Shri Ramalinga Swamy | 10 Oct 2023

Source: PIB

Why in News?

India celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of Shri Ramalinga Swamy, also known as Vallalar, on 5th October, 2023.

What are the Key Contributions of Shri Ramalinga Swamy?

  • About:
    • Shri Ramalinga Swamy was a prominent Tamil poet in the 19th century and a member of the "gnana siddhars" lineage.
      • He was born in the village of Marudhur in Tamil Nadu.
  • Vision of Social Reforms:
    • Vallalar's vision transcends religious, caste, and creed barriers, recognizing divinity in every atom of the universe.
      • Vallalar was strongly against the caste system and initiated the 'Samarasa Vedha Sanmarga Sangam' in 1865, later renamed 'Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sathya Sangam.'
    • He established 'The Sathya Dharma Salai,' a free food facility in Vadalur, Tamil Nadu in 1867, serving all people without caste distinctions.
    • In January, 1872, Vallalar opened the 'Sathya Gnana Sabha' (Hall of True Knowledge) in Vadalur.
  • Philosophical Beliefs and Teachings:
    • One of Vallalar's primary teachings was "Service to Living Beings is the path of Liberation/Moksha."
    • According to Suddha Sanmarga, the prime aspects of human life should be love, connected with charity and divine practice, leading to pure knowledge.
    • Vallalar believed that the intelligence possessed by humans is illusory (Maya) intelligence and not accurate or final.
      • He emphasized "Jeeva Karunyam" (Compassion for living beings) as the path of final intelligence.
    • He forbade killing animals for the sake of food and advocated feeding the poor as the highest form of worship.
    • He also believed that God in the form of Grace is the personification of Mercy and Knowledge.
      • And, Mercy is a path to God.