Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sathya Gnana Sabai - Temple of Wisdom

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.

(Written by Swami Saravananda, Dindigul, 1939)


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