On 20-11-1991 at Kathmandu when I was fasting and keeping total silence whenever I began to pray, so many thoughts came and attacked my mind. I couldn’t concentrate on my prayer. Whenever I fast and keep silence, I face similar attacks on my mind and I think this is common to many other bhaktas too. Then I wrote this song pouring my heart to the Lord.
பெரிதே எனது பலவீனம்
புரிந்தே வந்தேன் இந்நேரம்
அறிந்த உனக்கிதை எடுத்துரைக்க
அவசியம் ஏதும் காண்கிலேன் நான்
இம்மியளவும் இடம் கொடுத்தால்
எய்கிறான் அவனோ தீக்கணையை
எதிர்த்து நிற்கவோ ஆற்றல் இல்லை
அதனால் அண்டினேன் உன்னடியை
பலமுறை தவறி விழுந்தவன்தான்
பகரேன் பழியை யார்மீதும்
தெரிந்தே செய்தவை அத்தனையும்
திருவே அறிந்தும் தாமதம் ஏன்?
எடுத்த தீர்மானம் எத்தனையோ
எண்ணினால் கணக்கில் அடங்கிடாது
தோற்றேன் வாழ்வில் நாள்தோறும்
தேவனே கடைக்கண் அருள்தாரும்
பலவீனம் இல்லா மாந்தருமே
பாரினில் எங்கும் வாழ்ந்ததில்லை
ஆதலால் ஏற்கேன் அவருரையை
ஐயனே அண்டினேன் திருவடியை
என்நிலை நன்கு புரிந்தவன் நீ
அந்நிலை அறிந்து வாழ்ந்ததினால் (எபிரேயர் 2:18)
ஆதலால் அளித்திடு வல்லமையை
அவனுடன் நாளும் போர்புரிய!
Great is my weakness
Knowing this I come unto you now
I don’t find any need to tell
This to you as you know me well
If I give him slight space
he hits me with his hot weapons
I don’t have strength to withstand it
Therefore I come to your feet
I fell down several times
And I won’t blame anyone for this
All were done knowingly
Oh! Graceful one why this much delay even after knowing this?
The resolutions that I took
But I was defeated every day in life
Lord show your graceful eyes on me
No human every lived on this earth
Without any weakness
Therefore I won’t accepted their advice
And O Lord I took refuge at your feet
You know my condition
As you too lived with it (Heb. 2:18)
Therefore give me your strength
To wage war with him everyday
One comfort in my bhakti in the Lord is that He knows all my weaknesses and struggles as He came and identified with my sinful nature. This is unique with Bhagavan Muktinath. God accepts my weakness but not excuses, whereas others accept my excuses but not weakness. Incarnation is not merely a decent (avatara) in human form. In it God took my human nature. For me His ‘divinity’ is not His nature, attribute, gunas, but that is His essence, as God said, ‘I AM WHO I AM’, His divine nature is His Being that is His. Whereas taking my human nature is His attribute.
God without attribute is ‘Nirgun’. That is not His nature, character or gunas. That is what He IS. The only ‘sagun’ (with attribute) is His human nature which he voluntarily accepted. This alone helps me to understand His love, care, compassion, etc. All these human terms like mercy, love, compassion and grace (daya, preme, karuna and krupa) have now became meaningful because He took my human nature to demonstrate them to me. His dharma (essence) is divine—as ‘dharma’ derived from the root ‘dhr’ to uphold. Most of the time the terms like ‘love, mercy, grace’ makes sense only when we understand (or experience) their opposite. But can I use the same experience or understanding to know who God is? For me God is not love, as love is a relative term for me. Whereas I understand the love of God as He took my human nature. All God’s acts reveal Him but in His essence HE IS just a BEING, WITHOUT ANY ATTRIBUTE.
Here I cannot quote from Hindu scriptures as their context is completely different. If my understanding is correct, there God’s essence is divided as ‘nirgun’ and ‘sagun’ based on the relationship among God, Creation and Atman. God as the efficient cause or material cause, atman being minute part of God (vishishtadvaita?) or not different from Him (advaita), Creation both the divine play (lila) and providing the opportunity for the atman to work out its mukti and the way various schools interpreted and explained won’t help me have a comparative study on this subject—though several scholars have attempted it. Of course I have no issue in using our Indian terms like ‘nirgun’ ‘sagun’—knowing their various contexts. They are the closer terms to me to understand Muktivedic theology than straining my mind to understand Greek philosophy or Hebrew/Aramaic terms.
For me, God in His BEING is nirgun whereas His Incarnation is His sagun as He took my human nature. All His gunas are revealed through His creation and action (in history). But in His essence He is simply a BEING. Even God as a PERSON can be explained because of His Incarnation and not otherwise.
I am not sure I can explain my thoughts either in English or in Tamil. But my bhakti experiences it and that is enough for me. It allows me to share and pour my struggles with Him as He understands me because His identity with my human nature.