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Topics - Subramanian.R

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(The English prose rendering is by Swami Tanmayananda Sarasvati Swmigal.)


The Advaitic work Maharaja Turavu was originally composed in Sanskrit.  It narrates the story told by Maharshi Suta Muni to
the ascetics of Naimisaranya forest in the present day state of Uttar Pradesh. Much later, medieval saint Sri Kumaradeva Swamigal
rendered this work in exquisite Tamizh poetry for the benefit of Tamizh speaking devotees and seekers.  In the Karaikudi Kovilur
Math teaching tradition of Vedanta, established about 180 years ago, by Srilasri Muktiramalinga Jnandesika Swamigal, this work
is the fourth in the syllabus list of canonical texts numbering sixteen.  Great sages like Tattuvarayar, Tandavarayar, Ulaganatha
Swamigal, Sivaprakasar, Santalinganar and others have rendered these texts in chaste Tamizh poetry, capturing in elaborate
detail and depth the great truths of Vedanta found in Sanskrit texts.  Not merely being translations, these compositions rival
their Sanskrit precursors in richness and depth and are treated on par with them as an independent original classics.  The first
three texts (Naanaa Jiva Vaada Kattalai, Geetha Saara Thaalattu and Sasivanna Bodham) give the essence of Advaita Vedanta
while the next three beginning with Maharaja Turavu and Vairagya Satakam, Vairgaya Deepam focus on the methods and analysis
to strengthen the seeker's dispassion which is indispensable for spiritual sadhana.

The author of Maharaja Turavu, meaning the Renunciation of the great King, (by name Maharajan) is Sri Kumaradeva Swamigal,
who was himself a Mahayogi and a Jivanmukta.  In a sense, the text has a touch of an autobiographical flavor because he himself
was originally a king of large province in the present day state of Karnataka following the Veera Saiva tradition.  He had
renounced everything out of dispassion, with the intense intent of gaining Self Knowledge.  Searching for a guru, he came
all the way to south Tamizh Nadu near Coimbatore and surrendered at the feet of Peraiyur Santalinga Swamigal, who was
an illustrious enlightened sage.

After serving the master for some time, and passing all his tests of conduct and ripeness for renunciation, he received from hims
esoteric instruction in yoga sadhana and Vedanta Vichara.  In due course, his intense sadhana culminated in spiritual illumination,
as recognized by his guru himself, who was most pleased by the achievements of his eminent disciple.  One day Sri Santalinga
Swamigal called Sri Kumaradeva and after giving him the new title of Maharaja, he bade him farewell, instructing him to go and live
henceforth in Vriddhachalam, as an independent Guru. 

This is similar to the story of the other famed sage of Arunachala, Guhai Namasivaya Swamigal who commanded his enlightened
disciple, Guru Namasivaya Swamigal, to go away from him and live in Chidambaram, saying that 'two mighty elephants cannot be
tethered in the same post!'


Arunachala Siva.               


On the Hill above the path leading to Skandasramam, I found a hideout, a flat place, for a few yards, among the rocks
surrounded by boulders and shrubs like a screen.  I would lie down there, a clump of scented grass for a pillow, meditating
and watching the sun rise heralded by a rosy then crimson foreglow.  One memorable dawn the sun appeared under the
horizon and in a breathless moment entered the earth through me.  I became the earth, a blissfully slumbering earth. 
Trampled upon by all sorts of creatures, all sorts of vehicles moving on the surface, cars rushing at high speed, the earth -
myself and everything on it completely unaffected, at peace in a state of indescribably blissful awakened slumber which
continued, though everything came to life quickened by the sun.  This description is inadequate.  The blissful slumber, its
best remembered feature.  'The earth meditates as it were', I read somewhere.  The earth is alive.

Another morning, Bhagavan was perusing the mail brought from the Asramam Office, scrutinizing even the envelopes. I
was sitting a few yards away meditating and was flooded with light in ecstasy, blissful well being, in waves. It was not
steady.  Busy as Bhagavan was, He at once turned His luminous eyes on me as if trying to help, letters and the rest
seemingly forgotten.  How did He know busy and surrounded with people from the office?  How could He not know?

Bhagavan the indweller in hearts.
Like a hawk whose wings
Darkened the sky
Thou pouncest on me
A worm in the dust             
To carry me off'
Into limitless all knowing radiance.
Lost in Freedom, Resplendence Bliss
In ecstasy undreamt of
I lost myself
I found THYSELF.

In the early years, long before the books on the Maharshi were written, we were sitting one evening, as usual in the Hall
after the Vedic chantings were over. It used to be a truly wonderful hour of perfect eloquent Silence 'cur cares thrown among
the lilies'.  The Maharshi calls such Silence the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words, more potent and vast than all
the Sastras put together. So eager were the devotees not to miss this best hour of the day that when the Asramam manager
(Sarvadhikari) gave an order sometime later for women devotees to leave the premises before dark, one of them, a French
women devotees, sat down among men in man's garb with a shaven head.  Well, usually one would sit down and meditate
with closed eyes but that evening I could not turn them away from Bhagavan's face,  so movingly beautiful, so pure and radiant,
it gripped the heart with its innocence and unfathomable wisdom.  Could anything, anyone be nearer, dearer?  Suddenly in a
moment, an indescribable tenderness He was in my heart.  He became my heart.  Whether still seated on the couch or not I
do not know buy I do know that He was the very core of my being,  the I AM.  And so He always is but we do not always know.
Later I came across such statements with a thrill of recognition that it was so, it was true.


Arunachala Siva.                 

This is an extract from Paduturai (Reposing on the shore of Peace), a work that includes Tattuvaraya's teachings, praise of his
Guru Sorupananda, and many expressions of his own enlightened state. The translations are by Robert Butler, Dr. T.V. Venkata-
subramanian and David Godman. 

Paduturai - NenjiRku Amaivurai [Advice to the heart on being still)

1.  Heart of mine!  Hunger will be appeased even if one consumes unsalted, watery gruel.  Thirst can be quenched by drinking
water from wells, tanks, and rivers.  Supporting yourself in this way, be satisfied and be still.  Even if you  get up and rush around
[looking for food], will the rewards be different or better than what is ordained for you?

2. Heart of mine!  Even if the whole land is full of sumptuous food, consisting of rich curry, seasoned with many condiments, milk,
ghee, fruits and rice -- if your prarabdha does not permit you to eat them, either through illness or for other reasons, will it not
speedily annul all those enjoyments for you?

3. Heart of mine!  The six delicious flavors exist only in the tip of the tongue. It extent is two finer breadths and no more. When
you were not able to cross slowly this two finger breadth, you will still go forth and cross the tumultuous ocean.

Note: 'When you are not able to cross slowly' means 'when you are not able to transcend or go beyond'.  It is a common image
in Tamizh poetry that food is only attractive and appealing when it is in contact with this narrow zone on the tongue.  Once it has
been swallowed, processed by the body, and ejected either as vomit or excrement, it no longer holds any attraction.

4.  Heart of mine!  Greatly desiring a well tuned out  appearance, you suffer a great deal, running around to earn wealth for
that purpose. Even if you get it, though, don't you realize the trouble that will arise from washermen, rats, the need to find a safe
place where they will not get stolen, and other such matters?

5.  When cold weather comes there already exist ragged clothing, white ashes, mountain caves and many desolate temples [for
shelter and warmth]. And in the sweltering heat of summer, even a loin cloth is a burden.  This alone is the function of clothes.

Notes: Sadhus use wood ash to keep themselves warm in winter,

6. Heart of mine! Be yourself and remain still. By running about thinking about your food, and then being disappointed at not
getting it, you have brought a lot of trouble upon yourself.  People of the lowest kind will tire their legs for the sake of appeasing
burning hunger.  But will not those who are wise, remain settled in stillness?

7.  Mind of mine!  Instead of remaining satisfied with what you get, wherever you get it, thinking it sufficient, you get up, not
giving yourself the time to blink, and run around.  Realize that this is the seed of a poverty that can be eradicated.  It is also
the veiling [that will appear in or cause] the next birth.

8. A cow will seek out the apparent (lushness of the ) greenery on the opposing river bank, [preferring it] to the one that it is on,
and do this repeatedly.  My heart, in much the same way, your reward for this kind of activity is only running about, wandering
around and getting distressed.

9. The hallmark  of  greatness is to stand firm where one is, and face up to whatever comes one's way, is it not?  Wretched and
foolish heart, even if you go to the doors of those who are sweet like nectar, they will not extend their hospitality.  Know that
this is the nature of things. See if it is not.

10.  Those who have understood the world have truly declared through their understanding, that for the wise the body is an
affliction.  Even if you renounce all of the possessions you own, and are associated with, having love for unreal body, my heart,
is getting deluded again.


Arunachala Siva.     



The latest issue of Mountain Path (April-June 2013) has got some interesting news for Sri Bhagavan's devotees:

1. The vachanas (blank verses) of Veera Saiva Saints, are being translated by one Savithri Krishnan. I think this will
be published in a series of articles.

2.  Ozhivil Odukkam, the translation of which was stopped after 38 verses (which I am continuing with my own limited
knowledge) is going to be serialized by Robert Butler and S. Ram Mohan from this issue.

3. 'Conscious Immortality' a book by Paul Brunton which was earlier published by the Asramam, but reprints stopped after
1996, is going to be printed and published by the Asramam soon.

4. The Morvi Guest House renovation and rebuilding has been completed with 59 rooms, with car parking facility for
20 cars.  Hot water facility for bath is made available for each room.  This will provide accommodation for more than 100
guests in future.  The Morvi Compound was not available for more than 1 year earlier.

Arunachala Siva.         


This is from Lucia Osborne:

When someone asked Sri Bhagavan what the greatest miracle in this world is, He replied that it was the human body.  'It
is insentient like a log of wood and yet behaves as if it was individual being.  It is the Self which illumines it and gives it
some intelligence and understanding but the light is mixed with the tamasic propensities of the body.  We only function
by the Light of the Self mixed with darkness. Like electric bulbs in various stages of cleanliness and of different voltage
which come to life (light) when the electric current passes through them.  The current is the same in all. Christ - Brahman,
the Self in one's heart.'

On another occasion, He said: 'Everything is unreal, like dream objects. A Jnani's job is to awaken the ignorant to the fact
that what they see and feel is unreal and the Reality is their own Being.  This can be compared to an elephant dreaming of a
lion and suddenly waking up and finding that the lion is unreal and that it alone is real.  The elephant is the Jiva or individual,
the dream is the unreal world, and the lion is the Jnani or Guru. The Guru is the link between the unreal and the Real."

"Is it not ignorance to know everything else without knowing the Self which is the Source of knowledge?"

'What is neither knowledge nor ignorance is Real Knowledge.  Knowledge of objects cannot be knowledge.  The self which
shines without there being anything else to know or be known is knowledge. Know that it is not nothingness.'


Arunachala Siva.         


Today is the Punarvasu star day of the month of Chitrai.  Punarvasu is the birth star of Sri Bhagavan and He was born on this
star in the Tamizh month of Margazhi.  Every month on the punarvasu star day, special pujas are done in the Asramam for
Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam with golden casket adorning the Lingam.  Punarvasu is a gold colored star.  Sri Rama was also born
in this Chitra Punarvasu star day but Sri Rama Navami is celebrated tomorrow taking the moon digit of Navami.

Muruganar has composed verses under the title punarvasu vannam (the glory of punarvasu).  I have given in this blog already
the meaning of these verses sometime back. 

Today I shall give one verse from Tiruk kaN nokkam (The Gaze of the Divine Eye) from Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai.  The verses
1612 to 1643 are Tiruk kaN nokkam.  The title means looking into the divine eyes of Sri Bhagavan in order to attain liberation.
In every verse, Muruganar exhorts devotees to take up this practice of looking into Sri Bhagavan's eyes.  Muruganar says how
he himself was liberated by a grace filled look from Bhagavan.

Verse 1612:

You whose eyes are blue water lilies!
Have you not seen with those very eyes
the tree of true Jnana that,
though rooted in the earth in beauty,
bestows the glance of grace?
With mighty shoulders branching out
he casts his glance
upon the beings of the world!
With Venkata, this wish fulfilling tree of heaven,
let us play kaNNokkam.

(Tr. T.V. Venkatasubramanian, Robert Butler and David Godman)


Arunachala Siva.       


Major Chadwick (Sadhu Arunachala) merged in Sri Bhagavan on this day in the year 1962.  His Samadhi is in Korangu Thottam
(Monkey Gardens), adjacent to the Asramam.  There are four Samadhis there, Cohen's, Chadwick's, Khanna's and Lucy Ma's.

Chadwick was ripe and ready when he came to Sri Ramanasramam in 1935. It was the culmination or fruit of his sadhana
from 1919 onwards. In that year, someone presented him with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.  From then on this book had
been his constant companion. From 1924, while staying in Chile in South America, he evolved something akin to self inquiry
for his sadhana.  The form of mediation he used to practice was 'to make the mind clear from thinking as an individual and just
rest in the Godhead.'  However, he had a strong urge to find a spiritual master and receive his grace. But it was only in 1934,
while he was in Hungary, he felt that India would be the best place for the fulfillment of his desire.  Soon thereafter, while he
was on a tour to Spain, he was invited for lunch by a widow of an Englishman.  After lunch she gave him a copy of Paul Brunton's
Search in Secret India, remarking, 'Take it and read it and it would be of interest to you.'  This book was literally God-sent
for Chadwick.  He felt strongly that Sri Ramana alone was his Sadguru for whom he had been longing.  He immediately sold all
his belongings, paid a short visit to his sisters in England and made a bee-line to Arunachala. It was an early morning in 1935.

Very soon at about 7 am. he had his first darsan of Sri Bhagavan in the Old Hall.  At once he was captivated by Sri Ramana's
beauty whose aura was visible.  "His hands were most delicate, His features regular and His eyes were a wonder,"  He
wrote later.

Chadwick found it difficult to believe that he was meeting his Master for the first time. He could feel Sri Bhagavan's grace
straightaway and a tremendous peace in His Presence.  One can well understand this in the light of a later remark of Sri
Bhagavan, 'Chadwick was with us before, he was one of us. He had some desire to be born in the West and that has
now been fulfilled.'

Chadwick was a vegetarian right from the beginning. This is very unnatural for a Westerner.  In the early days Chadwick
used to live in the big guest room adjoining the Asramam store room.  After a few months,  he was permitted to build a
room for himself within the Asramam itself.  He was again the first Westerner to have this boon, that is, to stay inside the

There are some important points Chadwick makes in his autobiography, 'A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi'.

Bhagavan never encouraged people who came to confess their sins. He would not allow them to continue but would shut
them up by telling them not to dwell on the past but to find out who they were now in the present.

When Chadwick informed about the 'fear' he had to experience while doing  self inquiry, Sri Bhagavan said not to fear since
it was the ego which experienced the fear as it felt it was gradually losing its grip.

Chadwick says that when one goes near Sri Bhagavan, one can feel a nice fragrance emanating from His body, though He
never used scented soap.

Chadwick also felt strongly about the efficacy of vedic chanting and he organized Veda Patasala and Sri Chakra Puja (in
Mother's Temple) after Sri Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana.

Munagala Venkataramiah writes:  Bhagavan Ramana was the greatest miracle only because He was the living Reality
but also He made the same accessible to His votaries amongst whom Chadwick stands one of the foremost.


Arunachala Siva.                             

General topics / Tamizh New Year / Malayalam Vishu - Vijaya
« on: April 13, 2013, 11:47:22 AM »

I wish all the Tamizh and Malayalam friends in the Forum a happy and prosperous and peaceful New Year, on 14.04.2013.
I also wish more and more abundant Grace of Sri Bhagavan for this year.

Arunachala Siva.     


Arunachala, the heart of the universe, is also a magic mountain.  'Just as we identify ourselves with the body so does Siva identify
Himself with Arunachala,' Sri Bhagavan explained.  In 1981, a visitor to the Asramam, Pamlea Lightbody, had an unforgettable
experience on the Hill.  It revealed itself to her as flaming white Light without beginning or end just as in the legend, according to
Arunachala Mahatmyam Siva reveled Himself to Brahma and Vishnu to end their dispute.  The one who could find the beginning or
end of the Light would be the victor.  This proved impossible.  Mortal eyes could not stand the radiance of the Light so Siva was
implored to take a form which mortal eyes behold and thus He took the form of Arunachala.

Devaraja Mudaliar, a staunch devotee, a lawyer by profession and author of Day by Day with Bhagavan and My Recollections of
Bhagavan Sri Ramana, sometimes talked in the Hall about miracles.  He was, on his own admission 'rather partial to miracles'.
Bhagavan told him the details of two miracles of which He had knowledge and added that miracle occur even now.  During the
early years of His stay on the Hill, a lady alighted from the train at Tiruvannamalai railway station at night, got into a jatka
(horse cart) and told the driver to take her to a certain street in the town.  The driver took her to an out-of-the-way place
and was about to rob her of her jewels.  In her anxiety, she called on Arunachala. Suddenly two police constables appeared
on the scene, heard her complaint, escorted her safely in the cart to her house and went away.  The lady noted down the numbers
of the two police constables and subsequently made inquiries about them intending to thank or reward them, but no such police
constables  could be traced at the police station and none of the police at Tiruvannamalai knew anything of the night's occurrence.

Bhagavan told another similar story on that occasion.  There was an elderly cripple, a relative of T.K. Sundaresa Iyer who was
very devout and used to make the circuit of Arunachala Hill in spite of his disability.  After many years' stay at Tiruvannamalai,
he once got so vexed at the treatment he received from his relatives with whom he was saying and on whom he depended, that
he decided in disgust leave Tiruvannamalai.  Before he left the outskirts of town, a young Brahmin appeared before him and, with
apparent rudeness, snatched away his crutches, saying, 'You do not deserve these.'  Miraculously he found he could walk normally.
To walk around Arunachala on crutches would have hastened his release but not if in a resentful mood.  Devaraja Mudaliar
maintained that it was Bhagavan who performed the miracles. 

When told so, Bhagavan took no notice of it.


Arunachala Siva.                 


General topics / Kumara Deva - Deepam, 2012.
« on: April 12, 2013, 06:35:15 PM »
(by Dr. T.N. Venkatasubramanian and David Godman)

Kumara Deva, a Karnataka King who renounced his throne to attain liberation, was part of a distinguished lineage of Gurus
who lived and taught in South India in the 16th and 17th centuries.  According to his hagiography, Kumara Deva had spent
his penultimate incarnation in Mallikarjuna. nowadays known as  Sri Sailam, in Andhra Pradesh.  In that life he was performing
nishkama tapas - rigorous and selfless meditation -- and directing it towards Lord Siva. He had a companion, another Sadhu
who was performing tapas alongside him.


Arunachala Siva.         

General topics / Ugadi - (New Year) - 11.04.2013
« on: April 10, 2013, 09:31:39 AM »

I wish all our Telugu and Kannada friends in the Forum, a very happy and prosperous and peaceful Ugadi tomorrow.
The connection of Telugu devotees to Sri Bhagavan dates back right from Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni and G.V. Subbaramiah.

Tomorrow many Telugu devotees will visit the Asramam and have darsan of Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam and Sri
Matrubhuteswara Lingam and Yogamba.

Arunachala Siva.


There comes a time when the Vichara, 'Who am I?' takes over and becomes all sufficient for sadhana.  Those who can do it
from the beginning are on the direct road, a shortcut.  Sri Bhagavan said that all paths lead to the Vichara, which is the royal path.

The quest for the Self, the Vichara, is a direct method superior to any other, for the moment you go deeper with the quest
for the Self , the real Self is waiting there to take you in and then your effort ceases.  In this process, all doubts and discussions
are automatically given up just as one who sleeps, forgets all his cares,

Then there would shine in the heart a wordless illumination of 'I-I', that is, there would shine on its own accord the pure Consciousness
which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having  disappeared.  If one remains still the individual sense of the
'I  am the doer' will be destroyed, This is release,

"Vichara is the process and the goal also. I AM is the goal and final Reality. To hold it with effort is Vichara.  When spontaneous
and natural it is realization."  A devotee once asked the Maharshi, 'What is the one thing, knowing which all doubts are solved?"
The reply was: Know the doubter.  If the doubter is known, doubts will not arise.


Arunachala Siva.       

(from Jayanti - 2013, Mountain Path.)

Sri Ramana Maharshi expounds a system of thought and philosophy of life which incarnates the essence of Vedantic teachings.
In Indian philosophy life can have absolutely no influence except when it is reflected in  the life of the one who expounds it.
We ought also to say that it is the life of an individual and his 'realizations' which give opportunity for the construction of a
philosophical system, when this life brings an understanding and opens a horizon which affect society as a whole and improves
the relationship amongst men.  When prophets of ancient India had attained the ultimate truths which they expressed forth in
Vedic hymns and the teaching of the Upanishads, they were looked upon as the salt of the earth, because they became lighthouses
which guide the hesitating humanity on its path.  The truths which these great beings discovered are hidden in their soul. and
what they teach mankind is only the means of penetrating into themselves to bring forth into the day the secret of treasures which
all possess.

It is this aspect of the right of each one to make his own introspection which gives dignity on man's efforts, because truth is our
legitimate inheritance. The Upanishads address themselves in these terms to all those who aspire after Truth: 'O you inheritors
of immortal bliss!'  Can anything more encouraging exist than these words of hope?  It is not in the original sin that man finds the basis
of his existence it is in the golden flame of the Light of Atman.


Arunachala Siva.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Chidambaram or Tillai:
« on: April 05, 2013, 02:31:13 PM »

This article has been taken from "It Happened Along the Kaveri" and is somewhat abridged.  The authors are Padma Seshadri
and Padama Malini Sundararaghavan.  The article has appeared in Deepam 2012, of Mountain Path.  The book mentioned above
is published by Niyogi Books, priced at Rs 795.00.


"In the night of Brahman, Nature is inert and cannot dance till Siva will it. He rises fro His rapture, and dancing sends through 
inert matter pulsing waves of awakening sound, and lo!  Master also dances, appearing as a glory round about Him.  Dancing,
He sustains its manifold phenomena.  In the fullness of time, still dancing, He destroys all forms and names by fire, and gives
new rest. This is poetry, but none less science.

                - The Dance of Siva - Ananda Coomaraswamy.


Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram, the Adal vallAn of Tillai has been praised in ecstatic songs by the four great Tamizh Saiva Saints
Tiru Jnana Sambandhar, Tiru Nauvkkarasar, Sundarmurti Swamigal and Manikkavachagar.  Other Nayanmars in the rich Tamizh
devotional tradition have also added their voice. The supremely graceful Lord Nataraja lives in the sanctum of a thousand templesin India and is equally visible in museums and art galleries all over the world.  His divine dancing form permeates and transcends the circle of
this world.  While our saints see different aspects of Siva in the form of Dakshinamurti who is said to reside on sacred Arunachala or
say, Thyagaraja of Triuvarur, it is Lord Nataraja who has captured the minds of scholars and lovers of beauty.  A modern physicist
Fritjof Capra describes an evening experience on the sea shore thus:

'As I sat on that beach my former experience came to life.  I 'saw' cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which
particles were created, and destroyed in rhythmic pulses. I 'saw' the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in
the cosmic dance of energy.  I FELT its rhythm and 'heard' its sound and at that moment I 'knew' that this was the Dance of Siva,
the Lord of Dancers..... '  (Tao of Physics, Shambhala, Boston, 2000.)

Arunachala Siva.       


Jagadish Swami merged with Sri Bhagavan on this day.  There are not many details available about him.

He came to Sri Ramanasramam, many years after Maha Nirvana of Sri Bhagavan. He practiced meditation and self inquiry in various places,
where Sri Bhagavan had stayed, like Virupaksha Cave, Skandasramam, and other places. When he took ill he came to stay in
the Asramam.  He was given a place next to the Asramam dispensary, as he had to go there everyday for medication and check up.
During one late night, he sat cross legged in Padmasana on a metal chair, (on which he was sitting normally every day) and
left his mortal coil and this was known only next morning.

Anyone having more details about him may please post.

Arunachala Siva. 

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