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Topics - Subramanian.R

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(September - 2016)


The Asramam intends to publish in 2016, a new, more complete translation of Living with the Master,
the popular reminiscences of Kunju Swami, a close devotee of Bhagavan.  The first four chapters of the new
translation are given below:

A blessed bee am I to hover, ever in close proximity of the lotus that is verily the twin feet of Lord Annamalai,
and drink deep of the nectar therein.  Twice blessed indeed, to partake the ambrosial grace of my Bhagavan,
Guru Ramana, who ever abiding as the Atman-Self, and also led others on the path of deliverance. It
is my fortunate lot to have thus been twice blessed.

Endowed At Boyhood with God's Gracious Gifts:

I am the third child to my parents.  Raghavan and Ponnukutti, of a middle class farming community, born
in January 1897, in the village of Cherakodu that lies between Palakkad and Chittur towns in the Kerala
region.  Until my third year, I grew up like any other child, showing nothing to mark me as being different
from any other children.

After that I would, it seems, sit quiet in some place, neither joining other children of my age in play nor
crying or throwing those childish tantrums.  This uncharacteristic behavior of mine naturally puzzled my
father who then showed my horoscope to my maternal uncle, an expert astrologer.  My father wanted him
to divine the planetary influences that would account for my odd behavior.   
On perusing my horoscope this uncle of mine was struck with wonder and delight!  He said to my father,
'To beget a child such as this one, so full of the wealth of divinity, is more than what our family of modest
standing deserves!  Therefore, in bringing up this child, you should show every care in matters of food
and ceremonial cleanliness.'  My father was much pleased to hear this pronouncement.  He was well
learned in Vedantic texts such as Kaivalya Navaneetham.  On the other hand, he evinced a clean interest
in philosophic texts of Vedanta and, on the other, held a deep faith in God.


Arunachala Siva.             

Among various human relations, the most intimate, sacred and deep rooted is the one with the mother.
While all other relations are characterized by an element of mutual expectation, the relationship with
mother is based on pure love and devoid of any expectation.  There is no parallel anywhere to the profundities
of mother's love.  Mother's love is limitless, sublime, unconditional, magnanimous and well enduring.
No words can give adequate expression to the overwhelming flow of love that springs from the heart of a mother. Her son or daughter would have risen high as a towering spiritual leader or as a universal Guru but that makes no difference for the free flow of love between the mother and daughter or son.  It is a divine
relation that cuts through all barriers.  It is unique and no other love can equal it, not even that of God.
Perhaps, that was why God Siva himself manifested as a mother to a daughter.  It is said that Lord
Siva cannot physically be present in a perceivable form 'as Himself' whenever and whatever His devotees
look for Him and that is the reason He manifested as a human mother to bestow His love and care to all
His devotees at all times. Because Lord Siva manifested as a mother, to take care of a pregnant daughter,
He came to be known as Thayumanavar or Mathrubuteswar (the Lord who became the Mother).  The legend
of Thayumana Swamy is a moving illustration of the motherly love and compassion bestowed by Lord
Siva on His devotees.

(This is according to the legend Ratnavati, a great female devotee of Lord Siva, who was pregnant
and as was customary, she returned to her mother's house situated north of Kaveri River for delivery.
One day, while her mother had gone to Tiruchirapalli, across the river, Ratnavati felt her labor
pains.  Alone at home she cried for help.  Soon her mother came and attended to her delivery. Actually
her real mother was stuck across due to the flood.  When the flood receded, she returned home and saw
the happy face of Ratnavati with her baby.  Pleasantly surprised, she asked her daughter who had helped
her for the delivery, 'You yourself came and helped!', said the daughter who had helped her in delivery,
'You yourself came and helped!', said the daughter.  But her mother said,  'I have only just returned!'
It then dawned on them that Lord Siva Himself had incarnated as her mother  (Thayum Anavar).
For Lord Siva, who has manifested in different forms at different times, perhaps this incarnation as
a mother truly reflects His divine qualities of love and compassion.  Lord Thayumanavar, continues to bless
His devotees from the Rock Fort Matrubhuteswarar temple complex constructed in the 6th century
at Tiruchirapalli.)   

Arunachala Siva. 

General Discussion / Punar vasu star day - 29.8.2016
« on: August 29, 2016, 12:40:46 PM »
Today is the Punar vasu star day of the month of Sravana.  Sri Bhagavan was born on the punar vasu
star day in the month of Margazhi. 

The Asramam celebrates every Punarvasu star day with special abhishekam, alankaram and arti
for Sri Ramaneswara Maha Lingam, followed by lunch with sweets.

Sri Rama was also born on the punav vasu day.

Sri Muruganar has written a decade called Punar vasu vaNNam, praising the star punar vasu.

Arunachala Siva.   -

General topics / Sri Andal Birth Day - Aashad Pooram star day.
« on: August 05, 2016, 03:46:08 PM »
Today Andal is said to have 'born' in the world.  She was not born of any parents, but was merely
found out by Periyazhwar, her foster father. It was in Srivilliputtur, in South India.

She, from her young age, wanted to marry Sri Rangantha, Maha Vishnu in Sri Rangam. 

She used to wear the garlands made by her father, on  to herself and imagined her to be the bride of
Ranganatha.  Once it was found out by her father and he chided her.  Then he made another garland
and took it to the temple.  However Mahavishnu in Srivilliputtur temple, refused to wear it and the
garland fell down.  Periyazhwar then heard a voice, that the Lord would wear only the garland worn
by Andal.

At the suitable age, her father took her to Sri Rangam, and there she merged with Sri Ranganatha.

Her poems are quite charming.  The Tiruppavai is the most famous one. This collection of 30
songs are sung every day in the month of Margazhi.  This is sung along with Tiruvembavai of
Manikkavchagar in Margazhi.  The scheme was first suggested by Kanchi Mahaswami.

One song from Tiruppavai:

மார்கழித் திங்கள் மதி நிறைந்த நன்னாளால்
நீராடப் போதுவீர் போதுமினோ நேரிழையீர்
சீர் மல்கும் ஆய்ப்பாடிச் செல்வச் சிறுமீர்காள்
கூர்வேல் கொடுந்தொழிலன் நந்தகோபன் குமரன்
ஏரார்ந்த கண்ணி யசோதை இளம் சிங்கம்
கார் மேனி செங்கண் கதிர் மதியம் போல் முகத்தான்
நாராயணனே நமக்கே பறை தருவான்
பாரோர் புகழப் படிந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்

Arunachala Siva.     

General Discussion / Kavya Kanta Ganapati Muni Day - 25.07.2016
« on: July 25, 2016, 03:02:04 PM »
Today is the liberation day of Kavya Kanta Ganapati Muni.   He attained Sri Bhagavan's Feet, when he
was touring North India. 

He came to Sri Bhagavan when his mind was not content, in spite of reading all Puranas and various
books on Hindu philosophy.   He came to Sri Bhagavan and held His Feet with his both the hands
and asked Him to solve the problem.  Sri Bhagavan said:  Find out from where the mantra dvani
arises, and hold on to the place.  You will greatly relieved.

Sri Kavya Kanta Ganapati Muni was quite pleased and told everyone that Sri Bhagavan was his Guru.

There are many books on life of Kavya Kanta Muni.  Readers can go through them to know more about him.


Arunachala Siva.

General topics / H.C. KHANNA DAY - 21.07.2016
« on: July 23, 2016, 01:08:28 PM »
Today is H.C. Khanna's Liberation Day.

Mr. H.C. Khanna came with his family sometime around May- June 1946 to have darshan
of Sri Bhagavan.  He asked many questions to Sri Bhagavan, inter alia, how to remove the
idea that the body is not the Self and how to keep the Self in Heart while doing occupation.
He had come from Kanpur.  His wife was an illiterate and had seven children.  She asked
how to do self inquiry with all the family chores.  Sri Bhagavan answered them with great
patience and compassion;

The family returned to Kanpur after a few days.  Perhaps Khanna must have come several
times to Sri Bhagavan after the first visit and should have done self inquiry, thoroughly. 
He attained Liberation later in course of time. 

His Samadhi is in Kurangu Thottam along with those of Cohen, Chadwick and Lucy Ma's Mother. 

There is not much reference about Khanna except in Day by Day of Devaraja Mudaliar in three places.

I met Khanna's son and his sons and daughters-in-law sometime during one of my visits to the
Asramam.  He said that he comes with his family every year once on his father's liberation day.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Guru Poornima Day - 19.07.2016
« on: July 19, 2016, 11:12:06 AM »
Today is Guru Poornima Day.  It is also called Vyasa Puja Day.

The first Guru is called Vyasa or by some as Sri Dakshinmurti.

Today the disciples / devotees pray to Guru for having given them the way to the Truth. 

Our Guru is Guru Sri Ramana.  Let us all pray to Him for having given us the way to the Truth.

Let His name live for ever.

There will be perhaps, special pujas for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam.  There will be special
abhishekam and alankaram, followed by special arti for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam.

kuRRam muRRum aRuthenaik Gunamaaip PanithaaL
  Guru uruvaai oLir Arunachala!

- Verse 19 of Arunachala Akshara Mana Maalai.

Arunachala Siva.   

My wife Anu, dropped me off at Dulles International Airport. Washington D.C.  Four weeks earlier we
been sitting in our Puja Room in our house in Vienna, Virginia discussing the plans for our India trip in
July 2010, in connection with the Upanayanam of my brother's son as well as the Sathabhishekam celebrations
of my father.     

I mentioned that it would be unlikely that I would be able to visit Arunachala until 2011. As a self employed
physician I could never afford to take more than ten days off from work at a single time.  Each trip to India
represented an enormous expense since I had to continue paying the practice expenses and payroll while
effectively earning no money and at the same time incurring additional expenses while in India.  Thus I have
to earn and save money for each trip. I had already made a trip to Pune in May 2009, I had resigned myself
to mental contemplation of the only place that I truly call my home.

As I spoke these words my gaze moved to the picture of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.   The gentle countenace
smiled back at me as if relishing a secret joke.


Arunachala Siva.         

Quarreling with the Lord - Neera Kashyap:


The rubber tree glimmers in fragrant rain,
dust sliding back to earth in pouring notes.
Grim greyness leaves to green limp veins, ribs, blades;
wet breathing pores, refreshed with clemency.

Arrive so I forget when you depart.
Arrive so I forget when you hit out
with your unkind departures, exits free.
Arrive so I forgive, forget, abide.

This dance is not just mine but yours, my foe.
This dance is not just ours but Time's to move,
unspooling clouds of film to fill the hours
so Time dissolves, instilling hearts with peace.

To crowd today with thoughts of your goodbyes.
To crowd today with thoughts of endless Time
is greyness; the dance of rain unheeding
the stealing back of grey, of grime, of thirst.

The spool unfolds the hues of dusty breath.
The spool unfolds the hues of endless thought.
For brown a scarred hill, raging red for prey;
the clean of green departs, the screen remains.

Then why do I romance with you, my foe?
Then why do I romance with you in dreams?
Enfolding sleep where thoughts no longer flow.
Then stilling colours all, the Screen remains.


Arunachala Siva.                 

(The following essay is a Book Extract from Yoga and the Sacred Fire: Self Realization and Planetary
Transformation, published by Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, U.S.A.)


Imagines for a moment - as in the Isaac Asimov movie and science fiction novel, Fantastic Yoga -
that you are reduced in size to a miniscule level, placed inside a human body in a microscopic
vessel and begin to travel through it.  You would see blood and fluid, perhaps noting larger tissues
and organs.  You might consider that a blood vessel was simply a river or that the cells in the body
were creatures in their own right, with tissues and organs as lands and mountains.  Confronted by
the diversity of forms inside the organism, you would not perceive the overall organism.  You would
not even imagine that these apparently different entities were part of a single person with its own
consciousness who could travel at will, carrying them along as part of his own greater individuality.

We are in the same position as individuals in the conscious universe.  We do not perceive the greater
cosmic being but only the smaller objects or entities within it, the forms and creatures of our external
environment.  As creatures ourselves, we look at the universe from the inside like mere cells in a greater
organism.  We miss the overall being, the Divinity that exists at a vaster level than all we perceive.
We exaggerate our own independence and importance, thinking that we are real in our own rights
rather than just small parts of a totality that extends far beyond us.

However, those who live in harmony with nature, from animals to tribal peoples, so those who practice
deep meditation, are aware that they are part of a greater cosmic organism, that they are cells in the
body of God.  In this regard they have much to teach us about the real structure of the universe,
in which everything is part of a greater whole that is alive and aware.


Arunachala Siva       

My first darshan of Sri Bhagavan was in May 1942, when I was twenty six years old.  Though I had been
to Chidambaram several times as a student pursuing my Bachelor of Science, I had not the opportunity
to see Bhagavan in spite of my desire after I knew of the Sage in 1935.

It was only after my marriage with Rukmani, daughter of Gridhalur Satya Narayana Rao, the brother of
Sambasiva Rao from Nellore, who were great devotees of Bhagavan, that my association with Him began.
It was also I feel, by the blessings of Bhagavan that our alliance was finalized as we had no horoscope  for
me and Rukmani's family were also strong believers in astrology.

The quite arresting very first darshan of Bhagavan clearly distinguished Him from all other saints and
sadhus I had seen before.  He seemed to live apart from the physical form and was quite detached from it.
His look had a remarkable spiritual charm that absorbed the attention of all with magnetic force.  When
He spoke, the words seemed to come out of an abyss. One could see immaculate purity and non attachment.
His movements were very refined, lofty and sacred.  In His vicinity one's mental distractions were over powered by a pervasive austere and potent calmness.

The unique bliss of His was directly experienced by all, that is, there was a blissful  atmosphere around
Bhagavan.  In the ecstasy of Grace one loses one's separate individuality and there remains  something
holy and all pervading which devoured one's personality!  This indeed is the Spirit of Arunachala which
swallows up the whole Universe by its gracious effulgence.


Arunachala Siva.       

Today is the Maha Puja (Liberation Day) of Mother Azhagammal.  She attained Liberation on this day
at Skandasramam.  While she was in her last hours, Bhagavan placed His hands on the head and on the
chest and caused her various vasanas to become extinguished.  Then He made her incoming breath
to merge in the Heart and thus she attained Liberation. ( Krishna Paksha -Navami)

There will be special abhishekam, alankaram and arti for the Matrubhuteswarar Lingam and also to
the deity in the same premises.

This will be followed by good lunch with sweets.

Arunachala Siva. 

(This article by Dennis Waite is a book excerpt.  This appears in April -June 2016 of Mountain Path.)

Theories of Creation:

A-U-M, Awakening to Reality, is a study of the Mandukya Upanishad and the  215 verse commentary
(Karikas) by Gaudapda, the Paramaguru of Adi Sankara.  Dennis Waite has become one of the leading lights
in the West with his clear and judicious approach to Advaita.  He has published a number of authoritative
books on Advaita and this latest book  now being excerpted in the magazine, is best available for seekers
who are looking for a reliable overview of traditional Advaita.


This is the topic most often associated with Gaudapada's work, with elements of the discussion occurring in
all four chapters, despite the fact that it does not occur explicitly in the Upanishad itself.   He introduces the
subject in Karika 1.6. although Karika 1.6-9 are ostensibly commentary on the sixth mantra of the Upanishad,
which talks about the macrocosmic aspect of the deep sleep state - Ishvara.  He addresses only the second
part of this mantra, which says 'This is the source of everything; assuredly the place of the arising and dissolution of all beings.'


Arunachala Siva.                       


I wanted to write each verse of Tiruvachakam in Tamizh and then give the meanings in English.
Earlier when I covered Tiruvachakam and Tirukkoviayar (Scripture 8 of Saiva Canons, I did not
cover all the verses. 

Now with Bhagavan's approval, I propose to cover each verse with meanings in English.

I am reserving the first four long poems for later period.

Now I am starting with Tiruch Chadgakam.  This contains 100 verses. This was written by the poet saint
Manikkavchagar in Tirup Perundruai.

The hundred verses are divided into 10 parts of 10 verses each.  The first part is named Bhakti Vairagya
Vichitiram, i.e. the strange aspects of Bhakti and Vairagya.  The first ten verses are also called
Mey Unarthal, i.e understanding the Truth.

MEY UNARTHAL: (Realizing the Truth)

Verse 1: (1)

மெய்தான் அரும்பி விதிர்விதிர்த் துன்விரை
கைதான் தலைவைத்துக் கண்ணீர் ததும்பி
பொய்தான் தவிர்ந்துன்னைப் போற்றி சயசய
கைதான் நெகிழ விடேன்உடை யாய்என்னைக்

When I approach Your fragrant feet, my body shudders. The body has horripilation. The body gets shivers.
I am keeping my two hands on my head and I pray to You.  The tears gushes out from my eyes.  There is
a strange heat in my body and mind.   I have  kept that Ullam (mind) as Your temple and so all worldly
matters leave it flying.  I am using my tongue only to praise You.  I say that your two feet should have more
and more glory.  O Esa (God), the very fact that I seek Your feet, is itself a good path, Sanmarga. I shall
never go astray from that good path. I am Your property. And You are the Owner.  You are Sarvajna -
all knowing. You know everything.  Hence You only know how much I have reformed to reach You.
My good conduct  will be to act as Your Will.


Arunachala Siva.             



In 1975, at the age of 27,  I experienced a spiritual rebirth during a long hitchhike through the U.S. and
Canada.  The first phase was seeing a brighter side of life and people as basically good and benevolent
rather than, as i had thought prior to the journey, evil and selfish.  This attitude had been partly the result
of reading the newspapers too much and listening to daily news -broadcasts about disasters and the
deceitful behavior of people. I had become a cynical pessimist.

My renewed interest in spirituality came through Eastern influences that proved a refreshing relief from
the hell-fire and damnation that was the message received from the religion of my childhood.  I began
reading many books from various sources including the Sankhya philosophy of Hinduism and popular
Western works on Eastern philosophy and religion.  Alan Watts' beautiful works on the playfulness of God
especially inspired me. I learned of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda but was never
able to find it in the time in the Western bookstores I searched, though it must have been there.  At a later
date the book did come into my life and exerted a powerful influence.


Arunachala Siva.           

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