Sunday 31 December 2017


2017 1231 53  The Way of a Pilgrim: Secret of Salvation, Unceasing Prayer

Jesus Prayer

"The Way of a Pilgrim"  is the English title of a 19th-century Russian work, recounting the narrator's journey as a mendicant pilgrim across Russia while practising the Jesus Prayer. It uses a pilgrim's journey as a vehicle to teach the practice of ceaseless inner prayer and communion with God. 

It has become in the West a classic of Russian Orthodox spirituality.  No book has inspired more people to set out to discover the inner springs that nurture the life of Orthodox Christians and to learn the practice of the Jesus Prayer. It has been for many, a revelation about the life of prayer.

This aim of union with God, is central to the Prayer in the Name of Jesus. Brief in form, it leads the soul to concentration and sets it face to face with God. Its tenor is such as will fix and bind into one all the forces of man, spiritual, mental, and corporal, in that single act of perfect devotion— loving adoration. It endows the being with absolute stability. At the same time it strips the soul of all subjectivity, all self-seeking, and sets it in the objectivity of the divine. It is both the path and the culmination of renunciation and self-denial.

The following excerpt is from the book “The Way of a Pilgrim”:


How is one saved?  

This godly question naturally arises in the mind of every Christian who realizes the injured and enfeebled nature of man, and what is left of its original urge towards truth and righteousness. Everyone who has even some degree of faith in immortality and recompense in the life to come is involuntarily faced by the thought, " How am I to be saved? " when he turns his eyes towards heaven. 

When he tries to find a solution of this problem, he enquires of the wise and learned. Then under their guidance he reads edifying books by spiritual writers on this subject, and sets himself unswervingly to follow out the truths and the rules he has heard and read. In all these instructions he finds constantly put before him as necessary conditions of salvation a devout life, and heroic struggles with himself which are to issue in decisive denial of self. This is to lead him on to the performance of good works, to the constant fulfilment of God's laws, and thus witness to the unshakableness and firmness of his faith. 

Ask God. Pray to God. Pray for His help.

The seeker comes across the book called Philokalia, in which twenty-five holy Fathers set forth in an understandable way the scientific knowledge of the truth and of the essence of prayer of the heart. He sees that truly to pray means to direct the thought and the memory, without relaxing, to the recollection of God, to walk in His divine Presence, to awaken oneself to His love by thinking about Him, and to link the Name of God with one's breathing and the beating of one's heart. He is guided in all this by the invocation with the lips of the most Holy Name of Jesus Christ, or by saying the Jesus Prayer at all times and in all places and during every occupation, unceasingly. These luminous truths, by enlightening the mind of the seeker and by opening up before him the way to the study and achievement of prayer, help him to go on at once to put these wise teachings into practice. 


For the Full Text of "The Secret of Salvation: Unceasing Prayer": [Click Here]


For the Full Text of "The Way of a Pilgrim": [Click Here]


Sunday 24 December 2017


2017 1224 52  Nector of Thiruvaachakam:  37.9 Pidittha Patthu பால் நினைந்து

From The  "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Oh my Treasure! Oh great Lord Sivan!
Oh You Who, very much more solicitous 
than a mother who mindfully suckles her child,
melting this sinner's flesh,
and increasing the inner light,
squirted the never-drying up honey [of bliss into my mouth]
and trailed after me from place to place!
I have [now] followed You
and have caught You firmly.
Henceforth, where will You, at Your pleasure, go? T37.9

பால் நினைந்து ஊட்டும் தாயினும் சாலப் 
பரிந்து நீ, பாவியேனுடைய 
ஊனினை உருக்கி, உள் ஒளி பெருக்கி,
உலப்பு இலா ஆனந்தம் ஆய 
தேனினைச் சொரிந்து, புறம்-புறம் திரிந்த 
செல்வமே ! சிவ பெருமானே !
யான் உனைத் தொடர்ந்து, சிக்கெனப் பிடித்தேன்;
எங்கு எழுந்து அருளுவது, இனியே ?   தி 37.9


YouTube Video: "Paal ninainthootum" sung by Lalgudi Swaminathan:  [Click Here]


Sunday 17 December 2017


2017 1217 51  Nector of Thiruvaachakam:  22.10 Koil Thiruppathikam தந்தது, உன்-தன்னை

Saint-Poet Maanikkavaachakar

From The "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

You gave Yourself to me and took me in exchange;
Oh Shankara, 
Who, indeed, is the cleverer one of us two?
Infinite Bliss I gained, what did You gain from me?
Oh Mighty Lord who has occupied my mind as Your shrine,
Oh Sivan Who abides in Thirupperunthurai,
Oh my Father, Oh Lord of the Universe,
my body You have taken as Your abode,
for this I have nothing to offer in return.   T22.10

தந்தது, உன்-தன்னை;  கொண்டது, என்-தன்னை;
சங்கரா! ஆர்-கொலோ, சதுரர்?
அந்தம் ஒன்று இல்லா ஆனந்தம் பெற்றேன்;
யாது நீ பெற்றது ஒன்று, என் பால்?
சிந்தையே கோயில் கொண்ட எம் பெருமான்!
திருப்பெருந்துறை உறை சிவனே!
எந்தையே! ஈசா! உடல் இடம் கொண்டாய்;
யான் இதற்கு இலன், ஓர் கைம்மாறே!    தி 22.10


YouTube Video: "Thanthadu un thannai" sung by MMDhandapaniDesikar: [Click Here]


Sunday 10 December 2017


2017 1210 50  Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam: Siva Puranam T

From the "Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Hallowed be Namachchivaaya  [Your Name]!
     Hallowed be the feet of Naathan [the Lord]!
Hallowed be the feet of Him Who never departs 
     from my heart even for as long as it takes to wink!
Hallowed be the feet of the precious gem of a Guru,
     Who in Kokazhi assumed lordship over me!
Hallowed be the feet of Him, Who in the guise of the Agamaas,
     Stands close [to beings and pours grace on them]!
Hallowed be the feet of the One,
     The Many, the Immanent!

நமச்சிவாய வாழ்க! நாதன் தாள் வாழ்க!
இமைப்பொழுதும் என் நெஞ்சில் நீங்கதான் தாள் வாழ்க!
கோகழி ஆண்ட குருமணி  தன் தாள் வாழ்க!
ஆகமம் ஆகி நின்று அண்ணிப்பான் தாள் வாழ்க!
ஏகன், அநேகன், இறைவன் அடி வாழ்க!  


YouTube Video: Siva Puranam sung with lyrics and meaning: [Click Here]


Sunday 3 December 2017


2017 1203 49  Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam : Thiruvaachakopanishad

From The "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Saint-Poet Maanikkavaachakar
The "poet of ruby utterances" Maanikkavaachakar sings the song of eternity, Thiruvaachakam, with a clear and serene voice, making available to the Tamils, the same pathway to God even as the Upanishads do

This "Thiruvaachakopanishad", so to say, has the nature of an autobiographical work on the Pathway to God trodden by Maanikkavaachakar.  

"Did I indeed perform penance [thavam] and 'Si vaa ya na ma' gained to chat?
Sivan, the mighty Lord, Who tastes sweet like honey and delicious ambrosia, 
Of his own accord came and entered my heart, and to me, His slave, did the gracious favour,
Of impelling me to c1wdastigate my carnal life and hate it."    T38.10

sings the saint poet.

நானேயோ தவம் செய்தேன்? 'சிவாய நம' எனப் பெற்றேன்?
தேன் ஆய், இன் அமுதமும் ஆய், தித்திக்கும் சிவ பெருமான் 
தானே வந்து, எனது உள்ளம் புகுந்து, அடியேற்கு அருள் செய்தான் --
ஊன் ஆரும் உயிர் வாழ்க்கை ஒறுத்து அன்றே, வெறுத்திடவே !   தி 38.10

"Guru" is one who leads a person out of darkness. Lord Siva himself comes as a Guru for claiming the soul of Maanikkavaachakar, who affirms this in no uncertain terms throughout  the Thiruvaachakam.


YouTube Video: "Naaneyo thavam seiden?" sung by Siva Damodharan [Click Here]