Ramalinga was known as Arutprakasa Vallalar by everyone. Adigalar was born on 5th October, 1823 at Marudhur village near Chidambaram. Vallalar was the fifth child for Sri Ramayya and Smt Chinnammai. During infancy while praying with parents at Thillai temple, a priest saw Vallalar mesmerised with God and was smiling. Vallalar was praised as God's gifted child.
When Vallalar was six months old , his father demised and his family shifted to Chennai. Vallalar's family depended solely on his elder brother's income from lecturing religious stories. At the age of five Vallalar was send to Sabhabathi teacher to study. Vallalar was not interested in formal education but by the age of nine he acquired poetry writing skills.
One day wanting to listen to religious stories, he went to Linga Chetty road in Chennai. While waiting Vallalar realised that his elder brother could not make it to the lecture, hence Vallalar volunteered to conduct the session. Nine year old Vallalar adorned with white clothes and a beautiful face looked very pleasant. Vallalar greeted all the attendees and sang the following verse, “Ullagalaam Unarenthu Ootarek Ariyavan” from Peria Puraanam. Then Vallalar continued explaining the verse in detail. The lengthy and very knowledgeable explaination captured everyone's attention and admiration.
To Vallalar God is one: God is in the form of Supreme Grace of Light. To get the spiritual experience one has to meditate by concentrating on the light. To spread this teaching to the world, Vallalar established a facility named 'Samarasa Suddha Sanmarga Sangam' in Vadalur.
Vallalar advocated non- killing as the key to achieve grace of God. Vallalar condemned killing and grieved for tortures brought about by war and wished to create a world without war.
Not to kill any life. Not to eat meat. Value all lives as your own. Love everyone in the world as your sibblings . These are the values advocated by the sangam.
Vallalar preached that both man and woman are the same. Vallalar could not accept difficulties and suffering people had to undergo due to superstitions and caste system. Vallalar forbade inequality based on birth.
Songs composed by Vallalar were very devotional. Vallalar composed 5818 songs under 6 sections and they are called as Thiruvarutpa. Vallalar preached prayers to light, which is formless rather than to the form. To teach the people, God is “Arul Perum Jothi” , Vallalar established “Sathya Gnana Sabha” in Vadalur. Vallalar said God is personification of Grace or mercy and knowledge. He said the path of compassion and mercy is the only path to God. For the new concept in teaching, Vallalar was praised as “Puthuneri Kanda Poet” by Bharathiyaar.
Vallalar showed great interest in language. He believed Tamil language provides the immortal path in life. Tamil is easily studied and understood. Tamil enables one to sing devotional songs sweetly and simplifies teaching of immortal knowledge. God's grace blessed Vallalar to acquire and like only the Tamil language which is the common language in South India. As per Vallalar, the truth is Tamil had enabled Valallar to compose and sing various devotional songs. Vallalar is the author of the following prose literature, “Manu Murai Kanda Vaasagam”, “Jeeva Karunya Olukam” and “Vadi Vudai Maanika Maalai”.
Vallalar aslo sang and published devotional songs named “Yeluthariyum Perumaan Maalai” on Lord Siva at Thiruvottri temple and “Deiva Mani Maalai” on Lord Muruga at Kandha Kottam temple, Chennai.
In addition Vallalar published three books by the name “Sinmaya Deepikai, “Ollivillodukkam” and “ThondaiMandala Sadakam.
Vallalar known to grieve whenever he saw wilted plants. Valalar showered love on all the living beings. Vallalar had the noble intention that people who come to see him and people who seek the supreme lord should never suffer from the disease of hunger. That's why Vallalar build the Dharma Saalai in 1867 at Vadalur. Everyone who came to the Dharma Saalai was fed without any barriers of caste, creed, religion, race , language and nationality. The fire that was started by Vallalar in the stove in Dharma Saalai is still burning and is providing food for all the people who come there.
Saints praised 19th century as Tamillian awakening period. Vallalar was regarded as the foremost of the saints of the nineteenth century and also one of the greatest Tamil poets by poets and social reformists. The Great Saint attained deathlessness on 30th January, 1874 on an auspicious Thaipusam day.
Great pleasure for giving the humble me the opportunity to translate a Great Saint's biography. Please forgive me for any mistakes.
Amma Speech About Ramalinga Adigalar