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Messages - Child of Arunachala

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61
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:15:01 PM »
Dear Vinod,

This is just my opinion. I think you are being hard on this poor old lady.  Maybe it was a vasana for bhoondi, like Bhagavan's mother had for appalam, or maybe she was hungry.  When you are a street person, you don't have a stove, utensils and supplies. Buying a precooked food is your only way out - often it is junk food. Atleast she wasn't doing drugs or drinking, like many of the male sadhus do to survive the hard life on the streets. Of course they can do intense sadhana but drinking and drugs come easy.

One sadhu told me that it is great that these ashrams and temples are providing free food but many of the sadhus can't digest parboiled rice that is served. They are old and need something mushy. So this sadhu packages the free food he gets and sells it to buy the rice he can eat. That puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Also, there is so much corruption in India, many of the temples are not free from it.   That is why I offer my money directly first to God and then put it in the hundi. Atleast my money will not be misused. Or so I believe. ???   :-\

Child of Arunachala 

62
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 26, 2013, 12:47:18 PM »
Dear Subramaniam sir,

I saw on the ashram website last year that the sadhu bhiksha has gone upto Rs. 3,000 and the regular lunch to Rs. 5,000. I have been paying accordingly. Although, once when I gave Rs. 1,000 (over and above what I donate) the accountant accepted it gracefully. Mani anna was at his desk. Neither of them said anything. Ofcourse, I am not privy to their accounting. My motto is give your maximum. It should feel like a sacrifice.

I know of people who sponsor sadhu bhiksha at the ashram many times during the year.  I know others who feed the cows (Goddess Lakshmi & Lord Krishna), monkeys (Hanuman), dogs (Bhairava) and crows (Shani's vahana & ancestors) regularly.

One year I followed a friend's idea and took idli packets and distributed it to sadhus around the hill but it wasn't as fulfilling an exercise. It felt like I was throwing food packets away even though I was doing it respectfully seated in an auto. I haven't done that since. 

The Arunachaleswara temple and Ramana asramam are my most favourite places to donate. It has strengthened my connection to Arunachala and Bhagavan.

Child of Arunachala.

63
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 25, 2013, 08:24:47 PM »
Dear Vinod,

Well, I, too felt harassed for money on my first visit to Tiruvannamalai.  A local elder explained to me "We lose money when we owe God money."

Since then I have been donating money to Sri Ramanasramam and the Arunachaleswarar temple (places where I get my spiritual nourishment) atleast once a year, sometimes more.  It  costs Rs. 3,000 to sponsor one day's feeding at each of these places.  There have been times when my expenses, especially rent in Tiru, was high and I could only donate, say a Rs 1000, but I would do it, thinking I was feeding fewer sadhus.   This totally eliminated the harassment when I visit Tiru.  The people being fed at these places have all been personally selected by Arunachaleswarar or Bhagavan, otherwise they wouldn't be able to eat there.

When I donate, I take the money first to Arunachala and Bhagavan, offer it to them and only then proceed to the temple or ashram office to pay it.  This ensures in my mind that the money is protected, will be used wisely and maybe even multiply to pay the bills of these organizations.

I know a few people in Tiruvannamalai who donate a lot more than I do.  One friend has rented a house in Tiru and he and his family, have chanting going on all day long. The sadhus often join them in chanting and then they are served their mid-day meal everyday.   

Another person I know off bought a house and started feeding sadhus idlis in the morning.  The program is in its 24th year now.

One of them told me that his medical bills came down drastically as a result of this. He was also incurring heavy losses in his business because of thefts and break-ins. That stopped immediately.    I hope this helps.

Child of Arunachala

64
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 25, 2013, 02:42:30 PM »
Dear Vinod,

Nay, I will hold off on my tips to keep aggressive sadhus, beggars and priests away. You are still continuing to quote people's entire posts back to them. It is either because of an obstinate vasana or don't care attitude, neither of which will work with Arunachala.

I hope you realize it is costing the website owner server space - for which he is paying for out of the goodness of his heart.  It is costing the rest of us energy to download more (totaly unnecessary lines).  In short, you (and others who do the same thing) are wantonly wasting the resources of the universe. Any wonder then that the beggars are so aggressive with you.  I will let you live and learn. :-)

Child of Arunachala

65
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:38:33 PM »
Dear Vinod,

I was going to give you valuable tips on how to handle sadhus, beggars and aggressive priests in Tiruvannamalai but then I saw that you have quoted my entire post back to me. I find that really annoying.  So I will not give you those tips.  I will let you live and learn. How hard can that be.  :)

66
Ashrams / Re: Impressions from travels to Tiruvannamalai
« on: March 22, 2013, 03:55:14 PM »
That is awesome, spending Mahasivaratri in Tiruvannamalai. I was beginning to wonder why you weren't posting your experience and here it is. :-)

There is a Hindi recording of Arunachala Aksharamanamalai. I heard it in the book store and it was just as captivating as the Tamil version.

BTW, How was it walking in the dark?

Child of Arunachala

67
Arunachala / Re: Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:15:04 PM »
Hello,

Some of permanent residents I spoke to are saying that it is the noise levels that is bothering them the most. Apparently areas like Adi Annamalai and the countryside are also very noisy.  One person said he can hear the noise up on the mountain. That is awful.

So let's pray. To recap our prayer to Arunachala and Bhagavan:

Tiruvannamalai should become a quiet and clean town. If it means controlling the number of people visiting it like they do in Tirupati and Vaishnoo Devi, so be it.

That the National Highway near Sri Ramanasramam be re-routed.

That the Girivalam path be made separate from any roadway so pedestrians's lives are not put at risk.

No honking and no loudspeakers to promote products or any kind of music other than what the main temple is playing. Quiet should prevail in the vicinity of Arunachala.  (They have managed to do it in Tirupati and Vaishnoo Devi)

I pray that there are lots of trees on the girivalam path to provide shade cover for people doing girivalam - some areas are really bald -- like the main temple to Bangalore Road and from Adi Annamalai to Vellore Road ( on the left side). 

More affordable housing in Tiruvannamalai and clean water.

Public awareness programs about littering and otherwise not polluting the sacred area near Arunachala.

Lots of public toilets on the Path.

So, we have done the ground work by coming up with this list. Lets offer this prayer to Bhagavan and Arunachala.  Maybe  the big organizations in Tiru, like the Big Temple, Sri Ramanasramam and the Government will make it happen and those of us who are not full time residents will pitch in to help in whatever way we can - with donations, technical expertise, etc. or maybe it will happen some other way.

Child of Arunachala 


68
Arunachala / Re: Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 17, 2013, 11:16:06 AM »
Dear Vinod,

Thank you for your comments. 

Yes, definitely more public toilets - some free - so that the poor people have some place to 'go'.  Also, public education in different languages. 

One day, I was standing at the back of Sri Ramanasramam, near the storm water drain, when a worker came out, pee'd and walked away.  I thought he could so easily have gone into the public toilet in the ashram which was closer to him, yet he preferred to offer his bodily waste to the drain that takes rain water from Arunachala to the Pali Theertham.  So definitely public education and enforcement.

And don't get me started on the use of loudspeakers to promote products.  One of them is some local water company that was selling plastic bottled water at a discount rate for Girivalam and the other one was one that sells dates, puffed rice and sugar crystals.  It went on all night long.  Even closing the windows didn't help. I found out next day that it was a cassette player playing a recorded message, making it look like the buggers were making a lot of business.  All they did was to disturb my meditation and well-earned sleep after girivalam. 

I made a vow never to buy their products.  :) :P

Child of Arunachala

69
Arunachala / Re: Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 14, 2013, 04:24:18 AM »
Dear Atmavichar,

Thank you for your thoughts. You will be surprised how much one person can accomplish. Almost all the great movements in the world were started because one person was uneasy with a situation.

I wouldn't involve Sri Ramanasramam at this stage. Sundaram and Manni anna have a lot on their hands as it is. So let's first do the ground work.  I am sure the government will also consult them before embarking on a major transformation of Tiruvannamalai.

That is the point. Tiruvannamalai has become a highly populated area with no planning of any kind. We want to change that.  Bhagavan is Big in Tiru. So I don't feel ashamed to ask the authorities to enforce order in the town. 

When you reply, please do not put my entire post in quotes again. Just reply. We are smart and will know what you are responding to.  I am sorry, I find it irksome to read posts that quote back an entire post.  I usually skip such posts   :(

70
Arunachala / Re: Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:14:37 PM »
Would a petition to the Chief Minister by long-term local residents backed by us occasional visitors to Tiruvannamalai help?  I think only a relentless campaign will do the trick. And sorry no bribes will be paid. We expect it to be done for our Arunachala.

Maybe a delegation can meet the Chief Minister or even the District Collector to start with?  What do you all think?

Any volunteers to write up a nice petition that does not sound angry but inspires the authorities to love Arunachala as much as we do.

71
Arunachala / Re: Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 12, 2013, 12:43:31 PM »
Dear Deepa,

Not so.  :)  If Lord Vishnu and Vaishnoo Devi Maa can grant moksha to their devotees in a clean, an orderly surrounding, I think so will Lord Shiva. We only have to ask.

Some years ago, when the atmosphere around the world was very disturbed and threatening (you know what I mean), an elderly local friend of mine prayed to Arunachala that Hindus be able to visit their temples in peace and within months the atmosphere calmed down.  The friend told me later "We just have to ask" and Arunachala being the loving Father that he is, will oblige. He will do anything to make us aspire and work for moksha.

I hope you will all join me in praying for more order and cleanliness in Tiruvannamalai on the lines of Tirupati and Vaishnoo Devi.

Child of Arunachala

72
Arunachala / Surrendering a wish to Bhagavan and Arunachala
« on: February 11, 2013, 02:41:25 PM »
Namaste, all:

I read in  THE HUMAN GOSPEL OF RAMANA MAHARSHI AS SHARED BY V. GANESAN 

Quote
In 1908, Kavyakantha had asked Bhagavan, ........What about my aims and ideals?‖ Bhagavan replied, ―It will be better if you throw the entire burden on the Lord. He will carry it, and you will be free. He will do his part.
[/sup]

I surrender to Arunachala and Bhagavan my wish:

That Tiruvannamalai becomes a quiet and clean town like Tirupati or Vaishnoo Devi,

That the National Highway will no longer pass by Sri Ramanasramam on the Girivalam path.

That buses and SUVs will no longer honk in the vicinity of Arunachala and disturb me while I am trying to meditate on Arunachala. 

That people wanting to do Girivalam may do so at any time of the day or night without having to dodge those IDIOT  >:(  trucks, lorries, buses and those SUVs honking and driving at break-neck speed.

That autorickshaws are not so noisy.

That dogs don't bark.

That people don't turn on their TVs and loudspeakers so loud - this includes some ashrams and small temples. I don't mind getting up at 3.30 a.m. but I certainly don't want to be awakened to what someone else thinks I should awaken to. 

I pray that there are lots of trees on the girivalam path to provide shade cover for people doing girivalam. 

I pray that Arunachala helps us do something about the noise, air and water pollution in Tiruvannamalai and shortage of clean, affordable, nice housing for those of us who want to stay for longer periods of time than what Sri Ramanasramam will allow.

If there is anything else I have missed that erks you, please add to my prayer to Bhagavan and Arunachala.

Child of Arunachala 

 

73
Ashrams / Re: travel to Thiruvannamalai
« on: February 11, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
Namaskaram all especially those who have completed their maiden girivalam.

I found this following excerpt in  THE HUMAN GOSPEL OF RAMANA MAHARSHI AS SHARED BY V. GANESAN 

Remember "I" in these paras refers to V. Ganeshan

" When I went to Ramanashram some people, for whom I had respect, often spoke ill of Kavyakantha. They claimed that his accounts were figments of his imagination. I was influenced by their views on the genius. Even today there is a lot of literature that portrays Kavyakantha in a poor light. I approached Munagala Venkataramaia, a distinguished scholar and one of the recorders of the talks with Bhagavan. Now, Munagala had not seen Kavyakantha and was therefore neutral about him. ―Why do people pull down Kavyakantha so much? I enquired, listing out all the transgressions he is rumored to have made. ―Ganesan, stop! he exclaimed. ―How did you know all this? I revealed the names of the people who told me this. He replied, ―They have given an opinion and you have received it. Are you sure it is the Truth? I was puzzled. ―How can we know which opinion is correct? I asked. Munagala then said, ―Whatever Bhagavan says is trustworthy.

I was still not satisfied. I had read a tiff that Kavyakantha was not a Self-realized soul because he had so many sankalpas. His detractors often quoted this too, and I was convinced by this logic. I put forth my argument to Munagala. He told me, ―I asked Bhagavan the same thing—how come it is written in such and such a book that Kavyakantha was not Self-realized. Bhagavan told me, ‗That is not what I said, but what the recorder must have expected me to say. Munagala then advised me, ―Go by whatever Bhagavan has said, and you will be near the Truth. Do not go by opinions, particularly if they divide people—whether saints or anyone else. Do not pay heed to them. Aspirants should never be carried away by negative statements made about any sage or saint. In order to progress, this is the first guideline to remember. What detractors say are just opinions and if we believe them, we fall victim to the mind.

It is true that Kavyakantha had very high ideals. However, they are not merely sankalpas, but satya sankalpas. A sankalpa is a concentrated desire of wanting to achieve something. A satya sankalpa is that sankalpa which comes to you—not that you have a desire for it. Kavyakantha had three satya sankalpas: His first sankalpa was that he wanted India to be free. Kavyakantha‘s second satya sankalpa was equal status for women in Indian society. With Christian and Muslim influences over many centuries, women were often subjugated and relegated to the kitchen. They were allowed no participation in society. However, Vedic culture stated that women must have equal rights. In the Vedic Age, many women like Vasishta‘s wife, Arundati, and Yajnavalkya‘s wife, Maitrayi, were considered jnanis or realized beings. Thirdly, he sought for Vedic culture to be revived. He placed these before Bhagavan. In 1908, Kavyakantha had asked Bhagavan, ―Is aspiring to the source of the I-thought sufficient for the attainment of all my aims, or is mass incantation or mantra japa needed?

Bhagavan replied, ―Aspiring to the source of the I-thought will suffice. Though this was the initial advice Bhagavan shared with him, Kavyakantha pressed on with his argument, ―What about my aims and ideals?‖ Bhagavan replied, ―It will be better if you throw the entire burden on the Lord. He will carry it, and you will be free. He will do his part.

Munagala Venkataramaia told me, ―People quote these sentences. But Bhagavan told me what happened afterward. At first, Kavyakantha could not grasp the inner meaning of Bhagavan‘s counsel. After a few years, he came to Bhagavan and said, ‗Bhagavan I am surrendering all my sankalpas at your holy feet.‘ There was no greater guru than Bhagavan for him. It is interesting to see how all three of Nayana‘s satya sankalpas were, in time, fulfilled. Nayana passed away in 1936, and India gained her independence in 1947. The Chief Minister of Madras State was a devotee of Bhagavan. Therefore he wanted the national flag to be hoisted not in the state capital Madras, but at Ramanashram. This created a furor in the state, but the Chief Minister adamantly said, ―I will go to my Master.‖ He approached Bhagavan and insisted, ―You must hoist the national flag. It is a little-known fact: to the delight of all present, Bhagavan hoisted the flag. Then he turned to my Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer and said, ―Our Nayana‘s sankalpa is fulfilled.

Nayana‘s second sankalpa was also fulfilled by Bhagavan when he recognized Maha Samadhi for a woman, his mother. At that time it defied Hindu tradition. Now we venerate Anandamayi Ma, Mother Krishna Bai, Godavari Maatha, Shobanamma and many others. The exalted status of these women sages and saints, amongst others, was accepted by Hindu society only after the advent of the Ramana Gita. Now Bhagavan‘s words are quoted: that there is no difference between male or female. We must not forget that it was Kavyakantha, because of whom this wisdom was drawn out from Bhagavan. His second sankalpa found further fulfillment when Ramanashram appointed a woman as its manager of the School for the Vedas. This was to Kavyakantha‘s credit. He also contributed to her predecessor Major Chadwick‘s appointment, as the Vedapathashala‘s first manager. Being a westerner, this was unthinkable back then in India.

Nayana and his disciples plied Bhagavan with questions. Though the answers were not immediately noted down, Nayana had such a clear memory that later he condensed Bhagavan‘s answers into verses and recited them, saying, ―This is from the third chapter of Ramana Gita, or ―This is the eighth verse from the second chapter in the Ramana Gita.‖ He had not yet written Ramana Gita and people used to wonder at his claims. Then, finally one day, he sat down and wrote the entire Ramana Gita of three hundred verses. He wrote the questions with their answers and showed them to Bhagavan, who verified each one of them and remarked, ―Perfectly correct.
 
Devotees of Bhagavan are universally grateful to Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni: Firstly, he was the one who recognized and shared with the Master his celebrated, sacred name. Secondly, he was the first person who persuaded our Master to start talking. Before him, Sivaprakasam Pillai, Gambhiram Seshayya, and others assumed Bhagavan was in formal silence and received Bhagavan‘s answers in writing. It was only to Kavyakantha that Bhagavan started giving answers orally. He was also the one who insisted that Bhagavan write a poem in Sanskrit in the arya meter. Bhagavan replied that he knew very little of Sanskrit and its meters. Kavyakantha explained the rules of the arya meter and repeated his request. A day later, Bhagavan presented to an amazed Kavyakantha, two flawless verses. Then, on the following day, he presented three more. These five verses are none other than Arunachala Pancharatnam, a hymn that is chanted daily in front of Bhagavan‘s Samadhi.

In the Ramana Gita, one of Bhagavan‘s answers about women is most revealing. Nayana questions Bhagavan, ―Are not women equal to men?‖ Bhagavan answers, ―What is woman or man? It is based on the body. For the soul, there is no difference.‖ Then Kavyakantha asks, ―Then is it possible for women to Master the scriptures?‖ Bhagavan replied, ―Without a doubt. Nayana went on, ―Can women get Self-realization? Do they become jnanis? ―Without a doubt, the guru said. ―For the soul, which has to achieve realization, there is no difference.

In 1922, when Bhagavan‘s mother realized Maha Samadhi, it was not Bhagavan who wanted to entomb her, glorify her, or build a temple for her. It was Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni who helped carry her body to the present Ramanashram. He told Bhagavan, ―According to the scriptures and your words in the Ramana Gita, she is a realized soul. Therefore, she should be entombed with all sanctity. He administered this task, and it was around her Samadhi that the Matrabhuteshwara temple in Ramanashram was constructed. He even assigned the temple its name: Matrabhuteshwara, meaning ―the Lord who has become the mother.‖ Thus, the idea of the temple, the nucleus, around which Ramanashram was built, came from Kavyakantha. We therefore owe a great deal to this saint, who silently and gracefully worked in the background all the while.

Kavyakantha was a lofty man. Due to his intense penance, his kundalini rose, and, according to the scriptures, when the kundalini goes to the sahasra, the crown of the head, its power passes through the head and reaches the sun. Kavyakantha did not want this. Being Bhagavan‘s disciple, he wanted the energy to go to the spiritual Heart. The phenomenon of the kundalini energy reaching the brain is called kapala bheda—kapala is the ―head‖ or ―skull and bheda is ―to break. This is the highest achievement in kundalini yoga. When the pain grew unbearable, he knew this was going to happen. He ran to Bhagavan, who placed his hand on his head. Kavyakantha said, ―The moment Bhagavan put his hand on my head, it was like cool moon rays raining down on me. The pain completely subsided. Prior to this, some of Bhagavan‘s other devotees reported to have seen a faint vapor-like substance rising from the top of his head.

My Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, Kunju Swami, and Viswanatha Swami experienced another incident involving Bhagavan‘s grace upon Nayana. At one time, while doing penance in a Ganesa temple in Tiruvotiyur, near Chennai, Kavyakantha felt he was unable to progress spiritually. He prayed to Bhagavan, ―Help me! Help me! In response, he felt Bhagavan appearing before him, putting his hand on him, releasing him from his spiritual stagnation and then disappearing. Immediately Kavyakantha told his disciples about what happened. At the same time, Bhagavan at Skandashram collaborated, ―I was lying down, and all of a sudden, my body started floating. I heard the word ‗Tiruvotriyur‘ and walked in the main streets. I saw a Ganesa temple and entered it. Then, suddenly, I was back at Skandashram.

Then my Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, asked, ―How did this happen, Bhagavan?‖ Bhagavan replied, ―It is the sankalpa of Nayana. It was not my desire to go. He continued, ―With this experience I also understood how Siddhas—the legendary sages and saints—would seem to travel in the astral realm. Perhaps it was the same for me. Still, it was not mine, but Kavyakantha‘s desire made it transpire.

One day when Bhagavan was coming down the hill along with Nayana, Sundaresa Iyer, as well as some other devotees, he suddenly stopped and said, ―Nayana, look at me right now! The sun, moon, stars, and planets are revolving around my waist. The onlookers could not see the spectacle but they did see Bhagavan‘s body glowing with brilliance. Overawed, the devotees prostrated in front of the Master and chanted the sacred Purusha Suktham, a chant sung by ancient sages, praising the Lord of the Universe, where the sun and the moon are described as the two eyes of the Lord.

Bhagavan vouchsafed that after the kapala bheda and Tiruvotriyur experiences, an electric current, Shaktipat, had begun to pass through Kavyakantha‘s body. Therefore he could not walk barefoot on the earth without getting an electric shock. He began to wear wooden slippers but would reverently take them off in his Master‘s presence. Bhagavan would compassionately say, ―Nayana is coming. He cannot walk barefoot. Place a nonconductor, a wooden plank, for him to sit on. Give him also a woolen blanket that he can walk on without getting a shock.‖ We must respect Bhagavan‘s relationship with Kavyakantha. How the Master looked upon his disciples is more important than how a fellow disciple looked upon another. A sincere saint like Bhagavan admired Nayana, and that is all aspirants and devotees of Bhagavan should consider. "

From: THE HUMAN GOSPEL OF RAMANA MAHARSHI AS SHARED BY V. GANESAN 


74
Security Issues / Re: Stealing password or something else?
« on: September 10, 2012, 02:33:39 AM »
Yestertay,i came through computer,log in,posted something,logged,and then saw that i am still on the site,my name was there. But,actualy i wasnt.

I think it takes five minutes for it to display who all are using the site and five minutes to remove your name once you have logged out.

75
I think we should do some research before we promote such ideas.  Here is one site that will help us understand what being a UNESCO Heritage site really means:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-big-question-what-is-a-world-heritage-site-and-does-the-accolade-make-a-difference-997955.html

All in all, it is a really bad idea. However, the good news is that the Indian and Tamil Nadu governments are against it. They have been through this exercise before. ;D

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