop even as the latter entered a temple. Suddenly, he beheld Siva and Parvati mounted on the rishabha in all their splendour. Enlightenment about his past life was awakened in him by the Lord Himself.
The Lord told him that He waylaid him in this manner to prevent him from getting caught in the cycle of Samsara. Arooran had been a Siva devotee in Kailasa, known as Alalasundarar. He had been attracted to two maids of Parvati, and for this desire, he had been banished to be born as a human being to erase this vasana totally from his nature. Sundaramurthy now became aware of the strong bond that existed between him and Siva. This was a significant moment that opened the eye of bhakti and jnana in him. He realised that God’s ways are inscrutable; though events may seem to cause sorrow, a positive outcome will be there with His guidance. Overwhelmed by this unique experience, Sundaramurthy’s words failed him. Siva then blessed him with the gift of poesy and even prompted him to begin his devotional hymns in praise of Him with the term Pitha, which Sundaramurthy had used earlier to address the old sage derogatively.
Unless God intervenes and leads one to the path of Mukti, one cannot attain Him. The Lord never abandons His commitments to His devotees even if the devout forget their own commitments to Him.