Archive for October, 2021

October 27, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

courtyard
An old photo of Siddhi Valaagam (சித்தி வளாகம்) or “Abode of Adepthood”, Mettukuppam, Vadalur, Tamilnadu, India. It was Ramalingam’s final residence and venue of his last talk in October 1873.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 674

புடம்படாத் தரமும் விடம்படாத் திறமும்

வடம்படா நலமும் வாய்த்தசெம் பொன்னே!

October 26, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

Symbol of OmniLight in the சத்திய ஞான சபை (Sathiya Gnana Sabhai) or The Great Hall of Truth-Knowledgea place of special manifestation of OmniLight.


Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 673

உளம்பெறு மிடமெலா முதவுக வெனவே

வளம்பட வாய்த்து மன்னிய பொன்னே!

October 25, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

Entrance to the site of the radiant symbol (Jothi or orb of light) of OmniLight in the Sathiya Gnana Sabhai (1872), or Hall Of Truth-Knowledge, designed by Ramalingam.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 672

கைதவர் கனவினுங் காண்டற் கரிதாய்ச்

செய்தவப் பயனாந் திருவருள் வலத்தால்

October 24, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 800px-Sathya_gnana_sabha%2C_vadalur_1.jpg
சத்திய ஞான சபை (Sathiya Gnana Sabhai) or The Great Hall of Truth-Knowledge, and place of special manifestation of OmniLight, designed by Ramalingam without any formal training in architecture. It was constructed in 1871 and opened to the public in January 1872. It has no anthropomorphic idols or images.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 671

காட்சிக் கினியநற் கலையுடை யதுவாய்

ஆட்சிக் குரியபன் மாட்சியு முடைத்தாய்!

Delightful,

Benevolent

Brilliance

And

Beauty,

Impeccable

Magnificence

And

Majesty

Of

Power,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

This couplet continues the series of couplets on the maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. These couplets also invoke gold and its aspects to convey this maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. The imperishable and immaculate nature of the OmniLight Gold is also contrasted with the perishable and imperfect nature of mundane gold.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.

October 23, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

courtyard
An old photo of Siddhi Valaagam (சித்தி வளாகம்) or “Abode of Adepthood”, Mettukuppam, Vadalur, Tamilnadu, India. It was Ramalingam’s final residence and venue of his last talk in October 1873.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 670

மாற்றிவை யென்ன மதித்தளப் பரிதாய்

ஊற்றமும் வண்ணமு மொருங்குடை யதுவாய்க்!

Immeasurable

In

Value,

Indestructible

In

Substance,

Imperishable

In

Form

And

Color,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

This couplet continues the series of couplets on the maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. These couplets also invoke gold and its aspects to convey this maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. The imperishable and immaculate nature of the OmniLight Gold is also contrasted with the perishable and imperfect nature of mundane gold.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.

October 22, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

Symbol of OmniLight in the சத்திய ஞான சபை (Sathiya Gnana Sabhai) or The Great Hall of Truth-Knowledgea place of special manifestation of OmniLight.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 669

இடையுறப் படாத வியற்கை விளக்கமாய்த்

தடையொன்று மில்லாத் தகவுடை யதுவாய்!

Self-sufficient,

Unimpeded

Illumination,

Undiminished,

Unobstructed

Excellence

Of

Nature,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

This couplet continues the series of couplets on the maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. These couplets also invoke gold and its aspects to convey this maximal excellence of the nature of OmniLight. The imperishable and immaculate nature of the OmniLight Gold is also contrasted with the perishable and imperfect nature of mundane gold.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.

October 21, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

Entrance to the site of the radiant symbol (Jothi or orb of light) of OmniLight in the Sathiya Gnana Sabhai (1872), or Hall Of Truth-Knowledge, designed by Ramalingam.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 777

சமரச சத்தியச் சபையி னடம்புரி

சமரச சத்தியத் தற்சுயஞ் சுடரே!

Ever-Present,

Self-Existent,

Transcendent

Orb

Of

Light

Of

Truth

And

Unity,

Which

Enacts

The

Cosmic

Dance

In

The

Divine

Hall

Of

Samarasa

Sathiyam,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

The expression “சமரச சத்தியச் சபை” (samarasa sathiya sabhai), at the start of this couplet, refers to the Great Hall of Truth-Knowledge (சத்திய ஞான சபை – Sathiya Gnana Sabhai) in Vadalur, Tamilnadu, India. It was designed by Ramalingam, without benefit of any formal training in architecture, and opened to the public in 1872.

Ramalingam has testified in his first Suddha Sanmarga Vinappam or Petition to OmniLight, on behalf of the sangam or community of Suddha Sanmargam, that it is a place of special manifestation and dance of the OmniLight.

The expression “சமரச சத்தியம்” (samarasa sathiyam), which recurs at the start of the second line, signifies truth and unity, two great values of Suddha Sanmargam, or the Pure Path of Wisdom and Harmony, envisioned by Ramalingam.

The phrase “தற்சுயஞ் சுடரே” (tharsuyam sudarey) refers to the intrinsic attributes of self-sufficiency and ever-present existence of the OmniLight in its mode of Transcendent Orb Of Light.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.

October 20, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 800px-Sathya_gnana_sabha%2C_vadalur_1.jpg
சத்திய ஞான சபை (Sathiya Gnana Sabhai) or The Great Hall of Truth-Knowledge, and place of special manifestation of OmniLight, designed by Ramalingam without any formal training in architecture. It was constructed in 1871 and opened to the public in January 1872. It has no anthropomorphic idols or images.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 776

வரநிறை பொதுவிடை வளர்திரு நடம்புரி

பரமசித் தாந்தப் பதிபரஞ் சுடரே!

Transcendent

Orb

Of

Light,

Which

Also

Includes

The

Highest

Dualist

State

Of

Siddhanta,

And

Enacts

The

Expansive

Dance

Of

Beauty

At

The

Center

Of

The

Hall

Of

Plenitude

Of

Benediction,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

The previous couplet affirmed that the OmniLight, in its mode as the Transcendent Orb of Light, includes the non-dual end-state, or a state of indivisible Oneness, of Vedanta.

This couplet affirms that the OmniLight, in its mode as the Transcendent Orb Of Light, also includes the dualist end-state of Siddhanta. Siddhanta affirms dualism, or the irrevocable distinction between God, or the Supreme Being, and the individual soul. It holds the view that the liberation of the individual soul rests on receiving grace or the supreme compassion of God.

The term “பரஞ் சுடர்“ (param sudar), used here to describe the OmniLight, means “transcendent orb of light”.

The Tamil word “பொது” (podhu), in the context of this couplet, refers to the Sacred Hall which knows no day or night, or temporal change. It is an allusion to the Sacred Hall of the dancing Siva in the great temple in Chidambaram, Tamilnadu, India.

The expression “வரநிறை பொது” (vara nirai podhu) at the start of this couplet means “Hall of Plenitude Of Benediction“. The word “வர” (vara) is derived from “வரம்” (varam) which signifies benediction or blessing. The term “நிறை” (nirai) signifies fullness or plenitude. And the word “பொது” (podhu), which was also used in the previous couplet, refers to the “Hall” or Divine Space in which the OmniLight performs the expansive cosmic dance of beauty (Tamil: வளர்திரு நடம் – valar thiru nadam).

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.

October 18, 2021

Letters Of Ramalingam (4)

A letter from Ramalingam dated April 25, 1865, addressed in his own handwriting to his long-time friend Irukkam Rathina Mudaliyaar in Chennai.

Another letter from Ramalingam to his boyhood friend Irukkam Rathina Mudaliyaar is remarkable for its contents. It is dated May 27, 1860. Ramalingam was 37 years old when he wrote this letter. It touches on the topic of marriage. It appears that Irukkam Rathina Mudaliyaar was contemplating second marriage and was hesitating in making his decision. Ramalingam firmly encourages him to marry again.

Ramalingam already had behind him the experience of his own unfulfilled and short-lived marriage due to the early death of his wife. Acquiescing in the persistent demands of his family, he married in 1850 at the age of 27, quite late for his times. Despite his marriage, he was absorbed in his reading of classics of Tamil spiritual poetry such as the Thiruvasagam by the great poet Manikkavasagar (9th century), devotional practices, visits to temples, etc., and did not care much about his marital duties. But it is hard to think that he was anything other than compassionate toward his wife.

According to S. P. Annamalai, in his book “The Life And Teachings Of Saint Ramalingar“, Ramalingam’s wife passed away 6 or 7 months into the marriage. He never remarried.

The letter he wrote on May, 27, 1860 has the following main contents:

“பரம சிவத்தினிடத்தே மாறாது மனத்தை வைத்துக்கொண்டு புறத்தே ஆயிரம் பெண்களை விவாகஞ் செய்துக் கொள்ளலாம். அன்றியும், விவாகஞ் செய்துக்கொண்டாலும் அதனால் வருத்தப்பட நம்மை சிவபெருமான் செய்விக்க மாட்டார். ஆதலால் சந்தோஷமாக விவாகத்துக்குச் சம்மதிக்கலாம். தாம் தடை செய்ய வேண்டாம்.”

Translation: “If we keep our minds concentrated on Siva, the Supreme Being, outwardly we may marry a thousand women. The Supreme Being, Siva, will not allow us to suffer on account of the marriage. Therefore, happily consent to marriage. You must not delay or obstruct it.”

The key passage in this letter follows:

“எந்தக் காலத்தில் – எந்த இடத்தில் – எந்தவிதமாக – எந்த மட்டில் – எதை அனுபவிக்க வேண்டுமோ அதை அந்தக் காலம் – அந்த இடம் – அந்த விதம் – அந்த மட்டு – பொருந்தப் பொசிப்பிக்கின்றது திருவருட் சத்தியாயிருந்தால், நமக்கென்ன சுதந்தரமிருக்கின்றது. எல்லாம் திருவருட்சத்தி காரியமென்று அதைத் தியானித்திருக்க வேண்டும். உண்மை இது. இதைக் கொண்டு தெளிந்திருக்கவேண்டும்.”

Translation: “If it is the way of Divine Will and Shakti or Power to determine the time, place, manner, extent, and objects of one’s enjoyment, then one enjoys those objects, at that time, in that place, in that manner, and to that extent. Since the enjoyment is a function of Divine Will and Shakti or Power, one has no choice in the matter. One must contemplate that it is all the work of Divine Will and Shakti or Power. This is the truth. It must be clearly understood.”

Ramalingam is commenting not only on the enjoyments and comforts provided by his friend’s prospective second marriage, but on the true nature of all enjoyments (Tamil:போகம் – Bhogam).

He would also observe in his last Vinappam, or petition of Suddha Sanmargam, that the moment he made a complete surrender of his body and mind to the OmniLight, he realized that the instruments of body and mind, and the objects of enjoyment, were all the gifts of grace, or gifts of the supreme compassion of the OmniLight, and not really obtained by his own limited will and effort.

How do we reconcile these remarks with the affirmation of the limited freedom of choice (Tamil: அல்ப சுதந்திரம் – alpa sudanthiram) of the individual soul, bound in the coils of ignorance, in his later incomplete essay of 1867 on the Ethic of Compassion for Living Beings? I will address this issue in a separate post. For now, I will point out that, in the quoted remarks from his letter, he is not denying the limited freedom of choice of human beings. Rather, he is affirming that the fulfilment (or denial) of choice (and desire) is a function of Divine Will and Shakti or Power.

In other words, I have limited freedom of choice and may exercise it to choose and desire a particular object. But whether that choice and desire will be fulfilled or denied is determined by the Divine Will and Shakti or Power.

Postscript: Irukkam Rathina Mudaliyaar accepted Ramalingam’s advice and remarried. Ramalingam was unable to attend the wedding. In a letter sent to his friend in the end of July 1860, Ramalingam wrote that he regretted that he was unable to attend the wedding, but was happy to hear about it. (Tamil: “தங்கள் மணக்கோலத்தை காணக் கொடுத்து வையாதவனாகவிருந்தாலும் கேட்டு மகிழும்படி பெற்றேன்“).

October 18, 2021

OmniLight Invocations 365

courtyard
An old photo of Siddhi Valaagam (சித்தி வளாகம்) or “Abode of Adepthood”, Mettukuppam, Vadalur, Tamilnadu, India. It was Ramalingam’s final residence and venue of his last talk in October 1873.

Arutperunjothi Agaval: Couplet: 775

இரவொடு பகலிலா வியல்பொது நடமிடு

பரமவே தாந்தப் பரம்பரஞ் சுடரே!

Transcendent

Non-dual

Orb

Of

Light,

Which

Dances

In

The

Sacred

Hall

Without

Day

Or

Night,

OmniLight Of Supreme Compassion!

Notes:

The term “பரஞ் சுடர்“, used here to describe the OmniLight, means “transcendent orb of light”.

The Tamil word “பொது” (podhu), in the context of this couplet, refers to the Sacred Hall or Divine Space which knows no day or night, or temporal change. It is an allusion to the Sacred Hall of the dancing Siva in the great temple in Chidambaram, Tamilnadu, India.

The expression “பரம வேதாந்த” (parama vedanta) refers to the transcendent, non-dual state of being, or complete oneness, in which there is no division between subject and object.

The Arutperunjothi Agaval is Ramalingam’s magnum opus of spiritual enlightenment poetry composed in 798 couplets in 1872. In later posts, I will offer commentaries on these couplets.