Any programme, be in school or college or office, begins with an invocatory song or prayer. Similarly, all the literary works of our land begin with a verse offered in prayer. The aim must have been to submit the work itself as an offering and to seek God's blessings for the successful completion of the work, and also in the hope that the work would benefit posterity, said Malayaman.

Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar also begins his Thirukkural with such a verse, although he doesn't offer his prayer to any particular deity. He speaks of God's qualities. Everything in this world originated from God, he says. God resides in the hearts of His devotees. He has no desires or hates. It is because Thiruvalluvar spoke in such general terms that people following different paths to God are able to argue that he is an adherent of their respective religions.

Vilambi Nayanar also begins his work Nanmanikkadigai, with a verse of prayer, but it is a prayer to Lord Narayana. His bhakti is so deep that everything in Nature seems to him to reflect His glory.

Thus the Moon, which dispels darkness during the night, seems to him like Lord Narayana's effulgent face. The Sun without, whose light life on this earth would come to a standstill, seems to resemble the Lord's discus. The Lord's discus destroyed demons, saving the lives of the righteous and virtuous. Without virtuous people in this world, there would be nothing but suspicion and quarrels among us. The Sun sustains life on Earth and is therefore compared to the Lord's discus. The Lord's eyes are like lovely lotus flowers. His complexion is like that of a blue flower.

Often when we pray, even when we are in a temple, and are looking at the deity in the sanctum sanctorum, we get distracted. Our thoughts do not dwell on God. A true devotee will be so immersed in bhakti, however, that he is inattentive to what goes on around him. But superior even to such devotees are those who see God in everything. Wherever they are, whatever they see, they perceive God in it. Vilambi Nayanaar belongs to this superior category among devotees of the Lord, for flowers, the Sun and the Moon — all remind him of the Lord.

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