Chennai: When Sivapada Hridayar, the father of the Saivite saint Thirugnanasambandar wanted to perform a yaga, he found that he needed money. So he approached his son and told him of his need. Who else will a father turn to, but his son, when he needs help? But Thirugnansambandar was immersed in worship of Siva and had no income of his own. He was interested only in singing the praises of the Lord. So he sang a verse to the Lord, saying He alone was his refuge. The saint's father knew of no one else who could help, but his son. The son knew that no one could help, except God Himself, said R. Narayanan in a discourse. The Lord was moved by Thirugnanasambandar's verses and instructed one of His attendants to leave a bag of thousand gold coins in the temple for Thirugnanasambandar. Thus Thirugnanasambandar's father got the required money to perform his yaga.

Thirugnansambandar's friend and also a devotee of Siva was Thiruneelakantayazhpaanar. He was a musician who played a stringed instrument called the yazh. Thiruneelankantayazhpaanar was visiting his mother. His relatives wanted to cause a rift between the two friends and mischievously suggested that Thirugnanasambandar's verses acquired beauty only through the yazh playing of Thiruneelakanatayazhpaanar. Thirugnanasambandar then sang, and Thiruneelekantayazhpanar was unable to produce the verses on his instrument. Upset that his relatives had insulted such a great saint like Thirugnanasambandar, the musician devotee was about to break his instrument, when Thirugnanasambandar stopped him and said the grace of the Lord could not be captured in an instrument. The relatives realised their mistake.

The two Saivite saints shared a bond of friendship that the relatives of the musician saint could not destroy. What the two had in common was love for Lord Siva. They both had the knowledge that the Lord is the Ultimate, and the words of jealous people must be ignored. People are so prone to jealousy that they will not even hesitate to criticise someone like Thirugnansambandar. But the Lord always proves to the world that His devotees are unsurpassed in greatness.

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