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Messages - atmavichar100

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Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
Akshara Mana Malai- 100 years

“Desirelessness is wisdom” teaches Sri Ramana Maharshi in the seminal work “Who am I”. Followers of Ramana Maharshi strive for desirelessness as a spiritual goal.
Even spiritual aspirants committed to “desirelessness” must engage in life sustaining acts like finding food and water. Renunciates in Hinduism are permitted to live on alms as a means of cultivating desirelessness and humility.

Some renunciates who associated with Ramana Maharshi lived on alms. They went to town collectively in a group singing praises of the Lord.

Before descending the Hill for alms, the sadhu would blow a conch shell, providing an initial notice to the pious residents of the town who provided them food. Once again, at the foot of the Hill they would blow the conch announcing their arrival at the town for alms. The town folks graciously offered them plenty of food out of respect for their association with Ramana Maharshi who was living on the Hill.

The arrangement worked well until men who were not followers of Ramana Maharshi found out the special generosity of householders towards devotees of Maharshi. They too formed a group, blew on a conch and walked the streets singing traditional praises of the Lord. Purposely, they started on the rounds to collect food a little earlier than the devotees of the Maharshi. The generous householders could not distinguish between Bhagavan’s real devotees and the imposters who were similarly clad and singing similar praises of the Lord. The devotees of Maharshi had to return with meager collections and accept hunger.

The devotees, victimized by identity theft, turned to their Savior, Ramana Maharshi who was personification of the infinite compassion of Arunachala with matchless power to change misfortune into good fortune. Perumal Swamy a disciple of Maharshi requested Him to compose a unique prayer that would secure for them the Presence of Ramana Maharshi and reveal to the world their true status as His genuine followers.

Normally those going out begging for food sing a song with the refrain “Samba SadaSiva, Samba SadaSiva, Samba SadaSiva Hara Hara”. At first, the Maharshi composed a few similar lines with the refrain “Arunachala” and stopped. Perumal was waiting for the next lines but was disappointed. One day, the Maharshi went for giri pradakshina(walking around the hill) alone. That day one hundred and eight verses invoking the grace of Lord Arunachala gushed forth like a perennial spring from the depths of Maharshi’s heart.

The very name of the song reveals its import (bhava); the bride was the Jiva (Maharshi himself) the bridegroom was Lord Arunachala. The Maharshi created situations where the bride pined for the bridegroom and thus composed the song.

Normally a pining lover’s words would be piteous but when they are accompanied by devotion the effect is perfect. The bride displays various feelings like self-pity, bashfulness, maturity and hurt at being spurned; all these make the poem exquisite with a remarkable co-mingling of bhakti(devotion) and sringara(romantic love). Like sugar in milk, the poem abounds in upadesa of wisdom also. In the original Tamil the words employed have more than one meaning, which makes a perfect translation impossible. Those who sing and listen to the song at the Ashram are overwhelmed with joy. When the bhava is sweet and the words are delicately balanced – this is only to be expected. This song has a soothing effect in the hearts of devotees.

The first effect of the sacred song was to solve the problem of food shortage. In “Day by Day with Bhagavan” it is recorded that Bhagavan says that Akshara Mana Malai fed the devotees for many years. The power of the song is far greater than simply vouching daily ration of food by the Grace of Arunachala. It assures for us the presence of Arunachala and Sri Ramana Maharshi wherever we may live.

Sri Ramana Maharshi poured His heart out and imparted His spiritual power into Akshara Mana Malai as a gift to His devotees so that they may easily invoke His gracious presence wherever they want.
The sacred poem if regularly chanted confers the protective umbrella of Aruanachala (Maha Guru Sri Ramana Maharshi). It has the power to remove the obstacles facing the devotee and to guide him in day-to-day life.

A hundred years have passed since the “Akshara mana Malai” came into existence. The centenary event will be observed by organizing daily chants of Akshara Mana Malai at the ashram and all the centers dedicated to Ramana Maharshi. May all devotees learn and chant Akshara Mana Malai with fervour! May they all emerge victorious in their endeavour to gain self-knowledge of which Arunachala and Ramana Maharshi are supreme symbols! May all benefit by the power of the presence of Ramana Maharshi revealed by his immortal composition “Akshara Mana Malai”.

The Asramam is going to celebrate the 100 years of Arunachala Akshara Manamalai this year.  There is a notice in this regard,
in the Asramam website, www.Sri Ramana

Thanks Subramaniam Sir for this reminder .  I have to get back to regular of  Chanting Arunachala Akshara Manamalai ( AAMM) again .Glad that the Ramana Ashram is celebrating the 100 years of AAMM in a special way this year .

Cautionary advice / Re: Depression, despair and hopelessness in sadhana
« on: January 22, 2014, 09:21:26 AM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: January 16, 2014, 01:10:16 PM »
From Spiritual Stories


While Bhagavan was perusing the monthly journal Grihalakshmi he began to laugh and handed the journal to Suri Nagamma as she was leaving the hall, saying, “The greatness of garlic is described in it. Please read it.”

The article contained recipes for making chutneys and pickles and in conclusion it stated that there is nothing equal to it in its greatness and its benefit to the body. When Suri Nagamma returned to the hall in the afternoon, Sri Bhagavan inquired if she had read the article and said, “People say it is very good for health. Really it is so. It cures rheumatism and gives strength to the body. For children it acts like amrit (nectar). Garlic is also known as amrit.”

A devotee asked how it got that name. Sri Bhagavan replied, “There is a curious story about it,” and began telling the following story.

AS IS WELL known, when gods (devas) and demons (rakshasas) churned the ocean, amrit came out of it. When the rakshasas were running away with the vessel containing amrit, the devas appealed to Vishnu. Vishnu came on to the scene in the shape of Mohini (enchantress), and offered to resolve their quarrel by serving amrit to them all. They agreed. While serving it to the gods first, it appeared that there might not be enough to go round for the demons. One of the latter got into the line of the gods, unobserved by Mohini, and was swallowing the amrit, when the Sun and Moon noticed it and gave her the hint. She threw the ladle, with which the amrit was being served, at the demon in such a way as to cut off his head. The ladle became the Chakra (an invincible lethal weapon of Vishnu) and cut off his head.

But as the amrit had already gone down his throat, the head became a graha (planet) and has since been taking vengeance on the Sun and Moon at the time of an eclipse.

That is the story. Now, when the head of the demon was severed, the trunk fell down, and in the process, a few drops of amrit fell on the ground. It is said that those drops became the garlic plant. That is why it is said that garlic has some of the properties of amrit. It is very good for the body. But since it also has the touch of the demon, it has tamasic qualities too, which when eaten affect the mind. Hence, it is forbidden for sadhakas.

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: January 13, 2014, 05:56:23 AM »
DON’T LET TECHNOLOGY RULE YOUR LIFE The following are the discourses of H.H (His Holiness Jagadguru Bharathi Teertha Mahaswamigal) with a group of students from Technology Institute.
Stu – we are all proud to be the students of technological science
H H – I am glad to hear that. That is the correct attitude, unless you have such an attitude towards the job you have undertaken, you may not achieve great things in life.
Stu – Thank you Swamiji, for your encouragement. Its due to rapid improvement in the field of technology that the employment opportunities have shot up
HH – (laughing wholeheartedly) True, true! Even this Swamiji has received a number of job assignments!
Stu – (Surprised) Oh, is that so? Would your Holiness kindly explain the details?
HH – Sure, sure! See, you technologists develop some product, say, the TV. Once it comes in the market, three kinds of assignments are thrust on Me. One, the parents of the children who become addicted come to Me and assign Me the job of finding a solution to de – addict them!! Two those who cannot afford such expensive appliances face the wrath of their children at home. They too rush to Me and assign Me with the task of working out a solution to this. Three, those who invent huge sums of money to either take up the dealership for such appliances or manufacture similar items, face business fluctuations and reach Me promptly assigning Me the job of suggesting remedial solutions!. Don’t you see, every single appliance you technologists product opens up a 3-in-1 job opportunity to the Swamiji here!!
Stu – (in a tone of astonishment) Swamiji, we sincerely feel that your account, thought presented in a tons of amusement, aims at opening our eyes into the world of reality. Does you Holiness indicate that we technologists should keep in mind the socio – economic impacts of our creation?
HH – (Smiling) Yes technology is definitely a boon to the society, for society has benefitted from technology in countless ways... however, when the human mind becomes desire stricken, the same technology proves to be a curse!. You, the pillars of the future society should sincerely strive to create a state of affair, where technology is no more viewed as a “necessary evil” but treated as an an all –time friend. Stu – Thank you Swamiji. We have learnt a very valuable lesson. His Holiness then blessed them with the holy Prasad.

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: January 12, 2014, 07:10:22 PM »

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: January 05, 2014, 07:03:02 PM »
New Year Calendar 2014

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: December 25, 2013, 12:18:26 PM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: December 25, 2013, 09:18:34 AM »
The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi on Vichara v/s Mantra Japa

Visitor: I am taught that Mantra Japam is very potent in practice.

Bhagavan: The Self is the greatest of all mantras and goes on automatically and eternally. If you are not aware of this internal mantra, you should take to it consciously as japam, which is attended with effort, to ward off all other thoughts. By constant attention to it, you will eventually become aware of the internal mantra, which is the state of Realization and is effortless. Firmness in this awareness will keep you continually and effortlessly in the current, however much you may be engaged in other activities. Listening to Vedic chanting and mantras has the same result as conscious repetitions of japam — its rhythm is the japam.

Visitor: As far as I can see it, it is impossible to realize the Self until one has completely succeeded in preventing the rushing thoughts. Am I right?

Bhagavan: Not exactly. You do not need to prevent other thoughts. In deep sleep you are entirely free from thoughts, because the 'I-thought' is absent. The moment the 'I-thought' rises on waking, all other thoughts rush out spontaneously. The wisest thing for one to do is therefore to catch hold of this leading thought, the 'I-thought', and dissect it — who and what it is —giving thereby no chance to other thoughts to distract one. There lies the true value of the vichara and its efficacy in mind control.

— from Guru Ramana, Chapt. XI, Meditation

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: December 24, 2013, 01:12:24 PM »
If you ask "Who in this world is rich or who poor?" the answer is that he alone is rich who is rid of desires, and whose heart is full of contentment. Lacking this quality, the others are indeed poor.
It is best, therefore, to uphold the ideal of contentment and lead a happy and prosperous life. - Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

This album of Unnikrishnan is what I listen to Often and I like it very much . Those who want can download the songs from the link below :
Jothi Vadivana Annamalai – Unni Krishnan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: December 23, 2013, 04:52:12 PM »

I was a school teacher in Ooregaum. After my retirement I settled down in Bangalore. I first came to know about the greatness of Bhagavan in 1918. Immediately I went to Tiruvannamalai and met him at the Skandasram. He enquired about my name and the place from which I had come, and graciously asked me to partake of food at the Ashram.
His darshan, his gracious enquiry, his affectionate feeding, had a tremendous impact which cannot be adequately described in words. Just as a magnet attracts a needle, I got attracted to him. Thereafter until Bhagavan’s mahasamadhi I used to visit and stay with him whenever I got an opportunity.

A few months after my first visit, I took my wife with me. Bhagavan, with great love made us sit on a platform and served us food with his own divine hands. I cannot adequately praise the rich sweetness of the holy prasadam we ate from his hands. My wife often used to feel
sick and could not eat any food. When we consulted the doctors they said that hers was a case of tuberculosis and hence nothing could be done. However, one day Bhagavan appeared in her dream and blessed her. Thereafter, to the great surprise of all, she was completely cured of her disease without any medical treatment.

In the evening, we felt an intense desire to worship Bhagavan’s holy feet. Even though it was against the custom of the Ashram, and his disciples would not permit this, Bhagavan out of his abundant mercy knowing our ardent desire brought about a situation wherein those present went out for sometime for one reason or another. And we could offer pada puja to our heart’s content.

But when I again went in 1923, he firmly declined repetition of the puja as was done by us earlier. It looked as though Bhagavan avoided traditional worship in view of the increasing number of visitors, who could also have asked for the same privilege. Moreover, Bhagavan was very much against worshipping his physical form in any manner.

N. Ramachandra Rao authored Sri Ramana’s first biography in Kannada.


General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: December 22, 2013, 08:51:27 PM »

One becomes eligible to do Sandhyopasana by getting
up before Arunodaya (twilight), attending to calls of nature, purifying the body etc. as laid down by the shastras, brushing the teeth and taking bath. Even in times when it is not possible to bathe by dipping in river or with hot water from a bucket, one of ten different forms of bath should be undertaken. (In addition to water, the other nine forms are: Aagneyam, Vaarunam, Braahmam, Vaayavyam, Divyam, Maanasam, Paarthivam, Kaapilam and Saarasvatam). Karmas mentioned in texts of dharma like Veda do not purify one who does not practise Achara (basic rules of conduct).

After bath, one should wear dry clothes, apply religious marks (pundras) on forehead etc., wash feet, have upavita (sacred thread), do Achamanam
twice as per rules and perform Sandhyopasanam facing east (or north). There is a Tamil adage meaning “Offer (Argya) without seeing (the Sun in the morning), without angularity (at noon when Sun is straight up) and with seeing (before Sunset in
evening)”. Sandhyopasanam must be done before Sunrise in the morning. In case of inconvenience, it
should be done at least within 3 ¾ nazhigas (1½ hours) after Sunrise after performing Pranayama as atonement.

Maadhyahnikam must be done after 11¼ nazhigas (10.30 a.m.). If it is not convenient to do it before Sun travels westward, it should be done at least before evening.

In the evening Sandhya, Argya should be given when the Sun’s zone is half set and upasthanam should be done as soon as stars rise. It should be done at least before close of Pradosha kala (i.e. 3¾ nazhigas, i.e. 1½ hours after Sunset).

Even during impure times like Sutaka (child birth), Sandhyopasana should be done, chanting mantras mentally. Gobila Smriti says that at times when Sandhyopasana has to be done with wet clothes on, Gayatri mantra alone should be chanted (while on the bank of river). If wet cloth is squeezed and blown 7 times, it is equal to dry cloth. It is best to chant Gayatri 1008 times; it is laid down that it should be chanted at least 108, 54, 28, 27 or 10 times.

In Sandhyopasana, Dhyanam (meditation) is important. In the morning Sandhya, one has to meditate that he is same as Sandhya Devata, who is Aditya Deva of red colour and named Gayatri. In the noon prayer, he mediates that he is same as Devata of white colour, of the form of Rudra and named Savitri. In the evening, he meditates that he is same as Sandhya Devata, who is Aditya Deva of black colour, of the form of Vishnu and named Saraswati.

Some say that four parts of Sandhyopasana, viz. offering Argya, meditating as mentioned above, chanting Gayatri and doing upasthanam, are important. In the Mahabharata war, Dharmaraja,etc all did meditation alone scrupulously, when they were unable to do Prokshanam (sprinkling),etc as water was not available.
From this it is clear that meditation (dhyanam) is very important. Further in view of the fact that Dharmaraja,etc did not leave Sandhyopasana completely even in times of danger to life and did dhyanam at least, it is certain that people, who are not in situations of emergency of that type, should perform all aspects of
Sandhyopasana in proper time as per rules laid down.

It is good to meditate on Rishi, chandas, Devata and Viniyogam of different mantras; it is beneficial to
meditate on the meaning of mantras too. It is very good
to understand and perform Bhutasuddhi, Pranaprathishtha, mudras etc. The greatness of Pranayama is immeasurable. It is important even for healthy life in this world.

Courtesy- VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA (Regd.), Publication no 45.

Health & Welfare Issues / Re: Sattvic curry recipe for lentils or beens
« on: December 19, 2013, 07:55:58 PM »
Dear Child of Arunachala

Sorry missed your post and only now looking at the same . For Fasting on Ekadasi and other important spiritual occasions where fasting or eating light food is recommended people take "Sabudhani Kitchadi" and I giving a link to recipe of the same here

Hope u find it useful .

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:16:22 AM »
What should we pray for before the deity? We should most humbly pray to the Lord thus:
1. Please cleanse my mind and make it pure; by immediately driving away my natural enemies – lust and anger.
2. Please grant me steadfast faith and devotion.
3. Kindly grant me the inspiration and strength to discharge all duties assigned to me faithfully.
4. May my mind refrain from wrong deeds.
5. Bless me with the company of the pious. – Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

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