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Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: July 05, 2016, 10:58:12 AM »
 Sri Ramana Photo

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: July 05, 2016, 10:55:59 AM »
Sri Ramana

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: July 05, 2016, 10:42:27 AM »
Sri Ramana pujai

An articile from Saranagathi Newsletter, July 2016

Obituary: Graham Boyd

Born in Leeds on 13th July 1949, Graham came to the Ashram in the mid-1990s
and began work on archival photo negatives. Self-trained in sound and electrical
engineering, Graham was instrumental in introducing computers to Ashram and he
designed the Ashram's first two websites way back when website-designing was still
quite new. In his youth while working odd jobs, Graham struggled to find inner peace
amidst the entanglements of modern life. But in the early 1980s when he came across
Mouni Sadhu's In Days of Great Peace, his life changed overnight and he began to call
himself a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

Graham was untiring in his service to the Ashram and among his many projects
were recording the Ashram Tamil Parayanam, digitising English publications, filming and
editing the biography on Bhagavan's life in the documentary entitled Eternal Light and other video project on
Arunachala Giripradakshina. His contribution in establishing the Archives was invaluable. It was Graham who
initiated the restoration of archival photographs of Sri Bhagavan that devotees the world over enjoy today. Ever
a friend of the poor, he quietly helped the needy.

Diagnosed with bone cancer in November 2015 and having undergone treatment in Chennai, Graham
was blessed to be able to live out his final days in Tiruvannamalai where he merged at the feet of Arunachala
on 16th June 2016 in the presence of friends and his daughter, Candice Faqir of Scarborough.

Remembering Graham Boyd
By Dennis Hartel

I first heard from Graham Boyd in early 1995. He had invested a great deal of time digitally restoring a series of photographs of Bhagavan and sent me these along with a letter. His daughter Candice was then working for a computer company and he somehow got enthused to use her computer to see how he could improve the quality of Bhagavan's photographs. Quality was the one word Graham was obsessed with, and ultimately this obsession proved to be of great value to Sri Ramanasramam over a period of 20 years.

Graham had first sent all his restored photos to Ramanasramam with a similar letter. He received no response. Obviously the letter and photos did not reach the right person there to elicit a response. He was discouraged, searched the internet and found Arunachala Ashrama, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Center in New York. Again another letter and package of restored photos were sent. This time it met with an appreciative recipient and a correspondence and friendship ensued, one which decidedly changed the direction of Graham's life.
In 1995, Graham was invited to come spend the summer in Nova Scotia to work on the restoration of Bhagavan's photographs. He accepted and ventured out of his British home and traveled west to the wilds of Canada. He had not traveled out of Britain before and never had he met another devotee of Ramana Maharshi. When he arrived, he said he did not know how to act or what to say. Everything was different and strange in this totally unfamiliar, natural and simplistic rural setting of the Ashrama.

Graham was sincere and he weathered the isolation and ruggedness of the place with humor. He was a strict vegetarian, but would only eat canned food. At the time he believed that vegetarianism was a certain way to liberation, moksha, and that was the major aspect of his sadhana till then. I walked Graham down the road to the cows feeding on the grass in the field next to the Ashrama and said, Prostrate here, for in that field (the cows) there are so many liberated souls eating only vegetarian food. I believe he got my point.
Graham was also adverse to meditation. His was the path of service. Though we make meditation an integral part of the life in Arunachala Ashrama, he was unable to participate. I said Why not meditate for some time each day  It will help you, He had a matter of fact reply which was typical with Graham but surprised me. Meditate Oh, I tried that. It doesnt work.
Of course, Graham, it doesnt work; you have to work AT IT,  I said.

That year Graham restored many photos and also produced digitally colored photos of Bhagavan which were excellent. He was a perfectionist in everything he did. I believe he was the first to take up the task of digital restoration of Ashrama photos. There was only one actual color photo of Bhagavan ever available, whereas all the other color prints we see of him were hand colored and reproduced. Graham took up the digital coloring of some popular photos of Bhagavan and whatever Graham did, he did it to the best of his ability in the way he conceived it best done. He would rarely compromise on materials used to restore and print the photos. About colors used, he would research each item in the photo to determine the correct color to be applied. He was quite successful in this endeavor.
Graham again visited Nova Scotia in 1996. While on this visit we printed thousands of his restored photos for distribution. Somehow, again, he lasted another summer in this remote Ashrama, surrounded by fields, forest and hills. His obsession with the avoidance of insects was most entertaining to us country folk. Not for him, though. But he did enjoy being the entertainer and our rustic, uncultured, country ways provided him with a storehouse of material to humor us.

As a result of his visits here, meeting devotees and living with them, he gained the confidence to visit Sri Ramanasramam in India. We felt that he would definitely be of far greater service there than here. We wrote to the Ashrama, introduced him to the President and suggested they use him for the archival restoration of photos.

They agreed. So in the winter of 1996 and 1997 Graham made his first visit to Bhagavan's abode. He took up photo restoration in right earnest. His proficiency in electronics, construction, organization, etc., was appreciated and gradually he took on a greater number of roles in the development of the Ashrama's computer room, archives and publications. He hosted Sri Ramanasramam's first website at the address of He took this responsibility seriously, knowing full well that the digital age had arrived and through this medium Sri Ramana Maharshi's life and teachings would be broadcast to the world. On this website he developed many different ways of introducing Ramanasramam and Bhagavan to seekers. Moved by the suffering of folk in the Tiruvannamalai area, he was sincerely involved in helping genuine charities and people in need. He quietly helped many of those in need personally, and through the website supported several charities.

On the website he also wrote his own first impressions of Tiruvannamalai  the town, the people, the traffic, animals, snakes, insects, etc. Graham would get a bit carried away at times and some of the descriptions were, true to his nature, tragically bizarre and negative. After reading it, I sent him an email and thanked him. Why? It is the experience of many devotees who have been visiting the Ashrama for decades that the place was now becoming increasingly crowded with all types of people coming to see the Ashrama. In a humorous way, I thought his graphic list of mishaps and accidents might serve to slow the tide of congestion in the Ashrama. Of course, as Bhagavan willed, that did not happen.

Graham had a caustic, blunt way about him. Whatever he thought was inadequate for the job he would not hesitate to unload his criticism on the object or even the person responsible. He did this to such an extent that I told him it appears to me that you are not happy unless you have something to complain about! And it was true! That was his nature. But no matter how much he criticized or ridiculed you, the beauty of it was that you never felt offended. There was no malice in his behavior, just a relentless obsession to do everything as perfect as possible. He felt that everything connected with Bhagavan's legacy  his teachings, his archival artifacts, photos, publications, website and Ashrama  should be restored, preserved and maintained at the very highest possible level at whatever the cost. That is how he expressed his devotion to his Master, and many devotees like me appreciated this.

On Thursday, 16th June, after several months of enduring an aggressive cancer, at the place he called his home, Arunachala, he was absorbed into the lotus feet of Arunachala-Ramana. He will always be remembered for the work he had done with a determined and uncompromising dedication.

from the newsletters new york ashramam

Griri valam road Trees

My deep condolences.  I met Mr Graham 2012 at his residence, Thiruvannamalai.  I took a photo.
Om Namo Bagavathe Sri Ramanaya

One afternoon, a lady from Kumbhakonam sat near Bhagavan and  exclaimed, "How glad I am that I have met you, Swami. I have craved to see you for a long time, Swami. Only please be kind and grant me salvation, Swami." With that she got up and went away. Bhagavan had a hearty laugh. "Look at her, all she its is salvation. Give her salvation, she wants nothing else." I said, "Is it not what we all want?" He replied, "Is salvation something to be handed over on request? Do I keep bundles of salvation concealed about me that people should ask me for salvation? She said, 'I do not want  anything.' If it is sincere, that itself is salvation, .What is there I can give and what is there they can take?"

Somebody brought a bell to be rung at the arti ceremony
and it was put into Bhagavan's hands. He tried its sound in various  ways and laughed, "God wants us to make a fire of our , past deeds and burn out karma in it. But these people burn a  copperworth of camphor and hope to please the Almighty. Do  they really believe that they can get something for nothing? They  do not want to bend to God, they want God to bend to them. In their greed they would swallow God, but they would not let  him swallow them. Some boast of their offerings. What have  they got to offer? The idol of Vinayaka (Ganesh) is made  of jaggery. They break off a piece of it and offer it to Him. The only  offering worthy of the Lord is to clear, the mind of thoughts  and remain steady in the peace of Self."

from the Ramana Smri -my life my light  by Varanasi subbalakshmiamma

A devotee who could freely approach Bhagavan came and told him five or six times that somebody had been abusing him. Bhagavan listened but said nothing. As there was no response from Bhagavan in spite of repeated and varied complaints and in a number of ways, this devotee could not contain himself any longer and so said, 'When I am abused so much unnecessarily, I also get angry. However much I try to restrain my anger I am not able to do so. What shall I do?'
Bhagavan  laughingly said, 'What should you do? You too join him and abuse yourself; then it will be all right.' All laughed.

That devotee, unable to understand anything, said 'That is very good! Should I abuse myself?' `
Yes indeed! What they are abusing is your body, isn't it? What greater enemy is there than this body which is the abode of anger and similar feelings? It is necessary that we ourselves should hate it. Instead of that, when we are unguarded, if anybody abuses us, we should know that they are waking us up. We should realise at least then, and join them in abusing the body, and crying it down. What is the use of counter-abuse? Those who abuse us that way should be looked upon as our friends. It is good for us to be among such people. If you are among  people  who praise you, you get deceived,' said Bhagavan.


Bhagavan :Again, in a Hindu marriage function, the feasts continue five or six days. A stranger was mistaken for the best man by the bride's party and they therefore treated him with special regard. Seeing him treated with special regard by the bride's party, the bridegroom's party considered him to be some man of importance related to the bride's party and therefore they too showed him special respect. The stranger had altogether a happy time of it. He was also all along aware of the real situation. On one occasion the groom's party wanted to refer to him on some point. They asked for him. He scented trouble and made himself scarce. So it is with the ego. If looked for, it disappears. If not, it continues to give trouble.

Bhagavan: Surrender appears easy because people imagine that, once they say with their lips, ' I surrender' and put their burdens on their Lord, they can be free and do what they like. But the fact is that you can have no likes or dislikes after your surrender ... your will should become completely non-existent, the Lord's will taking its place. Such death of the ego is nothing different from jnana. So by whatever path you may go, you must come to jnana or oneness.

Question: Is it possible to gain knowledge without the blessings of a Guru? Even Rama, who was like a dullard in his early life became a realised soul only with the help of his Guru.

Bhagavan: Yes, how can there be any doubts? The grace of the Guru is absolutely necessary. That is why Thayumanavar praised his Guru in his hymns, and another said, '0 Gurudeva, your look falling upon it, a tiger becomes gentle like a goat, a snake like a squirrel, and a bad man becomes a good man. And what else may not happen? With your gracious look everything becomes good. How can I describe your greatness?' The Guru's grace is extraordinary.

Question: What is Guru-kripa? [Guru's grace] How does it lead to Self-realisation?,

Bhagavan: Guru is the Self ..Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied with it, and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires, through prayer to God, etc. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain his grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God's grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association .The devotee's mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self . The Guru is both 'external' and 'internal'. From the `exterior' he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the 'interior' he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind. That is Guru-kripa. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self'

GVK 57

Those who, through rare, intense and surging devotion, exist by trusting solely in the Guru's piercing glance of grace will live in this world like Indra [the king of the gods]. There will be no suffering for them.

Generally 'live in this world like Indra' would imply 'enjoying the maximum amount of pleasure', but Muruganar has appended a brief note to this verse that says, 'They will live like Indra, rejoicing in the spiritual life.


57 The Greatness of the Guru

321 You may have acquired all the virtues and renounced all the vices; you may have renounced totally all your relationships and have no attachment; you may have completely performed all the many penances enjoined upon the virtuous by the scriptures; but however great you may be by virtue of your intellect and accomplishments, will you attain the experience, the state of kaivalyam [oneness] that is wholly bliss, until you obtain, as a result of meritorious karma, the good fortune of seeing the jnana-Guru?

GVK 57

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 30, 2016, 02:59:14 PM »
66th Aradhana of Bhagavan Ramana

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