Tuesday, 22 May 2018

BEWARE OF SPIRITUAL PRIDE

Compassion or "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others" is a state of extreme sensitivity to others tears. To reach this state is a far cry for many. The heart has to open up for this state to happen. Then he sheds tears for others misfortune. He begins to find ways to eradicate their sufferings. Nature then comes to his aid. Nature makes him co-creator. Nature pays obeisance to him. Nature reveals her secrets. Everything becomes an open book. He is one with "the will of nature and the plan of god" as Rohit Mehta describes in his The Creative Silence, from the Theosophical Publishing House. This is the state of a Siddha.

Attaining this state we are cautioned about the appearance of spiritual pride. It is said that one can and do slip and fall even as he stands at the gates to gods kingdom. Indeed the one who takes the stage looks down on the rest as of inadequate knowledge and substance. The spiritual pride takes the stage. Elsewhere a true messenger of god would drop by when you least expected with a simple message that would shake your whole understanding and perception of life and move on as quietly as he came. An episode from Mahakavi Bharathi's life will attest to this. 

Bharathi who chances upon one Kulla Swami while in Pondicherry, gives chase as the Swami dashes off. He finally catches up with him in a torn down and abandoned house. Bharathi seeks upadesam. The Swami points him to the remaining portion of the wall and the sun and then turns to show him his reflection and that of the sun in the well. "That is my upadesa for you", saying thus he leaves immediately. 

பக்கத்து வீடிடிந்து சுவர்கள் வீழ்ந்த
பாழ்மனையொன் றிருந்ததங்கே
பரம யோகி ஒக்கத்தன் அருள்வழியால் என்னை நோக்கி
ஒரு குட்டிச் சுவர் காட்டிப் பரிதி காட்டி
அக்கணமே கிணற்றுளதன் விம்பங் காட்டி
"அறிதிகொலோ !" எனக் கேட்டான்
"அறிந்தேன்" என்றேன்
மிக்கமகிழ் கொண்டவனும் சென்றான்
யானும் வேதாந்த மரத்திலொரு வேரைக் கண்டேன்.

தேசிகன் கை காட்டி யெனக்குறைத்த செய்தி
செந்தமிழில் உலகத்தார்க் குணர்த்து கின்றேன்
"வாசியை நீ கும்பகத்தால் வலியக் கட்டி
மண்போலே சுவர்போலே வாழ்தல் வேண்டும்
தேசுடைய பரிதியுருக் கிணற்றினுள்ளே
தெரிவதுபோல் உனக்குள்ளே சிவனைக் காண்பாய்
பேசுவதில் பயனில்லை அனுபவத்தால்
பேரின்பம் எய்துவதே ஞானம்" என்றான்.

Stop all talk and begin to experience Vaasi, was the message to Bharathi.

As I am writing this post Srīnāthā Rāghavan posted a wonderful piece of advice regarding the pride that unknowingly takes hold of many a spiritual man.
"How to keep one's Ego under check?" was the question.
The suggestion, "Nishkaama Seva (Selfless Service), Dharma (Performing one's duty unattachedly) and Daana (Charity out of Compassion)."
While I used to be a regular at the Sri Ramakrishna Mutt, Khar, Mumbai, I would prefer to spend most of my time in the Library, reading old and rare books. Many years I spent such, when one day the old Librarian Monk, who was a Friend and Mentor by then, came up to me casually and said, "Expanding the Intellect is just one side of the coin, you also have to deepen your Heart as well?"

When asked how to do so He said, "Go and serve the ill and afflicted in the nearby Hospital?" 
Taking his suggestion to be a command from the Master Himself, I quit reading books (I had read more than enough by then) and immersed myself in serving the sick. That was the most precious spiritual guidance I have ever received in my life and thankfully acted upon it as well.
For nearly two years, 2-3 times a week, I got the opportunity to serve the sick and the dying, helping me to come out as a better "attuned" person. 
Spiritual Attunement is nothing but how well you can connect with the other's pain and afflictions and what you can do willingly and proactively to ease it. 
Knowledge and Wealth, has the ability to swell our Ego, but when complimented with Seva, it will become a great blessing for the whole world.
And as I pen these words, a devotee from Visakhapatnam messaged me that she too has joined the ranks of Agathiyar Vanam Malaysia (AVM), Amudha Surabhi (AS), Thondu Seivom (TS), Pothihai Tharma Chakkram (PTC), Thedal Ulla Thenikalai (TUT) and many family members in Malaysia, India and South Africa who have taken up the noble task of serving annadhanam to the hungry and unfortunate and carrying out other seva.
Aiya, with the grace of Appa and inspired by all of you in Malaysia, our family is serving food to the homeless each month. I cook a very basic humble meal of steamed rice and a nutritious mixed vegetable curry that comprises of 5 vegetables, moong dal (protein), any one green like spinach. My husband and I drive around and serve food to 20+ homeless people. The joy of cooking and serving is immense. A humble reminder of how blessed we are. Thank you, Aiya, for helping me along my spiritual journey with your wise words that you so articulately put across on the blog. Gratitude! Muruga Saranam!




Monday, 21 May 2018

TURNING TOWARDS INNER TRANSFORMATION

I did not have any yearning to know god. Yet the most compassionate came to me. I had no desire to become a renunciate. He told me it was not necessary. Nothing was my effort or doing. He moved things. So who was moving the strings? That is Agathiyar.

I did not come to this path after a search. I did not come to this path after searching the nooks and corners. I did not come to this path after knocking on doors of ashrams. 

I did not go seeking gurus. I did not enroll in ashrams. I did not enroll online courses. I did not have no yearning to know the truth. 

I did not take up any course. I did not take up any practices. 

But yet he came to me. He came in the form of a Nadi reading. He came in the form of various mantras. He came in the form of pictures that adorned my altar. He came in the form of a journey. He came in the form of a bronze statue. He came in the form of rituals. He came in the form of the family and friends. 

Bringing me to know of the existence of the Nadi, the sacred written oracles that reveal the past, explain the present and predict the future, he introduces me to karma something that I was not aware, but that had influenced my life till that very moment of revelation and will cause an impact in the years to come and lives to come. 

He showed me a way to offset the karma. He sent me on a pilgrimage of temples to perform prayers. He asked to perform homa. He asked to do charity. The karma score was settled. 

As we embarked on performing the puja, doing it continuously, he came into our homes. He became guardian. He became guide. He governed us. He watched over us. He took us in his arms. He moved in with us, both in our homes and hearts.

He began to shower his grace. He planned and executed our lives. He brought many wonderful souls to our home to do his task. He showered his grace on all. He guided all. He moved into their homes and hearts as well. 

He brought tremendous transformation to our lives, from a sedentary life to bringing us to perform rituals and charity. While these transformations were external in nature, he began working on us internally too. Subtle transformations began to take place internally too. 

Our puja at AVM was always on time and took two hours that included performing the homa, abhisegam and alangaaram while time allocated for bhajan and lighting of lamps depended on the number of attendees respectively. Soon I began to shorten the puja from two hours to only an hour taking cue from the divine. Now an intuition says that even that I will have to drop. 

I cannot imagine all that has taken place this far. Much has been done. Much has been said. Something in me tells me it is time to go within, to abstain from activity, to remain quiet, to listen, to watch. After taking me through an outer transformation I suppose he is leading me into an inner transformation.

Now I prefer to just be in his presence, sitting with him, spending time with him. But I need to stop these continuous chatter that goes on in my mind; only when this chatter stops can I hear him speak. I am looking towards the day when I can stop my inner chat and instead have a chat and a conversation with the divine. If earlier he spoke through a medium the Nadi, I look forward to the day he speaks directly to me. The day my thoughts settle, my speech ends, my look goes within, and the breath settles, is the day Dhakshanamurthy, the Mauna guru begins to speak. But this will be in silence. 

When I told Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal I wished I could see Agathiyar and Ramalinga Adigal, rather than seeking this, he pointed me to a better option, one that was lasting and permanent. He told me to seek what the saints before us have asked for - to merge at the feet of the Lord.

Thirugnaanasambandhar, merged with his bride and the members of the marriage party in the Effulgence that is Civan, in Nalloor; Maanikkavaachakar merged in the Mystery of mysteries, in Thillai; Sundaramoorthi Swaamikal ascended to heaven on the white elephant; Thirunaavukkarasar merged in Civan in Thiruppukaloor merging in the effulgence that is the Godhead; and so too did our Ramalinga Adigal says G.Vanmikanathan in his Pathway to God Trod by Saint Ramalingar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay. 

I understood fully Tavayogi's statement later in India when I was blessed to spend some time in his company. I saw that each time he was alone, be it at his Agathiyar Gnana Peedham, in the caves, the Siddha samadhis, or temples, he used to weep to the Lord asking the Lord to take him with Him, to merge at His feet. When I had a telephone conversation with him recently, he lamented that the Lord was holding him back. Ramalinga Adigal's prayer had became Tavayogi's prayer too.

இன்று வருமோ நாளைக்கே வருமோ
அல்லது மற்றென்று வருமோ
அறியேன் எங்கோவே
துன்று மல வெம்மாயை அற்று
வெளிக்குள் வெளி கடந்து
சும்மா இருக்கும் சுகம் 

Its transliteration,

"Indru varumoh? naalaike varumoh?,
allathu matru yendru varumo?
ariyen yen kove,
tundru mala vem maayai attru
vezhikul vezhi kadanthu
summa irukkum sugam." 

Tavayogi seeked the space where there is only the bliss of non-participation (summa eruppathu). 

That was the message to Arunagiri too by Lord Murugan, "Summa eru Sol Are."

Tayumanavar too was asked to remain so by his guru Mauna Guru, "Be silent. Rest in peace. Keep quiet (Summa Eru). Have faith. You will reach the supreme state of Bliss".

Saint Nakkirar too prayed to Lord Vinayagar to create that space where the disciple could merge with the guru, 

மோனா ஞான முழுதும் அளித்து
சிற்பரிப் பூரண சிவத்தைக் காண
நற்சிவ நிட்கள நாட்டமுந் தந்து
குருவுஞ் சீடனுங் கூடிக் கலந்து
இருவரும் ஒரு தனியிடந் தனிற் சேர்ந்து
தானந்தமாகித் தற்பர வெளியில்
ஆனந்த போத அறிவைக் கலந்து
ஈசனிைணயடியிருத்தி
மனத்தே நீயே நானாய்
நானே நீயாய்க்
காயா புரியைக் கனவெனவுணா்ந்து
எல்லாமுன் செயலென்ேற உணர
நல்லா உன்னருள் நாட்டந் தருவாய்
காரண குருவே கற்பகத் களிேற
வாரணமுகத்து வள்ளலே போற்றி

Its transliteration,

mona gnana muluthum alitthu
sirparipoorana shivattai kaana
narshiva nitkala naattamum thanthu
guruvum seedanum koodi kalanthu
eruvarum oru tani edam thanil sernthu
thaananthamaagi tarpara veliyil
aanandha bhotha arivai kalanthu
esan enaiyadi erutthi manathay
neeye naanaai naane neeyaai
gaayaa puriyai kanavena unarnthu
yellaam un seyalendray unara
nallaa un arul naatham tharuvaai
kaarana guruve karpaga kalire
vaarana mugatthu vallale potri

Saint Nakkirar's prayer has become my prayer too.

Vanmikanathan has given us a beautiful and much awaited biography cum journal on the life and experiences of Ramalinga Adigal. He traces Ramalinga Adigal's journey and spiritual evolution based on Ooran Adigal's publication of the complete works of Ramalinga Adigal, the THIRUARUTPA. 

Valmikanathan writes on Ooran Adigal's edition,
This edition, unlike all previous editions, has for its basis the chronological order of the composition and delivery of the decads. Such an edition is a most invaluable aid for the kind of book which I am writing. We can follow Raamalinga Swaamikal’s progress not only through year to year of his life but also through the several stages of his spiritual journey in their chronological order. I feel so grateful to Ooran Atikal for his work that if it were permissible to dedicate a book more than once and to more than one person, I would dedicate my book to Ooran Atikal as well. For without his edition, I would never have been able to write this book.
This spiritual evolution on Ramalinga Adigal's part is pretty obvious when one follows his experiences and devotional out-pour, laments, wailing, utterances, plodding, pleading, petitions and revelations as compiled in the form of the THIRUARUTPA.

Vanmikanathan explains, "In Raamalinga Swaamikal’s spiritual experience each of these major stages of spiritual experience are found to be sub-divided into Purgation, Illumination and Union."

Ramalinga Adigal begins with the worship of Lord Murugan. Vanmikanathan writes, "He is initiated by Murukan Himself into the methods of His worship."
Oh Guru Who came into my mind and bestowed the perception that through ritualistic worship of Pathi (God) and similar good rites the creative instrument of understanding called the mind will be rid of impure concepts and stand established in pure contemplation and, thereby, the state of true union with Pathi with result; that, thereupon, buddhi, the power of ratiocination, freed from (the triad of) bonds will merge in the mind, and that, forthwith, the state of absence of incoming and outgoing will be gained in the shape of unwavering real gnosis.
True enough, hence began a beautiful journey on the Purgative Way.
The period between 1823 and 1835, i.e., from the date of birth to the 12th year of our Swaamikal has been classified as the period of Kandhakottam, .. which has as its theme-shrine the temple of Murukan in Kandhakottam which goes today by the name of Kandhaswaami koil. And several other prayers rise up from the depths of our Swaamikal’s heart, prayers which you and I and all the world may adopt as our daily petitions to God, our Light in the darkness of doubt and despair, our Saviour from the six serpents of lust, anger, greed, infatuation, obstinacy and pride, and a seventh serpent, rarely spoken of by others, but given by our Swaamikal a prominent place in the evils that stand in the way of an aspirant for the grace of God, the serpent of killing of living beings. 
All saints and mystics have always been at war with their mind and heart. For these are in love with worldly pleasures and are at cross purposes with the mystics who wish to proceed to the Godhead, the Ground of all being. Raamalinga Swaamikal too has several decads addressed to his heart or mind.
In the second and last lap of the Purgative Way, our Swaamikal goes from Thirutthanikai Hill to Thiruvottriyoor, from Murukan the Son to Civan the Father, from childhood to adolescence and youth.
Ramalinga Adigal begins to yearn for the union with the Lord. "He is eager for the mystic union which is the goal of bridal mysticism." The first lap of his journey on the Purgative Way comes to a close.
From the 41st decad onwards, we see a remarkable change in the spirit which pervades the poems. A note of hope, of cheerfulness, of intimacy, of rejoicing, of exultation replaces the note of despondency and despair which marked the decads so far. In this span of about fifteen years, what was unrelieved misery had become metamorphosed into joy. This is not the effect of the passage of time which dulls the edge of misery, but a genuine change in the outlook on what seemed like misery. This is the result of the affinity - a spiritual rapport between Raamalinga Swaamikal and the Godhead, which has grown stronger and stronger with the years, a rapport that has grown into the relationship of bride and bridegroom.
Our Swaamikal has left the Purgative Way and has entered the Illuminative Way. The emphasis has changed. It is no more on his foibles, failings and faults. The Swaamikal shifts the blame from himself to the Lord Whom he accuses of delaying the bestowal of grace. 
Our Swaamikal celebrates his entry into the Illuminative Way by the one hundred and one stanzas of this decad in praise of the Divine Mother (the Vadivudai Maanikka Maalai)
Our Swaamikal will very soon be leaving the Illuminative Way and will be crossing the threshold of the Unitive Way where God with name and form will disappear and where ultimately the worshiper and the worshiped, the seeker and the sought, the soul and the Godhead, will merge into each other.
In preparation for that day, in eager anticipation of that day, Our Swaamikal gratefully recalls to mind all the pilgrimage centres with temples where Lord Civan abides in name and form, and, in a sense, takes leave of them. This is the significance of Vinnappa Kalivenpaa, our Swaamikal calls on the Lord abiding in 279 pilgrimage centres and makes a petition to Him.
The saints of Tamilnaadu in the past, Maanikkavaachakar and all the 63 saints in the Calendar, all of them made one and the same petition, the petition for freedom from the bonds of death and birth. It is not strange, therefore, that our Swaamikal, who is a scion of the unbroken line of the saints down the ages, makes the same petition.
On this note of heart-rendering cry for the grace of God (Thiruvarul Muraiyeedu), our Swaamikal leaves the Illuminative Way and steps on the threshold of the Unitive Way. While this happens on the spiritual journey towards the Godhead, the mundane sojourn in Madras ends with hem and our Swaamikal sets out in his 35th year to Thillai.

On his way to Thillai, he visits various celebrated shrines of Lord Civan, such as Pullizukkuveloor, present day Vaitheeswarankoil, Thiruvaaroor, Thirukkannamangai, Pazhamalai, present day Viruddhachalam, Thiruvathikai Veerttanam, Thiruvannamalai and arrives at Karunkuzhi, a village about three miles from Vadaloor where he will remain for the next nine years of his life. 
Already our Swaamikal has begun to experience the early fruits of the union with the Godhead. He describes one of them in 100 stanzas of the second decad of the Fifth Book. All the stanzas describe in growing amazement only one item of experience. Lord Civan walked on His holy rosy delicate feet all the way and, seeking the door of the house where our Swaamikal was staying, opened the door, hailed him and placed in his hands something accompanied by loving and reassuring words. While all the 100 stanzas describe the same incident, the description of the feet and the expressions of amazement and gratefulness vary from stanza to stanza. Nowhere, however, in any of the one hundred stanzas is there any clue to show us what was the object which the Lord placed in our Swaamikal’s hands. Whatever it was, the incident made such a great impact on the mind of our Swaamikal that he sang no less than one hundred stanzas to record that incident. 
too was puzzled just as Vanmikanathan was, trying to figure out what the Lord had delivered to Ramalinga Adigal, each night. But I came to know that he received two laddu, a sweet to us, but metaphorically it meant Gnana.
For the first time in his life, our Swaamikal declares that he is freed from misery. Secondly, he states that he has received a great boon. Thirdly, he, declares that he has reached a great state of grace. 
But with his entry on to the Unitive Way proper, he has lifted his foot from the mire of worldly life and has set both feet firmly and untraceable on the highway which is the Unitive Way, the royal road to union with the Godhead.
With the 24th decad of the Sixth Book (with which ends our Swaamikal’s journey on the First Stage of the Unitive Way) cease all self-accusations, self-denigration, weeping and wailing. Even petitions cease. The later decads are sheer paeans of praise of the Lord.
In the last song (Thiruchchitrambala Theivamani Maalai) we see the budding of the concept of Arut-Perum-Jothi, the Great Effulgence of Grace, for the first time in our Swaamikal’s spiritual life. It is true that this phrase occurs here only with reference to the sun and the moon. Nevertheless, this is the first gleam of the concept of the rare great effulgence which will burst forth in a paean of praise of 1596 lines when our Swaamikal steps on to the last lap of the journey on the Unitive Way.
Our Swaamikal is now ready for the highest of all possible acts of grace, the crowning glory of the long years of thavam. The conferment of the Effulgence of Grace. 
The Lord, out of His munificent grace, bestowed on our Swaamikal the very power by which He Himself exercised sovereignty over all the worlds. That power is the Great Effulgence of Grace.
Two important claims are made by our Swaamikal in this decad. He claims that God conferred on him the power to raise the dead. Saint Thirugnaanasambandhar, Saint Thirunaavukkarasar and Saint Sundarar, all three of them have raised the dead not merely from their graves but from their very ashes. Moreover, they raised such dead not immediately after death but after the lapse of quite a long time, and in one cue several years.
The other is, "... is that of being given by the Lord the power to exercise the five functions of creation, sustenance, destruction, concealing, and bestowing mukthi." 
This state is achieved not by one's efforts but by the grace of the Lord who speaks, first verbally then silently. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

AS I BEGAN TO WRITE...

During one of his numerous visits to Malaysia, Tavayogi asked me to talk about the Siddhas. But how could I talk about them when I knew nothing about them? I could not comprehend the songs that Siddhas had delivered. They made no sense to me. After digesting all the Siddha literature, Tavayogi wrote several books with the intent to simplify the works of the Siddhas. Even those I could not understand fully. Then again that was bookish knowledge. I needed real experience. And so rather than talk about the Siddhas, Tavayogi took me along and we embarked on a journey of discovery into the realm of the Siddhas. Tavayogi who spent much time in the research of the Siddhas, brought me to the Saraswathi Mahal where is housed all the old scriptures of the Siddhas. He showed me the Siddhas, first appearing as scent, then as the breeze, as the clouds too, and as rain showers. It was all new and mesmerizing to me. But although that was mind boggling and unbelievable, I wanted concrete proof of the existence of the Siddhas. I wanted them to appear like you and me. I wanted to see them with my naked eyes.

I told Tavayogi I had two desires - to see Agathiyar and Ramalinga Adigal in person. My desires were justified. If someone was to ask me a question, "Since you have been worshiping Agathiyar all these years please tell me something about him", I would just fumble. I have to sincerely tell them that I do not know a single thing about him. I have no idea how he looks like: is he fair or dark?, fat or slim?, short or tall?, young or old? If I was to say something about him it would only be what I had read in the books, seen in the movies and talk shows. If someone was to ask me further, "How come you are worshiping someone you don't know, someone you haven't seen?", what or how am I to answer?

As I was hesitant to speak about the Siddhas, since my knowledge of them was shallow, I thought I would write about my own journey to India instead. I expanded my articles on my maiden pilgrimage to India in 2003, that I had wrote on my website indian heartbeat, started in 1996, which is now defunct. Soon I switched to writing this blog keeping up with the trend. Then I ventured to write my thoughts and publish them online as pdf files, available on the side bar/ blog roll of this blog. Agathiyar too in a timely gesture, encouraged me to write further. What could I write then if not for the experience that I had while traveling this path. And so I began to share these experience with all through this blog and and the many digital books I wrote.

I refrained from writing about Agathiyar; who he was; what he looked like; what took place in his life; etc because there was already is so much material about him, replicated and reproduced in almost all the websites and blog and videos. In a speech Tavayogi had mentioned that the pundits have spoken about 37 Agathiyar having existed over time.



A. Chidambaranar in his "Agathiyar Varalaaru" lists out all these names of Agathiyar and their times.
  1. Pothiyamalai Agathiyar (Kurumuni) 16,000 BC
  2. Muththoor Agathiyar 14,550 BC
  3. Vaataapi Agathiyar 14,058 BC
  4. Lobha Muththirai Agathiyar I 8,000 BC
  5. Maithiraa Varuna Agathiyar 8,000 BC
  6. Maaniya Agathiyar 8,000 BC
  7. Kumbha Agathiyar
  8. Aaveerpu Puththirar Agathiyar
  9. Kandharuvan Puththirar Agathiyar
  10. Agathiyar as one of the Seven Rishis 7,500 BC
  11. Purohitha Agathiyar I 7,500 BC
  12. Agathiyar from Thodiththol Sempiyan's times 6,200 BC
  13. Kudakumalai Agathiyar 6,020 BC
  14. Lobha Muththirai Agathiyar II 6,010 BC
  15. Kosalai Naadu Agathiyar 6,000 BC
  16. Panjavadi Agathiyar 6,000 BC
  17. Paava Naasa (Malaiyamalai) Agathiyar I 6,000 BC
  18. Kunjaragiri Agathiyar I 6,000 BC
  19. Purohitha Agathiyar II 6,000 BC
  20. Kunjaragiri Agathiyar II 3,110 BC
  21. Thuvaraapathi Agathiyar 3,100 BC
  22. Yasomathi Agathiyar 2,000 BC
  23. Purohitha Agathiyar III 1,900 BC
  24. Kaaraitheevu Agathiyar 400 BC
  25. Pothalagiri Agathiyar 274 BC
  26. Thilothamai Agathiyar 100 BC
  27. Paava Naasa (Malaiyamalai) Agathiyar II 2 AD
  28. Paava Naasa (Malaiyamalai) Agathiyar III 5 AD
  29. Purohitha Agathiyar IV 6 AD
  30. Kunjaragiri Agathiyar III 7 AD
  31. Purohitha Agathiyar V 7 AD
  32. Siddha Agathiyar 10 AD
  33. Thevara Agathiyar 11 AD
  34. Agathiyar author of scriptures 13 AD
  35. Agathiyar who converted Vishnu temple to Siva temple 13 AD
  36. Agathiya Pattar 18 AD
  37. Palla Agathiyar 19 AD
Similarly if I only knew of  the six popular forms of Lord Muruga, a friend of mine Jayaseelan, who has indulged in extensive research of Lord Muruga tells me that he has sixteen forms and names.

P Karthigayan has published many amazing references to Lord Muruga in his "History of Medical and Spiritual Sciences of Siddhas of Tamil Nadu."

Muruga is said to have taken on various names as he attained various advancement and states in his life. Originally named Supramaniar, he became Karthigeyan when he excelled in yoga, and on attaining immortality was called Muruga, and as he remained ever youthful he was called Kumaran, andbecoming mentor to Lord Shiva was called Swaninathan.

P Karthigayan refering to Bhogar Saththakaandam 7000, mentions Kumaran as an ancient priest king and a head of a monastery that was active for 123 generations. He was said to be 'active' for 3 yugas.

Garlanded in the Kadamba flowers to help identify his soldiers, carrying the flag with a cock as the symbol so as to identify his battalion, Kumaran rode on an elephant, to battle with the Avunas who were led by Soorabanman hence saving the Tamils who then held him in high esteem. Initially a warrior he defeated Soorabanman, moved into Shiva's Nandhi monastery observing severe penances and austerities, engaged in yoga and attained deathlessness, becoming mentor to Shiva himself. He was conferred a kingdom Paran Kundram and became god of the Devas.

Supramaniar came to be addressed as Kumaran after he discovered the secret of rejuvenation. In Supramaniar Gnaanam 200, Agathiyar is said to have received teachings on the Siddha path from Kumaran. P Karthigayan quotes Agathiyar from his Perunool Kaviyam 12000 where Agathiyar mentions just like Kanna Piraan (Lord Krishna) he too seeked upadesam from Vadivelan.

I have not indulged in these stories earlier for I did not want to engage in controversies and debate. I wanted access to these information from the man himself, that would be authentic and true. Arunagiri knew Lord Muruga as the god who came and caught him in his arms as he jumped from the temple towers of Arunachala. Arunagiri knew him as the god who gave him a dictate and asked him to go into isolation and solitude. Arunagiri knew him as the God who wrote on his tongue that got him started singing Lord Muruga's praise, estimated 16,000 songs. Arunagiri knew him as the god who appeared to all at Thiruvanamalai when Sambanthan contested and challenged him to make Lord Muruga appear. Arunagiri translated all his experiences into songs. So did Ramalinga Adigal, Pamban Swamigal and many others.

I have sketched most of the deities either on the walls of temples or for the magazines http://agathiyarvanam.blogspot.my/2014/03/my-art.html in the past, but I have yet to draw Agathiyar's picture. I told him if I were to draw him it would only be another copy of what I had seen in posters and books. I wanted him to show himself to me so that I could draw his form. But he never showed himself either in person, in a dream or in any other manner till recently.

Something amazing happened some days back. Yes he did come as the candidate who was assigned to play his role in the second music video that is now in the cutting room of Raagawave Production. There he was, looking tall, young and majestic as he alighted from the CR-V he drove. But the moment he alighted from the vehicle we both knew he was not himself. I had always told others that I did not want the Siddhas to appear as insects and bugs as I am told they frequently do during prayers. I wanted them to come in person, in the attire of the kaavi that is dignified and solemn. I had always wanted to see Agathiyar and Ramalinga Adigal but Tavayogi made me seek much higher aspirations. Telling me, appearing to us was something very common to them, he instead told me to ask for that which is rare and withheld for the very few chosen ones. I dropped the desire to see them too.

Then here was he in the kaavi attire with his long tresses rolled up and tied neatly high on his head, giving us a look and a smile that was beyond this world. We gave way to him. He stepped into AVM. He invited us in too by his hand gesture. I handed him the vaasikol and kamandalam for the video shoot. We stepped out of the prayer room as he sat there for a while. He got himself into another vehicle and remained silent, immersed in silence and deep meditation, holding on to the vaasikol and kamandalam for the entire duration of an hour and a half drive to the site of the shoot.

I told myself this was pretty close to what I had desired to see all this while. How often would you have someone dressed like Agathiyar drop by at AVM?

You will have to wait for the music video "Gnana Oliye" from the "Agathiyar Geetham" Audio CD Album to be uploaded on YouTube to agree with me. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

A SECOND CHANCE



"But in that realm, it seemed as though the outcome of those tests and the report depended on the decision I had yet to make—whether to live or to continue onward into death. If I chose death, the test results would indicate organ failure. If I chose to come back to physical life, they’d show my organs beginning to function again." 

Thank you Arul for the suggestion.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

OUR PURPOSE HERE

Coming back from a journey experiencing near death Betty J Eadie reveals the secrets and mysteries of life. Betty in her book "Embraced by the Light" describes leaving her body, how she was taken on a tour of another realm, and discovered the mystery and workings of life on earth. As the operation of the laws behind life on earth were explained to her, she seemed to understand these things almost instantaneously. She brings her understanding of the mystery that surrounds our birth, and its purpose that was revealed to her, into the pages of her book.

Neale Donald Walsch who wrote a children's parable adapted from his book one of "Conversations with God", titled "The Little Soul and the Sun", brings the essence and the message of life before birth, to the kids, in simple terms, which serves us equally well too. A story is narrated of a young soul who knew he was light but wanted to experience it. So he is given a choice to pick a desired act that he would like to do, from a list of many, once he is on earth. He chooses the act of forgiving. Another soul immediately steps up to join the soul in fulfilling its wish by being the perpetrator so that the young soul can then forgive him. They both come down to earth to live out their desire. 

Betty understood the earth to be a place where we schooled, adds that whatever we become of here is meaningless unless it has brought benefit to others. In serving others we grow spiritually. If Betty says that we are here to school, Neale says that we are already well equipped with sufficient knowledge and have only to apply it here, giving life a purpose and making it holy.

I found her book interesting for I too came to understand likewise through the Nadi readings. We understood from Agathiyar each of us were brought together again for a purpose. We have been told that we are here for an experience, gaining which we return to god's kingdom. Just as Neale says life needs to have a purpose, Agathiyar has slowly revealed the reasons for taking birth, giving it a purpose too.

As Neale wrote, knowing who we are was not enough; we needed to become "it". This desire triggers a chain of events, a learning process takes place and several experiences are recorded, whereby the soul becomes enriched through this experiences. We, being light in essence, for want of experiencing it, had darkness and all opposites created for us. As all the souls are perfect, many wanted and volunteered to come down to help us gain the experience. Thus we had all known each other earlier. We had planned to be together here. Those who needed a particular experience chose to come early while others remained behind to join later.

Agathiyar adds that we needed to settle some of the past scores or karma too. Atonement and remedies were recommended to either pay back, refund, replace, offset, reduce or satisfy the many atrocities we had done earlier. Even after these revelations, many continue with their lives in the usual manner, without having had any impact made in their lives or without gaining a new understanding or perspective of life. For some they turned over a new leaf after understanding the consequences of their actions and begin to watch their thoughts and actions carefully refraining from hurting others. Only a few handful are diverted from living a mundane life and made to live a life with a higher purpose, often given a mission to accomplish in this lifetime.

Explaining the wrong that I had done in the past births, Agathiyar forgave me. Only after I could let go of the past, I could forgive myself. Only after we could forgive ourselves can we forgive another. Forgiveness starts with the self and extends towards others. Agathiyar consoled me saying that I needed the negative experiences too. It was a learning process. Only then could I appreciate its opposite. The experience and learning gained from the wrongful act serves as a reminder not to engage in it again. They were needed for me to grow spiritually. These undesirable happenings was his doing, orchestrated by him, he adds. Although he did not remove the conditions for these events to take place and exposed me to the resulting dangers, during these crucial moments of trial, Agathiyar stood by me, safeguarding me. 

He then began to give hope and motivation. Hope is necessary for it gives a glimmer of light; a purpose to put some effort in that direction. Effort then moves things and brings the desired changes.

The option is ours to either accept the greater power above us and let go of the world and its many entrapment or to hold on and cherish it. The need to know the creator grows in us and drives one to seek knowledge about him and understand his mysterious workings. 

There is much truth when the saints seek the divine, yearning for them to come within. Once the divine envelopes the body, every cell reverberates and utters the mystic syllable or mantra of the divine. 

Everything is done for the growth of the spirit. When people asked Yogi Ramsuratkumar why India had so many beggars the Yogi simply answered that India needed beggars. Do not despise them. They are placed there for our benefit. They provide us an avenue, allowing us opportunities to serve them. We gain these much needed experiences that builds on compassion in us. If only we could add love as an ingredient in all our dealings we have served and lived well, completing our purpose for taking birth.

Lay aside all the rational, logical thoughts and reasoning that comes in the way preventing us from extending our arms to provide aid and do charity, says Agathiyar. By the simple act of feeding the unfortunate, the act itself trains us to see the spirit that resides in the hungry and the poor. These people could be angels waiting to help us expedite the washing away of our karma. Know that he who comes to us for help or assistance, food or drink, or asking other forms of aid neither with bonds attached nor a deal, could in fact be an angel seeking to help us rid or lessen our baggage of karma. Doing charity elevates us and elevates the other too. Showing kindness brings joy to both. Feeding another brings immense joy to both too. Bring the ecstasy of god into you. Touch all those who come into your lives with love. Be the light for those who live in the dark. Be the eyes to those who have lost their sight. Be the limp for those who have lost it.

If consciousness creates our experiences, collective consciousness creates the environment and the resulting experience for us. Thoughts are powerful indeed. And collective thoughts and prayers do deliver, doing wonders. When we come together and pray for a better world, a good leader arises to fulfill our wishes. When we come together and put forth a righteous desire, consciousness moves accordingly and delivers our wish. Just as for a desired change to happen, we have allowed it, similarly if injustice takes place, we have allowed it to happen too. We have to remind ourselves that it is we who allow a demon or a saint to materialize.

Tavayogi desired to spread the teachings of the Siddhas. The Siddhas then came to his aid, providing the fertile ground, prepared the seekers and aspirants on this path ahead so that he could sow the seed of knowledge in them. The collective yearning of souls seeking the teachings of the Siddhas, bring forth a guru. 

Life is just a process do not get caught up in the process but move on. Everybody is here to bring us an experience be it bitter or sweet. Here then is an opportunity for us to bring out the noble attitudes in us, like giving, sharing, showing kindness, being creative, gentle, patient, helpful, friendly, considerate, forgiving, compassionate, and loving. Just as the young soul seeked to experience a particular value that of forgiving, many opportunities are created every moment of our lives so that we can bring out these values and experience the joy derived thereafter. During the course of cruising through life and what it has to offer, it would be desirable to see even the opponent as an angel, for it could be an angel come down to give us an experience, though bitter, and see how we would handle the situation.

As Neale wrote in his "Conversations with God", learn to heal the hurt of others; quell the anxieties of the fearful; meet the needs of the impoverished; celebrate the magnificence of the accomplished and see the vision of god in all.

Eventually when we are spiritually matured and when we learn to see all things as unreal, an illusion or maya there would be no real suffering or real pain. That was what Agathiyar told me when he brushed aside the physical agony and intense pain that ran through my body, that had crippled me, limiting my movements and affecting my mobility that I went through for 2 1/2 years back then in 2011. When we come to know the impermanence of live and nature we come to a total understanding of all that is going on around us. Nature teaches us the impermanence of things if only we chose to look around. Everything is changing each instant, each moment, and each second. The path is also the destination, evolving and changing moment to moment. It is akin to carrying a mat rolled up and laying it along as we take each step. It is not something laid out in advance for us to walk on. It is we who determine our experiences. It is we who attract the company. Since it is we who asked for it, we are given the tools and company to experience it. Prapanjam comes to our aid and reveals itself, reveals its workings. Realize that the moment is pretty alive and full of joy and discovery. 

We cannot certainly run away from illness but we sure can have the spirit in us heal us besides the medical attention given and the prayers put forward. God would not intervene in our lives unless we sent out a SOS, a prayer or asked him for assistance. This healing begins with bringing the spirit of god within through constant prayers and through service. In a classic case among many, Agathiyar saved a devotee from death by giving him his breath, bringing him out of his coma and does a wonder miracle where new arteries developed avoiding the need for further surgery. All he asked was that devotees gather and pray for the soul, which they did. Prayers and service then serve as a balm to the spirit and body. Agathiyar too mentions that the spirit has to be strengthened; we need to achieve Atma Balam. 

The spirit having gods essence in it and being the medium that communicates with god, takes charge of the mind and body. Having god come unto us, he then fulfills all our righteous desires too. The divine then works through us. He equips and prepares us to do his job. His knowledge pours into us so as to enable us to carry out his will. As an extension of this, we begin to see the light in god; we begin to see the light in us and we begin to see the light in others too. We begin to realize that all paths are precious and important. They are there and serve those who come along. As Betty says, very special people were placed all over the earth in all faiths so that they may touch the lives of others too, we need to join this category. 

There is an intelligence behind everything. This intelligence submits itself to god. Having taken a material body that is constantly in conflict with the spirit, the purpose now is to find a harmony between the two. A strong spirit keeps both the body and mind under its surveillance and control. The spirit in turn is governed by love. If only we could add love as an ingredient in all our dealings we have served and lived well, completing our purpose for taking birth.

Nobody can fathom or understand the play of god. But there is a reason for everything to take place. Acceptance is the key to surfing and sailing through this life. See everything that takes place positively. Each experience bitter or otherwise helps us grow spiritually. The soul that separated itself from its source, in need and in search of experiences, came down to earth. This is something we wanted in the past. While we came to learn new things, we also came to apply what we had learnt earlier. Rather then cry out that we cannot take it any longer in the face of trial and tribulation and extreme test, convert that sorrow into something productive, something useful, that would be of help or use to another. This would be our greatest triumph.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

ANNADHANAM

In conjunction with Sri Konganar Siddhar Jayanthi (06/05/2018) and Sri Bhogar Maharishi Jayanthi (14/05/2018) Thondu Seivom with support from Amudha Surabhi handed buns and drinks together with toiletries to the homeless in Kuala Lumpur city last night.















Sunday, 13 May 2018

PRAYERS & MA

It is said that when each of us takes birth a star is born in the sky. It stays there till our life comes to an end. It was mentioned that when Bhagavan Ramana left his mortal frame, a comet fell from the sky at precisely the same moment. Alternatively we are told that beacons of light emerging from the earth are visible from the heavens. 

Betty J Eadie writes in her book "Embraced by the Light", where she speaks about her near death experience, that as she watched the world from the heavens, she saw beacons of light shoot up into the sky. These were supposedly the prayers emitting from individuals. Some were broad and large while others were akin to pen lights and mere sparks. She saw angels rushing to answer these prayers, responding to the brighter lights or prayers first. Insincere prayers were not heard while those in dire straits and immediate need of help are responded to immediately. She was also told that there is no greater prayer than that of a mother for her children. These were the purest of prayers with no self interest in it. The mother gives herself to the children, hence her prayers are intense. The mother's prayer is always heard. When I went for a nadi reading, Agathiyar lectured me one solid hour on anger management. I knew that my mother had reached him. My mother used to ask Agathiyar since she knew I loved him a lot, that I should drop my anger. She was a smart lady. She knew who to approach.

Betty has an advise for us too. Pray for whatever you desire and let go. Let god do his will. When his will becomes ours too, we see the prayer answered. She reminds us that in praying for someone at his deathbed one should ask for gods will to be done, rather then insist on our desire, otherwise we could end up frustrating and or delaying the transition that the person was undertaking. Avoid a conflict from arising at these times. It would help to just let the soul go. She adds that god answers prayers according to our eternal needs, fully able to see the past and future. He knows best. The outcome is always perfect although we see it otherwise. 

There was no need to repeat a prayer or requests. With a single prayer said, then comes faith and lots of patience. Do not forget to thank him when he has granted your wishes. Betty says it beautifully, "In humility we must ask and in gratitude we must receive." 

Prayers brings god to us. With constant prayers we will come to know that he lives among us.



In this song penned by Gowri Arumugam and Tavayogi the question, "Who are you, please tell me", "Yarapa nee konjam sollappa" is the question we ask often these days. The reason. He has come into our lives and shows his presence in all situations and moments, baffling us and bringing us to exalted states of bliss. He moves us. He initiates things. He motivates us. He guides us. He advises us. He comforts us. He is Agathiyar.

He clears the path. He drives away our enemies. He is felt as a force field. He shields us. He stays with us. He hugs us. He blesses us. He gives us hope. He drives away the darkness. He shows us the light. He is Agathiyar.

He is father. He is mother. He is guardian. He is companion. He is guru. He is teacher. He is master. He is tutor. He is all these put together. He is Agathiyar.

He has taken charge of our lives. When he comes into our lives all else drops; all else becomes secondary. He is paving the path so that we too can experience the bliss and the state that he is in. He is Agathiyar.

Where is he then? We recognize his presence but not his form. We feel his presence in quiet moments. We feel his presence in the company of good souls. We feel his presence while out with nature. 

Tavayogi tells me to extend these moments of bliss. Spend more time with him. Spend time in his presence. Spend time alone with him. Stay close to him. Be with him. Just sit in his presence. He shall show himself. He shall show himself when we have the time for him. He shall show himself when our thoughts settle down.

Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

CALL OUT THE DIVINE

When you come across obstacles call out to Vinayaga; when you are oppressed call out to Muruga; when you are confronted with fear call out to Siva; when you are faced with death call out to Narayana; when you need a hug call out to Ma; when you need a comforting word call out to Agathiya. We have so many forms of that one god whom we can approach without fear in times of our need.







Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Enna Kavi Paadinaalum

Hari Narayana

When a colleague told me he would turn spiritual when he was fifty years of age, I stared at him thinking what if we don't live that long. The seeking and the journey needs to start young, where there is a strong will and a good physique to take us on this journey of discovery. 



LET IN THE LORD

"Everything is just a process" wrote Balamurugan. How true his observation is. Today I have come to understand that too. There is no actual blueprint out there. Only possibilities. Several possibilities. Options and choices are thrown in. We decide on what is best. But there are times we realize that we have erred. We then think we should have acted otherwise.

When I was asked to see Tavayogi the same night and receive initiation - again, both Tavayogi and I were puzzled as he had already initiated me and my wife together with several others some weeks earlier. I could have stayed away but when I decided to follow Agathiyar's dictate the earlier Nadi reading was erased and replaced. The contents changed and I was given new directions. 

When Agathiyar mentioned that my present home will not do, for the reason it was small, and would not accommodate the people he was about to send, I just looked straight into his eyes. I was not going to answer to both Lord Muruga and him in the affirmative on their request to build a temple. After a moment he broke the silence and asked me if I would not do it. That stunned me. Both of us remained silent. Then he continued, "Fine in that case I shall get it done." What else could I say but to bring my hands together and thank him. I stood stupefied. Here was a conversation with Erai in real time through the channel of a medium.

Earlier when Lord Muruga mentioned that he would send more people over to my home, I thought to myself, "Oh God, my home would not accommodate them. As it is, the poor devotees of his are watching the proceedings through an open window for lack of space in the living room." Immediately he asked if I was thinking would I have space in my home to accommodate them. Then he gave a solution to that too. He proposed that I build a temple for him. And my thoughts reeled and hit the ceiling, "Oh God, not another temple. Aren't there enough temples as it is for you Muruga?" He replies that, yes, he was aware there are many temples for him in Malaysia, but he still wanted me to build one. Would you believe that! He was practically reading my mind. I sat stupefied. Here was a conversation with Erai in real time through the medium of the Nadi.

When I went for my very first Nadi reading, Agathiyar asked for a temple. I felt proud thinking I was the chosen one. But Sivabalan who sat through the reading assisting in translating the contents of the Nadi reading told me not to be over-joyous for the request had come in some fifty Nadi readings of others.

Erai puts a bait in front of us and watches if we catch it. If we went for it, the possibilities changed accordingly. If we chose not to do it, the repercussions were different. So life indeed is dynamic, determined from moment to moment according to our state of mind, decisions and actions. 

I am stunned at the series of fortunate events that are taking place. Is all this a dream or is it actually happening, I have asked myself many a time.

Right from the beginning I had rejected many proposals from Agathiyar to go places and to get the blessings of other Gurus in physical form. I told him I was not going as I already had him. I had also rejected lucrative offers from him. I told him I did not want them. I only wanted him. He listened both times.

I realize now when we choose to walk a path, the path unfolds before us, piece by piece; laid out, moment to moment. Everything is dynamic and in a state of motion. Nothing is still. There is movement 24/7. That is the dance of Shiva. Once the dance stops, everything settles to dust. We are here is to transform overselves before we turn to dust. 

There could be many reasons to have taken birth. We are told that the reason we take birth is to harvest the fruits of our past deeds. But it is rather unfair to put us through the treadmill for our past actions that we do not have any recollection whatsoever now in the present. This birth could also be a reward where one is showered with comfort and pleasure. In that case we would not complain at all. Or we could have come again for a bigger purpose. His purpose. Whatever the reason we are here now. We could actually mould our lives from this very moment. You could not have done that as an infant, a toddler, or as a teen as you would have been very much dependent on an elder. But it is possible to do so as an adult. 

You can define your life, the way you want it to happen. You are your own creative artist. You can draw each panel of the storyboard of your life as how you perceived and wanted. We have been given the freedom to be an artist to paint ourselves and also the environment we wanted. You can bring all things beautiful into your life. You can bring happiness into your lives. You have been given the liberty to erase those things that despise you too. Shut out the negative forces and its emissaries. Take a moment to envision what you want and draw it out mentally. 

It might not be easy for many of us. This battle has been going on for ages, since time immemorial. History would attest to it. Myths and legends abound about the many battles fought between the good and evil, god and the demon.

But it is possible. You might not be able to battle the demon alone. You might need assistance. You might need to bring in the cavalry. This is where we seek divine help to battle the odds. Let him send the reinforcements to battle the evil. 

Do what you need to do. In event you need assistance turn to him. I believe this is what has been going on for ages too where devotees make offerings or promise certain things in return for favors and fulfillment of their desires and wants, material needs and comfort, for good health and wealth etc. 

Today I realize that we could actually work together with Erai to change our fate in its entirety. Open the door to Erai. Let the Lord in. Take his hand. With the coming of Erai, changes take place. Doors open up. Hearts open up. Bliss prevails. 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

While traveling on this journey, I met resistance on several thorny issues. These experiences made me ponder on these matters deeply.

On Idol Worship

Agathiyar had instructed me to worship his idol. Then comes along a head of an establishment that was run in the name of Agathiyar, telling me it was wrong to worship idols. He came down hard on me, shooting down my worship, by pointing out verses of another Siddha, Sivavakiyar, who defied all forms of external worship. 

I told the head he might not need it being a seasoned devotee but I needed idol worship as I was new to the path. Coming back and looking through his text, I realized Sivavakiyar himself invoked Lord Ganapathy before beginning to deliver the songs. One should understand the state Sivavakiyar was in when he sang these phrases. He was in an advanced state. This was mentioned by Tavayogi too in a speech during the annual vizha at his ashram. After years of idol worship, today I will boldly tell Sivavakiyar that the stone speaks, the stone sees, the stone hears and the stone transmits its energy.

Tavayogi when he decided to conduct the lighting of the fire pits in a big scale for the first time, during Agathiyar's Jayanthi and Guru Puja, told me it was for the good of prapanjam, to help prevent the occurrences of natural calamities. When I questioned him why he wanted to go ahead building a temple complex for Agathiyar, he again told me it was not for him but the public. Indeed he need not take on these rituals and projects for he had already decided to go into samadhi when he arrived at Kallar. He tells me it was the will of Agathiyar. Tavayogi was chosen to leave the family and to serve the public, as disclosed by Agathiyar to his daughter. If he was to be with the family he would only serve them but now he could serve everyone, Agathiyar pacified his daughter. Indeed Tavayogi has brought many to the path of the Siddhas. I was one of them.

When I dragged my feet to conduct Homam and perform libation to Agathiyar's statue, instructed by Tavayogi and Agathiyar respectively, Agathiyar told me too it was not for me but for the good of the prapanjam. Today both Lord Muruga and Agathiyar have asked me to build a temple for them, something I had refused to engage with all this while. Maybe there was a reason. Maybe it was for the bigger good.

On laying conditions and restrictions

If Erai is said to shower unconditional love, then would he place conditions for his devotees to comply before accepting them into his fold? If all was his creation how can he be bias, loving one and disregarding the other, favoring one and rejecting the other. Does he judge people based on their faith, belief, nature, character, deeds, and eating habits? 

To my understanding the all loving Erai has to be impartial. Erai has to shower his grace on all of his creation irrespective of all the above. 

Ramalinga Adigal who was brought to a state of immense compassion that reached out to the plant kingdom too, describes his sadness, "Vaadiya Payirai Kanda Pothellam Vadinen". He was saddened to see the plant and the weeds wilt in the heat of the day. I begin to wonder then what he took for a meal? If he had excluded animal meat and tubers, his only option was greens and grains. But here his compassion went beyond the human and animal kingdom to include the plants too. 

Then again I remember Tavayogi's words in reference to Sivavakiyar's songs. One should remember the state Ramalinga Adigal was in when he sang these and other phrases. He became both creator and creation. He saw himself in all things. He was partaking the ambrosia, the divine nectar and hence did not have the need to sustain on food.

On breaking tradition and beliefs

Mahakavi Bharathi broke the norms and tradition and moved away from them to rediscover himself. He saw the world, custom, tradition and even Erai anew and in a new light, but certain quarters came down hard on him for his radical views.

Deeply hurt, he tells Sakthi that it was she who gave him a brilliant mind and the intelligence to ponder, digest, analyze and finally come to the realization. She had enlightened him. 

Buddha says we all have the Buddha nature, the seed of enlightenment, within us. Its only that we do not realize we are divine by nature. As Buddha says his responsibility is just to show the path, the Guru comes along to remove the veil and show us our true nature. 

Just as Donald S. Lopez, Jr. quotes master Qingyuan Weixin in his post at https://tricycle.org/magazine/first-there-mountain-then-there-no-mountain/ “Before I had studied Ch’an for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance, I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers”, first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

When I came to meet Tavayogi in Malaysia the very first time, he passed me the dictate, "Arul Gnana Jhothiye Agathin Jhothi Taniperungkadavule Agatheesar Aavaar" - that Agathiyar was Erai. 

Then in the confines of his ashram in India, he reveals “Vaasiye Agathiyan”, - that Agathiyar was “the Breath.” 

When Agathiyar revived several devotees on the threshold of death, he revealed that he gave them his breath so that they should survive.

After stepping out from the Nattadreeswarar temple in the middle of Kaveri river, Tavayogi turn to me and said “Agathiyanum Shivanum Onnu”, - that Agathiyar and Shiva were one.

After a Nadi reading from Bhrigu Munivar, I was blessed by Saint Raghavendra who came through his devotee as promised in the reading. Raghavendra said, “Naanum Agathiyanum Ondru”, - that Raghavendra and Agathiyan were one. 

Lord Muruga in the Nadi too has mentioned to me and others the same - that Muruga and Agathiyan were one. 

Agathiyar himself mentions that he is the Prapanjam and that the Prapanjam is in him. 

When I was in Kallar Ashram the very first time, I told Tavayogi that I intended to remove the numerous pictures of Gods, Goddesses and saints that I had at my altar and those that were lined up on all four walls of my prayer room. My reason, I told him, was if the idea to have a light or a statue or a picture at the altar was to help us focus and concentrate on a single object and slowly move into the meditative state, having all these “artifacts” defeats the very purpose. He replied that I shall do the same the moment I returned to Malaysia. Although I found it painful and difficult to remove these timeless possessions of mine that I have come to create a bond and attachment with, I did it. I only had a picture of Agathiyar. Today his picture is replaced by his bronze statue. I chose to see all the Gods and Goddesses in his statue. During the festivals, Shivarathri, Navarathri, Vinayagar Chaturthi, Rama Navami, Krishna Jayanthi, Thaiposam,etc, I dressed Agathiyar up, decorated him and sang the songs of praise to the respective deity whom we were celebrating on that day. Agathiyar tells me that is the way and the truth too.

Today the Agathiyar murthy at AVM stands as an embodiment of love. Today he has gone beyond form and showers his unconditional love upon us. He showed me "Erai equates to love." After bringing me to walk the talk with Tavayogi on this path, bringing me and others alike to perform rituals and worship his idol, today he has given me a dictate to welcome and shower love and offer food to all those souls he sends to AVM. We are indeed blessed to have heeded his words and taken this journey with the Siddhas.

As Balamurugan says,
Clarity improves continuously. Each time we think that we are clearer (in mind & action), something new shall challenge us and break the same. Hence, clarity itself is a part of Maya. Lingothbhavar..... there is no end as such. Everything is just a process.
"But now that I have got its very substance, I am at rest." How wonderful. With the coming of the Guru comes clear understanding. I am at rest.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

THE KARMIC CYCLE

A beautiful message from Sanjivji, New Delhi.
William Shakespeare has so beautifully written: 
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. 
I have sometimes wondered if there is a karmic cycle too. The karmic cycle may also repeat itself with the incidences which happened in some previous lifetime manifesting in some form or other. It may not be the same but could be related… an extension …an offshoot…. something much lighter…. maybe grosser. Who can predict the divine’s play? It may be possible that some of these incidences would have been explained to us by an evolved soul or through a nadi reading. We may have ridiculed ourselves for having made such blunders. We then went on to complete the parihars and silently thought, "How could have I?” In this merry go round of life in addition to the stages are tests at every step. 
The pitfalls are many those who falls do not realize that they have missed another chance to get out of this vicious cycle and those who still walk do not know what’s round the corner. So we need to pray for those who have fallen to give them enough strength and wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong and also for those who are still walking to give them enough wisdom and strength to hold on tight. 
The Guru is on a higher pedestal than that of God. He is the one who helps us overcome all pitfalls. He is the one who shows us the ways to improve our karmas and keeps sending subtle warnings when we go wrong. He is the one who will see us through this test and see to it that we come out with flying colors and mind it this karmic cycle will confront each and every one of us this test we all have to clear with distinction. 
Imagine being told in a nadi reading that you did not respect your Guru or did not heed his advice and in a previous lifetime and in our current life we come across people who will slander and talk ill about evolved souls and want us to tow the same thoughts. We may or may not choose to ignore such people. The choice is ours. 
In the merry go round of life we will meet such people and this happens more than once. Each time we come across a different person badly wanting us to toe his thoughts to pollute us and take us away from this beautiful journey He has already fallen straight into the pit. We could too, so let’s tread carefully. The choice becomes ours whether we have to hold on tightly and somehow get out of this never ending circle of life and death or let go and once again open our eyes to find ourselves in the same vicious circle. 
We need to give back to creation in whatever form we can. Help a friend, a neighbour, an acquaintance, someone unknown, someone hungry, some voiceless creatures, stop slandering. After all we do not know which test was for us. 
We may decide to contribute our bit to creation or may choose to ignore but the tests will take place as scheduled on the destined day and time. Are we prepared? 
It is here that the grace of Agastya works……

BRINGING THE DIVINE INTO OUR LIVES

The very first step starts below our feet and after all the pilgrimage, journey and travel it ends at the same place we started - below our feet. From inertia to activity and back to inertia, we come one full circle. 

During the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese Ch’an [Zen in Japanese] master Qingyuan Weixin famously wrote: “Before I had studied Ch’an for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance, I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.” First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
As Pico Iyer mentions,
"... the injunction I see whenever I step into a temple in Kyoto, aimed at innocent seekers after truth: “Look Beneath Your Feet.”,
Paradise is not somewhere out there but right below your feet and bliss is within your reach, in you, and bliss is YOU.

As a bachelor, I had much time on my hands after work. I took up prayers to fill the time. The prayers at dusk were so satisfying that it drove me to wake up early in the morning the next day and perform them at dawn too.

I gathered all the songs I could lay my hands on. I picked up Shiva Sri Muthukumara Shivachariyar's "Ella Vazhipaadu" that served as a good guide to home prayers. I had a simple altar made by the carpenter at the construction site and arranged all the pictures of the Gods and Goddesses on it. I plucked the flowers that grew on the fringes of the adjacent estate grounds just outside the back door of my home. I picked them a day earlier in the evening for use at dawn, placing them in a tray of water.

I would invite the deity to the home as Shivachariyar mentions beginning with Avaahaanam, Aasanam, Paathyam, Arkyam, Aasamaniyam, Mathuparkam, Snanam, Aasamaniyam, Vastram, Ubaveetham, Aabaranam, Kantham, Atchathai, Pushpam, Archanai followed by Thupam, Theepam, Neivethiyam, Paaniyam, Aasamaniyam, Taampulam, Karpura Aaratthi, Mantrapuspam, and finally Thothiram, Nithya Paaraayanam, Japam, Dhiyaanam, Prathanai, Saanthi Matram, Karpura Aaratthi, Mangalam, Piraayasittham, Samarpanam, Yathaastthanama, and Aasamanama. The whole ritual was divine and sacred in nature holding the thought and envisioning the arrival of the deity and serving him/her as we would a visitor to the home. I would also visit the temples daily. This was in the eighties.

Lord Shiva came in a dream and asked that I take a break from asking all the questions and doubts that came up as a result of much reading of spiritual material, that did not reflect in real life. The nineties saw me stay away from all forms of worship, some 14 years.

All my home prayers and temple worship finally paid off, when into the new century, he felt the time was right and he sent his message through my nephew bringing me back on board his wagon. Equipped with Lord Vishnu's mantra AUM NAMO BHAGAVATHEY VASUDEVAYA NAMA and Dhakshanamurthy's picture, I was told to start the journey immediately and promised the arrival of a Guru in a year's time.

The turn of the century brought me to read the Nadi too, for the very first time, where Agathiyar told me to worship Lord Vinayagar. I did as told. I started chanting his mantra that I picked up from doing some search. It was AUM GAM GANAPATHEYE NAMAHA. 

Lord Vinayaga who is invoked at the start of all tasks, is known to dispel darkness, remove obstacles, pave the way for a smooth transition in all our endeavors. He is said to reside in the Muladhara, the first chakra in the subtle plane. On the physical plane he is always found at the entrance to temples, sitting quietly in a corner almost oblivious to all passerby. 

Place your asking with Lord Vinayagar. He shall open all subsequent doors, be it the darshan of the Gods and Goddesses or the hearts of humans. 

காரிய சித்தி மாலை (காசிப முனிவர்) 

பந்தம் அகற்றும் அநந்தகுணப் பரப்பும் எவன்பால் உதிக்குமோ
எந்த உலகும் எவனிடத்தில் ஈண்டி இருந்து கரக்குமோ
சந்தமறை ஆகமங் கலைகள் அனைத்தும் எவன்பால் தகவருமோ
அந்த இறையாம் கணபதியை அன்பு கூரத் தொழுகின்றோம்.

உலகமுழுவதும் நீக்கமற ஒன்றாய் நிற்கும்பொருள் எவன்அவ்
உலகிற்பிறக்கும் விவகாரங்கள் உறாதமேலாம் ஒளியாவன்?
உலகம் புரியும் வினைப் பயனை ஊட்டும் களைகண் எவன் அந்த
உலக முதலைக் கணபதியை உவந்து சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

இடர்கள் முழுதும் எவனருளால் எரிவீழும் பஞ்சென மாயும்
தொடரும் உயிர்கள் எவனருளால் சுரர்வழ் பதியும் உறச்செய்யும்
கடவுள் முதலோர்க்கு ஊறின்றி கருமம் எவனால் முடிவுறும் அத்
தடவுமருப்புக் கணபதி பொன் சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

மூர்த்தியாகித் தலமாகி முந்நீர் கங்கை முதலான
தீர்த்தமாகி அறிந்தறியாத் திறத்தினாலும் உயிர்க்கு நலம்
ஆர்த்திநாளும் அறியாமை அகற்றி அறிவிப்பான் எவன் அப்
போர்த்த கருணைக் கணபதியைப் புகழ்ந்து சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

செய்யும் வினையின் முதல்யாவன் செய்யப்படும் அப்பொருள் யாவன்
ஐயமின்றி உளதாகும் அந்தக் கருமப் பயன் யாவன்
உய்யும் வினையின் பயன் விளைவில் ஊட்டி விடுப்பான் எவன் அந்தப்
பொய்யி இறையைக் கணபதியைப் புரிந்து சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

வேதம் அளந்தும் அறிவரிய விகிர்தன் யாவன் விழுத்தகைய
வேத முடிவில் நடம் நவிலும் விமலன் யாவன் விளங்குபர
நாதமுடிவில் வீற்றிருக்கும் நாதன்எவன் எண்குணன் எவன்அப்
போதமுதலைக் கணபதியைப் புகழ்ந்து சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

மண்ணின் ஓர் ஐங்குணமாகி வதிவான் எவன் நீரிடை நான்காய்
நண்ணி அமர்வான் எவன்தீயின் மூன்றாய் நவில்வான் எவன் வளியின்
எண்ணும் இரண்டு குணமாகி இயைவான் எவன் வானிடை ஒன்றாம்
அண்ணல் எவன் அக்கணபதியை அன்பிற் சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

பாச அறிவில் பசுஅறிவில் பற்றற்கரிய பரன்யாவன்
பாச அறிவும் பசுஅறிவும் பயிலப் பணிக்கும் அவன்யாவன்
பாச அறிவும் பசுஅறிவும் பாற்றி மேலாம் அறிவான
தேசன் எவன் அக்கணபதியைத் திகழச் சரணம் அடைகின்றோம்.

நூற்பயன்

இந்த நமது தோத்திரத்தை யாவன் மூன்று தினமும் உம்மைச்
சந்தி களில்தோத் திரஞ்செயினும் சகல கரும சித்திபெறும்
சிந்தை மகிழச் சுகம்பெறும்எண் தினம்உச் சரிக்கின் சதுர்த்தியிடைப்
பந்தம் அகல ஓர்எண்கால் படிக்கில் அட்ட சித்தியுறும்.

திங்கள் இரண்டு தினந்தோறும் திகழஒருபான் முறையோதில்
தங்கும் அரச வசியமாம் தயங்க இருபத் தொருமுறைமை
பொங்கும் உழுவ லால்கிளப்பின் பொருவின் மைந்தர் விழுக்கல்வி
துங்க வெறுக்கை முதற்பலவும் தோன்றும் எனச்செப் பினர் மறைந்தார்


He has paved the way to enlightenment for many a saint.



I am glad I began to worship Lord Vinayagar as requested by Agathiyar for he showed me my Guru - Agathiyar. Today both the guru and disciple spend many sacred, intimate and precious moments in the comfort and prestigious space of the home - the Guru expounding, and the student understanding and comprehending the wisdom, experiencing and absorbing the bliss and hopefully one day with his grace merge with the other, just as implored by Saint Nakirar in his Vinayagar Thiruagaval. Indeed bliss is at the feet of the Guru.

மோனா ஞான முழுதும் அளித்து
சிற்பரிப் பூரண சிவத்தைக் காண
நற்சிவ நிட்கள நாட்டமுந் தந்து
குருவுஞ் சீடனுங் கூடிக் கலந்து
இருவரும் ஒரு தனியிடந் தனிற் சேர்ந்து
தானந்தமாகித் தற்பர வெளியில்
ஆனந்த போத அறிவைக் கலந்து
ஈசனிைணயடியிருத்தி
மனத்தே நீயே நானாய்
நானே நீயாய்க்
காயா புரியைக் கனவெனவுணா்ந்து
எல்லாமுன் செயலென்ேற உணர
நல்லா உன்னருள் நாட்டந் தருவாய்
காரண குருவே கற்பகத் களிேற
வாரணமுகத்து வள்ளலே போற்றி

Beginning with the worship of Lord Vinayagar, Agathiyar threw in the worship of Lord Shiva and the Siddhas too. I picked up all available literature by Thavathiru Rengaraja Desigar of Thuraiyur from the local chapter of his mission and started chanting the names of the Siddhas. I had the rare opportunity to come upon Supramania Swami of Thiruvannamalai, my very first Guru in the physical form, who was  a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. Those were some wonderful five years we communicated before he went into samadhi. Tavayogi from Kallar Ashram came along to guide me further on Siddha worship.

From the moment the Guru arrives, the path is cleared and made clearly visible to the disciple. Whether you are vegetarian or not, whether you frequent temples or not, whether your are religious or otherwise, whether you are spiritual or otherwise, nothing is permanent that the Guru cannot mend or change. The disciple would not have to drop anything, it all drops on its own when the Guru arrives.

As Balamurugan says we are conducting prayers in conducive surroundings, in the comfort of our homes and temples, he invites us to the outbound rocky mountainous and snow-clad terrains of Kailash, where we see the locals travel long distances taking a few steps, falling on their knees and laying down in salutation to the mighty mountain, get up on their feet, take another step forward and are back on their knees laying flat on the ground again before repeating the cycle. Watch from 55.26.


True. I don't think I could perform this feat in the wilderness. Similarly I don't think I could perform or go through what Tavayogi had gone through to attain his present state.

The divine has chose to come to us easily in the comfort of our homes, so do not look away. Let him in. Let him into your homes. Let him into your hearts. Allow the change to take place. See the change happen. Thiruvarul Kudinaal Arputhangal Nadakkum. When his grace befalls us all things are possible. Even the impossible become possible. That is the might of Guru Seva.