Humility in worship is characteristic of all great saints, said T. Rajarathinam. We too need to get rid of our ego, if we are to realise God.

In temples, one might have noticed that there is a curtain that has to be drawn aside, if we are to see the idol of the Lord there.

Symbolically, the curtain may be said to represent our ignorance or agnana. This veil, As long as it is there, will prevent us from seeing God. Once the veil is cast aside, we can realise God.

If a person has no evil thoughts, if he always speaks the truth and if his deeds are virtuous, Lord Siva Himself will willingly become that person's guru, as He did for Saivite saint Mancikavachagar. He will then impart him gnana and liberate him from the cycle of births and deaths.

In fact, he who reads the Tiruvachgam of Manickavachagar will get moksha, for Manickavachagar writes of Lord Siva's qualities and God realization.

Manickavachagar, in his humility, says he has taken countless births and would have been a mere blade of grass in one janma. In another, he would have been a plant or a tree. He might even have been a grain of sand or a stone, in the days before humans came into existence.

Or he could have been an animal or a bird, or maybe even a ghost without form.

But now he has secured liberation, because he worshipped Lord Siva's feet. Manickavachagar says of Lord Siva that He is like the fragrance of the flower and the ghee in milk. Ghee is contained in the milk, but we cannot see it as a separate entity just by looking at a glass of milk. Likewise, we can only discern God who is within every one of us.

And how can we do that? By reading good works like the Tiruvachagam. Manickavachagar himself says that his Sanchita Karma, that is karma accumulated over several births, has been destroyed.

If grains are roasted and then planted in a field, will they sprout? In the same way, once a person has recited the Thiruvachagam, his sins will be roasted as grains, and nothing harmful can sprout from these sins.

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