Sacred texts reiterate that spiritual search goes beyond the rational level and demands probing the physical, the metaphysical and the philosophical planes as well. The search becomes meaningful when the individual effort is graced by God.

In a lecture, Nochur Sri Venkataraman drew attention to the many ways in which God takes possession of the devout Nayanmars at certain landmark points of time in their lives and chooses to reveal Himself, so much so, that having tasted the bliss of His presence they do not long for anything else except Him.

Their soul-stirring hymns are filled with their experience of God as a tangible reality in their lives and there is the cry to seek God in all intensity. The sentiments of humility, compassion, truthfulness, sincerity, etc. expressed in their hymns can help any spiritual aspirant to try and seek God in simple and honest terms.

Saint Sundarar is drawn into spiritual awareness by the Lord who appeared in the form of an old man demanding possession of the groom about to enter wedlock. Sundarar’s hasty act of tearing the evidence is representative of the Jivatma’s refusal to let go worldly ties. When Sundarar is blessed with the vision of the Lord he becomes so grateful and wishes to repay God’s compassion in some way. God grants him the gift to sing fervent hymns of devotion that continue to inspire Bhakti in many.

The body, mind, sense organs, etc., which constitute our physical identity and which we think belong to us, are all temporary. By analysing the states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep that we experience, we can get glimpses of the Self which is the embodiment of eternal bliss and consciousness.

The Self remains unchanged in all these states, while the body in the wakeful state is not the same in the dream state. Likewise, the mind, which is active in the dream state, is not present in the state of deep sleep. It is a state when the ego sense is subdued.

Though we can never know the real nature of what happens in deep sleep, nor can we explain it, we can say for certain that it is a state of bliss.

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