The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Nagaraj on August 18, 2010, 05:18:25 PM

Title: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 18, 2010, 05:18:25 PM
I am happy to share with you that Sri Bhagavan called me suddenly to Arunachala. I had planned to do girivalam through the inner path. I had been planning to do this for some time now. Bhagavan fulfiled my wish at last. I left for Arunachala on Monday night and reached there as early at around 3:30 in the morning, therefore my plans to halt at Sheshadri Ashramam was not possible, I took a room at Swathi Lodge near the main temple Gopuram. It is decent Lodge.

After having the darshan of Matrubhuteshwara shrine, Bhagavan's sannidhi and sitting for some time in the Old hall. I prayed to Bhagavan about my intentions. it was around 6 in the morning, the office had not yet opened. I wanted to enquire with somebody about doing the inner Girivalam. I looked around but found only the Temple Gurukkal (priest) who was drawing water from the wellI went towards him and asked him about doing girivalam through the inner path and he asked me, "are you going alone or with ladies?" I replied that I was going alone and he said, “you can go alone, no problem, but if you are planning to go with ladies then it is best to go in a group". He also mentioned that one Chandra Mouli from the Ashramam office goes often through the inner paadai, and I went near the office area. But i did not find any body there. I pondered for a moment on what to do do... and then I took a decision, that having have told Bhagavan about my intention, and going by the gurukkal's advice, it seemed that I was given permission to go alone. I left to do the girivalam myself. I went through the gates that lead to the hill, to skandashramam , Virupaksha cave and the inner paadai.

I simply followed few people inside and they deviated to skandashramam and i was left alone as I had to take the left turn to girivalam. I remembered Bhagavan and went inside.

It is really really wonderful experience to do girivalam from the inner path. I began my pradakshinam at around 6:15 or 6:20...

I followed few people inside and they deviated to skandashramam and i was left alone as I had to take the left turn to girivalam. I remembered Bhagavan and went inside.

I have no words to describe my experience. It was such a wonderful time, so beautiful, serene and peaceful. I was alone. I prayed to Bhagavan not to test me in any way, as the previous time I encountered a dozen huge monkeys on my way to Skandashramam when i was alone and they tested me nearly for 45 minutes before finally Bhagavan saw me safely to Skandashramam!

The path is very comfortable for the first half and thereonwards the path gets tougher with small, tiny stones that really hurt if you are doing barefoot.

The path is very clear and i had no confusion throughout my journey. Some blessed souls have taken time to paint the stones in white-red colour and white-yellow colour throughout the path. To see Arunachala at such close proximity is indeed a breathtaking experience.

On my way, I stopped at some place where they are developing a park i think, there was an artificial pond, the place was very beautiful. I stopped to take some snaps and i went near the stone slabs which are made to sit. i was surprised to see Ramanashramam guest house key. i looked around and there was nobody around. i took it with me so that i can safely hand it back to the office ashramam.

The path was pretty ok. There is considerable difference between doing the Girivalam on the outer road and the inner path. It was extremely peaceful here. As long as the stones were marked with white-red colour, it was comfortable to walk, even barefoot, but after about half the distance, when the path is marked in white-yellow colour, it is very tough!  There are very small stones that are very sharp, one can simply see the stones and guess how old they could be! It felt that they had been sharpened over thousands of years. I had a very tough time walking this stretch. Then I sat on a small stone slab for a while, gazing at Arunachala. There was absolutely nobody around.

For sometime, there was a harmless dog which came along with me! It walked behind me for sometime, very active, wagging its tail. After a while, the dog went inside the trees and vanished. I had not wanted to take a snapshot of the dog and drive it away, but it went off on its own accord. I was left alone. The stones were really hurting my feet and my pace was reduced to that of a very old aged man walking… talking baby steps. By now slowly the sun had risen well enough and the stones were getting hot. It was around 8:30! At one stretch, i had to climb up the hill, where the path was full of  stones, big and small. ‘This stretch is the toughest of the entire journey’ I thought!

Then at around 9:00, there was one boy whom I came across, I asked him about the distance from that place, he said, still there is about 3 kms. I proceeded further for another kilometer and then I was able to hear the sounds of the traffic. I felt the road was not very far off from here. The path still continued with small stones. I was thinking I should have got my slippers (at least new ones). At one stage I could no more walk over the stones so I deviated into the bushes and trees leading towards the road, thinking that I could complete the girivalam from the road. But the roads and the footpath were also burning hot. It was 9:30. I prayed to Arunachala to forgive me for I was unable to complete the girivalam through the inner path or outer path, I took an auto and reached Ramanashramam. I had not even taken water on my journey. I had forgotten about it in my excitement. Then I had some cool drinks and went straight into the old hall and sat there, at around 10:00 I think! That’s all I remember. I sat unmoving until I heard the bell ring, then everybody in the hall went out excepting for a select few. It was a lunch time bell. I continued to stay there for another hour or so. I went to samadhi hall, and stood for some time and then went to the Ramashramam office and returned the Ashramam keys telling them where I had found them and went to Sheshadri Ashramam canteen and  had lemon rice and then left for my room.

I took some snaps from my mobile. I shall paste few here.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 18, 2010, 05:30:56 PM
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGuz1VpZbkI/AAAAAAAABd0/G3oaYMlx08c/s512/Image0005.jpg)
These are the marks that are painted in White and Red colour, appear throughout the inner path. I never got lost anywhere.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0SpY-LOI/AAAAAAAABfQ/fTpovYIDU2Y/s640/Image0030.jpg)
Hill was decked in greenery. It is special to be with Arunachala at such close proximity

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0VIt_doI/AAAAAAAABfY/GjR1ylamCzc/s512/Image0032.jpg)
The path

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0XF96rHI/AAAAAAAABfg/W8qIG71n4C0/s640/Image0034.jpg)
I had seen such images only in the Arunachala Live camera. here I am seeing it all by myself. Its wonder of wonders to see it with your own bare eyes!

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0gTKHE6I/AAAAAAAABgE/ywuhSw-YL2E/s512/Image0043.jpg)
The path gets tougher when the markings turn white and yellow.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0qufaNsI/AAAAAAAABgk/BVC2CRIjV_U/s512/Image0051.jpg)
These bugs give you company throughout. They are harmless and very pretty

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu06xA8TbI/AAAAAAAABhY/79uz1sOTbDQ/s640/Image0063.jpg)
After all my mobile camera was not so bad as i thought it to be. This is a beautiful picture

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu096BzTWI/AAAAAAAABhg/34SwhHf_WA0/s512/Image0065.jpg)
A dog accompanied me here, he walked with me for some time and deviated into the trees. He was very majestic and his eyes were very lovely to look at. I did not try taking a picture as I did not want him to go away by trying to take a picture of him

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu05oRuUoI/AAAAAAAABhU/MIpEz9p0t4Y/s640/Image0062.jpg)
Look at the Lord decked with full Emerald. Gives a go for his Lady love Emerald Lady Meenakshi Ambal in Madurai

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu08vBNYFI/AAAAAAAABhc/TS54mzsJYV0/s640/Image0064.jpg)
These rocks were beautiful. was wondering if there were any caves around, but i did not venture doing anything as i was alone.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu1A8YCazI/AAAAAAAABhs/Sj0NVRjgYh8/Image0049.jpg)
This rocks actually looked like a cow embracing a calf. Very beautiful it was, This was the maximum zoom possible from my mobile camera, and hence, lesser clarity

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0srsa2hI/AAAAAAAABgo/IiSgx_05HNs/s512/Image0052.jpg)
These small & tiny stones teach you the lesson of your life, Patience and Endurance.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_PJvE79xwjYQ/TGu0_A75qNI/AAAAAAAABhk/4ZqtbPyzAGA/s640/Image0047.jpg)
I looked back to see where from I came, who knows? and thats the question of our lifetime. But thats the picture, I had come through those dense trees and Bushes. No clue where i came from.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: ramanaduli on August 18, 2010, 06:21:54 PM
Dear Nagaraj ji,


Thanks for giving beautiful pictures of Arunachala. People say when you take a giri valam some siddhas would accompany in disguise mostly like dogs. You are very lucky to see the dog. He must be a siddha. People who take a journey to Kollimalai or Chathuragiri  they see a dog who will appear and guide you. Sometimes dog would stand for your arrival. After reaching some point suddenly it will disappear. Each trip would be a new experience when you go to girivalam. Keep it up.


Ramanaduli
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: silentgreen on August 18, 2010, 06:38:31 PM
Dear Nagraj,

Very inspiring, to say the least.
Seeing the pictures itself is a great joy for me.
Such opportunities come only rarely in life, especially for those who do not stay at Thiruvannamalai. Some may think ,what is there, anytime we can go and do Girivalam, however it does not happen like that; some or the other events in life holds one back and without God's grace one does not get a chance to go to such places, let alone do inner Girivalam.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: ramana_maharshi on August 18, 2010, 07:04:49 PM
excellent trip nagraj garu and wish i was there  :)
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 18, 2010, 09:27:01 PM
Dear Ramanaduliji, Silentgreenji and Prashant,

It was really very nice, the grirvalam is still so fresh in my mind. Ramanaduliji, I just pray you words are true, that the dog was really some Siddhar, :) and yes Silentgreenji, I have been planning for years, I never knew even couple of days back that I would go to Arunachala, it all happened suddenly and he called me this Tuesday and how much specialer it could get, to do girivalam through the inner path.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 19, 2010, 09:33:05 AM


Dear Nagaraj,

Excellent reporting about your girivalam and equally excellent photographs. You must be really fortunate to do that inner girivalam.
People like me, with knee problem, are not able to do even outer
girivalam [by road] completely.  It is a nice remembrance of a wonderful day and event.  Thanks.


Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: DRPVSSNRAJU on August 19, 2010, 10:35:09 AM
Dear Subramanian,Namaste.
                                     On Jan 1st this year myself and my friend are talking about pada pradaksina(inner girivalam)
and i am crippled with severe muscle and joint pains due to Crohn's disease.Then i proposed to my friend that let us make
a move and if i am unable to move we will somehow comeback home.We started slowly and my legs and joints allowed me
to walk relatively comfortably.As we reached Kannappa temple which is situated on the inner path surprisingly the man
who developed the inner path single handedly appeared before me with his wife and told me how to proceed further.
In three hours we reached the main road and had some soft drinks and returned to room by auto.That is one of my
greatest experiences in my life.
On Jan 15th there is complete solar eclipse.On that day i spent on Skandasram from morning to evening.I thought that
it is beneficial for meditation on such occassions at holy places like that.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 19, 2010, 10:48:20 AM
Dear I,

Excellent reporting about your girivalam and equally excellent photographs. You must be really fortunate to do that inner girivalam.
People like me, with knee problem, are not able to do even outer
girivalam [by road] completely.  It is a nice remembrance of a wonderful day and event.  Thanks.
Arunachala Siva.

Persons like me, who still have a long way to go in terms of controlling my mind and its vagaries, such tough girivalam is needed to quieten my mind and my ego. Really sir, for persons like you, simply doing the pradakshanam around the Samadhi Mandir of Bhagavan would itself suffice. Its the same old story of Murugan and Vighneshwara trying to win the Mango fruit. Murugan circumbulating the whole world and Vighneshwara simply circumbulating his parents and winning the fruit!

Its ultimately the mind, in the end! You are where your mind is. I learnt and am convinced about this recently...

Actually, if I look back and see my own trip, it is quite surprising as to how I did it and also alone! For most part of my circumbulation, there was no body, absolutely nobody, I just had the sounds of birds chirping all along, and off course the trees dancing with the breeze from Arunachala.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 19, 2010, 10:49:26 AM

Dear Dr. Raju,

I am very happy that you could do the girivalam in spite of your
muscular problems.  I should have such a forbearance coupled with
faith.  My girivalam [in the outer metalled road] is really funny and
Bhagavan should be laughing at me.  I walk 108 steps.  Then I get into the car.  Drive for sometime.  Then I get up and walk 108 steps. Like that I complete the girivalam!  Bhagavan also, I remember, told someone, to take a bullock cart, walk some distance, and cover the girivalam by getting into bullock cart, whenever he or she gets tired and thinks it is not possible any longer.


Arunachala Siva.
    
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 19, 2010, 10:52:59 AM

Dear Nagaraj,

Yes. What you say is correct.  I go round Samadhi of Bhagavan,
two or three times, on everyday that I stay in Tiruvannamalai.
I once saw David Godman, doing numberless rounds of Samadhi
in slow steps, almost for an hour.  How fortunate he should be!   

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: DRPVSSNRAJU on August 19, 2010, 12:05:58 PM
Dear Subramanian,i like people like you walking like that.Probably our devotion to hill that counts finally.
The great writer from Andhra Sri Chalam who is close to Bhagawan used to walk for some distance later used to go again on
bullock cart,then walk again for sometime,again doing bullock cart pradakshina but he is a highly devoted man.
He has done like that because he is not so physically fit to do the entire pradakshina by walking.
Once when i started giri pradakshina it is raining and it continued to rain till i completed pradakshina.Only myself,giri and rain
are there all along.It is one of the best pradakshina i enjoyed in my life getting soaked in rain and grace of the hill.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on August 20, 2010, 02:19:06 PM
 Dear Sri Nagaraj Ji

 You have posted very nice photographs Sir. I have also performed Girpradkshin  twice. In 2009, in the month
 of August I circumambulated  Sri Arunachala with my wife, daughter and son-in-law. This year,in the month of June
 I  performed  Giripradkshina with my wife only. Sir, on both occasions, my wife had to attend to natural calls.
  We started after prostrating to Sri Bhagwan and Sri Arunachala. In 2009, my wife coud not reach
 Ashram after Puja in the Great Temple and came to the Ashram by an auto. but I finihed
 Girpradakshina after reaching the Ashram and prostrating to Sri Bhagwan in the Samadhi Hall. On both occasions,
 we circumambulated  bare footed and could not touch Esanya Math since due to tiredness, we preferred
 the shorter route close to the Sri Arunachala when we approached the township.

 Now sir, I wish to know what are the proper ways to perform it ? 
     
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 20, 2010, 04:53:41 PM
Dear I,

           :) Very Nice pictures! Really wonderful.

Thank you.

Now sir, I wish to know what are the proper ways to perform it ?  

Dear Anilkumarsinhaji, I shall say a few words of the very little I know. To what extant Bhagavan takes care of his devotees is unfathomable, I have done girivalam several times on the outer road. Usually I make sure that I don't fail to visit Adi Annamalai Temple to have the darshan of Arunachala. Somehow, the incompleteness in having a proper darshan at the main Arunachala temple gets fulfilled here as the main temple is always very crowded. Here one can have darshan of Arunachala to our heart's content!

Coming back to Bhagavan and his unfathomable care to his devotees, during one of my girivalam (I usually do it alone) I too was faced with this problem of attending to natures call, but what to do, it was very early in the morning, the sun was still just rising. I was wondering where in the heavens would I find a public toilet here! So thinking, I kept praying to Arunachala Ramana... "O Lord, what is not here in this Arunachala? there is said to be a celestial city inside the Hill and a place with so many sages, saints and Siddhars... But there is no public toilet here!" I asked and kept mum!

I was praying... there were no autos coming that way. It was also during a waning phase of the moon, and usually people prefer doing it during waxing phase! And after some time, in the left side, I came across a public toilet. It was a miracle to me! I never expected to find a public toilet in the girivalam road! I have never shared this incident with anybody so far but, I could not stop myself from posting here to share with all devotees. To what extent Bhagavan cares for his devotees! His love and kindness is unfathomable! He is really (Ashuthosha – Easily pleased) and (Bholenath - Innocent) Everybody would pray for Moksha or good life or wisdom, and that day I prayed to Bhagavan for a toilet  ;D

Actually, if we delve deep into the core of doing girivalam properly, all say the same thing. In Arunachala Mahatmyam, it is said that one should do the Girivalam like a pregnant woman walking slowly with small and tender steps on the mother earth and so that the baby inside the womb is not disturbed, thus focusing inside, looking at the Self, one should perform the Valam or circumabulation . There are several stone markings on the road, where Nandi and Padukas are present, those are special places to have the darshan of Arunachala. The basic thing is to be as alive as possible. Not just do girivalam thinking about something else in our mind. The Lord is Pratyaksha there. Shiva is there Really, that Hill is Him. This Bhaavam should be there.

It is said, that one who prefers Moksham, Vairaghyam, one should do Girivalam during Amavaysa (no moon day) and one who prays for all Aishwaryams of Loukika (wordly duties, wisdom etc...) one should perform the girivalam on the Purnima day (Full moon day) And infact Each Thithi (of Waxing and Waning phases of the moon) or days have their special benefits (which details I am not aware)  

I usually prefer doing it in normal days, I avoid purnima, as there would be tooooo much crowd.

One does Bhajan, sing Arunachala Shiva, Some do Rudram Chamakam, Vishnu Sahasranaamam, etc... throughout. I have seen Foreign ladies chanting Ganesha Atharva Sheersha with proper Swaras without a help of book and put me into shame!

I personally feel The eight lingams around Arunachala signifies the the 8 stages of our life. If you see the sequence of the Ashta Lingam, it begins with

Indra Lingam Which signifies your Indiriyas (Indra signifies our Indiriyas. Indra is Bhokta of our senses) first we satiate all our wordly desires, by using our Indiriyas in proper manner. Agni Lingam is the Fire, The fire of Knowledge - the wisdom that needs to be nurtured and be lit up through out our journey. Like this Kubera Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Yama Lingam, Varuna Lingam and finally, Esanya Lingam is merging with the lord. I try and assimilate such essenses thorugh my girivalam. Like this, Bhagavan takes us closer and closer step by step.

Adi Shankaracharya had written in one Arunachala Ashtottara praising Lord Shiva as Giri Pradakshina Priyaaya Namaha. He is pleased when a devotee does Giri Pradakshinam.

Most importantly, whatever agenda we may have, we may plan to do parayanam, sing, talk about Self, etc... finally after some distance, the mind becomes so quiet and focused that it does not think about anything else at all, be it Spiritual topic or otherwise. One always finishes the Girivalam in Silence.

I also request other elders here to shed more light into deeper significances of Girivalam.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: ramanaduli on August 20, 2010, 05:55:12 PM
Dear nagaraj ji,

Yes. Even we think to do girivalam,it isnot possible unless Bhagavan calls us. It is my experience. I could not go to Annamalai for various reasons. At that time I used to motivate others to do girivalam. I feel satisfaction when they narrate their experiences.
At last Bhagavan called me and I did 5 times. It took 3.30 hours. Before going there I practiced to walk without slipper whenever I leave my house to market. I took the outer path only. Each time it was a new experience. I was thinking I never have a chance to go there but still to day how I did.. it is His grace only. Bhagavan said each stone and pebbles on the path is like a diamond and gems. He said many siddhas may pass in various forms. We should not disturb them. It is individual's faith that is all. As the experiences are still with me as fresh as it is.  Once we reached at 8 p.m. It was an ordinary day and we were 3 people wanted to go for girivalam.
When we were talking ourselves inside Arunachala temple one gurukkal told suddenly, why do you want to go to night. You have darshan of swami now and tomorrow you can do. We thought, as if Bhagavan is giving some instructions so we dropped the idea.
Before we came out of temple, suddenly there was a thunder bolt, and started raining. But it was not a rainy season. It was unespected. We thought it was good we did not go for girivalam. It rained whole night. And electricisty was cut. Next day morning the sky was so clear  and we took our giri valam at  4.30. a.m. After few miles in middle of the road one big tree uprooted and blocked the whole road. We told ourselves, it was Bhagavan only gave the instruction through the gurukkal. In that was He only
calls us, gives grace.


Ramanaduli
The corporation people were finding difficult to remove the trunk with cranes. We told ourselves,
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: SLakshmi on August 20, 2010, 07:25:57 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

Even i make it a point to visit the adi-annamalai temple during girivalam route. You are right, it is less crowded and one can have an undisturbed darshan of annamalaiyar from here. Also this temple is so very peaceful..and very beautiful...

As mentioned...excellent photos and description...!

Ramanarpamastu

Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: viswanathan on August 20, 2010, 07:55:35 PM
Dear  Mr.Najaraj,
                               After going through your post on the subject, I would like share some of MY VIEWS(please note the word MY ViEWS )on the reason  we are attached to a  particular place/diety/guru.We, the followers of Bhagavan consider Arunachala as sacred hill  and  quote   various works such as Arunachala Mahatmiam  in praise of the hill.In my opinion, every place in earth (all of which are created by god) is sacred and it is the mind (Ego) which boasts that a particular place is more sacred than other or a particular is more powerful than other guru.In india, each place has some historical/spiritual significance and saints have composed  songs in praise of that place/deity and the people from that place claim that  their place is the  holiest place in earth, may be that it is  Mount Kailash,Aoydha,Kasi,Tirupathi ,Kanchi or Sabarimalai. There are also people amongst us who claim that Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati is more powerful than Muruga of Tiruttani or Ayappa of Sabari malai or arunachala .Another view deep in the minds of devotees is that Giri Pradakshina should be done only on Full moon day and not on other day.In this context,the people of North Arcot District(to which I belong) have special attachment to the hill and they used to go around the hill  very often without any attachment to a particular day such as  Full Moon day.The hill assumed more importance after the arrival of Bhagavan in 1896. Later,Arunachala  got further  publicity  from celeberities such as Mr.Rajanikanth  and now people visit the hill in lakhs on full Moon day.I have heard people telling that pradakshina  should  be done only on full moon day.Before the hill got publicity from celebarities, devotees used to go around the hill as and when they wish and on Karthigai deepam day ,every body will go around the hill.In fact, Bhagavan used to do pradakshina very often as and when he liked and at times pradakshina will extend to days.I know  that many of the devotees of Bhagavan used to go around the hill all the 365 days in a year and one among them I assume was Mr.Michel James.To conclude, I wish to state that every hill is holy and every place is holy place and it is our mind which only  differentiates one from the other.When ever I visit Bhagavan samadhi, or for that matter visiting any temple,  I do 108 Pradakshina  and while doing so I try to maintain silence by turning the attention inwards and it gives me  peace of mind.  Also, 108 pradakshina   helps me to keep my body healthy by way of exercise.While doing  Pradakshina,I am not expecting moksham or favours from god since I strongly believe the theory  of Karma and also Bhagavan’s teaching that everything is preordained and what is destined to happen will happen and you cannot stop it. .In this context,I reproduce from Guru Ramana the following article on Happiness and misery in Creation.It may be noted that this article do not find place in any ashram publication except Guru Ramana By Mr.Cohen.It is one of my favorite articles.

HAPPINESS AND MISERY IN CREATION
4th May, 1937
A book is being read in which a question occurs whether
the world was created for happiness or misery. All eyes turn
to Sri Bhagavan for the answer.
Bhagavan. Creation is neither good nor bad; it is as it is. It is
the human mind which puts all sorts of constructions
on it, as it sees things from its own angle and as it suits
its own interests.
A woman is just a woman, but one
mind calls her “mother,” another “sister,” and still another
“aunt” and so on. Men love women, hate snakes, and are
indifferent to the grass and stones by the roadside. These
connections are the causes of all the misery in the world.

Creation is like a peepul tree: birds come to eat its fruit,
or take shelter under its branches, men cool themselves
in its shade, but some may hang themselves on it. Yet
the tree continues to lead its quiet life, unconcerned with,
and unaware of, all the uses it is put to. It is the human
mind that creates its own difficulties and then cries for
help.
Is God so partial as to give peace to one person and
sorrow to another?
In creation there is room for
everything, but man refuses to see the good, the healthy
and the beautiful, and goes on whining, like the hungry
man who sits beside a tasty dish and, instead of stretching
out his hand to satisfy his hunger, he goes on lamenting.
Whose fault is it, God’s or man’s
? But fortunately for
man, God, in His infinite mercy, never forsakes him. He
always gives him new chances by providing Gurus and
Scriptures to guide him to find the errors of his ways
and ultimately gain eternal happiness.
Visitor. We know that the pleasures of this world are useless
and even painful, yet we long for them. What is the way
of ending that longing?
Bhagavan. Think of God and attachments will gradually drop
from you. If you wait till all desires disappear to start
your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait a very,
very long time indeed



Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 20, 2010, 09:28:12 PM
Dear I,


Your post is thought provoking! Completely agree with all your words sir. Infact, I would go to the extent of saying one should be even able to see God/Self and holiness even in dirt, filth, excreta, and all the other worst things the mind can grasp. Basically, when one gets attached to one place, he is identifying the Self with one of the Pancha Bhutas, as Air, Water, Ether, Fire and Earth in a very subconscious level. Basically it’s an intuition of the Self which cannot be measured or understood.

 :) I too belong to the North Arcot district, and I usually do the circumambulation any day and I don't attach any special significance to Purnima or Karthigai deepam day or any other day. The day I am there is sum all special days out together, I feel.   

Initially, certain 'places' or 'objects' trigger this intuition which ‘leads’ one to an extreme attachment to that 'place' or 'object'. After all even if one claims of not knowing the Self, even then Self cannot be an object of not knowing one-Self, and hence such intuitions which are called as ‘grace’ is initially triggered. I believe such intuition would slowly begin to 'manifest' itself in every 'places' or 'objects' Seemingly-different from self, for in reality, 'every place(s)' is the ‘same-place' or every 'object is the ''same-object' till finally it 'leads' to the understanding of being Self in all 'place' – ‘as being that place’ or 'object' as ‘being that object’. Those places or objects, filth, dirt, excreta, holiness, God, beauty, etc... Are all the same-Self, one-Self.

.....Is also still only the knowledge of mind.

Like how the same women we address as Mother, Aunt, Friend, names, in the end, we are addressing our Self as the other, That other is I-itself. When I talk to you, I talk to myself, and when you talk to me, I talk to myself,  When I say something to you, I say it to myself and when you say something to me, I say it to myself only.

Sir, in the end, don't you think, we, in the end have to only talk what they(myself) wants to hear, and they(myself) only talk what they(myself) want to talk, and we(myself) only hear what we(myself) want to hear.

When I love somebody, I am loving myself and when I hate somebody, I am hating only myself. When I am irritated or frustrated with something or somebody, that subject of irritation of Frustration - Somebody or something is just myself!

Sir, in a different post, you had mentioned, JK says..., actually, don't you think, it is only you that is saying and not even JK? and eventually it is I who is telling that! But we have to say 'JK says, or Sri Ramana says, Krishna says' because that is what they(Self) want to hear!

This again is just the mind!

But, the intuition is great. This intuition is the only power or grace by which the mind is able to melt or realise its True nature - Its limitedness and therefore humbled.

Humbled.

and

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 20, 2010, 10:04:23 PM
Dear I,

Yes. Even we think to do girivalam,it isnot possible unless Bhagavan calls us. It is my experience. I could not go to Annamalai for various reasons. At that time I used to motivate others to do girivalam. I feel satisfaction when they narrate their experiences.
At last Bhagavan called me and I did 5 times. It took 3.30 hours. Before going there I practiced to walk without slipper whenever I leave my house to market. I took the outer path only. Each time it was a new experience. I was thinking I never have a chance to go there but still to day how I did.. it is His grace only. Bhagavan said each stone and pebbles on the path is like a diamond and gems. He said many siddhas may pass in various forms. We should not disturb them. It is individual's faith that is all. As the experiences are still with me as fresh as it is.  Once we reached at 8 p.m. It was an ordinary day and we were 3 people wanted to go for girivalam.
When we were talking ourselves inside Arunachala temple one gurukkal told suddenly, why do you want to go to night. You have darshan of swami now and tomorrow you can do. We thought, as if Bhagavan is giving some instructions so we dropped the idea.
Before we came out of temple, suddenly there was a thunder bolt, and started raining. But it was not a rainy season. It was unespected. We thought it was good we did not go for girivalam. It rained whole night. And electricisty was cut. Next day morning the sky was so clear  and we took our giri valam at  4.30. a.m. After few miles in middle of the road one big tree uprooted and blocked the whole road. We told ourselves, it was Bhagavan only gave the instruction through the gurukkal. In that was He only
calls us, gives grace.
Ramanaduli
The corporation people were finding difficult to remove the trunk with cranes. We told ourselves,

We never know in what way Bhagavan graces us. Truly blessed event, Ramanaduliji. We can't grasp these things, they last as impressions of grace of Bhagavan. These memories, when we recollect them, we are closer to Bhagavan and we can feel His presence and those beautiful eyes.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on August 21, 2010, 02:58:21 PM
 Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

 Thank you.
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 21, 2010, 03:13:19 PM
Dear I,
Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

I personally see nothing wrong in attending to natural calls! Why to put the body into struggle for our spiritual sadhana? Let the body do it's job and let us be focused in ours - Self. Infact, when some people came to Ramanashramam from burial ground after performing rites for a dead body and asked for some food, and when the Ashramites asked them to go have bath and then have their food, Bhagavan insisted them to serve food immediately and that such formal bath is not required. Why give so much importance to body and its activities.

The body is an inert thing. It is only 'I' that matters.

There is no special rules for anything as to it is only this way it has to be done. The intention only matters. Many soldiers in the Mahabharata war realized during the war, right in the battle field whilst killing others and merged into Krishna.

I also feel that it is only the body that is doing Girivalam and not really 'You'. So to torture our bodies from its natural activities is also violence. We have first practice Ahimsa with our own self.

Any activity or puja which result in uplifting ourselves can be performed, for some it may be performance of Puja in temple, For some it may be helping the needy on the way, for some it may be doing Parayana on the way, and different for different people. If you are inclined in going into temple and performing puja and if you feel grace penetrating from what you do, then why not?

I feel fully complete just by visiting Ramanashramam and I am never impelled to go to the main temple and have the darshan of lord specially!

I follow a very simple scale, if what I am going to do, if it will give me happiness and also the others, without troubling anybody, then I will go ahead and do it.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: viswanathan on August 21, 2010, 05:33:58 PM
Dear I,
Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

I personally see nothing wrong in attending to natural calls! Why to put the body into struggle for our spiritual sadhana? Let the body do it's job and let us be focused in ours - Self. Infact, when some people came to Ramanashramam from burial ground after performing rites for a dead body and asked for some food, and when the Ashramites asked them to go have bath and then have their food, Bhagavan insisted them to serve food immediately and that such formal bath is not required. Why give so much importance to body and its activities.

The body is an inert thing. It is only 'I' that matters.

There is no special rules for anything as to it is only this way it has to be done. The intention only matters. Many soldiers in the Mahabharata war realized during the war, right in the battle field whilst killing others and merged into Krishna.

I also feel that it is only the body that is doing Girivalam and not really 'You'. So to torture our bodies from its natural activities is also violence. We have first practice Ahimsa with our own self.



Dear Mr.Nagaraj,
                      Your reply as above to the query by Mr.Anil regarding attending to nature's call during pradakshina is very rational ,mature,thought provoking and in line with Bhagavan's teachings and cleared many of my doubt which was lingering in my mind.I sincerely thank you for your reply..Few years back, I took one of my relative for Pradakshina at TV malai..The relative was old, had diabetics and in view of that i have suggested to him to wear chappals to protect his feet from damage while walking.In the course of the Pradakshina,we happened to meet a young highly educated sadhu well versed in sastras and he told us that my friend should not do pradakshina with chappals on since the hill is lord Siva.The advice by Swamiji raised a qdoubt in my mind  whether Bhagavan and his devotees during the stay at various places in hill such as Virupakshi cave and Skandasramam etc came down to the plains whenever  they had to attend to call of nature.I put this doubt to one of senior devotee who told me that devotee were attending to nature's call at hill itself.In this context, i wish to narrate an incident that took place in Bail in indonesia.Bali is predominantly a hindu majority state in Indonesia and there are very famous hindu temples which are open to tourists of all faiths.These temples are visited by tourists from all over globe and the tourists are not asked to remove shoes while going inside temple.I asked the guide (who was a Bali Hindu) how come in hindue temples, visitors are allowed with shoes.He replied that what is important is purity of heart and it does not matter one were shoes or not while entering temple.His reply was a great eye opener to me.
                   In northern India,  many temples allow devotees to enter inside Garbagraha and for that matter in kasi any body can touch Lord Viswanathar and do abishekam.There is no bar on caste/dress code etc and it is one place where we can find real oneness.It is only in South India ,we are more rigid in ritualistic practices and devotees are not allowed inside garbagraha(However, i find that in many temples in Tamilnadu , devotees pay money to priest and enter inside Garbhagraha).
                    I strongly believe in Swami Vivekananda's quote :"Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy-by one, or more, or all of these-and be free, . This is the whole of Religion.Doctrines,or dogmas,or rituals, or books, or temples,or forms,are but secondary".[/u]
Viswanathan
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 21, 2010, 06:25:42 PM
Sir, thank you for your acknowledgement, by your wise words, it is a confirmation and blessings to sadhakas like me are going on the correct direction.

The Bali incident mentioned by you is really the essence of this verse from the Gita -

In the Gita, it is said -

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Sir, please do correct me if I may be wrong, but still I would say, oneness is just not experienced only in north indian temples alone.  Many of my uncles also have the same opinion regarding the temples in south india, that it is famous for its rigidity and priests accepting money, and they eat away the mantrams etc... It is beautiful this way. As it is.

There is fullness even here. I personally would give my opinion to my uncles in a gentle way that we should learn to see oneness even in rigidity. In the end rigidity etc... are also just a product of our past knowledge and only we are being rigid in the end!

Temples in north India are beautiful and it feels nice to go inside the garbha griham and at the same time the temples in south India too are beautiful and emanate the same oneness by stationing one outside the garbha griha and having the darshan of Lord. To me it has been one and the same. It exists the way nature demands it to be. But Tarkavaadis over the ages have always had such arguments. Some of my uncles say that people in North India have more Bhakti and there are more Pravachakas and down in south, it is only for money. It is still beautiful that way. As it is. And there is no dearth of essence on either side. The arrogant priests in South Indian temples teach us a very valuable and most important lesson by their conduct. Infact we are all in some ways indebted to them. They are also our Gurus

Sir, I do not mind paying money to have darshan of Lord, if that is what I want, i.e. a good darshan. When I go to any of the famous and hence overcrowded temples, I pay some hundreds at the temple and by that I get to be there fore some time and enjoy my self with the darshan of the Lord. I see no wrong. Infact, I see it that the Lord himself allows and it is His leela, To give such bribes also is one way of deliverance from ego - ie basically "Not to Question Anything" Things are moving in an already ordained way. Who am I to say what is right or wrong. We may have to take thousands of births even for not giving a bribe that which is ordained!

Which is clearly illustrated by Bhagavan, he never discouraged "Brahminism" and "revolutionaries" at the same time. It is beautiful as it is.

When such arguments came forth in my home, that the Lord encourages corruption in his kingdom; my mother gave an interesting reply, she said, "so what if he is taking money and money and only money? he is taking crores and crores from all people who have made black money, thats why he takes a very nice share" He  snatches money from those who have in abundance and I see no wrong in that"

There is a beauty even in "corruption".

Lord Shiva looks good only with Vibhuti Triputi and Lord Vishnu looks good only with Tiru naamam. But we try to question this and want Lord Shiva to put Thiru Naamam and Lord Vishnu to put Bhasma Triputi!

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
Post by: Nagaraj on August 22, 2010, 11:55:04 AM
I remembered this in the context of the subject being discussed and I thought its a good sharing amongst us

An elderly philosopher once explained that the the architecture of the temple has a lot to do with the customs and the proximity of the devotees to the God or Goddess inside. A temple built the south indian way - with the sanctum sactorum, ardha mantapam etc was built with the idea of keeping the devotee at certain distance from the main area of worship. Where the architecture did not have this kind of division, going near the deity and perhaps even touching was allowed.

This was also more a need of protection to the temple from invadors especially in the North. Which is why the system of facilitating the devotees to have easier access to the deity so that personal bond could be built and they would rush to the rescue if the deity or the temple were in danger of being mauled by the ruthless invadors.

Salutations to Sri Ramana