Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Supreme Light Divine

Thaipoosam falls on February 5 when lakhs of people will assemble at Vadalur Sathya Gnana Sabai to worship the Arulperum Jyothi of Vallalar on full moon day.DR. K. SIVARAMAN writes...

THE BIRTHDAY of Arut Prakasa Vallalar, poet saint Ramalinga, is celebrated on October 5 every year. He is a saint of Universal love who explained the mission of man and his destiny within the mystery of creation. He worshipped the creator or God in the form of supreme light and supreme grace. To him God was the embodiment of light and grace.

His declaration that God is above all religions and nations, caste and creed, race and clime has brought the whole world into the fold of Universal oneness Universal brotherhood and Universal harmony. Saint Ramalinga preached self-purification, oneness of God, Universal brotherhood, non-violence and vegetarianism. He is the personification of love, simplicity, humility and jeeva karunya. When all scriptures proclaimed that God is merciful, Vallalar said that mercy itself is God. When other religions preached of love of human beings, the poet saint went a step further and preached love to all living creatures including animal and plant kingdom. (Anmaneyam). He believed in empathy rather than sympathy. He coined the word "Thaniperum Karunai" — the unique compassion in his great Mahamantram to depict God. In keeping with Vallalar's doctrine, the Tamil Nadu Government has implemented his doctrine (in August 2003) by enacting the law passed in 1950 prohibiting animal sacrifices in all Hindu temples. Saint Ramalinga formulated the concept of Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sathiya Sangam.

This is not another religion but a way of life, beyond all religions. Suddha Sanmargam advocates four disciplines — Discipline of the body (diet, yoga, etc.,), discipline of the mind (meditation, willpower, etc.,) discipline towards other people - social and professional character and discipline towards other lives on earth — Jeevakarunya, Dharma, etc.

In 1871, the saint established Sathya Gnana Sabai at Vadalur where he kept an oil lamp burning constantly day and night. It is placed in the centre of a Lotus symbolising the God of Light in the human soul.

Vallalar could not bear the agony of people suffering from hunger. So he established Sathya Dharma Saalai in 1897 at Vadalur to eradicate hunger. This has been feeding the poor, sick and the hungry twice a day for the past 135 years, thanks to the benevolent sanmargis. The Dharmasalai trust has 2,830 members and a fixed deposit of two crores of rupees. Saint Ramalinga believed in the immortality of man. He vouches that by constant practice of moral discipline, ceaseless prayers and selfless service to the living beings, immortality can be achieved. The body becomes more and more pure and light and transforms itself by chemical changes as "Body of Love" the visible, the "Body of grace" the visible and the invisible and finally the "Body of space," the invisible. The changes can be compared to the metamorphosis of a crawling caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. He preached and practised this art at Siddhi Valagan where his body, dematerialised and merged with the Almighty in 1874 without any residue.

Vallalar's Thiruarutpa is a monumental work. It contains 6,000 inspiring poems. Vallalar's mission has been taken up by three persons who have lakhs of followers. Utilising this theory of longevity and deathlessness by Universal love Vedhadri Maharishi instituted the "Temple of consciousness" at Azhiyar, Pollachi. In 1986, Swami Sachidananda took his message of Light worship and built the Lotus temple (Light of Truth Universal shrine) at Virginia (U.S.) preaching integrated Yoga.

Swami Sarvananda found an Institute of Compassion at Chinnalapatty, Dindigul.

The devotees of Vallalar are many. They carry Vallalar's message far and wide. But those in his home state have grievances that have not been expressed.

The administration of Vallalar Deiva Nilayam at Vadalur, which according to the saint is a non-religious altar of worship, is at present in the hands of the Hindu Religious Endowment department. The devotees want it brought under a private body of Sanmargis.

Although the saint did not believe in idol worship, Sivalinga worship is being carried out on pradosham days in the premises of Satya Gnana Sabai. This has hurt the feelings of lakhs and lakhs of sanmargis.

Will the Tamil Nadu Government take note of the feelings of sanmargis and rectify them?

(The author is president, Thanjavur District Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sangam and former Dean, Thanjavur Medical College)


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