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Getting out of Samsara

CHENNAI: Every human birth is an opportunity to strive for salvation and this truth is reinforced emphatically in the lives of saints. It is important that each individual becomes self introspective and tries to understand the purpose of life. We have to get rid of the consequences of our actions if one has to transcend the cycle of Samsara.

Saiva Siddhanta points out that every act (good or bad) of an individual is recorded and the consequences (joy or sorrow) have to be faced. God is the dispenser of the fruits of the acts and He does it at the appropriate time. Every birth is the result of individual destiny (Prarabdha) and during one’s lifetime, the Jivatma undergoes the consequences of some of the accumulated Karma from past lives (Sanchita).

When we are constantly engaged in likes and dislikes to objects, people, events, etc., our actions are prompted accordingly and we allow ourselves to accumulate further Karma (Agami) that will keep us tied to the cycle of birth. So it is advised that we gain the grace of a preceptor and live a pious life of devotion so that we are able to reduce the force of Karma that is the root cause of our birth.

In a lecture on Periyapuranam, Sri K. Sivakumar drew attention to Sekkizhar’s account of Saint Tirunavukkarasar, wherein the saint, who had earlier been a Jain votary and had disregarded Saivism, repents for the time lost and is motivated to expiate for his past actions.

Saint Tirunavukkarasar undertook the task of removing thorns and stones in the temple precincts as a service to the devotees of the Lord. It is believed that such selfless acts of expiation can reduce the amount of past Karma. It is possible to gain union with Siva in this birth itself provided we lead pure lives. We have to engage in Bhakti with total involvement and refrain from giving in to likes and dislikes. Such a way of life will give people an opportunity to get out of Samsara.

Both Appudhi Adigal and Saint Tirunavukkarasar exemplify the spirit of true devotion. Lord Siva’s concern for Appudhi Adigal’s devotion brought Tirunavukkarasar to his abode to bring back to life Appudhi’s eldest son who had succumbed to snake bite.

Source: "The Hindu" - Indian Newspaper, Mar, 25, 2009

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