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Exhorting the commoner

S. SIVAKUMAR

Sudha Seshayyan’s speech threw light on the humility and erudition of Vallalar.



Sudha Seshayyan

Vallalar Ramalinga Adigal who had experienced many mystical events in his life never abused them to gain a demi-god status for himself . Sudha Seshayyan who delivered a soulful talk on the life and teachings of Vallalar laid stress on this and oth er aspects of the saint and also mentioned that he was one of the causes of and participants in the 18th and 19th century Renaissance Movement.

His signature read as Chidambaram Ramalingam, thereby making evident his special attachment for Lord Nataraja — the dancer nonpareil. An erstwhile resident of Chennai, Vallalar addressed the city as ‘Dharumamigu Chennai’, ‘Thappilladha’ Chennai and ‘Thalaradha’ Chennai — thus highlighting its goodness and tolerance. Vallalar’s legacy, his prime command to mankind, is his doctrine (upadesam) and compassion (anbu).

Even those who read his works for the first time will be drawn by its simplicity.

Vallalar gave his first discourse at the age of 11, actually as a stop-gap arrangement. His phenomenal reading and ability to impart precise meaning to complex combination of words, during his elaborations, convinced the world that a genius was truly in the offing.

Poetry and padams

Ramalinga Adigal has written considerable prose and poetry and composed keerthanais and padams too. Sudha recalled the songs ‘Vaanathin Meedhu,’ ‘Aadiya Paadham’ and ‘Kodayile Ilaiparikollum’ as notable examples of songs that are in vogue in concerts even today.

Vallalar’s ‘Samarasa Suddha Sanmargam’ is in essence a plea asking men to avoid divisions of all kinds and lead a life of purity and love (‘Aruyirkellam Anbu Seidhal Vendum’).

Sudha Sehayyan thanked The Music Academy and The Mangalammal Ganesa Iyer Trust for the opportunity given to her to discuss the works of Vallalar. The talk was held at the Kasthuri Srinivasan Hall.

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