Archive for February 6th, 2021

February 6, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

Indonesian Vogelkop Bowerbird designing a colorful nest to attract a female
Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings (15,000- to 17,000-year-old) near Montignac, France
A 5,000-year-old tablet from the city of Uruk in Iraq
Wildebeests rely on moonlight to avoid nocturnal attacks by lions.
Bird navigation at night is guided by moonlight and starlight.
Claude Monet at work on the “Water Lilies” series

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet 381:

கலையறி வளித்துக் களிப்பினி லுயிரெலாம்

அலைவறக் காத்தரு ளருட்பெருஞ் ஜோதி

Perception of Light,

Vision of Color,

Sense of Beauty,

Knowledge of Language,

Generating Joy

In living beings,

Alleviating their travail,

Keeping them alive,

By the Supreme Compassion of OmniLight!

Note: The complex Tamil word “கலை“, at the start of this couplet, has many layers of meaning. In addition to encompassing knowledge of language and sense of beauty within its range of meaning, it also refers to luminosity or light.

The perception of light guides critical activities of living beings, e.g., communication, navigation, foraging, and reproduction. According to ecologist Davide Dominoni: “Light is possibly — maybe just after the availability of . . . food — the most important environmental driver of changes in behavior and physiology”. For instance, it is known that moonlight plays a central role in the behavior of lion prey such as wildebeest, birdsong, the development of fish, and the movements of dung beetles.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. The meditative recitation of these prayers helps to develop compassion for living beings.

In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these verses.