Apr 6, 2010

Spirit of unity : VALLALAR KANDA ORUMAIPPADU

நன்றி : THE HINDU - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2009

Book Review

TAMIL

R. GOPALAKRISHNAN

VALLALAR KANDA ORUMAIPPADU: M. P. Sivagnanam; Poompuhar Padhippagam, 127 (Old No 63), Prakasam Salai, Broadway, Chennai-600108. Rs. 175.

IT WAS Ma. Po. Sivagnanam who popularised Arutprakasa Vallalar to the Tamil-knowing world in 1963 through his magnum opus, Vallalar Kanda Orumaippadu. The compositions and outpourings of Vallalar obtained recognition as sacred literature. This book is its latest edition. This excellent work is not merely a historical narration of Vallalar’s life and message, but a masterpiece based on research with authentic sources and appropriate citations.

Almost all the major events that took place in the life of Vallalar have been described with linguistic style and literary zeal. As a hermit, Vallalar did not renounce Tamil and his major teachings such as unity of soul, Sanmarga, and mercy towards all living species are well annotated and analysed. The division among people in claiming Arutpa (gracious verses) as Marutpa (deluding verses) has been dramatically portrayed. The genius of this scholarly author is revealed towards the end in describing the truth about Vallalar’s spiritual stature. Finally he makes an appeal to the people to follow the footprints of Vallalar. Since modern life is confronted with so many pitfalls and uncertainty, the teachings of Vallalar are especially relevant as they offer solace.