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T.K. Sundlaresa Iyer's Reminiscences ? Part II

 In 1922 I had considerable mental pain one day in regard to my circumstances. I then sought relief by immediately going up to him as he sat in the long cottage here in front of his mother's samadhi) that was dismantled later on. There he and the inmates of the Asramam were stitching banyan leaves into leaf plates for the evening meals. I was ashamed to keep quiet when Maharshi himself was labouring. So I sat up and, novice as I was, a clumsy leaf plate I produced. Maharshi saw it and spoke thus:

"Look at these leaf plates; with considerable trouble we prepare a leaf plate and then we use it once to eat our food, thereafter it is thrown away for ever. Such is the case with this body of ours. We attend to it with immense care. We must, with all the cares and anxieties, preserve it till the purpose for which it is intended, i.e., the realization of the Self, and then of course it will be thrown away, even as a used leaf-plate." This was exactly the answer to the problem that vexed me and drew me there on that occasion.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: May 02, 2015, 08:57:51 PM »
On Friday May 1, 2015 Mahakumbhabisekam of Lord Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram was performed in a grand scale. Hundreds of thousands of devotees experienced great Spiritual joy. Everyone had an inspirational story to tell. Many devotees from our ashram and Tiruvannamalai went to attend the ceremony. One fellow devotee was separated from us and was stopped by a huge police force at the entrance to Sannadi street for want of a pass. As he waited in disappointment a Dikshitar totally unknown to him approached him and gave him a Pass!! Chitsabeshaya Mangalam(Auspicious Lord of our Heart) Kanaka Sabhapati ki jai(Victory to the Chairman of Golden Hall) Avyaja Karuna Murtye namaha (Prostration to the Lord of Causeless Compassion) Tiruchitrambalam(Sacred Lord of Heart Temple)
Ramana Maharshi gives Darshan as Lord Nataraja

On the night prior to Deepavali in 1929, the first year of my settling in the Ashram, Bhagavan suggested my going home for the ?Ganges? bath (Gangasnanam), To me (why, to all of us!) the very sight of Bhagavan is a bath in the Ganga, the sight of Bhagavan is the worship of Siva, the sight of Bhagavan is the fulfilment of every ritual and the practice of all austerities. Yet I did not want to go against the mandate of Bhagavan as I went home, late in the night. I was impatient to be back with Bhagavan, so I woke up my wife and children even at 2 am, finished the ceremonial Ganges bath, and hastened to His blessed Presence.

Bhagavan lay reclining on the sofa. It was about 3-30 am; I made the usual prostration and sat down by the sofa. All of a sudden an aura was visible around the head of Bhagavan. It was like the glory with clusters of evenly arranged flames, just as we see round the deities in our temple processions. Bhagavan?s face shone with beaming smiles. It appeared to me that on this occasion Bhagavan was giving darshan (gracious view) of Sri Nataraja, the Lord of the Cosmic Dance. In my ecstasy, I think I must have sung hymns from Thevaram, which I love as dearly as the Vedas. The vision lasted for half an hour, and then the glory vanished.1 At 4 a.m. Bhagavan sat up for His Pansupari.2 I related to Him what I had seen, and Bhagavan again gave a beaming smile.

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:24:02 PM »
Dear Atmavichar

Very nice posting

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:43:33 AM »

  Replica of Old Hall in Tampa, Florida.

The Old Hall in Sri Ramanasramam , Tiruvannamalai is sanctified by Ramana Maharshi?s presence during the last 22 years of His life. Redolent with the aroma of peace and profound spiritual energy, many devotees will bear witness to His very special and unique Presence there. A blessed devotee couple in the US conceived the idea of creating an exact replica of Old Hall in Tampa Florida as a Meditation Hall to serve followers of Ramana Maharshi.

On April 15, 2015 devotees of Ramana Maharshi gathered in Tampa, Florida for a Bhoomi Puja(cornerstone laying ceremony). Bhoomi Puja is a Hindu worship based on scriptures to invoke the Lord?s blessing prior to commencing a building construction. The worship includes seeking forgiveness from the Mother Earth for disturbing the eco-system and includes placing various sacred objects to attract and preserve the auspicious and harmonious vibrations. These include specially consecrated bricks, multi-colored sands from Kanyakumari, Gems (Navaratnam), sacred magnetic stones from Arunachala and Ganges water. Ashram in Tiruvannamalai conducted a special Sri Chakra Puja to invoke the Divine Mother?s blessing for the success of the project.

The Bhoomi Puja started at 10:30 am on Wednesday, April 15. The ceremony also included the chanting of Aksharamanamalai. After the ceremony, all the devotees were served lunch Prasadam at the nearby Hindu Temple.

General Discussion / Re: Bhagavan's Saranagathi song
« on: April 26, 2015, 02:23:15 PM »
Dear Sir

sometimes I hear saranagathi by malgudi subha

9.  அகக்கம லத்தே யமல வசல
    வகமுருவ மாகு மறிவே-தகத்தை
    யகற்றிடுவ தாலவ் வகமா மறிவே
    யகவீ டளிப்ப தறி.

What knowledge (or consciousness) is (shining as) the form of the pure and motionless I (the real Self) in the Heart- lotus  know that, that knowledge which is I(the adjunctless and thought-free self-consciousness) alone will bestow liberation, (the state of) Self, by destroying I (the ego).

Note : As said in the previous verse, that which exists and shines in the heart as I is Brahman or Self. This verse further defines that I, which is the real first person consciousness, as being amala or devoid of adjuncts, which are impurities, and achala or devoid of thoughts, which are movements of the mind. On the other hand, when this first person consciousness which rises mixed with adjuncts   in the form of the thought I am this body, it is the ego the cause of bondage. Therefore liberation, which is the real state of Self, is the state and in which one abides as the Self alone, having destroyed the rising ego.

The teaching given in this verse is that liberation, which is the destruction of the ego, will be attained only when one keenly scrutinizes and knows the true nature of the consciousness which exists and shines within one as I, the adjunctless and thought free knowledge of one's own existence. Thus in this verse Sri Bhagavan clearly reveals that, of the two paths mentioned in the previous verse, the path of scrutinizing and knowing the true nature of the consciousness I alone will bestow liberation, which is the state of self-abidance.

This verse is adapted from verse 46 of Devikalottara  Jnanachara-Vichara-Padalam, while verse 25 of Anubandham is adapted from verse 47 of the same work. Soon after composing these two verses, Sri Bhagavan translated all of the eighty-five verses of the Jnanachara-Vichara-Padalam into Tamil verses, and while doing so He made fresh translations of verses 46 and 47. The following is the fresh translation of verse 46: which means, what consciousness (chit) is (shining as) the form of I (the real Self) in the Heart-lotus and is pure (nirmala) and motionless (nischala)  know that, that consciousness alone will bestow the bliss of liberation (mukti-sukham) by destroying the rising ego.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 21, 2015, 10:47:58 PM »
Experiences of devotees III

According to Bhagavan one cannot become an ascetic simply by donning ochre robes, although he should not avoid it on that account. In 1967, under instructions from Swami Sacchidananda of Holenarasipur I took to asceticism by wearing the kashaya in the sacred place near Arunachaleswara in front of the Patala Linga, where Ramana Bhagavan was in deep meditation for a long time. Afterwards, I could have learnt the rules of asceticism from any other teacher. But having taken Ramana as my Guru, I did not want to learn them from anyone except Bhagavan. So, on 12-9-1967 at about three o clock in the morning while I was in meditation in the old hall next to Bhagavan's samadhi, I prayed to him to teach me the rules of asceticism, as I had taken refuge in him, leaving even the school and the hermitage as a bondage similar to the family. After about an hour, at 4 o clock, Bhagavan began manifesting ill my heart as a luminous figure much brighter than when he was alive. While I was wondering whether it was just a dream, he began to talk. My child, you say you have left the school and hermitage, as you felt them to be a bondage like the family. But what else have you got still left with you he asked
Oh Lord! what more have I got Only this body. I replied.

Leave that also and come he bade me.

I became confused and agitated. According to Ramana, liberation means complete obliteration of body and mind. How can the mind be annihilated With trepidation, I said Lord! I have taken to sanyasa which means that I am reborn. After death, the body is consigned to flames, as a token of my body's death, I have donned the ochre robes having the red hue of fire. Does it not mean that I have given up the body.
Ramana asked Yes, what else is left over I began to think. After taking to sanyas the only real change that has taken place is that instead of white clothes, I now wear orange or red clothes. The body is the same as before. Only in sleep does this body vanish, as consciousness leaves it. I, therefore, told Bhagavan, The I thought is left.

Give up that also. When you cast off that ego, the Supreme Self alone will shine. You catch hold of that Self and be steady. That alone is asceticism. Renunciation is not mere wearing of orange clothes. It is not an article for display. So saying Bhagavan disappeared, blessing me that I would get realisation when the time was ripe.

At 6 o clock in the same evening (12-6-1967), Bhagavan's words came to be fulfilled. Getting detached from the attributes of name, body and senses, filling everything and everywhere man, beast and bird, inside and outside all, without any duality whatsoever-the Self alone shone as pure Existence-Knowledge-Bliss The intellect, mind and ego constituting the little self had vanished into the Real Self, which stood alone as the only ultimate Truth. It is not possible to describe that state in words, for it is beyond words and beyond the mind. Coming from that state to the lower plane. I could only bow to my great Master in reverential gratitude.

One day, impelled by a strong desire, I gave to Bhagavan a small piece of paper with AUM printed on it. He received and handed it back to me immediately and I took it as his instruction. From that day I became Pranavananda. For this initiation, I offered my Master a few Senga nuts as guru dakshina. He accepted the same, ate one and gave the rest to a servant as feed for the peacock.


A sadhu used to go round the Hill every day. He never did any meditation or japa. One day when he asked Bhagavan for a particular book, Bhagavan asked me to get it for him. Later he asked me whether I had given the book to him I said I had. I asked Bhagavan why the gentleman wanted a book when his interest was only in giripradakshina and nothing else.

Bhagavan said, "There is nothing better than giripradakshina. That alone is enough. If you do japa or meditation sitting in one place, the mind may wander. But during giripradakshina, the limbs move but the mind will be still. Doing japa or meditation without any other thought while walking is called samadhi in movement. That is why in those days walking was considered so important. Giripradakshina is particularly important. As there are several medicinal herbs on the Hill, their breeze will be good for health. There are several siddhas and sages on the Hill even now though we cannot see them. They also go round the Hill unseen by us. When we go round the Hill, we should walk on the left side of the road; otherwise we shall be obstructing their movement. We will also have the benefit of walking around them. We will get their blessings also." I was very happy to hear about the value of giripradakshina. I have become more enthusiastic about it ever since.

Kunju Swami Reminiscences
Arunachala Ramana VolI

When I returned to the Asramam after spending some days at. Kovilur Mutt, Bhagavan asked me in detail about what I did, where I went and so on. I said, "Mahadevaswamy made kind enquiries about Bhagavan and the asramaites . The day I went there, Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar and his relatives came to visit Mahadevaswamy." Bhagavan asked me what Chettiar did there. I said that he prostrated with great reverence before Mahadevaswamy and accepted vibhuti prasad from him.

Bhagavan asked, "Did you prostrate before Mahadevaswamy?" When I said no, he asked me why. I said, "I don't want to do namaskar to any one except Bhagavan said, "What an intelligent,wise fellow! Is your Bhagavan only within this body on the sofa ,Is he not elsewere? If a person is devoted wholly to one person he should not go anywhere. If you go to another place, you must do what the people in that place do. Wherever and whenever you prostrate, you should think of your guru or your favourite god. If you do like this, your namaskar will reach the person you have in mind. That is the proper thing to do." I realised my mistake. From then on I think of Bhagavan whenever I do namaskar to anyone.

volII Arunachala Ramana


If anyone came from outside Tiruvannamalai, that person used to arrange for bhiksha for Bhagavan. In those days, Rs. 5/- is enough for a bhiksha. There were very few asramites. The person who offered the bhiksha generally liked to go around the Hill with Bagavan the same evening. Bhagavan used to go round the Hill desired, along with the person and other devotees. We used to meditate  and recite verses. Sometimes we would return early next morning. We never used to feel tired, because of Bhagavan's  company .  Next day we used  take a nap in the afternoon. But bhagavan could  not take any rest, as devotees would always be pouring in. If there was bhiksha that afternoon also and if the person concerned asked Bhagavan to accompany him on his giripradakshina, Bhagavan would oblige him. He would ask us by a gesture not to tell the person anything about his having gone round the Hill the previous night. There were occasions when Bhagavan did not sleep for two to three days consecutively because of continuous bhikshas.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 15, 2015, 06:12:16 PM »
65th Aradhana of Bhagavan Sri Ramanamaharshi ? Live Video Streaming ? 16.04.2015 ? 8.30 AM (IST) to 11.30 AM (IST)

Usually one who looks at a photograph of Sri Ramana Bhagavan, feels that Bhagavan is looking at him. Even when Bhagavan was alive, thousands of people, while sitting in his presence, had felt that he was directing his gaze at them.

Some such attraction was in his eyes. Any devotee, who cannot do any other tapasya, would do well to just gaze at the photo of Bhagavan for some time. He would feel in a few moments that he is attaining the same condition as Bhagavan ie Tadatmya Bhava. Knowing this, I have embraced the path of self-surrender and gaze at the photo of Sri Ramana, whenever I feel the mood for self awareness. I do not, however, pray for remedy of any disease of the flesh nor to get any material comforts.

Once for about five or six months, I had to attend to people who were suffering from typhoid one after another. This affected me and I too fell ill with the same disease. Four eminent doctors who examined me pronounced it to be typhoid. Reluctant to trouble anybody or to take any medicine, I walked for about a mile in high fever (about 105? F) from the forest towards Ramanashram. Feeling extremely thirsty and giddy, I was looking for some water to drink. I found a pond nearby, whose water had been made dirty by bathers and buffaloes. Since I could bear my thirst no longer, I quenched it with that water. Turning round I saw on the top of a hillock a dilapidated hut, which on entering I found to be a house built in a grave yard. Tired in every limb and overcome by the weird loneliness of the place, I wept bitterly leaving myself to God?s care. Soon I fell into a deep sleep. When I woke up it was evening. (I had gone to the hut in the morning). My whole body was drenched with sweat and I found that the high typhoid fever, which would not normally subside before seven days, had left me completely within a single day. This was nothing but my Master Ramana's grace in response to my cry in utter helplessness and sincere devotion. I was fully convinced that nothing was impossible for Him and no physical laws or rules could stand in the way of His grace.

Swami Pranavananda

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 15, 2015, 02:10:39 AM »
Mahanirvana Day


Time: 8.00 PM (IST) to 9.15 PM (IST)



8. இதயமாங் குகையி னாப்ப ணேகமாம் பிரம்ம மாத்ர
    மதுவக மகமா நேரே யவிர்ந்திடு மாண்மா வாக
   விதயமே சார்வாய் தன்னை யெண்ணியா ழலது வாயு
   வதனுட னாழ்ம னத்தா லான்மாவி னிட்ட னாவாய் .

In the centre of the cave which is the Heart, the one (non-dual) Brahman alone shines directly in the form of Self as I-I (or I am I ). Enter the Heart (by the mind) sinking scrutinizing Self, or by the mind sinking along with the breath, and be one who abides in Self.

Note: One day in 1915 a devotee named Jagadiswara sastri started to compose a Sanskrit verse beginning with the words. Hridaya-Kuhara-Madhye, (In the centre of the Heart cave), but finding that he was unable to proceed any further to express in verse form the idea which he had in mind, he implored Sri Bhagavan to complete the verse for him. Sri Bhagavan accordingly completed the verse and wrote underneath Jagadisan, thereby indicating that the ideas in the verse were those of Jagadiswara Sastri and not His own. Some years later, at the request of some Tamil devotees who did not know Sanskrit, Sri Bhagavan translated this verse into Tamil, and the Tamil version, which is given above, was later added in the Anubandham.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: April 03, 2015, 01:39:51 PM »
Archival Listing  at Virupaksha Cave (1913). LEFT TO RIGHT:
Front Row: Girl seated 4th from left: Chellamma.
Row in which Bhagavan is seated: 1. Ramanatha Brahmachari; 2. Gambhiram Seshayya; 3. Unidentified; 4. Ganapati Muni;

5. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi; 6. Vasudeva Shastri; 7. C.K. Ramasamy Gounder (Kallipatti nr. Erode).

Standing: 1-9.Unidentified; 10. Jayaram Iyer.

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