Thursday, Nov 14, 2002
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Saint Arunagirinathar (14th century) in Tamil Nadu was one such luminary in whom a quick change occurred. Born in a rich family, he spent his money indulging in worldly pleasures. His motto was to enjoy even if it became necessary to borrow and not be concerned about repayment. He followed the Charuvaka philosophy and was immersed in sensuous activities not knowing the consequences. His wife refused to accommodate him and at one stage when he was badly in need of her presence, his sister made him realise his mistake. He forgot that there should be moderation in enjoyment and did not realise that excess indulgence would result in pain. The turning point in his life came all on a sudden as his debauchery led to his contracting despicable diseases. Disgusted with his illness, he thought of ending his life by jumping from the temple tower in Tiruvannamalai when God prevented him from committing suicide. Compassion being one of the qualities of God, there was a total transformation in him as the Lord's grace descended on him. This reveals that human beings cannot question or assess His ways. Arunagirinathar was saved in time, and then he started pouring out the agony through his poems regretting his wayward life all along and his hymns were in praise of Lord Subramania for having lifted him from danger.
Swami Mitrananda in a lecture said Arunagirinathar's famous hymn `Thiruppugazh' (in praise of the lord) consisted of 16,000 verses but only about 1,300 are available now. His life and method of meditation tell us how we are mere tools in God's hands and our plans are to be approved by Him. Otherwise, a man who was almost drowned in the sea of existence could not have become a saint. Arunagirinathar's compositions tell us how while meditating on the Almighty, we should roll the beads of the rosary slowly and not utter the mantra in haste. The saint says that the mind within should be kept under control, intellect should be used, and external activities should not be allowed to disturb internal peace.
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