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91
General Discussion / Dhandi Adigal Nayanar - Guru Puja
« on: April 04, 2016, 01:36:00 PM »
Today is the liberation day of Dhandi Adigal Nayanar.

Panguni -Sadhayam star day.

I have already covered the life story of Dhandi Adigal Nayanar in my previous round of coveriing
the 63 Saints of Siva in the first round.   Please go through the same.

Arunachala Siva.

92
(An article by J. Jayaraman, (translated from Subramania Bharati.  It appears in Mountain Path,  April-
June 2016 issue.)

*** 

11. பரசிவ வெள்ளம்

உள்ளும் புறமுமாய் உள்ள தெலாந் தானாகும்
வெள்ளமொன்றுண் டாமதனைத் தெய்வமென்பார்
[வேதியரே. 1

காணுவன நெஞ்சிற் கருதுவன உட்கருத்தைப்
பேணுவன யாவும் பிறப்பதந்த வெள்ளத்தே. 2

எல்லை பிரி வற்றதுவாய் யாதெனுமோர் பற்றிலதாய்
இல்லையுள தென்றறிஞர் என்றுமய லெய்துவதாய் 3

வெட்டவெளி யாயறிவாய் வேறுபல சக்திகளைக்
கொட்டுமுகி லாயணுக்கள் கூட்டிப் பிரிப்பதுவாய். 4

தூல வணுக்களாய்ச் சூக்குமமாய்ச் சூக்குமத்திற்
சாலவுமே நுண்ணியதாய்த் தன்மையெலாந் தானாகி,5

தன்மையொன் றிலாததுவாய்த் தானே ஒரு பொருளாய்த்
தன்மைபல வுடைத்தாய்த் தான்பலவாய் நிற்பதுவே. 6

எங்குமுளான் யாவும் வலான் யாவுமறி வானெனவே
தங்குபல மதத்தோர் சாற்றுவதும் இங்கிதையே. 7

வேண்டுவோர் வேட்கையாய் வேட்பாராய் வேட்பாருக்
கீண்டுபொரு ளாயதனை யீட்டுவதாய் நிற்குமிதே. 8
காண்பார்தங் காட்சியாய்க் காண்பாராய்க் காண்பொரு
[ளாய்
மாண்பார்ந் திருக்கும்,வகுத்துரைக்க வொண்ணாதே. 9

எல்லாந் தானாகி யிரிந்திடினும் இஃதறிய
வல்லார் சிலரென்பர் வாய்மையெல்லாங் கண்டவரே. 10

மற்றிதனைக் கண்டார் மலமற்றார் துன்பமற்றார்;
பற்றிதனைக் கொண்டார் பயனைத்துங் கண்டாரே. 11

இப்பொருளைக் கண்டார் இடருக்கோர் எல்லைகண்டார்;
எப்பொருளுந் தாம்பெற்றிங் கின்பநிலை யெய்துவரே. 12

வேண்டுவ வெலாம் பெறுவார் வேண்டா ரெதனையுமற்
றீண்டுபுவி யோரவரை யீசரெனப் போற்றுவரே. 13

ஒன்றுமே வேண்டா துலகனைத்தும் ஆளுவர்காண்;
என்றுமே யிப்பொருளோ டேகாந்தத் துள்ளவரே. 14

வெள்ளமடா தம்பி விரும்பியபோ தெய்திநின
துள்ள மிசைத் தானமுத வூற்றாய்ப் பொழியுமடா! 15

யாண்டுமிந்த இன்பவெள்ளம் என்றுநின்னுள் வீழ்வதற்கே
வேண்டு முபாயம் மிகவுமெளி தாகுமடா! 16

எண்ணமிட்ட லேபோதும் எண்ணுவதே இவ்வின்பத்
தண்ணமுதை யுள்ளே ததும்பப் புரியுமடா! 17

எங்கு நிறைந்திருந்த ஈசவெள்ள மென்னகத்தே
பொங்குகின்ற தென்றெண்ணிப் போற்றி நின்றாற்
[போதுமடா! 18

யாதுமாம் ஈசவெள்ளம் என்னுள் நிரம்பியதென்
றோதுவதே போதுமதை உள்ளுவதே போதுமடா! 19

காவித் துணிவேண்டா,காற்றைச் சடைவேண்டா
பாவித்தல் போதும் பரமநிலை யெய்துதற்கே 20

சாத்திரங்கள் வேண்டா சதுமறைக ளேதுமில்லை;
தோத்திரங்க ளில்லையுளந் தொட்டுநின்றாற் போதுமடா! 21

தவமொன்று மில்லையொரு சாதனையு மில்லையடா!
சிவமொன்றே யுள்ளதெனச் சிந்தைசெய்தாற்
போதுமடா! 22

சந்ததமு மெங்குமெல்லாந் தானாகி நின்றசிவம்
வந்தெனுளே பாயுதென்று வாய்சொன்னாற் போதுமடா! 23

நித்தசிவ வெள்ள மென்னுள் வீழ்ந்து நிரம்புதென்றுன்
சித்தமிசைக் கொள்ளுஞ்சிரத்தை யொன்றே போதுமடா! 24

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

93
The question is often asked by newcomers to the Asramam:  Who is the teacher they can turn now
that Ramana Maharshi left this world in 1950?  The normal response is:  what need to look elsewhere
when Bhagavan is still here?  It is all very well for those who are convinced because of their own intimate
experience of Bhagavan's Grace but for the sceptics, more especially those who are in desperate need
of guidance, this is an unsatisfactory answer.

Al of us who are devotees of Bhagavan know there is a subtle radiance ever available if one but remains
still and listens quietly with an open heart and mind.  The fact that people come again and again is ample
proof that they do 'get' something so fulfilling that they eagerly want to return.  What is this grace that
satisfies the heart and quietens the mind.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

94
General topics / A Verse from Mountain Path - April - June 2016:
« on: March 30, 2016, 03:17:45 PM »




The following is the only verse from Mountain Path, April - June 2016:

MOUNTAIN PATH, A SONG AT FIRST LIGHT  - By Upahar:


Clouds are drifting on the hill side,
trees are singing in a morning breeze,
and you are listening to the river,
moving as the river of boundless peace.
Silence opens like a flower,
a cup of rainbows overflows within,
and you are leaning to the presence,
kneeling in the presence of the one you are.

Wandering in this realm so fair,
trust the way to lead you where it is going;
white bird sails without a care,
she trusts the wind to take her where it is blowing.

Beloved dancer in the halls of the dawn,
all being held now in your first wild light,
shining in your vision, waking to your rhythm,
all creation sways.
O, lovers of the ancient pathways,
born into beauty in the fields of grace,
I will meet you in His footsteps,
I will greet you before time begins.  I will meet you Here.

Though skies may turn and thoughts must flow,
day spin again its insubstantial story,
yet love to love will laugh and bow;
sing, here to here and now to now, the Glory.

****

Arunachala Siva. 

95
(The article is from Mountain Path, October - December 2015)


In Valmiki's Ramayana, Ravana's wife Mandodari surfaces with a single soliloquy only when her husband
has been slain by Rama - his body clothed in yellow garments and dazzling bracelets like a dark blue cloud
once riven by lightning  -- now riven by so many arrows that she cannot embrace it.  Her address to her dead
husband is a rich mixture of grief, attachment, horror, regret, awareness and acceptance.  It also echoes
the recognition of a woman -- a chief queen - who felt she was invincible through protection of her father-
King of danavas, her consort - the Lord of the Titans, and her son -- the conqueror of Indra, but in end must
stand alone, stripped of all protection barring the strength of her awareness as witness to the implacable turn
of Destiny. 

In her soliloquy, Mandodari swings between grief and pride, disbelief and objectivity, nostalgia and awareness,
-- an acute awareness of the salient causes that led to a tragedy so colossal that it wiped out an entire race.
She had taken pride in the boons that her husband won through hard penance from Brahma, the Creator
himself.  But she also displays pride in her husband's excesses, protected as he was from the power of these
boons: to instill terror in the great sages and illustrious Gandharvas, to use magic in battle, to utter insolent
threats in the presence of enemy, to rob the Gods, Asuras, and men of their daughters, to plunge the widows
of foes into mourning.  All this she tolerates because she believes in Ravana's unlimited valor and strength
-- as unsurpassed conqueror, as a support of family and attendants, as guide of the people, as savior of
the Titan race.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

96
(From The Teachings of St.John of The Cross.)

(From Jan. Mar. 2015 of Mountain Path)

St. John of the Cross, along with St. Teresa and St. Francis, is known as the grand mystic.  He was
not only a mystic and least ambitious of saints, but also a philosopher, poet, theologian and spiritual
teacher, whose life was his message.  He was orderly, systematic and clear in his writings. He had
great analytic ability and psychological insight, and followed the psychological method instead of
metaphysical.  Though a contemplative he was an active organizer and was connected with the Counter
Reformation.  Regarded as an introvertive mystic he emphasized the absence of imagery in mystical
consciousness.

Among his well known works are the The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night of the Soul, The
Spiritual Canticle and The Living Flame of Love.  Of all these, The Dark Night of the Soul is the most
original works of Saint John of the Cross.

"In his works he has touched lightly upon the lower stages of the spiritual journey but the grace
and eloquence and power with which he writes of the more ethereal realms have perhaps been
exceeded by no other mystic in all literature.  Parts of his work are beyond description.  They can only
be read with the hushed reverence of a receptive soul."

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
     

97
I am giving a selection of Guru Vachaka Kovai verses (translation):

The Unreality of the World:

31.  Like a spider that has the wonderful power to extrude the strands of its web from its mouth and then
withdraw them back there, the mind unfolds the world from within itself and then withdraws it back into
itself.

32. When the mind emerges first through the brain, and then through the senses, along with it names
and forms are pushed out from within. Conversely, when  the mind rests in the Heart, they enter and
subside there again.

33.  Through the names and forms the world appears in all its discordant diversity.  When names and forms
cease forever, it (the world) is Brahman.  A person with a limited mind masks the true God (Brahman) with
concepts of name and form, sees it as a world, and is bewildered and frightened.

34.  The world that associates with us an appearance of names and forms is as transient as a lightning
flash.  The faltering understanding 'I am the body' is he deceptive device that makes us desire the world
as if it is real, thereby entrapping us instantaneously in the powerful snare of bondage.

35.  This world phenomena consisting of dualities and trinities,  which shines because of thoughts of the
illusory mind, is like the imaginary circle traced in the air, by whirling a firebrand,  but from the point of view
of Swarupa, the fullness of intense consciousness, the dizzying spinning of the illusory mind is non existent.

36.  You worldly minded people who do not accept as true the fair and reasonable teachings of supreme Jnana
that are declared by Jnanis!  If you thoroughly examine the world, this vision mis-perceived by a jaundiced eye, this bloating out of great delusion, it is merely a deception caused by vasanas,  (the tendencies and desires of the mind). 

37. What exists is the plenitude of object free Jnana, which shines as unconditioned reality.  Like the       
erroneous perception of a person with jaundice who sees everything as yellow, this entire world appears
as an object, tat is grasped by the concept that divides the world into seer and seen.  It is a deluded view
consisting wholly of a mind that had defects such as the ego, deceit, desire and so on.       

Arunachala Siva.

98
General topics / Abhirami Andati - verses and meanings:
« on: March 18, 2016, 02:32:59 PM »
Abhirami Andati is a poem of 101 verses by one great devotee of Mother Abhirami in Tiruk Kadaiyur.
It is written by one Abhirami Bhattar, his real name is Subramanian.  He was an archaka in Abhirami
Temple in Tiruk Kadaiyur near Mayuram. He was ever in a trance, seeing the Mother before him. 
People in the town called him a madcap.  Once Serfoji Mahrajah who was ruling Thanjavur and nearby
areas, came to the Temple after taking bath in sea near Mayuram, on a New moon day in  the month of
Pushya.  He saw this priest Abhirami Bhattar in a trance and he thought that Bhattar was  sleeping in
the Temple without even seeing the Maharajah and saluting him by standing. The other priests called
him a madcap.  The Maharajah asked Abhirami Bhattar what day it was.  Bhattar who was ever in the
full moon like presence of Mother replied: 'Today is a full moon day.' 

The Maharajah got angry and told him:  If you do not show me the full moon this evening, you will be killed
by falling into a fire.  Accordingly, he tied him on a pillar of wood, with burning fire at the foot of the pillar.

In the evening, not worrying about falling into the fire,  Bhattar sang this wonderful poem of 101 verses.         
When he was singing the 76th verse, Mother Abhirami came on the sky and threw her ear stud onto
the sky.  The ear stud appeared as a full moon! The Maharajah was spell bound.  He released Bhattar
from the tree and did namaskaram to him.


தார் அமர் கொன்றையும் சண்பக மாலையும் சாத்தும் தில்லை
ஊரர்தம் பாகத்து உமை மைந்தனே.-உலகு ஏழும் பெற்ற
சீர் அபிராமி அந்தாதி எப்போதும் எந்தன் சிந்தையுள்ளே-
கார் அமர் மேனிக் கணபதியே.-நிற்கக் கட்டுரையே. --- காப்பு

கொன்றை மாலையும், சண்பக மாலையும் அணிந்து நிற்கும் தில்லையம்பதி நாயகனுக்கும், அவன் ஒரு பாதியாய் நிற்கும் உமைக்கும் மைந்தனே! மேகம் போன்ற கருநிற மேனியை உடைய பேரழகு விநாயகரே! ஏழுலகையும் பெற்ற சீர் பொருந்திய அபிராமித் தாயின் அருளையும், அழகையும் எடுத்துக்கூறும் இவ்வந்தாதி எப்பொழுதும் என் சிந்தையுள்ளே உறைந்து இருக்க அருள் புரிவாயாக.

Invocatory Verse on Ganesa:

O the son of Siva and Parvati!  O Vinayaka of dark color like the rain clouds and of great beauty!
I am going to sing the glory of Abhirami, Your Mother, her beauty and her ruling of the seven worlds!
 She is the wife and is concorporate with Siva, Lord of Thillai (Chidambaram) who wears konrai garlands and champaka garlands and she occupies half of His body.  Please stay within me and help me in completing this poem!         

***

Arunachala Siva.

99
Today in the Asramam, they celebrate Sri Vidya Homam elaborately.  It is done in  Mother's Temple
premises.  After Purna Ahuti, they distribute prasadams.  Thereafter, the visitors adjourn for lunch.

Today is also the Punarvasu day.  Punarvasu is the star on which Sri Bhagavan was born in the month
of Margazhi - Dhanur month.  The Asramam celebrates every Punarvasu day, with elaborate abhishekam,
alankaram and puja for Sri Ramaneswara Maha Lingam.  On  such days, a golden casket is placed on
the Lingam. Punarvasu is a star which is golden in color.   

Prasadam is distributed for the visitors after the function.

Muruganar has sung a decade titled Punarvasu VaNNam glorifying the star Punarvasu.  It is the star on
which Sri Rama was also born.

One of the verses of Punarvasu VaNNam of Sri Muruganar read as under:


If we could see your face that shines like Sun-rays, with our mortal eyes,
That will be the purpose for which we got eyes, so says the devotees.
O Ramana who is the Light that shines in our Heart, O Annamalai Ramana
This is the day of punarvasu and its glory!

                      (No. 1 serial No. 1814)

On such Punravasu star days, Sri Ramana, when He was in body, His face used to shine and it will
be a great opportunity for visitors and devotees to see Him on that day.

Arunachala Siva.   

100
(The above article appears in Mountain Path- October -December 2015.  The author is one Savithri Krishnan.)

*

Sri Ramana Gita contains the quintessential question posed by Deivarata to Bhagavan on the paramount duty
of human beings caught up in the cycle of births and deaths:

Kim karatvyam manushyasa pradhaanimiha samsrutau
Ekam nirdhaarya Bhagavan tanme vyaakkhaatumarhati

To which Bhagavan replies:

Swasya Swaroopam vigneyam pradhaanam mahadichchataa
Pratishthaa yatra sarveshaam phalaanaamuta karmaNam

'For those desiring the highest, discovering one's Self is most important since it is the basis of all actions and
fruits.'

The above is echoed in the four well known Mahavakyas from the four Vedas, extolling Brahman (which
is no different from the Self) thus:

Prajnaanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahman.)  This Mahavakya appearing in the Aitreya Upanishad of
the Rig Veda dwells on the nature of Brahman or the Self.

Aham Brahma Asmi ( I Am Brahman.)  Contained in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajur Veda, this
Mahavakya expounds Brahman to be the object on which the sadhak contemplates.

Tat Tvam Asi (Thou Art That.)  The Guru instructs that he (the disciple) is the Supreme Consciousness
through this Mahavakya contained in the Chhandogya Upanishad of Sama Veda.

Ayam Atma Brahma (This Self is Brahman.)  This Mahavakya from the Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva
Veda declares one's Self by verily the Brahman.

As for the method of attaining Self Realization, Bhagavan has time and again unequivocally asserted 
that there are only two paths.  They are:

1. Self Inquiry.

2. Complete, unconditional Surrender to the Almighty.

Bhagavan himself realized the Self through the first path, as He has, in later years narrated to the
devotees His legendary Death Experience as a youth of seventeen at Madurai.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

101
(The above article appeared in Mountain Path - Jan. Mar. 2016 issue.)

*

A detailed commentary by Muhavai Kanna Muruganar.

*

Homage to the Supreme Self, Sri Sadguru Ramana:

It is said that, to reveal the meaning of the Tiruvachakam, the noble Sri Manikkavachagar simply pointed
to the Divine Hall of Chidambaram, before himself merging as one with it and disappearing.
(What did he mean by pointing out at the Divine Hall?  He indicated that the meaning of Tiruvachakam is only He.  'Itharkku poruL ivanE...')

This is something that should give us much food for thought.  If one were to ask Bhagavan Sri Ramana, who
gave us in grace Akshara Manamalai, what its meaning was, there is no doubt that He would have remained
silent, pointing to Arunachala, and revealing that its meaning was Arunachala Itself.

When we consider the story of Bhagavan Sri Ramana's life, it is seen to be a tale of divine grace, in which
'the flashing forth of Arunachala'  - Arunachala Sphurna appeared in Him as His very nature  'from the innocence of youth', entirely swallowed up His body, possessions, His very soul and caused  Him to exist
as one with its very own Self.

That there was in Him at first some trace of dualistic awareness is demonstrated in His words, 'I have left
in search of my Father according to His command.   (From the Note left by Venkataraman at His house in Madurai.).  However, as soon as He laid eyes on Arunachala, He attained the transcendental state in which
He remained as Self alone, as exemplified in the words, 'When I sought in my mind who the seer was,
I perceived Him standing there with no trace of the seer,'(Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 2,1.1.) and remained absorbed for a long period of time in His natural state, kevala nirvikapa samadhi, as the very form of Arunachala (unalloyed, pure Being), 'which allows nothing to manifest, other than Its own nature as the Self.'
(Tayumanavar, hymn 14, Akara Puvanam - Chidambara Rahasyam.).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           
 

102
General topics / Tat Tvam Asi - Paui Loke.
« on: March 13, 2016, 11:38:24 AM »
(This is from Mountain Path, Jan. Mar.2008 issue)

*

This is only an extract from the book of the same name.  The book is available in Asramam book shop and is
priced at Rs. 100.00.)

*


Self Luminosity of Consciousness:

We shall approach this final topic in our chapter on the transcendental Self and human experience by
first identifying all the plausible means of knowing the Self.  Thereafter, each of the possibilities will be
critically examined with a view to arrive at the correct answer to the question of how the Self can be known.
The following are the three possibilities that one can think of: 

1. Self is known by an external object;

2. the Self  is known by another Self.  and

3. the Self knows itself.

The first possibility is in admissible.  To say that the Self can be known by an external object is to say that
it can be known by not-Self, for whatever is external to the Self is other than he Self.  i.e.the non Self.
The non Self, as we have shown, refers to all the objects of the world including the mind, the senses and the
body , which are material and insentient.  An object, which is material (jada vastu), is not capable of knowing '
anything.  Therefore, the answer that the Self can be known by an external object is untenable.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

103
General topics / Hridaya - John Grimes:
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:35:14 PM »
(This article appeared in Mountain Path, Jan.- Mar. 2016)

*


Reflect for a moment.  Bhagavan Ramana was just sixteen years old;  basically a normal village boy
virtually devoid of any religious vocabulary.  He had never heard the terms:  Brahman, Atman, Moksha,
Sadhana.


One day, at the age of sixteen, He spontaneously lay down in a first floor room of His uncle's house,
held His breath, kept His lips tightly closed, and a death experience happened to Him.  He did none
of this consciously.  As the experience unfolded, He inquired, 'Who am I who is dying?' and a force arose
in Him.  'Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead and will be reduced to ashes. But with the death of
this body, am 'I' dead?  Is the body 'I'?  This body is silent and inert.  But I felt the full force of my
personality and even the sound 'I' within myself, apart from the body. So 'I am a Spirit, a thing transcending
the body.  The material body dies, but the Spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death.  I am therefore,
the deathless Spirit.'  (B.V.Narasimha Swami:  'The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Chap.
'Born Anew.')

From that moment on, the 'I' or Pure Consciousness was experienced as the only Reality.  And this
never ceased.  Years later, when Sri Ramana was speaking of this event, He said:  'Absorption in the
Self has continued from that moment right up to this time.   (ibid.)

Whether His body was engaged in talking, walking, sitting, eating, or anything else, it would forever more
be centered on the Imperishable.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

104
(The original of the Guru Ramana Vachana Mala is a Sanskrit rendering of selected verses from the Guru
Vachaka Kovai.  This is the English translation of that Sanskrit version.)

*

Introductory Verses:

1. Obeisance to the unique Being, the One Self in all, namely the serene and unfathomable Bhagavan
Ramana, who has no ego and possessiveness.

2. The compilation of the oral teachings of  Bhagavan Ramana, made by the saintly Muruganar, is here
rendered into Sanskrit.

3.  This work, named Paramartha Deepam, is the essence of Vedanta and is hence worthy to to be
studied many times over by the seekers of the State of Liberation.

Chapter I - DISCRIMINATION

1.  THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD

4.  To become aware of the Real Self, since Hem is ever present within the Heart of everyone, would
be very easy if the notion that the body and the world are real should become utterly extinct.

5.  Oh man who, believing the world to be real, has been cheated of happiness, like the parrot that
expected to eat the ripe fruit of the silk cotton tree, what proof have you that the world really exists?

6.  If you think that this world is real because it appears, then conclude that the mirage water also
is real, because it also appears.  What material difference is there between the two?

7.  How can the world, which is diversified by space and time, mutable and transient, be real?
That alone is real, which is eternal, unchanging and beyond space and time.

8. All this appears whenever there is mental activity, that is, in the dream and waking states; not
only does it not appear in deep sleep, but it does not appear in the Transcendental State, where the
Self is alone, and the mind is at rest; therefore it is unreal.

9,  Revelation does describe creation in diverse ways (in different places); this must not be understood
literally;  the purpose of these passages is to indicate that which is the Source of the world and the individual
soul, not to enjoin a belief in he fact of creation. 

10. If the individual soul and the world be taken as real, then how can the Supreme Being be infinite
as He is declared to be by Revelation?  Unless His infiniteness be given up, how can this contention
that the soul and the world are real, be right?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

105
General Discussion / Maha Sivratri - 7th March 2016.
« on: March 07, 2016, 12:50:14 PM »
Today is Maha Sivaratri.  The day is celebrated in all Siva temples with abhishekam, alanakram, and prayers
to Siva Linga.  People bring curds, milk, oil, ghee, flowers, coconut water to the temple for abhishekam.

In Asramam they do elaborate abhishekam and alankaram and puja to Sri Ramaneswara Maha Linga.
Alankaram is done with flowers along with bhilva leaves, which are so dear to Siva.

After is the devotees go for food. Some devotees take up fasting through out the day.  And eat breakfast
only in the morning.  Some others take some fruits and milk and they eat some dosas or idlis at night   
time.

What is more important is keeping awake throughout the night and they chant Siva namas, etc.
They take breakfast only in the morning after bath and puja to Siva.

Arunachala Siva.

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