The benevolent cloud

Manickavachagar, in his Tiruvachagam, compares Lord

Siva to a cloud. His devotees are seen as farmers. Just as

farmers look forward to copious rains in order to harvest a

bounteous crop, so do His devotees for the rain of mercy

from the Lord. A similar thought is expressed by the

Saivite saint Appar, who says that the joy of devotees is like

the joy of farmers who behold a lake full of water. If

devotees are like farmers, what is the field that they

plough? What are the seeds that they sow? Worshipping

Him, singing His names — these constitute the field. The

seed is bhakti. So the devotee ploughs the field of worship,

bhakti being the seed, elaborated K. Sambandan in a


Manickavachagar extols Lord Siva and says that the One

who wears a snake as a belt should be praised. He is the

One who blesses the devout. He is a warrior who destroys

fear. Here fear means the fear of rebirth. Lord Siva draws

people to Him. He gets rid of sorrows, which are the

results of our karma. He is the Cosmic Dancer, whose

Consort is Uma, the Goddess with shoulders like bamboos.

To those who approach Him with love, He is a priceless

treasure. But to those who do not seek His feet, He remains

a stranger.

He is present everywhere and yet you cannot see Him.

Even your mind is incapable of comprehending His

greatness. He makes things move, or makes them

stationary, as He wills.

A Sangam period poet said the king was the lifeline of

his subjects. The Lord is the lifeline of everyone. He

sustains His devotees, and they seek succour from Him.

Manickavachagar exclaims that he is no longer able to bear

his body.