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Messages - Graham

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Ashrams / Re: international airport
« on: June 02, 2010, 09:16:44 AM »
Dear Subramanian R

You are well out of date with your information. The taxi fare from Chennai is about Rs.2100 one way (with A/C) and it takes 3.5 hours by road in modern cars.


Visa applications / Changes to the Rules relating to tourist visas
« on: May 31, 2010, 05:01:13 PM »
I am sure that most of the frequent travellers to India will be aware of the new restrictions applying to tourist visas.

They state that there must be a minimum 2 month gap between visits - there are exceptions and these can be found at this link on the Ministry of Home Affairs website:

This restriction has now been changed as of April 2013 for the majority of foreign nationals ... see this page:

I recommend that everyone reads the above PDF file.

For more information on visas go to this link (the search results on the site):

General Discussion / Re: Sudden hair loss in Tiruvannamalai
« on: May 29, 2010, 01:05:31 PM »
The reason for the post is to provide a cautionary warning to Western visitors who might not be fully aware of the problems that can arise in extreme climate. I will certainly wear a hat from now on.

My friend Karthik in Chennai, who also suffers from the problem, says it is an annual thing due to the heat/humidity combination and a lack of protein. He might be right. My hair appears to have started slowly regenerating since returning to the UK two weeks ago.

This year the average afternoon temperature from early April onwards was 43, during the night it fell to 30 for a few hours.

Last year the temperature over the same period was 3-4 degrees lower.

Cautionary advice / Re: Rape and Robbery at Arunachala
« on: May 15, 2010, 05:11:27 AM »

When you drive your vehicle, cross a road, or perform any other potentially dangerous action in life, do you wear a blindfold? If you have children, do you tell them to go out at night alone, trust everyone who approaches them and do whatever they demand, or run across roads without looking first?

Just how far does your faith in the inevitability of karma go?

Your understanding of this subject is based upon few lines in some book, which may or may not be true, and as such is as good as no understanding at all.

If it were not possible to overcome destiny, then there would be no hope of spiritual advancement at all, because such advancement is totally dependent upon defeating karma.


General Discussion / Sudden hair loss in Tiruvannamalai
« on: May 10, 2010, 06:20:55 AM »
A strange thing has been happening over the past few months to many people here in Tiruvannamalai (and elsewhere I am told) - Indians and Foreigners, young and old, male and female alike, including myself.

We are all losing large amounts of hair from our heads and only our heads. The hair is coming out roots and all.

I am sure that many people will put it down to the cellphone towers, which according to one person who measured the output, is either 1600 or 16,000 times the WHO safe limit (she wasn't sure which number was correct, but it was at least 1600).

Others say it is the salt in the water, shampoo, etc. Whatever the cause, it is a source of concern for many.

I would recommend that all foreigners bring a hat of some sort here, as the sun can be very damaging to the scalp.


Cautionary advice / Re: Rape and Robbery at Arunachala
« on: May 09, 2010, 05:57:52 PM »
There is divine justice in action here, that is for certain, but it does mean that people should throw caution to the wind.

Bhagavan himself insisted that ladies should not go around the hill alone - for a very good reason. This has got more to do with vasanas than Dharma. When people come here, everything rises to the surface, good and bad alike. People are supposed to address these issues, not indulge in them.

The heart-centre is the Self. It is not in the body, the body is an appearance in It, however there is a sensation, an appearance of it to the right of the chest, but not as you imagine it to be. The experience is without body, yet with it. Very hard to describe.

But like so many experiences, and I have had many, it is just an experience. Self-realisation is the end of experiences.

I will take this opportunity to clarify a profound mistake in publications. Bhagavan 'never' told anyone to concentrate on the right side of the chest, on the contrary, he told Annamalai Swami that he would never realise the self by doing that.

This mistake was created by a group of influential people in the 1950's here in Tiruvannamalai, who were unclear about what Bhagavan meant by concentrate on the heart and they decided that he meant concentrate on the right side of the chest - completely wrong!

Simple logic should clarify this - in order to concentrate on the right side of the chest there has to be a body as the starting point, the body is a projection of the mind which arises from consciousness, body-consciousness is the obstacle, so how can the obstacle overcome the obstacle. It is a vicious circle.

The heart centre is both the seat of dark ignorance and the Self - two sides of the same coin.


Forum advice, news & etiquette / Re: Rules?
« on: April 21, 2010, 09:15:43 PM »
Dear Robert,

I have refrained from responding to your query because it only creates controversy. But I made the rule for some very good reasons.

As the title of this forum states, it is dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Arunachala is reputed to be Lord Siva incarnate in the form of a mountain and just being here is a blessing itself. Bhagavan was without doubt a real Jnani of the highest order. His words are available to everyone, in a clear and precise manner that go straight to the heart. The puranas are also there to be read and absorbed.

It is my view and that of thousands of others, that no further elucidation is required, but there are always exceptions.

So now we come to my responsibility.

In my fourteen years of coming to Arunachala, 11 of which were spent inside the ashram, I witnessed the antics of many of these modern gurus, heard the stories of lust, greed and power and saw many things that deeply disturbed me, but it is not my job to stand in judgement of others, there is power far higher than me that will and does do that, as we have often witnessed here.

This website in both its incarnations as and is considered to be something of a reference site and therefore has a responsibility to its visitors to neither knowingly or inadvertently lead them in the wrong direction.

Finally and perhaps most important:

It is said that to help someone to overcome the cycle of birth and death is the greatest service that you can render to God. It is also said that to disturb someone's faith in God is the one crime that is never forgiven. So I selfishly took the decision to limit the site and forum to the subjects listed above, all of which are safe.


General Discussion / Re: Ramanashram cooking
« on: March 25, 2010, 08:23:00 PM »
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 227


Four days ago, we received a copy of Grihalakshmi, a monthly journal. Bhagavan was turning over the pages and laughing to himself. I thought there must be something amusing in it. While going out, Bhagavan gave me the journal and said with a laugh, “The greatness of garlic is described in it. Please read it.” On bringing it home and reading it, I found that there was in it a description of how to cook garlic, how to make pickles out of it, how to make chutneys and in conclusion it was stated that there is nothing equal to it in its greatness and its benefit to the body. I could not help laughing when I read it. I then understood why Bhagavan was laughing while he was reading it. In the afternoon at 2-30 when I went to Bhagavan’s presence, Bhagavan smiled on seeing me. No sooner did I step into the hall than he said, “Well, did you read about the greatness of garlic? Was there not also a verse?” I replied, “Yes, I have read it. There is a saying amongst us that the good which garlic can do, even a mother cannot do. That verse expresses the same sentiment.”

Bhagavan: “Such a saying is prevalent in this part of the country also. People say it is very good for health. Really it is so. It removes rheumatism and gives strength to the body. For children it acts like amrit (nectar). Garlic is also known as amrit.”

Devotee: “How did it get that name?”

Bhagavan: “There is a curious story about it. As is well known, when gods (devas) and demons (rakshasas) churned the ocean, amrit came out of it. When the rakshasas were running away with the vessel containing amrit, devas appealed to Vishnu. Vishnu came on the scene in the shape of Mohini (Enchantress), and offered to resolve their quarrel by serving amrit to them all. They agreed. While serving it to the gods first, it appeared that there might not be enough to go round for the demons and so one of the latter got into the line of the gods unobserved by Mohini and was swallowing the amrit, when the Sun and the Moon noticed it and gave her the hint. She threw the ladle, with which the amrit was being served, at the demon. The ladle became the Chakra (an invincible lethal weapon of Vishnu) and cut off his head, but as amrit had already gone down his throat, the head became a graha (planet) and has since been taking vengeance on the Sun and the Moon at the time of an eclipse. That is the story.

Now, when the head of the demon was severed, the trunk fell down and, in the process, a few drops of amrit also fell on the ground, and it is said that those drops became the garlic plant. That is why it is said that garlic has some of the properties of amrit. It is very good for the body. But since it also has the touch of the demon, it has tamasic qualities too, which affect the mind, if eaten. Hence it is forbidden for sadhakas.”

Devotee: “Are not horseradish (mullangi) and drumsticks also forbidden for sadhakas?”

Bhagavan: “Yes. Watermelon, horseradish, drumsticks, onions and other similar vegetables are forbidden. The mind will be clear and pure  depending on the sort of food one eats, sattvic or otherwise. If one overeats sambar, soup and boiled vegetables one will have to belch ‘Ho Ho’ and ‘Ha Ha’ and get worried over digesting it. If, however, one eats sattvic food with only one side dish, one digests it easily and will be happy. Who pays attention to such advice?”

Devotee: “Why do they not pay attention to such advice? It is rather strange.”

Bhagavan: “That is a fact. Nobody heeds such advice. Everyone says he must bring for Bhagavan laddoos and jilebis (sweetmeats) but no one says rice and pepper water are better for Bhagavan. They bring them all for Swami. But why does Swami require all these things? Dandapani Swami was here long back. At that time the method of cooking itself was different. A big vessel used to be put on the fire. Whatever vegetables were received till noon used to be cut and put into it, boiled and sambar made. There was no ladle even to stir and mix them. We used to take a piece of firewood, chisel it and use it for stirring those vegetables in the vessel. That preparation was the only side dish. When we mixed it with rice and ate, it used to be very tasty. The labour also was comparatively less. After cooking in the Ashram grew in size, cooks had to be appointed. They used to consult me in the early days about what to cook. I used to ask them, ‘Do you have rice?’ and their reply was, ‘yes’. ‘Do you have water?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Do you have salt?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Do you have pickles?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Buttermilk?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘ If so, what else do you want?’ I used to say. After that, they ceased to ask me and now they merely tell me, ‘We will cook this and we will cook that,’ and I say, ‘Yes, yes.’ I also advise them suitably. What do I lose? I do not, however, give up my own custom, but mix all the side dishes into one before taking them. When several people gather together, they must have their way. Why should they suffer on my account?”

Registration disabled / Registration is disabled on this Forum
« on: March 24, 2010, 11:29:50 AM »
Due to a vast increase in the number of spammers - more than 92 banned this month alone, with dozens of IP's denied access to all of my sites, I have decided to suspend membership for the foreseeable future.

Anyone who is genuinely interested in Bhagavan and wants to join, should email me and I will register them.

Go to:


Security Issues / Re: Report of malware on other websites
« on: March 08, 2010, 03:36:22 PM »
Hi Akira,

Badly designed websites can be hijacked by malware which piggy-backs on the genuine URL, redirecting you to a malware site which warns you about having trojans, etc. on your computer. It then invites you to download anti-virus software which is actually Malware itself. This will then pretend to remove malware but set about stealing all of your passwords, credit card details, etc. and you will then become part of a Botnet.

The best thing to do, is to type in the URL yourself, without any code after the '/' which follows the domain name. Then search from there - for example -

The URL of this page is;topic=4709.0;num_replies=0

Type in instead and search from there.

Humour / Re: A bricklayer's tale
« on: February 19, 2010, 07:21:59 PM »
Hi Akira,

It is not the story, but the way it is told that is at the root of British humour.

Clearly the incident itself was horrific, but the writer has deliberately composed it with typical British understatement to make it humourous. It is our habit to make our disasters and mistakes appear funny.

General topics / Re: Is doing nothing meditation same as self-enquiry
« on: February 10, 2010, 08:04:31 PM »
Bhagavan gave the same instructions as every other REAL Jnani - effort is required to realise the Self.

Effort is even required to be effortless until the Sahaja state is known.

You do nothing is deep sleep, fainting, etc. these states are NOT Self-realisation. Just sitting around is NOT meditation.

The only thing that these so-called teachers are teaching, is how to effortlessly empty other people's pockets so that they can effortlessly enjoy their vices at your expense.


I have repeatedly read the Srimad Bhagavatam - the condensed English translation by S. S. Cohen, published by the ashram, and do not see any reference to Lord Krishna suffering anything. Also a lot of the points you make are inaccurate according to that version.

Cohen was and is highly respected as a Self-realised devotee of Bhagavan by many devotees - the clarity and power of his words which go straight to the heart are testimony to this.

How is it possible for the Soul of the Universe to suffer anything?

To reply to the query about the self-appointed American guru and his 'ashram' here in Tiruvannamalai.

How is it possible to award certificates for inner work that is known only to God - and why award a certificate in the first place? The answer is money, money and more money!

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