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Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Tiruvannamalai in Tevaram
« on: December 11, 2008, 03:23:26 PM »
Jnana Sambandhar, Tiru Navukkarasar, and Sundaramoorthy, the Three
Great Siva Saints, have sung the glory of Arunachala.

Jnana Sambandhar in Book I of Siva Canons, sings Arunachala in more
than one decad.  I shall give one verse from these compositions.

O, my Master, the consort of Unnamulai,
Who is concorporate with the woman, Annamalai,
The Hills which thunder with waterfalls, and roaring elephants,
O the Effulgence, Annamalai, you snap the karmas of devotees,
   who adore you!

Tiru Navukkararasar sings in Book IV as:

You are of eightfold form, the sun, the moon, the Space, the earth,
    the air and the water and fire and the souls,
You are the Effuglence that is guarded by eight directional elephants
You wear the ruby that is spit by the serpents, you are Annamalai,
I shall seek only your feet, there is no other refuge, O my Master!

I am not readily able to lay my hands on Sundaramoorthy's poems,
in Book VII.  But Bhagavan Ramana has mentioned about them.

Incidentally, Jnana Sambandhar was led by an effulgence that he
saw in Araiyanai Nallur, that took him to Tiruvannamalai.  This was
the case with Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi too.

Arunachala Siva.                 

Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / The glory of Arunachala
« on: December 11, 2008, 02:07:08 PM »
Skanda Maha Puranam, describes the incomparable Arunachala,
with certain other incomprables.

Various holy places are not comparable to ARUNACHALA.
No mantra can be compared to Panchakshara.
No dharmas, religions, can be compared to Mahesvara Dharma.
No Jnana can be compared to Siva Jnana.
There is no protection beyond the holy ashes.
No Veda can be compared to Sri Rudram.
There is no Siva-devotee comparable to Vishnu. 
There is no way comparable to Siva devotion.
There is no protector comparable to Guru.
There is no adornment comparable to Rudraksha.
There is no Agama, scripture, comparable to Siva-agama.
There is no flower comparable to gold.
There is no happiness, comparable to non-attachement.
There is no goal comparable to Liberation.

Kailash, Meru, Mantram are only Siva Temples.
Arunachala is Siva Himself.

(Source:Skanda Maha Puranam, Arunachala Mahatmyam.)

Arunachala Siva.

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, in the early years in the Hills, once took
five slokas from an old Sanskrit collections of verses called Linga
Lakshana Vakyani.  Bhagavan Ramana then made out a small Tamil
translation, in prose, of these Sanskrit verses.  The translation reads
as under:-

Siva told Devi:

All the universes get dissolved in this.  This alone creates these universes,
afterwards. Hence it is called Lingam.  Since it does this as a divine play, it is called Lingam.  The elders understanding the Truth call this Lingam.

O Devi, even though it is formless, it is called a form, Lingam.  It is in
fact formless. I shall tell you the methods of archana, adoration and the
character of the archaka, the one who adores. It has got a base but does
not have a base.  It is having method of adoration and is not having the
method of adoration.  It is not meditated upon and there are no meditators.
It does not have character and is beyond 'tamas'. It has no creation,
sustenance and dissolution as universes do have. It is the beginning of
Omkara, Pranavam, but at the same time it is beyond three "matras",
three miniature time calculations.  It has no bhava, conviction and it has
no abhava, non-conviction.  It has no knower and knowledge. It is
spreading over everything, but it is has not one to spread around it.
It is beyond knower, knowledge and object. It has parts and is partless.
It has no formation, sustenance, veiling, removal and dissolution.
It has no goal and way.  It is not  'sat' and  is not 'asat', the substance
and non-substance. It is simple seeing the Atma within.  It is beyond
formation and nonformation.  It shines everything with its light. There
is nothing that remains after it.  It remains even after everything. It
moves and it does not move. It is beyond proof and non-proof.  It
has no light and sound. It has witness and has no witness. It has
no reflection and non-reflection. It is beyond cognition and is non-
cognized. It is beyond mind and words. It has not life-force within it,
but it is the life force for everything.

This Linga has no eyes, no ears. It is not the Space, nor the earth.
It is not the object of sense organs.  It has nothing within and it
is the incomparable Space.  It has no tongue, no hands, no legs.
This is the archana, adoration for the Linga.

It is neither the Space nor the non-Space. But it shines the Space.
It is not light but shines the light. It is not air. But it moves the air.
It is not water.  It gives the liquidity to water. This Lingam, is within
the nine gates, and is on a altar. But it cannot installed anywhere.
It has faces everywhere. It has hands everywhere. It has feet
everywhere. It is beyond 'tamas' or darkness. Nothing appears there.
It is more sublime than the most sublime.  It is known through Vedanta,
as formless.  Many queer universes get dissolved into this.  This universe
with its three fold characteristics also dependent on this.

O Devi, no one can describe t he dimensions of this Lingam. It is
dimension-less. It is partless. It is Non dual. Every atom and every
universe is Its. It has no temple. But it is the temple for everything.
It is also in the Heart Centre of all living beings. It is self effulgent.
It has no jiva and Isvara.  It is the Primordial living Soul. It has no
peetam of adhvayam, Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra.   It is self formed.
It is within everyone and  known as Atma. It is the Lingam that is Atma
within. It is the great bliss.  There is nothing which is different from It.
If this Lingam is not seen, then It merges with the Seer. Even though
it is Lingam, (formless), it is called Lingam, (Atma, the Seer.)  No one
other than the individual soul can see It.  It is always adored by others
as Lingam.  It has no wakefulness, dream and deep sleep. It is the
Seer.  It only remains all the time. It cannot be experienced by the
ordianary experiencers. The individual soul which experiences small
time experiences and who are egoistic can never see this Lingam!

(Source:  Arunachala Mahatmyam.  A Collection of Puranic references
on Arunachala.  Tamil.  Sri Ramansramam,  Tiruvannamalai. Translation
and Prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.

Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Zen Stories
« on: December 11, 2008, 11:18:17 AM »
During the Kamakura Period, Shinkan studied Tendai six years, and
then studied Zen for seven years. Then he went to China and contemplated
Zen for thirteen more years.

When he returned to Japan, many desired to interview him and asked
obscure questions.  But when Shinkan received visitors, which was
infrequently, he seldom answered their questions.  He was, most part
of the interview, keeping silent. 

One day a fifty year old student of enlightenment said to Shinkan:
"I have studied the Tendai  school of thought since I was a little boy.
But one thing in it, I cannot understand.  Tendai claims that even the
grass and the trees will become enlightened.  To me, this seems very

Shinkan asked quickly:  "Of what use is it to discuss how grass and
trees become enlightened?  The question is how you yourslef can
become so.  Did your ever consider that?"

The student replied:  "I never thought of it in that way."

Shinkan finished slowly:

"Then go home and think it over!"

(Does this converstation not look like a standard Bhagavan Ramana's
conversation with any devotee, who was more interested in 'other'
things than his own little self?)

(Source: Zen Flesh and Zen Bones. Paul Reps. Penguin, London.)

Arunachala Siva.

Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Zen Stories
« on: December 11, 2008, 11:08:22 AM »
Sozan, a Chinese Zen Master, was asked by a student:

"What is the most valuable thing in the world?"

Sozan replied: " The head of a dead cat!"

The student did not believe his ears and inquired further:

"Why is the dead cat's head the most valuable thing in the world?"

Sozan replied:  "Because, no one can name its price!"

(Source: Zen Flesh and Zen Bones.  Paul Reps. Penguin, London.)

Arunachala Siva.   

Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Zen Stories
« on: December 11, 2008, 11:02:33 AM »
Fugai, a Soto Zen Master, was lecturing in the hall about greateness
of eating one's own blame in life.  The cook in the monastery was also
listening to the lecture. Soon the lecture was over.  Fugai and the
disciples were hurrying the cook for the dinner.  The cook at that time
only knew that he had made only the rice and not the soup.  He hurriedl;y
went to the garden, picked up some vegetables, leaves etc., chopped
them and made a soup to go with the cooked rice.  He was unaware,
that he had included a snake in the vegetables!

The followers of Fugai said, after dinner, that they had never tasted such a
tastier soup.  But the Master himself found the snake's head in his bowl.
He summoned the cook and holding the snake's head, he asked:

What is this?

"O, Thank you Master," replied the cook taking the snake's head,
and eating it quickly!

The cook is the one who realled showed how to eat one's blame!

(Source: Zen Flesh and Zen Bones.  Paul Reps, Penguin, London.)

Arunachala Siva.

In the next composition, poem 9, of Tiruvachakam, Manikkavachagar
sings in verse 3 as under:

This poem is called Tiru Por Chunnam, meaning the golden bathing powder.

Let us wear vibhuti, clean up the place and the pounding slab.  Let us
spread the golden dust into the pit.  Let us fix karpaga trees in all four
corners of the house.  Let us hoist the beautiful flag.  Let us pound
the golden powder to Siva.  He is the Master of Indra, devas,
Brahma and chakra-wielding Vishnu.  He is father of Muruga.
He is our Master who rules over our life.

Under the tenth composition, Tiru Ko Thumbi, Song on the Holy King Bee,
Manikkavacahagar sings the praise of Annamalai in a few verses.

Verse 1:  O the Holy King Bee, go to the golden feet of Siva who mounts
the bull and sing.  His feet are beyond the reach of lotus seated Brahma,
Indra, the all-knowing Saraswati, and Narayana, the four Vedas, Rudra
and devas.

Verse 18, is a beauty.  Here Manikkavachagar, does not say Annamalai,
or tell His form that is beyond the reach of Brahma and Narayana.  He
merely describes the Ardha Nareeswara form  of Siva-Uma, in Tiruvannamalai.

He is having tiger's skin and a beautiful saree.  He is wearing a ring
and an earstud!  He is wearing vibhuti and chintur on his foreheads.
He is having a Trident and a parrot!  He is wearing bangles on the one
hand!  O the Holy King Bee, go and sing to his form and the feet!

Verse 20:  The lotus seated Brahma and Vishnu, could not find his
head and feet and were disappointed.  I am proud of having seen
his Form in full!  That Effulgence has graced this lowly dog by giving
a palanquin and honoured me.  O the holy King Bee, go and sing
his firelike Form and his feet!

Arunachala Siva.

Tiru Ammanai, is the eighth poem in Tiruvachakam and this is one of the two compositions sung by Manikkavachagar, in Tiruvannamalai.
Ammani is a game like kummi played by young girls.

Verse 1 reads as under:

The red-eyed Vishnu went to all places including nether worlds, but
could not see Your lotus feet!  But You came to this earth, to snap
our births and to rule over us.  You are in Tiru Perundurai, a town
with a lot of gardens and groves.  You came as a brahmin and made
a roaring call:  Come and have liberation!  We shall sing the anklet
wearing golden feet of Annamalai, the three eyed Master!

Verse 3 reads as under:

Indra, Vishnu, Brahma and other devas could not see you.  But
You came to this earth, and ruled over us.  You, the vibhuti wearing
god, who kills our minds and thoughts, the Lord of Tiru Perundurai.
He came on a horseback, to snap our bondage.  He gave us the endless
Bliss, let us sing his glory!

Verse 4 reads as under:

The devas in the heavens, Vishnu, Brahma and Indra did penance
and became dry in their body and snake-hills sprouted in their places!
He came to me, this lowly dog, as a mother, and gave honey like
nectar of bliss through every pore of my body.  Let us sing his anklet
wearing feet of Annamalai, the Effulgence!

Verse 12 reads as under:

O girls with dark eyes, listen!  While Vishnu, Brahma and Indra
are searching for Him in many many births, He came to the earth
to grace Me, and took care of my soul, without further births.
He is in the form of Effulgence, He is the conferer of Realization!
He is the owner of all things in this universe. He is the house of
every living beings.  Let us sing Siva, Annamalai, the Substance!

Verse 18 reads as under:

O girls listen!  He is the consort of Uma, with parrot like words.
He is beyond the sight of Vishnu and Brahma. He is the choicest
honey, our Lord of Tiru Perundurai.  He came down with mercy
and gave me the bliss of his grace in my Heart.  Let us sing this
brahmin, Annamalai!

Arunachala Siva.             

Kularchirayar was the minister in Pandya Kingdom, when Nedumaran,
the king was ruling.  He was a great Siva devotee. He always used
to prostrate before Siva devotees, despite he being a minister.   He used
to invite many Siva devotees and fed them in his house, before taking
food.  He was sorry for the plight of his King, who had embraced Jainism
and was patrnonizing the Jains, without caring for Siva devotees and
Lord Somasundara in Madurai temple.  Fortunately, the queen Mangaiyarkarasi was with him in bringing the king to Siva devotion.
When Nedumran was suffering from high fever and irrepressible stomach
pain and when all the mantras and medicines of Jains could not cure him,
it was Kulachirayar who brought Jnana Sambandha to Madurai and treat the king with his vibhuti and songs on Siva.  The queen was ever grateful
to him.  He thanked Jnana Sambandha and continued his Siva worship
everyday.  Because of his Siva devotion and having been instrumental in
bringing Jnana Sambandha to Madurai, Siva was pleased with him
and he merged in Siva Effulgence, at the ripe age!

(Source: Periya Puranam, Sekkizhar. Tamil Verses. Book XII of Siva
Canons.  Saiva Siddhanta Book Publishing House, Chennai. Translation
and prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.         

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Miracles Do Happen
« on: December 11, 2008, 09:50:05 AM »
Annamalai Swami  came to Bhagavan Ramana in 1928, from a village
nearby called Modakurichi.  Upto mid 1940s, he was taking care of
construction work inside the Asram.  He was asked to go and meditate
by Bhagavan Ramana and so he went to Palakottu, a nearby area,
adjoining the Asram.  He was abosrobed in Bhagavan Ramana on 9th
November 1995. 

Once, on a morning, he went to Bhagavan Ramana's bathroom, to help
Him in His morning bath.  Madhavaswami was also with him.  When
the bath was over, Madhavaswami asked Bhagavan Ramana: Bhagavan!
The people who take ganja (cannabis), experience some kind of Ananda.
What is the nature of this Ananda?   Is it the same Ananda that scriptures,
speak of?"  Bhagavan Ramana replied: "Eating ganja is a very bad habit."
Then laughingly loudly, Bhagavan came over to Annamalai Swami and
hugged him and called out: " Ananda! Ananda!  This is how these ganja-
taking people behave!"  It was not a brief hug.  It must have lasted for
about two minutes.  After first few seconds, Annamalai Swami completely
lost awareness  of his body.  The feeling of happiness also soon gave
way to an experience of ceasing to be aware of anything that was
going around him!  He remained in that state for about 15 minutes. He
did not know when Bhagavan and Madhavaswami left the bathroom!
This experience completely changed his life.  In a few days, he went
to Palakottu for meditation and self enquiry.

(Source: Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace. Volume 2.
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

Arunachala Siva.

The seventh composition titled Tiruvembavai, has been sung in
Tiruvannamalai.  It is the early morning song, which is sung by girls
while waking up their friends for a bath.  This is sung in every Tamil
household on the early morning of "dhanur" month, Dec-Jan.

The Verse 5 says:

O girl, you said yesterday, that 'we shall see the feet of the Lord,
which have not been seen by Vishnu and Brahma,'  but now, are
these mere words without action?  Please open your door, and
come with us for bath and to sing Annamalai's glory, come fast.
Should we shout again and again?  Let us sing his glory who is the
Space and this world, and who is not known to others!  He has
come to take hold of us, please come!

The Verse 8 says:

O girl!  The cuckoo(Black)* is singing, the cock (Black-Red) is singing,
the stark (Red-White) is singing.  The conch shells (Full White)  are sounding nicely!  Are you not hearing them singing the glory and the
grace of Annamalai, the incomparable Effulgence?  O long live, you,
who sleeps endlessly?  Is this the way Vishnu**, lying in the ocean,
praying for Annmalai's grace?   O let us sing the glory of Annamalai,
the Substance before and after the aeons!  He is the protector of the
poor, let us sing!

(* The cuckoo, the cock, the stark and the conchshells, by their
colours, represent tamas, tamas-rajas, rajas-sattva, and sattva
gunas.  ** Vishnu's yoganidra on the ocean is described as the
praying while sleeping! )

In Verse 10 he sings:

O the Primordial, with feet well beyond the seven nether worlds!
...... He is our boy in the temple!  What is his name? what is country?
Who are his relatives?  Who are others to him?  He is our Lord!
let us sing!

In Verse 17, he sings:

He is having greater love towards us, than his love for the red-eyed
Vishnu, Brahma with four faces and devas!.....

In Verse 18, he sings:

The stars in the early morning have lost their lustre, (as day breaks),
and they look like the rubies on the devas' geadhears, which have
lost their lustre, when they bend their heads towards the lotus
feet of Annamalai!......

In Verse 20 he says:

Glory to Your lotus feet which is without beginning!
Glory to Your red flower like head, which is without end!
Glory to Your golden feet, from where all the living beings spring!
Glory to Your lotus feet, which is the wealth for all living beings!
Glory to Your feet, which is the goal  of  all living beings!
Glory to Your lotus feet, which have not been seen by Vishnu and Brahma!
Glory to Your golden feet, which have come to rule us!
Glory to You. Let us sing on this dhanur morning and take bath,
   O girls!

Arunachala Siva.         

The fifth composition of Tiruvachakam, is called Tiru Chadakam, Song
of Hundred verses.  Here, Manikkavachagar, mentions about
Tiruvannamalai in a few verses. 

In Verse 7, the poet says:

Vishnu, who gave birth to Brahma, the creator of the worlds, took
the red flower of his eye, and searched for You, but You were beyond
his search.  But, You came, my Lord, in the cremation ground, like a
madcap, and wearing a tiger's skin, you danced on the ground, as my

In Verse 29, he says:

With grace towards the devotees, who pray to you with great love,
You came as Father, as a man, as a woman and as a neuter, as
Space, and as great Effulgence, and as one beyond all these, O
Siva, my Master, the god of the devas, who wears the red 'vetchi'
flowers, you came to me as Nectar!

In Verse 99, he says:

O Welcome, my King!  Welcome to You, who is more than Vishnu
and Brahma.  Welcome You who is ever new, even after the aeons.
Welcome to You, who has come to listen to my songs. Welcome to
You to erase my sins!

In the sixth composition, Neethal Vinnappam, Request for leaving my
desires, there is no reference/mention about Annamalai.

Arunachala Siva.   

Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Tayumanavar Songs
« on: December 10, 2008, 01:05:35 PM »
Tayumanavar has composed 11 verses under the title "The All Prevalent 

The Verse 1 reads as under:

"Without Him, not even an atom moves",  so says great Jnanis.
If I know this, what is knowledge, what is ignorance?
Who has known this truth?  Who has not ?
Who is remaining Silent? 
Who is ever chattering as if my whole body is full of mouths!
Whence came the maya of mind?
What is violence?  What is mercy and kindness?
How the worlds have been formed?  Who has got this "doership"?
Whence the multiplicity of worlds and beings?
What is truth?  What is untruth?
What is agreeable?  What is not agreeable?
What is good? What is bad?
What is perseverance?  What is jealousy?
Who is small?  Who is big?
Who is related?  Who is outsider? or enemy?
Is there anything other than You?
Is there anything other than You?
In the world and beyond, your are the Soul of the soul?
O the Substance, all prevalent!

(Source: Tayumanavar Songs. Tamil Verses.  Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam.
Tiru Paraithurai, near Tiruchirappalli.  Translation and Prose rendering,
my own.)

Arunachala Siva.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Sivananda Lahari
« on: December 10, 2008, 12:48:23 PM »
As already mentioned, the Verse 99 of Sivananda Lahari, also
describes Siva's glory which cannot be fathomed by Brahma and
Vishnu, but Siva's form is available for devotees to see!

O Parama Siva! O the Ocean of Mercy!  To see your feet and head,
Brahma and Vishnu, took the animal forms like a swan and a boar,
went around the sky and the underworld and became tired,
without result.  O Sambu! Ever considering the welfare of people!
O God!  How have you become so humble and easy, to appear before
me, on my seeking?  Is it alright for you?

Manikkavachagar also says that Siva is giving his feet for easy reach,
while Brahma and Vishnu, searched for him in vain.  The purport is
when someone goes with fattened ego to search His feet or head,
He will not be available.  But for one who is humble with egoless
mind and complete surrender and devotion, He will be easy for reach!

(Source: Sivananda Lahari. Sri Sankara. Sanskrit-Tamil.  Sri Ramakrishna
Math, Chennai.  Translation and Prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.   

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Sivananda Lahari
« on: December 10, 2008, 12:22:11 PM »
Sri Sankara describes Arunachala's glory in three verses in Sivananada
Lahari.  These are Verses 23, 86 and 99.

The Verse 23 reads as under:

O the Leader of Thieves!*  Ever graceful considering the welfare of
the devotees. O the All Prevalent!  I am, with my greedy mind, always
thinking of going to rich men's houses for stealing.** My mind is
deluded in several ways. How can I tolerate this thief of my mind?
Please grace me, making my mind subjugated to you!

* Sri Rudarm adores Siva as the Leader of Thieves!   Once Bhagavan
Ramana was asked by a devotee, how Sri Rudram, could say that
Siva is the Leader of Thieves.  Bhagavan Ramana said:  At least the
thieves before they go for stealing pray to Siva stating that they would
give half of the bounty stolen, as offering to him!  But we, in this world
do not offer even a small portion of our earnings and belongings to God.
He will be the Leader of Thieves, because they are better-disposed towards Him!

** Addressing Siva, as the Leader of Thieves, the poet says that he
is going to rich men's houses, seeking wealth as if stealing. So
for him, as a thief, Siva is rightly the Leader of Thieves.  Arunagiri Natha
has also sulked for having to go to rich men's house for seeking their
wealth and bhiksha!

The Verse 86 has already been discussed.

(Source: Sivananda Lahari. Sanskrit-Tamil. Sri Ramakrishna Math.
Chennai.  Translation and Prose rendering, my own.)

Arunachala Siva.