“Do we have any chemical to wipe out impurities in our mind”, Yes, says our holy literature. Texts packed with spiritual exercises take the role of detergents in this task. The mind can be flushed of dirt by strictly adhering to the doctrines embedded in sacred books and by upholding the guidelines laid down in religious manuals gifted by sages and seers to posterity.
The choice from them should be selective, easy to adopt worthy, digestible and dependable. The impact of modern science and scriptural books on a person is different. Both if properly understood and utilised, will help in man’s progress.
The essence brought out from scriptures on which we plan to depend, should. lead us to realise “what and where we are”. An earnest enquiry towards this end by saints had resulted in spreading sublime thoughts. We should accept them with faith.
One of the images of the Lord depicts (the first) three fingers of His right hand pointing upwards, and the other two (the thumb and the first finger), placed one on the other, pointing towards devotees before him. This signifies that in spiritual pursuit, the first exercise is self- realisation.
The mind is clouded by ignorance. It is like a tortoise withdrawing all its limbs within its bony shell. When warm water is sprinkled, it will slowly rear its head and spread out its limbs Real knowledge can be acquired, like the tortoise coming out of the shell, when ignorance is removed. Acquaintance with saintly souls and reading their teachings will enable aspirants to seek truth even as the tortoise feeling the warmth of hot water comes out.
Seekers of spiritual knowledge should demonstrate their sincerity by their virtuous living and look up with self-confidence. The creator is in no way responsible for a man’s sufferings and hence there is no need to curse destiny, said Sri Kundrakkudi Adigalar in a lecture on Saiva Siddhanta.
In the southern region, great souls had systematised a way of life and prescribed practical methods for being adopted even by laymen. The Saiva philosophy is extremely liberal in its outlook. While spelling out the instructions for men to avoid pitfalls, saints had in mind the limitations of ordinary human beings and’ their day-to-day problems.
A student in search of enlightenment and who goes through the immortal outpourings of the four Samayacharyas Appar J nanasambandar, sundarar and Manickavachagar and in the later period of Meikkandar and after him numerous visionaries will easily find an answer to the very basic question What is religion and why its need.