Worship whether in temples or at home should be with devotion, concentration, and unhurried, said K. Sambandan. When the Tamil poetess Avvaiyar heard that Sundaramurthy Nayanar and Cheraman Perumal Nayanar were being led to heaven, she too wanted to leave for heaven. So she worshipped Vinayaka, and was in a hurry to leave for heaven. Vinayaka asked her what she wanted, and what was the reason for her hurried prayer. Avvaiyar replied that since Sundaramurthy Nayanar and Cheraman Perumal Nayanar were going to Kailsa, the abode of Lord Siva, she too wanted to get there.

Vinayaka told her not to worship Him in haste and assured her that He would see that she went to Kailasa too. Avvaiyar then sang in praise of Lord Vinayaka. At the end of her prayer, Vinayaka picked her up in his trunk, and put her in Kailasa, and she found that she had reached Kailasa even before Sundaramurthy Nayanar and Cheraman Perumal Nayanar had reached. Thus she attained her goal — reaching Kailasa quickly — because she took the time to sing verses in praise of Lord Vinayaka. Though she had been in a hurry, when Lord Vinayaka pointed out to her that she should worship Him in a leisurely manner, she paid heed to His words, hence she was rewarded with an easy entrance to Kailasa.

The word that denotes affection in Tamil, also means rope, showing that our affections are like ropes that keep us tied to samsara. To break free, we must worship Him without showing haste. We have to imagine ourselves as His nayakis, and worship Him as if He were our consort. Many are the poets who have composed verses in this style. Lord Siva is sweet like nectar. Though it is difficult to know Him, He melts readily for His devotees. And when devotees describe themselves in humble terms, His heart melts at once. Saints often humble themselves and speak of themselves as dogs. This is an example of what our attitude must be when it comes to worshipping God. If great saints describe themselves in such terms, how should we describe ourselves? We should realise that we must not think highly of ourselves, when we approach Him.

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