Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal born on October 5, 1823 at Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram. He is the fifth child of Thiru Ramaiah Pillai and his wife Chinnamaiar, who lived in Marudur in South Arcot district, a village 15 km north-west of Chidambaram. His father expired within a year. His brother Thiru Sababathi Pillai became guardian and teacher for young Ramalngam. However, Child Ramalingam above all Teachers, he had been studied by God. The Couple Ramaiah Pillai and his wife Chinnamaiar, have five children; the older ones were two sons, Sabhapati and Parasuraman, and two daughters, Sundarammal and Unnamali. They named their youngest child Ramalingam who enshrined into Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam Adigal. He established Samarasa Suddha Sanmarkka Sathya Sangam (Equality of all Human) 1867.
God is only and unique
He is supreme Light. Thou shall worship Him with true devotion
Thou shall not sacrifice innocent and dumb animals in God's name.
Avoid meat eating. Thou shall practice vegetarianism and nonviolence.
Leave off the all differences of caste, creed, religion, country, etc..,
Compassion to lives (JEEVAKARUNAYAM) by feeding the pious and the poor is the key to attain eternal blissSwami Ramalinga popularly known as Vallalar. The great munificent, is regarded as the foremost of the Saints and Sages considering the heights, widths, depths and intimacies of his realization of the Divine in all the inmost, outer and the outmost parts of his being. He was a Yogi who put before the people the deathlessness of body as an essential part of the realization of the One Blissful Divine.
Swami Ramalinga was an embodiment of great compassion and he was not for discarding it for any reason. On the other hand if compassion was to be taken away from him, his life also would come to an end. So intense was his love for the humanity at large and the other living creatures. We taken that his experience in higher realms the experience that gave him sublime knowledge of the Divine and his compassion towards all grew simultaneously each helping the other. His own experience proved to us beyond any doubts that human compassion is the only ladder to the spiritual heights. He prayed to Lord for miraculous powers, not for self-aggrandizement but for compassion towards all souls. Throughout his life he was doing compassionate service to all souls and when such service was not possible with the normal, limited human abilities he prayed unceasingly to the Lord to equip him with more than normal power.
The Saint was a Born Tamil poet. He was one of the very few of his generations who not only achieved the final end of human existence through direct experience but also filled the atmosphere and surroundings with expressions of his experience through poetry and prose. The saint has written six thousand verses of Divine inspiration 'THIRUARUTPA'. The life works of the Saint consists major portion in the form of poetry and rest are some musical compositions, a few prose works, a few commentaries, a few letters written by him to his followers and the collection of his oral teachings, later recorded by his disciples.
THE UNIVERSAL PATH (or) SAMARASA SUDDHA SANMARGAM
The Saint lived in the midst of people healing their ailments and teaching them the principles of Universal Path, Samarasa Suddha Sanmargam which is a happy combination of service to fellow beings and spiritual experience.
The Universal path is not a new religion but it wants one not to be confined with in the limits of any one religion but to reach high spiritual realms, shedding all differences of caste, creed, religion, nationality etc, and to experience the Ultimate Reality.
PRINCIPLES OF UNIVERSAL PATH (OR) SAMARASA SUDDHA SANMARGAM
a) Universal Brother Hood : The chief ideal of this 'Universal path' consists in insisting on the promotion of 'Universal Brotherhood' .The doctrine of Universal Brotherhood implies not only Universal love and the right of every soul to love and to be loved but also the equality of all individuals what ever their social status, caste, religion, Nation and other affinities may be. Further one should deem the other soul virtually as one's self. This 'Oneness' is the resultant of soul love.
b) The right of all souls for integration through soul love : The right of all souls for integration through soul love is one of the chief ideal of Universal path. The pivot of soul love is the growing knowledge of God. One's realization of integration with all souls will lead one to ultimate integration (or) Union with God.
c) 'ARUTPERUNJOTHI' The unique one common reality : The Lord who dances in the 'space of Grace' is the unique, supreme Lord for all the Universes, just as there is only one soul in a body and not two or three says the Saint. The Saint putforths 'The ARUTPERUNJOTHI', the common reality as the only Truth and ideal to be cherished and aimed at by humanity. There is no plurality in the Ultimate. Rejoicing at the realization of this supreme Reality through direct experience is the foremost landmark of the Universal path the Samarasa Suddha Sanmargam.
d) ONE BECOMING THE EMBODIMENT OF GRACE : Realization of the Lord's Grace enables the soul to know itself as 'a space of grace' that is , as one whose very nature is compassion . As soon as the soul thus realizes itself, it becomes qualified for achieving God-realization. This is testified to by the direct experiences of the saint. Hence the saint states that the main means stipulated in the Universal path is 'one becoming the embodiment of Grace'.
e) COMPASSIONATE SERVICE TO ALL FELLOW BEINGS: The perception of One Supreme Reality, along with the knowledge that the tribes, castes, creed and different social strata are farce, will remove all the barriers in the path of congenial human relationship all over the world, which should be developed through compassionate outlook and service. So next to the perception of the common Reality, compassion is the other land mark of the saint's Universal path. Infact this perception and unconditional compassion towards all fellow beings make his path Universal.
The more the melting of souls for each other, the easier will be the direct manifestation of God's Grace. It is human sympathy that leads to Divine Grace. In one of his percepts says that the natural trait of the soul is compassion. He continues that if a soul realizes its ultimate sphere through compassionate service to fellow beings, it will surely experience the union with God.
ASPECTA OF COMPASSIONATE SERVICE
1) True Love for God
Our saint emphatically declares that love for God will develop in the human mind only when man develops compassion towards his fellow beings and prepares the ground for Divine Grace. Without Divine Grace abiding love for God is not possible.
2) Worship through service
Our saint describes compassionate service in his own way as an act of worship performed by one through the softening of one's soul caused by the suffering of other souls in hunger, disease, thirst, poverty, fear, etc.
3) Salvation through service
Our saint equally deplores and condemns the act of the pious people in
ignoring the poor and destitute and says that even if they practice yoga, penance, telling of beads and meditation they will be far away from God's Grace. Thus he ably brings out the importance of compassionate service in the fulfillment of higher ideals and the spiritual field. Promoting human compassion is the way for salvation.
4) Non- Killing and not taking flesh
The saint condemns chiefly the sacrifice of life performed in the name of various types and names of God. He is somewhat harsh when he refers to flesh eaters. He addresses them as 'corpses'. He describes fleshy food as an inducement for the rise and development of lower tendencies. He says that the mind of the flesh eater cannot at all sense the inner self. We can infer from this that such will be the tendencies developed in the psyche of the total personality of an individual by the bodily tendencies which are nourished by flesh. He further says that when the inner self is not realized, knowledge of God is not possible and that therefore flesh is a food of lower tendencies.
f) Worship of Light
The next significant aspect of the Universal path is the worship of Light. He experienced the Lord as the light. All his experiences in the higher realm of spirituality where chiefly related to vision of a mount of light. Thus our Saint through his Universal path brought the whole world under a common altar of light worship.
g) The art of deathlessness
The saint states that, "I do not advocate deathlessness with any worldly ambition in my mind. I say all these out of compassion for you. I earnestly wish you to get the same bliss that I get. It is not I that speak; it is indeed the Lord in me that makes me a tool, for conveying this message to you. The Lord, the Common Reality, dances with all His radiant grace. Make up your mind to embrace him."
The main aim of Universal path is to insist on one's getting educated in the art of deathlessness. The ultimate ideal of human existence is enjoying the everlasting bliss of the supreme Divine by equipping oneself in a body free from disease, aging, decay and death. The saint states that the various religions spread to this day, yet the people of the world were dead and entered in to darkness. Take my order to spread the common path of Suddha Sanmargam. To establish the Universal path, he founded in the year 1865 a guild of devotees called Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sathya Sangam. His call to the people to follow in the Universal path is in the form of inviting men to join the 'Sanmarga Sangam'.
He had a clear perception of the purpose of his life on the earth. He rewards the ideal briefly and clearly. His was to reform all the worldly whose life was lacking in the harmony between thought and deed and make them to join "Sanmarga Sangam " in order to attain the Divine here and now. He declared that God earmarked his life for this purpose. Through the Sangam, he awakened the people to the oneness of spiritual brotherhood and to the foolishness of man in consenting to death. He said, "By an error the people have consented to die and His Sangam is out," for annihilation of death itself". Because it is his realization of the Lord's grace that landed him in the universal religion, enhancing his compassion for his fellow-beings to a much higher level, making him realize that the very nature of the soul is compassion and transmuting him into an embodiment of compassion, he named the universal path as Arul Neri (the path of Grace).
The saint states that, "O my leader, praised and worshiped by all leaders! Even today, my mind, my stabilizing wisdom and myself are having our duties performed in terms of sympathy for fellow-beings. What shall I do? My life is none other than this sympathy. The one is not clearly distinct from the other at all. If this stabilizing sympathy goes off how can I live? My life itself will go off with it. This is clear to your Divine comprehension."
Swami Ramalinga was a saint whose very soul-stuff was made of infinite love and compassion. He himself set an example for selfless service. Service indeed was his motto. He realized God, in every higher level, only through compassionate service and the consequent experience of Grace Light. A concrete illustration is the 'Sanctuary of Eternal Service' established by him at Vadalur for feeding the poor and destitute and ascetics. Perfectly true to the name of the establishment, feeding has been performed there continuously from its inception. Swamiji opened it in the year 1867 for the feeding of the poor and the hungry inviting the people to express to their fellow-beings and creatures compassion which is the Grace of one's soul for meriting the Greater Grace of the Divine for their realization.
SANMARGA FLAG & MAHAMANTHRA
Swami Ramalinga attained the unitive knowledge of the ultimate reality. He unfurled the flag of his Sanmarga Sangam on 22-10-1873 marking the day as its effective beginning and also gave the Mahamanthra of the Effulgence Supreme by Divine Sanction to the disciples.
This mean the realization of the existence of Supreme Grace light all over. In the words it means the direct perception of, and coming in to communion with the Omni presence, Supreme Grace light.
The most important factor of the experience of the grace light is the Saint's feeling of his identification with the Lord. In the bliss consequent on this experience he sings that the Lord made him one with himself.
"I become that"
In another poem he says that the Lord sublimated him in to divinity.
"My Lord, today you have shown yourself to be with in me and me to be with in your and their removed my suffering and done me good."
In one of his poems he describes how the Lord, merging in his body, bones, heart, loves, compassion, soul and intellect make the whole of him as Himself. Thus the saint had physically union with Lord.
Swamiji explains that the Lord who is the amrita of the World of knowledge, will and who is reached only by those of good nature and with a life of order and discipline, has given him an unique body that cannot be obstructed by earthly matter, waters of ocean that surrounds the earth, sun, and u-v rays, ethereal space and its radiation, air, fire, clouds and weapons and by any other means (body is so pliant to be passed through harmlessly) and that his sleep has been completely removed or with held.
In another song the Swami says that he prayed to the Lord for such a deathless and indestructible eternal body which cannot be subjected to death by the elements of Nature, by disease, by god of death, by planets or planetary influences nor by weapons of death, nor by any other violent actions of others, nor by any other means whatsoever and the Lord quickly gave him such a body and the Swami entreats the people to seek the God of Vast Grace-Light.
There are three stages in the attainment of embodied immortality. One is the transfiguration of the physical tenement in to that of purity. Another is the transfiguration of the body into that of gold and light. The final one is the transfiguration of this body into that of wisdom. This gradual transfiguration of the bodies signifies the embodied Immortality attained and expounded by the saint.
On most of the days, the saint never used to take any food either in any solid or liquid form. Even in the absence of these, he was founded to be ever busy as in the early days. A photographer tried his best to have his photo but never succeeded in his attempt. The above instances clearly prove that though he was seen in the physical body, yet it had undergone changes, which cannot be perceived by materialists.
"Oh my king, my Lord, my mother, my father, all in one, you removed all the inner veils, thereby bringing me to the perception of things unknown to me so far and have given me the experience in the 'great intellectual space of Grace' which has caused me bliss. I take refuge with thee "etc.
So saying, he took out the lamp which was kept in his room, placed it outside and directed his followers to consider it as the God of real worship following the path of Love and kindness towards all living beings and there by attain the Bliss he got.
He thus locked himself inside the room he used to occupy and expressed his desire that none should venture to open it. He also added that if the Govt authorities persist to open it, let them be convinced of his desire of not opening it and it is opened, the room will be found vacant, since from that moment itself, he will enter the soul of every one and lead them to the right path of Grace. These utterances proved to be final. Hundreds of devotees and the authorities too were there when Saint Ramalinga went in disappeared bodily.
Thus Saint Ramalinga, the eldest son of the Almighty, Arutperunjothi has became the Immortal Saint of Divine love who brought the whole world under a common altar of light worship. He foresaw a new humanity pulsating with love and benevolence. His ideas of immortality or deathless life of man is based on sound scientific principles with supramental experience.