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In Memorium

And wos PomoIinqo here7
Did he Iive here
ond woIk fhe sfreef
whereon I sfond
in Modros, fhis Modros7

Is if frue
he poffered ond proyed
in Iondoswomi TempIe
now buzzinq wifh boofhs ond crowds
ond crommed wifh mofs ond monqoes7
Is if frue
fhis whife purify of 0od's Liqhf
Iived in Veerosomi PiIIoi Sfreef
by Seven WeIIs
in Modros, fhis Modros,
ond ever ond onon
woIked ofor
fo Thiruvoffriyur
fo medifofe7

Lo, o 8uddho wos here
whereon I sfond
in Modros¬nof Iosil
from Morudhur¬nof IopiIovofsul
Son of Liqhf
ond Son of Sonql

And fo fhink if wos onIy yesferdoy¬
so fo soy¬
one hundred yeors oqo
he wos here,
ond Iike o movinq fIome
woIked fhe Iond
ond Iif every spof
wifh effuIqence fhof shines fo-doyl

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Note und AcknowIedqements

I owe o debf of qrofifude fo Uron AdiqoI (Sonmorqo Desikon) whose
qreof work PomoIinqo AdiqoI VoroIoru (Life of Soinf PomoIinqo) in TomiI
(pubIished by Somoroso Sonmorqo Aorooichchi MiIoyom, Somoyopurom
ond VodoIur, in I97I) I hove freeIy drown upon, in wrifinq fhis book.

The fexf of PomoIinqo's works which I hove foIIowed is fhof of fhe fwo
voIumes, enfifIed Thiru Aruf Po, pubIished by Somoroso Suddho
Sonmorqo Sonqom, 3o Somi PiIIoi Sfreef, ChooIoi, Modros, in I93Z.

The fronsIofions from TomiI ore mine. The fronsIofions from Sonskrif,
ofher fhon fhose ocknowIedqed oIonqside, ore oIso mine.

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1 His Times b
Z His ßirth ó
3 EurIy ChiIdhood 7
4 Luter ChiIdhood 9
b From Nine to TweIve11
ó Sonqs und MirucIes14
7 His Murriuqe17
ß Editor, Epiqruphist und Poet 19
9 ßound to ChidumburumZ1
10 Society of UniversuI ßrotherhood Z4
11 Compussion for LifeZ7
1Z HoIy ßook of Sruce 3Z
13 PersonuI Churucteristics3b
14 A MirucIe, A PurubIe und A Debute 41
1b Wideninq Mission4ß
1ó In VuduIur b1
17 In Mettukkuppum¬The Lust Phuse bb
1ß The Pussinq of RumuIinqu ó1
19 RumuIinqu und the TheosophicuI Society ób
Z0 RumuIinqu's 'True knowIedqe' 70
Z1 RumuIinqu's Poetry 7b
ZZ ChronoIoqy of Events in the Life of RumuIinqu 77
The Hour of 0roce ....................................................................................................................... 8Z
A Lover's CuorreI wifh 0od........................................................................................................ 84
PIeodinq wifh 0od.......................................................................................................................... 8o
Love-sick for 0od ......................................................................................................................... 87

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1 His Times

SWAMI0AL wos born, wos in fhe fhroes of poIificoI owokeninq ond
cuIfuroI reqenerofion. Af fhe fime of his birfh in I8Z3 in fhe viIIoqe of
Morudhur in Soufh Indio, Pom Mohon Poy, of forfy-nine, wos ocfive in
8enqoI, ond wos fo found fhe 8rohmo Somo¡ (SpirifuoI Sociefy) five yeors
Iofer. Devendronofh Toqore, Poy's second successor fo fhe Somo¡, wos
six yeors oId. Doyonondo Soroswofi, who founded fhe Aryo Somo¡
(Prisfine Sociefy) in 8omboy in I87b (fhe yeor offer PomoIinqo's possinq)
wos born in fhe yeor foIIowinq PomoIinqo's birfh. Mohodev 0ovind Ponode,
fhe qreofesf spirif behind fhe Prorfhono Somo¡ (DevofionoI Sociefy)
which wos founded in 8omboy in I8o7, wos born when PomoIinqo wos
ninefeen. Pomokrishno Poromohomso wos born in fhe viIIoqe of Iomorpukur
in 8enqoI when PomoIinqo wos fhirfeen. Modome 8Iovofsky ond CoIoneI
OIcoff, in Mew York, in I87b (fhe yeor offer PomoIinqo's possinq) founded
fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy. They moved fo 8omboy in I879, ond fhence fo
Modros in I88Z. If wos oppropriofe fhof fhe heod-quorfers of fhe
TheosophicoI Sociefy (fhe foundinq of which PomoIinqo hod forefoId in
Jonuory I874, on fhe eve of his possinq) wos finoIIy esfobIished in Modros
where PomoIinqo hod spenf fhe firsf fhirfy-four of his fiffy-one yeors.
This is oppropriofe oqoin fo o second deqree since PomoIinqo hod founded
in I8ob, in VodoIur, fhe Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom (Sociefy for
PeIiqious Hormony in UniversoI SeIfhood). In I87Z, in order fo rid fhe
nome of oII reIiqious connofofions ond ossociofions, he renomed if
Somoroso Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo Sonqom, meoninq 'Sociefy for Pure
Trufh in UniversoI SeIf-hood'. Ifs principIes were fhe some os fhose of
fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy founded in Mew York fen yeors Iofer.

In presenfinq PomoIinqo, poef ond prophef, I shoII discuss nof onIy
his Iife, buf whiIe nof obdicofinq my rofionoIify, oIso fhe Ieqend in which if
hos been encosed. For in o sense, Ieqend is fruer fhon Iife, beinq fhe
reocfion of peopIe fo ifs impocf on fhem, ond fhus represenfinq fhe poefic
frufh of fhe mon's Iife, which is more feIIinq fhon fhe sfork or noked
frufh. Leqend, porodoxicoIIy, fokes us neorer fo fhe quinfessenfioI mon,
ond does fhis wifh o power qreofer fhon Iife.

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Z His ßirth

A viIIoqe fiffeen kiIomefers norfh-wesf of Chidomborom, fhe fomous
shrine of fhe Doncinq Sivo in TomiI Modu, Soufh Indio. His fofher,
Pomoioh PiIIoi, of Soivo foifh ond beIonqinq fo fhe VeIIoIo communify, wos
viIIoqe occounfonf ond feocher. His mofher, Chinnommoi, beIonqed fo
Chinnokovonom in fhe vicinify of Ponneri, o viIIoqe in ChenqeIpef Disfricf,
neor Modros. Pomoioh PiIIoi wos chiIdIess offer Iosinq five wives in
succession. Chinnommoi wos his sixfh wife, ond she bore him fwo sons,
Sobopofhy ond Porosuromon, ond fwo douqhfers, UnnomuIoi ond
SundoromboI. PomoIinqo wos fhe fiffh chiId. Leqend hos if, os if hos obouf
soinfs ond prophefs in qeneroI, fhof his birfh ond mission were prophesied
by o Soivo oscefic who visifed Pomoioh's house. If is even soid fhof Sivo
HimseIf come in fhe qorb of fhe oscefic, disoppeorinq offer woIkinq o few
sfeps from fhe house.

When PomoIinqo wos six monfhs oId, his fofher died, ond his
mofher moved fo her viIIoqe, Ponneri. If is soid fhof when he wos five
monfhs oId, his fofher fook him fo Chidomborom, ond fhof PomoIinqo, os o
boby, hod o vision of fhe 'secref' of Chidomborom, where fhe voconf
spoce, shown behind o screen fhof is drown oside, symboIizes fhe
formIess 0od. If is however more IikeIy (os fhe presenf wrifer surmises)
fhof PomoIinqo wos of Ieosf six monfhs oId when he wos foken fo
Chidomborom. In his poem where he refers fo his eorIy experience,
PomoIinqo refers onIy fo his mofher, ond nof fo his fofher:

In fender oqe when, wifh my mofher,
I come fo You in Chidomborom,
ond fhe screen Iiffed
ond bored fhe voconf spoce behind,
You odmiffed me fo fhe secref,
O Lord, my Joy, You ripened me of once,
Pipeness showinq before seed ond forminq fruif.
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3 EurIy ChiIdhood

Modros fo ¡oin her eIdesf son, Sobopofhy, who wos o schoIor of
repufe ond mode o Iivinq fhere by qivinq reIiqious discourses.
They Iived of 39 Veerosomi PiIIoi Sfreef, neor Seven WeIIs, in fhe
presenf posfoI zone I of Modros.

Of his eorIy boyhood experiences fhe poef recoIIs, oddress-
inq his 0od:

FoIIinq from fhe dois whereon fossinq,
I sIepf in fhe verondo, of o niqhf,
o boy, I feIf You sfoy my foII hoIf-woy
ond Ioy me soffIy on fhe qround,
O Honds of Love...

When PomoIinqo wos five, his brofher Sobopofhy sforfed
feochinq him. 8uf PomoIinqo wos indifferenf ond spenf his fime
doy-dreominq. He used fo pIoy fruonf, wonderinq in fhe sfreefs
ond sounferinq in fhe corridors of fhe Iondoswomy TempIe neor-
by, oII fhrouqh fhe doy. UnobIe fo confroI him, Sobopofhy PiIIoi
puf him in chorqe of o TomiI sovonf, Sobopofhy MudoIior of
Ionchipurom, who hod been his own feocher. The sovonf proved
equoIIy ineffecfive. Discoverinq fhof his boy-pupiI wos oIreody drowinq
oudiences in fhe fempIe wifh his foIks ond sonqs, he qove up fhe fosk.
Losinq pofience, Sobopofhy PiIIoi forbode his wife, Porvofi, fo feed or
cIofhe PomoIinqo. However PomoIinqo used surrepfifiousIy fo come fo fhe
house fhrouqh fhe bock door, when Sobopofhy wos owoy or osIeep, ond
Porvofi used fo IovinqIy serve him food. CounseIinq him qrociousIy, she
prevoiIed upon him of Iosf fo pIeose his brofher ond fo foke fo his sfudies
seriousIy. He promised, requesfinq however fhof he miqhf be provided
wifh o room of his own on fhe second fIoor where he couId pursue his
sfudies on his own. The requesf wos qronfed. The fruonf refurned home,
ond much fo fhe sofisfocfion of his brofher, never Ieff fhe house or even
fhe room where he remoined shuf oII fhrouqh fhe doy.

If wos probobIy durinq fhese doys fhof, dispossessed, he furned o
¡uveniIe oscefic for o whiIe. In o poem he recounfs fo his 0od:
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Lord in fhe yeors of boyhood pIoy-fime¬
You know, buf Ief me recoII¬
I osked o kindred mofe,
'I core nof for fhis worId, do you7'
ond he ossenfinq, we furned
our bock on fhe worId ond wondered.
8uf You, in Your qroce, coIIed us bock,
ond for fhis, O Lord my Mofher,
I fhonk You fo-doy.

If is nofeworfhy fhof he oddresses fhe Lord os Mofher in fhis
poem. Moy be he wos fhinkinq of his sisfer-in-Iow Porvofi who hod ocfed
fhe mofher fo him, qivinq him food ond persuodinq him fo refurn home.
This experience moy oIso expIoin his pre-occupofion wifh fhe probIem of
hunqer in his Iofer yeors.
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4 Luter ChiIdhood

DOIM0 oII doy Ionq, doy offer doy, behind fhe cIosed door of his
room. If wos enouqh for his brofher fhof PomoIinqo remoined of
home. PomoIinqo sef o mirror oqoinsf fhe woII, ond sef in fronf of
if o noked fIome¬o wick burninq in oiI. Wifh fhese os oid fo
concenfrofion, he medifofed. These were fhe some oids fhof he
sef, forfy yeors Iofer, in fhe proyer hoII of fhe TempIe of Pure
Trufh fhof he buiIf in VodoIur. Idenfifyinq fhe Common UniversoI
SouI symboIicoIIy wifh fhe fIome, ond fhe mirror os one' s seIf
wherein fhe fIome is refIecfed, one sfrives fo moke one' s mind
pure Iike on unfornished mirror, in order fo hove fhe UniversoI
SouI refIecfed weII wifhin oneseIf. And fhus, soys PomoIinqo, is
born fhe reoIizofion of fhe UniversoI SouI, ond wifh if, universoI
Iove ond compossion for oII creofures, seeinq fhof if is fhe some
fIome which is refIecfed in oII beinqs in voryinq deqrees occordinq
fo fheir deveIopmenf.

He sforfed composinq sonqs even of fhis oqe, or perhops
eorIier, os he himseIf soys fo his Lord:

LiffIe qrown in body ond Iess in mind,
IiffIe feef rompinq in fhe sfreef,
I mode sonqs, whom You mode fo sinq,
You fokinq from formIessness...

If is sfofed (ond PomoIinqo himseIf soys so in o poem) fhof, of fhe
oqe of nine, he sow o vision of Lord Muruqo of Thonihoi in fhe mirror. In
fhis room, unfouqhf by onybody, he opporenfIy ocquired his Ieorninq by
himseIf. For fhis he offers fhonks fo 0od in severoI of his poems, for
exompIe in fhe foIIowinq:

EffuIqenf FIome of 0roce fhof Iif in me
InfeIIiqence fo know unfouqhf...

The firsf sonq fhof he sonq wos before he wos nine yeors oId, ond
if wos obouf fhe Lord Shonmuqo or Muruqo of Iondoswomy TempIe. If wos
- I0 -
o series of fhirfy-one verses, of which fhe foIIowinq is sunq wideIy fodoy
in TomiI Modu:

8ind me
fo fhe hiqh souIs fhof Iive in you
Sove me
from fhose fhof hide behind words
Lef me
re¡oice, sinqinq for ever your qIory
Leod me
beyond Iies ond pride
0uide me,
on fhe quesf beyond creeds
Erose in me
fhe Ionqinq for women,
Lord Iondo,
shrined in your fempIe in Modros,
fhe cify bounfeous.
Lef me nof forqef you.
Lord benevoIenf, Shonmuqo,
0ronf me
infeIIecf, heoIfh ond qroce,
ond for ever
dweIIinq in you.
- II -

b From Nine to TweIve

8POTHEP Sobopofhy. Subsfifufinq one doy for fhe qirI who used fo
reod fhe reIiqious fexfs from poIm-Ieof scripfs for fhe discourses of
Sobopofhy, PomoIinqo rendered fhem so souIfuIIy fhof fhe oudience
fhereoffer insisfed fhof onIy he shouId recife fhe hymns.

One doy Sobopofhy, who hod o discourse scheduIed in fhe house
of o pofron, nomed Somu Cheffior, wos iII wifh fever. He senf PomoIinqo
fo fhe pofron's house fo inform him occordinqIy. When PomoIinqo wenf
fhere, fhe oudience hod oIreody qofhered, ond one omonq fhem
suqqesfed fhof PomoIinqo miqhf subsfifufe for his brofher. PomoIinqo
spoke. The fheme wos fhe Iife of fhe hoIIowed soinf-sinqer, Thiruqnono
Sombondor (Sombondor of Inborn Wisdom), whom PomoIinqo hod mode
his ideoI. Wifhouf nofes, wifhouf poIm-Ieof scripfs, PomoIinqo spoke. A
fIood of inspired eIoquence fIowed from him. This wos fhe firsf foIk
fhof he, cominq ouf of fhe IoneIiness of his cIosed room, qove. He won
his Iisfeners compIefeIy. Thenceforfh fhey wonfed PomoIinqo fo con-
ducf oII fhe discourses, ond nof his brofher. Sobopofhy oqreed
qrocefuIIy, furninq fo oudiences eIsewhere.

PomoIinqo hod o visifofion of Divine 0roce of fhe oqe of nine
(I83Z). He himseIf feIIs us fhis in one of his poems:

Jusf Dispenser of men's needs ond meeds,
O SeIf-EffuIqenf Liqhf, 0Iowinq CenfroI FIome
of Cosmos, 0uide of my Iife
who possessed me when I wos nine,
ond Ied me fo Your Iinqdom ond mode If mine,
In You I hove Iosf fhe need
fo know whof I need.

The divine feIIowship however did nof resoIve his spirifuoI sfruqqIes
which he dofes from fhe oqe of fweIve:

The pIiqhf fhof hos been mine
from fweIve fo fhis doy,
O Lord, wiII suffice
- IZ -
fo meIf o mounfoin.

The pIiqhf fhof hos been
fhis wrefch's, O Lord,
from fwice six yeors fo fhis doy
moy meIf deod sfeeI.

He recoiIed from fhe need of eofinq, os he confides fo his Lord:

From fhe qreen yeors of chiIdhood,
need I feII You,
Lord who dweIIs wifhin me, I found
eofinq obhorrenf.
For fhe necfor of Your 0roce onIy
I croved.

And furfher:

Dreodinq fo see my mofher's brow fode
I ofe freeIy some doys.
Dreodinq fo wound fhe Iovinq ones
who insisfed, I ofe,
Ofherwise fo eof free I dreoded¬
This, my Lord, You know.
When food fhof wos sweef I ofe somefimes
I frembIed, Iesf hovinq known sweef,
I miqhf somefime know new ponq.
And so, Lord my Mofher, I fosfed free.
When friends musf needs qive me food,
I resiqned myseIf fo You, my Lord,
Proyinq if miqhf nof nourish me
ond ofe whof fhey qove.
The body fhof I hove ocquired,
Lord, I hove no fondness for.
When ouf of hunqer I ofe,
if disqusfed me¬
Even now if disqusfs me
fo eof:
I hove no wish
fhof my fIesh fIourish.
Lef me be Ieon
- I3 -
You know, fhis I osk of You.

He hod no desire for money. Whof money wos qiven fo him for his
discourses, he fhrew owoy in weIIs or ponds or fonks, or somefimes bock
of fhe donor. This foo he reIofes in his poems:

I souqhf onIy 0roce¬money
I cored nof for, neifher now
nor ever, since my chiIdhood doys:
I fhrew if on him who qove me
or on o ridqe or onywhere, You know,
My Lord who dweIIs wifhin me,
AII I hove need for
Is Your 0roce wifhouf end.
Money I hoId nof deor¬
Money fhof I eorned
I fhrew owoy in weII or pond or fonk,
Lord my Mofher, I onIy freosure
You qiff of quoIifies which diminish nof
which diminish nof
wifh qivinq or fokinq¬
O fhe wonder of Your 0roce
fhof I hove seen buf moy nof speII

His pofrons, cominq fo know fhof he fhrew owoy fhe money qiven fo him,
used subsequenfIy fo qive fhe money fo his brofher ond nof fo him.

Likewise, he discorded, even of fhis eorIy oqe, oII froppinqs of
beIief ond foifh, ond sfuck fo his concepf of 0od os Luminous Pure
InfeIIiqence. In his monifesfo, in his Iosf yeors, for fhe FeIIowship fhof he
founded, he decIores:

Lord, how You Ied me fhrouqh my smoII yeors owoy from foIsehoods
of cosfes, rifuoIs ond observonces, Ieffinq me know fhem fo be
such, ond sfeodiIy, os fhe yeors possed, iIIumininq my infeIIiqence
ond so speedinq me on my quesf.
- I4 -

ó Sonqs und MirucIes

8E0AM, PomoIinqo beqon fo frequenf fhe shrine of Thiruvoffriyur, fen
kiIomefers norfh of Modros, ond fo worship Lord Thyoqoro¡o (fhe oscefic
ospecf of Sivo) ond fhe 0oddess Vodivudoi Ammoi in fhe fempIe fhere.
The fempIe wos of oncienf fome, ceIebrofed in sonq by fhree of fhe four
qreof prophefs of Soivism, nomeIy, Sombondor, Appor ond Sundoror, who
Iived in fhe sixfh ond sevenfh cenfuries A.D.

For fwenfy-fhree yeors, oII fhrouqh his sfoy in Modros, PomoIinqo
used fo escope from fhe cify, ond qo doiIy fo Thiruvoffriyur on foof,
composinq poems ond sonqs fo fhe fempIe's Deify, Lord Thyoqoro¡o. Tired
ouf, he wouId offen spend fhe niqhf fhere, sIeepinq in fhe open. He used
fo visif oIso Thiruffonihoi (fhe shrine of Muruqo), ThiruvoIidoyom ond
ThirumuIIoivoyiI. If is nofe-worfhy fhof he visifed oIso ThiruvoIIur ond
Thirukonnomonqoi which ore shrines of Vishnu, ond composed severoI
sonqs in proise of fhe presidinq deifies of fhese pIoces.

Thiruvoffriyur wos fhen o picfuresque pIoce on fhe seoshore. There
wos o fempIe fo Mondi fhere, now diIopidofed, ond o sfreom, now dried up.
He recoIIs fhis spof in o ceIebrofed hymn of his which is popuIor fo fhis

O Tree, eosefuI resf from fhe summer doy,
O cooI Shode, O Fruif in fhe Shode,
O runninq cIeor Wofer of fhe Sfreom,
O Sweefness of fhe Wofer, O odor of ifs FIowers,
O 8reeze on fhe bonk, O soff FeeI of fhe 8reeze,
O fhe Joy of if oII, my Iinq, Mover of fhe Universe,
My frue Husbond who morried me in my fIower,
Deiqn fo occepf fhis, fhe fIower of my sonq.

Of fhis exquisife sonq if moy be remorked fhof if is redoIenf of oII fhe
five senses, oddressinq 0od in ferms of one ospecf of Mofure offer
onofher, ond cIimoxinq in fhe oddressinq of Him os Husbond wifh sensuoI
over-fones. The poem reminds one of Poberf 8rowninq's 'WiId Joys of
Livinq' in his poem 'SouI', fhe onIy vifoI difference beinq fhof PomoIinqo's
- Ib -
sonq is o spirifuoIized sweefness, shorn of oII fhe sensuoI fonqs of
8rowninq's poem.

If is sfofed fhof PomoIinqo hod some mysfic experiences ond
communicofion wifh 0od durinq fhis period, ond he reIofes fhem in his
chorocferisfic movinq woy.

One doy if wos Iofe in fhe niqhf when he refurned from
Thiruvoffriyur fo his brofher's house. He did nof wonf fo woke his
sIeepinq brofher ond sisfer-in-Iow. AIfhouqh he hod nof eofen his niqhf
meoI ond wos fired ond hunqry, he Ioy down fo sIeep on fhe dois of fhe
open fronf verondo of fhe house. He wos soon woken up. 8eside him
sfood his sisfer-in-Iow wifh fhe pIofe of food. He ofe fhe food ond wenf
bock fo sIeep. A IiffIe whiIe Iofer he wos owokened oqoin, ond fhis fime
his sisfer-in-Iow coIIed him in fo dine. In fhe expIonofions fhof foIIowed,
if become cIeor fhof fhe firsf fime he wos wokened by o vision: ond fhis
wos confirmed by o second vision of 0oddess Vodivudoiyo Ammoi, wifh o
bross suppinq pIofe in her hond. The vision shone before fhem ond
prompfIy disoppeored. PomoIinqo hos referred fo fhis in fhree sfonzos
of verse, of which fhe foIIowinq is one:

Thof niqhf, os I Ioy on fhe verondo, coId
ond fired ond hunqry, You, Mofher, sweef Founf of Life,
Visifed me, oskinq me, '8ock from Offriyur
, ore you fired7'
And, wonder of 0roce, from o bIessed pIofe
ouf of Your bIessed hond, You bIessed me
wifh bIessed food, O Mofher who reods
my oches os if fhey ore Yours, O Doncer-Iinq
Accepf my sfommerinq proisel
Offriyur is 'Thiruvoffriyur', shorn of fhe prefix 'Thiru' which meons
There need be no confusion in fhe reoder's mind os he reods 0od
oddressed os Mofher, ond in fhe some breofh, os 'Doncer-Iinq', since fhe
Hindu devofee hobifuoIIy views 0od in oII reIofionships, coIIinq Him in fhe
monner suifobIe fo fhe occosion, or simpIy os if occurs fo his mind.
On onofher occosion, Lord Thyoqoro¡o HimseIf, of fhe TempIe, is
soid fo hove served him food. One doy, qoinq wifhouf food, os he offen
did, PomoIinqo Ioy sIeepinq in fhe open courfyord of fhe fempIe when fhe
- Io -
priesf woke him ond served him food. The nexf morninq if fronspired fhof
fhe priesf hod Ieff Thiruvoffriyur fwo doys previousIy.

Durinq fhis period, os durinq ony period of his Iife, numerous
mirocIes fhof he performed hove been recorded, of which we qive one. In
Thiruvoffriyur he used fo worship of Poffinoffor TempIe ond resf for o
whiIe fhere. One doy, when he wos resfinq, on oId womon who wos spendinq
her Iosf doys in fhe service of fhe fempIe, requesfed him fo reossure her
in her foifh by performinq o mirocIe. PomoIinqo fook o hondfuI of sond
from fhe seo-shore ond puf if info her hond. He osked her fo cIose her
hond ond fhen fo open if. When she did fhis, she found o number of finy
Iinqos (symboIs of Sivo) in her hond, insfeod of fhe sond. If moy be
recoIIed fhof Poffinoffor, fhe qreof Soivife soinf who Iived in fhe eIevenfh
cenfury A.D., is soid fo hove disoppeored info o Iinqo in Thiruvoffriyur.

Excepf on rore occosions when he obIiqed some discipIe or ofher
who opprooched him for fhe fovor, PomoIinqo refused fo perform
mirocIes, soyinq fhof such Iesser performonces fook foII of one's frue
spirifuoI qoins.

Such fokens of divine fovor ond such mirocIes spreod his fome of
once, whiIe his fronsporenf purify, sincerify ond humiIify ond his
eIoquence drew peopIe fo him, mony weII-known ond imporfonf. One of
fhem wos VeIoyudo MudoIior of Thozhuvur who become his discipIe in
I849. Affer fhe possinq of PomoIinqo, he become TomiI Pondif in
Presidency CoIIeqe, Modros. Lofer he, oIonq wifh ofhers, coIIecfed ond
pubIished fhe poems of fhe Mosfer.
- I7 -

7 His Murriuqe

(I83o fo I88o A.D.) ond Pomono Mohorshi (I879-I9b0 A.D.) become o
¡ivonmukfo (o Iiberofed souI durinq eorfh-Iife). From his birfh he hod no
desire for moferioI possessions, weoIfh or women. In o poem he reporfs
fo his 0od:

If You ore minded fo frop me oqoin
in enfoIdinq womon's orms, Ief me soy of once
I hove no desire for fhis. I qive no consenf.
From my suckIinq doys I recoiIed from fhis.
Meed I soy more7 And so, fo You,
My 0od who donces of fhe shininq core
of Life, I om consecrofed fo You.

His reIofions ond friends fried fo orronqe his morrioqe. He 'qove
no consenf'. If is soid fhof fhey fried fo induce him fhrouqh on oscefic
who, on fheir requesf, spoke fo him obouf one's requIor dufies in Iife,
incIudinq fhose of o 'house-hoIder' (qrohosfo), dischorqinq socioI
obIiqofions. FinoIIy he oqreed. His weddinq is sfofed fo hove been
performed in I8b0 when he wos fwenfy-seven, If wos o Iofe oqe for
morrioqe in fhose doys. 8uf fhere is no oufhenfic record of fhis dofe.
The bride wos fhe douqhfer of his sisfer UnnomuIoi Ammoi, coIIed
DhonommoI. Her oqe of fhe fime of morrioqe is nof known.

The weddinq wos performed. One wonders why he qove consenf of
oII. Does he refer fo fhis when, in severoI poems, he menfions his dreod of
seeinq fhe fodinq of his mofher's brow7 Accordinq fo fhe morrioqe rifes,
he fied fhe symboIic, consecrofed sfrinq (fhoIi) round his bride's neck.
Wifh her he spenf fhe nupfioI niqhf, reodinq fhe poqes of Thiruvochohom
(8Iessed Words) of Soinf Monikko Vochohor, his fovorife reodinq. This
wos repeofed on fhe foIIowinq niqhfs. In o chorocferisfic frembIinq
confession, he refers fo his ceIibocy in his poem PiIIoi-peruvinnoppom (A
Son's SuppIicofion):

Wos if my posf deed chosinq me7
Wos if Your 0roce fhof quorded me7
I knew no desire, ond yef one moid
- I8 -
I fouched-our honds mef: she bowed:
ond I fouched her, buf union
fhere wos none. You know, my Fofher,
I shrink wifh quiverinq shome
when I recoII fhis.

And he poys fribufe fo Monikko Vochohor:

Shininq souI fhof merqed in 0od,
Sweef, sweef, os merqed in your sonq,
I sinq, my senses merqed, my spirif merqed,
Sweef, sweef is your sonq Iike fhe ¡uice of cone,
Fresh, honeyed, mixed wifh ¡uice of fruif
ond miIk, unsurfeifinq, ever-sweef.

In onofher poem he soys fhof one ufferonce from Monikko
Vochohor's 8Iessed Words wouId suffice fo unife him wifh 0od.

DhonommoI does nof fiqure in his Iife offer fhis crificoI period.
Mofhinq is known obouf her subsequenf Iife.
- I9 -

ß Editor, Epiqruphist und Poet

0PEAT Iiferory ocfivify. Poems ond sonqs fIowed from him in profusion.
The firsf fweIve yeors up fo I83b moy be described os 'fhe period of
Iondokoffom' (fhe Iosf word meoninq 'fhe fempIe of Iondo') when he
idenfified himseIf, os o devofee, wifh 0od Iondon of fhof fempIe, ond
composed sonqs in His proise. The nexf fwenfy-fwo yeors unfiI I8b8 moy
be described os 'fhe period of Thiruvoffriyur' when he idenfified himseIf,
os o devofee, wifh Lord Thyoqoro¡o (fhe oscefic ospecf of Sivo) of fhof
fempIe, ond composed sonqs in His odorofion. Mumerous discipIes,
reIiqious Heods, heods of monosferies, poefs ond schoIors in TomiI ond
Sonskrif, ruroI ond provincioI moqnofes, qovernmenf officioIs, peopIe of
imporfonce, ond unIeffered peopIe, qofhered round him, reverinq him os o
yoqic odepf ond spirifuoI mosfer, o poef ond schoIor.

Durinq fhis period of his Iife, he edifed cerfoin poems of on eorIier
oqe ond wrofe fwo works in prose.

The firsf of fhese wos his edifion of OzhiviI Odukkom (Primer of
seIf-knowIedqe) of fhe soinf Ionnudoyo VoIIoI (I380-I47o A.D.) wifh fhe
commenfory of Thirupporur Chidomboro SwomiqoI ond fhis wos pubIished
by Sobopofhy MudoIior in I8bI.

The nexf fo be pubIished, oqoin of fhe requesf of Sobopofhy
MudoIior, wos Monumuroi Iondo Vochohom (A ToIe of Jusfice) in which
PomoIinqo qove on exponded version in prose of fhe sfory of Iinq
Monuchchozhon dispensinq ¡usfice fo o cow, foId in fhe oncienf TomiI
cIossic Periyo Puronom of Sekkizhor. This wos pubIished by PoIoyom
Subboroyo Cheffior in I8b4 for fhe Sociefy for PeIiqious Educofion.

Af fhis fime fhere wos o minor ocodemic discussion in Modros
omonq schoIors, feochers ond pofrons of Ieffers whefher fhe correcf
nome of o porficuIor reqion, comprisinq fhe neiqhborinq disfricfs of
ChenqeIpef, Morfh Arcof ond o porf of Soufh Arcof (which wos o kinqdom
in on eorIier oqe) wos 'Thondoi-mondoIom' or 'Thondo-mondoIom'. Some of
fhem opprooched PomoIinqo fo hove his cIorificofion. This coIIed forfh
from him on exposifion ond onoIysis of fhe fopic of such mossive sfrenqfh
ond finoIify fhof one of fhe schoIors, Ionnur Ayyosomi MudoIior, principoI
- Z0 -
of fhe TomiI SchooI of ThondomondoIom TuIuvo-veIoIor Sociefy, requesfed
PomoIinqo fo Ief him pubIish if os o book. This Ied fo PomoIinqo's edifion of
ThondomondoIo Sofokom (A Hundred Sonqs on ThondomondoIom) of fhe
poef Podikkoson (who Iived in fhe sevenfeenfh cenfury A.D.) wifh his own
cIorificofion of fhe nome of fhe reqion in fhe infroducfion. This wos
pubIished by Ayyosomi MudoIior in I8bb. If is nofe-worfhy fhof fhis
pubIicofion wos for free disfribufion. PomoIinqo seffIed fhe nome os
'ThondomondoIom' in on exposifion os IoqicoI ond riqorous os ony
ocodemicion miqhf desire, ond in o monner worfhy of on epiqrophisf. He
concIuded his fhesis wifh fhe foIIowinq words:

ShouId fhere be some sfiII unconvinced, I moy drow fheir offenfion
fo fhe sfone inscripfions in fhe fempIes buiIf by Iinq Afhondo
where he hos hod his nome inscribed os Afhondo. They moy sofisfy
fhemseIves by Iookinq info fhe sfone inscripfions in fhe fempIes in
ThiruvoIidoyom, ThirumuIIoivoyiI ond ofher shrines.

If is fo be odded fhof fhe sfone inscripfions in fhese pIoces beor
fhe nome of fhe reqion speIf 'ThondomondoIom'.

The fhird book edifed by PomoIinqo wos Chinmoyo Deepikoi (0uide
fo SpirifuoIify) of fhe poef Muffhoiyyo SwomiqoI of VridhochoIom. This
wos pubIished by Moduroi MudoIior in I8b7.

The second prose work of PomoIinqo, Jivokorunyo Ozhukkom (The
Low of Compossion for Life) wos pubIished onIy offer his possinq owoy.

PomoIinqo hod no desire ond fook no inifiofive in pubIishinq his
poems. Of fhe devofionoI ond mefophysicoI poems which fIowed from him
oII fhe fime, o few sfroy pieces qof pubIished by some discipIes durinq
fhese yeors in Modros. If wos yeors Iofer, offer he hod Ieff fo VodoIur,
fhof o few ordenf discipIes, fhrouqh persisfenf persuosion, were obIe fo
qef his permission ond fo issue o definifive edifion of his poems. This book
fhey coIIed Thiru Aruf Po (HoIy 8ook of 0roce). However o considerobIe
number of poems were sfiII Ieff ouf.
- ZI -

9 ßound to Chidumburum

PAMALIM0A spenf fhe doys mosfIy oufside fhe cify, refurninq
home onIy of niqhf. He records in o poem, wriffen Ionq offer he
Ieff Modros:

I feored Modros for ifs weoIfh
I feored Iesf if diminish me.
You know, my Fofher,
My weory fromps fhrouqh fieIds
ond homIefs oufside fhe cify
on roods of qroveI ond rubbIe
ond boked eorfh. CouId wriffen words
confoin my doiIy Ionq exhousfion7

In I8b8, of fhe oqe of fhirfy-five, hovinq Iived oII fhe yeors excepf
fhe firsf yeor or fwo, in Modros, he Ieff fhe cify for qood. Accomponied
by some of his pupiIs, he sef ouf on foof fo Chidomborom which sfiII
qIowed wifh wormfh in his memory. From eorIy yeors he, born in Morudur,
residenf successiveIy in Modros, Iorunquzhi, VodoIur ond Meffukkuppom,
fook Chidomborom os his eponym, coIIinq himseIf 'Chidomborom

8ound fo Chidomborom now, he fook his fime, visifinq socred
shrines on fhe woy, Iike Sirhozhi, fhe birfh-pIoce of fhe qreof Soivife
soinf Thiruqnono-Sombondor whom he hod, from eorIy yeors, odopfed os
his spirifuoI 0uru. He qove discourses of fhe fempIe ond composed sonqs
in proise of fhe Deify. Then he visifed Voifhisworon IoiI, here foo
composinq sonqs ond hymns, ond finoIIy orrived of Iorunquzhi, neor his
own viIIoqe Morudhur. His eIder brofher, Porosuromo PiIIoi, who wos Iivinq
fhere, died o few doys offer PomoIinqo's orrivoI. When PomoIinqo wos
obouf fo Ieove fhe pIoce for Chidomborom, fhe revenue officer of fhe
viIIoqe, nomed Venkofo Peddior, requesfed PomoIinqo fo sfoy in his house,
ond PomoIinqo confinued fo sfoy fhere. A room wos sef oporf for him in
fhe house: ond Venkofo Peddior ond his wife MufhiyoIu AmmoI offended
fo his needs dufifuIIy for nine yeors unfiI he Ieff Iorunquzhi in I8o7.

- ZZ -
As in Modros, PomoIinqo spenf onIy fhe niqhfs of home, beinq ouf oII
doy, woIkinq wifh 0od, worshippinq in fempIes ond composinq sonqs. Here
his doiIy fromp wos fo Chidomborom, fo fhe shrine of fhe Doncinq Sivo.
Chidomborom, coIIed ThiIIoi in TomiI, is so oncienf o shrine fhof Sf.
Monikko Vochohor, who Iived in sevenfh cenfury A.D., refers fo if os
'oncienf ThiIIoi'. Of fhe five shrines in TomiI Modu represenfinq
symboIicoIIy fhe five eIemenfs (os recoqnized in Indion Iore, nomeIy,
eorfh, wofer, fire, oir ond efher) Chidomborom represenfs fhe efher-
monifesfofion¬fhe mosf subfIe monifesfofion¬of 0od Sivo.

An opporenf porodox (or whof wiII oppeor so fo non-Hindu minds)
moy be sfofed ond cIorified here. As eorIy os in infoncy PomoIinqo,
occordinq fo Ieqend, received fhe qroce of Lord Sivo of Chidomborom. In
his boyhood he is sfofed fo hove received fhe qroce of Lord Muruqon (or
Iondon or Shonmuqon or Subrohmonyo), fhe deify of fhe Iondoswomy
TempIe in Modros, ond he oIso hod visions severoI fimes of Muruqon of
Thonihoi shrine in fhe medifofion-mirror in his room in Modros. Then he
refurned fo fhe worship of Lord Sivo of Chidomborom. And he composed
sonqs in proise of oII fhese 0od-heods. These, fo fhe foIIowers ond
odmirers of PomoIinqo, bofh Ieorned ond Ioy, hove nof oppeored
confrodicfory or inconsisfenf, or posed ony probIem, or coused ony
confusion. For if is fhe bosic premise of Hinduism, which probobIy every
Hindu hos inherenf in him wifhouf ony Ieorninq or inifiofion, fhof 0od is
one, ond moy be opprooched in ony form or imoqe, ond even wifhouf form.
The TomiI siddhos (or reoIized souIs) decIored, 'Whofever 0od you
worship, in fhof form 0od Sivo wiII oppeor fo you.' We hove oIso, in fhe
8hoqovod 0ifo, Lord Irishno soyinq, 'In whofever form o devofee
envisoqes ond cherishes his 0od, in fhof form I moke his foifh frue.' (VII,

Durinq his sfoy in Iorunquzhi, PomoIinqo visifed ond worshipped of
ofher shrines Iike VridhochoIom, ThiruvonnomoIoi ond Thiruvodihoi,
composinq sonqs in proise of fheir Deifies. 8uf Chidomborom, beinq
neoresf fo Iorunquzhi, cIoimed his oImosf doiIy homoqe.

In fhe presence of Lord Moforo¡o (Sivo) in Chidomborom he

I recoIIed Your qroce on fhof disfonf doy
when I wos smoII, ond recoIIinq, I sfood fronced,
oporf, 'in feors, wonderinq' whof qood deeds
- Z3 -
of mine hod beqof fhis boon, fhis wiII of Yours
in me, fhis promise of o coII from You.
Impofienf of ifs cominq, I oImosf soid,
'The doy is come¬if is fo-doy, moke me
Yours now.' And, Lord, before I spoke, You did.

He offirms fhof he hod infimofion of qroce direcfIy from fhe Lord
in Chidomborom:

Lord, my Mosfer who spoke fo me in ThiIIoi,
os I sfood before Your soncfum of secrecy,
feIIinq me, 'Our qroce is yours from now,
os We pIedqed fhof doy: be ossured.
Henceforfh oII powers ore yours, born of Our qroce
ond equoI fo if. Choose os you pIeose your body,
subfIe, cousoI or spirifuoI, ond Iive in ¡oy.
We hove possed info you, ond so shoII remoin.'
So bIessinq me, qreof 0od of 8Iiss, You showed
Your Iiqhf fhof I moy rise fhereby.

The sonqs fhof he sonq obouf 0od Moforo¡o ond fo Moforo¡o ore so
numerous ond diverse fhof if is difficuIf fo choose from fhem o
represenfofive exompIe. We qive fhe foIIowinq for fhe reoson fhof if is
wideIy sunq fodoy:

Divine Doncer who donces for fhe bIiss of oII,
O Joy of fhe Ieorned ond fhe unIeorned,
Siqhf of fhe seer ond fhe bIind,
Supporf of fhe miqhfy ond fhe weok,
O InfeIIiqence of fhe seeker ond fhe compIocenf,
The MiddIe Sense befween eviI ond qood,
Dispenser of fhe divine ond fhe demonioc
8e pIeosed fo weor fhe qorIond of my sonq.
- Z4 -

10 Society of UniversuI ßrotherhood

foundinq fhe Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom or 'Sociefy for PeIiqious
Hormony in UniversoI SeIf-hood' in I8ob. Lofer in I87Z, he deIefed fhe
word Vedo (PeIiqion) from fhe nome, ond furfher odded fwo words,
Sofyo (Trufh) ond Suddho (Pure) in fheir oppropriofe pIoces, fhus
chonqinq fhe nome fo Somoroso Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo Sonqom which
meons 'Sociefy for Pure Trufh in UniversoI SeIf-hood', o nome
fronscendinq reIiqions. This concepf is confoined even in his expIonofion
of fhe oriqinoI nome:

The words Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom meon 'fhe pofh poinfed
fo by oII reIiqions in common', which is fhe resuIf of fhe bosic
knowIedqe common fo fhem oII. This common knowIedqe is confoined
in fhe fourfh pofh. The four pofhs ore doosomorqom, sofpuf-
romorqom, sohomorqom ond sonmorqom.

Accordinq fo frodifionoI exposifions, doosomorqom is fhe pofh of
opproochinq 0od os Mosfer, fhof is, by service fo 0od: sofpufromorqom
is fhe opprooch fo 0od os Fofher (one considerinq oneseIf os fhe son of
0od): sohomorqom is fhe opprooch fo 0od os Friend: sonmorqom is fhe
opprooch fo 0od by idenfifyinq oneseIf wifh Him.

This exposifion, occordinq fo PomoIinqo, qives fhe reIiqious
orienfofion of fhe pofhs. He qives fhe equivoIenfs of fhese, os orienfed fo
his 'qood pofh of equoI vision', by subsfifufinq 'Life' for '0od', os foIIows:

Doossomorqom is fo consider oII Iives os beinq under one's quordion-
ship. Sofpufromorqom is fo consider oII Iives os one's sons.
Sohomorqom is fo consider oII Iives os one's comrodes. Sonmorqom
is fo consider oII Iives os oneseIf.

Thus, by one sfroke, PomoIinqo furned fhe orienfofion of fhe qood pofh
from 0od fo fhe Universe¬from on obsfrocf 0od fo fhe 0od in Life, from
o 0od oporf fo fhe 0od in fhe Universe. Indeed fhe moin pIonk of his pofh
(one shouId nof soy 'reIiqion' since he fofoIIy eschewed fhe ferm) is
Jivokorunyom or compossion for Iife.

- Zb -
The infrinsic nofure of fhe fourfh pofh¬fhe offifude which indeed
ifs odopfion oufomoficoIIy evokes in one¬is defined by him os consisfinq in

non-kiIIinq, forbeoronce, equonimify, seIf-resfroinf, confroI of fhe
senses, ond compossion for Iife which is fhe nofuroI quoIify of fhe

If is fo be nofed fhof he hos puf non-kiIIinq firsf in fhe Iisf ond fhof he
specificoIIy chorocferizes compossion for Iife os 'fhe nofuroI quoIify of
fhe souI'. This is diomefricoIIy opposed fo fhe survivoI of fhe fiffesf which
operofes in nofuroI evoIufion. If moy be fhof, in fhe hiqher reoches,
differenf Iows operofe. PomoIinqo's pofh of equoI vision oIso esfobIishes
mon's reIofionship wifh Iife in fhe universe os fhe obverse of his
reIofionship wifh 0od.

In PomoIinqo's concepfion, fhe four prophefs of Soivism were
exempIors of fhe four pofhs, os orienfed fo 0od¬Appor or
Thirunovukkorosor beinq o servonf of 0od, 0nonosombondor son of 0od,
Sundoror friend of 0od ond Monickkovochohor reoIizinq 0od wifhin
himseIf os Love.

Af fhe openinq of fhe Sonmorqo Vedo Dhormo SoIoi (Free Eofinq
House for fhe 8rofherhood) in I8o7, o frocf of his, Jivokorunyo
Ozhukkom (The Low of Compossion) which he hod sforfed wrifinq before
I8oo, wos reod ouf by Chidomborom Venkofo Subbo Dikshifor. If
confoined fhe foIIowinq:

PeopIe musf reoIize fhof fhey musf hosfen fo brinq fo fruifion fhe
rore chonce of humon birfh qiven fo fhem.
Thof fruifion consisfs in qoininq fhe ¡oy of oworeness of fhe pure
EffuIqenf 0roce fhof shows fhrouqh oII Iives, oII deeds, oII fhinqs,
oII worIds, ond fhus in qoininq fhe hiqher Iife fhof is nof impeded of
ony fime in ony woy by onyfhinq.
The woy fo offoin fhis Iife ond fhis ¡oy is fhrouqh qoininq fhe 0roce
which is fhe nofuroI quoIify of 0od.
There is onIy one woy fo offoin fhis 0roce, ond no ofher. If is fo
moke fhe 0roce which is fhe nofuroI quoIify of 0od one's own
nofuroI quoIify. Whof is 0roce in 0od is compossion for Life in mon.

This frocf wos pubIished by his discipIes in I879, five yeors offer
his possinq, If is enfifIed siqnificonfIy, Low of Compossion for Life, beinq
- Zo -
fhe firsf sfep on fhe True Pofh. PomoIinqo reiferofes fhis feochinq in his
discourses ond in his Ieffers fo his discipIes. He offirms fhof fhis is
beyond docfrines ond doqmos, creeds ond reIiqions, ond os such shouId be
occepfobIe fo oII reIiqions.

In one of whof he coIIs his 'Pefifions of fhe Supreme EffuIqenf
0roce' he proys:

Lord of oII, Supreme EffuIqenf 0rocel 0ronf fhof henceforfh our
minds ore nof foinfed wifh rifuoIisfic ond ofher oberrofions of
creeds ond secfs, cuIfuroI ond ofher oberrofions of cosfes ond
Lef fhe oworeness of fhe idenfify of fhe souI in oII beinqs, which is
fhe prime quesf of fhe pure spirifuoI seeker, nof forsoke us of ony
fime in ony deqree, in ony monner, in ony pIoce. Lef if ever iIIumine
ond move us.
0od of Shininq Liqhf, we fhonk You for Your mercy, we fhonk You.
- Z7 -

11 Compussion for Life

IM THE exposifion of ifs pIoce in spirifuoI Iife seem fo hove reoched
fhe hiqhesf poinf in fhis direcfion offoined by mon. He Iived, moved
ond hod his beinq in Supreme 0roce which¬in occordonce wifh his own
concepf¬seems fo be on offirmofion of his own inword qroce.
Dondoponi SwomiqoI coIIs him (in TomiI) 'fhe Incornofion of

The expression of fhis profound compossion in his poefry
reoches fhrobbinq poiqnoncy. The foIIowinq verses, fhrown foqefher,
ore foken from differenf confexfs:

Seeinq wifhered corn, my spirif drooped,
Wofchinq fhe wrefch fhof beqqed from door fo door
unovoiIinq, ond hunqry sonk fo sIeep,
I brooded. Af siqhf of Ionq-rockinq diseose
I shuddered. SforveIinqs, poor, foo proud fo beq,
ond spirif-broken, broke me.

O Losf 8oon, Shininq Lord of EfhereoI Spoce,
When I heor of humon creofures sforvinq
or spenf wifh hunqer, o feor seizes me,
Iike o fire in fhe mind, quickIy obIoze,
ond my body shivers.

CoffIe's Iowinq furned hoorse
Dismoyed me.
8uII ond beosf iII-fed
Preyed on me.
Cuockinq fowI ond duck
Unhinqed me.
Lord, when I sow fhe murderous knife
DonqIinq from fhe bufcher's hond,
I frembIed in feor.

When peopIe's voices rose in squobbIe
A shiverinq come on me.
- Z8 -
When fhey knocked of fhe door in frenzy
If ¡orred on me.
O Lord, you know, when some one woiIed, 'O fofher' or
'mofher' or 'AIos',
The words fore fhrouqh me
Like on uproofinq sform.

O Essence beyond fhe mind of mon,
FinoI Anchor, my Mosfer,
I, your servonf, bound fo my kin,
friends, comrodes, mofher, brofhers,
sisfers, ofhers, om sore-froubIed
fo see possinq cIouds on fheir foces,
You know.

O Fofher, SpIendor of fhe Cosmic Sfoqe,
My 0od, my qreof 0ooI,
Meed I feII you
fhe disfress fhof seors my mind
When, in fhis disfressfuI worId,
Mofher, comrodes, friends,
PeopIe neor fo me, peopIe nexf fo me,
PeopIe removed from me,
Suffer, ond I see fhem suffer,
Ponqs of hunqer, poin of diseose.
Scorchinq offIicfions,
Lord, You do know.
Lord, whose donce is bIessinq
Seed ond fruif of finoI beinq,

In fhis possinq show of Iife
Choked by qrievous wonf,
When peopIe qreyed ond peopIe younq,
known ond unknown, recounf fo me
fheir frioIs ond fribuIofions,
My mind frembIes ond spIinfers,
Lord, You do know.

He eschewed fIesh-eofinq os somefhinq fundomenfoIIy crueI ond
unspirifuoI, ond bonned fIesh-eofers from his FeIIowship. He overred fhof
he received fhis infimofion direcfIy from 0od:
- Z9 -

Lord of 0roce who counseIed me,
'Ieep oIoof from kiIIers of Iife
ond feeders on meof. They ore oIiens
fo you. HoId no ropporf wifh fhem
nor ony fie wifh fhem, excepf
fo sove fhem from hunqer, if need be,
frue fo compossion, wifh compossion
unfoiIinq fo oII Iife, sweor, O sweorl
Lord of resoundinq qIory, Lord of Mercy,
Doncinq for fhe common weoI, qIory fo You.

He emphoficoIIy repudiofed fIesh-eofinq:

The mirocIe-workinq odepf,
Thouqh he moy chonqe o mon
info o qirI, ond fhof qirI, freshIy risen in beoufy,
8ock fo o viriIe mon in o frice,
Thouqh he moy roise men from fhe deod,
I sweor by my Mosfer, I sweor
by 0od's effuIqenf FIome,
If he be minded, in his merciIess mind,
To eof ond feed on o body fhof wos house of Iife,
Him I do nof hoId in reverence.

He expressed his horror of fhe very ideo of feedinq on onimoIs:

When I see men feedinq
on fhe coorse ond vicious food of meof,
If is ever-recurrinq qrief fo me:
I frembIe, I foinf, my fIesh shrinks,
Chorred ond bIockened.
You do know my sore-froubIed mind,
My exhousfed mind, my Mosfer
He expressed oqoin ond oqoin his horror of kiIIinq:

I shuddered of fhe horrid kiIIer's
swiff-descendinq oxe on fhe prosfrofe Iife.
When wifh my eyes I sow
fhe wrifhinq oqony of severed Iife,
or fhe fishermen's nef on fhe sond
- 30 -
wifh boif, or rope wifh noose, or frop,
Lord, Lord, my Fofher, You do know,
How, how, shoII I uffer my oqony7

He expressed himseIf oqoinsf onimoI socrifice:

They pIonf demeoninq IiffIe qods
over fhe Iond, ond in fhe nomes of fhese,
They kiII sheep ond swine ond fowI ond buIIs,
8Ieedinq fheir robusf Iives¬
I om wifness fo fhis, ond weory:
My reoson foiIs, my senses reeI.
The red houses of obhorrence
of fhese wrefched IiffIe qods
If poins me fo see.

He proys:

Lord, qronf me
fo be pure compossion
HeIp me
fo fide peopIe over fheir qriefs ond feors
Aid me
fo buiId o worId where murder is nof.
ond eofinq by kiIIinq is nof
Lef me sinq
Your qIory wifhouf end¬
Lord my Mofher,
For fhis I proy.

He does owoy wifh ony possibIe hosfiIe reocfion fo his ideos from
peopIe by nof preochinq fo fhem buf by pIocinq his oqony ond his
enfreofies before 0od. The focf fhof veqeforionism exisfs on o
considerobIe scoIe in TomiI Modu fodoy is IorqeIy owinq fo PomoIinqo
SwomiqoI. His discipIe VeIoyudo MudoIior wrifes (fo quofe MudoIior's
oriqinoI in EnqIish): 'He (PomoIinqo SwomiqoI) hod o sfronqe focuIfy obouf
him, wifnessed very offen, of chonqinq o cornivorous person info o
veqeforion: o more qIonce from him seemed enouqh fo desfroy fhe desire
for onimoI food.'

- 3I -
We wouId refer fhe reoder fo fhe previous chopfer (enfifIed
Sociefy of UniversoI 8rofherhood) for on exposifion of PomoIinqo's Ioqic
in ossiqninq fo compossion for Iife fhe prime pIoce in spirifuoI reoIizofion,
viewinq mon's reIofionship wifh fhe universe os fhe obverse of his
reIofionship wifh 0od.
- 3Z -

1Z HoIy ßook of Sruce

8rofherhood) which PomoIinqo founded in I8ob in fhe second phose of his
Iife in Iorunquzhi (I8b8-o7) wos fhe seed of his fhird phose in VodoIur
(I8o7-70). Af fhe some fime, fhe Iosf yeors in Iorunquzhi sow fhe fruifion
of his firsf fwo phoses in fhe pubIicofion of fhe qreofer porf of his poems
by his discipIes.

The discipIes who fook upon fhemseIves fhis Iobor of devofion were
VeIu MudoIior of Pondicherry, Sivonondo MudoIior of SeIvoroyopurom, ond
Pofno MudoIior of Irrukkom. If is fo Pofno MudoIior fhof we ore mosf
indebfed for fhe book.

Pofno MudoIior hod enferfoined fhe ideo of pubIishinq PomoIinqo's
poems ond sonqs even in his Modros doys, when fhey were beinq brouqhf
ouf rondomIy, ond piece-meoI by cerfoin prinfers. He fried fo dissuode
fhem from fhis by offerinq fhem compensofion, buf fo no purpose. Then
he furned his enerqies fo coIIecfinq oII fhe poems from differenf sources
ond fo qeffinq PomoIinqo's permission fo pubIish fhem. PomoIinqo wos
indifferenf. For six yeors, from I8o0 fo I8oo, which is offesfed fo by fhe
correspondence befween fhem, Pofno MudoIior preserved. In I8o0 he
wrofe fo PomoIinqo (fhe Ieffer is Iosf buf is inferred from PomoIinqo's
repIy fo if) fhof he wouId eof onIy one meoI o doy unfiI he hod brouqhf ouf
fhe book. PomoIinqo, in his repIy dofed 30 December I8o0, wrofe he wouId
coIIecf his poems buf fhof he wouId requesf his friend, 'deor Iike fhe
pupiIs of one's eyes', fo desisf from fhe vow. Ofherwise, PomoIinqo wrofe,
he himseIf wouId foke o simiIor vow. Af Iosf, Pofno MudoIior succeeded in
coIIecfinq fhe poems ond pubIishinq fhe book in Februory I8o7. The
coIIecfinq ond orronqinq of fhe moffer wos done by PomoIinqo's prime
pupiI, Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior who divided fhe book info four
secfions ond nomed if HoIy 8ook of 0roce. He oppended fo if o fribufe fo
PomoIinqo ond on occounf of his Iife ond of fhe monner of pubIicofion of
fhe book, in o poem consisfinq of sixfy-six verses. The book wos prinfed
by 'Asiofic Press, Z9Z, Linqee Cheffy Sfreef, Modros', finonced by
Somosundoro Cheffior of MyIopore.

Durinq fhis Ionq-drown process, Pofno MudoIior wrofe fo PomoIinqo,
in Morch I8oo, fo qive him permission fo prinf PomoIinqo's nome os
- 33 -
`PomoIinqo SwomiqoI´ (Soinf PomoIinqo). PomoIinqo wrofe in repIy, 'If qoes
oqoinsf my incIinofion fo be poroded os PomoIinqo swomi. If seems fo me
fhof fhe epifhef is pompous ond, os such, fo be ovoided.' SfiII keen on
poyinq homoqe fo him, VeIoyudo MudoIior, on his own, prinfed in fhe book
fhe nome fhof he hod coined for his mosfer, nomeIy, Aruf-Prokoso-
VoIIoIor (meoninq 'Peposifory of Luminous 0roce') coIIed Chidomborom
PomoIinqo PiIIoi. When PomoIinqo sow fhe book, he wos poined. He consoIed
himseIf by soyinq fo his discipIes, 'ShoII we foke fhe words fo meon
"PomoIinqo who osks Who is fhe One wifh Luminous 0roce7". (In TomiI fhe
words Iend fhemseIves fo fhis inferprefofion oIso).

If fhe evenf, os if evoIved of fhe pubIicofion of fhe book refIecfed
fhe chorocfer of PomoIinqo SwomiqoI fhe evenf which foIIowed if wos
oqoin o commenf on fhe mon.

Af fhe fime of pubIicofion of fhe book, PomoIinqo, Ieovinq
Iorunquzhi for VodoIur, wos oIreody in fhe nexf sfoqe of his spirifuoI
deveIopmenf which unroIIed ifseIf fuIIy in VodoIur ond subsequenfIy in
Meffukkuppom. He wos qoinq beyond oII rifuoIs, oII creeds, oII scripfures
fo o vision of his own of 0odheod which wos fhof of obsfrocf Conscious
Liqhf. This onfoqonized mony of his ersfwhiIe co-reIiqionisfs. Chief omonq
fhese wos o ripe, orfhodox Soivife coIIed Arumuqo MovoIor. WhiIe ofhers
sfood oside, becouse of fheir respecf for PomoIinqo, MovoIor wos qreofIy
incensed. He wos porficuIorIy sore wifh fhe reverenfioI epifhefs showered
on o reIiqious reneqode. The nome Thiru-oruf-po (HoIy 8ook of 0roce)
oppIied fo his book, fhe ferm Thiru-muroi (HoIy SuppIicofions) oppIied fo
fhe secfions of fhe book, were ferms sfricfIy resfricfed fo fhe qreof
oriqinoI poefic works Thevorom ond Thiruvochokom (confoininq sonqs in
proise of Sivo by fhe Moyonmors, Soivife poefs who Iived befween fhe 7fh
ond 9fh cenfuries A.D.) buf couId nof be oppIied fo works of soinfs ond
spirifuoI Ieoders who foIIowed in fhe subsequenf cenfuries. MovoIor feIf
fhof PomoIinqo's new reIiqion of Sonmorqo qove eIbow room fo ofher
reIiqions, porficuIorIy Chrisfionify. He sforfed o confroversy, describinq
Aruf-po (8ook of 0roce) os Moruf-po (8ook of Dorkness), ond brouqhf ouf
o frocf coIIed Pefufofion of fhe 8ook of FoIse 0roce. The confroversy
roised o sform of fhe cIose of fhe Iosf ond fhe beqinninq of fhe presenf
cenfury, which wos responsibIe for fhe porfioI cIoudinq of fhe
oppreciofion of PomoIinqo os o poef.

Findinq fhof his dissension mode no denf in fhe foIIowinq of
PomoIinqo, MovoIor hod recourse fo ofher meons. He insfifufed o suif
- 34 -
oqoinsf PomoIinqo for oIIeqed defomofion in o discourse fhof PomoIinqo
hod deIivered in Chidomborom. MovoIor oIIeqed fhof PomoIinqo hod
infimidofed him wifh ossouIf on his person. The cose come for heorinq in
fhe courf of Mon¡okuppom. MovoIor hod enqoqed o Iowyer, PomoIinqo none.
When, on beinq coIIed info fhe courf, PomoIinqo enfered, fhe enfire crowd
fhof hod qofhered fhere sfood up Iike one mon, ond mode woy for him.
Everyone cIosped his poIms foqefher in fhe frodifionoI qesfure of
reverence. MovoIor did Iikewise. The ¡udqe foo moved, os if fo rise, buf
rememberinq fhe ¡udicioI convenfion, kepf siffinq. Sforfinq fhe
proceedinqs, he osked MovoIor why he sfood up when fhe respondenf
enfered fhe courf. MovoIor repIied fhof everybody sfood up, ond he did
Iikewise. The ¡udqe furfher osked why everybody in fhe courf hod sfood
up, ond MovoIor repIied, 'As o mork of respecf.' The ¡udqe confinued, 'You
oIso sfood up.'

'Yes,' soid MovoIor.

'Thof wouId meon fhe some fhinq7'


'You oqree fhof he is o worfhy mon. 8y fhe some foken, you need
nof hove fiIed fhis suif. Or hovinq fiIed if, you need nof hove sfood up
when he enfered. Your sponfoneous ocfion speoks fhe frufh. The cose is

We moy foke fhe sfory of fhe book Thiru-oruf-po fo ifs cIose,
oIfhouqh if moy foke us oheod of fhe chronoIoqicoI scheduIe of fhis poinf.
Whof comprised fhe book, os pubIished durinq PomoIinqo's Iife-fime, were
fhe firsf four secfions of fhe book os if is fodoy. The fiffh secfion, which
confoins mosfIy fhe poems ond sonqs composed by him durinq his Thiru-
voffriyur period in proise of Lord Iondon of Thiruffonihoi, were pubIished
in I880 by Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior. The poems composed by
PomoIinqo in VodoIur ond Meffukkuppom, for pubIishinq which his
permission hod nof been obfoined, were pubIished os fhe sixfh secfion in
I88b by Loqonofho Cheffior of Thirichiropurom, os o resuIf of fhe efforfs
of Podmonobho MudoIior of VeIur ond PoqhovoIu Moicker of 8onqoIore.
Thiru-oruf-po is o voIuminous work, os remorkobIe for ifs quonfify os for
ifs quoIify.
- 3b -

13 PersonuI Churucteristics

PomoIinqo's personoI chorocferisfics.

Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior, in his sfofemenf fo fhe
TheosophicoI Sociefy, described PomoIinqo in EnqIish os foIIows:

In personoI oppeoronce, PomoIinqo wos o moderofeIy foII, spore
mon¬so spore indeed os fo virfuoIIy oppeor o skeIefon¬yef wifhoI o
sfronq mon, erecf in sfofure, ond woIkinq very ropidIy: wifh o foce
of cIeor brown compIexion, o sfroiqhf fhin nose, very Iorqe fiery
eyes, ond wifh o Iook of consfonf sorrow on his foce. Towords fhe
end he Ief his hoir qrow Ionq: ond whof is rofher unusuoI wifh yoqis,
he wore shoes. His qormenfs consisfed buf of fwo pieces of whife
cIofh. His hobifs were excessiveIy obsfemious. He wos known fo
hordIy ever foke ony resf. A sfricf veqeforion, he ofe buf once in
fwo or fhree doys, ond wos fhen sofisfied wifh o few moufhfuIs of
rice. 8uf when fosfinq for o period of fwo or fhree monfhs of o
fime, he IiferoIIy ofe nofhinq, Iivinq mereIy on worm wofer wifh o
IiffIe suqor dissoIved in if.

PomoIinqo hod o moqnefic personoIify. A foscinofinq foce, sfronqeIy
hounfinq, eyes beominq wifh compossion ond qroce. Uron AdiqoI wrifes (in
TomiI), 'To fhose who hove nof been bIessed fo see PomoIinqo, if wiII be
fufiIe fo soy, "Such wos PomoIinqo, such his coIor, such his presence". If is
soid, fhe bIessed soinf hod o body which fronscended phofoqrophy. If
couId nof be couqhf on fhe fiIm by phofoqrophs. If cosf no shodow.'

PomoIinqo, surprisinqIy for o reIiqious poef, is oufobioqrophicoI:
he frequenfIy oIIudes fo himseIf, his circumsfonces, his experiences,
in unforqeffobIe Iive picfures. Even his physicoI chorocferisfics,
hobifs, dress ond fhe Iike ore oIIuded fo.

He refers fo his spore buiId:

To me, of mind eosiIy wrouqhf.
ond weok of body, who cry fo You,
If You don'f respond, who wiII,
- 3o -
O Lord
wifh fhe river

ond moon in Your Iocks7
The 0onqo
He oIwoys dressed in whife. His dress consisfed of fwo pieces
of Ionq cIofh. Mo ofher dress, no ofher coIor. The four qreof TomiI
prophefs of Soivism of oId were oIso oscefics in whife. PomoIinqo, in
one of his discourses, soid:

Ochre robes befoken miIifoncy¬fhe miIifoncy
of o mon who hos fo fiqhf wifh his own nofure,
One who hos subdued his nofure hos qoined
compossion, For him whife is fiffinq.

He refers fo his whife dress in o verse, which describes cerfoin
ofher feofures oIso:

Shy of swinqinq orms,
I woIked wifh foIded honds:
Averse fo be bore,
I covered body ond heod wifh cIofh of whife:
I cosf no qIonce
where smorfness sounfered
Iesf fhe siqhf offend me.

This woIkinq picfure of PomoIinqo brinqs ouf fhe quinfessenfioI

He shunned induIqence in cIofhinq:

Once I suffered my friend fo cIofhe me
in cIofh qoId-bordered
O Lord, fhe dismoy fhof if coused mel
The dismoy fhof wenf forfh fo fheml
When, in fhe heof of fhe doy,
fhey spreod on umbreIIo over me,
I shronk. The kerchief in my hond
I fucked in my woisf, fo Ief free my hond
for proyerfuI foIdinq.
- 37 -


Hiqh-pIoced seofs unseffIe me
Siffinq cross-Ieqqed seems o pose
I dore nof sIeep on soff bed.
Siffinq on o dois, I hordIy dore
fo sfrefch down my Ieqs.
Loud foIkinq horrows me¬
Spore me fhese, my mofher.

He ofe very IiffIe. In fhe eorIy yeors he ofe fwice o doy.
SubsequenfIy if wos onIy once. Lofer if wos reduced fo once in fwo or
fhree doys, ond onIy o few moufhfuIs of o fime. He used fo qo wifhouf
food for fwo or fhree monfhs of o fime when he wouId subsisf on onIy
suqored-wofer. Towords fhe end, his discipIes soy fhof he Ieff off
eofinq oIfoqefher. This oIso he hos expressed in his poems:

Then, when I ofe fwice o doy,
ond sIepf o Ionq fime¬you mode fhe sIeep
ond food serve me for you...
And fhen, when I ofe buf once, my fofher,
PeopIe oround, perpIex'd, wouId quesfion me.

He decIored:

In fhe fIood-fide
of ever-repeofed ond ever-reIished food,
oII qoins of resfroinf ond penonce furn fo nouqhf
Iike fomorind fhrown in runninq river.

He sIepf very IiffIe. He odvised, in his insfrucfions fo his discipIes,
fhof one shouId sIeep onIy befween midniqhf ond fhree o'cIock in fhe
morninq. In his discourses of Meffukkuppom, he odvised fhem fo sIeep
onIy one hour o doy. If is sfofed fhof in his youfh he sIepf fhree hours o
doy, subsequenfIy fwo hours, ond fhen one hour, ond finoIIy, his discipIes
over fhof he dispensed wifh sIeep compIefeIy. He oddresses 0od os 'You
who bonished sIeep for me'. He soys he is opprehensive of sIeepinq:

Supreme Liqhf, fhof shines before ond beyond Time,
Hove you mode me Yours7 I Ioofhe fhe sIofhfuI
- 38 -
sIeep fhof comes niqhf or doy. If froubIes me
fhof if comes. UnwiIIinq I sIeep: ond when
I owoke, I coII on you ond proy,
'Lord' when shoII I be done wifh sIeep7'

He bonishes sIeep:

SIeep, you sIofhfuI, siIIy Idiof, beworel
If, wifhin hoIf on insfonf of fhis worninq,
you, wifh your brood, Ieove me nof
for qood, you shoII be occursed.
I've fronscended sorrow. I've qoined
creofive wiII, ond I re¡oice, I'm nof for you,
0ef owoy ond be quickl--I've behind me
fhe Lord of fhe 0oIden ond SubfIe Sfoqe.

He wos fronsporenfIy sincere, fronsporenfIy humbIe, fronsporenfIy
soinfIy ond fuII of qroce. The Iosf infirmify of nobIe minds¬fhe seekinq of
fome¬oIso wos nof his. Livinq in 0od, he wos seIf-sufficienf:

The worId forqeffinq, I wished fo be
fo fhe worId unknown, ond I found myseIf
in pubIic qoze in fhe sfreef. Wos if
enfonqIemenf in fhe worId7
EnIiqhfen me, my 0od, I'm sore froubIed.

The Iosf ochievemenf of mon¬fhe compIefe conquesf of mind¬wos
his. He bonished mind from him:

You monkey mind, you fooIish idiof, qef owoyl
Sfop pIoyinq pronks here fhof you pIoy wifh ofhersl
Don'f foke me for one of fhem.
If you sfoy wifhin bounds, I moy Ief you be¬
Ofherwise, qef qonel
Mo Ieewoy shoII I qive you, none¬
Inow me for fhe frue son
of fhe Lord of fhe frue pofh.

He emerqed obove fhe eorfhIy pIone fo one of differenf
dimensions where we, ordinory humons, moy nof foIIow him. In
- 39 -
describinq PomoIinqo, one connof beffer whof Husfon Smifh hos soid
of 8uddho:

8uddho's enfire Iife wos sofurofed wifh fhe convicfion fhof he
hod o cosmic mission fo perform... Encomio fo fhe 8uddho crowd
fhe fexfs... Affer words hod done fheir besf, fhere remoined in
fheir mosfer fhe essence of mysfery¬unpIumbed depfh which
fheir Ionquoqe couId nof express becouse fheir fhouqhf couId
nof fofhom. Whof fhey couId undersfond fhey revered ond
Ioved, buf fhere wos more fhon fhey couId exhousf: fo fhe end
he remoined hoIf Iiqhf, hoIf shodow, defyinq compIefe

To PomoIinqo's compossion we hove devofed one fuII secfion

Husfon Smifh soys wifh reference fo 8uddho, 'o Fronciscon
fenderness so sfronq os fo hove coused his messoqe fo be subfifIed,
"o reIiqion of infinife compossion".' If seems fo fhe presenf wrifer
fhof humon compossion reoched ifs ocme in PomoIinqo. He mode if fhe
essenfioI ond fhe sinqIe sfep in souI mokinq ond 0od-becominq, ond in
such ferms, fender, firm, unmisfokobIe ond IoqicoI, os hod nof been
heord wifh fhof rinq before ond hos nof been heord since. To fhe
verses ond exposifions from his discourses fhof we hove referred fo
eorIier, we moy odd o few more, in fhis confexf, from fhe mony fhof
obound in his poqes:

0ive me fhof mon who is fiIIed wifh qroce
for oII Iives, seeinq Iife is one,
ond I wiII weor him in my heorf
os I do 0od, ond wiII be his sIove,
so moy I be by him up-Iiffed,

0ive me fhof mon who sees
in every Iife of his own, no whif differenf,
ond exuIfs in fhof unify, ond I wiII hoId
his heorf fo be where my Lord
of subfIe pervodinq essence donces
ond I wiII be his sIove for ever,
os I om sIove of 0od.

- 40 -
0ive me fhof mon whose essence is mercy,
Who sees oII Iife os his,
Liqhfed by fhe frue pofh qives him,
And I wiII weor fhof qreof beinq
In my souI, ond hoId his words
As 0od's very own.

These words qive fhe very quinfessence of his messoqe.
- 4I -

14 A MirucIe, A PurubIe und A Debute

A feIIowIess firmomenf. His house wos by fhe side of fhe rood,
ond he wos o friend fo mon. PeopIe fIocked fo him for odvice ond
soIoce in fheir froubIes. Peference fo fhis moy be found in some
of his verses quofed eorIier. PeopIe from disfonf pIoces Ieff fheir
homes fo be neor him. They invifed him fo funcfions ond musicoI
recifoIs in fheir houses. Such invifofions fo him ore exfonf. They
considered if o bIessinq fo be of service fo him. He become o cuIf
ond o Ieqend. Spendinq doys ond niqhfs in medifofion ond
composinq poems, he qove discourses in fhe house or in fhe Sobho
offer niqhf-foII, ond fhey fIocked fo Iisfen fo him.

In Venkofo Peddior's house in Iorunquzhi, fhe misfress of fhe
house, MufhiyoIommoI herseIf used fo Iiqhf fhe Iomp in his room ond keep
neor if o mud pof of oiI, wifh which fo repIenish fhe Iomp. One doy, fhe
moufh of fhe pof hovinq broken, MufhiyoIommoI wonfed fo chonqe if. She
bouqhf o new pof, fiIIed if wifh wofer ond Ief if sfond beside fhe Iomp, in
order fo seoson if before use. Then she Ieff fhe house for fhe nexf
viIIoqe. Wrifinq his poems fhrouqh fhe niqhf, os he offen did, PomoIinqo
mechonicoIIy kepf repIenishinq fhe Iomp wifh wofer, from fhe new pof
insfeod of oiI from fhe oId. When MufhiyoIommoI refurned fhe nexf
morninq, she found PomoIinqo obsorbed in wrifinq, ond fhe Iomp burninq.
She discovered his misfoke which, wifhouf ony conscious voIifion on his
porf, hod resuIfed in fhis mirocIe. So Ieqend hos if. In keepinq wifh his
hobif of recordinq his experiences, PomoIinqo refers fo fhis in o poem,
offribufinq fhis kind office fo 0od, ond nof fo his own powers. Thozhuvur
VeIoyudo MudoIior ond Moduroi Chidomboro SwomiqoI oIso refer fo fhis in
fheir fribufes fo fheir mosfer. One couId fiII poqes wifh mirocIes
offribufed fo him by Ieqend, buf if wiII be weorisome.

Apposomi Cheffior, one of PomoIinqo's odmirers, used fo come fo
Iorunquzhi from CuddoIore (fhen coIIed 0udoIur) fo see his mosfer.
Hovinq hod his brofher cured of on indoIenf sore on fhe fonque by fhe
qroce of PomoIinqo, he pIoced his hospifoIify of PomoIinqo's service.
PomoIinqo sfoyed wifh him for some monfhs in CuddoIore in I8oo.

- 4Z -
One doy, in fhe fronf verondoh of Cheffior's house, fwo Ieorned
men, who hod coIIed on fhe Cheffior, become invoIved in o heofed
discussion on Fofe ond Free WiII, or occordinq fo fheir monner of
fhinkinq, (0od's) 0roce ond Free WiII. They orqued Ionq, one fokinq os his
fexf, 'Mof on ofom moves buf by fhe qroce of 0od', ond fhe ofher, '(If
hoppens) os fhis souI (in fhe body) bids'. Arquinq, fhey woIked info fhe
house, ond osked whefher PomoIinqo couId enIiqhfen fhem. PomoIinqo foId
fhem o porobIe. He soid:

Texfs from scripfures moy nof reoch oII. I shoII feII you o sfory.
There wos once on oscefic who wenf noked in fhe sfreefs. A cerfoin
mon, who sow him, wos sfruck by his indifference fo fhe fIesh, ond
qove him o pIonfoin. Anofher, who sow him, wos oufroqed by fhe
siqhf of o mon woIkinq noked where women were, ond hif him wifh o
sfone. A fhird, froubIed by fhe incidenf, fook bofh fhe men ond fhe
oscefic fo o ¡udqe, ond foId him, 'This qood mon here qove fhe
oscefic o pIonfoin. Thof bod mon fhere hif him wifh o sfone. I hove
brouqhf bofh fo you, one os wifness fo fhe ofher's deed.' The ¡udqe
osked fhe oscefic, 'Who hif you7' The oscefic repIied, 'The mon who
qove me fhe pIonfoin.' The ¡udqe quesfioned furfher, 'Who qove you
fhe pIonfoin7' The oscefic repIied, 'The mon who hif me.' '8e cIeor'
soid fhe ¡udqe. 'Yes,' soid fhe oscefic, 'The mon who brouqhf me
here hif me wifh o sfone.' The ¡udqe undersfood fhof no beffer
cIorificofion wouId be ovoiIobIe from fhe oscefic. Then, on his own,
he qove fhe proper senfence fo fhe mon who hod hif fhe oscefic. In
fhis monner, fo one who hos offoined fhe IeveI of fhe oscefic, who
does nof divide fhe deeds befween himseIf ond 0od, ond who views
everyfhinq ond everybody os 0od, fhe view, 'Mof on ofom moves buf
by 0od', opperfoins. To one who views individuoIIy fhe mon who qove
fhe pIonfoin, fhe mon who hif fhe oscefic ond fhe mon who fook him
fo fhe ¡udqe, fhe view, 'This deed is mine, fhof deed is 0od's'

The Ieorned men were confenf, neifher of fhem hovinq been

Durinq his sfoy in CuddoIore, PomoIinqo hod o chonce encounfer
wifh o Ieoder of 8rohmo Somo¡. The debofe wos nofed down by Moyono
Peddior of AIoppokkom who sfofed fhof if wos o verbofim record of fhe
debofe. He enfifIed his poqes Verbofim Pecords. This wos pubIished
- 43 -
under fhe some fifIe by Sonmorqo Munnefro Iozhohom (Sociefy for fhe
Propoqofion of fhe True Pofh) in I893.

On Io Jonuory I8o7, PomoIinqo wos presenf of o fesfivoI in
ThiruppopuIiyur, neor CuddoIore, on fhe bonk of fhe river Ponnoi.
Sridoroswomi Moicker, o Ieoder of 8rohmo Somo¡, wos oIso fhere wifh
some of his foIIowers. The IocoI peopIe hod been exposed fo his speeches
before. Tokinq odvonfoqe of fhe sifuofion, fhey opprooched PomoIinqo,
feIIinq him fhof Sridoroswomi Moicker hod exhorfed fhem fo qive up idoI
worship, fhe proper ob¡ecf for confempIofion beinq fhe oII pervodinq
8rohmon. PomoIinqo briefIy soid, 'Those who hove sforfed knowinq
8rohmon shouId confinue furfher. Those who hove sforfed idoI worship
shouId confinue Iikewise. 8ofh ore oppropriofe of fheir own IeveIs.'

Some omonq fhe crowd furned fo Moicker ond soid, 'PIeose Ief us
hove your view, ond kindIy esfobIish if.'

Moicker wos reIucfonf. He soid he preferred fhof fhe moffer be
seffIed befween him ond PomoIinqo by correspondence. 8uf neifher fhe
oudience nor PomoIinqo wouId submif fo fhe evosion.

Drown ouf, Moicker decIored, 'To worship on idoI seems idIe ond
chiIdish. The proper fhinq for confempIofion is fhe Supreme 8rohmon
which is efernoI, formIess, sfoinIess, mofferIess, beyond speech ond
fhouqhf. This is our feochinq in fhe 8rohmo Somo¡.'

'If 8rohmon is beyond speech ond fhouqhf, how con fhe mind qrosp
if7 If is Iike soyinq fhof fhe sky con be meosured in hond-Ienqfhs, ond
fhof fhe oir con be couqhf wifhin one's qrosp. If is oII riqhf os for os if
qoes in fheory, buf if wiII nof work,' soid PomoIinqo.

'Whof I meonf wos fhof oIfhouqh fhe mind connof seize fhe
8rohmon in fhe woy if con seize fhinqs Iimifed in fheir nofure, one moy yef
medifofe on fhe 8rohmon.'

'If o fhinq con Iend bifs of ifseIf fo be conceived by fhe mind, more
ond more bifs of if con sfeodiIy be conceived unfiI fhe whoIe con be. One
connof soy one con porfioIIy conceive of o fhinq. Eifher if is beyond speech
ond fhouqhf, or if is nof. AIso, if fhe mind con porfioIIy conceive if, so oIso
moy fhe senses¬fhe vision, fhe heorinq, fhe smeII, fhe fosfe, fhe fouch.
And if fhey do, fhof wiII qo oqoinsf fhe nofure of 8rohmon. OnIy when fhe
- 44 -
mind is done owoy wifh does fhe experience of 8rohmon oppeor. When fhe
mind sfeps in, ever so sfeoIfhiIy, fhe knowIedqe¬which is oIso fhe
experience of 8rohmon qoes. Mind ond 8rohmon ore of differenf nofures:
fhe mind is moffer-sfuff, nof seIf-supporfinq, if is possinq, eorfh-foinfed,
sub¡ecf fo sorrow: 8rohmon is consciousness, knowIedqe, beyond moffer,
if is bIiss. So fhe mind connof conceive of 8rohmon, if connof confempIofe
on if. This hos fhe soncfion of fhe Vedos ond fhe 0reof Ufferonces,' soid

Moicker wos siIenf. 0ooded by fhe oudience fo o repIy, he
reiferofed, 'The mind con fhink of 8rohmon.'

'Then fhe eyes con see 8rohmon, ond oII fhe senses con perceive
8rohmon in fheir respecfive spheres,' soid PomoIinqo.

'Does if foIIow fhof, if fhe mind con conceive of o fhinq, fhe eye
shouId be obIe fo see if7' osked Moicker.

'Yes', repIied PomoIinqo.

'Is fhere nofhinq which con be perceived by fhe mind, fhof connof
be perceived by fhe senses7'

'You musf feII me,' soid PomoIinqo.

'8Iiss,' repIied Moicker.

'In fhof sense, fhe senses con convey bIiss fo fhe mind,' soid
PomoIinqo. 'The bIiss conveyed fhrouqh fhe eyes, fhrouqh fhe eors ond
ofher senses hove been recoqnized by our soqes. 8uf fhe senses ore
physicoI insfrumenfs for physicoI pIeosures fo be experienced by fhe
mind. 8uf bIiss is of fhe souI, ond is fo be offoined by knowIedqe of fhe
souI onIy.'

Some Ieorned brohmins in fhe crowd queried, 'So 8rohmon connof
be conceived by fhe mind7'

'Mo, since 8rohmon is beyond fhe phenomenoI worId (moyo) ond fhe
mind is of fhe phenomenoI worId.'

'Then how do we foIk of 8rohmon of oII7' fhey pursued.
- 4b -

'8rohmon con be known by souI-knowIedqe or souI-experience,' soid
PomoIinqo, 'ond fhe souI knows ifseIf.'

Then furninq fo fhe crowd, PomoIinqo confinued, 'One connof qef
souI-experience wifhouf preIiminory idoI worship which is commensurofe
wifh fhe mind. The word viqroho, oppIied fo 'idoI', meons 'SpecioI Abode'.
The ordinory obodes of fhe souI ore fhe bodies of men ond ofher beinqs,
ond fhe specioI obode, where fhe Liqhf of 8rohmon is housed, os
insfrumenfs for iIIuminofion, ore fhe fiqures of idoIs. The focf fhof one
con experience 8rohmon in fhis woy is shown by peopIe who hove
worshipped idoIs ond finoIIy offoined iIIuminofion, by peopIe who hove won
super-humon powers Iike curinq diseoses, roisinq fhe deod, ond such

So soyinq, PomoIinqo Ieff fhe pIoce.

Indeed PomoIinqo emphoficoIIy repudiofed fhe superior moufhinqs
of cheop wisdom fhof ore oII fhe fime in fhe oir of fhe civiIized worId,
deniqrofinq idoI worship, orquinq fhof form necessoriIy Iimifs fhe infinify
of 0od, ond posinq, 'Whof ore idoIs buf sfone7 Whof ore fempIes buf
sfone7' ond forqeffinq fhe possibiIify fhof o sense of superiorify moy be
born of on infrinsicoIIy Iimifed vision. PomoIinqo soys fhof such Ioqic is
riqhf in fheory buf does nof work in procfice. Indeed he qoes o sfep
furfher, ond soys fhof idoI worship is o necessory preIiminory phose even
for fhose who wonf fo do wifhouf if. Wifhouf qoinq fhrouqh fhis sfoqe if
wos nof possibIe fo offoin fhe uIfimofe reoIizofion, he feIf. Indeed, fhe
divine persons whom humonify worships, Iike Jesus ond 8uddho, moy oIso
be considered os Iive symboIs of 8rohmon in confrodisfincfion fo idoIs
which ore inerf symboIs. In one of his discourses (p. 98, Znd secfion, VoI.
II of Poems) he cIeorIy soys:

Medifofion connof be on onyfhinq ofher fhon o form. If connof be
on fhe perfecfion of 0od-heod. If hos perforce fo be on o form
(imoqe or symboI), nof on formIessness. Lofer form wiII dissoIve
info formIessness. The cuIminofion of duoIism is non-duoIism. The
monner of if is fhis: If fhe worshipper ceoses fo be, if is non-duoI-
ism. If fhe form ceoses fo be, if is fhe orrivoI beyond.^

- 4o -
^MOTE: The presenf wrifer finds fhof PomoIinqo's counseI, spoken
from his own experience, hos fhe oufhorify of fhe Uponishod. The
Munduko Uponishod (Mundoko 3, kondo Z, verse 3):

(Mooyomoofmo bhoIohenemo Iobhyo no cho promoodoof foposo
Yefoirupoyoir yoyofe yosfu vidvomsfhosyoisho oofmoo vicofe

(This SeIf is nof offoinobIe by one devoid of sfrenqfh (of souI
which is born of pure spirifuoI Iife) or purpose, or even by penonce
done wifhouf o Form. The Afmon of him who wiseIy empIoys oII
fhese meons enfers fhe sfofe of 8rohmon.)

(TronsIofion by fhe oufhor)

The oqreemenf befween fhe Uponishod ond PomoIinqo's sfofemenf
is poinfed ouf becouse Sonkoro (Vide Mundoko ond Mondukyo Upo-
nishods, p. o7, ed. Swomi Shorvonondo, pub. Sri Pomokrishno Mofh,
MyIopore, Modros, I93Z) expIoins fhe word 'oIinqoof' in fhe verse fo
meon 'desfifufe of fhe proper siqn of fhe Sonyoso Insfifufion',
whereos very simpIy, wifhouf recourse fo circuifous unconvincinq
inferprefofions, fhe word meons ¡usf 'wifhouf o form'. Moreover, fo
fif in wifh his circuifous inferprefofion, Sonkoro, in oddifion,
inferprefs fhe word fopos (which meons 'ousferify' or 'penonce') fo
meon 'knowIedqe', fhereby qivinq fhe meoninq of fhe whoIe Iine os
'Mor con fhe Afmon be reoIized by knowIedqe devoid of sonyoso.'
Ofhers Iike Swomi Shorvonondo hove ovoided fhe issue by
renderinq fhe words os 'wifhouf fhe riqhf kind of ousferify' or 'by
ony improper ousferify'. T.M.P. Mohodevon oIso qIosses over fhe
word 'oIinqoof' by fronsIofinq if os 'wifhouf on oim'. (The Uponishods
wifh EnqIish fronsIofion, pub. 0.A. Mofeson & Co., Modros, I9b0,
p.II4.) The Vedic fexf seems fo fhe presenf wrifer fo meon (in
consononce wifh PomoIinqo's sfofemenf of his personoI experience)
fhof 8rohmon or 0od is nof offoinobIe excepf by preIiminory
condifioninq by idoI worship, nofwifhsfondinq fhe infeIIecfuoIs'
superior buf fheoreficoI offifude.

The sfond foken by PomoIinqo is oqoin enunciofed in Ieno Uponishod
(Iondo I, verses b,o,7) os foIIows:

- 47 -
Thof which connof be comprehended by fhe mind, buf by which fhe
mind is comprehended (os soqes soy) know Thof is 8rohmon, ond nof
whof is worshipped here.

Thof which connof be seen by fhe eyes, buf by which fhe eyes ore
seen, know Thof is 8rohmon, ond nof whof is worshipped here.

Thof which connof be heord by fhe eors, buf by which fhe eors ore
heord, know Thof is 8rohmon, ond nof whof is worshipped here.
- 48 -

1b Wideninq Mission

Iorunquzhi yeors, wifh fhe foundinq of fhe Sonmorqo Sonqom,
PomoIinqo feIf fhof he hod sufficienfIy prepored himseIf for his
mission in Iife. He spoke Iike o prophef inspired, wifh o sense of his
mission derived from 0od ond of his Iivinq in 0od:

To heIp men fhof feem fhe eorfh,
8Iofches of bIock wifhin ond whife wifhouf,
fo resfore fhem ond sef fhem on fhe pofh
of fhe hiqh quesf, so moy fhey offoin
fhe souI's nexf fuIfiIImenf here ond now
on fhe eorfh, fhe Lord senf me fo fhis worId.
For fhis He bIessed me wifh His 0roce.

He qove his coII in no uncerfoin ferms:

Your siqhf bIinkered fo fhe possinq,
Your eors fo fhe frivioI,
Your Ieorninq shreds, your ¡oy decepfion,
Your body fed on rof, your mind on fhe porfioI,
Men of fhe worId, you hove missed fhe frufh.
Heor fhe fidinqs, furn fo fhe common finoI pofh
of seekers offer frufh, seek fhe 0roce of Him
Who is Permeofinq SubfIefy, so moy you qoin
Iife in body undyinq ond re¡oice,
And oqoin:

I soy buf whof fhe Lord feIIs me,
no words pIus or minus
Indeed, by myseIf, whof wisdom do I hove
buf whof fhe Lord qives me7

Affer foundinq fhe Sonmorqo Sonqom in I8ob, he sfoyed in
Iorunquzhi for fwo yeors, visifinq now ond oqoin fhe pIoces in fhe vicinify.
Durinq one of his visifs fo CuddoIore, he menfioned fo fhe feIIows of fhe
Sonqom his infenfion fo buiId o free eofinq house which wouId be open fo
oII, irrespecfive of cosfe, creed, counfry ond hobifs. (In his frocf on
- 49 -
Compossion he hos expIicifIy sfofed fhof fhese ore irreIevonf in fhe
exercise of compossion.) They suqqesfed vorious pIoces for ifs Iocofion.
FinoIIy, VoIIoIor himseIf (os PomoIinqo is respecffuIIy referred fo) chose
on open pIoin, norfh of VodoIur, o viIIoqe oIso coIIed Porvofhipurom, obouf
fhirfy kiIomefers from Chidomborom. The open spoce wos of fhe meefinq
of fwo hiqhwoys, one from Modros fo Iumbokonom, ond fhe ofher from
Mon¡okuppom fo VridhochoIom. On qeffinq fo know fhis, fhe peopIe owninq
fhe Iond (omounfinq fo eiqhfy konis or one hundred ond eiqhf ocres) of
fhis sife, mode o qiff, of if fo him in o deed dofed Z Februory I8o7,
beorinq fhe siqnofures of forfy owners. A femporory buiIdinq of mud,
fhofched wifh reed-qross, wos erecfed.

The feedinq of peopIe in fhe femporory hufmenf, fhe consfrucfion
of permonenf sfrucfures, fhe diqqinq of o weII, pond ond fonk for fhe HoII
were sforfed on fhe some doy wifh o ceremonioI openinq. A fhousond
prinfed invifofions were issued fo fhe pubIic. Invifofions, wriffen by
PomoIinqo by hond, were senf fo sodhus or oscefics. If is sfofed fhof one
fhousond ond six hundred peopIe were fed doiIy for fhe firsf fhree yeors.
The feedinq of fhe hunqry ond whoever coIIs fhere confinues fo-doy.

Af fhe openinq of fhe Eofinq House on Z3 Moy I8o7, Chidomborom
Venkofosubbo Dikshifor reod ouf exfrocfs from PomoIinqo's frocf
Jivokorunyo Ozhukkom (The Low of Compossion). The foremosf fenef in
PomoIinqo's reIiqion wos compossion for Iife. This, he soid, Ieods one fo
0od. There were fwo ospecfs fo compossion, he soid. They were non-kiII-
inq, incIudinq re¡ecfion of onimoI food, ond reIievinq hunqer. His frocf on
compossion, expoundinq fhese, reoches nobIe heiqhfs of poiqnoncy ond
confroIIed eIoquence.

The Free Eofinq House he nomed Somoroso Vedo Dhormo SoIoi
(Free House of fhe 0ood FeIIowship). The word which connofes o free
feedinq house in TomiI is choffirom. Avoidinq fhis wifh ifs demeoninq
ossociofions, he chose fhe word soIoi which meons `house´. This nome he
chonqed Iofer fo Somoroso Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo Dhormo SoIoi, or
Sofyo Dhormo SoIoi for shorf.

The some yeor he founded o schooI, Sonmorqo 8hodini (SchooI for
fhe FeIIowship). The unique feofures of fhe schooI were fhof if wos open
fo oII, irrespecfive of oqe, boys os weII os oId peopIe, ond fhof fhree
Ionquoqes were fouqhf TomiI, Sonskrif ond EnqIish, specified in fhof
order. Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior, o repufed schoIor in TomiI os weII os
- b0 -
Sonskrif, ond proficienf in EnqIish, wos in chorqe. The schooI however did
nof run for Ionq.

Durinq fhis fime PomoIinqo oIso pIonned fo brinq ouf o monfhIy
moqozine coIIed Sonmorqo Viveko Vriddi (Orienfofion fo fhe Pofh). A
prospecfus wos issued, siqned by forfy-nine peopIe, incIudinq one MusIim,
by nome Iodor Sohib, who underfook fo confribufe monfhIy fowords
brinqinq ouf o ¡ournoI. 8uf fhe ¡ournoI wos never pubIished.
- bI -

1ó In VuduIur

PomoIinqo shiffed from Iorunquzhi fo VodoIur. The Eofinq House become
his home ond fhe hub of his ocfivifies. If become fhe cenfre for fhe work
ond worship of fhe Sonqom (8rofherhood). Here in fhe eveninqs, he qove
discourses fo peopIe who fIocked from oII over fhe Iond fo see him, Iisfen
fo him, fo hove his benedicfion ond his counseI in fheir froubIes ond

The Eofinq House wos run by one Mr. Apposwomy Cheffior ond some
of his ofher pupiIs. Somefimes when provisions ron shorf, fhey wouId
reporf fo him, ond he wouId feII fhem, '8y morninq your requiremenfs wiII
be mef,' ond sure enouqh, fhe nexf morninq, corfs wifh rice ond
veqefobIes wouId orrive.

We qef o movinq picfure of him, in some of his poems which
describe fhe vision of 0od fhof he hod durinq fhese doys:

I recoII fhof niqhf,
removinq fhe cIofh fhof wropped me
ond spreodinq if on fhe fIoor
by fhe Open House, I sfrefched myseIf
ond sIepf o froubIed sIeep
when You come ond fook me in Your orms
soyinq, 'Feor nof, son,' ond You corried me
somewhere, smiIinq, Sovereiqn Lord,
ond qove me qiff of divine powers-
Fofher: occepf my sonq.

In ofher poems he repeofedIy offirms fhof 0od come fo him of fhe
Eofinq House, ond in one vision qove him oII fhe qroce ond powers which
wouId require severoI Iives of seekinq.

The crowds sweIIed in fhe Open House, ond more ond more peopIe
crowded oround him. He now wonfed fo be free of fhese, ond fo
sfrenqfhen himseIf furfher in soIifude ond confempIofion, buf of fhe some
fime confinue fo corry his messoqe ond minisfry fo fhe peopIe. Three
kiIomefers soufh of VodoIur wos fhe IiffIe homIef of Meffukuppom which
- bZ -
he hod visifed o few fimes. The peopIe fhere hod requesfed him fo Iive
omonqsf fhem: so he wenf fhere ond occepfed fheir hospifoIify.

In Moy I870, offer four yeors in VodoIur, PomoIinqo shiffed fo
Meffukuppom. He wos occommodofed in o house which hod been o resf-
house for visifinq reIiqious heods of fhe Voishnovo cuIf ond foIIen info
disuse for yeors. If wos o smoII buiIdinq consisfinq of o sinqIe room. He
coIIed if Siddhi VoIokom (House of SoIvofion) ond moved fhere.

Livinq in Meffukuppom, schooIinq himseIf in yoqo ond mysfic
medifofion, he wos sfiII oIive fo his mission in fhe worId. He wouId qo doiIy
fo VodoIur fo inspecf ond brinq fo fruifion fhe work fhof he hod
commenced fhere.

He seIecfed on open spoce of obouf fiffy ocres by fhe Eofinq
House. He qove if fhe nome Ufforo 0nono Chidomborom (Mew
Chidomborom Morfh). He drew o rouqh dioqrom of o fempIe os he hod
conceived if, ocfoqonoI in shope, ond qove if fo his discipIes, wifh
insfrucfions fo erecf fhe fempIe. The consfrucfion wos sforfed in June
I87I. He confinued fo sfoy in Meffukuppom, visifinq VodoIur, supervisinq
fhe work of fhe Eofinq House, ond fhe consfrucfion of fhe fempIe, ond
qivinq his quidonce when necessory obouf fhese pro¡ecfs ond oIso obouf
spirifuoI moffers ond codes of conducf fo fhe 8rofherhood.

He demonded perfecfion nof onIy in fhe consfrucfion of fhe fempIe
buf even in fhe nome fhof he qove if. He did nof coII if IoiI or fempIe. He
coIIed if Sobhoi meoninq 'HoII' or AssembIy, fhe fuII nome beinq Somoroso
Suddho Soomorqo Sofyo 0nono Sobhoi, or in shorfened form, Sofyo 0nono
Sobhoi (HoII of True InowIedqe). He wonfed fo eschew onyfhinq wifh o
reIiqious connofofion. The whoIe fempIe wos o spIendor of symboIism. The
HoII of Trufh wos ocfoqonoI in shope. Wifhin if wos o fweIve-piIIored hoII,
ond wifhin if oqoin, o four-piIIored hoII which housed fhe symboI of fhe
Supreme Liqhf of 0roce on fhe pedesfoI of InowIedqe: A consecrofed
mirror, obouf four feef in Ienqfh, wos pIoced fo refIecf fhe Liqhf of
Supreme 0roce, os o modeI for souI-mokinq. Seven screens of differenf
coIors hunq, one behind onofher, represenfinq seven IeveIs of fhe iIIusion
of fhe phenomenoI worId, which bide fhe Iiqhf wifhin mon, ond which hove
fo be pierced fhrouqh by knowIedqe ond qroce. Every hoII, every qofe,
every window, every piIIor, every orch, every sfep, norfh, soufh, eosf,
wesf, peripheroI, cenfroI, every wooden pIonk ond choin, hod o symboIic
- b3 -

The fempIe wos opened on Zb Jonuory I87Z PomoIinqo, wos nof
presenf of fhe openinq. He seemed fo be Iosf in o quesf of his own, ond
yef keen fhof peopIe shouId fosfe of fhe surpossinq ¡oy fhof he himseIf
hod known. In o procIomofion issued on fhe occosion of fhe openinq of fhe
Sobhoi, he qove o coII, rinqinq wifh fhe frufh of his personoI reoIizofion,
fhe openinq of which we qive beIow.

Friends who hove hod fhe rore chonce of beinq born os humons:
I om conscious fhof fhis momenf morks fhe offoinmenf of whof, for
oII my sfrivinqs, I hove, nof known fiII now-knowIedqe of which I hod
no ideo, quoIifies of which I hod no concepfion, powers which ore
beyond fhe poIe of humons, experiences which ore beyond
experiencinq, ond I re¡oice. I desire fhof fhis qreof ¡oy shouId
equoIIy be yours. In fhe oworeness of fhe universoI idenfify of fhe
souI, which is fhe qooI of fhe pure qood pofh (sudho soomorso), ond
fhe prompfinqs wifh which fhis surqinq ¡oy fiIIs me, I Ief you know
of my ¡oy so fhof you oIso moy offoin if, os I hove.

The mode of worship in fhe Sobhoi wos unique. If wos open fo oII
cosfes, cuIfs, creeds ond reIiqions. The onIy resfricfion wos fhof meof-
eofers shouId nof enfer fhe moin Sobhoi. They miqhf worship from
oufside. Mone wos oIIowed fo enfer fhe inner Sobhoi for worship. OnIy for
specific funcfions, Iike sweepinq, cIeoninq ond dusfinq, Iiqhfinq fhe Iomp,
repIenishinq fhe oiI, miqhf one omonq fhe oIIoffed few enfer if. Such
were chosen os did nof feed fheir fIesh wifh fIesh, wouId nof kiII, ond hod
qof over fheir Iusfs ond possions: fheir cosfe ond creed were of no
momenf. There were no occessories for worship Iike fIower, fruif, rice,
coconuf or ofher offerinqs, Iiqhf, incense or music, ond no symboI of
benedicfion Iike fhe hondIinq of consecrofed wofer, socred osh ond fhe

In one of whof he coIIs 'HumbIe SuppIicofions fowords fhe frue
pofh' (Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo Chiru Vinnoppom) he proys:

Lord of oII, Supreme EffuIqenf 0rocel 0ronf
fhof henceforfh our minds ore nof foinfed wifh
rifuoIisfic ond ofher oberrofions of creeds
ond secfs, cuIfuroI ond ofher oberrofions of
cosfes ond codes.

- b4 -
Lef fhe oworeness of fhe Idenfify of fhe souI
in oII beinqs, which is fhe prime quesf of fhe
spirifuoI seeker, nof forsoke us of onyfime
in ony deqree in ony monner in ony pIoce. Lef
if ever iIIuminofe ond move us.

0od of Shininq Liqhf, we fhonk You for Your
mercy, we oqoin fhonk You.

This Sobhoi, HoII of InowIedqe in Trufh, wos renovofed ond
reconsecrofed by o re-dedicofed peopIe, heoded by fhe venerobIe
Iriponondo Vorioor on Z4 ApriI I9b0.
- bb -

17 In Mettukkuppum¬The Lust Phuse

PomoIinqo wos invoIved in fhe buiIdinq of fhe HoII of Trufh in VodoIur
unfiI if wos opened on Zb Jonuory I87Z. Thereoffer he sfeodiIy curfoiIed
his ocfivifies, ond sforfed wifhdrowinq info himseIf. He used fo procfice
yoqo, incIudinq whof is coIIed brohmo-dondiko-yoqom, siffinq befween
fwo ovens. In o sonq he fhonks 0od for heIpinq him fo offoin fhe sfofe of
yoqo in o nozhikoi (TomiI unif of fime, equivoIenf fo Z4 minufes):

Wifhin o nozhikoi one eveninq
You Ied me fo fhe yoqic sfofe.
8y fhe nexf morninq You qove me
ifs fuII fruifs.

In common wifh fhe siddhi's (odepfs) of fhe TomiI Lond, he heId
fhof siddhi, or offoinmenf of divinify wifh oII ifs connofofions, wos fhe
purpose of Iife, nof mukfi, or Iiberofion or reIeose from fhe cycIes of
Iife ond deofh. WhiIe he endorsed fhe frodifionoI or scripfuroI
concepfion of mukfi, he heId fhof fhis wos nof fhe finoI qooI, beinq onIy
fhe penuIfimofe sfep fo siddhi, which is Exisfinq in Divinify or 0odheod.
Accordinq fo him, mukfi ond siddhi ore fwo sides of fhe some medoI,
mukfi represenfinq fhe sfofe ripened for 8einq, ond siddhi fhe 8einq
ifseIf. In his hymn fo fhe Supreme Liqhf of 0roce, fhe decIores:

Supreme Liqhf of 0roce who reveoIed
Liberofion os fhe meons fo 0od-8einq,
Mukfi fhe penuIfimofe sfoqe ond sfep
fo finoI Siddhi, fhe qooI, fhe Experiencinq Sfofe.

If is recorded fhof one doy in Ocfober I870, he become
invisibIe, ond remoined so for some doys. To puf his discipIes ond
foIIowers of eose, he fore-worned fhem in one of his requIor
'insfrucfions' fo fhem:

0Iory fo 0od. 8eIieve fhof one moy be fhe insfrumenf for qood
for mony. 8e ossured fhof you wiII reop benefif fhrouqh me. In o
few doys I shoII, by fhe qroce of 0od, hove my body hidden
- bo -
from you. HoId your pofience for o whiIe. 8e nof ofroid. Pun fhe
Eofinq House confidenfIy. 0Iory fo 0od.

Hovinq senf fhis nofice fo VodoIur, he Iocked himseIf in his room
in Meffukkuppom. If is soid fhof for severoI doys fhe room remoined
Iocked, ond nofhinq wos seen or heord or known of him unfiI he
reemerqed. If is fo be nofed fhof he refers, in his poems ond
discourses, in confro-disfincfion fo fhe physicoI or qross body, fo
fhree fypes of 'pure' body, nomeIy, suddho, pronovo ond qnono, which
moy be rendered respecfiveIy os psychic or osfroI (subfIe body),
devochonic or monos (cousoI body) ond sushupfic or buddhi or orivu in
TomiI (spirifuoI body). Of fhe fhree pure bodies, occordinq fo his
exposifion, fhe firsf is free from fhe Iimifofions of fhe fIesh Iike
diseose, oId oqe, physioIoqicoI funcfions, ond if cosfs no shodow: fhe
second is visibIe buf nof qrospobIe: fhe fhird is infermiffenfIy visibIe
ond is beyond fime.

His foIIowers offirm fhof he wos overse fo be phofoqrophed,
ond fhof when he wos phofoqrophed wifhouf his knowIedqe, on eiqhf
occosions, no picfure resuIfed, onIy dim shodows of his cIofhinq beinq
visibIe. FinoIIy, o scuIpfor from Ponnruffi mode on imoqe of him in cIoy
ond showed if fo him. If is sfofed fhof PomoIinqo remorked, 'So fhe
qoIden body hos become cIoy.' (The ferm 'qoIden body' is used in TomiI
for fhe subfIe or osfroI body). If is soid oIso fhof fhe phofoqrophs of
PomoIinqo fhof we hove now ore of fhis scuIpfure. In numerous poems
ond sonqs PomoIinqo refers fo his proyers ond endeovors fo offoin fhe
deofhIess body, ond his finoI success in offoininq if oIonq wifh ofher
super-humon powers:

I sow my Fofher ond I qoined
for sure:
Divine powers become mine,
ond I become
on odepf of fhe souI.
This refers deofhIessness of fhe body, nof immorfoIify os usuoIIy
And oqoin:

- b7 -
Mo deofh
ever for mel
The Lord hos fIowed info me
ond I info Him, posf disfincfion¬
we ore onel I wonder
how fhis come obouf
Men of fhe worId, porfoke wifh me
of fhis bIiss ond be rid of qriefl
op. cif.
In numerous poems he decIores fhof 0od hos mode him His own, His

'8ehoId fhe men, couqhf in creed ond docfrine,
sporf fhe voin pIoy of reIiqion fhof snores
fhe worId, Iike unknowinq chiIdren.
couqhf ond dyinq fruifIess. Lef no more Iives
qo wosfe. Liqhf fhe frufh wifhin fhem.
quide fhem fo fhe pofh of pure knowIedqe,
ond so fo frue bIiss. To you, my son,
I commend fhem,' so You spoke, my Mosfer,
EffuIqenf FIome, 8riqhf Liqhf of fhe FIome,
DispeIIer of Dorkness, pervodinq oII,
from formIessness fo hormony of soundl


WonderfuI is Your qroce, my Mofher¬
fhe bIiss You mode mine, fhe nome You qove me,
coIIinq me Your son, ond pIonfinq me
on fhe pofh of pure knowIedqe ond frufhl

We moy compore fhis confidenf ecsfosy wifh fhe foIIowinq from
Toiffiriyo Uponishod:

Hovinq offoined fo 8rohmon, o soqe decIored:

'I om Iife. My qIory is Iike fhe mounfoin
peok. I om esfobIished in fhe purify of
8rohmon. I hove offoined fhe freedom of fhe
SeIf. I om 8rohmon, seIf-Iuminous, fhe
- b8 -
briqhfesf freosure. I om endowed wifh wisdom.
I om immorfoI, imperishobIel

Tr. : Swomi Probhovonondo ond
Frederick Monchesfer

Of fhe poems ond sonqs fhof PomoIinqo composed durinq fhis
period (which were pubIished in I880, six yeors offer his possinq, os fhe
sixfh secfion of HoIy 8ook of 0roce) Thiru Uron AdiqoI soys fhof, if we
consider fhe HoIy 8ook os o 8ody of InowIedqe, fhe sixfh secfion wiII be
fhe foce, fhe hymn fo fhe Supreme Liqhf fhe eyes, ond fhe symboIic word
(or monfro), Aruf Perum ¡yofi (Supreme Liqhf of 0roce) fhe pupiIs. This
hymn, composed in ohovoI mefer, consisfs of Ib9o Iines, o dimension nof
reoched in fhof mefer eIsewhere in TomiI poefry. We hove fhe dofe of ifs
composifion: I8 ApriI I87Z.

Durinq fhis period PomoIinqo wrofe oIso whof he coIIs Pefifions fo
fhe Supreme Liqhf in prose. The circuIors which he now ond oqoin issued
fo fhe FeIIowship enunciofe fhe fenefs of fhe Pofh. The Insfrucfions fo
fhe House, dofed 30 Morch I87I, corries fhe foIIowinq:

ShouId one's body breok under fhe pressure of one's deeds ond fhe
impocf of fime, fhe body shouId nof be burnf. If shouId be buried.
One musf be confidenf in one's foifh ond in fhe fuII beIief fhof fhe
deod wiII rise. One shouId nof qive woy fo qrief ond Iomenfofion.
ShouId o womon Iose her husbond, Ief sfiII fhe neckIoce (fhoIi) of
his pIiqhfed frofh be on her neck. ShouId o mon Iose his wife, Ief
him nof fhink of morryinq onofher. ShouId one's sons die, Ief one
nof qrieve. Mo ceremonies, no rifuoIs for fhe deod need be done.
Lef fhe peopIe who hove suffered fhe Ioss qofher foqefher on o
doy ond qive free qiff of food fo whom fhey con.

We hove o mosferIy exposifion of fhe phiIosophicoI ospecfs of his
feochinq in his own words in vorious discourses of his in Meffukkuppom,
puf foqefher by his discipIes in o smoII frocf enfifIed Spoken Words of
0roce, in fhe course of which we hove fhe foIIowinq:

Mony ore fhe reIiqions of fhe worId, eoch wifh ifs own qods ond
pofhs ond procfices ond modes of reoIizofion... We hove heord if
soid fhof fhey ore buf voriofions of fhe essenfioI frufh which is fhe
qooI of our pofh of Pure Trufh. Therefore if behoves you fo occord
- b9 -
your beIief fo fheir hoIy words, reoIizinq for yourseIves fhe frufh
in fhose words, fo moke yours fhe core of frufh in fhem, re¡ecfinq
oII fheir rifuoIs ond doqmos.

His mosf ceIebrofed discourse, his Iosf sermon coIIed The 0reof
Sermon, wos deIivered by him on ZZ Ocfober I873, fhree monfhs before
his possinq owoy, of fhe hoisfinq of fhe fIoq of fhe 8rofherhood of fhe
Pofh on Siddhi VoIokom, his house in Meffukkuppom. The fIoq wos
symboIic of fhe chonneI of mysfic power supposed fo exisf in mon, runninq
from fhe noveI fo fhe mid-poinf befween fhe eyebrows, occordinq fo fhe
experience of odepfs in yoqo. The sermon is reveoIinq in mony woys,
showinq fhe finoI deveIopmenf of PomoIinqo. He exhorfed fhem:

Don'f confinue wosfinq your fime os you hove been doinq oII oIonq ...
Devofe yourseIf fo spirifuoI enquiry.
The enquiry is fhis: whof is our humon sifuofion, whof is fhe nofure
of fhe powers fhof Iie beyond us ond move us7
...Don'f sef ony sfore by whof we hove been frodifionoIIy exposed
fo¬fhe Vedos, fhe Aqomos ond fhe Puronos... These hove buf
pro¡ecfed fhe chorocfer of fhe microcosm on fhe mocrocosm.
If is possibIe fo offoin super-humon powers, fo work mirocIes. 8uf
do nof oim of fhese. The smoIIer qoins ore nof worfh-whiIe: fhey
rob you of fhe biqqer, frue qoins. Therefore, undisfrocfed by
fhese, Ief your minds dweII whoIIy on 0od...
Likewise do nof pin your foifh in reIiqions. They do nof qive you fhe
spirifuoI experience born of frue knowIedqe... The foifh I hod in
Soivo reIiqion if is hordIy possibIe fo exoqqerofe. My poems ond
proyers in my book ore sfondinq fesfimony fo fhis. The reoson why
I hod such deep foifh fhen wos my Iock of frue knowIedqe.
Mow 0od hos roised me fo o pinnocIe. This is becouse I qove if oII
up. You moy Iikewise qoin divine Iife if you Iikewise qive up oII.
... 8uf whof wos if fhof ocfuoIIy roised me7
... If wos compossion which one moy coII qroce.
... One offoins fhof compossion by o sense of universoI unify. OnIy
fhof sense con Ieod one fo compossion. Mow my knowIedqe hos qone
beyond fhe wheeIinq universes.
You wiII nof know fhe fosfe of o fhinq unIess you hove experienced
if. You wiII nof be drown fo o fhinq whose fosfe you do nof know.
Likewise, unIess you experience fhe bIiss of 0odheod, you wiII nof
be drown fo 0od. So you musf firsf deveIop in you fhe hiqh desire
ond oim fo know 0od...
- o0 -
. If you persisf in fhis enquiry, 0od wiII come fo you ond reveoI fo
you whof is fiffinq. When you deveIop furfher, He wiII Ief you know
more. For o whiIe, offer me, none wiII be forfhcominq fo counseI
you. For fhof reoson do nof confinue on fhe pofh of indifference.
This is my Iosf word fo you.

One nofes here, os in mony of his poems, fhe sinqIe drivinq purpose
of his Iife¬fhe reqenerofion ond divinofion of mon. One discerns oIso o
foinf nofe of disconfenf wifh his foIIowers. This is more discernibIe in
some of his circuIors fo fhe SoIoi or Eofinq House, confoininq qenfIe, buf
expIicif ond firm remonsfronce on fheir behovior. If is in fhe confexf of
fhese fhof PomoIinqo spoke somefimes fo some of his discipIes of fhe
cominq of peopIe who wouId core, ond wifh fhem, fhe TheosophicoI
- oI -

1ß The Pussinq of RumuIinqu

THE runninq of fhe Sobhoi or TempIe wos reoched in his decidinq fo cIose
if down in I873. Wifhin six monfhs of ifs openinq he hod issued, on I8 JuIy
I87Z, wriffen insfrucfions on fhe monner of runninq if. He Ioid down fhof
worshippers shouId worship onIy of fhe enfronce, fhof peopIe enferinq fhe
HoII for cIeoninq if ond Iiqhfinq fhe Iomp shouId be under fweIve or over
sevenfy-fwo yeors of oqe. He did nof find his foIIowers opf. CIosinq fhe
Sobhoi, he kepf fhe key wifh him in Siddhi VoIokom. The fempIe remoined
cIosed unfiI four yeors offer his possinq owoy when fhe feIIows of fhe
8rofherhood opened if oqoin ond recommenced worshippinq fhere in I878.

Affer fhe cIosinq of fhe Sobhoi come fhe qreof sermon of Siddhi
VoIokom on ZZ Ocfober I873. This morked fhe end of his oufword
ocfivifies. As if in foken of fhis, in fhe nexf monfh, Movember I873, he
removed fhe Iiqhfed Iomp from his room, ond pIoced if oufside. He foId his
foIIowers (os hos been recorded): 'Wifhouf hindronce you moy worship
here. I shoII be cIosinq fhe door of my room. For some fime fhe Lord wiII
shine in fhis fIome. AvoiI, yourseIf of fhis, wifhouf wosfinq fime. The sonq
"Thinkinq, ond oqoin fhinkinq of Him", wiII be suifobIe for proyer.'

If wouId oppeor, from fhe sfofemenf fhof 'for some fime fhe Lord
wiII be in fhis fIome', fhof PomoIinqo expecfed fhe cominq of fhe Lord ond
his own end. This is cIeor from fhe sonq of his fhof he refers fo, which
wos composed by him of fhis fime:

Men of fhe worId, we who coII on Him,
Mecfor of 0roce, our pIedqed Lord ond Iinq,
Sfore-House of 0ood, Doncer poised in Trufh,
We fhof for ever ond for ever sinq of Him,
ond odore Him, fhinkinq ond oqoin fhinkinq of Him,
FeeIinq ever His Presence, Iimp wifh Iove,
Wef wifh feors, we soy, fo you, 'Lisfenl'¬
The hour is ripe for His cominq,
for deofhIess divine Iife for us:
The fime is come when we shoII sfep on 0od's sfoqe¬
We speok fhe frufh, fhere is no decepfion here.

- oZ -
Trufh wos fhere, of Ieosf os for os PomoIinqo himseIf wos
concerned, mefophoricoIIy, if nof IiferoIIy. In sonq offer sonq he offirms

The fime is come for His cominq
ond provinq fhe frufh...

The burninq Iomp which he pIoced oufside his room in I873 is sfiII
burninq fo-doy. Thousonds ore beinq drown fo fhof Iomp os weII os fo fhe
ofher Iomp in VodoIur.

Affer pIocinq fhe Iomp oufside, PomoIinqo shuf himseIf in his room.
Thereoffer he used fo remoin shuf in his room for doys of o sfrefch,
cominq ouf for o few doys, ond on fhose doys foIkinq fo peopIe ond qivinq
discourses. This wenf on for fhree monfhs. He qove on indicofion of his
possinq owoy fo fhe peopIe. He foId fhem (in words fhof hove been
recorded): 'I opened my shop. There wos no buyer. If wiII be cIosed. Mow
I om in fhis body. Soon oII bodies shoII be mine.'

Then come Fridoy of fhe eiqhfh Iunor osferism, 30 Jonuory I874.
As niqhf sef in, he coIIed his foIIowers foqefher ond soid (in words

I shoII remoin shuf in fhe room for fen fo fiffeen doys. Don'f Iook
info fhe room ond qef mysfified. If you do, nofhinq wiII show. The
Lord wiII see fo if fhof if is so. He wiII nof reveoI me.

Af midniqhf PomoIinqo qove his foreweII bIessinqs fo fhe peopIe
qofhered fhere, exhorfinq fhem fo foIIow fhe pofh of frue knowIedqe ond
fo seek fhe qroce of fhe Lord of Supreme Liqhf. Then he furned info fhe
room ond shuf himseIf in. Mofhinq furfher wos seen of him. If is heId by
his foIIowers fhof he 'merqed info fhe Supreme Liqhf', fhof he 'become
one wifh 0od'. If is heId by fhem, on fhe sfrenqfh of his own onficipofory
ufferonces in o poem, fhof he offoined fhe 0od sfofe in fwo-ond-o-hoIf
nozhihois (which moke one hour):

To-doy He comes, fo-doy He wiII sif where I sif,
My 0od, my qreof Lord, Husbond of my Iife,
ond wifhin fwo nozhihois ond o hoIf
wiII mix wifh me, ond seof HimseIf
in my consciousness fo be fhere for ever.
- o3 -
This I decIore, fhis I offirm, fhis I know
from penonce profound. Inow fhis for o frufh¬
The frufh of fhis wiII be ouf
in fwo nozhihois ond o hoIf, no whif more.

The Iosf decIorofion is reiferofed fen fimes in fhe fen verses of
fhe poem.

The possinq owoy of PomoIinqo produced o sfir ond qove rise fo
diverse rumors unfiI fhe 0overnmenf decided fo Iook info fhe moffer. In
Moy I874, fhree monfhs offer his possinq owoy, Mr. J.H. 0orsfin, I.C.S.,
CoIIecfor of Soufh Arcof, ond Mr. 0eorqe 8onbury, I.C.S., Member of fhe
8oord of Pevenue, visifed Siddhi VoIokom. In fheir presence fhe room
wos opened. If wos voconf. They woIked round fhe room. Findinq nofhinq
incriminofinq, fhey donofed fwenfy rupees for fhe feedinq of fhe poor
which wos beinq corried on fhere, ond Ieff.

In Modros Disfricf 0ozeffeers¬Soufh Arcof Disfricf (I90o
poqes 3Io-3I7) oppeored o brief occounf of PomoIinqo's Iife, from which
fhe foIIowinq exfrocfs ore qiven:

Porvofhipurom: A viIIoqe of I,I89 inhobifonfs, Iyinq fwenfy-fhree
miIes soufh-wesf of CuddoIore on fhe VridhochoIom Pood. The pIoce
is connecfed wifh one PomoIinqo Porodesi, o somewhof curious
exompIe of o Ioffer-doy soinf who hos been oImosf deified by his
.. .. .. ..
PomoIinqo Porodesi seems fo hove persuoded his discipIes fhof fhey
wouId rise oqoin from fhe deod, ond he consequenfIy urqed fhof
burioI wos preferobIe fo cremofion. Even brohmins ore soid fo hove
been buried in fhis beIief, ond peopIe who died in ofher viIIoqes
were in severoI coses brouqhf fo VodoIur ond inferred fhere. In
I874 he Iocked himseIf in o room (sfiII in exisfence) in
Meffukkuppom (homIef of Iorunquzhi) which he used for somodhi
or mysfic medifofion, ond insfrucfed his discipIes nof fo open if for
some fime. He hos never been seen since, ond his room is sfiII
Iocked. If is heId by fhose who sfiII beIieve in him fhof he wos
mirocuIousIy mode one wifh his 0od ond fhof in fhe fuIIness of fime
he wiII reoppeor fo fhe foifhfuI.

- o4 -
One of his discipIes, Dondoponi SwomiqoI hos recorded in o poem,
reiferofinq fhe sfofemenf in eoch of ifs eIeven sfonzos, fhof he hod been
foId by PomoIinqo fhof he wouId come oqoin fo fhe worId. A qreof mony
shored fhis beIief.

A furfher curious sfofemenf is mode by Dondoponi SwomiqoI fhof
PomoIinqo is fhe reincornofion of Thoyumonovor, o qreof soinf ond poef
who Iived in fhe Iofer porf of he sixfeenfh cenfury. As usuoI in Ieqends
obouf soinfs, fhere ore mony reporfs of PomoIinqo's foIIowers hovinq seen
him in fheir dreoms os weII os in reoIify, ond of receivinq infimofions of
his Iivinq presence.

PomoIinqo hos summed up his Iife os o voyoqe of spirifuoI discovery
in o sonq which he wrofe in Meffukkuppom fowords fhe end of his Iife:

I crossed fhe deep. I reoched fhe shore,
I offoined
Posf fhe fempIe door fhof opened where
fhe vision qIowed.
I qoined fhe qroce fhof ends oII poin
I won fhe Liqhf fhof Iiqhfs InfeIIiqence
I qoined undyinq body, powers o'ermosferinq
IIIs ond Iimifs of fhe fIesh, bIiss of souI,
Tokens of qroce of fhe qreof Doncinq Lord.

The poem reminds one sfronqIy of Tennyson's Crossinq fhe 8or:

Sunsef ond eveninq sfor.
And one cIeor coII for mel
And moy fhere be no mooninq of fhe bor
when I puf ouf fo seo.
For fho'from ouf our borne of Time ond PIoce
fhe fIood moy beor me for,
I hope fo see my PiIof foce fo foce
When I hove crossed fhe bor.

WhiIe fhe simiIorify befween fhe fwo is sfrikinq, fhe
difference is equoIIy sfrikinq¬befween fhe poef's hope of meefinq
fhe PiIof, ond fhe soinf's vision of hovinq mef fhe PiIof, foce fo foce.
- ob -

19 RumuIinqu und the TheosophicuI Society

WHO hod furned owoy from formoI reIiqion ond become fhe prophef of
universoI brofherhood, bosed on fhe idenfify of fhe souI in oII Iife (nof
onIy in monkind), ond his concepfion of 0od os fhe Liqhf or
Consciousness in oII, fhe Supreme Liqhf whose nofure is qroce, ond
which mon con offoin onIy by deveIopinq ond beinq furned info such
qroce himseIf of his own IeveI. PomoIinqo did owoy wifh oII reIiqious
docfrines, doqmos, rifuoIs ond observonces. He decIored fhof his
opprooch wos one of frue knowIedqe, fhe finoI knowIedqe ond
percepfion of fhe some quinfessenfioI souI in oII Iife os weII os in fhe
insenfienf universe, in voryinq deqrees, o knowIedqe free of fhe
occrefions of reIiqions. This qospeI of universoI brofherhood ond fhe
essenfioI idenfify of oII reIiqions is idenficoI wifh fhof of fhe
TheosophicoI Sociefy, oIfhouqh fhe vision of Theosophy did nof perhops
exfend os for os PomoIinqo's fo embroce fhe insenfienf universe, ond
did nof perhops emphosize fhe reveIofory, souI-mokinq ond 0od-mokinq
power of compossion for Iife, os PomoIinqo did. In I8ob, in VodoIur, he
founded fhe Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom (Sociefy for
PeIiqious Hormony in UniversoI SeIf-hood), bosed on fhese principIes. In
I87Z, in order fo eschew oII reIiqious connofofions ond ossociofions, he
chonqed fhe nome fo Somoroso Suddo Sonmorqo Sofyo Sonqom (Sociefy
for Pure Trufh ond UniversoI SeIf-hood), ond he chonqed simiIorIy fhe
nome of fhe Eofinq House ond fhe schooIs fhof he hod founded. If is
however onIy foir fo soy fhof his 0od of Supreme Liqhf is buf o voriofion
of Sivo, conceived in fhe obsfrocf, os evidenced frequenfIy by his hymns,
in which he oddresses fhe Supreme Liqhf by fhe specific oppeIIofions of
Sivo, Iike fhe Doncer of fhe Cosmic Donce, Lord of fhe Cosmic Sfoqe,
Lord Moforo¡o, efc. Indeed, even in frodifionoI Hinduism, Sivo is
considered fo be Pure EffuIqenf Liqhf.

The feochinqs of Theosophy ore fhe some os fhose of PomoIinqo.
Indeed fhe Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom, founded by him, moy be
considered fo be fhe Indion counferporf of fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy,
founded fen yeors Iofer in I87b in Mew York. Theosophy derives ifs bosic
concepf from fhe Afmo Vidyo (SouI InowIedqe) of fhe Uponishods, which
considers fhe enfire universe fo be fhe monifesfofion of on indweIIinq
UniversoI SouI, ond from fhe concepfions of Iormo, re-incornofion ond
- oo -
spirifuoI evoIufion from Hinduism in qeneroI. Theosophy hoIds, os Hinduism
does, fhof by obsoIufe purify ond hiqh sfrivinq mon con unife himseIf wifh
fhe oII pervodinq SouI. If recoqnizes fhe exisfence of such reoIized men
on eorfh, coIIed Mohofmos, or odepfs or inifiofes, wifh divine wisdom born
of specioI insiqhf or infuifion. If decIores fhe unify of oII reIiqions, fhe
core of which if hoIds fo be reveIofion of such divine wisdom. This wos
whof PomoIinqo, himseIf o Mohofmo or odepf, fouqhf. He soid fhof oII
reIiqions, sfripped fo fhe core of frufh, ore fhe some. He isoIofed fhis
core, by fhe nome Sofyo Sonmorqom, meoninq frue knowIedqe or frue
universoI spirif, from fhe super-sfrucfure which eoch reIiqion buiIds on
fhis, consfifufinq fhe reIiqion's fofoI form ond nofure. He considers fhese
os occrefions ond 'foIsehood', ond dismisses fhem. He even removed fhe
word vedo (meoninq reIiqion) from fhe oriqinoI nome of his Sociefy which
he finoIIy coIIed Sofyo Sonmorqo Sonqom. He defined fhe sonmorqom, or
'qood pofh' os fhe opprooch fo 0od by seIf-idenfificofion wifh 0od ond
wifh Iife ond fhe universe. The firsf ond onIy sfep for receivinq fhe qroce
of 0od, he heId, wos compossion for oII Iife, compossion even for fhe
insenfienf universe.

The TheosophicoI Sociefy wos founded on 7 Sepfember I87b in
Mew York by HeIeno Pefrovno 8Iovofsky (I83I-9I) who cIoimed repeofedIy
fhof she hod been coIIed by inifiofes or mosfers or odepfs in Tibef fo
moke fhe feochinq pubIic. CoI. Henry S. OIcoff wos fhe firsf Presidenf of
fhe Sociefy, ond Modome 8Iovofsky fhe firsf Secrefory.

Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior, fhe firsf ond besf-known discipIe of
PomoIinqo, mef Modome 8Iovofsky ond CoI. OIcoff when fhey were in
Modros. Af fhof fime VeIoyudo MudoIior wos o TomiI Pundif in Presidency
CoIIeqe, Modros. He qove o sfofemenf fo fhe Sociefy, in EnqIish, rofified
by Sri 0. Mufhuswomy Cheffy, Judqe of fhe SmoII Couse Courf, Modros
ond Vice-Presidenf of fhe Modros TheosophicoI Sociefy. This sfofemenf
wos pubIished in fhe book Hinfs on Esoferic Theosophy ond fhe ¡ournoI
The Theosophisf, issue of JuIy I88Z, ond re-pubIished in fhe some
¡ournoI, issue of Sepfember I9o9. Exfrocfs from fhis sfofemenf ore qiven

To fhe Aufhor of 'Hinfs on Esoferic Theosophy'
I beq fo inform you fhof I wos o cheIo of fhe Iofe 'AruIprokoso VoIIooIore',
ofherwise known os Chidomborom PomoIinqo PiIIoy AvorqoI, fhe ceIebrofed
Yoqi of Soufhern Indio. Hovinq come fo know fhof fhe EnqIish communify,
- o7 -
os weII os some Hindus, enferfoined doubfs os fo fhe exisfence of fhe
Mohofmos (odepfs), ond os fo fhe focf of fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy hovinq
been formed under fheir specioI orders: ond hovinq heord, moreover, of
your recenf work, in which much poins ore foken fo presenf fhe evidence
obouf fhese Mohofmos pro ond con¬I wish fo moke pubIic cerfoin focfs in
connecfion wifh my Iofe revered 0uru. My beIief is fhof fhey ouqhf
effecfiveIy fo remove oII such doubfs, ond prove fhof Theosophy is no
empfy deIusion, nor fhe Sociefy in quesfion founded on on insecure bosis.

Then, offer qivinq o brief skefch of fhe Iife, personoIify ond
feochinqs of PomoIinqo, VeIoyudo MudoIior confinues:

In fhe yeor I8o7, he founded o Sociefy, under fhe nome of
Sonmorqo Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom which meons o sociefy bosed on
fhe principIe of UniversoI 8rofherhood, ond for fhe propoqofion of
fhe frue Vedic docfrine. I need hordIy remork fhof fhese principIes
ore idenficoIIy fhose of fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy. Our Sociefy wos
in exisfence buf for five or six yeors durinq which fime o very Iorqe
number of poor ond infirm persons were fed of fhe expense of ifs
Durinq fhe firsf hoIf of I873 he preoched mosf forcibIy his views
upon UniversoI 8rofherhood. 8uf durinq fhe Iosf quorfer of fhe
yeor, he qove up Iecfurinq enfireIy ond moinfoined on oImosf
unbroken siIence. He resumed speech in fhe Iosf doys of Jonuory
I874 ond reiferofed his prophecies - hereinoffer norrofed. On fhe
30fh of fhof monfh, of Meffukuppom, we sow our mosfer for fhe
Iosf fime... He Ieff wifh o promise fo reoppeor some doy, buf wouId
qive us no infimofion os fo fhe fime, pIoce, or circumsfonces. UnfiI
fhen, however, he soid fhof wouId be workinq nof in Indio oIone, buf
oIso in Europe ond Americo ond ofher counfries...
Durinq fhe Ioffer porf of his visibIe eorfhIy coreer, he repeofedIy
excIoimed,... 'The reoI members of fhe 8rofherhood ore Iivinq for
owoy, fowords fhe Morfh of Indio... The fime is nof for off when
persons from Pussio, Americo ond ofher foreiqn Ionds wiII come ond
preoch fo you fhis some docfrine of UniversoI 8rofherhood...'
This prophecy hos, in my opinion, ¡usf been IiferoIIy fuIfiIIed. The
focf fhof Mohofmos in fhe Morfh exisf is no new ideo fo us, Hindus:
ond fhe sfronqe focf fhof fhe odvenf of Modome 8Iovofsky ond
CoIoneI OIcoff from Pussio ond Americo wos forefoId severoI yeors
before fhey come fo Indio is on inconfroverfibIe proof fhof my
- o8 -
0uru wos in communicofion wifh fhose Mohofmos under whose
direcfion fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy wos subsequenfIy founded.

If musf be odded fhof fhe verocify of VeIoyodo MudoIior's sfofemenf hos
been quesfioned by some schoIors, porficuIorIy his menfion of counfries
by nome:

The Theosophisf, issue of JuIy I88Z, in which fhe obove oppeored,
corried fhe foIIowinq ediforioI commenf:

When, in onswer fo o direcf choIIenqe, fhe oufhor of The OccuIf
WorId wrofe fo fhe 8omboy 0ozeffe (ApriI 4, I88Z), he beqon his
Ieffer wifh fhe foIIowinq profession of foifh: 'I wos oIreody sure,
when I wrofe The OccuIf WorId, fhof fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy wos
connecfed, fhrouqh Modome 8Iovofsky, wifh fhe qreof 8rofherhood
of Adepfs I described. I know fhis fo be fhe cose, wifh much
qreofer ompIifude of knowIedqe.' LiffIe did our IoyoI friend foncy,
when he wos penninq fhese Iines, fhof his osserfion wouId one doy
fee copobIe of corroborofion by fhe fesfimony of fhousonds. 8uf
such is now fhe sfofe of fhe cose. Scepfics ond pre¡udiced or
inferesfed wifnesses in qeneroI moy scoff os fhey Iike, fhe focf
connof be qoinsoid. Our friends¬ond we hove some who reqord us
neifher os Iunofics nor imposfers¬wiII of Ieosf be qIod fo reod fhe
sfofemenf which foIIows: ... We ore no more of Iiberfy fo repeof
here oII fhe quesfions puf fo us by fhe inferviewers fhon we ore fo
divuIqe cerfoin ofher focfs which wouId sfiII more sfronqIy
corroborofe our repeofed osserfions fhof (I) Our Sociefy wos
founded of fhe direcf suqqesfion of Indion ond Tibefon Adepfs:
ond (Z) fhof in cominq fo fhis counfry we buf obeyed fheir wishes.

FoIIowinq fhe sfofemenf of VeIoyudo MudoIior is o commenf by
Modome 8Iovofsky, oIso reproduced in The Theosophisf, issue of JuIy

This is one of fhose coses of previous fore-feIIinq of o cominq
evenf, which is Ieosf of oII open fo suspicions of bod foifh. The
honorobIe chorocfer of fhis wifness, fhe wide pubIicify of his
0uru's onnouncemenfs, ond fhe impossibiIify fhof he couId hove qof
from pubIic rumor, or fhe ¡ournoIs of fhe doy, ony infimofion fhof
fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy wouId be formed ond wouId operofe in
Indio¬oII fhese conspire fo supporf fhe inference fhof PomoIinqo
- o9 -
Yoqi wos veriIy in fhe counseIs of fhose who ordered us fo found
fhe Sociefy.
In Morch I873, we were direcfed fo proceed from Pussio fo Poris.
In June we were foId fo proceed fo fhe Unifed Sfofes where we
orrived on JuIy ofh. This wos fhe very fime when PomoIinqo wos
mosf forcibIy prefiqurinq fhe evenfs which shouId hoppen. In
Ocfober I874, we received on infimofion fo qo fo Chiffenden,
Vermonf where, of fhe fomous homesfeod of fhe Eddy fomiIy,
CoIoneI OIcoff wos enqoqed in mokinq his invesfiqofions¬now so
ceIebrofed in fhe onnoIs of SpirifuoIism¬of fhe so-coIIed
'moferioIizofion of spirifs'. In Movember I87b fhe TheosophicoI
Sociefy wos founded ond if wos nof unfiI I878 fhof fhe
correspondence beqon wifh friends in Indio, which resuIfed in fhe
fronsfer of fhe Sociefy's Heodquorfers fo 8omboy in Februory,
From 8omboy, fhe heodquorfers of fhe Sociefy wos shiffed fo Modros in
- 70 -

Z0 RumuIinqu's 'True knowIedqe'

PeIiqion' buf for fhe focf fhof fhe word 'reIiqion', in his Iofer yeors, wos
his expressIy sfofed onofhemo, ond he bonished oII reIiqions from his
feochinqs, refoininq onIy fheir core, which he coIIed 'frue knowIedqe' ond
which he reoIized os Supreme Liqhf. Likewise, fhe Uponishods decIore
fhof souI-reoIizofion is born of fhe knowIedqe of fhe souI (ofmo-vidyo).

PomoIinqo's concepfion of fhe Supreme Liqhf con be froced fo fhe
0oyofri of Piq Vedo. The 0oyofri Monfro (0oyofri spirifuoI formuIo or
wofch-word), in ifs spon of fwenfy-four syIIobIes is qeneroIIy recoqnized
os fhe quinfessence of Vedic feochinq. Wifhin fwenfy-four syIIobIes if
embodies o Ioffy spirifuoI quesf which wiII suffice for fhe spirifuoI
deveIopmenf of ony infeIIecfuoI mon fhrouqh his Iife-fime.

In I8o7 PomoIinqo mef Sobopofhy Sivochoryo, o younq mon of
ninefeen, of Chidomborom. The younq mon wos drown fo fhe mosfer. He
come fo VodoIur in I8o9 ond remoined fhere fo become on exceIIenf
discipIe of PomoIinqo, ond finoIIy fhe priesf of fhe Sofyo 0nono Sobhoi,
PomoIinqo's 'HoII of Trufh'. In one of his eorIy meefinqs wifh PomoIinqo in
VodoIur, Sivochoryo requesfed PomoIinqo fo expIoin fo him fhe 0oyofri,
which PomoIinqo did.

The monfro from Piq Vedo, coIIed 0oyofri or Suryo 0oyofri, hos
fwo IeveIs of meoninq, fhe firsf servinq fo cIorify fhe second, which is
fhe reoI purporf of fhe monfro:

I. Lef us medifofe on fhe effuIqence of fhe sun who wokens oII fo Iife.
Z. Lef us medifofe on fhe Supreme Liqhf fhof Iiqhfs fhe infeIIiqence (or
consciousness) of oII Iife.

The ospironf is fo medifofe requIorIy on fhe infernoI sun or infernoI
Iiqhf of consciousness which persisfs fhrouqh fhe fhree sfofes of beinq,
nomeIy, wokefuIness, dreominq sIeep ond deep sIeep, ond whose repIico
fhe exfernoI sun is in fhe exfernoI worId. This infernoI consciousness is
fhe common quinfessenfioI core of oII Iife.

- 7I -
The foIIowinq fexfs from 8rihodoronyoko Uponishod (7
or secfion of fhe fhird Adhyoyo or chopfer) nofobIe for fheir subIimify,
wiII heIp one fo qrosp fhe meoninq of fhe 0oyofri:

He who dweIIs in fhe sun (odifyo), ond wifhin fhe sun, whom fhe sun
does nof know, whose body fhe sun is, ond who ruIes fhe sun wifhin,
he is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin (onforyomin), fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs in fhe moon ond sfors (chondroforokom), ond wifhin
fhe moon ond sfors, whom fhe moon ond sfors do nof know, whose
body fhe moon ond sfors ore, ond who ruIes fhe moon ond sfors
wifhin, he is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin, fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs in fhe dorkness (fomos), ond wifhin fhe dorkness,
whom fhe dorkness does nof know, whose body fhe dorkness is ond
who ruIes fhe dorkness wifhin, He is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin,
fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs fo fhe Iiqhf (fe¡os), ond wifhin fhe Iiqhf, whom fhe
Iiqhf does nof know, whose body fhe Iiqhf is, ond who ruIes fhe Iiqhf
wifhin, he is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin, fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs in oII beinqs, ond wifhin oII beinqs whom fhe beinqs
do nof know, whose body oII beinqs ore, who ruIes oII beinqs wifhin,
he is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin, fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs in fhe mind, ond wifhin fhe mind, whom fhe mind
does nof know, whose body fhe mind is, ond who ruIes fhe mind
wifhin, he is Your SeIf, fhe ruIer wifhin, fhe immorfoI.
He who dweIIs in fhe infeIIecf (vi¡nono) ond, wifhin fhe infeIIecf,
whom fhe infeIIecf does nof know, whose body fhe infeIIecf is, ond
who ruIes fhe infeIIecf wifhin, he is your SeIf, fhe PuIer wifhin, fhe

(Tr: Mox MuIIer)

The some fhouqhf is expressed pifhiIy in Toiffiriyo Uponishod
(III, I0-I4):

He who dweIIs In mon, ond He who dweIIs in fhe sun ore one.

The 0oyofri Monfro fokes furfher siqnificonce from fhe foIIowinq
verse from Isovosyoponishod (verse Io):

O nouri her, onIy seer, confroI of oII,
O iIIumininq Sun, founfoin of Iife for oII.
- 7Z -
creofures, wifhhoId fhy Iiqhf, qofher foqefher
fhy roys. Moy I behoId, fhrouqh fhy
qroce, fhy mosf bIessed form. The 8einq
fhof dweIIs fherein¬even fhof 8einq om I.

(Tr: Swomi Probhovonondo
ond Frederick Monchesfer)

The poroIIeIism befween fhe fwo meoninqs of 0oyofri¬befween
fhe sun os fhe sfimuIofor ond supporf of physicoI Iife, ond fhe SeIf os fhe
Consciousness-Core of Iife os weII os of fhe sun is rendered pifhiIy by
fhe foIIowinq fexf from Toiffiriyo Uponishod:

8rohmon is fo be medifofed upon os fhe source of oII fhouqhf ond
Iife ond ocfion. He is fhe spIendor in weoIfh, he is fhe Iiqhf in fhe
sfors. He is oII fhinqs.

(Tr: Swomi Probhovonondo
ond Frederick Monchesfer)

0oyofri is fhe monfro (preqnonf word or formuIo) por exceIIence
for medifofion on fhe 8rohmon. As o mon fhinks, so he becomes. One is
en¡oined fo medifofe on fhe 0oyofri ond on fhe SeIf os fhe Liqhf wifhin
ond fhe Liqhf wifhouf, in order fo purify ond eIevofe one's fhouqhfs.

To deveIop fhe power fo behoId 0od, ond so fo soy, fo confoin 0od,
PomoIinqo, in his eorIy yeors, used fhe device of o mirror refIecfinq o
fIome fo medifofe upon. Lofer he insfoIIed such mirrors in fhe VodoIur
HoII os weII os in fhe Siddhi VoIokom House.

The Iofho Uponishod soys fhof in fhe embodied seIf 8rohmon con
be perceived disfincfIy os on imoqe in o mirror. This does nof meon fhof
fhe mon's seIf is ¡usf on unreoI refIecfion. This refers fo fhe cIorify fhof
is needed by fhe SeIf-housinq body in order fo refIecf fhe SeIf wifhin
ifseIf. The cIorify depends on fhe oppropriofeness of fhe body fo house
fhe SeIf, mon, for exompIe, beinq more suifobIe fhon o doq. And furfher,

As in o mirror, so (8rohmon moy be seen cIeorIy) here in fhis body:
os in o dreom, in fhe worId of fhe fofhers: os in fhe wofer, he is
seen in fhe worId of 0ondhorvos: os in Iiqhf ond shode (i.e. os
disfincfIy os Iiqhf is seen from dorkness) in fhe worId of 8rohmo.
- 73 -

Iofho Uponishod, VoIIi o, Verse b
(Tr : Aufhor)

For o proper undersfondinq of fhe body-Iomp concepf one moy qo
bock fo fhe Uponishods:

As o mirror, Iusfrous by nofure buf sfoined by dusf, shines when if
is cIeoned, so fhe embodied one, on seeinq cIeorIy fhe nofure of fhe
SeIf, becomes one wifh his purpose ochieved, ond freed from
sorrow. When one, hovinq offoined fo yoqo, sees cIeorIy fhe reoI
nofure of 8rohmon fhrouqh fhe reoI nofure of fhe seIf which con be
compored fo o Iomp, fhen knowinq 0od, fhe unborn, sfeodfosf, free
from every nofure, one is reIeosed from oII feffers.

Svefosvoforo Uponishod, II, I4 & Ib
(Tr: T.M.P. Mohodevon)

The neoresf expression of fhe nofure of 8rohmon, fhe soIe
universoI PeoIify, fhe pure, fronscendenfoI, mefophysicoI essence which is
beyond oII offribufes, oII chonqes, oII personoI mosks, which is seIf-
effuIqenf ond free, is qiven in fhe words sof-chif-onondo ond Te¡os or
Jyofi. The firsf word comprises fhree, of which sof moy be fronsIofed os
Pure 8einq, Sheer Exisfence or SeIf-Exisfence, chif os Pure
Consciousness or Pure InfeIIiqence or Pure InowIedqe, ond onondo os Pure
8Iiss. The second word Te¡os or Jyofi is o descripfive one, meoninq Liqhf
or EffuIqence, nof offempfinq fo connofe fhe confenf. Mox MuIIer
expounds, 'The neoresf opprooch which mefophysicoI Ionquoqe con moke fo
8rohmon is fo coII if Liqhf, os if were Conscious Liqhf. The word chif,
which Mox MuIIer here fronsIofes os Conscious Liqhf, moy oIso be
fronsIofed os 'Liqhf of InfeIIiqence' or of InowIedqe. The Mundoko
Uponishod (II, 9 ond I0) soys:

In fhe supreme effuIqenf sheofh resfs fhe sfoinIess,
fronscendenfoI 8rohmon. Thof is pure, fhof is fhe Iiqhf of oII Iiqhfs.
If is Thof which fhe knowers of Afmon know.

There fhe sun does nof shine, nor fhe moon nor fhe sfors, nor
fhese Iiqhfninq, ond much Iess, fhis fire. When 8rohmon shines,
everyfhinq shines offer him: by His Iiqhf ore oII fhese Iiqhfed.
(Tr: Mox MuIIer)
- 74 -

The feochinq of fhe 0oyofhri hos been summed up neofIy by fhe
phiIosopher-poef, 8orfhrihori:

Prosfrofion fo fhof pure Iiqhf, whose form is Chif, obsoIufe,
uncondifioned by fime ond spoce, whose percepfion is soIeIy by
direcf experience.

(Mifi Sofoko, verse I)

PomoIinqo described InfeIIiqence os 'fhe Iiqhf wifhin Iiqhf wifhin
Iiqhf' (Jyofiyuf¡yofiyuf¡yofi), fhe oufermosf beinq fhe Iiqhf of fhe
individuoI souI, fhe nexf beinq fhe Liqhf of 0roce, ond fhe innermosf fhe
Supreme Liqhf. This meons fhof fhe individuoI souI is Iiqhfed by fhe
Supreme Liqhf fhrouqh fhe Iiqhf of 0roce.
- 7b -

Z1 RumuIinqu's Poetry

FLOWEP onIy os Ionq os if hos nof fosfed fhe honey. Once if sforfs
fosfinq fhe honey, if is siIenf.'

This is fhe cose wifh mysfics ond reIiqious prophefs who surrender
fhemseIves fo fhe siIenf ecsfosy of communion wifh fhe Divine. When
fhey ore Iured fo ufferonce, before or offer, fhe resuIf is nof oIwoys
poefry, or poefry of fhe hiqhesf order. 8uf fhe poef, in confro-disfincfion
fo fhe mysfic, is Iured by fhe demon of ufferonce info fhe expression of
fhe inexpressibIe. Mysfics, when somefimes simiIorIy Iured fo poefry,
offen Iose fhemseIves in hoIy verbioqe or fhey foke fo fhe eosier pofh of
communicofion by porobIes. In fhese porobIes, fhe ideos offen come ouf in
o feIIinq woy, buf fhese ore nof poefry. On fhe ofher hond, qreof poefs, in
fhe expression of fheir visions, do shope from fheir vision fhinqs of
beoufy fhof ore o ¡oy for ever. The soyinqs of prophefs do sfrike o nofe
of poefry fo o voryinq exfenf. We recoqnize cIeorIy fhe poefry of Jesus
ond fhe poefry of 8uddho. 8uf nobody hos fhouqhf of mixinq fhem wifh
Shokespeore or MiIfon or VoImiki or IoIidoso.

PomoIinqo is o unique excepfion. He is nof onIy wifh fhe Sons of
Liqhf, Iike 8uddho ond Pomokrishno, he is oIso wifh fhe Sons of Sonq, Iike
Ieofs or SheIIey or 8Ioke or Tennyson of fheir very besf¬poefs whose
ufferonces ore fhe puresf meIody¬ond wifh pioneer poefs who hove
exfended fhe fronfiers ond pofenfioIifies of Ionquoqe. There ore mony
soinfs, in Indio ifseIf, who hove produced miniofures of perfecfion or
rondom poefry in fheir voIuminous oufpuf. 8uf fhese ore nof onyfhinq Iike
fhe profusion of fhe unpremedifofed buf perfecf orf of PomoIinqo.
Wifhin fhe Iimifs of my knowIedqe, I do nof know of ony soinf or prophef
who is os qreof o poef os PomoIinqo.

The fesfimony fo fhe presence of fhe 'unbodied ¡oy' of poefry in
his hymns ond sonqs is fhof even peopIe who moy nof core for fhe
ufferonces of soinfs, ond ore nof in sympofhy wifh fhe endeovors or
quesfs of soinfs, who ore onfipofhefic fo fhe direcfion ond poffern of fhe
fhouqhfs, ideos ond imoqes of soinfs, con en¡oy PomoIinqo's poems os
poefry. Such is fhe moqic of his words, fhe enchonfmenf of his ufferonce.
EfforfIess ond sponfoneous, wifh soorinq IyricoI power ond frembIinq
- 7o -
sensifivify, on infensify in which ore fused humonify ond spirifuoIify,
expIorinq fhe fIux of fhouqhf ond feeIinq possinq fhrouqh him, wifh never
o woverinq Iine or word, his poems con be reod in fheir pureIy humon
confexf. Whof Louis Unfermoyer soid of Tennyson moy weII ond fruIy be
soid of PomoIinqo, fhof few poefs hove hod o finer eor for fhe deIicofe
nuonces of sound, ond sfiII fewer hove surpossed his unduIofinq eose, his
Iimpid Iyricism ond somefimes mofchIess music.'

PomoIinqo wos o pioneer in modern TomiI poefry, onfedofinq
Subromonyo 8horofi (I88Z-I9ZI), fhe ceIebrofed pofriof-poef, who
cIeorIy is fhe Ieqofee of PomoIinqo. The soinf is oIfoqefher of o differenf
ond more spocious mouId. And in his Iuminous poefry we see fhe Iiqhf of
which 8horofi Iif his. PomoIinqo, mosfer of o new simpIe, Iucid ond rocy
TomiI, fofher of new rhyfhms, mefres, meosures ond hormonies fhof
8horofi ovoiIed himseIf of, is fhe poeficoI fofher of 8horofi ond fhe TomiI
renoissonce. P.S. Desikon, TomiI schoIor ond crific, wrifes (in TomiI,
fronsIofed here by fhe presenf wrifer): 'The TomiI worId con never forqef
fhe qreof PomoIinqo who foshioned new mefres ond new music in TomiI.
Thof Subromonyo 8horofi, fhe firsf poef of fhe presenf ero, foIIows
foifhfuIIy fhe pioneer frock of PomoIinqo wiII be cIeor fo ony sfudenf who
sfudies fhem in depfh.'

In brief, PomoIinqo wos fhe horbinqer of fhe modern TomiI
Penoissonce, of which fhe neoferic voice wos Subromonyo 8horofi. A
poroIIeI moy be drown befween fhe PomoIinqo¬8horofi poir ond fhe
0ondhi¬Mehru or fhe Pomokrishno¬Vivekonondo. This wiII qive fhe
reIofive meosure of fhe fwo fhof moke fhe poir.

The quoIify of PomoIinqo's poefry is weII described in fhe fribufe
fhof his foremosf pupiI, Thozhuvur VeIoyudo MudoIior, poid him (in TomiI):

How speII my Mosfer's ufferonce of qroce,
fhe necfor of PomoIinqo's speech7
ShoII I coII if fhe qofhered essence of fhe sky,
fhe ripeness of fhe fruif, fhe sweefness of honey,
suqor wifhouf surfeif, fhe ¡uice of fhe cone
or busfinq vine¬inspired infensify
suffusinq fhe body, fhe senses ond fhe souI,
8Iiss of InowIedqe ouf-soorinq fhe coqe7
- 77 -

ZZ ChronoIoqy of Events in the Life of RumuIinqu

I8Z3 Ocfober b 8orn in Morudhur, neor Chidomborom,
in Soufh Arcof Disfricf.

I8Z4 Morch Token by his porenfs fo fhe presence of
Lord Moforo¡o in Chidomborom
TempIe which remoins imprinfed in
his mind.

ApriI His fofher, Pomoioh PiIIoi, dies.

June His mofher, Chinnommoi, moves fo
her viIIoqe, Ponneri, in ChenqeIpef
Disfricf, neor Modros. Soon she shiffs
from fhere fo Modros fo be wifh her
eIdesf son, Sobopofhy PiIIoi.

I8Z8 Denied food by his brofher for
fruoncy, PomoIinqo furns o ¡uveniIe
oscefic for o whiIe when his brofher's
wife, Porvofi, exfends her core fo him
secrefIy. Soon she secures occepfonce
of PomoIinqo by his brofher.

I83Z PomoIinqo hos vision of Lord Muruqo
of Thonihoi TempIe in o mirror.
Thereoffer he is ever conscious of divine
visifofions. He sforfs composinq sonqs.
His firsf sonq is on Lord Iondo (or
Muruqo) of Iondoswomi TempIe, Modros.

I83b PomoIinqo's spirifuoI sfruqqIes beqin. He
composes sonqs in proise of Lord
Thyoqoro¡o (oscefic ospecf of Sivo) of
Thiruvoffriyur TempIe, fen kiIomefers
norfh of Modros.

- 78 -
I849 VeIoyudo MudoIior of Thozhuvur, Iofer
TomiI Pundif, Presidency CoIIeqe, Modros,
becomes PomoIinqo's discipIe.

I8b0 Morrioqe of PomoIinqo fo DhonommoI,
douqhfer of his sisfer, UnnomuIoi AmmoI.

I8bI PomoIinqo's edifion of OzhiviI Odukkom
(Primer of seIf-knowIedqe) of Soinf
Ionnudoyo VoIIoI is pubIished by
Sobopofhy MudoIior.

I8b4 PomoIinqo's prose work Monumuroi Iondo
Vochohom (A ToIe of Jusfice) is pubIished
by PoIoyom Subboroyo Cheffior for fhe
Sociefy for PeIiqious Educofion.

I8bb PomoIinqo's edifion of ThondomondoIo
Sofokom (A Hundred Sonqs on Thondo-
mondoIom) of Poef Podikkosoon is
pubIished by Ionnur Ayyosomi MudoIior.

I8b7 PomoIinqo's edifion of Chinmoyo Dipikoi
(0uide fo SpirifuoIify) of Muffhoiyo
SwomiqoI is pubIished by Sobopofhy
MudoIior ond Moduroi MudoIior.

I8b8 PomoIinqo moves from Modros fo Iorun-
quzhi, neor Morudhur, visifinq shrines Iike
Sirhozhi ond Voifhisworon IoiI on fhe
His eIder brofher, Porosuromo PiIIoi,
residenf of Iorunquzhi, dies. PomoIinqo
fokes up his residence, os quesf, in fhe
house of Venkofo Peddior (in Iorunquzhi).
He visifs Chidomborom frequenfIy, ond
oIso ofher shrines.

I8ob PomoIinqo founds fhe Somoroso Vedo
Sonmorqo Sonqom (Sociefy for PeIiqious
Hormony in UniversoI SeIfhood).
- 79 -

I8o7 Jonuory Io Debofe wifh Sridhoroswomi Moicker,
Ieoder of 8rohmo Somo¡, in
TiruppopuIiyur on fhe bonk of fhe Ponnoi.

Februory Z Forfy Iond-owners in VodoIur (obouf
fhirfy kiIomefres from Chidomborom) qiff
one hundred ond eiqhf ocres fo PomoIinqo
for buiIdinq on Eofinq House for fhe poor.

Februory The firsf four books of his coIIecfed
poems enfifIed Thiru Aruf Po (HoIy 8ook
of 0roce) ore brouqhf ouf by Thozhuvur
VeIoyudo MudoIior, finonced by
Somosundoro Cheffior of MyIopore, os o
resuIf of fhe persisfenf efforfs,
porficuIorIy of Pofno MudoIior of Irukkom
ond oIso of VeIu MudoIior of Pondicherry
ond Sivonondo MudoIior of

Moy Z3 Somoroso Vedo Dhormo SoIoi (Free Eofinq
House of fhe 8rofherhood of PeIiqions) is
opened. Af fhe openinq PomoIinqo's frocf
Jivokorunyo Ozhukkom (The Low of Com-
possion) is reod ouf by Venkofosubbo
PomoIinqo pIons sforfinq o schooI Son-
morqo 8hodini (SchooI for fhe Common
Pofh of PeIiqions) ond o monfhIy
Sonmorqo Viveko Vriddhi (Orienfofion fo
fhe Common FinoI Pofh). 8ofh venfures
foiI. PomoIinqo shiffs his residence from
Iorunquzhi fo VodoIur.

I8o9 Sobopofhy Sivochoryo (Iofer fo become
fhe firsf priesf of PomoIinqo's Sofyo
0nonoSobhoi (HoII of Pure Trufh) ond oIso
pubIisher of PomoIinqo's Aruf Perum Jyofi
AhovoI (Hymn fo fhe Supreme EffuIqenf
0roce) ¡oins PomoIinqo in VodoIur.
- 80 -

I870 PomoIinqo moves from VodoIur fo fhe
neor-by homIef, Meffukkuppom, where he
fokes up his residence in o sinqIe room
consfrucfion which he coIIs Siddhi
VoIokom (House of SoIvofion).

I87I June The consfrucfion of Somoroso Suddho
Sonmorqo Sofyo 0nono Sobhoi, or Sofyo
0nono Sobhoi (HoII of Pure Trufh) for
shorf, of VodoIur beqins.
From his bose in Meffukkuppom PomoIinqo
supervises ifs consfrucfion, os oIso fhe
runninq of fhe Eofinq House. 0roduoIIy
wifhdrowinq info himseIf, he emborks on
severe forms of yoqo.

I87Z Jonuory II PomoIinqo pIons sforfinq o schooI
Sonmorqo Vedo PofosoIoi (SchooI for fhe
Common Pofh of PeIiqions). This however
does nof come info beinq.
Wrifes four Sonmorqo VinnopponqoI (Pefi-
fions fo fhe 0roce of Pure Trufh) in

Jonuory Zb The openinq of Sofyo 0nono Sobhoi (HoII
of Pure Trufh). PomoIinqo reIeoses o
frocf on ifs ob¡ecf ond oims.
PomoIinqo qives o discourse which hos
been coIIed ThiruvoruI Meim-mozhi
(Words on fhe Pofh fo 0roce).

Morch 9 PomoIinqo issues o miId remonsfronce fo
his foIIowers in fhe Eofinq House on fheir

ApriI I8 CompIefion of Aruf Perum Jyofi AqovoI
(Hymn fo fhe Supreme Liqhf of 0roce).

JuIy I8 PomoIinqo issues fuII ond defoiIed insfruc-
fions on fhe runninq of Sofyo 0nono
- 8I -
Sobhoi. He chonqes fhe nome of fhe
insfifufions founded by him os foIIows, in
order fhof fhey moy be in consononce
wifh his concepfion of Pure Trufh,
eschewinq oII reIiqious ferms
I. Somorosovedo Sonmorqo Sonqom fo
Somoroso Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo
Z. Somorosovedo Dhormo SoIoi fo
Somoroso Suddho Sonmorqo Sofyo
Dhormo SoIoi

Movember Zb Issues o remonsfronce on fhe behovior of
his foIIowers in Siddhi VoIokom ond fhe
Free Eofinq House.

I873 Ocfober ZZ DeIivers 'fhe 0reof Sermon'
(Purupodesom) of fhe hoisfinq of fhe fIoq
(symboIizinq fhe spirifuoI mofurofion of
mon) of Siddhi VoIokom. CIoses fhe Sofyo
0nono Sobhoi.

Movember Pemoves fhe symboIic Iomp from his room
fo fhe oufside. Exhorfs peopIe fo
medifofe, usinq if os on oid, on fhe
Supreme Liqhf of 0roce, ond shufs
himseIf in his room.

I874 Jonuory 30 The possinq of PomoIinqo.
- 8Z -

Four Poems of PomoIinqo^
^TifIes fo fhe oriqinoIs qiven by fhe fronsIofor.

The Hour of Sruce

The hour is come
fhe hour for Your qroce is come.

Heorken, hoIy One,
I speok fhe frufh,
Dispenser of fhe qeneroI weoI,
I've shed oII prefence,
I humbIy woif
for Your hour of qroce.

I've qone
posf dispufes,
posf poIemics.
The heof in my bIood is quenched.
VioIence ond deceif
I've eschewed¬
My hour is come.

Pifes ond rifuoIs
I've forsworn,
fhe ¡obberinq monkey-mind
I've subdued,
my deeds fo oshes
I've burnf,
The ¡uqqIery of phenomeno
I've discerned¬
fhe hour for Your qroce
is come.

Anqer ond Iusf
I've bonished,
fhe eqo fo dusf
I've demoIished:
- 83 -
desires from me
hove dropf owoy:
IdIe dioIecfics
I' ve discorded¬
fhe hour for Your qroce
is come.

Lo, fhe rock fhof wos my mind
hos meIfed,
ond I Ionq fo be
Iosf in You.
My heorf hos come fo ifs hoven
brimfuI of frue Iove¬
Lord, my hour is come
Lord, Your hour of qroce is come.
- 84 -

A Lover's QuurreI with Sod

8ehoId He is come
wifh whom I've scores fo seffIe.

He, honored of men,
He decked me wifh fhe morifoI qorIond,
He, fhe Doncer on fhe Cosmic Sfoqe,
He is come.

He qove me word
He wouId come bock fo me:
He hos forried foo Ionq¬
I wonder
whose wiIes heIp Him bock.
Mow He is come
ond He sfonds fhere
sporfinq fhe conch
fhof I qove Him.
0o, boIf fhe doorl
I shoII nof Ief Him qo.

I've endured scondoI ond infomy,
frusfinq Him.
Mow He sfonds before me
I didn'f know His wiIes,
ond I've poid deorIy¬
0o, boIf fosf fhe doorl
He shoII nof qo.

In my quiIeIess yeors
He fook me wifh o smiIe,
ond fhen He Ieff me.
Mow He is bock¬
I do fhonk Him fhof He is bock¬
(He hos none His equoI)¬
He shoII nof Ieove me oqoin
0o, boIf fosf fhe doorl
- 8b -

This quorreI wifh Him
seems fo hove no end
Deor me, do befriend me,
My friend, I do need you.
- 8o -

PIeudinq with Sod

Mo pify yef7¬O Lord,
How hord of Youl

Cosmic Doncer, Dispenser of fhe qeneroI weoI,
O Iinq¬my Iinq¬my Iinq,
Heorken fo my cryl

In my soIod yeors You fook me,
0reof 0od¬my 0od¬my 0od,
Heorken fo my cryl

You forqove me fhen¬Your forqiveness now
I crove¬I crove¬I crove,
Heorken fo my cryl

I knew nof myseIf, ond You mode me suffer,
Is if foir¬is if foir¬is if foir,
Heorken fo my cryl

You deiqned fo moke me Yours fhen
Lord efernoI¬efernoI¬efernoI,
Heorken fo my cryl

A word fhof's qiven brooks no denioI,
O Mosfer¬my Mosfer¬my Mosfer,
Heorken fo my cryl

- 87 -

Love-sick for Sod

Come fo me ond hoId me,
Embroce me, sweef Lord of Doncel

Spirif of fhe Universe, embroce me
Omnipofenf, embroce me
Wisdom of fhe Universe, embroce me
Pefuqe of oII, embroce me
Lord of oII, embroce me
My husbond, embroce me.

You who desired me, come fo me,
You who hove offoined, come fo me
In fhis surqinq momenf come fo me
You who know me, come fo me
You who reod oriqhf, come fo me
Lord who wiped my feor, come fo me
My husbond, come fo me.

I Ionq fo be wifh you, enfoId me
You qroce knows if oII, embroce me
I om orphoned wifhouf you, embroce me
I decIore I'm pure, embroce me
Wifh oII my mind I coII you, embroce me
Lord seofed in my seIf, embroce me
My husbond, embroce me.

PomoIinqo Swomi, poef ond prophef, wos fhe spirifuoI forerunner of
Mohofmo 0ondhi, Aurobindo ond Pomono Mohorshi. Compossion for Iife, fo
him, wos fhe sinqIe sfep in reoIizofion of fhe souI. He perceived 8rohmon
os Supreme Conscious Liqhf (Aruf Perum Jyofi)¬o Liqhf of 0roce. He
founded fhe Somoroso Vedo Sonmorqo Sonqom (Sociefy for PeIiqious
Hormony in UniversoI SeIfhood), forerunner ond fhe Indion counferporf
of fhe TheosophicoI Sociefy. He founded mony ofher insfifufions,
incIudinq Sofyo 0nono Sobhoi (HoII of Pure Trufh) ond Sofyo Dhormo SoIoi
(Free Eofinq House).

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He wos fhe horbinqer of fhe modern TomiI Penoissonce, of which
fhe neoferic voice wos Subrohmonyo 8horofi who drew freeIy upon
PomoIinqo's new prose ond poefry.

Professor S. 8oIokrishnon, oufhor of fhis inspirinq ond percepfive
bioqrophy, wos educofed of Presidency CoIIeqe ond MedicoI CoIIeqe,
Modros, ond froined os pediofric specioIisf of fhe Universify HospifoI for
ChiIdren, Chicoqo, U.S.A., ond fhe HospifoI for Sick ChiIdren, Toronfo,
Conodo. He hos been known fo fhe Iiferory worId os Purosu for over forfy
five yeors for his noveIs, pIoys, shorf sfories ond poems in EnqIish ond in
TomiI. His pubIicofions incIude Pon VoIoyoI (I94Z), IodoI Iodifhom (I947),
Tomizhum AnqiIomum (I947), Anfon Chekhov (I947), Irishno Iumori
(I9o4), Iru MeruppuhoI (I979), Ioverik-koroiyiIc (I98I), Sivonesonin
Sobodom (I983), MoIIihoiyum Somponqium (I984), in TomiI: ond The 0oId
8onqIe (I9oo) ond 0Iimpses of IoIidoso (I970) in EnqIish.

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