Arutperunjothi Arutperunjothi Thaniperunkarunai Arutperunjothi


Notable happenings during childhood

In 1824, the very next month, his father Ramiah Pillai died. His sudden death forced a helpless Chinnamaiar to shift to the residence of her eldest son Sabhapati and his wife Parvathi at Chennai. When Ramalingam was five years old, Sabhapati, decided to formally educate his youngest sibling Ramalingam but the young child however showed a deep disinclination towards formal education but on the other hand preferring trips to the local Kandasamy temple. Sabhapati was convinced that the child was on a self-destructive path. As a punitive measure, he forbade his wife from giving Ramalingam his daily meal. His compassionate sister-in-law, however, surreptitiously fed him food and gently prevailed upon him to pursue his studies seriously at home. Ramalingam relented on the condition that he be given a separate room of his own. Now, in the solitary confines of this room, he set up a mirror and in front of it a small, lighted lamp. With these as aids he relentlessly meditated and this was the beginning of the young boy's spiritual journey. The first reward came in the form of a vision of Lord Muruga. In the saint's own words:

"The beauty endowed divine faces six, the illustrious shoulders twelve"

His elder brother Sabhapati was a learned scholar and upanyasaka (one who tells religious stories). It so happened that once Ramalingam had to substitute for his brother at an upanyasam session. His brilliant exposition and uninterrupted flow of words while enunciating a verse from the `Periyapuranam' by Shaivism an epic poem by Sekkizhar narrating the episodes connected with the 63 Nayanars amazed the onlookers. Later his brother also graciously acknowledged the mental and spiritual superiority of his brother. Ramalingam himself expresses his gratitude to the Divine when he says:

"Effulgent flame of grace that lit in me intelligence to know untaught"

As he made quantum leaps in his spiritual journey he progressed from being a devout Lord Siva to worshiping the formless. Totally averse to money, he was later on to shun food and even sleep. He renounced the world at the age of thirteen. Surprisingly he remained fit in form. A hurdle on his chosen path came in the form of a forced marriage to his sister's daughter. It is said that the bridegroom spent the nuptial night reading the Tiruvasakam. Possibly his ability to remain in fit form was a result of his supposed physical transformation.

 copyrights @ vallalarjyothi.com © 2011. All Rights Reserved.