sayings of saint vallalar
vallalar, the 19 century saint of tamil nadu gave the world a simple and practical philosophy. he advocated compassion towards all living things. he said love is god. general perception of education is that it helps us find jobs and that by doing so, it ensures our material welfare. but vallalar had a different description of education. vallalar said that only learning which is not time bound is true education. thus only spiritual learning qualifies to be called education. jnana is realization that god is one. understanding oneself is also jnana. vallalar saw god, as an eternal light.
he did not restrict himself to philosophical observations. he examined day to day life in all its aspects. vallalar said the medium of instruction in schools must always be in the mother tongue . in an article in a monthly titled siddharth deepika, he said that learning in tamil would help students analyse what they studied. besides it was easy to learn in tamil, he pointed out.
vallalar said that a society which did not shun learning in the mother tongue would prosper. at the same time, one should also learn other languages. and if society learns to treat other languages with respect and learn them, it would reach great heights. he spoke of the antiquity of tamil language. he said it was one of the oldest language in the world. he popularised thirukurral. he was first to organise thirukkural lessons, through his student mudaliar. he spoke against british rule describing it as governance without mercy.
vallalar was multi-faceted. he was not only a philosopher and reformer, but also had deep knowledge of siddha medicine, the traditional method of treating ailments.
(from 'the hindu' dated may 19, 2022)