THE WAY TO BEATITUDE.
Unlike the hymns of Devaram and other ad oratory verses the poems of Tayumanvar, though eulogistic in form are really didactic in nature. It is said "தாயுமானவர் தோத்திரத்தால் சாத்திரஞ்சாற்றினார்." To the student of the Saiva philosophy as well as to the so called Vedantists, his poems are an admiration. His chief aim in his works was to bring out the real reconciliation between the apparently conflicting philosophies of Siddhanta and Vedanta. Among his poems, true aspirants after godhead can find much practical wisdom from the few noted below:
சாட்டையிற் பம்பர சாலம் போலெலாம்
Oh heart! Understand that it is the Supreme Being like the rope which sets a humming top in motion, brings about the actions which mortals ascribe to their own agency; simply stand in the way of the divine grace without any cravings of your own; then will you find that domestic life and ascetic life are all the same to you.
The true wisdom of a real sage, no doubt, consists in bringing to personal experience that everything transpires by divine grace and man is no prime agent in any action but a mere tool in the hands of the great PRIMUM MOBILE. The Almighty* [* Compare ஆட்டுமித்தால் யாரொருவர் ஆடாதாரே. Appar's Devaram] Tayumanavar also shows a way to come by this real wisdom which is the only real everlasting solace to mortals; he says, -
தனையென்று மறந்திருப்ப அருள்வடி
இன்பந்தன்மயமே யதுவாம்! பினை
யொன்றுமிலை! இந்த இன்பமெனும்
Put do the ego, and divine grace springs up patting you with encouragement it is this bursting of grace in you that is the somum bonum of life; there is no other road to bliss; it is those that have come up to this stage that can be fitly called 'the attainers of real bliss.'
How difficult it is for mortals to bring to unswerving personal experience this short cut to beatitude is pathetically described by Tayumanavar who records his personal inability 'to stand always in the way of grace.'
சிவன்செயலாலேயாதும் வருமெனத் தேரேன்நாளும்
கவர்ந்தகொண்டிழுப்பவந்த கட்டிலே யகப்பட்டையோ
பவந்தனை பீட்டியீட்டிப்பதைக்கின்றேன் பாவியேனே.
I don't fully understand i.e. bring to personal experience, that every event is the act of God (everything transpires by divine grace); I could not dispel away the thoughts tending to my woe; the flood of desire drags me and I am entangled in it and the effect is that I began to accumulate more and more of sinful deeds (which would launch me into the expensing ocean of ceaseless births); I shudder to think of my folly.
Elsewhere he records that at times he is fully conscious of the grace which guides his actions, which again vanishes by the play of delusions due to Karma (மாயை):-
No doubt the Saint Tayumanavar strove with all earnestness after the ideal which he well understood, and he should have certainly attained eternal bliss.
It may be borne in mind that all miracles which are considered by shallow scientists to be impossible as being supernatural, are due to grace about whose transcendental laws modern science knows very little.
Among the four apostles of the Saiva faith, Manickavachakar, Appar, Tirugnanasambandhar and Sundarar, it is Tirugnanasambandhar alone that stood unswervingly always by the divine grace. Never did the ego even unconsciously take the upper hand in him. His actions therefore were all of a divine nature and it is no wonder that so many dazzling miracles such as bringing to flesh and blood with life the burnt remains of a virgin girl, putting in the blazing fire a palm leaf containing his hymns without bringing destruction to it, bringing to life the corpse of a man for the sake of a virgin in desolation, were performed by Tirugnanasambhandar. In the case of Appar and Sundarar every Saiva student is aware of occasional frustrations in their requests at the hands of Siva as they were not entirely free from the play of karma which occasionally brought them within its mischievous influence.
Ye mortals, awake the grace in you by putting down the ego and easy is, then, the track to everlasting bliss.
S. A. TIRUMALAIKOLUNDU PILLAI.