Thirukkural begins by paying its respects to God. G.U. Pope translates the first verse of Thirukkural as follows: “‘A’, as the first of letter of every speech maintains that the Primal deity is first through all the world’s domains.” While India is home to many languages, each with its own grammar and script, the first letter of the alphabet in these languages is ‘a’. Even in English, the first letter is ‘a’. Just as every language begins with the letter ‘a’, so did the world have its origin in God, explained T. Rajarathinam, in a discourse. By indicating that God is akin to the letter ‘a’ being the first letter of every alphabet, Thiruvalluvar is drawing our attention to God’s Omnipresence.

Lord Siva is inseparable from His Consort Goddess Parvati. Together they protect us. Those who realise that He is present in everything, will see Him in everything.

It is said that Thayumanava Swami went to pluck flowers. But he saw Lord Siva in all the flowers, and came away without plucking any flower, for he reasoned that he could not pluck a flower that to him looked like Siva Himself.

A story from the Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam illustrates the fact that God is Omnipresent. He is present inside us, though we lack the gnana to realise this. In the city of Madurai, in Tamil Nadu, there arose a need to dam the flow of the river Vaigai, and the Pandya king ordered every family to fetch mud to stem the flow.

There lived in Madurai an aged woman who had no family. Yet she was not exempted from the duty. She was too poor to be able to pay anyone to perform the task for her. So she prayed to Lord Siva for help. The Lord appeared in the guise of a labourer, and offered to work for her. Payment was to be some meagre food.

But the Lord as labourer did no work and when the king found Him idling, he hit Him with a stick. The Lord disappeared, after tossing some mud on the bank of the river. This stopped the flow of the river, but the king’s stroke with a cane landed on the back of everyone present. Everyone, from the Minister to the commoner felt the blow, showing that He is present in every one of us.

More In: Faith | Friday Review