Vadalur Vallalar - Part 3 Dec 4, 2013 19:50:12 GMT 5.5
Post by Amritha Varshini on Dec 4, 2013 19:50:12 GMT 5.5
Vadalur Vallalar - Part 3
Establishment of Sathya Dharma Salai
Vallalar established a number of institutions that survive today. Vallalar believed in the dignity of man and emphasized that religions should respect this dignity. He was the embodiment of compassion. When he saw people suffering for want of food, it reminded him of falling young plants drying up for want of nourishment. He expressed this feeling in one of his songs thus: “I felt sad seeing the falling ear of tender plants, withering for want of nourishment. I felt sad seeing frail people crestfallen for want of food.” (Vaadiya Payirinai Kanda Pothellam Vaadinen). In 1865 he established a poor feeding center called as Sathya Dharma Salai at Vadalur. On the inaugural day he lit the fire of the stone stove, with a declaration that the fire be ever alive and the needy shall be fed forever.
Sathya Gnana Sabai
Ramalinga Adigal opened a temple at Vadalur on January 25, 1872, called the "Sathya Gnana Sabha" (Hall of True Knowledge). This place is not a temple. An oil lamp is kept perpetually burning. There are seven cotton fabric screens, representing the seven factors that prevent a soul from realizing its true nature. The entire complex is bound by a chain with 21,600 links, said to represent 21,600 inhalations by a normal human being.
Establishment of Society for pure truth in Universal self-hood or ‘Samarasa Sudha Sanmarga Sabhai’Vallalar established Samarasa Sudha Sanmarga Sabhai as the medium to translate his ideals into practice. The term Samarasa means equanimity, the concept that encompasses all religious thoughts and respects all faiths and religions. The term ‘Sudham’ implies purity and sublimity. Sanmargam means the right and truthful way. In short, it is a philosophy that transcends all existing spiritual thoughts and shows the perfect way of truth. It emphasizes the importance of discipline which Vallalar classified as discipline of senses Indriya Ozhukkam, Karana Ozhukkam, Jeeva Ozhukkam, and Athma Ozhukkam. Vallalar also stressed the importance of charity. He considered food offering (Annadhana) as the most sacred duty of all. Vallalar dreamt of the day when hunger and poverty would completely be eliminated. The philosophy of Sudha Sanmarga (Pure Gathering), built on the concept of love and compassion, aims at purifying the body, enlivening the mind, enriching the intellect and enlightening the soul, the different steps that lead to immortality. It follows the path of simplicity and discipline; the path of Sanmarga where there is no human distinctions.
The path of Sanmarga symbolizes truth, love and discipline which leads to the highest stage of divinity (Iswara Sakshathkaram) and immortality. Vallalar underlined certain principles which formed the foundation of Samarasa Sudha Sanmargam. These are:-
- God is one. He is Arut Perum Jyothi, the Vast Grace of Light.
All are children of one God and there is no caste, religious or regional differences.
One should recognize the divinity in every soul, respect it and live in peace and prosperity, in a spirit of love and unity.
Compassion towards all fellow beings and compassion towards all lives such as animals, birds etc. should form the basis of all actions.
To reach God, tread the path of simplicity and humility and not through rituals or extravagant way of worship.
- List item 2
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Pasithiru, Thanithiru, Vizhithiru!
Saint Ramalingar, giving the essence of his teachings said Pasithiru `Experience Hunger'' (not about food, but the soul should always yearn to reach God), Thanithiru `Be aloof'' (avoid getting caught by delusion) and Vizhithiru ``Always be aware'' (be constantly vigilant over the activities of the senses).Normally, a seeker, bound by various attachments in the world, finds many obstacles in his spiritual journey. The family ties, the properties, passions, prejudices, attachments and affiliations all bind him, incapacitating him or her for any meaningful action. The 52 iron links that symbolically form a chain and surround the Gnana Sabhai signal the message that one who is determined and dedicated can remove these chains one by one, liberate himself and realize the Vast Grace of Light.
Vallalar as a Reformer
Vallalar saw many ills plaguing the society. Steeped in ignorance, people were following certain outmoded customs, dogmas, beliefs and practices. There were differences within Hindu religion. The need of the hour was transformation in socio-religious practices, change in concepts or mis-concepts and change in way of life. Vallalar felt this need. He wished everyone living in the spirit of universal brother-hood, showing compassion towards all lives. Vallalar perceived God not as an identifiable image, not necessarily in the form of an idol and not restricted to a class or religion. He perceived God as all-pervading divine power. He pointed out the lacuna in the prevailing practices and sought to dispel many ill-conceived notions. He sought to dispense with various practices like rituals. He sought to remove the artificial barriers and unite all aspirants under one common platform. He then took the role of a reformer, introduced the universal and uniform concept of Jyothi worship and Sudha Sanmarga.
The mission of Vallalar
He led a life of virtue, abstinence and discipline, though he prayed for all people, accepting their vices as his own. He always wore spotless clean white cloth around his body that symbolized gentleness and peace. He looked serene and majestic, his sparkling eyes conveying the message of love. He spoke in a low gentle tone. Even while singing, he maintained a low pitch. Perhaps, one could hear his voice rose while speaking for vegetarianism. He performed many acts of miracles but never agreed that he consciously exercised such powers or even possessed them. He not only fulfilled the aspiration of the soul but also healed the body. He was a good physician who prescribed clean diet habits, exercise, Pranayamam and Yoga for good health.
Vallalar believed that just as the soul, body also undergoes a spiritual transformation by the grace of Jyothi. When the body functions independently of sense organs, it becomes pure. When the soul within is sublime and sacred, it implies that the body in which the soul lives is also pure. Just as the contents are pure, the container also gets purity and sanctity. As a result of spiritual transformation, the body assumes a stage of divine Golden Deathless Body. It continues to remain in this divine stage deriving its own inherent energy and then attains immortality. In line with his belief, Vallalar is believed to have attained immortality.
Swami Ramalingam's Ascension on Thai Poosam Day
It was on a Thai Poosam i.e. on 30th January 1874 that Swami Ramalingam made his final merger with Jyoti and physically disappeared from the earth plane. No traces of his body were ever found. Vallalar drew some of his close disciples near and said “I wish to confine myself in the room here. Do not search for me and if you do, you would not find. I believe, God has willed it that way and I hope it would happen that way”. He then walked away, entered into a room and closed the door. It is believed that he sacrificed his deathless body and dematerialized so that he could continue his divine presence among his disciples, grace them and guide them. That marked the end of a great sage or the beginning of a new age. That marked the end of a glorious chapter of Vallalar that opened up a new chapter for man’s eternal quest to know the truth. That marked the end of a period of darkness that heralded the advent of a new era of awakening, the era of light and Jyothi.
May the light of love, the light of grace he kindled radiate its brilliance all over. May the beacon light he lit brighten up the world. May the flame of grace he brought bring a sense of unity and peace all over the earth!