Posted in Food For Soul

Vallalar: first saint in recorded world history to merge with the Jyothi.

i don’t own this image. from Facebook.



தனிப்பெரும்கருணை அருட்பெருஞ்ஜோதி

The Abrahamics speak of saints and prophets and god’s sons. Hindu Dharma has its fair share of enlightened men. But the merging of the saint Vallalar who lived in the nineteenth century with the Jyothi has gone down in history – to be recorded to posterity, with proper evidence, during British Raj in India. So that puts Vallalar in an entirely different league.

For Chennaiites, Vallalar is a well known saint. We in the city have two ‘Kaval deivams’ – or the protecting deities, as we say: one is Vallalar and the other is Paamban swamigal. I have heard of Vallalar story but reading it once again yesterday penned by a friend moved me totally. We refer to Vallalaar as ‘Arut perunjothi, thaniperum karunai’ in Thamizh always. Vallalaar born as Ramalingam Pillai later known as Ramalinga Adigalar, was known for his religious discourses and ‘samathuvam’ or equality in worship and humanitarian service, which were considered progressive in his times. One fine day, Vallalar asked his disciples to lock him up in a windowless room and throw away the keys and never open it. The room had no opening to anywhere. After months the police opened the bolted room to observe that Vallalaar had disappeared without a trace like a camphor dissolves in thin air. The British recorded the evidence to posterity so that makes Vallalar the first human in history to have merged with the collective conscience in recorded history. Never has this materialized with anyone in the last 2000 years and never has this feat been repeated by any of the saints including by the line of Achcharyas that India has produced or by the Catholics or the Islamists. Many Hindu saints have united with the Jyothi as we grew up learning, but Vallalaar became the first in history to have left irrefutable evidence to humanity with his merger with the Higher conscience, witnessed by locals.

We do have Pamban swamigal and Ramalinga adigal (Vallalar) in our street temple. Even when the archaka installed them in our limited Prahara, I was wondering whether our small worshiping place was getting crowded. Ours is significant because it is a Siddha peetam really with the siddha Nadamuni having had his jeeva samadhi (buried alive for Moksha) in the precincts over which the Shiva Linga (the presiding deity Kambahareshwara) was established. If you take the ancient south Indian temples, most have Siddha peeta or Siddha jeeva samadhis for base over which the Shiva Lingas were installed which lend the temples very powerful aura and strongest vibrations. Even Tirumala – Tirupathi temple was supposedly raised over Siddha peetas. So even if our temple is not popular or is very poor without funds (that we refused to hand over to Tamil Nad govt), we the street people restored it after a century of neglect and we have been ever since trying to manage it with local collections. Try to imagine the Siddha meditating here in my street under the peepal tree with the anthill growing over him and him attaining moksha, some two hundred years ago. India is basically such a holy land. War is the last option for Hindus.

I wanted to write this down originally in Thamizh. I shall try to back it up with Tamil version. This is for now.

My faith in saints (called Sants in Hindu Dharma) who are born Sants is always greater than in those who are ‘cultivated’ by mutts, etc who become ‘gurus’. To me faith is intertwined with service to humanity and there can never be a delink between the two. The rationality and secularism of Vallalaar were unprecedented for his times.

I am posting a link to my friend’s original write-up:

Om Namasivaya! Blessed day. Today is the last Thai Shukravaar, very auspicious day for us. Lalitha Sahasranama Diya Puja at home that I perform every tuesday and friday for 20-30 years now. Followed it up with a recitation of Soundarya Lahari. Jaggery Pongal homecooked offered to Mundagakkanni Amman in Mylapore before dashing for a closeup darshan of none other than Karpahambal at Kapaleeshwara temple. Rounded off the day with a sneak peak at Valleeswara from the street as well as at Renuka Parameshwari. Bliss.

Wishing all peace and happiness. Rise over pettiness and lowly existence to noble heights. Evolve.