The Vedas state in one voice that their search for the Supreme Brahman confirms the truth that He cannot be known. They affirm that our grasp of Him continues to be only a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg. His indefinable greatness continues to impress generations who have tried to know Him and understand Him.

The Kena Upanishad says the best way we can know Him is to know that He is beyond human thought and reason. Realised souls reinforce this truth in their hymns so that the common devotee recognises that He who is inaccessible is easily reached only through devotion, pointed out Sri Mathivannan in a lecture.

Saint Arunagirinathar’s Thirupughazh, which extols Lord Muruga, states that even the celestial beings have not gauged His infinite glory and greatness and wait in anticipation of an audience with Him. Yet the same Lord makes Himself accessible to the Jivatma whose heart is full of devotion and seeks Him truly. The Lord going in search of Valli is symbolic of the Paramatma’s grace being extended to the Jivatma who longs for union with Him.

While explaining the concept of surrender, the analogies of the baby monkey clinging to the mother and of the kitten being carried by the mother cat are quoted to show the Jivatma/Paramatma equation in terms of attitude, relationship and responsibility. The baby monkey clings to the mother and is careful not to loosen its hold when the mother jumps from tree to tree. But a kitten carried by the mother cat in its mouth is not aware of any difficulty the mother faces. The responsibility is with the mother alone. The former case of the baby monkey represents the Jivatma who wishes to make an effort to reach God. There are some reservations in this surrender to God. But the latter typifies the Jivatma’s unconditional surrender to God for liberation.

When we seek God, we have to approach Him with Bhakti. Yoga, scholarship, status, birth and wealth are worldly attainments that one can be proud of and are gained with effort and determination. We may think we can seek God through our own effort, but this does not guarantee the goal.

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