Author Topic: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva  (Read 6275 times)

ksksat27

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Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« on: July 29, 2014, 11:28:23 AM »
Dear devotees,

Last Sunday I again read couple of extracts from Thiruvarutpa and Kandhakottam murugan poems writen by Sri Ramalinga swami, the vadalur vallalar.

Swamigal's particular devotion to forms of Muruga and Thillai Ambala Shiva Nataraja are very clear and without any ambiguity.  Swamigal has gone from form worship to samdahi in the regular mode.

But it is a pity that the so called tamil scholars and the community that surrounds vallalar insist on only formless worship and tag it to Vallalar.  It was never the reality. 

I am not saying vallalar did not adore formless Light,  all I am saying is,  Vallalar definitely adored the Murugan and Shiva and even had visions in his mirror.  When one ignores that part of his teaching and just stick to the 'revolutionary' ideology, I would assume they are not sadhaks, but mere social reformers in the guise of sadhaks.


Ravi.N

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 11:53:27 AM »
ksksat(Krsihna),

Quote
I am not saying vallalar did not adore formless Light,  all I am saying is,  Vallalar definitely adored the Murugan and Shiva and even had visions in his mirror.  When one ignores that part of his teaching and just stick to the 'revolutionary' ideology, I would assume they are not sadhaks, but mere social reformers in the guise of sadhaks.

Here you are again!Just because this worship of form appeals to you,why should you drag others and call it 'Revolutionary' ideology?Vallalar had finally advocated Jyothi worship only and the path of samarasa sanmargam.

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Image worship

At half past three in the afternoon M. again entered the Master's room and sat on the floor. A teacher from the Broughton Institution had come with several students to pay a visit to Sri Ramakrishna. They were conversing together. Now and then the teacher asked questions. The conversation was about the worship of images.

MASTER (to the teacher): "What is wrong with image worship? The Vedanta says that Brahman manifests Itself where there is 'Existence, Light, and Love'. Therefore nothing exists but Brahman.

"How long do small girls play with their dolls? As long as they are not married and do not live with their husbands. After marriage they put the dolls away in a box. What further need is there of worshipping the image after the vision of God?"

Although Vallalar initially worshipped Lord Muruga in the Kandaswamy temple and used to go to Tiruvattriyur(both in chennai)and had as a child performed upanyasam on periya puranam,towards the final phase he left all that behind.This is not to say that the earlier songs do not have value.It is just that Vallalar found that the worship of forms lead to divisions and differentiation between Humans and hence advocated the Samarasa Sanmargam,and the worship of Jyothi.His arut perunjyothi ahaval is his magnum Opus.

To come back,if you feel the worship of forms is beneficial to you,do carry on by all means,but your insistence that all others should appreciate and abide by that is not rational or reasonable.
Namaskar.

Nagaraj

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 02:11:55 PM »
am just instantly reminded of this wonderful story -

Stories told by Sri Bhagavan:

D: Is it possible to speak to Iswara as Sri Ramakrishna did?
M: When we can speak to each other why should we not speak to Iswara in the same way?
D: Then why does it not happen with us?
M: It requires purity and strength of mind and practicein meditation.
D: Does God become evident if the above conditions exist?
M: Such manifestation is as real as your own reality. In other words, when you identify yourself with the body as in jagrat you see gross objects; when in subtle body or in mental plane as in swapna, you see objects equally subtle; in the absence of identification as in sushupti  you see nothing. The objects seen bear a relation to the state of the seer. The same applies to visions of God. By long practice the figure of God, as meditated upon, appears in dream and may later appear in jagrat also.
D: Is that the state of God-realisation?
M: Listen to what happened once years ago.

Vithoba found Namdev had not yet realised the Supreme Truth and wanted to teach him. When Jnaneswar and Namdev returned from their  pilgrimage, Gora Kumbhar gave a feast to all the saints in his place and among them were Jnaneswar and Namdev. At the feast Jnaneswar,  in collusion with Gora, told Gora publicly, You are a potter, daily engaged in making pots and testing them to see which are properly baked and which are not. These pots before you (i.e., the saints) are the pots of Brahma. See which of these are sound and which not.? Thereupon Gora said, Yes, Swami, I shall do so, and took up the stick with which he used to tap his pots to test their soundness. Holding it aloft in his hand he went to each of his guests and tapped each on the head as he usually did to his pots. Each guest humbly submitted to such tapping. But when Gora approached Namdev, the latter indignantly called out, You potter, what do you mean by coming to tap me  with that stick? Gora thereupon told Jnaneswar, Swami, all the other pots have been properly baked. This one (i.e. Namdev) alone is not yet properly baked. All the assembled guests burst into laughter.

Namdev felt greatly humiliated and ran up to Vitthala (the deity he worshipped) with whom he was on the most intimate terms, playing with him, eating with him, sleeping with him and so on. Namdev complained of this humiliation which had happened to him, the closest friend and companion of Vitthala. Vitthala (who of course knew all this) pretended to sympathise with him, asked for all the details of the happenings at Gora's house and after hearing everything said, Why should you not have kept quiet and submitted to the tapping, as all  the others did? That is why all this trouble has come. Thereupon Namdev cried all the more and said, You also want to join the others and humiliate me. Why should I have submitted like the others? Am I not your closest friend, your child? Vitthala said,  You have not yet  properly understood the truth, and you wont understand if I tell you. But go to the saint who is in a ruined temple in such and such a forest. He will be able to give you enlightenment.

Namdev accordingly went there and found an old, unassuming man sleeping in a corner of the temple with his feet on a Sivalingam. Namdev could hardly believe this was the man from whom he ? the companion of Vitthala ? was to gain enlightenment. However, as there was none else there, Namdev went near the man and clapped his hands. The old man woke up with a start and seeing Namdev,  said, Oh ? you are Namdev whom Vitthala has sent here. Come! Namdev was dumbfounded and began to think, This must be a great man. Still he thought it was revolting that any man however great, should be resting his feet on a lingam. He asked the old man, You seem to be a great personage. But is it proper for you to have your feet on a lingam?? The old man replied, Oh, are my feet on a lingam? Where is it? Please remove my feet elsewhere.? Namdev removed the feet and put them in various places. Wherever they were put, there was a Sivalingam. Finally, he took them on his lap and he himself became a Sivalingam! Then he realised the truth and the old gentleman said, Now you can go back.

Bhagavan added, It is to be noted that only when he surrendered himself, and touched the feet of his guru, enlightenment came. After this final enlightenment Namdev returned to his house and for some days did not go to Vitthala at the temple, though it had been his habit not only to visit Vitthala every day, but to spend most of his time with Vitthala at the temple. So, after a few days, Vitthala went to Namdevs house and like a guileless soul, enquired how it was that Namdev had forgotten him and never visited him. Namdev replied, No more of your fooling me. I know now. Where is the place where you are not! To be with you, should I go to the temple? Do I exist apart from you? Then Vitthala said, So you now understand the truth. That is why you had to be sent for this final lesson.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 04:20:54 PM »
Dear Krishnan and Ravi and others,

Sri Ramalinga Swamigal from his younger age to middle age was only doing idol worship.  His favorite God was Muruga.
He used to visit Kandaswami Temple in Chennai (near Parrys Corner) and then started visiting Tiruttani Muruga.   It is
said that he visited Tiruttani by foot from TiruvoRRiyur (Chennai outskirts) by walk twice a week and had the darsan.
He then started to praying to Nataraja, the famous Ambalatha Arase... song is from him.  Later he moved to worship
a light ( a lamp with wick and oil).  He life was a evolution from idol worship to light worship, unlike Bhagavan's whose
teachings were same as from his sixteenth year to the end.

Saint Ramalinga Swami has written many many poems which are again divided into six canons.  Pollaachi N. Mahalingam
was responsible for publishing all the six volumes.  I do not know whether these books are reprinted.

Saint Ramalinga Swamigal has also written a commentary on the first verse of Ozhivil Odukkam.

He had some tiff with Arumuga Navalar (a Saivite sadhaka) of Sri Lanka on some intricate issues of Saiva Siddhantam.
Atmavichar can throw more light on the teachings of Sri Rama Linga  Swamigal.

Arunachala Siva.
   

atmavichar100

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 04:45:48 PM »
Quote
Atmavichar can throw more light on the teachings of Sri Rama Linga  Swamigal.

Dear Friends

As I am quite preoccupied with the visit of my brother 7 his family  from USA I will be busy for the next few more days and will write in detail later this weekend about my thoughts on Saint Ramalinga Swamy ,
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Ravi.N

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 05:18:14 PM »
Friends,
Here is a translation of What Vallalar wrote in Tamizh on 22-10-1873 called pErupadEsam(The Great Sermon):

"Likewise, we should not put faith in ?SAIVAM, VAISHNAVISM? etc., religious and VETHAANTHA AND SIDDHAANTHAM ETC. philosophies. Because in them, the Truth had been revealed only partially, and Mystically (secretely, obscuring the Truth but not expressed plainly and perfectly). If we learn and practice these arts, there is not enough time for us. And so, let no one put the aim on the above religions etc., Because we can gain only a little benefit but cannot attain the great life of eternal bliss of soul gain which is natural truth and also realize with active living Because there is no time for us, I stand evidence for this truth. First, in my early life time, I had put my full aim and goal in SAIVA RELIGION with intense devotion, as known or witnessed even by PATTANATHTHU SWAMIGAL VELAYUTHA MUDHALIYAR ETC. and also few others. That Dogmatic faith had gone away (how ?) you will know from my early poems (of Fifth Volume) of ?THIRU ARUTPAA SONGS?.
Why I had that much attachment and was immersed in that ? I had very little knowledge and so-little understanding, but now the Almighty Arutperunjothi had lifted me up above lofty Summit heights. This is because I had abandoned every thing or attachments and also if you can leave anything untrue and unwanted , you can get great gain like me.
Had anyone, who had not renounced or sacrificed fully gained any Profit no but they had only lost what they had got. They had not gained any profit, if anyone assumes that the attachment and aim on the religion had lifted me up. But what is that which had lifted me to this highest place, that the DHAYAVU ? (THANIPERUNGARUNAI? or supreme compassion) ?the Almighty had revealed that which had to be INFORMED even in my early times?, the reference from my Prose Writings of great Appeals (PERU VINNAPPAM) and also from the songs of grace (THIRUVARUTPA POEMS) beginning from ETHTHEAVARAIYUM NIN SAAYAIYAAI?, I viewed all Gods or Devas as the shadow or similitude of ?ARUTPERUNJOTHI? and also in the poem ?THEDIYATHUNDU NINATHURUVUNMAI?. ?That I had searched for the truth of Thy Reality.
Moreover, what He had revealed the true and great discipline is ?KARUNAIYUM SIVAMEA PORUL ENAK KAANUM KAATCHIYUM PERUGA? meaning ?the compassion and the aim of God Almighty, ARUTPERUNJOTHI, is the aim of real matter and goal to be seen as the view point. Only this Gracious compassion had lifted me up. That is DHAYAVU, Compassion. Only this mercy or compassion had uplifted me up, for that compassion ?ORUMAI? the oneness or the unity feeling of souls, is necessary. Only when that ?ORUMAI? the oneness of unity of souls is realized the compassion will emerge or manifests ?only when compassion comes, we can go up to great heights. Now my knowledge had transcended above so many millions of universes (ANDAMS), that had resulted from this ?ONENESS? of soul fellowship.

Those interested may read the complete article here:
http://vallalar.org/English/VORG000000002B

Now just because vallalar has said that his early songs are not revealing the full Truth,it does not mean that they are of zero value!From another standpoint,everything is inspired by the Divine only.It only needs to be understood that he is emphasizing that there are aspects beyond which cannot be ignored and unless the sadhana is rooted in jNana,the rest is of little avail.
Namaskar.

ksksat27

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 05:40:15 PM »
Dear Ravi sir,

My point is not insistence...the issue is in the name of samarasa sanmargham they are projecting and misinterpreting all straight forward verses to give some formless poetical meaning. It is an attempt to create a new religion out of a saint.  That is not correct.  He is very much a proponent of vedic religion or sanatana dharma & saiva siddhantha.

Secondly those who adore formless only somehow think that the forms are just mental imaginations or hallucinations and reject total reality.  My point is , until they believe in their own body and in the body of their family members, they have to literally accept the existence of saguna brahman quite concretely. Not just as an aid or for concentration but as a full reality.

ksksat27

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 05:55:30 PM »
Friends,
Here is a translation of What Vallalar wrote in Tamizh on 22-10-1873 called pErupadEsam(The Great Sermon):

"Likewise, we should not put faith in ?SAIVAM, VAISHNAVISM? etc., religious and VETHAANTHA AND SIDDHAANTHAM ETC. philosophies. Because in them, the Truth had been revealed only partially, and Mystically (secretely, obscuring the Truth but not expressed plainly and perfectly). If we learn and practice these arts, there is not enough time for us. And so, let no one put the aim on the above religions etc., Because we can gain only a little benefit but cannot attain the great life of eternal bliss of soul gain which is natural truth and also realize with active living Because there is no time for us, I stand evidence for this truth. First, in my early life time, I had put my full aim and goal in SAIVA RELIGION with intense devotion, as known or witnessed even by PATTANATHTHU SWAMIGAL VELAYUTHA MUDHALIYAR ETC. and also few others. That Dogmatic faith had gone away (how ?) you will know from my early poems (of Fifth Volume) of ?THIRU ARUTPAA SONGS?.
Why I had that much attachment and was immersed in that ? I had very little knowledge and so-little understanding, but now the Almighty Arutperunjothi had lifted me up above lofty Summit heights. This is because I had abandoned every thing or attachments and also if you can leave anything untrue and unwanted , you can get great gain like me.
Had anyone, who had not renounced or sacrificed fully gained any Profit no but they had only lost what they had got. They had not gained any profit, if anyone assumes that the attachment and aim on the religion had lifted me up. But what is that which had lifted me to this highest place, that the DHAYAVU ? (THANIPERUNGARUNAI? or supreme compassion) ?the Almighty had revealed that which had to be INFORMED even in my early times?, the reference from my Prose Writings of great Appeals (PERU VINNAPPAM) and also from the songs of grace (THIRUVARUTPA POEMS) beginning from ETHTHEAVARAIYUM NIN SAAYAIYAAI?, I viewed all Gods or Devas as the shadow or similitude of ?ARUTPERUNJOTHI? and also in the poem ?THEDIYATHUNDU NINATHURUVUNMAI?. ?That I had searched for the truth of Thy Reality.
Moreover, what He had revealed the true and great discipline is ?KARUNAIYUM SIVAMEA PORUL ENAK KAANUM KAATCHIYUM PERUGA? meaning ?the compassion and the aim of God Almighty, ARUTPERUNJOTHI, is the aim of real matter and goal to be seen as the view point. Only this Gracious compassion had lifted me up. That is DHAYAVU, Compassion. Only this mercy or compassion had uplifted me up, for that compassion ?ORUMAI? the oneness or the unity feeling of souls, is necessary. Only when that ?ORUMAI? the oneness of unity of souls is realized the compassion will emerge or manifests ?only when compassion comes, we can go up to great heights. Now my knowledge had transcended above so many millions of universes (ANDAMS), that had resulted from this ?ONENESS? of soul fellowship.

Those interested may read the complete article here:
http://vallalar.org/English/VORG000000002B

Now just because vallalar has said that his early songs are not revealing the full Truth,it does not mean that they are of zero value!From another standpoint,everything is inspired by the Divine only.It only needs to be understood that he is emphasizing that there are aspects beyond which cannot be ignored and unless the sadhana is rooted in jNana,the rest is of little avail.
Namaskar.

His clear emphatic and authentic devotion clearly is unparallel. He would not have directly spoken the bolded lines, the current day followers want to establish something new , away from Hinduism. If I am not wrong, there is even a litigation going on whether his samadhi and his mission belongs to Hindu rooted religion or not.  Such is the pathetic state of affairs.

Having said that, I agree with Ravi sir , but the same advise goes to both sides.

no one should insist or deny the reality of the form or formless path.   As it is one should preach when reading the verses from the saints like Ramalinga swami.  We should not impose our likes and dislikes & write pages of explanation.  That is my point.    For eg, Ozhivil Odukkam criticizes lot of dualtiy very clearly -- no problem quote as it is.  If possible let us better stop with line by line meaning  .   no need to give lengthy commentaries that are only twisted vritthis of our own mind. This applies equally to everybody.

The kandhakottam murugan temple stands to the reality and beauty of the Lord Muruga & idol worship.


Last but not least, whatever I write, it is written with a sense of humility, love and with an aim of peace.  Nothing else. 

In the air, time and again, let me explain around the importance of saguna brahman until we believe our own kith and kin as reality. Only for th eone who has rejected this world as totally unreal in every sense of the term, only for that person, the Saguna Brahman can be called unreal.

Ravi.N

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 06:08:35 PM »
ksksat(krishna):
Krishna,Your point is valid  for you.It need not be for others.You keep on harping on saguna Brahman-Saguna Brahman does not mean one that Has 'Form'.Saguna means with Guna or qualities.One need not invest the Saguna Brahman with a definite form.As the devotee wishes,the Saguna Brahman manifests in that form.This is all there to it.

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Illustration of the ocean and the ice

(To the goswami) "How can you say that the only truth about God is that He has form? It is undoubtedly true that God comes down to earth in a human form, as in the case of Krishna. And it is true as well that God reveals Himself to His devotees in various forms. But it is also true that God is formless; He is the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
He has been described in the Vedas both as formless and as endowed with form. He is also described there both as attributeless and as endowed with attributes.
"Do you know what I mean? Satchidananda is like an infinite ocean. Intense cold freezes the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms. Likewise, through the cooling influence of bhakti, one sees forms of God in the Ocean of the Absolute. These forms are meant for the bhaktas, the lovers of God. But when the Sun of Knowledge rises, the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. Water above and water below, everywhere nothing but water. Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says: 'O Lord, Thou hast form, and Thou art also formless. Thou walkest before us, O Lord, in the shape of a man; again, Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought.'
"But you may say that for certain devotees God assumes eternal forms. There are places in the ocean where the ice doesn't melt at all. It assumes the form of quartz."
KEDAR: "It is said in the Bhagavata that Vyasa asked God's forgiveness for his three transgressions. He said: 'O Lord, Thou art formless, but I have thought of Thee in my
meditation as endowed with form; Thou art beyond speech, but I have sung Thee hymns; Thou art the All-pervading Spirit, but I have made pilgrimages to sacred places. Be gracious, O Lord, and forgive these three transgressions of mine.'"
MASTER: "Yes, God has form and He is formless too. Further, He is beyond both form and formlessness. No one can limit Him."

Krishna,why are you so concerned about others and what they must do?If you are sure that saguna Brahman has to be worshipped,You may do that.Why insist that all others have to fall in line and that without such a worship they will not be able to progress,etc,etc.Just what is your problem?
Namaskar.

ksksat27

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 11:50:55 AM »
".Just what is your problem?"


Dear Ravi sir,

This question is good indeed.   If we go to the root, all these forum discussions, 'others' with whom we put questions, discuss, argue etc. are only a means of re-assuring ourselves.

As Maharishee as clearly told in his primal teachings there are no 'others' to argue with, correct or clarify.  All are emanations of my own mind only.  To openly say, I am re-assuring, rather my ego is re-assuring itself with all the talks, questions, answers, doubts, arguments, quotes, blogs, chat etc. etc.

Heart and Heart I somehow know that I am just passing through my uncleared samskaras and vasanas when I post something. It is not the original Source from which our words spring.  It springs from our anthakaranam which is currently the false I or the ego-mind.

More importantly one should fast forward and finish all this talking as soon as possible.

One has to settle down in deep self enquiry and devotion devoid of any talking . All this should ultimately lead to that.

கட்டை ஒய்ந்து விட்டால் எல்லாம் அடங்கிவிடும்
அதற்க்கு முன்னமே அடங்குவது நலம்.

This body when it gets exhausted everything else will be brought down
It is better for one to be submit & bring himself down before that happens.

Our beloved Bhagavan Ramana Maharishee has clearly told his divine upadesa for all of us.

நான் எழுந்த பின்னே எல்லாம் எழும்

When the I arises, then only everything else shall arise.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 03:40:49 PM »
Dear Krishnan,

There is nothing wrong in worship of forms of God.  Intense worship to Gods with forms will take you merge with that form,
which is none other than Brahman, says Sri Bhagavan.  Sri Muruganar says that this is called IRai PaNi niRRal, that is
doing service to God, by garlanding him, washing its idol, keeping the temple premises clean and then worshipping with
intense devotion.  Most of us start with worship of forms only.  Only if our worship becomes poorana saranagati, then
it is nothing but self-surrender, which is as good as self inquiry.

Ramalinga Swami also started like that and then finally worshipped a lamp lighted, since it is aroopam, formless.

Arunachala Siva. 
   

Ravi.N

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Re: Ramalinga Swamy's devotion to forms Muruga and Shiva
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 07:41:17 AM »
ksksat(krsihna),

Quote
If we go to the root, all these forum discussions, 'others' with whom we put questions, discuss, argue etc. are only a means of re-assuring ourselves.

Krishna,I do not subscribe to this generalization.The time spent here should be useful to oneself,if not for others.I will also not be wasting any more time responding to your posts.I am not here to be a foil for someone who believes that he is only indulging here,and thereby whet his appetite for self-indulgence and self-justification(what is called as 'self-reassurance)

Namaskar
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:04:30 AM by Ravi.N »