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The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: November 29, 2015, 11:52:17 PM »
Sri Ramana's Boyhood in Madurai

N. R. Krishnamurti Aiyer

After the passing away of their father Sundaram Iyer at Thiruchuzhi, the boys Nagasami and Venkataraman (later to be known as Ramana Maharshi) were brought up by their paternal uncle Subbier, residing at Chokkappa Naickan Street (now known  Rarnana Mandiram) in Madurai. The brothers, who were robust and ardent sportsmen in their early teens, gathered around themselves a circle of sturdy young friends, among whom M. S. Vcnkataraman, Suppiah Thevar and Narayanasami were most
imminent. All these three predeceased the Maharshi. The writer of  his article knew these persons in the early 1930s and could get from  them the following accounts of their personal relations with boy Ramana.

The following account was given by M. S. Venkataraman, who was a clerk in the Health Department of the District board In Madurai.

M. S. Venkataraman was then just about ten years old, too young  to participate fully in the outdoor adventures of the boys. Nevertheless he had his share in them. The members of his family were co-tenants of the house with Subbiers family. Every night, when the whole house was silent in sleep, Nagasami and Ramana, whose beds were in a remote corner of the house, would appropriately  adjust their pillows and cover them up with their bed sheets  so that it would create the impression of their presence in their beds. It was the duty of the little  M. S. Venkataraman to bolt  the door of the house when the brothers went out at about 11pm , and to admit them on their return at about 4 a.m.  Now let us turn our attention to Suppiah Thevar. At the time the author saw Suppiah Thevar he was employed in a firewood depot. He also conducted, during the cool hours of the morning and evening, a physical training school in which young men had training in silambam, in which Thevar was an adept. Silambam is a sort of quarterstaff, a very hard bamboo stick of about five feet, to be whirled about so that the wielder could knock out any opponent who dared to come near. The stick was  an instrument of defence as well of attack. Strength of body and  muscle were also developed by physical training in the school
Suppiah Thevar was a master in this field. 

The following account was obtained from Suppiah Thevar who was himself an active participant of these boyhood activities . The venue of the activities, fixed well in advance, would either the sandy river bed of the Vaigai or the Pillaiyarpaliam  Kanmoi (rain-fed tank) close to Aruppukottai Road, on outskirts of Madurai city. Every member of the group would , while passing the house of Ramana, leave a pebble at the step. Nagasami and Ramana, as leaders of the group, would be  the last to sally forth from the house after a check of the pebbles  showed that all their friends had gone to the place of the meeting . There was rarely a defaulter. Ramana and his playmates had jolly time playing games on the sandy bed of the Vaigai River engaging in swimming contests in the Pillaiyarpaliam Tank. They would then return sufficiently early to their beds without exciting
the least suspicion of their absence from home.

The next account was obtained from Narayanasami. When the author met him he was librarian in the town hall of Madurai known as Victoria Edward Hall.

Usually, the terrace of the house and the small room in the boy Venkataraman made his "Self-enquiry" were vacant and  rarely used by the families in the ground floor. Here the youngsters  played. One of the games they played was what they called 'throw  ball'. Young Ramana would roll his body into something like a ball  and the sturdy group of youngsters would throw him fromone player to another. Sometimes the human ball fell down when the player failed to catch it. The wonder of it was that for all this rough tossing and dropping, there was not the least scratch on his skin, let alone any muscular sprain or bone fracture!

Narayanasami said that he used to see his friend sitting still for  long stretches of time in the small room on the first floor. Narayanasami asked Ramana whether he could also do likewise. Forthwith Ramana told his friend to squat on the floor with his legs crossed (as in the semi-padmasana posture) and pressed a pencil point midway between his eyebrows. Narayanasami losthis  sense of body and world and sat still in a trance for more than half an hour. When he came to himself he saw Ramana sitting, with his face wreathed in smiles. Narayanasami said that he failed
when he tried to repeat the experience by himself.

from the Ramana Smrti

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:45:50 PM »
Ramanashramam New Meditation Hall

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:41:46 PM »
Rishabha or Bull is the vehicle of the Lord. Sages tell us that it stands for Dharma or righteousness meaning only righteous devotee will be chosen by the Lord to carry Him or His message. Why was Bull chosen over other vehicles In part due to its tenacity which will crush under the weight of the load but will not take a single step backwards. The images for the evening procession will be seen tomorrow. Please see images of Special Veda Parayana at the ashram and Sri Vidya Havan at Rajarajeswari temple near Sankara Mutt.

Unique One, giver of goodness, Lord Sonagiri! He whose beautiful form is seated upon the bull! When will you grant me the boon of eternal life, At what time shall I, in joy, obtain it This much tell to me, your solitary devotee, this very day! Guhai Namasivayar

The power of the name Arunachala was once directly confirmed by Sri Bhagavan. In 1948 a certain devotee came to him from Bombay, and with him he brought a notebook in which he had written the name 'Arunachala Siva' many thousands of times. On the last page of this notebook the devotee wrote a prayer to the following effect, 'O Bhagavan, in the life of Sarada Devi [the wife of Sri Ramakrishna] it is written that she has said that if even an animal dies in Kasi it will attain liberation. Therefore, graciously bestow upon be the boon of death in Kasi.' and gave the notebook to Sri Bhagavan.
Bhagavan looked through the notebook and when he came to the last page he read out loud the devotee's prayer: at once he expressed the greatest surprise and exclaimed, 'Smaranat Arunachalam!'

The words 'Smaranat Arunachalam' mean 'by remembering Arunachala', and they occur in the very same Sanskrit verse that says that by dying in Kasi one will attain liberation. Bhagavan then turned to the revolving bookcase by his side and took out a book,probably the Arunachala Mahatmyam. Opening it as if at random, he read out a sentence in Tamil that said, 'One ''Arunachala'' is equal power to three crore ''Om Nama Sivaya'''.

I have seen a wonder, a magnetic hill that forcibly attracts the soul. Arresting the activities of the soul who thinks of it even once, drawing it to face itself, the One, making it thus motionless like itself, it feeds upon that sweet [pure and ripened] soul. What a wonder is this! O souls, be saved by thinking of this great Arunagiri, which shines in the mind as the destroyer of the soul [the ego]. Sri Ramna Maharshi

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: November 18, 2015, 05:02:31 PM »
Today morning Abhisekham to the Lord Arunachala was performed with 1008 Conch shells. Yesterday night Panchamurti in silver Indra Vahanam (Vehicle) were taken out in procession. Today morning procession included Vinayakar and Chandrasekharar with Bhuta Vahanam. Muthuswami Udaiyar, the man who had served Isanya Desikar for many years while he had been mediating near Vettavalam, had become very unhappy when his holy man had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared without giving him any explanation. However, he was not left in this state of dejection for very long. One night, Lord Arunachaleswara himself appeared in one of his dreams in the guise of Isanya Desikar and said, 'Dear son, don't feel sad. I am staying at the north-eastern corner of Arunachala. You can come and see me there.'
Then Arunachaleswara appeared in his own divine form to Isanya Desikar and told him, 'Dear son, I have asked a devotee to come to the north-eastern side of Arunachala to see you. Go there and meet him.'

As Isanya Desikar was walking towards the appointed rendezvous he began to compose some of the verses that were later known as Svanubhava Stotra Pamalai (Garland of Hymns of Self-Experience). These eventually numbered 117, all of which were addressed to Lord Arunachala. From the second verse onwards it becomes clear that in discovering Arunachala he had found both his true Guru and his God.
O Arunachala! Your devotees, recognizing you as the infinite reality who is grace embodied in the form of fire, beyond the reach of Brahma and Vishnu, sang in praise of your greatness. I, who have in a miraculous way found you and adopted you as my Guru, may say many things about you, but all I really know is that you are the great and adored Lord Arunagiri. I am unable to say anything more. Muthuswami Udaiyar

O Love in the shape of Arunachala! Now that by Thy Grace Thou hast claimed me, what will become of me unless Thou manifest Thyself to me, and I, yearning wistfully for Thee and harassed by the darkness of the world, am lost (How) can the lotus blossom without the sight of the sun Thou art the Sun of suns; Thou causest Grace to well up in abundance and pour forth as a stream! Ramana Maharshi

General topics / Re: Audio books related to Bhagavan
« on: November 14, 2015, 11:27:24 PM »
Dear Swayam

These sites may be useful for you

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: November 13, 2015, 02:44:36 PM »
A story about the Karthigai Maha Radham

There are a number of powerful sacred burial sites dedicated to Sufi saints in Tiruvannamalai, one of the most famous being that of the woman saint, Syedini Bibi.

In 1880 the Darghar in Car Street was built by the Nawab of the time in honour of this great Sufi Saint. Although the burial site faces noisy Car Street, it is renowned for its powerful and peaceful vibrations. It is believed that both Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Sri Ramana Maharshi often sat in meditation at this place, and in more contemporary times the tomb was frequently favoured by Sri Yogi Ramsuratkumar ,Darghar on Car Street

Syedini Bibi came from the middle east in the early nineteenth century. Like many Sufis before her she landed at Nagore on the south-east coast. From there she travelled inland a few hundred kilometers to Arunachala where she settled for the rest of her life.

Little is known about the life of this saint, however there are several famous stories connected with her tomb.

Once such story concerns the Karthigai Festival.

The story goes that the Tiruvannamalai authorities decided to demolish the burial grounds (where Syedini Bibi was buried), in order to widen the road to more easily accommodate the Maha Radham (Big Car Chariot) during the Deepam Festival.

In response to this proposal, many protested against disturbing the Saint?s grave, and the authorities postponed the demolition. The myth that was handed down claims that the postponement came about because during the Karthigai Festival, as the gigantic Maha Radham (Wooden Chariot) passed, one of its huge wheels accidentally knocked the side of Syedini Bibi?s tomb and the Maha Radham immediately burst into flames.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: November 03, 2015, 11:09:25 AM »
The Other Worlds

Someone enquired of Bhagavan: People talk of Vaikunta,
Kailasa, Indraloka, Chandraloka, etc. Do they really exist??
Bhagavan replied: Certainly. You can rest assured that they
all exist. There also a swami like me will be found seated, and
disciples like this will also be seated around. They will ask
something and he will say something in reply. Everything will
be more or less like this. What of that? If one sees Chandraloka,
he will ask for Indraloka, and after Indraloka, Vaikunta and
after Vaikunta, Kailasa, and then this and that, and the mind
goes on wandering. Where is shanti? If shanti is required, the
one correct method of securing it is by Self-enquiry and
through Self-enquiry Self-realisation is possible. If one realises
the Self, one can see all these worlds within one's Self.
The source of everything is one's own Self. Then this doubt
will not arise. There may or may not be a Vaikunta or a Kailasa
but it is a fact that you are here, isn't it? How are you here?
Where are you? After you know about these things, you can
think of all these worlds?.

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, By Suri Nagamma, p.46

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: November 03, 2015, 11:06:07 AM »
Kavi Yogi Sudanantha Bharathi

I reached Ramanasramam and entered the small shrine of the
Mother. There was a square room adjoining it and Nayana stood
up exclaiming, Welcome, Welcome! Swagatam! Ramana's
gentle voice said, Let Bharati come in. Bharati varattum.
I saw no human form. I felt dazed. An effulgence
enveloped me. My mind disappeared into silence. I sat down,
closed my eyes and entered the inner cave  nihitam
guhayam. An hour passed like five minutes. I came back to
myself, opened my eyes and saw Ramana's lotus eyes riveted
on mine. He appeared like a linga spreading rays of burnished
gold. Now you have felt That, the cave is open! the I is
the Self-nectar!. After all these years of sadhana, here I
experienced a delightful inner reality which is beyond word
and thought  Yato vaacho nivartante aprapya manassa
saha. I caught hold of his feet and shed tears of delight
singing with Saint Manickavachakar, who sang, Today

Thou hast risen in my heart a Sun destroying darkness.
Blaze on, O Light Divine
Swallowing I and mine.
The Self rose like the Sun
The many merged into the ONE.
Behold the beacon of I
Inner Light of every Eye,
Towering above He, She and it,
A new dawn of inner delight.

(All songs that I dedicated to Bhagavan are contained in
my book Arul Aruvi, Torrents of Grace.)

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: October 16, 2015, 11:24:40 AM »
Human mind is so construed that it cant see the Divine Mother except in a Royal dress even if She is depicted as doing Tapas(austerity). Today the theme is Mother doing tapas (or austerity) but nevertheless Mother is decorated in the fashion of the Queen Empress of the Universe. Even during Bhagavan's time this was so as Smt Nagamma writes in the Letters from Sri Ramanasramam: You have seen the decorations made in the shrine of Mathrubhuteswara on the first day of Navarathri festival last year. There was a different type of decoration every day during those nine days, and on one of the days, in accordance with the Puranic story that Amba went out to do Tapas as she could not bear the separation from Siva the idol of Amba was decorated suitably and was put in the shade of a tree. After the night meal was over that day, Bhagavan was taken to that place and was shown that idol. Next morning, Bhagavan said, Yesterday's ornamentation was intended to show that Amba was doing Tapas. Unable to bear the separation, she goes out to do Tapas (penance) here. Parvathi is depicted as sitting in a stylish pose under a tree to do Tapas, wearing a silk saree, gold jewels and flower garlands. What our people do is always like this. Tapas means meditation connected with the practice of self-denial or bodily mortification, does it not Amba is reported to have closed the eyes of Siva with both her hands for fun and to expiate that sin, Parameswara asked her to perform penance, and so she left her husband, went to a lonely place, and in self-mortification, forgot about her body, became weak and with great austerity, performed Tapas. See the way Amba is decorated to depict that story. She is dressed like a Maharani with diamonds and emeralds and gold ornaments and wearing a silk saree and flower garlands!

Devi Mahatmyam

According to Devi Mahatmyam even good and great people are opposed by evil or demonic forces. Yesterday we saw Maha Vishnu opposed by the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. Similarly Indra the god of Devas is overrun by the demon Mahishasura. Good people when in trouble seek divine protection from the Divine Mother and Her intervention tilts the balance of power leading to the victory of good over evil. Devi Mahatmyam says that the sum-total of divine energy of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva manifested in a fierce form and slayed the demon Mahishasura thus restoring Indra to his position. May the grace of the Divine Mother ever protect us from the hold of Mahishasura in the form of inauspicious thoughts.

from the fb Ramana Maharishi

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: October 14, 2015, 11:33:24 AM »
Ramana Maharshi After the death experience, one of the new features related to the visit of Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. After awakening I would go almost every evening to the temple. I would go alone and stand before Meenakshi for long periods. I would feel waves of emotion overcoming me. This was God?s (Isvara?s) play with the individual spirit. I would stand before Isvara, the Controller of the universe and the destinies of all, the Omniscient and Omnipresent, and occasionally pray for the descent of his grace upon me so that my devotion might increase and become perpetual like that of the sixty-three saints.?

Selection from Devi Mahatmyam or Durga Saptasati

A vanquished king and a merchant facing severe financial losses retire to a forest hermitage where they question a sage Medha as follows:
Question: My mind is afflicted with grief. Though I have lost the kingdom, I have an attachment to my former kingdom. Though I know the actuality how is this sense of ?mine afflicting me like an ignorant man, O best of sages And this merchant has been disowned by his children, wife and servants, and forsaken by his own people; still he is inordinately affectionate towards them. Thus both he and I, drawn by attachment towards objects whose defects we do know, are exceedingly unhappy. How is it that even the knowledgeable are deluded??

Answer:Bhagavati, the Mahamaya entangles humans into delusion forcibly drawing the minds of even the wise. She creates this entire universe, both moving and unmoving. It is She who, when propitious, grants the best to humans and shows the way for their final liberation. She is the supreme knowledge, the cause of final liberation, and eternal; She is the cause of the bondage of transmigration and the sovereign over all lords?.
Question: Venerable sir, who is that Devi whom you call Mahamaya How did she come into being, and what is her sphere of action, O sage? What constitutes her nature? What is her form Wherefrom did she originate? All that I wish to hear from you, O you supreme among the knowers of Brahman.?

Answer: That Goddess is eternal, without beginning. The entire universe is her Form. By Her all this is pervaded. Nevertheless She incarnates in manifold ways; hear it from me. Though She is eternal, She is said to be born in the world, whenever She manifests herself in order to achieve the purposes of the devas.

from the fb Ramana Maharishi

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: October 02, 2015, 12:05:03 AM »
Arunachala Hill

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: October 02, 2015, 12:01:34 AM »

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: October 01, 2015, 11:42:30 PM »
 Facing the challenges of life , the Ramana Way.

Sometimes difficult situations descend on us suddenly. Relationships go sour, economic hardships arise, health problems threaten our loved ones or we experience all-round failure in our attempts. The feeling of frustration and disappointment increases when we feel that the problem is caused by something we actually did or by something that we should have done but didn't do. Sri Ramana Maharshi has compassionately taught us the way to deal with such situations. Here we recount the Master's teaching on this subject and see how it grants spiritual peace and freedom from suffering. A devotee once asked Ramana Maharshi about the existence of sorrow and evil in creation.

M.: God's will!
D.: Why does God will it so?
M.: It is inscrutable. No motive can be attributed to that Power - no desire, no end to achieve can be asserted of that one Infinite, All-wise and All-powerful Being. God is untouched by activities, which take place in His presence; compare the sun and the world activities. There is no meaning in attributing responsibility and motive to the One before it becomes many.

If so, what should a person facing challenges in his life, do to overcome his troubles? Sri Ramana Maharshi teaches that by accepting one's own free-will as an instrument of the Divine Will one can eventually obtain peace of mind. In Talks He says Acceptance of God's will for the prescribed course of events is a great solution of the free-will problem. He elaborates this further saying If the mind is restless on account of a sense of the imperfect and unsatisfactory character of what befalls us or what is committed or omitted by us, then it is wise to drop the sense of responsibility and free-will by regarding ourselves as the ordained instruments of the All-wise and All-powerful, to do and suffer as He pleases. He then carries all the burdens and gives us peace.

In the reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi by G V Subbaramayya we read On the 17th of June, Sri R. Narayana Iyer told Sri Bhagavan of his vain efforts at matrimonial alliance for his eldest daughter and said that he would make no further attempts unless he received a specific direction from Sri Bhagavan. Just at that moment the mail brought a journal named Progress. Sri Bhagavan read out its motto You can succeed if you know the power that is in you, and said that here was the reply to Narayana Iyer. The latter, regarding it as a clear token of Sri Bhagavan's Grace, took up at once a new proposal and succeeded this time. In a letter dated July 12, 1940 Narayana Iyer writes Till Thursday evening I did not know that the marriage was to be settled and to take place on the Sunday following. No preparation whatever was made . . . What could I do? Just a day's interval and nothing done. I appealed to Sri Bhagavan and wrote a letter of saranagati (surrender) with tears trickling from my eyes. From that very moment the burden was lifted. I go to Tiruvannamalai only to find that I had no work. Buildings, cooks, vessels, servants, provisions, in fact every detail had been arranged and everything went off very well. It is wonderful. The nerve-racking suspense, frantic efforts at the last moment, and the frenzied wanderings look like a dream now, and I only chant and chant like a mantra the words, You will succeed if you know the Power that is in you.?

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: September 12, 2015, 11:42:28 PM »

Muruganar day

Many devotees came from far and near to sing Muruganar's songs on Muruganar?s day. We recited 51 titles from Ramana Sannathi Murai chosen for their likeness to Tiruvachakam titles. Of Course Aksharamanamalai was chanted to invoke the Master?s presence while Vedas were chanted inside the shrine during worship of the Samadhi. Born in 1895, Sri C. K. Subrahmanyam grew up in an atmosphere of Tamil learning and became in due course a teacher of Tamil in a High School. His first collection of poems, Swatantra-Gitam, owed much to his ardent admiration of Gandhiji and, like the early work of his elder contemporary, Subrahmanya Bharati, formed a distinct contribution to the national movement. But when he came to Bhagavan and fell under his spell, he renounced all other interests, completely effaced his personality and turned into "a shadow of Bhagavan." And he has lived ever since in a state of stark simplicity, utterly poor and obscure.

In thus losing the world to find Bhagavan, he has found a joy to utter and a voice to utter it which have given him a high and assured place among the immortal singer saints of Tamil Nadu. This sudden and complete change in the poems and in the manner of his utterance, the marvelously sustained and infinitely varied beauty of the enormous bulk of his verse on a single theme, constitutes an undoubted " miracle " wrought by Bhagavan, permanently there for all eyes to behold.

Muruganar was content with composing his poems and having them read by Bhagavan. For him there was no ?wider public" to whose notice they should be brought. Thus it fell to an admirer, Sri Ramana Padananda, to arrange for the printing and publication of six volumes of Muruganar's poems. In practising the Presence of Bhagavan under the terms of Muruganar's images and rhythms, one enters into intensely felt relations with the Guru who figures in various roles of Siva or Subrahmanya, as father. mother or lover, as master, king or commander, as beggar or betrayer. Each of the 850 stanzas in Guru-Vachaka-Kovai1 is a little golden casket wrought with loving care to enshrine and set off a gem fallen from the Master's lips. The stream of Muruganar's inspiration has continued running fresh and strong even after the passing of Bhagavan. If it has lost some of the old briskness and brightness, it has acquired a new serenity. Leaving aside Muruganar's own copious outpourings, his success in evoking so much of the little that Bhagavan himself wrote is something to be grateful for. It is to Muruganar that we owe the existence and poetic pattern of Upadesa Saram, (' Instruction in Thirty Verses ') the living quintessence of advaitic thought and a brief but sufficient summary of Bhagavan's own practical guidance. Muruganar composed a long narrative poem telling how the rishis who trusted too much to their rituals were taught a lesson. At the crucial moment, when Siva had to deliver His teaching, Muruganar left it to Bhagavan to provide the ipsissima verba of divine revelation.

Many of the Forty Verses on Reality owe their final form and the exposition its logical arrangement to Muruganar's efforts. And this game of collaboration reached its climax in the composition of Atma Vidya, wrhich fills a musical mould of Gopalakrishna Bharati with a new, profound meaning. Beginning "Easy is Self-knowledge," it raises only to reject the image of " the berry in the palm of one's hand " ; so evident is this perception that it needs neither perceiver nor thing perceived. Having proceeded thus far, Muruganar had to leave off where the poet qua poet could only say or imply, "The rest is silence ". But Bhagavan, speaking with an authority higher than any poet's, continued the argument, explained the sadhana and the grace and ended with a hint that Annamalai, the Inner Eye, the One Alone, is the author.

Arunachala / Re: Visited Arunachala during Deepam festival
« on: August 04, 2015, 07:52:09 AM »
Last weekend I visited Ramanashramam and Arunachala temple.
I heard the vedas chanting at 4 clock evening
Did Girivalam chanting Arunachala Shiva. Very peaceful.Also visited Sri Nochur Venkataraman's House at the extension of Manakula Vinayagar Temple. He talked to me for 10 min and to my son about his studies.    He gave two apples and two  books.  Very beautiful house with spirtual atmosphere with large Periapuranam stories paintings.

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