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.

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This blog postings are those of beginners who have taken the first step exploring the mysterious & mystical world of Siddhas. It is purely about devotion (Bakthi) and miracles. For those who think or feel that they have advanced spiritually and passed these initial, preliminary and primary stages, please reserve your comment.