Manickavachagar’s outpourings in his Tiruvasagam are so moving that even a hard heart will melt upon reading them, said K. Sambandan, in a discourse. Manickavachagar expresses his ardent desire to reach the feet of Lord Siva.

His greatness is evident from the fact that his guru is Siva Himself. The joy that we get from proximity to Siva’s feet is pure joy. The Lord Himself is without blemish and the joy we get by focusing our thoughts on Him is also pure joy.

What is the difference between this joy and that which we get from worldly pleasures? The joy that we get from worldly pleasures is temporary, and has adverse consequences.

Pleasure and pain

A hearty meal pleases at the time of our consuming it. But it harms our health. Repeated indulgence of our palate impairs our health. So the pleasure leads eventually to pain. Wealth also belongs to the same category of pleasure at the time of acquisition, and worry when it comes to safeguarding the wealth we have acquired with great effort and hard work. But the more we worship Siva the more joy it brings to us. There is no question of this joy turning sour at any stage in our lives. It is long lasting and pure.

That is the joy that Manickavachagar seeks. He says one’s body melts and shakes when one contemplates the Lord. Automatically one’s palms are brought together in supplication. The eyes shed tears involuntarily. Such a reaction on the part of a devotee is an indication of his love for God.

One who bears true love towards God, will put his trust in Him and will not even for a minute harbour the thought that human beings or his own efforts can save him. Draupadi agonised over her predicament, when the Kauravas tried to disrobe her.

She clutched on to her sari, when she realised that no one present was going to come to her rescue. She called out to Lord Krishna, but He took time to come. The moment she let go of her sari, the Lord, by His grace, saved her from shame. The Lord’s delay in coming to her rescue was because she had, even while appealing to Him for help, held on tightly to her sari.