Ramalinga Swamigal

Ramalinga Swamigal

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Ramalinga Swamigal Profile

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  • Ramalinga Swamigal

Ramalinga Swamigal Biography

Ramalinga Swamigal was a famous saint and Tamil poet of the 19th century, who was also known by the names Ramalingam and Vallalar. He belongs to a line of Tamil saints known as "gnana siddhars", and is known for his immense contribution towards Tamil literature. His full name is Arutprakasa Vallalar Chidambaram Ramalingam, and he lived during the period, 5 October 1823 – 30 January 1874 in Tamil Nadu. He is said to disappear at Mettukuppam, a hamlet near Vadalur, Tamil Nadu in 1874.


He was born on 5 October 1823 in Marudhur, a village near Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Ramayya Pillai and Chinnammai were his parents. Chinnammai was the sixth wife of Ramalinga’s father, whose all previous wives died childless. Ramalinga had 4 elder siblings. As an infant of 5 months old, when his parents took him to Chidambaram Natarajar Temple, he got drawn towards deep Aradhana, and felt like a spiritual experience for the first time. His father died in 1824 when he was only one year old. After the sad demise, he along with his elder siblings shifted to his mother’s home. In 1826 the family relocated to Chennai when he was 2-3 years old.


Though his formal education was started at the age of 5, little Ramalinga was not at all interested in studies. He daily visited Kandha Swami temple nearby, and very soon started meditation. He miraculously saw a vision of the Lord Subramanya. He renounced the world at the young age of 13, but was forced to marry his niece (sister’s daughter) as per Tamil customs. In 1858 at the age of 35, he left Chennai and moved to Chidambaram. In 1867, he established 'The Sathya Dharma Salai' in Vadalur which served free food.


He opened Sathya Gnana Sabha in 1872, which is open to all caste people except those who eat meat. He disliked people eating non-vegetarian foods. He called god as Arul Perum Jothi. As a musician and poet, he composed 5818 poems, and also authored Manumurai Kanda Vasagam and Jeeva Karunya Ozhukkam.

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Updated: July 10, 2018

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