Posts tagged ‘Ramalingam’s last talk’

April 28, 2018

The Last Talk of Ramalingam (1)

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"Siddhi Valaagam",  or the  "Abode of Adepthood"

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“Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci – the Roman author and architect Vitruvius celebrated the geometrical proportionality of the human body

According to the available notes, evidently garbled in a few places, left by an unknown attendee, Ramalingam’s last talk was given on October 21, 1873, in the morning, to the associates who were with him in the cottage “Siddhi Valaagam”, or the “Abode of Adepthood”, in the hamlet of Mettukuppam, shortly after he hoisted the flag of Suddha Sanmargam (the pure path to enlightenment). This flag has two colors: yellow at the top and white at the bottom.

The notes suggest that Ramalingam had explained the symbolism of the flag in terms of the colors of a membrane in the location of the forehead “chakra” or the center of spiritual perception located between the eyebrows. Apparently, he had said that these colors are visible to the inner eye in spiritual experience. Be that as it may, we should take note that white and yellow constitute the two ends of the spectrum of fundamental colors mentioned by Ramalingam in his great tetralogy of “True Supplications of Suddha Sanmargam”,  or the four great petitions (Tamil: விண்ணப்பம்) to Arutperumjothi or the Immense Light of Compassion. Ramalingam’s theory of colors is worth discussing in a separate series of posts.

White could also symbolize the “Chitsabhai” (Tamil: சிற்சபை) or the “Hall of Consciousness” within every soul, and yellow could symbolize the “Porsabhai” (Tamil: பொற்சபை) or the “Golden Hall”, the immaculate, incomparable, transcendent “hall”, or “space” beyond all things, in which Arutperumjothi abides forever.

As I pointed out earlier, some of the points in the notes of this last talk are evidently garbled and even incoherent, e.g., the claims on the nature and order of the colored Screens which block the individual soul’s perception of different aspects of reality. Therefore, we must use the standard of consistency with the central authentic writings of Ramalingam, e.g., the four great petitions or the tetralogy of Supplications of Suddha Sanmargam, the Essay on Compassion for Living Beings, and his magnum opus, Arutperumjothi Agaval or the Song of Divine Light, to sift through the contents of these notes.

Here are the results of this process of sifting through the notes of his last talk in terms of the specified standard:

  1. The talk begins with an advice, or perhaps, even an admonition, to his associates not to continue to waste their precious time and span of life. Ramalingam goes on to emphasize the importance of devoting their precious time to intensive inquiry (Tamil: விசாரணை).
  2. He clarifies the nature of this intensive inquiry. It is concerned with understanding the nature and condition of the individual self or soul and the divine nature and condition of the Deity or Supreme Being (Tamil: தெய்வம்) which excels individual selves or souls.
  3. He points out that this intensive inquiry can be undertaken individually or in association with others.
  4. He also mentions his former Tamil poetry student and long-time associate, Thozhuvoor Velayuda Mudaliyar (who wrote, despite his long association with Ramalingam, a cursory and inadequate reminiscence of the latter which was published in the official journal of the Theosophical Society), and says that they could also consult with TVM in the pursuit of their inquiry. It is intriguing that, according to the notes, Ramalingam said that TVM would facilitate their inquiry in human terms or in terms sufficient for human intelligence or understanding. This suggests that Ramalingam had transcended human intelligence or understanding. There are other passages in these notes indicating that Ramalingam had said that he had attained cosmic consciousness.
  5. It is remarkable that Ramalingam elucidates this inquiry in terms of what he designates in Tamil “அண்ட விசாரம்“, or inquiry into the nature of the cosmos and “பிண்ட விசாரம்”, or inquiry into the nature of living bodies, particularly the human body. In other words, the intensive inquiry he emphasizes also includes cosmology and biology, particularly human biology. In fact, Ramalingam states that “அண்ட விசாரம்” or cosmological inquiry consists in the inquiry into the சொரூபம் (essential structure), ரூபம் (form and beauty of form), and சுபாவம் (inherent tendencies or dispositions) of our Sun, the moon, the stars, and other cosmic phenomena.
  6. “பிண்ட விசாரம்” or biological/physiological inquiry consists in pursuing questions such as “What is the nature of the self or agent in this body?”, “Why do the parts of our human bodies have their respective features? For instance, why does hair grow in other parts of the human body, but not on the forehead (eyebrows excepted)?”,  “What processes determine the growth of nails on fingers and toes?”, and so forth.
  7. The notes indicate that Ramalingam pointed out that this intensive inquiry into the nature of the individual self or soul, the divine nature of the Deity or Supreme Being, the nature of cosmic phenomena, and the nature of biological phenomena, notably the human body, will remove the first, dense Screen which hides the manifold aspects of  the divine reality and divine governance of the cosmos from the soul’s perception or understanding.
  8. However, the notes seem garbled in their account of the color of this first, dense Screen. It is mentioned that the color of this Screen is green, but this must be a mistake because in Ramalingam’s remarkable account, given in his magnum opus Arutperumjothi Agaval or Song of Divine Light, of the colored Cosmic Screens which hide the manifold aspects of  mundane, supramundane, and divine reality from the soul’s perception or understanding, the first, immense,  and dense cosmic Screen is black in color, represents “மாமாயை”,  “Mahamaya” or vast, primeval matter, and hides the divine governance and foundation of the cosmos. As the Arutperumjothi Agaval puts it:
    கரைவின்மா மாயைக் கரும்பெருந் திரையால் அரைசது மறைக்கும் அருட்பெருஞ் ஜோதி” (Translation: “Arutperumjothi has hidden its own reality and governance of the cosmos by means of the immense, dense, Black Screen of endless matter“).
  9. The cosmic green Screen is the third one and hides the “பரவெளி” or the Divine Space, the field of supramundane and divine entities and forces: “பச்சைத் திரையாற் பரவெளி யதனைஅச்சுற மறைக்கும் அருட்பெருஞ் ஜோதி” (Translation: “Arutperunjothi has, in an awe-inspiring manner, hidden the Divine Space by means of the Green Screen“).
  10. In a later post, I will elucidate Ramalingam’s remarkable account of the different colored Cosmic Screens by which Arutperumjothi hides the manifold aspects of  mundane, supramundane, and divine reality from the individual soul’s perception and understanding, and graciously lifts or sets aside these Screens, commensurate with the soul’s effort to liberate itself from the threefold defilement and bondage of ஆணவம், or egoism, or the disposition to assert separation and independence from the Supreme Being, மாயை, or “Maya“, the identification with,  and consequent subjection to, matter or physical body, and கன்மம், or Karma, or the chain of cause and effect involving its thoughts, desires, choices, actions, and their consequences.

 

 

 

 

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