How should one worship Lord Siva? Should one ask Him for wealth? Should one ask Him for long life? Should one pray to Him for progeny?
The basis of worship should not be to seek such boons from the One, who can liberate us from the cycle of births and deaths. R. Narayanan, in a discourse, said Thirumoolar had given the attributes of Siva.
Siva is hotter than fire. But if that were the case, how could He be seen as a God of mercy?
He is like fire when it comes to burning our sins. But when it comes to showering His blessings on us, He is cooler than water.
It is difficult for ordinary mortals like us to fathom His qualities and to understand His plans and deeds. Yet He is close to His devotees. Nothing gives Him more pleasure than to be in their presence.
He does more good for His devotees than even their mothers. The Lord does not discriminate between people.
He is the One who has no birth or death, and is the One who conferred immortality on Markandeya. The cultivation of land, the rains necessary for good crop yield, the clouds that give us rains — all these are Siva Himself.
We may use the most fragrant flowers to worship Him, or sandal paste of high quality, but none of this will please Him as much as our attitude towards all life forms. We must not harm any form of life.
Thirunavukkarasar says the Lord only requires our love, and is not moved by our display of wealth.
Thirumoolar also emphasises the need for proper worship of the Lord in temples. If Siva is not worshipped properly in temples, then the fallout would be tragic.
Epidemics will rage in the country. The monsoon will fail, and there will be drought. Agricultural yield will diminish. Robberies and dacoities will increase. The rulers will be unable to defend the country from enemies.
But while there are many who worship the Lord, still many of these people suffer from tragedies in their lives.
Why should this be so? They suffer because of their deeds in previous births. A man who was generous in a previous birth, now has wealth in abundance.