Bodhathai kaatinai Arunachala
Arunachala! Like a black magician who uses special powder (podi) to cast a spell to hypnotise and attract his victims, you also attracted me with the powder of your pure grace, and removed my body consciousness (knowledge limited to bodily senses) and blessed me with siva bodham (knowledge of Siva).
[Note: ‘podi podudhal’ is a term in local use, certain unsavoury characters are believed to have the power to cast a spell on their victims and bring them under their control by sprinkling a special powder. ]
Siva bodham and jiva bodham (body/ego consciousness and Self knowledge) cannot exist at the same time. When one is present, the other will be hidden. Siva bodham will shine forth in the compete absence of jiva bodham. Former is real, latter is illusory.
I was so hardened by the cover of my ego-consciousness that you had to use this special means (of casting a spell with ‘podi’) to remove my false identity and make my real self shine forth, says Bhagavan. The fact that both the states of being cannot co-exist is explained beautifully in a Tirumandiram verse (by the saint Tirumular):
maraththai maRaiththathu mAmatha yAnai
maraththin maRain^thathu mAmatha yAnai
paraththai maRaiththathu pAr muthal bUtham
paraththin maRain^thathu pAr muthal bUthamE.
Meaning (the verse is about a wooden elephant and its metaphysical meaning):
The wood was hidden by the great elephant
The wood in it contained the great elephant
The Supreme was hidden by the play of five elements
The Supreme is hidden in the play of elements
Explanation: If you see the elephant wood, the elephant is hidden, if you see the elephant, the wood from which it’s made is hidden.