In the second line of ‘Siva Puranam’, the first poem in the Tiruvachakam, Manikkavachagar states his experience of Self-abidance by saying that Siva’s feet never ever leave his heart:
Long live [the mantra] Nama Sivaya!
Long live the feet of the Master!
Long live the feet that never, even for an eye’s blink, leave my heart!
Long live the jewel among gurus, who in Kokazhi, bent me to his rule!
Long live the feet of him who, as the Agamas, sweetly dwells!
Long live the holy feet of the One, the Many, the Being Supreme! (‘Siva Puranam’, lines 1-5)
‘Kokazhi’ means ‘great port’, a reference to Perunturai, where Manikkavachagar first encountered Siva.
Bhagavan also commented on this line by Manikkavachagar when a devotee complained that this particular truth had not been realised by him.
Bhagavan: It will be realised in due course. Till then there is devotion (bhakti). ‘Even for a trice you do not leave my mind.’ Does He leave you [at] any moment? It is you who allow your mind to wander away. He remains always steady. When your mind is fixed you say, ‘He does not leave my mind even for a trice’. How ridiculous! (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talk 306)
‘Siva Puranam’, the most frequently recited portion of the Tiruvachakam, was a particular favourite of Bhagavan. He once told Devaraja Mudaliar, ‘If ten persons should join together and sing it harmoniously, how grand it would be!’ (My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, p. 52). A full translation of ‘Siva Puranam’ by the authors of this article can be found at the end of Sri Ramana Puranam, a Ramanasramam publication.
Meanwhile a Tamil devotee opened the Tiruvachakam and began singing the ‘Songs of Pursuit’. Towards the end comes the passage, ‘O Iswara, you are trying to flee, but I am holding You fast. So where can You go and how can You escape from me?’
Bhagavan commented with a smile, ‘So it seems that He is trying to flee and they are holding Him fast! Where could He flee to? Where is He not present? Who is He? All this is nothing but a pageant. There is another sequence of songs in the same book, one of which goes, “O my Lord, You have made my mind Your abode. You have given yourself up to Me and in return have taken Me into you. Lord, which of us is the cleverer? If You have given Yourself up to me, I enjoy endless bliss, but of what use am I to You, even though You have made of my body Your temple, out of Your boundless mercy to me? What is it I could do for You in return? I have nothing now that I could call my own.” This means that there is no such thing as “I”. See the beauty of it! Where there is no such thing as “I”, who is the doer and what is it that is done, whether it be devotion or self-enquiry or samadhi?’ (Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 8th September, 1947)
Mother! Father! Matchless jewel!
Rare nectar, the ripening of love!
To me in this worm-ridden fleshly form,
I who diminish my days by multiplying falsity,
You are the treasure that bestowed upon me
that state of Sivahood, perfect and true!
Sivan, our noble Lord!
In this very birth I’ve grasped You tight!
Henceforth, how can You leave and go
elsewhere, in grace Your form to show?
Wicked as I was, the love You gave to me
was greater yet than a mother’s love,
who suckles her child, anticipating its needs!
Melting my flesh, flooding me with light within
infusing me with the nectar of undying bliss,
You are the treasure rich
that wandered with me wherever I went!
Sivan, our noble Lord!
Close following You, I’ve grasped You tight!
Henceforth how can You leave and go
elsewhere, in grace Your form to show? (‘Piditta Pattu’, vv. 3 and 9)
What You have given is Yourself.
What You took in exchange, O Sankara, is me.
Who is the wiser of us two?
What I have gained is bliss that has no end.
What single thing have You obtained from me?
O Lord who made my mind His shrine!
Hail Siva, dwelling in Holy Perunturai!
For Your taking up residence in my body,
I cannot, my father, God,
offer you any fitting recompense. (‘Koyil Tirupatikam’, verse 10)