Saint Thayumanavar’s verses are simple and set forth the basics of philosophy. His verses show that the Supreme One is Sat (Truth), Chit (Consciousness) and Ananda (Bliss), said D. Gnanasundaram, in a discourse.

In one verse, he says God is the One who determines what we should do. We are mere agents or tools to carry out the Divine Will. God is like the string that is used to spin a top. The top spins, but it is the string that makes it spin, Thayumanavar says. He laments that he is dragged away from God by his desires, which have the force of a flood. Thayumanavar emphasises the importance of silence as penance. Silence is what results when you have vanquished your ego. It is a state of oneness with God. Thayumanavar sees God as everything, and in his eyes, worldly connections do not matter. Saint Thayumanavar’s heart is full of love for God, and yet he says that his heart is like a stone! His eyes do not shed tears for God, he laments. Actually, these verses should be taken to be the saint’s verses on our behalf, for he himself was God realised. If such words came from him, one can imagine the plight of those whose minds are always far from God.

Saivite saint Thirunavukkarasar says Lord Siva is to him father, mother, uncle and aunt. Then one may wonder why he does not mention his wife or sister? In just one phrase, he includes all his female relatives and says that to him Lord Siva is all of them too. What about children, then? It is hard not to be attached to one’s children. So has Thirunavukkarasar left them out? He has not. Children are dearer to a parent than wealth of any kind, and Thirunavukkarasar using references to wealth, says Lord Siva constitutes all kinds of wealth to him.

Saint Thayumanavar’s words are an echo of Thirunavukkarasar’s verse. Thayumanavar prays repeatedly for the Lord’s mercy, without which one cannot reach Him. God, he says, is One who imparts knowledge by a mere gesture of His hands. What He teaches by a mere signalling of His hands cannot be taught by words. The saint says his mind is like a monkey that cannot be controlled. He prays for the Lord’s help in keeping this monkey under control.

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