Faith

Siva’s support to devotees

The Tiruvilayadal Puranam describes the many inexhaustible wonders that Siva as Somasundareshwara along with His consort, Goddess Meenakshi, enacts to support His devotees against the backdrop of the culture-rich town of Madurai. The Siva leelas relating to the life of the devout Manikkavachagar establish the supremacy of grace, bhakti, righteousness and jnana, and continue to inspire many till date, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

Manikkavachagar was an accomplished scholar with extraordinary proficiency in scriptures as well. It is held that the Pandya king, coming to know of his multi-faceted talents and graces, appointed him as his minister. Manikkavachagar is diligent in serving the king. At the same time, his mind is drawn towards spiritual yearnings. Siva intervenes in his life in many interesting ways to personally guide him through the arduous path of bhakti and also to strengthen his faith. To impress on the king and the people, the extent of his deep devotion, Siva plans the episode of the horses.

Manikkavachagar is entrusted with the responsibility of purchasing horses for the king. While on this errand, Siva appears as a Guru and grants him diksha. Manikkavachagar offers all the wealth of the king for building temple and for welfare of Sivan Adiyars. The king naturally is cut up with Manikkavachagar’s act, which he sees as misappropriation of funds. Siva assures Manikkavachagar not to worry and to inform the king that the horses would arrive. The Lord converts foxes into horses and leads them to the king’s presence. Even as the king is impressed, the Lord turns them back into foxes. It is a subtle move that not only reveals the Lord’s response to the true devotion of Manikkavachagar, but also helps to relieve the king from shackles of samsara.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:42:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/sivas-support-to-devotees/article33195733.ece

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