Valli Malai, Tamil Nadu, home of Pongi Amman, a.k.a Valli Amman
Pongi Amma 22kb
Vallimalai Pongi Devi

Life Sketch of Sri Vallimalai Tiruppugazh Swamigal

In June 1916 Swami Satchidananda took his abode on the topmost place in the Vallimalai Hill known as Parvatharayan Kundru . He found there a big hillock with a small cave, full of sand. Removing the sand and earth, slowly he created a beautiful cave which could accommodate about 200 persons at a time. While he was thus excavating he found three human skeletons in sitting posture. It is not known who those great souls were and when they commenced their tapas. Carefully gathering the skeletons in a pot, he planted bilwa (bale) and arasa tree over them thus converting them into jeeva samadhis. Needless to emphasize, that there was trouble from wild insects and beasts in large numbers from snakes to cheetahs, all of which Swami steered clear through.

He did not attach any importance to his diet. He placed a pot in the Ashramam to satisfy the desires of his devotees. Several village folk admiring his selfless service used to climb the hill, place the food in that pot and learn Tiruppugazh from him. Faith of the devotees increased and they began to flock in large numbers on seeing how miraculously they were getting better by the following incidents:

  1. Though the hill is a rather difficult, climb, infested with wild beasts they would feel that a superhuman escort or torch-bearer guided them in the dark. Each had his own experience of this.
  2. They would hear divine songs and voices and distinct instructions from superhuman forms.
  3. Got cured of their bodily ailments.
  4. Got sumptuous food at the Ashramam as Swami would share everything with all present.
  5. Heard his devotional songs, learnt and practiced Tiruppugazh and did bhajanas.
  6. Got his benedictions.

Though almost the entire village and hill folk were mostly illiterate and could not pronounce even ordinary Tamil words correctly, our Swami would, by his efforts, make these people who included koravas also, sing even the most difficult of the Tiruppugazh verses; e.g., Conjeevaram verses that are rather difficult to pronounce. Arunagiri puts it as Idakkadkku meypporut tiruppukazhk kuyirppalittu.

Swami would not stop short by merely teaching them. In order to encourage these rural and hill folk, and infuse abundant enthusiasm in them, he would, entirely at his own cost, take them to Madras and other places, where scholars of repute got stunned at the remarkable way in which even these illiterates recited those verses without any flaw whatsoever, and awarded them prizes in the literary contest. Swami’s profuse liberality, overflowing bounteousness bordering on lavish extravagance, sacrifice and selfless service were enough to attract the villagers. Indeed, he was a honeycomb attracting countless bees of devotees drawn from all classes and from all places.

Thus our Swamiji living on the top of a hill was able to attract villagers round him purely by love, and established “Love is God”.

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