Monday, 25 June 2012

Travelogue TN: Day 4 - Vallalar

1st May - Tuesday

I am unable to say any particular day as a climax in the program, since each and every day presented itself so majestically mystic and full of the Parama Chaithanyam.

This day we stayed at Chidambaram and moved around. What a good providence for us to be in the city of Kanaka Sabha and be able to go around places which were so full of ancient traditions and history. The only trouble which we probably had during this time was the comparatively bad stay at the hotel here.

Vallalar – Ramalingaswamy

Vallalar was among the greatest Tamil Saints. He lived during the late 19th century and was connected to Chidambaram in a unique way.

When Ramalinga Adigal was five months old, his parents took him to the Chidambaram Temple. It is said that the infant laughed aloud when the priest offered the traditional Deepa Aradhana to the Lord. This apparently routine visit to the temple thus offered him his first spiritual experience as well. In later years he said of the experience,

"No sooner the Light was perceived, happiness prevailed on me"
"The sweet nectar was tasted by me as soon as the Arutperumjyothi (Supreme Grace Of Light) became visible”

He used to say that the Lord is “Arul Perum Jyothi” – Personification of Mercy and Knowledge.

He was one of the saints who used to be always in the ‘Turiyateeta Nilai’ which is even after the Turiya state. He used to wear a white robe to cover his body so as to cover the ‘Divya Jyoti’ which was emanating from his body. ‘Jeeva Karunyam’ was his teaching and the state of Karunyam was achieved only when the vision is all encompassing as ones own self.

He opened the Sathya Gnaana Sabha at Vadalur and established a center for feeding the poor people. He lighted a lamp there and said that the fire would be ever alive. This centre is maintained now and his writings and books on him are available at this location. 

At a village known as Mettukuppam very close to Vadalur in the Siddhivilakam Maligai, Adigal on January 30, 1874, entered the room and locked himself and told his followers not to open it. He said that even if they did open it they would find nothing. His seclusion spurred many rumors, and the Government finally forced open the doors in May. The room was empty, with no clues. The Madras District Gazetteer published by the South Arcot District in 1906 records his disappearance

That room is still kept sacred and closed. We spent some time in front of the room. It was an unexplainable experience. We felt as if we were touched deeply somewhere inside and a vast reservoir of unexplainable emotion of contentment and peace was opened. Tears streaming from our eyes and feeling that there was no need to break it, we spent some more time in the courtyard.

The entire surroundings are very lively, deep inside the village and pleasant. A deepam is kept there adjacent to the room and people maintain the same as an Ashram.

A renunciate who initially showed us the place and a brahmacharini, were standing near the road at the new Mantapam, keenly watching us. We went and spoke to them. He couldn’t (wouldn’t?) speak and conveyed mostly on signs. She helped us to understand what he had meant. He conversed with each of us and also gave some insight into food habits. He also gave some information about eyesight and we heard him with utmost respect. The moment was very special and we received all the information with utmost respect.

My Uncle had written a Jiva Charithram which was well received by a lot of good minded people and the same is also referred and uploaded in one of the Vallalar dedicated sites.

Arul Perum Jyoti , Arul Perum Jyoti, Tani Perum Karunai, Arul Perum Jyoti.”

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