Sundaramoorthy Nayanar

True Devotion, Inaction in action: Parvati asked Lord Siva; "Oh! Jagat Pathi. Oh! Lord of the Universe. How is it you like very much Sundaramoorthy, when he is leading a lascivious life. This seems to me a mystery. Kindly explain this, my Lord."

[Sundaramoorthy was a Tamil saint who wrote several Tevaram songs in Tamil. He had a concubine. He was living always in her house. But his mind, the Choranari was immersed in Brahman. A Choranari while engaged in the affairs of her house, thinks of her paramour. Similarly, a Jnani always dwells in Brahman, while he uses the instrument mind for various worldly activities. Sundaramoorthy was a perfect Jnani.]

Lord Siva replied "Oh Parvathi! Siva Maya! Look at the Bhakti of Sundaramoorthy. He is a Jnani also. He is Asakta, Asanga, Nirlipta, (unattached). He is not affected by actions. I will demonstrate this to you." Lord Siva assumed the form of an old man and pretended to get himself drowned in a tank. Parvathi was standing on the shore. If anybody came to rescue the old man, Parvathi would say; "If you are a sinner, do not touch my husband." Many offered to rescue the old man but none dared to go near him when they heard Parvathi's words—"If you are a sinner...". Their hearts were tainted with the inveterate idea of "sin and vice" a strong idea of impurity, a haunting idea indeed. Sundaramoorthy came straight from the concubine's house with dishevelled hair. He saw a huge crowd near the tank and the old man in a drowning state,—the pretender Lord Siva with head coming up, and going down. He prepared himself to rescue the old man. Parvathi interposed "If you are a sinner, do not attempt to rescue my drowning husband." Sundaramoorthy remarked "Oh foolish woman! The old man is in a critical juncture. What is sin? What is virtue? It is all foolish, creative imagination or Srishti Sankalpa of the mind. Shut up your mouth. I care not a jot about those relative terms, sin and virtue. I am beyond sin and virtue. Get away, O! preposterous lady! I will jump into the water now." Sundaramoorthy plunged into the water, swam a few yards, brought the old man to the shore, gave him artificial respiration, brought back to life, and went back to the concubine's house.

Lord Siva said, "Oh Parvathi! Look at Sundaramoorthy's wisdom and Karuna, his mental attitude of 'inaction in action.' Are you satisfied now? That is the reason why I love Sundaramoorthy." Parvathi now understood the secret of action and inaction and eulogised her Lord, Siva.

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