Thoughts have a great influence on how our lives turn out. That is why we are told to think positively. The more we think positively, the more confidence we gain in ourselves. The more we think negatively, the more diffident we become.

To think about God, to let the mind dwell on Him, gives us a feeling of comfort and a feeling of joy. We have to experience God. We cannot try to define what God’s love is, even if we read the Vedas.

The Azhwars and Nayanmars experienced God, and that is what prompted their verses, which record their delight in God. Appar says he only experiences happiness. He does not know sorrow. That is because of his love for God. Only a man of God can declare that life is full of happiness, and life offers one no sorrow at all, D. Gnanasundaram said in a discourse.

It is when we have negative thoughts that life begins to turn bitter, because thoughts have the power to influence the way we live our lives. If four or five people tell a man that he has lost weight and ask him if he is unwell, he will go home and worry so much about his health, and think that there must be something wrong with him, for so many people to have commented on his health, that he will end up falling sick.

Such is the power of thought. But for those whose hearts are filled with bhakti, their thoughts will always be about God, and their thoughts will take them closer to God, and this will earn for them liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

Kannappa Nayanar climbed the hill every day to make his offerings to Lord Siva. Of this climb, poet Sekkizhar writes in Peria Puranam that Kannappa Nayanar climbed the ladder of philosophy. How could Nayanar have even comprehended any high philosophy, for after all he was unlettered? The answer is that he thought only of Siva, and this enabled him to experience God’s love. No book can offer us such an experience. Thayumanavar says God’s devotees will not seek anything in life except God Himself. Life on this earth is not permanent. Thinking it is permanent, I have lost everything, laments Thayumanavar. He compares himself to a businessman who has lost everything.

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