CHENNAI: Great men have seen God and shed tears of joy upon seeing Him. The experience they have is a thrill. Their hair stands on end; tears roll down their cheeks. They are oblivious of the world around them.

Those who have had the experience of seeing God have described their experiences, and they all seem to have had a similar experience. The deities they worshipped might have been different, but the experience they describe is the same, said Suki Sivam in a discourse.

Nammazhvar says that when Lord Krishna played His flute, even the trees swayed. As He moved around, producing music on His flute, the trees, too, turned round and round, so that they would face in the direction in which the Lord was.

Nammazhvar's eyes turned misty with emotion, when he saw the Lord. So great was his devotion, and so evolved a soul was his that he saw Krishna in everything he saw. If he saw food, that seemed like Krishna to him. If he saw water, he saw the Lord in it; if he saw betel leaves, he saw the Lord in them. And as he thought of the Lord and saw Him in everything around him, the tears coursed down his cheeks.

When Anjaneya saw Lord Rama, he said that he felt as if a burden had been lifted from his shoulders. His hairs stood on end, and his bones seemed to be melting.

Manickavachagar, the Saivite saint, was a devotee of Lord Siva. His experience, when he saw Siva was similar to that of Kannappa Nayanar's, when the latter beheld a linga. Manickavachagar was a scholar and a minister in the Pandya king's court. Kannappa Nayanar was a hunter, who offered meat to the Lord. But the experience of the learned man and the unlettered hunter was one and the same. They wept and felt a thrill upon seeing the Lord. So the experience of realising God is the same in the case of all people.

When we travel by plane, we are told to fasten our seat belts whenever there is turbulence which frightens us.

But there is a good turbulence, and that is what we experience when we realise God. This good turbulence brings us everlasting peace.