Experiencing His grace

Those who seek moksha spurn worldly desires and spend

time in meditation, said K. Sambandan in a discourse.

In Thirumurugatrupadai, Nakkeerar says that devotees

of Lord Shanmukha look like skeletons because they have

been fasting. Manickavachagar in his Thiruvachagam says

that he has become like an insane person because of his

inordinate love for Lord Siva. He cries for Him; he faints;

he loses his balance, and rolls on the floor. Those who hear

him are scared, and those who hear about his activities are

amazed. He says he is like an elephant in musth, which will

not allow the mahout to climb on to its back.

Even as Manickavachagar experienced such torment,

the Lord infused his body with honey-like sweetness. The

Lord, who is so difficult to comprehend, came to

Manickavachagar, who says he holds the Lord like a

gooseberry in the palm of his hand. He says he cannot

describe what the Lord has done. All he knows is that he

repeatedly tastes the nectarine sweetness of His mercy, but

he does not experience satiation. How can anyone have

enough of His mercy? Vallalar in one of his verses also describes the Lord as a fruit and he too finds the experience of being in the presence of the Lord  one that cannot be comprehended or described easily. Vallalar says, “This fruit [the Lord] has come to my hands. Will it go into the mouth? Will it slip down my throat easily, or will it pop out when I start

hiccuping?” It is His grace that has infused life into

Manickavachagar and has made his life worth living, the

saint exclaims. He is One who is not even understood by

Brahma. That being the case, His approachability where

Manickavachagar is concerned fills the saint with wonder

and leaves him speechless.