What is Arul Nool and why is it important for Tamil culture?
Arul Nool is a collection of religious texts and hymns of the Ayyavazhi sect, a monotheistic offshoot of Hinduism that originated in South India in the 19th century. The Arul Nool contains the teachings and revelations of Ayya Vaikundar, the founder and godhead of Ayyavazhi, as well as the stories and legends of his incarnations and followers. The Arul Nool is considered to be the primary scripture of Ayyavazhi, along with the Akilattirattu Ammanai, which narrates the history and mythology of Ayyavazhi.
The Arul Nool is written in Tamil, one of the oldest and most widely spoken languages in India. Tamil has a rich literary tradition that dates back to at least the 3rd century BCE. The Arul Nool is one of the few religious texts that reflects the vernacular and folk culture of Tamil Nadu, the state where Ayyavazhi originated. The Arul Nool also incorporates elements from other religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism, making it a syncretic and universal text that appeals to people from different backgrounds and beliefs.
The Arul Nool is divided into several sections, each containing different types of literature. Some of the sections are:
The Pothippu, which contains the prologue and introduction to Ayyavazhi.
The Ucchippadippu, which contains the songs and prayers sung by Ayya Vaikundar and his followers.
The Saptha Kannimar Padal, which contains the hymns dedicated to the seven virgin goddesses who are considered to be the consorts of Ayya Vaikundar.
The Thiruvasakam, which contains the verses recited by Ayya Vaikundar during his meditation and trance.
The Thirukkalyana Vasakam, which contains the verses describing the divine marriage of Ayya Vaikundar with the seven virgin goddesses.
The Thiruvavaduthurai Adiyen Vasakam, which contains the verses praising Ayya Vaikundar as the supreme lord and savior.
The Thiruvarutpa, which contains the poems composed by Hari Gopalan Citar, one of the main disciples of Ayya Vaikundar.
The Arul Nool is not only a religious text but also a cultural treasure that showcases the diversity and richness of Tamil language and literature. It is a source of inspiration and guidance for millions of Ayyavazhi followers and admirers around the world. It is also a testament to the vision and mission of Ayya Vaikundar, who preached a message of social justice, equality, peace and harmony among all living beings.
The Arul Nool is not only a text but also a practice. Ayyavazhi followers perform various rituals and ceremonies based on the instructions and guidelines given in the Arul Nool. Some of the rituals are:
The Thuvayal Thavasu, which is a 12-day penance performed by Ayya Vaikundar and his followers to purify themselves and the world from the evil forces of Kali Yuga, the current age of darkness and ignorance.
The Pancha Pathi Yatra, which is a pilgrimage to the five sacred places where Ayya Vaikundar performed his divine deeds and miracles. These places are Swamithoppe, Muttappathi, Thamaraikulam, Ambalappathi and Poovandanthoppe.
The Thiru Eadu Vasippu, which is a daily worship service conducted at the Pathis, the temples of Ayyavazhi. The service consists of reading the Akilattirattu Ammanai and singing the Ucchippadippu and other hymns from the Arul Nool.
The Kodiyettru Thirunal, which is a festival celebrated on the 20th day of the Tamil month of Masi (February-March) to commemorate the hoisting of the white flag by Ayya Vaikundar at Swamithoppe. The flag symbolizes the victory of Ayyavazhi over Kali Yuga and the establishment of Dharma Yuga, the new age of righteousness and justice.
The Vaikunda Avatara Orvalam, which is a procession held on the 20th day of the Tamil month of Aani (June-July) to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ayya Vaikundar. The procession starts from Swamithoppe and ends at Vaikunda Pathi, the place where Ayya Vaikundar attained salvation and merged with the supreme godhead.
The Arul Nool is not only a practice but also a philosophy. Ayyavazhi followers adhere to the principles and values taught by Ayya Vaikundar and his disciples in the Arul Nool. Some of the principles are:
The Ekam, which is the concept of one supreme reality that transcends all names and forms. Ayyavazhi believes that there is only one god who manifests in different ways according to the needs and desires of his devotees.
The Santror, which is the concept of universal brotherhood and equality among all human beings. Ayyavazhi rejects all forms of discrimination and oppression based on caste, creed, gender, race or religion.
The Dharma Yuga, which is the concept of a new era of peace and prosperity that will be ushered in by Ayya Vaikundar and his followers. Ayyavazhi believes that the current age of Kali Yuga will end soon and a new age of Dharma Yuga will begin where all living beings will live in harmony and happiness.
The Vinchai, which is the concept of divine will and grace that guides and protects all devotees of Ayyavazhi. Ayyavazhi believes that Ayya Vaikundar is always present and active in the world through his Vinchai, which manifests as signs, miracles and blessings for his devotees.
The Anma Neya Orumaipadu, which is the concept of spiritual unity and communion among all souls. Ayyavazhi believes that all souls are part of the same divine essence and can attain liberation by realizing their true nature and identity with god.