The Mind is the instrument that reflects life or consciousness. The constituents of life are enlivened by the functioning of the mind. Unless Mind is understood through awareness, meditation and higher understanding, it cannot be grasped. The purified mind can be engaged towards understanding the Nature of mind. Spiritual discipline is a tool that is used to reform and refine the mind.
Certain small areas are not looked into as we try to fine tune our spiritual practice. We often meet roadblocks and although we try to progress in our spiritual journey it is surprising to see that we have not moved an inch. Looking at praises and insults from a spiritual angle becomes very essential to take that giant leap towards perfection.
One should understand the need for being in touch with sages and seers in the context of one's own spiritual progress. Unless one understands one's own character there can be no spiritual progress. In one's normal consitutional position, Maya covers the intellect, making it difficult to perform self-analysis. Under these circumstances consulting with a sage can be of highest merit.
Lord Shiva is the personification of Sages. All the qualities that are to be seen in the life of a sage, Lord Shiva represents it to the fullest. If one were to develop devotion to the Lord, one has to first oneself to Lord Shiva and understand His mood of service. Only then can one qualify oneself as a devotee. Understanding Lord Shiva, through the tales of the RamaCharita Mansa can become an interesting and fruitful journey.