Arutperunjothi Arutperunjothi Thaniperunkarunai Arutperunjothi
Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal (Tamil: அருட்பிரகாச வள்ளலார் சிதம்பரம் இராமலிங்க அடிகள்) born on October 5, 1823 at Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram. He is the fifth child of Thiru Ramaiah Pillai and his wife Chinnamaiar, who lived in Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram. His father expired within a year. His brother Thiru Sababathi Pillai became guardian and teacher for young Ramalngam. However, Child Ramalingam above all Teachers, he had been studied by God.
The Couple Ramaiah Pillai and his wife Chinnamaiar, have five children; the older ones were two sons, Sabhapati and Parasuraman, and two daughters, Sundarammal and Unnamali. They named their youngest child Ramalingam who enshrined into Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal (Tamil: அருட்பிரகாச வள்ளலார் சிதம்பரம் இராமலிங்க அடிகள்).
He established Samarasa Suddha Sanmarkka Sathya Sangam (Equality of all Human) n 1867. Sathya Dharmasalai established in Vadaloor in 1867 for JEEVAKARUNAYAM inter-alia:
He had Again established Siddhi Vilakam in Mettukuppam in 1870 for prayer to God and established Sathya Ghana Sabai in 1872 for teaching " to attain eternal bliss"
Vallalar Jyothi Charitable Trust is a registered charitable Organization with Government of Tamil Nadu, at Chennai, South India.
Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal (Tamil: அருட்பிரகாச வள்ளலார் சிதம்பரம் இராமலிங்க அடிகள்) born on October 5, 1823 at Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram. He is the fifth child of Thiru Ramaiah Pillai and Chinnammal couple. His father expired within a year. His brother Thiru Sababathi Pillai became guardian and teacher for young Ramalngam. However, Child Ramalingam above all Teachers, he had been studied by God.
He is the Author of and Thiruvarutpa, one of famous bros & poetry among Three facmous( Muperum Noolkal). Other two are Thevaram and Thiruvasakam all are important bros & poetry preaching about God in Tamil Leitrature which are form and part of Tamil People. Thiruvarutpa has been transalated to other many Indian Languages and in English. The one Thiruvarutpa sung by Ramalingam Adigal became famous day by day.
The Founder & Promoter of Vallalar Jyothi charitable Trust Mr. A.Subramanian and Smt. Shanthi Subramanian both are the Managing Trustees among others Mrs. Shanthi Subramanian is from Vallalar Family (Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal (Tamil: அருட்பிரகாச வள்ளலார் சிதம்பரம் இராமலிங்க அடிகள்).
Whenever virtue fails and evil prevails in the world, the Almighty incarnates in some human form or other and disappears after setting right the things.There is ample testimony to the above occurrence in Hindu Philosophy and other religions. On the other hand, we have come across several wise, learned and saintly souls, who have helped the man kind to be relieved of their miseries and misconception and reach the Godhead. But owing to their own unworthiness, some stopped here and some ceased there. Their followers who held esteem about their preceptor (Guru) have also led man kind to an uncertainty. This is all due to their misconception that they are only bodily beings and to attain God-head, one has to shed this outer body.
But the Truth is different. God is Eternal and His presence is perceived in every atom of the universe. The physical body is the outcome of the five elements, viz., ether, air, fire, water and the earth. God’s prevalence is much felt and realised only through this physical bodily life. Human beings are endowed with a reasoning mind, whereas it is not so with other creatures, as they are not equipped with that sense. With this reasoning mind, he can differentiate the good and bad and thus lead a better life.
It is thus evident that only from human body, one can realise the real form of god and consequently live a blessed life for ever. This principle though appears simple, yet the man kind has not attained the maturity to live for ever overcoming the mortality. The main reason is that he has not chosed the right path and also there was no one to guide him in this context. Till now the man was viewing the Lord from the level of the Physical body, and believed that he has been separated from God. His Expectation was that in the long run he would merge with the God and his aim will be solved then.
Almost all the religions are based only on this dualistic idea that man and God are separate entities. Without the true knowledge of our soul, God and the Component parts (the body and the universe), we were thinking and wandering so far in the wilderness of ignorance.
Thus all our past life was thought to be totally miserable. Now we have come to know that the true life of Bliss is to come from the innermost. The world may find it to be a new theory, but it is not so. Under the name of religion, the society was steeped into religious conlicts, sectarian battles and casterism. This has made it uneasy to realise the truth.
The following pages will acquaint us with a noble soul, who in the midst of so manu difficulties, has been able to become immortal, thereby establishing the will of the Almoghty that mankind alone can realise the God-head and live in Eternity with a Blessed life. The world is under the presumption that fate is the vital force acting and nothing can surpass it.
This deep rooted belief is thus falsified now in as much as it can be turned down and make it to help him in achieving the Goal of immortality.
During the nineteenth century, a new phenomenon has been brought to the world. Marudur is a small village about 15kms, south west of Neiveli, which is very well known to the world as an area containing a vast sphere of lignite and this is located in Tamilnad of South India. There lived a couple Ramiah Pillai and Chinnammayyar, who were much devoted to the God and having much faith in Saiva Siddhanta.
One day, when Ramiah Pillai was away from home, a saffron-clad saint came to their house. The guest was treated courteously and fed with good dishes. Having been pleased immensely with the courteous given to him, the saint at the time of his departure, blessed her with some sacred ash (vibudhi) and uttered the following words. “you will beget a son, who will be able to deliver the art of deathlessness, which will be a boon to the entire world” So saying the saint disappeared. Though it has been acknowledged by all as a remarkable event, the intricacy lying therin has to be understood only from a higher plane. The very moment the lady heard the words of the saint that she would bring forth a child, she conceived and this form of creation is termed as “sambupaksha shrishti”.
Creation has been classified into five divisions. Of these, the world is aware of only first two sections. i.e., to say that a combination of the male and female substances make the way for the formation of an embryo, which gradually grows into a child and brings up in the world to gain more experiences, for which it has been brought up here. Contrary to this, the “sambupaksha shrishti” is a different one, where the embryo comes into existence, the very moment the utterance comes from the mouth of a holy saint and it is a rare phenomenon in the world. Days passed in and at the end of the gestation period, the lade gave birth to a male child on the fifth day of october 1823. Blessed by the divine Grace, the beloved parents showered their love and affection on the darling child and brought him up with great care.
The child was also named ‘Ramalingam’ Usually human beings are called after the names of God especially in Tamilnad in India. The common belief that is prevailing in the society is that once they call on this name, they are induced to remember the God often. Though this may be true to some extent, it is not quite correct, since the name once assigned to him will not last after his expiry. But the Indweller is always there without any beginning or end. So the name by which he is called will remain for ever without a blank. The human being is the outer form of God and as such in whatever name he is called, it will reflect the invincible form of the Indweller only and not physical body as construed now. We shall proceed further with the history of the child as it is the theme taken up by us for elucidation. In Hinduism, it is a tradition to take a new born child to the temple and offer prayers before the Deity to bequeath the child with His Blessings. On this basis, when the child was five months old, the parents took him to Chidambaram temple to offer their grateful prayers. As usual the priest lit the camphor and offered it to the Lord at the Sanctum Sanctorum. No sooner the vision appeared, the child laughed loudly and gazed for a few seconds. A few words about this vision will get its significance. The material world is thinking that the child has laughed due to his ecstacy.
Is it a real laugh the child had? The answer is No. Then what dows it suggest? One has to understand that the effulgence of the inner Light of Grace (Arut Jothi) has been realised by the child as soon as the outer light came to his visibility. This pleasant experience has been expressed in some of the poems edited by the saint subsequently. Some of the excerpts are given below.
“No sooner the Light was perceived, happiness prevailed on me” “The sweet nectar as tasted by me as soon as the great Grand Light (Arutperunjothi) became visible”. It is uite natural that the Inner Light is Omniscient,and anyone having a mastery over it can enjoy happiness with a Blissful state.
After the inauguration of Sathya Dharmasalai at Vadalur, the saint used to live in the hermitage called "Siddhivalagam" in the village Mettukuppam. There he used to give sermons which led him to be regarded as a spiritual guide and teacher. It is said that his admirers and disciples and even Govt. Officials had changed their residence and gone to live where they could remain constantly near him.
During this time, all the poems composed in his early days were compiled in five parts by his disciple Velayuda Mudaliar. The same was printed and published in a single volume. Instead of noting the editor's name as "Chidambaram Ramalingam" which the saint used to put as his signature in all the letters and other poems he had written, the compiler noted it as "Thiru Arutprakasa Vallalar". This volume was produced before the saint for his perusal, thinking that the compiler would get the appreciation of the saint for the work done. The situation changed otherwise. Instead of giving tributes to the work done,,, the saint questioned the disciple as to why the name of the editor was changed, with whose permission it was printed and to explain the significance of the new name.
Without knowing what to do, the disciple stood before the saint with shivering body and with folded hands. Seeing his plight, the saint came to his rescue and offered the explanation as below. It is the Almighty who in the form of supreme Effulgence is bountiful in nature. Since He is termed as all giver, the name goes to the Lord himself and non else. The disciple after hearing the explanation given by the sait, left the place with a peaceful mind and narrated the incident to his fellowmen. From this time onwards, the saint ws called by that name , "Thiru Arutprakasa Vallalar", as desired by his disciples. The saint's statements are well exemplified by his own experience. He attained the experience of the Lord's Grace and earnestly wished that his fellow-men all over the world should also get similar experience. The universal path realised and lived by him has been propagated through the poems compiled by him. For this reason his poems are styled as "Arutpa" (the song of grace) It is literally meant that the poems are sung with the aid of Grace only. This is certainly correct, since this is the divine law that without Grace not a single atom can move. The special feature is that Arutpa has been sung not only with God's Grace but it enables the readers to experience and make them live eternally under this Grace light. This is the peculiar nature of "Thiru Arutpa" and it makes one to be absorbed in ecstasy.
The next significant aspect of the universal religion is the worship of light. The saint experienced the realities of the Lord and the light within the Light, as seen from the poems.
These three aspects of Light are to be distinguished.
The first is the God Light. It is known as the guiding Light.The second is the living light guided by the first. The third is the light, which can be realised through the soul atom only.
This light is spotted in between the eybrows and in due course it appears to the saint as an effulgent entity called "Anma Prakasam". He noted this as the "Hall of true wisdom" (Sathya Gnana Sabai). Only in this hall of wisdom, he perceived the Supreme Effulgence "Arutperunjothi". His sincere wish is that people living in every nook and corner and corner of the world should realise this importance and get the experience of the Grace Light he got and live for ever with immortality. To symbolize this, he built a specially designed Hall of Wisdom through his followers at Vadalur for universal Worship. This hall was named by him as "Sathya Gnana Sabai".
It is a lotus like building and stands in an octagonal shape providing windows and doors through which one can see the light kept in an altar with five steps leading to the altar from all the four sides. Seven colourful curtains have been hund before the light and unless they are removed, one cannot perceive the light there. There is an outer wall and the entire thing has been fenced with iron chains in duplicate.
The above symbolization can be explained as below:
Generally people are living a sensuous physical life in this world. In order to transcend to the higher life of Divinity, a person must pass on the gross and subtle bodily stages and take shelter in the soul-abode or causal bodily stage. The above three stages are embodied in the symbolic Temple at vadalur. The practical experience of this Temple is realisable only at the head level.
The first stage of living gross body of eight spans is represented by the octagonal structure of the Temple surrounded by iron-chain fencing. The human body measures eight spans only and the duplicate of the chains in the outer fence contains 21,600 knots, representing the number of times he breathes per day through the holes of the nostrils in the ordinary course.
The second subtle bodily state is denoted by the inner octagonal space covered with the walls containing twenty four openings of doors and windows.
The third stage of the causal bodily stage is with the Divine Light put upon the central altar with five steps on each of the four sides depicting the penta forces of the Almighty.
In between the second and third stage, there are seven curtains which act as a bar to perceive the inner light by ordinary man. But the appearance of curtains is only an illusion and not real. At the time of worship, one is to stand before the central spot of the main door from where he can perceive the Divine Light in front of him and from there he can see the golden and silver apartments in either side of him. All these are to enlighten the inner Divinity to be experienced from the centre of the eye brows.
The Hall which was built according to hiw own plan was dedicated to the public on 25.1.1872 with the star poosam representing the day. All the seven screens were removed one by one, revealing the grand sight to the devotees. He insisted on one's ardent desire to have this vision of light within one's own soul through personal experience. His ulterior motive is that the outer structure is there only to enable them to get at the truth and make them to lead a Blessed life.
Contrary to the expectation of the saint, the people used to look at the Hall more with outer senses. This made him to feel sorry about their behaviour and thought that his teachings could not bear the fruit for the present. Thus he closed the doors, locked and took the key to his hermitage. It happened in the year 1873. Though it was closed, the physical life's sustenance alone is continued through Dharmasalai.
Sone years after the disappearence of the saint, the Temple of wisdom was opened by some of his followers and the festival is conducted annually. But they are not conducted as expected by the saint and hence could not be commented upon.
The dome is construted in such a way everybody who passes that side is being attracted by it. As the temple was built in 1872, due to efflux of time it developed some cracks in the structure. In the year 1949, Thirumuruga Krupananda Wariar, a renowned saivaite scholar took keen interest in the work and renovated the same.
By the Omnipresent attribute of God, He must be existing everywhere. Before seeing Him we must have the real knowledge of him. Because, He is not in any form of a person or a thing which we can perceive by our physical eyes. The spirit of Omnigrace, Omniscience and Omnipotence is His real form, and that Divine Spirit alone is evolving from the Innermost of every particle in the whole universe. Therefore what all we see here is not the form of Him, and at the same time nothing comes to exist in the universe unless that Divine spirit works from the Innermost. This knowledge of Divine Spirit is blossoming in us now, and so we are able to acknowledge Him in and out of everyone. This Omnipresent knowledge of God never comes to light in any life other than human one. This human form is evolved out of a small particle or an organic cell containing the Soul of the Divine Spirit. The Divine Soul atom is extending all forces from the centre of the head. This Soul atom with the Divine Spirit forms the basic point of the embryonic creation from which all our spiritual, vital, intellectual, mental and physical beings have been developed to the present stage. Hence our real and whole being is the development of the Divine Spirit from the Innermost. With this supreme realization we are to live in this world a blessed life of Bliss Divine.
Till now we were unaware of our true self of Divine Spirit. Ignoring our Divinity we were holding ourselves as physical beings only to live a sensuous life and pass away. In this sensuous life, all the experiences we got, have now brought us above the barbarous, civilized, religious, social and scientific levels. And now we are standing before the entrance of Divine Truth. In the past we were living with the guidance of external preceptors and we were praying and worshipping in the outer temples. Even our master yogis and gnanies tried to reach the God-head from the outside, that is from physical to the spiritual state. In their final stage, they vanished into nothingness. Now we have to consider ourselves in real relation to the Divine Self. Since the Divine Spirit has become all our soul, life and body, in fact we are nothing but that Divine Self unfolded. With this Soul-knowledge we are to make our life anew. To choose this soul-life is the real wisdom of man. Any amount of knowledge except the Soul Truth cannot make a man truly wise.
Our Wisdom Temple is not like any other Divine seats in the World. In the worldly temples one can expect to get his sensuous mental gratifications by faith and earnest devotion. The sensuous side of man does not know the highest Eternal Bliss obtainable through practical life of true wisdom. Because the outer temples and their Divine representations are only external symbols of the true ones in the internal. In this human form is glowing the Divine soul-atom on the top of medulla oblongata. This soul-atom is represented as God-head while the surrounding body is the temple itself. As the Soul-God resides fully in the centre of the head. Its fractional and infinitesimal matters and forces have come out to play in and out of man. Therefore, one cannot expect to draw most valuable Divine power either from any forms or symbols outside or from the six nervous centres (six adharas) inside this body. Hence it is wise to get the head spot to have a direct contact with the Divine Self. Here comes the Wisdom temple with its Soul-God of Infinite Grace.
The Temple of Wisdom at Vadalur in the Madras (Chennai) State is spreading its gracious light to enlighten the whole world. In this temple the Divine Light of Infinite Grace is shining from the altar in the centre. All the surrounding structures are to represent the spiritual, intellectual vital and physical objects of our being. The main entrance of our Inner Wisdom Temple is at the root of the nose between the eyebrows. A real aspirant who eschews the carnal sensual pleasures and who earnestly demands the Divine Grace is entitled to gain entrance to this Temple. With the pure concentrated mind at the root of the nose one is to pray for God to grace him. As the spirit of this Grace develops in man all the screens hiding the Divine Light will be gradually removed. At the end he comes face to face and eventually becomes that Light Itself. Now the man feels he is none other than that Light Itself. But he knows, though he is that Divine Atom, he has not been empowered to taste the life of Bliss. Hence he is to make a life of Divine Grace from that Inner centre. In order to get this gracious life in practical experience, the Wisdom Temple of Vadalur has been built out along with the institutions for feeding the poor and educating the aspirants. Though the feeding section only is working continuously without any interruption, the educating section is not kept up as it was intended. So the truth of this Temple and its worship is not understood by the devotees and the general public.
Other temples of the world, though present architectural and sculptural attractions are not intended for reaching the highest goal of Divine Life. Mainly our South Indian Temples are constructed after elementary basic secrets of physical and vital bodily structure. So the entrances to these temples are at the foot point only. In a lying position, the foot is away from the Divine Centre. So in the temple architect the sanctum sanctorum is put upon the opposite end of the main structure. This is to be noted here to have the Divine Altar in the centre of our Wisdom Temple. Only the dissolution of man was the end in all the old temple system. On the other hand our Wisdom Temple alone is to make the man to live a gracious life of Eternal Bliss.
Swami Ramalingam – THIRU ARUTPRAKASA VALLALAR is not only the founder of this Temple of Wisdom, but also is the first man of exemplify in practical experience that Divine life of Grace. He was born to bring out that new Divine Life to this world. By the Grace of God he got the knowledge of his true self which is no other than the Divine one. From that stage of Divine Oneness he extended the life of Grace upon the material world. In due course, his Inner form of Divine Gracious self burst and filled to make him the person or Divine Gracious Light or Thiru Arutprakasa Vallalar. This Divine Light form is Eternal, but will be living in casual, subtle and gross (or Gnana, Pranava and Suddha) bodies to up-lift the aspiring humanity. Because he is of Divine Gracious person he can come to sight of others only at his will and anywhere. It is he, who attracts us from our Innermost to acknowledge him and all his attainment. To aid us, he has endowed this Temple of Wisdom and the highest literature of Divine Grace called the THIRU ARUTPA. With all these inner and outer guidance this book of Wisdom Temple is published to enlighten the whole humanity. Let this open the entrance of the Inner temple of Wisdom of every one and offer the Gracious life of Bliss.
This building (ashram) is said to have been built by the villagers of that hamlet for the purpose of accommodating a vaishnava guide. But subsequently it was allotted to the saint for his use. It was a time when there was utter necessity for leaders, to bring forth an awakening in south India and unite the people of all castes and faith. There was an urge among the common men to show something in religion and spirituality through a simple and enlightening literature. Our saint rose to the occasion and began the renaissance in a remarkable manner. He propagated the philosophy of service he taught. The poems and other renderings in prose style are so simple and vivid, that even a layman can understand the meaning without having any extraordinary intelligence. His missionary spirit is more reflected from his appeal to the Lord saying.
"I should go to all parts of the world and hallow thy name" Service to fellow beings is his supreme motto. He detested religion from the debating scholars and from the orthodox who attached much importance to rituals. In this context his line"Kallarkum Katravarkum Kalippu arulum kalippe' (Arul vilakka Malai) means that the Lord gives bliss equally to the mass and the enlightened acquires significance. He had a clear perception of the purpose of his life on the earth. He has recorded his ideal briefly and clearly. His ideal was to reform the worldly, whose life was lacking in the harmony between thought and deed. His ardent wish is to make them join the "Sanmarga sangam" in order to attain the Divine here and now itself. He also declared that God has earmarked his life for this purpose. The sanctuary for eternal service established by him at Vadalue is a monument of his service motto, but at present the public have not given due recognition for the same. It is hoped that in course of time the people will come up to his expectation and follow the truth.
He wished to guide the people of the world in the path of Grace, which is free from violence of any sort. He delivered the message through lectures, essays, heart melting poems and melodious songs. He insisted on "Universal Brotherhood" as the only relation that the people of the world should have among themselves and with the living beings. He held them, both as the chief ideal as of the religion he preached. He insisted on the universal and spiritual aspects of religion. He aimed at the unity of all religions, as ordained by the Lord. He exhorted the people to set aside all their differences and live in amity and peace promoting congenial relationship among them.
He gave a clarron call to the humanity at large to follow universal path, which is free from the obsessions of differences in caste, creed, faith and religion. His literary creations rose with a new vigour and inspiration, and this has helped to evaluate his contribution to Tamil literature. During this period, he wrote the famous 'Arutperunjothi Agval' which comprises of 1596 lines and is said that the whole poem was written in a single night. It is termed as the crown of 'Thiru Arutpa'.
It has become a custom to all his followers that it is recited in chorus in all public functions. It is done individually also by some. There is strong belief that recital of this poem continuously for several days, will make all evils to vanish. With much gratitude, one can say that in none of the poems any grammatical error has crept in. Only in the nineteenth century, Indians established printing press and brought into print many of the Tamil literary works. As the price of the printed books was cheaper than the hand-written palmyrah leaves, the poor people were enabled to obtain books easily at cheap price. This was of great help in spreading education and literature among the people then. All these factors brought the rendereings of the saint "Thiru Arutpa" in reputation.
Though the progress made in this regard by the public is little, yet it is an happy angury that it has been able to penetrate deep in their minds. It is said that in the last days, the saint never used to take any food either in any solid or liquid form. Even in the absence of these, he was founded to be ever busy as in the early years. A Photographer tried his best to have his photo, but never succeeded in his attempt. The above instances clearly prove that though he was seen in the physical body, yet it had undergone changes, which cannot be perceived by materialists. We shall discuss about this phenomenon below.
The body has been classified into three:
2) Subtle and
The last one is the basis for the other two, and in the case of the saint as one Trinity. In the words of the saint, it is termed as "Three Dega Siddhi". By Three Dega Siddhi, the physical body itself can be transmuted in the form of pure wisdom, and from that altar, he can perform the duties of the Lord and administer all the five acts viz., creation, preservation, destruction, veil and bliss. Having attained immortality, and in recognition of the same, in several of his poems, he exclaims as under,
"I am the eldest son of the Lord"
"I have been provided with the sceptre of Grace and thereby rule the universe for ever"
"My Lord, today you have shown yourself to be with me and myself to be within you and thus removed my suffering and done me good"
"O my king, my Lord, my mother, my father, all in one, you removed all the inner veils, thereby bringing me to the perception of things unknown to me so far, and have given me the great experience in the 'great intellectual space of Grace' which has caused me bliss. I take refuge with Thee" etc.
In another stanza, he states that he takes refuge in the Lord who fulfilled all his wishes by granting him the "all performing power" through the experience of His Grace.
So saying, he took out the lamp which was kept in his room, placed it outside and and dirrected his followers to consider it as the God of real worship following the path of love and kindness towards all living beings, and thereby attain the siddhi he got.
He thus locked himself inside the room he used to occupy and expressed his desire that none should venture to open it. He also added that if the Govt. authorities persist to open it, let them be convinced of his desire of not opening it and it it is opened, the room will be found vacant, since from that moment itself, he will enter the soul of everyone and lead them to the right path of Grace. These utterances proved to be final.
The above incident occurred at midnight on the 30th day of Januar, 1874, and the directions of the saint are being carried out in right earnest by his followers till now.
There was a wild rumour in and around the vicinity that the saint had disappeared.
As forescast by the saint early, the news reached the Govt. he then Collector of south of Arcot rushed to the spot along with a retinue of a Doctor and other officials.
The doctor went round the room and was surprised to sense the fragrance of 'pachai-karpooram" (Bournial not combustible) against his own suspicion of scenting of foul smell as in the case of a decayed body.
The collector was informed of the experience gained by the doctor, adn the Collector, who took pains to ascertain the correct position, went round the room and by scenting the same smell as reported by doctor, came to the conclusion that no foul play has been established on the life of the saint as suspected by some.
He then enquired from the followers assembled there as to the type of work that had been carried on. They informed the collector about the instructions given by the saint at the time of disappearance.
Fully respecting the last wishes of the great saint, he offered a sum of Rs.20/- to them as his own contribution towards the good work carried out by them, and returned to his head-quarters.
It will be interesting to note the facts of disappearance of the saint as given by Mr.J.H.Garstein, Collector of South Arcot in the south Arcot Gazette 1878. Some of the excerpts are given below:
"Born in 1823 in the Chidambaram Taluk of vellala (Sir Karuneegar) parents in humble circumstances, the saint developed, while he was an young boy, an undeniable talent and his poems attracted the public. They dealt with religious matters..... "
About 1872, the curious octagon-shaped sabha with the domed roof which is to be seen at vadalur, a hamlet of parvatipuram, was erected by him from Subscriptions....."
"In 1874, he locked himself in a room (still in existence) in Mettukuppam (hamlet of Karunguli), which he used for samadhi or majestic meditation, and instructed his disciples not to open it for some time. He was never seen thereafter and the room is still found locked. It is considered by those who still believe in him, that he was miraculously created one with his God and that in fullness of time he would reappear to the faithful...."
Mr.W.Francis, I.C.S. in the year 1906 has expressed his opinion in 'The south Arcot Gazetteers' as follows:
"Parvatipuram- a village of 1189 inhabitants lying 23 miles south west of cuddalore on the virudhachalam road, is connected with one Ramalingam paradesi, a somewhat curious example of a latter day saint who has been almost deified by his followers".
The saint pained to see that his followers were not amenable to his teachings diligently, used to tell them often that people from north and west would come there to carry out his instructions and it was hoped that their minds would be changed then and begin to follow his trachings.
This prophecy came true.
Madam Blavatsky of Russia and colonel Alcot of America came to the places at a later date and formed the Theosophical society at Adyar in Chennai.
There they used to teach the teachings of the saint to the public to a certain extent.
Lady Annie Besant of Great Britain who succeeded them, also carried out the message of the saint for some years.
As their successors did not evince keen interest in the teachings of the saint, the place is now converted as a school for demonstrating modern art and culture.
As pointed out by the saint already, we shall now turn to the subject with experiences gained from the innermost.
It is said that in and around siddhivalagam, in Tamil means it is the inner part of the body where the soul exists and it is the source of origin from where the attainments (siddhis) used to emanate.
It is said that in and around siddhivalagam, the sweet fragrance of pachai karpooram and the vision of the saint are available to those matured. But it is very rare.
In one of the poems, he states that his body is permeated with that sweet fragrance and the same is prevailing with the Lord Almighty. From this it has to be inferred that mere vision of the saint will not be useful unless the sweet fragrance is scented therein. The combination of both these facts alone can prove the existence of the saint in the locality.
On the third day of Thaipoosam, people used to visit this place to have a glimpse of the room from where he disappeared.
Dr.N.Mahalingam, who is prefixed with the words "Arut Selvar" by the public came forward to construct a building where the light (Jothi) is kept in an elevated place with a dome above and with a hall in front of this light making the public to have a dharsan even from some distance. It is to be noted that it has been constructed from his own funds. Thus was in the year 1985.
With his own efforts, on the day of monthly poosam, he has arranged series of lectures by eminent scholars and thus the place wears a new look now.
With this we shall now proceed to the next chapter, to summarise the teachings of the saint to the maximum extent.
With the eloquence he had in Tamil literature, his elder brother Sabapathy used to give lectures in the houses of some rich people on their request. For this he used to receive some remuneration from them and this added solace for his family.
Thus Sabapathy entered into a contract with a rich man at chennai to give a series lectures of Periapuranam. This went on smoothly for some days. Due to his illluck, one day he was laid down with high fever and thus he could not keep up his programme. He was rather puzzled not knowing what to do. At the same time, he did not want to disappoint the otganiser and the audience. As his wife knew the talents of the young boy as the same was not revealed to others so far, she pleaded her husband to send his brother to the place and fulfil the engagement
The brother totally ignorant of his younger brother's capacity, he refused to accept her request in the first instance, but as there was no other alternative, at last he agreed to sent him on his behalf. He called on the boy and asked him to read out one or two stanzas before the audience and apologize before the organiser for his elder brother's inability to keep up the engagements.
Even at the place of sermon, where Ramalingam ventured to inform the news of his brother's inability, the organiser was much disappointed. By the time, the hall was fully packed. To avoid any flutter from the audience, and as there was non to continue the lecture, with much reluctance the organiser asked the boy to say something. As usual when the boy sat before the audience and began his discourse, everybody looked upon the boy as to what he would do at this young age since the subject matters of a higher nature to be handled only by elite persons.
The first word 'Ulagelam' begining in Periapuranam was taken up for annotation, words gushed throuh his mouth as that of water flowing in a river after torrential rain.
Pin drop silence prevailed in the assembly and everybody was surprised to see the extraordinary eloquence the boy had even at this young age. There was a consensus among all that he is a God sent. It was midnight, yet he had hardly finished explaining jut two lines from the very first stanza itself. The explanation for each word came in torrent and thus the time constraint was not at all felt by any of them. There was a considered opinion among all that the discourse should be continued by the boy himself and it was agreed by the organised also and the information was conveyed to his brother Sabapathy at once.
Sabapathy was very much perturbed to hear the news that there was a mass appeal for continuing the lectures by Ramalingam himself. His conscience pricked him and questioned himself as to how a boy who has not stepped into a school could give such astounding lectures. However he allowed Ramalingam to continue the lectures.
To verify the truth, Sabapathy himself went to the scene in a corner of the hall without the knowledge of others as well as his brother and heard the lectures. He first thought that it was a dream. But his second thought brought him to conclude that it was a fact and not a dream. The lecturer was none else than his younger brother Ramalingam. After returning home he narrated the incident to his beloved wife, as she used to plead more about the young boy. Both averred that Ramalingam was not a mere boy but representative of God fully vested with His Divine Grace. Ramalingam returned home after finishing his discourse then.
Having much regret and feeling sorry for all his discourteous behaviour shown towards Ramalingam, Sabapathy embraced him with dutiful affection and requested him to pardon for all the trouble he had given in the past days. Ramalingam stood easy as if he was not aware of difficulties as posed by his brother, but kept quiet and was prasing the Almighty inwardly as he was sailing along with the current with His Grace. Thus the first scene of the long drama ended well in spite of the odds, it had to encounter.
These news spread like wild fire to all places in the vicinity and people began to surround him to have a glimpse of the young boy and hear the divine voice emanating from his lips. It was like those bees, attracted by the sweet fragrance of the lovely flowers, encircling the latter.
Eminent scholars and religious heads became his students and disciples. Velayudha Mudaliar of Thozuvur, who was the head of Tamil literature in the Presidency college, Chennai was the first to step in. Several others also followed suit and they used to address him as 'Ramalinga adigalar'.
It became his daily practive to go to Thiruvottiyur, which is situated about 8kms from Chennar and affer worship to the God ensharined there. Added to this he used to get printed several songs in praise of the Lord, and these were compiled in one volume and presented to the people by his disciples, subsequently. Apart from the discourses and singing of songs towards the Almighty, he used to clear the doubts of those who came to see him with the sole inention that only deep meditation can bequeath them with the correct answer. From Chennai he undertook pilgrimage to hole shrines in the southern part of Chennai and everywhere he went he used to offer his preyers to the Deity enshrined there by way of songs. The poems swelled in thousands and all have been compiled in two volumes and presented to the world at a later stage.
At last he settled in a village Karunguli, which is now about 10kms, from Neiveli. He continued there for about 9 years.
'Thiru Arutpa' is a composition of thousands of poems, a small number in the prose form, the letters written by Adigalar to his disciples as a reply to their letters and prayeres made before the Almighty in prose form have all been printed in two volumes and made available to the public.
The second volume is the most important one in as much as all the experiences gained by the saint at a later stage have been brought out in detail only in this volume. Of the poems, the 'Wreath of description og Grace' (Arul vilakkamalai0 and the 'Wreath of Experience' (Anubava Malai) each containing 100 poems are considered to be the vital part of the book 'Thiru Arutpa'.
From the experience they had in the temple at Chidambaram, all the family members were jubilant as they had a God’s gift. But this did not last long. A sudden gloom took over the family. It was only a month afer their return from Chidambaram, Ramaiah pillai breathed his last. Instead of enjoying the pleasant words and the embracing hands of the father, the child was destined to lose his dear father.
The gruesome sight can only be compared to mariner, marooned in mid sea on a dark midnight. The mother was so much heart-broken and under swollen grief since she was not able to know what to do, as there was no bread winner to the family.
This worried her much as finally then, she decided to leave Marudur once for all and settle at Chinnakavanam, a village in Chengalpattu district, as it was her mother’s place, where she thought she could lead the family with the guidance of her relatives.
With the above intention, one fine morning she left the village with all her five children. Years rolled down. the elder brother grew and he showed some interest in looking after the family, and as Chennai was considered to be a place, where he can have a better career, the family was shifted to Chennai.
The house at Marudur, where ‘Ramalingam’ was born is treated as a place of worship subsequently, and at the time of Thai Poosam, people used to gather there to offer their grateful prayers.
Mr. Veera Shunmuganar, Chennai, a philanthrophist and an ardent devotee of the Saint took efforts and renovated the place, so as to be visited by the public.
At Chennai, the elder brother Sabapathi studied the Tamil literature under the able guidance of a great scholar. His hard work and industrious mind enabled him to give religious discourses in Tamil at the request of some rich people. Besides he used to conduct classes to elementary school boys on patio of houses.
With the income received from the above sources, he looked after the needs of the family to some extent and thus led a peaceful life. Ramalingam was five years old then. The elder brother, taking the opportunity of being a teacher, started to teach his young the elementry principle underlying the Tamil literature. Finding the boy not evincing any interest in the initial stage, Sabapathy thought that he would fulfil his desire in course of time. Even thenm the boy did not take any interest; instead he used to go to Knadakottam, a temple located in George Town, Chennai and used to absorb himself with divine prayers. Thinking that the boy was not amenable in the presence of his brother, the latter thought that the young boy could improve under the guidance of a third person and thus entrusted the responsibility of teaching him to his oqn preceptor, under whom he took his studies.
With proficiency in Tamil literature, the latter tried his best to impart the boy with his elite and put the former in the right path. There also Ramalingam evinced little interest, but used to go to the temple, recite songs in praise of the presiding deity, Lord Muruga and enter into deep meditation. Hearing the news that the boy was singing in a melodious voice, the preceptor went through some of the poems sung by the disciple and was fully amazed to find them heart-warming and bhakthi rendering ones. He felt that such pieces could not be sung even by well trained poets and concluded that it was a rare gife the God has showered on this little boy.
So saying, he also gave up his tuition, exclaiming that the young boy was placed in a far better position than himself. The efforts taken by one and all to impart him the school teaching thus proved futile. Sabapathy, the elder brother who was the head of the family become much worried about his brother’s career wanted to turn the boy under threats. By this, the young was not given food and clothing and ultimately driven out of his home. Even such drastic action taken by Sabapathy did not yield any desired result.
Instead, this made the young boy to become firm in getting fully absorbed and devote his time in performing worship and offering prayers to the Almighty from his inner mind. Days passed. His sister-in-law who was much afectionate towards the plight of the young boy was much worried since she looked after the needs the boy without the knowledge of her husband.
One day she pleaded before the boy to be attentive to his studies as her husband wanted, so as to avoid all the difficulties so far experienced and thus turn a new leaf to the betterment of the family as a whole. The affectionate and motherly advice of the lady had the desired effect and at last Ramalingam consented to take up his studies in right earnest as desired by his brother and requested her to set apart a room in the house for this purpose. The young lady convveyed the news to her husband and after a hard pursuit, Sabapathy gave his approval.
On an auspicious day a room in the upstairs was provided to the boy to carry on his studies without any disturbance. The study preferred by the young boy was a different one to that construed by the world. Hence a deadlock also prevailed here. Instead of collectiong books on literature and concentrating on the same, the boy collected the things for performing pooja, lit a lamp and placed a mirror in front of it within the room.
Sitting before it, concentrated on a certain spot in the mirror where the brilliance of the lamp fell and used to be lost in deep meditation. As providence would have it, Ramalingam beheld the glorious vision of Lord Muruga, shedding his Grace and Divinity, and this engulfed the entire space therein. His mortal frame was filled with divine ecstacy, and the joy overpowered him, which made him to sing ethereal songs in praise of the Lord. By the Divine Grace so obtined Ramalingam was blessed with the knowledge of all arts and skills and gifted with the ability and talent to perform miracles and Siddhis (wondrous deeds). Without the knowledge of the little boy, the sister-in-law used to witness the occurence with awe and unspoeakable amazement. Now we shall try to annotate the type of study that Ramalingam had from the experience gained at the soul level. It has been acknowledged by all that God is one and existing eternally in and out of everything in the whole universe of boundless space.
But the Inner Truth of God’s existence is beyond one’s conception, because it is working from the innermost with the spirit of all powerful Omnigrace. This divine attribute of God is due to come out from each soul-atom for its Eternal Godly life of endless Bliss. This is what we see in the case of the saint Ramalingam. This unimaginable form is within. It is Changeless and not destructible. This is termed as the soul beings. To gain experience and live a Blessed life, all the outer forms come to play but disappear after some time. Ramalingam gained his experience only from the inner soul. Even from his childhood, that soul atom is his abode and thus he concentrated on it more deeply. This made him to realise that the inner soul is his real preceptor and so he did not evince much interst towards the teachings of the wordly scholars. His firm belief that the so called scholars are gifted only with a fraction of the grace of the Almighty, any tuition given under their leadership cannot make them to reap the benefit to the full extent. In other words the beneficiaries can only be termed as infants. Without knowing the real aim of the saint Ramalingam, outsiders became rather vexed with his behaviour and tried to bring him down according to their wish.
The Omnigracious God did not let him down as he knows fully well about the needs of the young boy and the time when the soul be equipped with the same. At the time of need, the almighty embraced the child and thus the latter was gifted with so much powers, which could not be obtained by anybody else. The above happening has confirmed to the world that Ramalingam did not go to any school and had no preceptor (Guru) from the outer world. According to him, education means the art of obtaining deathlessness and live for ever. Even now we see that there is an universal awareness that literacy should form the main theme and illiteracy should be wiped out at the earliest. Unless mankind is awakened to follow the teachings of the saint to the fullest extent, peace cannot be attained in the internal arena of political, cultural and social affairs.
The world is heading towards the growing madness for wealth, pleasure and power by the people and this will invite war and calamity and the impending danger of total destruction will becom inevitable. In the above circumstances, this chapter will be an eye-opener to the entire world. We shall peep into the next chapter now.
Miracles of Vallalar (Swami Ramalingam)
We have already dealt with some of the miraculous events that took place in Swami's life such as burning of oil lamp with water, taking multiple forms of his body at various points in crowded gatherings so as to facilitate the people to see him as near to them, speaking in an even voice and tone so as to be heard by the audience equally alike irrespective of the distance etc. Some of these may have a bearing on his transformation. The miracles that are connected closely with the transformation of his body and deathlessness have been already narrated in the first and eighth chapters. Here in this chapter we propose to deal with a variety of miraculous incidents that may or may not be necessarily connected with the supramental transformation of his body, but yet would fall within the category of divine miracles played by the Divine through him. These miracles are not of a category falling within "'occultism" of the subliminal consciousness so as to be shunned or avoided by one in pursuit of yoga but are a representation of his siddhi, in tune with the divine will.
These miracles performed by the Swami are of different periods; some took place in Madras and its subrub Tiruvottiyur in his early life; some others at Karungkuli between 1858 and 1867 and yet others at Vadalur (1867 70) and at Mettukuppam (1870 1874). They are not given here in a chronological order. Some do not fall in the category of miracles but are incidents that portray the Swami's nature in dealing with men and matters both at a human level and the superhuman. God plays at the human level as much as He does on the suprahuman. He is both human and above the human at the same time. His dealings, in the human way are sometimes better understood and appreciated. The Swami was not against doing miracles, as they form the powers and plays of the Divine. However he was not after miracle mongering. His eventful life was interspersed with many divine miracles of various kinds. He promised in his last part of life that the Divine Himself was soon to come to the earth to rule and play Siddhis of Grace, such as resurrection of the dead and transforming the aged into youths. Thus the Swami progressively grew into the Divine Nature, as he went on writing inspired poems and doing miracles since his early life and both of which he did not stop till the last moment of his life which ended in dematerialisation of body, a supreme sacrifice for an evolutionary purpose of the earthly life.
(1) MERCURY TURNED INTO A BEAD
A magician came and requested the Swami who was a Siddha, to turn mercury into a bead. The Swami gently poured into the hollow of his palm a little mercury and after keeping the same closed for a while, dropped it as a mercury bead.
(2) FEEDING THE UNEXPECTED GUESTS
One night, food had been cooked in the Dharma Shala for a limited number of people. Unexpectedly about a hundred additional guests came at the time of serving the food. Shanmugam Pillai, the man in charge of the food section, reported to the Swami that food was not sufficient to serve all. The Swami immediately rose up voicing forth "pich". This was Swami's characteristic exclamation at the time of performing miracles, possibly signifying that it was a child's play and there was nothing impossible and there was the divine blessing to do what was need. According to Ooran Adigal, the biographer of the Swami's life in Tamil, "pich" is a short form of "Pichchan" (name of the divine Lord) which is derived from "Pichchu". We may add that the Divine Lord performs miracle as if a play of a tender child (pinju Pillai or Pichchu Pillai) or by an inexplicably miraculous way as in a divine madness (Pichchu or Piththu). Thus with the exclamation of "Pich", the swami asked him to supply guests in sitting rows, leaf for serving food. The Swami himself served food by his hands.All took food sumptuously but there was still food left remaining in vessels after serving all.
(3) PREMONITION OF FRESH SUPPLIES OF RICE
One day Shanmugam Pillai, the manager of Dharma Shala reported to the Swami that there was no stock of rice to cook. The Swami sat alone in a place and concentrated for a few seconds and then assured him that rice and all other things needed would come the next day. Exactly so, the next day a devotee from Tirutturai village brought three cartloads of rice and other provisions and reported that he had been asked in his dream the night before, to bring in supplies of food.
(4) MASTERY OVER FIRE AND RAIN
In the summer month of April, many who came to the Dharma Shala at Vadalur suffered due to the drought and heat. The Swami knew about it and asked them to pour a vessel of water over his feet. The devotees did so. Shortly, there was a heavy down pour of rain. Devotees of the village Pudupet (near Cuddalur) heard of this and came to Vadalur and implored the grace of the Swami, as all wells of the village had become dry for want of rain. The Swami asked them to pour six pot fulls of water over his head. They did so; There was heavy down pour of rain immediately; and the springs of the six wells which had gone dry, once again became active bringing in fresh and very tasty supplies of water in the wells. The village thus had good rains to support and nourish its life and activity.
(5) DRY LAND TURNED INTO WET LAND
A relation of the Swami's devotee who was a tahsildar by name Murugesa Pillai failed in his several attempts to have his dry lands changed into wet lands through petitions to the Government (possibly for facilities of irrigation). He implored the Swami for grace and received form Him the sacred ash of blessing. Thereafter, the dry lands could be converted into wet lands.
(6) FIRE DIES BY SIGNAL
In Pudupetta near Kurinjipadi, a house caught fire. The swamy who happened to be in the opposite house at that time waved his cloth and the fire soon died down.
(7) RAIN WITHOUT DRENCHING
One evening the swami went out for a walk with the devotees.Suddenly it rained.All of them except the swami got drenched in the rain. Not even a drop of rain was seen on the swami body.
(8) FIRE WITHOUT BURNING
In "Siddhi valakam cottage house at Mettukuppam the Swami used to keep on his two sides flaming fire in iron bowls of burning coke. The Swami sat in between them on a tub like seat. (His direct disciple and biographer Kandasamy pillai writes to say that the swami perhaps wanted to enjoy thus more intense heat than what was normal to his body which was golden). One day a devotee of the Swami by name Sabapathy Sivacharya who was the priest in charge of the Shrine of Satya Jana Sabha happened to enter into the Swami's room suddenly when his leg struck a bowl of burning coke. The burning coke scattered hither and thither and hit the Swami and himself. The visitor got alarmed and hastened to remove by his hands the burning coke that fell on Swami's thigh. He got his hands burnt. But the Swami remained unaffected in his body and not even his cloth bore any mark of the burn. The Swami however said to him "Why are you anxious? It (fire) will not affect me in any way".
(9) PHOTOGRAPHIC FAILURE
Once some devotees of the Swami brought a famous photographer by name Masilamani Mudaliar from Madras to take photo of the Swami.. He attempted eight times; but each time he failed to get a picture of the form and figure of the Swami in the photo negative; only the white cloth which the Swami wore came in the picture.
NOTE: The Swami's body by transformation, had become full of divine Light within and without.
(10) CLAY IMAGE OF SWAMI
A pot maker from Panrutti village heard of the above said incident. Being a devotee of the Swami he made Swami's image in clay and duly painted it. He offered it to the Swami. The Swami remarked: "The golden body had become a body of mud". (The Swami seemed to have felt about the antithesis of the siddhi of his golden body in the clay image of his form at the hands of the potmaker). So the Swami dropped it down and it broke into pieces.
NOTE : It is said that the printed pictures of the Swami now in use are from an oil painted picture of the Swami then in use at Tiruvottiyur Mutt, Madras.
From the above two incidents under 9 and 10, it is not proper to infer that the Swami was against the preservation of his own form either in image or pictures or that he was against worship of the form of his image or picture; rather they point out the state of a transformed triple body which defies all attempts at limiting itself within a particular mode of physical form. The Swami's dropping down of his clay image seems to be a result of the bodily react ion (rather than a psychological reaction) of his transformed golden body. Possibly the clay image should have been felt as a caricature of his vast and deathless golden physical body.
The Swami has held in a discussion with followers of Brahma Samaj that God is not merely the formless Brahman but also the form. He lit up the flame of light of the lamps at Vadalur and Mettukuppam for due worship by devotees and disciples. Thus the light or flame of the lamp is a form or as some put it a formless form. According to "Arutpa" poems God is at once form, form formless and the formless. The fact that the Swami did not leave behind any of his image or picture as approved by him for worship by his followers is meant rather to remind us that one should not get stuck up to the habit of conceiving and worshipping Him or the God merely as a form, or merely as form formless or as the formless and that each should grow according to one's temperament and aptitude of worshipping Him or the God in this or that mode as the occasion and state of spiritual evolution demand of him without confining himself for ever to any particular or exclusive mode of worship and thereby limiting the Divine Himself in the possibilities of His realisation. Though the formless is the supporting base for the form, we have also to admit the fact that Swami Himself has been seen in his form by many devotees in their vision, as much as He has been felt in his formless presence. The Swami has persistently pointed out that It is the supreme Divine, God of Light, Bliss and Grace who is the Goal and He is to be worshipped, and as an outer symbol of the Divine, light of the lamps has been duly installed in the shrines at Vadalur and Mettukuppam. Human as we are, we are likely to fall in the error of attaching ourselves passionately and instinctively to the human form of the Guru, the Mahan or the Avatar and to that extent we are liable to become circumscribed in our right attitude and approach to the supreme Divine. When the Swami in his physical form or the sacred light of the lamp at the said shrines or in fact light of any lamp anywhere is considered as a form of the Divine that form itself would lead to the integrality of the Divine who is at once form, formless and formless form.
Further we may remember that the Swamy himself wanted in his last days to dematerialise his vast and deathless golden body which, according to his keertan "Mei Arul Vyappu" had become like a fully grown and luminous golden Mountain . This dematerialisation was for the Purpose of entering into all the bodies universally. What was visibly seen as the deathless material physical body was not the whole truth of even his physical existence which was other than the subtle physical.In and around and coextensive with the material physical body was a vast limitless physical existence which had also become golden and deathless and luminous with golden light and served as the eternal physical base of the outer body in the very earth nature a result of the transformation of the material vesture.
So the truth of his whole and entire physical body could not be properly represented even by a photo or statute. However the fact remains that the Swami himself allowed the photographer to take his picture or still earlier the painter to paint his image and so he could not have been against the preservation of his outer form for use of the disciples but the very fact of the divine luminosity of his body stood against a representation of his form as a photo. This apart, the Swami psychologically discouraged to worship of his own figure and image and instead persistently kept the supreme Divine, the Lord of Vast Grace Light, as the goal to be pursued and presented Him in the form of the light of a lamp duly sanctified and lit by himself. This attitude was the need of the hour of God as the Swami wanted his disciples and devotees also to aspire, without diversion through the worship of the said form of light and through the mantra of Light. for the universal manifestation of the divine Light of Grace.
As willed by him, the Swami seemed to have made his golden physical body universal so as to influence and enter into all the physical bodies as is seen from the nature and mode of working of the "Superman Consciousness" which is elaborated in the last chapter 18 part 3. Thus his dematerialised diffusion of his bodily substances leaving no trace of his body and its form and at the same time universalising his physical existence in a formless way for an impersonal action, i.e., for entering into all the bodies amply justifies his psychological discouragement, if not by an absolute taboo, of the worship of his bodily form by the devotees.
But still forms other than the physical he has and wears on and projects in vision the form of his soul and spirit as distinguished from his formless self existence, then the form of his mind, the form of his vital life and the form of his subtle physical which is nearest to our material earth. Only in his vast and limitless and deathless physical existence he remains now formless but with power to precipitate himself in a new divine body at the ripe moment.
(11) CIDAMBARA DARSHAN" SHOWN AT VADALUR
It was the usage for devotees from mofussil areas to come to vadalur in order to take the Swami with them to Cidambaram on important festive occasions thereat. On one such occasion devotees came in advance and waited on the Swami to go to Cidambaram. As the day of the festival neared, most of them left for Cidambaram. But there was no sign of the Swami's starting as yet. Only a few stayed with him in the hope of starting at least on the day of festival itself. The Swami did not leave Vadalur even on that day. The devotees felt unhappy as they lost the chance of seeing the Lord of Dance, Nataraja of Cidambaram. The Swami understood their grievance and assured them all "you can have Cidambara darshan here itself; wait and see." So saying the Swami put up a screen of cloth in a portion of Dharmashala building and asked them to go inside the screen and see. They went inside tile veil and saw the rare sight of the "Cidambara darshanam" i.e., of the Lord of the Lord of Dance and play and they were highly overjoyed.
On some occasions, the Swami sat outside in the open sun shine at mid noon. At that time devotees at the Dharmashala used to see a column or pillar of fire (agni sthambha) rising up between the place of his seat and the sun.
(12) MERCUROUS COMPOUND WITHSTANDS FIRE
The Swami used to wear sandals of a very high quality called "Sakalath Padaraksha" made at Tanjore. He had said, "if jatilingam (a compound of mercury and sulphur) is kept within sandals which a Suddha dehi (a man of perfect and pure body) wears on, it will stand against fire or endure in the heat of fire (i.e., without melting)". A devotee priest namely Sabhapathy had special sandals prepared for the Swami in which four tolas of the said mercurous compound had been kept. At his request, the Swami wore the sandals for 15 days and then later on the mercurous compound was removed from them and it was observed to withstand the heat of fire without change.
(13) SILVER RUPEE MELTS IN SWAMI'S HANDS
One day two Brahmins who were worshippers of sun came from Vishakapattinam. They reported to the Swami their inability to attain, by practice of the methods given in shastra, either "apara marga siddhi" such as melting iron, silver, gold and other metals by keeping it in hand or "Para marga siddhi" by which one can move and travel in space like sun. Vallalar took a silver rupee coin and kept it in his hand for a few minutes. Then the coin melted and ran down as silver.
(14) SHADOWLESS BODY
One day the Swami was standing in the sun shine along with a devotee by name Ayyasamy Pillai of Cuddalur. The Swami asked him, "What is the sign of a Suddha Jnani?'' The devotee remained silent, unable to answer. Then the Swami told him that there would be no shadow of the body of a Suddha Jnani. The fact that the Swami's body did not cast shadow on the ground came to be known thus. This proves the glory of one who had realised Suddha Satya Jnana the pure Truth Consciousness, and the Siddhi or perfection of the triple body.
(15) SIGNS OF THE FUTURE GURU
One Devanayakam, Pillai of Cuddalur became Swami's devotee according to the wish of his father who was a yogi. The said yogi at the time of his death advised his son to become the disciple of one who would come with a cane in his hand and with a hood of cloth covering his head and would strike with his cane at his samadhi (tomb of burial) asking "Is this the Samadhi of your father?" Three years after the death of the yogi, the swami came to Cuddalur once and went to the house of Devanayakarn and asked him by striking with his cane at a tomb "Is this your father's tomb?" The latter replied in the positive and took the Swami as his Guru.
NOTE: Cuddalur is a town about 25 miles from Vadalur. The Swami frequently visited Cuddalur to give lectures.
The said Devanayakam was spending much to learn alchemy with a desire to convert baser metals into gold. The Swami wanted to put him in the right path. First He showed him the method of alchemy. He converted an iron sheet into gold of sixteen carat, by treating it with a herb and heating it by dry cakes of cow dung. The Swami then throwing away the gold, advised him further "One who is without desire alone can get this knowledge. Leave off this pursuit of alchemy".
The Swami not only knew the process of alchemy which is a physical--chemical method or occult process (mantra, tantra), or both combined (see his Upadesa on "Rasavada"). The former uses herbs and different gases of gaseous heat on different metals. But according to him transformation of body into a golden deathless body implies and includes the possession of the power to transmute or transform baser metals like iron, copper etc. into pure gold. This power too the Swami had, and by mere look or touch of the baser metal or keeping it in his hands for sometime he could transmute it unto pure gold. Some incidents of such transmutation are also recorded in T.V G. Chetty's and Kandasamy Pillai's biographies on Swami's life. Once the swami transmuted sand into golden particles by putting the sand into a vessel of water and keeping its mouth closed by his hands for some time. Then he threw away the golden particles into the open street. This he showed to one Naina Reddiar of Alappakkam who sought after alchemy and told him that only the pure without desire could transmute substances.
The Swami's deatheless body had come to posses a divine radioactive power of transformation or transmutation of substances. This is evidently a direct power of supramental transformation of physical body. The Swami's performance of miracles such as melting the metals, turning mercury into a solid bead and transmuting baser metals into pure gold by simply keeping them in his hands or by touch of his hands point to such a radio activity or raeio active heat of his body. The Swami clearly observed in his poems that his deathless body was immune from the dangers of radio active rays of the outer cosmic space though such rays cauld penetrate his plastic non obstructing body without injury and that the Divine gave him the knowledge and power of transmutation of metals into gold. His upadesha on 'Rasavada' mentions that by touch of the dust of feet, or by breath of air or by word or even by look or by mere will metals can be transmuted. Transmutation can also be effected in a causeless or mystic way by the biological cells of the body i.e. by cells of a transformed body. The last implies that metallic substances that enter or penetrate into the body can be transformed by the cells into substances¬ of the body through a process of interchange (Pravese visrim¬bita). In fact the Swami affirmed that the divinised principles or elements such as non burning gaseous substance of the deathless body. (i.e. a kind of radio active divine physical heat of the body, heat and gas being always associated have the self creative power of creating all substances of whatever kind and evidently it includes the power of self creating all the bodily substances of the cells and transforming one substance into another. Hema siddhi and Deha siddhi according to his upadesha are the two powers namely the power of transmutation of metallic or physical substances into pure eternal gold and the power of transformation of physical body into an eternal golden deathless body and they are the concomitant powers of supramental transformation, that is to say, the purity of gold and the purity of transformed dealthless body would last for an eternal time due to such transformation. In such a case it may be inferred that the purity of a deathless body (suddha deha implying the other two bodies, Pranava deha and jnana deha) would remain unaffected for all time, and even if the soul were to depart from such a body by voluntary will or by Divine will when one's mission on the earth came to a close, the body as a physical unit of existence would retain a consciousness of its own and continue to be or exist without decomposition and possibly it might influence other bodies that come near it to be transformed.
Once the Swami took the said Devanayakam to Senji hills and roamed about. The latter became hungry and tired. The Swami left him below the shade of a tree and walked some distance and returned with a big laddoo (sweet meat) and a vessel of water in his hands and gave them to him. After Devanayakam had satisfied his hunger and thirst, the Swami told him that he was going back to return the vessel and thereafter He came back to join him.
(16) THE SWAMI AND A SIDDHA PURUSHA
At Cuddalur, the Swami once stayed in the night at the house of a devotee by name Appasamy chettiar. It was the occasion of a festival when the deity of the local temple would be taken round in procession in a chariot. So, many were sitting at the pial of the said house. One who looked like a saint was seen to enter the Swami's room and after a chat with the Swami went away. One devotee by name Duraisamy Pillai (from Puduvai Uraiyur) who was sitting in the pial with others became anxious to know about the man. He went inside and asked the Swami about him. There was a big laddoo before the Swami. The Swami took in a little of it and gave it to be distributed to others and said "it was given by the Siddha Purusha who had come to him and by now he would have reached Benares (i.e. about 1500 miles far off). Tasting thus a part of the laddoo, the Swami exclaimed, "whether the sweet rice cake (pittu) given once to Lord Siva by a woman devotee (vanti) tasted like this?"
(17) LORD SIVA AS SERVANT OF A WOMAN DEVOTEE
The reference is to an old legendary incident that took place in Madurai several centuries before. There was flood in the river Vaigai. The king ordered that the citizens should play their part in raising an embankment to check the erosion of flood. An old woman by name Vanti was a devotee of Lord Siva and she was too old to fulfil this order by herself. She hired a labourer to do the work on her behalf. Her occupation was to cook by steam sweet rice cakes called "Pittu" and sell them. So she offered in lieu of wages sweet rice cakes to the said labourer in whose disguise the Lord Himself had come to serve her and through her the king in raising embankment. The Lord as her servant, dug and carried earth over his head in baskets to the bank for raising its level: but it was found that he did not complete Vanti's portion of the work. The king found him not doing the work properly but singing and dancing and eating and enjoying pittu. So the king of Pandya Kingdom got angry and struck him with a cane. The pain of the beating stroke was sensed universally by all in all the worlds and naturally the king too felt its pain. The flood subsided. The Divine labourer too vanished. All came to know that it was a play of the Divine.
The Swami in his last part of life at Mettukuppam was used to give addresses to his devotees. It was an open audience. Every one sat on the ground rather uncomfortably as it was full of small pebbles. The Swami could not bear their uncomfortableness and requested them to bring soft sand and spread it as a cushion over the place. But none heeded to it. One evening, the Swami moved out from his place towards a section of the audience where there was soft sand. He took sand in his towel and carried it to the front. The devotees followed suit and gathered sand in their upper clothes and shawls whether made of white cotton cloth or silk, and whether bordered with or without golden lace, and they poured it into the front of the Swami's seat and spread it over the entire place. When this incident of carrying earth and spreading it over the place was completed, and all had sat now comfortably and were hearing the Swami's words, sweet rice cake (Pittu) in large quantity was brought by some 'disciples from the Dharmashala at Vadalur for distribution among the gathered auidence. The Swami too took in Pittu and enjoyed it observing thus: "It is as it were I ate pittu two thousand years ago".
NOTE: The reference of eating pittu two thousand years ago is to the same old incident narrated earlier. The Swami is identified with the Divine and remembers now the play of carrying mud and eating pittu prepared by Vanti, the devotee woman. Here at Mettukuppam the spirit of the same incident is more or less repeated or reenacted though in a different form.
(18) SWAMI'S BODY AND LIMBS DISMEMBERED
One day at mid noon the Swami went out from Dharmashala. Shanmugam Pillai of Velur who was in charge of Dharmashala waited for sometime for Swami's return. Growing impatient and anxious, he went out in search of Swami. He was bewildered and shocked to find at a place Swami's dismembered body and limbs in several pieces and he began to swoon. Suddenly the Swami appeared before him and advised him not to come out any more in search after him (the Swami) and returned to Dharmashala.
(19) SWAMI SEEN AT UNAPPROACHABLE DISTANCES
One day the Swami went out alone form Dharmashala for a walk. He saw some devotees following him up and ordered them to stop and not to follow him. But they still followed him. Suddenly the Swami was seen walking at a very far off distance. They ran with the aim of reaching to him. But again the Swami was seen still farther off.
At Karungkuli, one evening the Swami had gone out for a walk near pond. A devotee thought that it was the fit occasion to get upadesha from the Swami when alone. So he was approaching the Swami in haste. But suddenly the Swami was seen in a remote distance. As the devotee went nearer and nearer, the Swami was seen at remoter and far remoter distances. Finally the devotee got perplexed and left the attempt to reach the Swami
NOTE: The above incident is evidently a phenomenon of dematerialisation and materialisation while in life. The Swami absorbs his physical body into the subtle physical and reappears at a far off distance, projecting again the physical body from out of the subtle physical.
(20) MYSTERIOUS SHORT WAY TO A SUBURB
While in Madras, one day the Swami was going by walk to Tiruvottiyur to worship at the Ishwara temple thereat. He was accompanied by devotees and disciples among whom were Somu Chettiar and Velayuddha Mudaliar. On the way there was heavy down pour of rain. Those who accompanied the Swami suffered the difficulty of the journey because of the rains. The Swami showed them a short cut way and in an instant reached Tiruvottiyur. To quote a relevant portion of the incident as described in T.V.G. Chetty's "Life of Swami Ramalingam". They had reached half the way to Tiruvottiyur. There was heavy rain. His followers began to run pell mell. But the Swami "rallied them all together and darted through some mysterious bye lane" and got the entire body in front of the temple in a second of time,
NOTE: The above incident seems to be a case of collective dematerialisation and materialisation, that is to say the Swami took them within his subtle physical body or possibly enveloped them in his environmental body which is its extension and reached the destination instantly and projected them out again. His devotees should have felt the whole process as going through a mysterious way and reaching the temple in an instant.
(21) SWAMI FED BY THE GODDESS
One day the Swami returned late in the night after worshipping at the temple of Tiruvottiyur. The door of his house had been closed by his elder sister, as it was late in the night. The Swami did not like to disturb her sleep by calling her or by knocking at the door. So he slept outside on the pial of the house, though tired and hungry. After some time he was woken by some one bearing food in a plate. The Swami found it was his sister who had come with "rice pongal"(cooked rice with ghee and fried spices) for him. In tender love she asked him, "Are you feeling hungry after going to Tiruvottiyur"? and without waiting for his reply gave him food in that mid night. He ate it and again slept. Then after some time his sister came and woke him up asking in tenderness "Why have you slept on an empty stomach. Could you not tap at the door and wake me up? Come in and take food". The Swami replied that some time before she herself had come and given him food. But she denied that she ever came and gave him food like that and that she only woke up just then. Then the Swami and his sister came to know that it was the divine Mother who came in Swami's sister's form and fed him with food by grace.
NOTE: The Swami refers to the incident in its bare essence in some of his songs (11 36 43 & 48 Arul Vilakkamalai). He observes that the Divine fed him when hungry, not only with material substance of food but also with Grace.
(22) CURES OF DISEASES: INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE
One day eleven of his followers who were inmates of Dharma shala at Vadalur laid down with fever (possibly due to influenza) in the summer month of Cithirai. Out of compassion for them, the Swami asked each of them in an endearing tone and language "Father (an endearing term of address in Tamil, signifying "0 soul of the Divine Father used irrespective of age and relationship) will you give your fever to me?" Then he remained in a room when his body became quite hot like fire and after five minutes he came out quite in a normal condition. The fever of all the patients was gone.
NOTE: The Swami should have absorbed the disease and fever of his followers into his body freed them from the disease and finally thrown the disease and its symptoms from out of his own body. However the incident is interesting because of its collective treatment.
One day when the swami was going to Cidambaram to attend "Tiruvadirai darshan" at the temple, a man affected with dyspepsia prayed him on the way to be relieved of the disease. The Swami gave him "tulsi" leaf (a leaf symbolising devotion for the Divine) and water as treatment. The man was cured.
A man of Sevalai village suffered for 12 years from dyspepsia. He prayed to Vallalar for relieving him from the disease. The Swami (i.e., Vallalar) asked him to pray God. The man replied firmly that the Swami Himself was God for him. Then the Swami gave him sacred ash (Vibhuti) with blessings. The man took it reverentially and applied it on his forehead and put a little of it in his mouth. He got cured.
(23) SWAMI AT TWO PLACES AT THE SAME TIME
At cuddalur, one Ayyasamy Pillai, son of Vedanayakam Pilla was seriously bed-ridden with disease. Death was awaited at any Moment. His father who was a devotee of the Swami became anxious and helpless. The Swami(who was then giving a discourse at Vadalur-a fact which was later verified) came and knocked at his door. The door was opened. The Swami sat near the patient, applied sacred ash on his forehead and in a short time made him open his eyes and sit on the bed. Then he left. The next day the father took his son to Vadalur in a cart. They came to know that the swami was giving discourse at Vadalur throughout the previous night, when he had also visited them at Cuddalur and spent some time attending on the patient. The Swami told them that what took place yesterday was a play of the Divine and requested them not to divulge it. The father and son were moved with surprise and surging waves of love and gratitude for the grace of the Swami..
An old woman of Kongara palayam village aged 96 years suffered from a nervous shaking of her body. She saw Vallalar and by His darshan, she got cured .
Vallalar cured leprosy by giving sacred ash to a patient, the maternal uncle of Purushottama Reddiar of Karungkuli village.
A case of eye disease was cured by the Swami by giving sacred ash with blessing and the patient Muthu Narayana Reddiar volunteered to endow and settle all his property in favour of the Swami.
A case of excessive growth of adenoid was cured by the Swami by giving sacred ash to the patient, a servant of a merchant who had come from Salem to Cuddalur.
While at Karungkuli, once the Swami was approached by a devotee namely Appachamy chettiar who prayed for His Grace to cure his elder brother from cancer. The Swami gave the patient three small packets of sacred ash cancer was cured.
(24) MASTERY OVER VITAL BEINGS AND SPIRITS
One night four magicians started from Vadalur to see the Swami at Mettukuppam. On the way a kali (i.e., a female vital being of bad nature; She is to be distinguished from Kali, the divine goddess) came in her terrible form and frightened them. They replied that while returning they would chain her, and proceeded on the journey. They saw the Swami and paid their homage and obeisance to him, informing about the frightening kali and the action they had proposed to take on her. The Swami asked them not to do so, but simply tell her that they had been to the Swami. On their way back, kali came in a big frightening form, but as soon as she was informed of the purpose of their journey, she became very small in form and went away humbled.
One night two devotees followed the Swami on his way to Tiruvottiyur. On the way a mohini (a female vital being with charming and fascinating influence on man) attacked the said devotees. The Swami at once voiced forth "pich"; the mohini went away and vanished. The Swami gave them sacred ash with his blessing.
One constable by name "Vijaya Raghavalu Nayud of Kurinjipadi suffered because of black magic or witchcraft operated against him. He became lean. He approached the Swami craving for His grace. The Swami wrote and gave him a poem on the divine glory of Sri Rama to practise it as a form of mantra japa..The constable did so an got relieved of the suffering.
The Swami cured cases of spirit possession. One of the two wives of the zamindar of Vettavalam was possessed by a "brahma Rakshasi" an evil female spirit. The other suffered from the disease of dropsy. In spite of several treatments by medicine, by occultism and magic and by offering of animals in sacrifice, their sufferings could not be relieved. At the request of the zamindar, the Swami went to Vettavalam. The zamindar had provided two identical chairs for the Swami to sit on. As soon as the Swami reached the house and was about to step into it, the spirit possessed wife came out and joined her hands in prayar to the Swami and assured him that she (the female spirit) was waiting to leave the affected person (i.e. zamindar's wife) at Swami's bidding. She received sacred ash from the Swami. The spirit departed leaving zamindar's wife to enjoy the freedom of her life. Then, the Swami gave sacred ash in three small quantities to the other wife of the zamindar and cured her from dropsy. The Swami sat in the very particular chair which the zamindar had chosen in his mind in preference to the other chair as a method of finding for himself whether the Swami was a yogi or not. However the zamindar asked for the Swami's pardon for such a behaviour in his thought. He converted the whole family as vegetarians in food, stopped sacrifice of animals at the "Kali" temple of that village and instead asked the people to offer milk rice (i.e., rice cooked in milk) for the goddess. All the poisonous creatures such as serpents were asked to be removed to a distant forest outside the village, instead of killing them or doing any harm to them. For this purpose a snake charmer was engaged at the request of the Swami.
(25) MAN WITH THE LANTERN
In those days the Swami used to give discourses daily at cuddalur. To hear his lectures people gathered from all sides. From Manjakuppam village, one Ramakrishna Pillai came daily to hear the Swami. On the return journey, he felt fear for the darkness of the night, but he saw at some distance a man with a lantern in his hand doing in advance of him, till the former reached the borders of his villages. Then the man with the lantern vanised away. If any attempt was made to closely observe the man, his form would not be seen. When these events were informed to the Swami, he replied that they were the play of the divine Grace.
(26) TORCHES WITHOUT TORCH BEARERS
One lawyer by name Venkatesa Iyer of Viruddhachalam and his wife would attend the Swami's lecture on Sundays at Vadalur. For this purpose they used to come to Vadalur on the previous night itself. On the way to Vadalur, during the night a distance of three miles, which was thick with bushes and trees forming a lonely forest, had to be crossed over. On such occasions two torches were seen to go in front of the couple. But no form of the torch bearers would be seen. The said couple was so much moved by this miracle, that in the later days of retirement from the profession they came and settled in Vadalur to enjoy the Swami's Grace.
Even after the Swami's disappearance, his devotee and disciple Subbaraya Paradeshi who was managing the Dharma Shala saw on several occasions two lanterns (without form of the bearer) going before him in advance, when he passed through dangerous ways for collecting funds from villages for Dharma Shala. Thus he walked the way safely without fear.
(27) THE WAY OF TRUTH
(38) One contractor by name Arumuga Mudaliar wanted to receive a talisman (Kulikai) from the Swami. The latter gave him one which was of the size of two peppers. But the former felt them so heavy to bear in his hands that he dropped them. Then the Swami gave him a printed notice about "the way of Truth" and advised him to follow it so as to live on well.
(28) SWAMI AS GUEST OF HONOUR
At Cidambaram, one siddhar by name Pandinatha Siddhar renovated a shrine dedicated to god "murugan". He gave at the end of the day to masons and labourers sacred ash which got mysteriously converted into monies equivalent to the value of work each actually performed for the construction. Thus the renovation was completed. On the day of opening of the renovated shrine for worship (Kumbhabhiseheka) Vallalar was invited as the chief guest of honour. The said "siddhar" (i.e., one who could do siddhis or miracles of a divine nature) seated Vallalar at a prominent central place in the midst of other dedicated and devoted servants of God (Adiyargal) and performed "Maheshwara Pooja". Then after serving food to all, the said siddhar received with great joy a handful or a morsel of food from the Swami (as prasad).
(29) ON SERPENTS
One Nataraja Pillai chased a serpent in order to catch it. But it got itself wound on his right hand. Then he ran immediately into the presence of the Swami who addressed the serpent "Thou art Ananda Nataraja, the playing Lord of Bliss". It went off from the hand of the former soon, without harming him.
The Swami sees the Divine in all beings and creatures. He sees the Divine in the serpent.
One night a devotee while going round the "Siddhi Valagam" building where the Swami stayed, he accidentally stepped on a serpent which bit him in the leg and its fangs has pierced into the flesh. He prayed the Swami, and the poison did not affect him in any way.
On a Sunday when a devotee of the Swami went out and squatted at an open place near a bush for ablution, a serpent came hissing to bite him. He at once called Swami's name and vowed saying "On the commanding authority of Ramalingam" i.e., ordering the serpent to obey to the Power of Swami as he had taken His sacred Name as a shield of protection). The serpent became rooted to the spot without movement and food. He went away. But the Swami came to know of this incident and told the audience in a lecture that the serpent was bound by the power of oath and fixed to the spot without food for three days and he felt grief and sympathy for the suffering serpent. When the said devotee came on a Tuesday which was his usual day of visit on the Swami, the latter told him "What a trouble to a jeevan which is hungry without food for three days! "Pich" Go and release it from the Power of oath of authority taken in my name".The visitor went to the spot of the incident and released the serpent from the power of oath. The serpent then moved into its pit.
At Madras when the Swami was returning in the night from Vyasarpadi, a suburb, along with devotees after giving a lecture there, a big serpent appeared in the middle of the road. When all others ran away from it, the Swami kept unmoved. It came and wound itself in his leg. The Swami then commanded it to leave off and it went away.
(30) A SERPENT BITES SWAMI
At Cuddalur the Swami once visited Appasamy. There were plantain trees in his warehouse. A serpent on the leaf of a plantain tree bit the Swami at the top of his head and blood oozed out. He applied sacred ash at the spot of the bite. Devotees who were around him asked anxiously what had happened. The Swami replied coolly that the serpent on the leaf bit him in order to die. Then it was found that the serpent had died on the leaf.
(31) ON THIEVES AND ROBBERS
One day while living in Madras, the Swami went to Tiruvottiyur. A thief came, while he was sleeping at a choultry there, and removed from his right ear a gold earring studded with gems. The Swami knew of it, but to facilitate him to remove his left ear ring also turned to the other side in his sleeping posture. After this incident the Swami did not wear ear ring again.
One day Vallalar came from Cuddalur and stayed at a place near Kullanchavadi. A Muslim head constable offered him a new upper cloth to wear on. While the Swami was sleeping at a local choultry, a thief came and drew the new cloth slowly and gently. Swami knew of it but turned sides so that he could take away the cloth. But the constable caught the thief and threatened him with punishment. In the meanwhile the Swami got up and pacifying the constable gave away in kindness the new piece of cloth to the thief, advising him not to do theft.
Once Ramachandra Mudaliar, shrastadar of manchakuppam court, was taking the Swami in a bullock cart to his village. It was night. As the cart drew near Kullanchavadi village, two robbers daringly ordered the cart to stop. The cart driver and the servant of the said Mudaliar were afraid of them and got down and hid in the groves of cashew nut nearby. The robbers came to the back of the cart, asking Mudaliar in a threatening tone to remove diamond ring from his finger and give it to them. The Swami intervened asking "Is it so urgent?". They raised lati (cudgel) against the Swami in order to beat. Instantly their hands became immobile; their eyes lost sight. Then they felt and expressed their sorrow at their behaviour and prayed for the Swami's pardon. Vallalar voiced forth "Pich". Instantly they were restored to normal conditions of sight and movement of hands. They joined hands in prayer to the Swami and took leave of him.
By Swami's influence, the villagers living around Vadalur were converted from their non vegetarian diet into the vegetarian.
(32) SWAMI AS A MUSICIAN
Once a musician by name Cidambaram Krishna Iyer came to Vadalur and sang before the Swami the first stanza of "Mahadeva malai" in the tune of "'Apurupa raga". The Swami heard him and then himself rendered the song in melodious music in a still better way. The said musician came to know of the Swami's great knowledge, taste and talent in music.
The Swami called for, by letter, one Sabapathy Sivacharya of the Brahmin priesthood class who was well versed in Vedas and Agamas, the ancient spiritual and religious literature, and explained to him in secrecy the true significance of Gayatri Mantra (i.e., the Mantra of prayer to the Supramental Sun of Truth - Knowledge). The said Sivacharya became his disciple and later served as the priest in charge of Satya Jnana Sabha, His descendents continue to serve as priest of the Sabha.
(33) TAMIL AS ROOT FOR ALL LANGUAGES
Once a Shastri, well versed in Sanskrit and Tamil, came to the Swami and in the course of discussion with the latter emphasised that Sanskrit was the first language. The Swami wrote at once an explanatory article affirming that Tamil is the original root (technically the "Father language" Pitru bhasha) for all languages and gave it to the scholar.
(34) CONVERSION TO VEGETARIANISM
Once the Swami asked Amavasya, the head man of Harijans of Vadalur to stop eating the carcass of dead oxen and instead bury them. He promised to follow it but he needed eight annas daily for his maintenance. The Swami tied eight annas in a piece of yellow cloth and asked him to keep it in a box. He did so and got daily eight annas as his earnings, He stopped animal food and became pure in diet i.e., became a vegetarian.
(One day Vallalar called for two persons by name Arunachala Padayachi and Venkatachala Padayachi who had large families to support, and blessed them saying 'If you stop eating animal food of flesh and meat from this day onwards, the yield of your dry crop of indigo and the wet crop of paddy will become fivefold". They followed the Swami's advice and became followers of His movement of "Jeeva Karunya" i.e., compassion and reverence to animal life. The yield of their agricultural crops went up and they became prosperous too.
(35) PRODIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES
One pinakapani Mudaliar, Manager of Telegraph office at Pondicherry was proud of his knowledge in seven or eight languages. He came to Vadalur to advise the Swami about learning many languages. The Swami by premonition knew of the purpose of his visit. So when the said Mudaliar was approaching him, he said "Here is one coming to give me advise". When he came, they had. a mutual talk for sometime. Then Vallalar took before the said multi linguist a young boy of four years old, who was the son of his first disciple namely Velayuda Mudaliar. Holding the boy in his hands the Swami asked him (the man) "how many languages do you know ?". He replied "I know five or six languages". Then the Swami told Pinakapani Mudaliar to ask the boy any question on any topic in any language and that the boy would reply suitably in the language he chose to ask. The said Pinakapani became dumbfounded with surprise and even fainted. The Swami again asked him after sometime to ask the boy patiently any question he liked. the dumb founded Mudaliar after half an hour of silence thought of asking Swami's pardon for his pride. The Swami said "pich". Immediately the said Pinakapani opened his mouth asking for Swami's pardon for the wrong committed by him in his presence; and after worshipping Him repeatedly with joined hands, he went away.
In Swami's presence and influence the boy seemed to have become His instrument ready to perform in case of necessity the function that Swami proposed to do through him. On an earlier occasion and in another situation, though of a different kind the boy's father i.e., Velayuda Mudaliar, in the Swami's Presence and by His blessings explained some hard passages in a Sanskrit text to Sri Sankaracharya. The said Velayuda Mudaliar received inspiration from the Swami to write poetry in Tamil. The Swami used to send to him devotees seeking clarifications on points which could be dealt with by him on an intellectual and human level of understanding.
(36) “UTTAMA PURUSHA" AND NAKED SANYASI
While in Madras, the Swami used to go to Tiruvottiyur temple through a bye lane instead of the main car shed (chariot shed þ°Ì¦ Ù± ) street. But one day he happened to go instead through the main street. There was a naked sanyasi sitting on the pial of a house in that street. He would comment on people going that way as "an ass is going, a bull is going." On the day the Swami passed through that road, the naked sanyasi hailed him in praise as "Here is one highly noble person (Uttama Purusha) coming and, so commenting he immediately covered the parts of his body (as if in honour to the great man who was passing through). The Swami said a few words to him and that very night the latter left the place.
(37) KALPATTU AYYAH A YOGI
One yogi by name "Kalpattu Ayyah" intuitively knew that a man of Knowledge (Jnana Acharya) would come of his own accord to him on a particular day and time, accompanied or surrounded by a retinue of devotees, in order to accept him (the former) as a disciple. The said yogi informed many about his intuition. Vallalar accompanied by many devotees, visited the yogi at his village Tirunarung Kunram on the day and hour as foreseen by the latter and accepted him as His disciple. Vallalar took him to Vadalur and gave him a separate cottage to pursue and practise his yoga. Whenever the Swami happened to deal in his lectures to the devotees, any subject which would benefit Kalpattu Ayyah, he would send for him immediately. In his later days, the said yogi was managing Dharma Shala. He died at Vadalur and his remains has been preserved in samadhi near Dharma Shala. He was a realised soul among the swami's disciples.
(38) ARTS, SCIENCES AND OCCULTISM
Vallalar apart from his spiritual and occult knowledge of things had much of what may be called knowledge of the world. Thus he knew about medicines particularly the indigenous "Siddha" system of medicine, medical herbs, literature, music, logical argumentation, alchemy, astrology, philosophies such as Vedanta and Siddhanta, mantra shastra, powers behind talisman and gems possessing extraordinary powers and qualities. He could readily discuss in great detail on any such subject with one who came to him seeking explanations. In short he was a genius in all subjects.
(39) A LITERARY OPPONENT
The disciples of Vallalar published the first four volumes of the Swami's poem in 1867 under the name "Arutpa" meaning "Songs of divine inspiration". One Arumuga Navalar, a well known con- temporary and Tamil scholar who had not the far insight of understanding or grasp of its sublime spiritual significance and who was too through a conservative and adorer of the old traditions to appreciate the sublimity and heights of the spiritual literature of his own times, wrote articles objecting to the naming of Swami's poems as Arutpa and classifying its volumes as "Tirumurai", a name which had been applied to the volumes of ancient Tamil spiritual works. Thus one who had the highest of the supramental and spiritual experiences of the land, along with a vision of the collective evolution not to speak of his transformation into deathlessness of body was hardly understood and appreciated by some of the literay scholars of his times. But with the passage of time and with the due publication of the entire works of the Swami in poetry and prose running into six volumes a definite background of intellectual understanding and appreciation of his writings, to say the least, has now been created.
The said Tamil scholar not satisfied with his writings against the Swami even went to the heights of his folly when he sued a defamation case against the Swami on a false grond that the Swami in his discourses at Cidambaram had spoken ill of him. The case was heard in the Manchakupparn court in 1869. Swami too was summoned. He had no lawyer to represent. The court hall was packed to the full. The Swami came in when summoned. All assembled in the court rose up and joined their hands as a mark of respect and honour, reverence and obeisance to him. Even the plaintiff the said Arumuga Navalar also rose up and joined his palms in Swami's honour which showed that he too had respect for the Swami, an act of saving grace in him. The judge too, it is said, had half risen up from his seat. This graceful event of honour and reverence of the entire gathering in the court shown to the Swami decided the issue. The plaintiff when questioned admitted that he too respected the Swami because all others assembled at the court paid him their respects in acknowledgement of his greatness. On this ground the judge dismissed the case.
(40) TAHSILDAR AND HIS HORN BLOWER
Venkatasubbha Iyer, tahsildar of Manchakuppam used to come daily to Cuddalur to hear the Swami's discourses. His visit was used to be signalled through a blowing horn which) his servant, born of a low caste, carried and ran blowing it in front of the tahsildar's cart all the way from Manchakuppam village to Cuddalur. One day the horn blower reached Cuddalur very hungry and tired and shaking in body because he had to run fast that day, The Swami, unlike on other occasions, did not show any gesture by signs or words indicating warmth of reception to the tahsildar who had come just then to take his seat in the audience for hearing the former's discourse. After some time, the Swami admonished him thus, "For how long the life is going to endure?" Is it not proper to send the horn blower in advance to the place you visit and ask him to blow the horn just at the time when you are drawing near that place?" Tahsildar agreed to do so and asked the Swami's pardon. The Swami started his speech of the day only after the hungry and tired horn blower was fed with food at the Dharma Shala.
The practice of engaging horn blower has been dropped long time since.
(41) SANKARACHARIAR AND HIS DOUBTS
Once when Sri Sankaracharia Swami (the religious head of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam) had been to Madras, he enquired whether there was any Sanskrit Pandit who could clear off his doubt in a Sanskrit book. One of his Brahmin devotees referred the name of Vallalar. Then Vallalar and his disciple Toluvur Velayuda Mudaliar visited on Sankarachariar at the latter's request. Sankarachariar's doubts in the Sanskrit text were cleared off.
NOTES ON VELAYUDHA MUDALIAR
Velayuda Mudaliar who was also a scholar in Sanskrit and Tamil became a fitting instrument of the Swami (Vallalar) on this occasion, and by His blessings and in His presence the said disciple too participated in explaining the passages to Sankarachariar.
(42) DO NOT BEAT STUDENTS
Once Vallalar, while at Madras, came to know that one Ponneri Sundaram Pillai who was a teacher resorted to beating his young students with cane. The said teacher and the student so beaten were respectively the son in law and son of the Swami's elder brother. Swami wrote a poem on the incident and sent it to the teacher through the boy who had reported the matter, admonishing him not to beat his students any more, as beating goes against the fairness of his name "Sundaram". The said Sundaram Pillai threw away the cane and stopped beating once and for all, as soon as he received Swami's poem through the said boy whom he was about to beat again for going out of the school without his permission.
(43) A LAME TEACHER AND A LAME LAMB
One Ramasamy Pillai of Karungkuli was regularly sending food as offering to the Swami who was at Mettukuppam. The Swami asked it to be distributed to the lame teacher of the local school and to the lame lamb of that village. The lame lamb used to stand at a distance and hear the Swami's lectures when its left ear would become bent up a little and the eyes stop winking. After the speech was over, it would go round, along with the devotees, in circumambulation of the Swami's residential house called "Siddhi Valagam", dragging on its two hind legs.
(44) KARANAPPATTU KANDASAMY PILLAI
Karanappattu Kandasamy Pillai was a scholar and musician. He suffered from fainting. Medicines and treatment failed. He approached the Swami for grace. The Swami saw him with eyes of compassion and blessings and gave him sacred ash for the cure of the disease, assuring him further that he would be taken as a disciple and given suitable work. The disease was cured. Since then Kandasamy became a staunch and dedicated disciple of the Swami. The Swami approved him to sing His life and glory (as a part of the latter's sadhana). Kandasamy began to spread his message of "jeeva karunya" and ideals of the Sanmarga movement by lectures and through songs and Bajans (devotional music in congregation). By the Swami's grace he got the inspiration to compose poetry and lyrics. He has writen poems and keertans on the Swami's life, and songs of devotion and love in glory of the Swami. He has compiled in one volume all the works of the Swami and published it in 1924. In that volume he has given authentic informations on several incidents in Swami's life which he gathered personally from devotees and disciples who had lived and moved with the Swami, and kept notes on informations about the Swami in their note books. Kandasamy has published in his "Arutpa volume" a list of names of such persons in acknowledgement of the informations given by them.
(45) PURUSHOTTAMA REDDIAR: SWAMI'S PERSONAL ATTENDANT
When the Swami was staying at "Siddhi Valagam" at Mettukuppam he was used to remain absorbed in the Bliss of Suddha Sivanubhava for some days continuously and then he would come out to give discourses to the disciples. Purushottama Reddiar who served the Swami as his personal attendant during Swami's stay at Karungkuli and Vadalur, continued to attend on him at Mettukuppam also. The Swami in the last periods of his life, was used to take in sugar solution prepared in hot boiling water, that is to say, water was well boiled so as to be reduced to three fifth of its quantity and then sugar was added to it. The attendant would prepare and take it to the Swami by means of a forcep. The Swami drank it as such in its boiling state.
The said attendant would sweep and clean the rooms and inner apartment where the Swami used to remain absorbed in his blissful state, and fed in time the sacred lamp (originally lit by the Swami) with oil and kept it trimmed and ever burning. One day he happened to enter Swami's room for his daily routine of work. It was just the time the Swami, after a blissful absorption, had opened his eyes of Grace which met incidentally (or rather by an act of Grace) the eyes of his attendant. At once the latter was transported into a trance of higher consciousness, and he remained absorbed in it. Other devotees were surprised to know about the incident and asked the Swami what was to be done with the said Purushottama Reddiar. The Swami replied "Do not disturb him; He would get up his own accord". After four or five days of unmoved and absorbed trance, he got up to move out, but yet he remained in a state of silence continuously for months without speaking to anyone.
It was this attendant who had asked once to the Swami to show him Grace by giving him a Sadhana, i.e., a way of practice for his spiritual development. The Swami said, "You are humble as I am. If you do sadhana (i.e., practice of yoga discipline such as meditation) you may receive some light within and a power to do some siddhis (i.e. lower siddhis of an occult nature) and you would grow proud of them to boast of and you would get ruined. So, you do not need any sadhana. But follow the practice of seeing all beings as your own self (i.e., cultivate the vision of equality with all beings) and get it as your habitual nature. One who gets in his nature this habit of seeing all beings alike, is verily the omnipotent Divine". Then by Swami's blessings Purushottama Reddiar took up the work of receiving all the visitors and devotees coming to Vadalur with warmth and tenderness of love and served them with food and drinks at the Dharmashala after making kind and due enquiries as to their needs in that respect. Thus by his attitude of equality, tenderness of love and dedicated and humble service to one and all alike he came to discharge many and varied functions, notably as secretary of the Dharma Shala and Satya Jnana Sabha for many years in the later part of his life. It is no surprise that into such a one, the Swami poured his eyes of Grace and uplifted him to a state of higher consciousness as happened in the foregoing incident at "Siddhi Valaga maliga ".
Construction of a house to feed the poor. The main theme of the mission of the saint is to dedicate himself for a selfless service to the human brings at large. It is this higher aspect of every religion to which the saint gives prominence. He holds compassion as the basis of higher spiritual experiences. According to him, he who loves best serves best. The saint emphatically declares that love for god will develop in the human minds only and not in other creatures. When man develops compassion towards his fellow beings, he is said to prepare the ground for Divine Grace.
Without Divine Grace, abiding love for god is not possible. The saint has used the term ‘Jeevakarunyam’ to denote profound compassion. It is said giving importance to this subject, he has dealt with the subject in seven parts but at present only thre of them are available. Compassion is the fundamental trait of the character of the saint. This factor is apparent from his poetic appeals to the Almighty.
There are two aspects for the compassionate service.
As regards the first, he puts more stress on relieving hungry from hunger. If one pursues the virtue of relieving one from hunger, it is the supreme help. The other kinds of help can be easily rendered by anybody else, as they are supplementaries and sustain the life for some more time.
The saint insists that one should give help to all souls with his earned money and through his own physical labour.
When this is not possible, he should at least pray for them. He insists on family men of low income to be prudent enough in spending money for feeding their own family as well as others who may happen to approach them for food. He thus advocates prudence and thrift. He not only dissuades the rich from spending money unscrupulously on a grand style during their family ceremonies like marriages and other rituals. He persuades them to feed the needy instead.
His suggestion is that anybody can do this according to his capacity. He deplores that rich people when they are jubilant and move pompously in high spirits at grand dinners and ostentatious music, and dance performances, normally do not relish the sight of a poor, hungry, meek human creature waiting anxiously nearby for a mouthful of food.
It is a practical experience gained by the saint himself as revealed in one of his poems. He equally deplores and condemns the act of the pious people in ignoring the poor and destitutes. The so called great men can do so many wonders like transforming a male into a female, but all such acts done by them without compassion are mere tricks to hoodwink the public and they cannot be termed as ‘Gnani’ He himself sets an example for the selfless service. indeed it was his motto. In one of his poems, it is said that he realised God only through this compassionate service and the consequent experience of Grace-Light.
We shall now deal with the other aspects of the compassionate service preached and practised by the saint.
It is the act of Non-killing and not taking flesh. He condemns chiefly the sacrifice of life performed in the name of gods of various types and names. This sort of killing under the garb of religion is an age-old practice. Every village deity was said to be appeased by the sacrifice of poor cattle and poultry.]
This has spread all over the country. People used to eat what they killed in the name sacrifice under the misconception that it is a gift received from the God. In modern society this evil practice has grown by leaps and bounds. People have been advised to take flesh for health reasons as if they are associated with strength and valour. The saint took cudgel against this practice and that of killing. Even from his boyhood, he wished the people to wean away from the act of killing and flesh eating. For this he formulated the unique pathwhich he called as “Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sangam” meaning the path of virtue to establish non-killing and as an unique one to be accepted by all religions.
It will suffice to say here that he was against even hunting of wild beasts. As regards flesh eating, he is very harsh against flesh eaters. According to his theory, flesh eating involves killing the innocent. He describes fleshy food as an inducement for the developments of lower tendencies. In giving reason for his description, he says that the mind of the flesh eaters cannot at all sense the inner self, and consequently the realisation of God’s Eternity will be quite impossible. With copious reasons, the saint has advocated his complete faith in vegetarianism, as the right path to realise the Reality.
Nowadays, more westerners, who were addicted to taking non-vegetarian food, are slowly turning towards vegetarianism.
perhaps the prophecy of the saint has come true in as much as programmes are being arranged annually by several organisations in the line of teachings of the saint to achieve the goal.
Numerous scientists have now come to the conclusion that vegetarian food is more conducive to health, and it nourishes the body with much strength.
It is hoped in the interest of all, the present world will reap the best of the consequences.
Now let us turn to the promotion of universal love and brotherhood.
There is now universal awareness that the entire world should be knit in to a single Brotherhood of nations and live as one family unit.
A strong notion is prevailing in the society that sufferings are inflicted on them according to their past actions and relieving them from their suffering is against the will of god.
In this connection, the contention of the saint is that all people, whether good or bad, kind or cruel, male or female irrespective of any creed or caste, or any nation have the right to live and they should be allowed to live.
Everybody is equal before God-the creater, and hence such discrimination is not at all required.
The saint posing a similar question, answers that people have not realised that all are brothers and that when one individual inflicts suffering upon another by any means, he is really hurting his brothers.
They can be aware of this only if they are made to perceive it even beyond the physical level and to feel their kindness towards other individuals. This perception is called ‘Soul perception’.
But in many cases, it is veiled by ignorance.
All souls are akin to one another as brothers, because their manifestation as living being is effected by the Godhead.
The saint terms as the equal right of souls to love ‘Anmaneya Urimai’
Though the saint belonged to the period, which witnessed political stir all over India, he did not think of associating himself with it.
Instead, in one of his poems he comes with a direct attack on the existing Government about the performance of showing no sympathy towards poor people, and he wishes to have a Government of sympathetic, good natured people.
It is evident from his earlier prose work, ‘Manumurai Kanda vasagam’ that from his boyhood, the saint was endowed with high sense of compassion.
It was his inner urge to propagate it among the people.
This book was written in the prose form on the request of one of his teachers for the use of children as it was thought fit to install the sense of compassion in the tender minds of small children.
Here it is clearly seen that the saint has written it for propagating the humanitarian outlook indirectly.
In this context, we can see now how some people come forward to spend some money stating that it is meant for the uplift of the poor.
Though it may be considered as their voluntary contribution to give some help to the poor, it cannot be termed as a contribution made with their whole-heartedness, as envisaged by the saint. But he viewed that it was done by them only to gain some reputation from the public, such an act cannot be taken as one falling under compassion explained by the saint.
The deep compassion rooted through inner devotion only will gain significance.
After due consideration of all the above facts, the saint wanted to establish a free house in order that everyone should live on the earth without hunger.
Knowing the cherished desire of the saint, his disciples came forward to act accordingly.
A site was chosen by him at vadalur and when the villagers came to know of this, they donated about 80 kanis of land for this purpose, free of cost.
The construction of the building as planned by the saint was also started in right earnest and completed soon.
One fine morning at 6 a.m., the day being Thursday, the 11th of vaikasi in the Tamil Year prabava, the inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of the saint. This corresponds to the year 1867 in English.
The saint himself took pains of lighting the oven and render it as a festive occasion.
Thousands of people were fed continuously without a lull for three days.
According to the instructions of the saint, the oven that was lit up then was kept burning without any interruption.
So far none had felt the shortage of food grains in this institution as the public were donating spontaneously.
On poosam day in the month of Thai of the Tamil year, thousands of people gather there and used to feed the poor and the rich according to their capacity to fulfill the dream of the saint enunciated then.
It will not be out of place to mention here, the significance of the day of which the institution was inaugurated.
The time, day, date and the year denote that Grace (Arul) has dawned on the earth to mitigate and also to wipe out the sufferings of the public and to live with Eternal Bliss.