The Vedas say that the Supreme Being is beyond attributes and words to emphasise His infinite greatness. Such being the case, one may wonder how to seek Him, leave alone comprehending or recognising Him. This is answered by the fact that though He transcends the attributes of form, colour or shape, He manifests in many ways to enable us to seek Him. Though the intellect is a superior faculty in human beings, comprehending God on intellectual terms cannot be a fruitful exercise. It is only possible to realise God as an experience felt deep within one’s consciousness.
In a lecture, Sri A. Velayudhan pointed out that for instance, in his Tiruvachagam, Saint Manikkavchagar teaches us to seek God when he gives expression to his direct spiritual experience. They are the outpourings of a rare journey that took him to the heights of ecstasy when in union with the Lord. The saint cries out, “He came into my heart and made me experience His presence through His infinite grace.” In another verse, he indicates where one has to search for God: “Some claim that He resides in the sky; others state He lives in the worlds below; but I know He is in my heart.”
He urges us to hail the God who does not have a name or form but yet has a thousand names. This verse captures the inherent paradox of God’s presence in each and every aspect of creation and also of His presence beyond the created tangible universe.
The hymns may be words but they signify the infinite greatness of the Almighty.
These saints have shown the path to seek God through worship. Siva linga is representative of Siva and when worshipped with faith and fervour can lead us to His experience.
This is the experience of God which an individual finally attains and has to strive for. It is not merely stating the words, but realising the import as an experience.
The term Manikkam refers to the precious gem which is self-effulgent and this light is symbolic of spiritual wisdom. This saint’s hymns are rightly called Tiruvachagam as they convey Siva’s greatness, compassion and love for human beings.