Siva manifests Himself as Guru and bestows His grace on each soul consistently with its receptive capacity. Guru appears in several roles, such as king, teacher etc. The Guru ploughs the mind and cultivates it. The seat of the Guru is the same as that of Siva. Unless God appears in the role of Guru, the soul cannot realise Siddhi and Mukthi. Devotion, knowledge and determination, these are the seeds from which grows God’s grace. The grace of Sakthi makes it easier to attain Gnana. (Tirumular: “The Guru showed me the path. I obtained Gods grace. I abandoned the way of life which had been governed by ignorance. I crossed the ocean of birth and reached the other shore”)
Tirumular: “My Lord Guru touched my head, and I found Him within me. Simultaneously with His appearance, I was invested with the position of leadership. He cut down my ignorance with His sword of Gnana. He commanded me to exercise my leadership.
“It is difficult to convey in words the experience I had when His grace flowed into my head, into my mind, into my eyes. My frame swelled into immense proportions; my eyes drank His sight in full. He is Siddhi and Mukthi; He is everything ; He is Siva. I lived in His grace. He who was not accessible even to Vishnu and Brahma revealed Himself to me, and broke the cage that had imprisoned my soul. He made my mind impregnable to the attractions of the senses. I burnt out the effects of Karma. 1 learnt the end of the Vedas.
“His manifestations are countless. He is beauty, charity, Mantra, medicine, everything is He. There were two positions, “I” and “He”. For the first time, I saw them both as one. took the “I’, and placed it at His feet as my offering. Where was the need any longer for differentiating between “I’, and “He”?
“He released me from the thirty-six tattvas, removed my fear, took me under His benign fold, and made me Siva. ‘Look! Look!’ He said. He said again: “Look at those eyes that do not see, those ears that do not hear; look at the bliss that does not diminish, the unity without the act of union, the humility which is not humble! Look, look at Nadanta-Gnana, the Knowledge behind Sound!”
He who achieves silence gets Siddhi, Mukthi, knowledge of the Source of Sound etc. God reveals Himself to those who have conquered life and death, and shows them Sivalogam. He is the incandescent flame to the saints who approach him in a state of purity.
Side by side with good roads, God has also laid paths overgrown with thorny shrubs. He who strays from the right path injures himself.
The farmer was ploughing his field. He had to suspend the ploughing for some days owing to heavy rains. When he commenced ploughing again, he saw on the field some lovely lilies. He mistook them for the eyes of his wife, and, therefore, left that portion of the field unploughed. (Exp. The farmer is the aspirant who seeks Divine Grace. Ploughing is his effort to control the organs of perception and action. The lilies are the attractions offered by the world. His failure to plough the spot where there were lilies signifies the deviation from firm determination, his weakness for holding on to his possessions. The result is the abandonment of his spiritual pursuits.)
Fear does not affect the aspirant who has steeled himself against pain and pleasure. Night and day do not exist for him. Only tapasvis can lift the veil which hides the meaning of creation and the nature of the soul.
Those who rely on their physical might, on their horses and elephants and soldiers, hare all perished. But the tapasvis who sought true knowledge remain deathless.
Give up the mechanical cramming and recitation of Sastras, and turn for a moment to look within yourself. Inward searching will reveal the light within. Of course, tapas is superfluous when you attain Samadhi.
Mastery over the sensory organs renders one immune to birth and death. There is no point in parading your learning by shouting the Sastras. No need whatever for outward formalities if you stand aside from worldly distractions. No need for any mental exercise when all exertions cease. Nothing counts in the state of Samadhi.
When one has neither the inclination nor the equipment for spiritual pursuits, one does not derive any benefit out of putting on the garb of a Gnani. Such men degrade themselves by their false pretensions. They live by begging. It is because of these pretenders, genuine Gnanis are sometimes mistaken for pretenders.
Thiru - Neeru (Holy Ashes) should be worn in plenty and in the proper manner. Nool (thread) indicates Vedanta; sikai (tuft) Gnana, The object sought is God; the sound that issues forth is Omgaram (Om).
The utter uselessness of putting on the garb of a Gnani without possessing genuine aspiration or knowledge needs reiteration. Pretenders are like dogs barking impatiently under the scaffold waiting for the corpse to fall down.
But genuine Gnanis move about the world in an attitude of absolute detachment; they see not, though having eyes; they are dead, though possessing a body that lives.
DEVOTEES OF SIVA:
Devotees of Siva are those who have been endowed with His grace. They have placed their entire selves unreservedly at His feet. Their minds are no longer harassed by doubts. Mere outward garb without inner purity cannot liberate the soul. The false paint is erased when the soul leaves the body. Therefore, do not waste your time in playing useless roles. Hold the reins tight and drive the horse: go and drink the bliss that is siva.
The teacher should be competent enough to impart correct knowledge: otherwise. Both the teacher and the taught fall into the pit, like the blind led by the blind. Your mouth speaks one thing: your mind is concerned with something else: all the while you are doing this or that which is not relevant to what you speak or think! What a tragic waste! (Tirumular: “I found out that You are the Divine Flame within me. Some men think that I am a ghost! It is those who fail to perform tapas who are still undergoing the cyclic process of birth and death”.)
Genuine aspirants learn the correct path with the aid of a Guru well - versed in the Vedas. When you get such a Guru, do not hesitate for a moment to sacrifice your all including your very life. Train yourself to enter into a state of ceaseless contemplation. And strive hard, patiently, diligently and with genuine humility, to attain Gnana.