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Messages - Child of Arunachala

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Dear Subramanian Sir,

Swami Ramakrishna used to look upon every person who came to him as the Divine Mother.  He accepted that each was in various stages of spiritual unfoldment but in his mind's eye he would bow to the people who came to him as the Divine Mother.   It was his way of obliterating the feeling of 'other"  Everyone became his own higher self.

I tried it on the orange robed sanyasi who was bothering me in Tiruvannamalai.  The irritation I had for him vanished. I am calm now when I see him. My mind is at peace.

Child of Arunachala

Bhagavan embraced everything that came his way as a gift from Arunachala - the cancer, the good food that the wealthy Maharajas offered him, the no food times .... everything. 

IMO, you are not being very spiritual by resenting the way you earn your livelihood or the corporation that is providing it to you. In fact you are creating kukarma.

If I were you and didn't have the means to renounce life completely and live like Ramana Maharshi, then I would embrace the parties wholeheartedly while silently remembering Bhagavan as I went about my day.  I would nibble on the non veg food, drink non-alchoholic drinks.  (I can teach you how to make a glass of nimbu juice and one big pakora last the entire evening.) Then I would chuck everything in the garbage bin and head home to meditate. 

About the wastage, to show how socially responsible you are, you can even start a bin for a food bank or an orphanage or an old age home. What is left over you can ceremoniously, with your boss' permission and including everyone, ship it off to a charity.  Every one will feel good that they did some good.

Accept everything as a gift from Arunachala. Thank him profusely for it. He gave you this lifestyle because you asked him for it at some time in the past.  When you have made enough money and fulfilled your family responsibilities, you can retire to Tiruvannamalai to live the lifestyle you want now. But don't forget to thank the IT company that made it possible for you to retire.  :)

Cautionary advice / Re: The annoying sadhu of Tiru
« on: April 16, 2012, 11:03:10 AM »
Dear Nagaraj

Your suggestions are full of wisdom. I was worried about my own attitude towards him, that too in the vicinity of Arunachala. That is why I posted.  I will abide in the Self and hope he goes away. Afterall Arunachala has a way of dealing with bothersome people. Arunachala has always come through for me.

I feel you have given me the answer to my problem - To abide in the Self and not be so much in the world.  Thank you.

Child of Arunachala

Cautionary advice / Re: The annoying sadhu
« on: April 16, 2012, 05:59:42 AM »
Subramanian, Sir

Thank you. Yes, I like the old meditation hall. BTW, this guy isn't a swami. He just wears orange robes and is very clean looking. He looks like one of us. So he isn't stopped when he goes into the old meditation hall.

Someone emailed me just now that his name is Krishnan. May be it is.   If anyone here has a more effective way of dealing with this guy, other than throwing stones at him,  please let me know.   He follows me to stores in the big temple area. The moment the shop keepers spot him, they charge me a Rs 1 or 2 more. Not that I mind giving, just don't want to be forced to give and definitely not to this pest.

Cautionary advice / Re: The annoying sadhu of Tiru
« on: April 15, 2012, 06:47:12 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

That is a beautiful lesson from Swami Vivekananda, isn't it?  I will try to imbibe it in my life. Thank you.

Dear Subramanian Sir,

Lucy Maa's daughter and the Sri Lankan lady are good people.  This guy is a mendicant who roams the streets in an orange dhoti.  I am sure you will know who I am referring to if you see him.  He is tall, lanky, dark skinned and looks very clean. You can't miss him. He comes to Ramanasramam usually in the afternoons and evenings when there are more westerners.

I was really looking for ways to deal with this man. I find him very bothersome. His mind is definitely not on spiritual practices but looks the part of an educated sadhu with vibuti, rudraksha and orange robes  AND a huge watch.

That is why while I love going to Ramanasramam, I just cant meditate there anymore because I have to be vigilant.  So now I just meditate in my room.  Bhagavan is there, Arunachala also comes.

Child of Arunachala

Cautionary advice / The annoying sadhu of Tiru
« on: April 15, 2012, 03:57:49 PM »
I wonder if anyone else has had interaction with this tall, lanky, white-haired sadhu in Tiruvannamalai that I find really annoying. He wears an orange dhoti and is usually bare chested with a string of rudrakshas around his chest. Some times he wears an orange kurta. He speaks very good English and Tamil and is often to be seen in the big temple holding court or in the tea shop opposite Ramanasramam talking to westerners. If he comes into Ramanasramam, it is because he is trailing someone.

I find him really annoying. He has been trying to strike up a conversation with me for atleast a couple of years, he may have been watching me for more. When I am bargaining with a shop owner, he appears from no where and butts in.  He wants my cell phone number.  He wants to be my teacher and show me around the big temple but I really don't like him and don't want to talk to him but he doesn't get it.  Short of throwing stones at him, I don't know what else to do to him.

Enquiries at Ramanasramam revealed that he is the son of an honorable ex-employee. Somehow this boy (now a elderly man) went wayward and is begging on the streets.  Did I mention all he seems to be interested in is your money but uses spirituality as his vehicle to nab the first time westerner.

Every time I go to Tiru now, I send up a prayer that I don't have to see this person - the tall, lanky, white haired man in orange. I don't know his name and I don't want to know. That is how miffed I am at him  >:(

Dear Swayam,

If you send me your email address, I will send you an MP3 recording of the Aksharamalai and a word document with the lyrics and meaning in English.

It is my favourite chant. Only Bhagavan could have composed such a beautiful song.

Child of Arunachala

Arunachala / Re: Arunachala from the path opposite Ramanashramam GAte.
« on: February 14, 2012, 03:52:28 PM »
On a recent trip to India, when we were nearing Chennai Airport my neighbour opened the blinds quite dramatically. So I turned to look and couldn't believe my eyes. I saw a mountain like Arunachala. At first I thought I was imagining it because I had been doing the Arunachala mantra throughout the flight.  Then I thought may be all mountains look like Arunachala from up above 

When we landed in Chennai, I asked the pilot if we passed Tiruvannamalai... maybe ... perhaps???  and he said with a smile "Ofcourse we did. Why did you see Arunachala?"

Arunachala / Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« on: January 28, 2012, 02:13:13 PM »
Dear Swayam,

I am so happy for you that you did a first girivalam.  Have no expectations. Arunachala will give you everything.

There are some people who do girivalam every day. I met one Indian man who had done close to 500 in the few years he has been in Tiruvannamalai. The shastras say the siddhas, sun, moon, even Hanuman, have done countless girivalam to reach their exalted states. So here is a goal for us to aspire for.

Did you have your mind on Arunachala as you walked? You didn't say!


Child of Arunachala

Arunachala / Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« on: January 24, 2012, 02:57:21 PM »
Dear Swayam,

The website  will give you a lot of information.

a) There is train from Tirupati to Tirvannamalai

b) As others have suggested here, doing Girivalam at 6.00 a.m is great. You would have fasted all night and by the time you complete your girivalam it will be time for brunch. But use common sense. If you have health issues, by all means drink water or tea or even munch on something.  Bhagavan used to do Girivalam over three days and have a travelling kitchen with him. They would stop in the forest, cook, eat and rest before their resumed walking.

Walk slowly with your mind on Arunachala. Walk on the left side of the road so the siddhars can walk on the right and you can have the blessings of both the siddhars and Arunachala.  At the same time, watch out for traffic. A lot of accidents have happened on that road. 

Lets face it. We all live in the city and are not used to walking barefoot on concrete for 14 kms.   My theory is that Arunachala will not mind if you wear chappals if you have to but keep your mind pure. That is important. Arunachala is a very compassionate God.

(c) skip taking a bath in the tirthas on your first visit.

(d) take incense, agarbatti and matchbox so you can light it at the various lingas that you will pass.  Some people take mud lamps, ghee in a packet, thiri and matches and light them at each lingam. It makes their first girivalam very special.   I don't anymore.

(e) be sure to feed the sadhus (anyone who wears orange robes, wears rudraksha and vibhuti). The rest are all orange beggars.  There are a lot of poor women outside Esanya Lingam. They get very little because by the time people reach the last lingam, they have finished they cache of change and food. So may want to keep your best for the last lingam.

(f) be sure to feed the dogs (bhairava) and monkeys (hanuman) on the way.  You will find crows too. They all like biscuits.

(g) the Arunachaleswarar temple will be crowded on Shivaratri but I have found if you keep you mind on Arunachala, the crowd will not affect you. Arunachala will find you ways in and out.  So the most important thing is to keep your mind on Arunachala.

Have a safe and lovely Girivalam.

Child of Arunachala

Even it there is not one, you start one in your heart and in your home.  Draw up a program that appeals to you and follow it diligently. People will come. Even they don't come, you would have set up a practice for yourself and will evolve spiritually.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Sadhana
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:20:24 PM »
Subramaniam Sir,

Sorry to ask this dumb question.  [1] Will the English version of 'Who am I' give the same results?

[2] I heard the Lalita Sahasranamam being chanted in one of the temples on the Girivalam path and was captivated by it   What are the benefits of chanting it?

Ashrams / Re: stay in Ramanasramam and Tiruvannamalai
« on: September 18, 2011, 06:18:01 PM »
I have seen Bhagavan's entire family do this kind of pradakshina but they also include the well outside the samadhi.  I was told the well is Goddess Lakshmi.  We need her grace to do our spiritual practices.

I did it and found that as we enter Bhagavan's samadhi, there is a raised platform at the doorway to be mindful of - so it kept me mindful of my ego and be fully present and surrendered. I didn't go around the well because my tender feet couldn't take the sun baked and very uncomfortable tiles.

Ashrams / Re: stay in Ramanasramam and Tiruvannamalai
« on: September 18, 2011, 03:47:03 AM »
Thank you Vishnave.  I replied to it   (with more questions  :)

Subramaniam Sir,  I can't walk 14k with socks only. Maybe I will go around the Arunachaleswarar Temple barefoot.  I hope that counts.

Ashrams / Re: stay in Ramanasramam and Tiruvannamalai
« on: September 15, 2011, 02:01:38 PM »
This question is for Vishnave,

I am very happy that you got to spend three w.e.e.k.s in Tiru.  I would like to do it soon.  Would you mind sharing the name and phone number of the guest house you stayed at.  Did you have to book in advance? Was it clean? No bed bugs, rats or roaches?  :)

This part is for Subramaniam Sir

How often do people do Girivalam? Are thin slippers allowed.  I have tender tootsies :)

Thank you

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