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Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: April 02, 2017, 02:10:57 PM »
Sri Gowrishankar Mama, the father of Sri Sendhil Ganapadigal, the senior teacher of Veda Pathsala, passed away on March 28, 2017 at about 10 am Indian Standard Time. An ardent devotee of Kanchi Maha Periyaval, Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Sri Ramana Maharshi, he spent most of the last two decades of his life in Arunachala. He was on a visit to Srirangam on March 27 and was brought to Ramana Maharshi Hospital in Athyanthal for treatment on March 28. He is well-known as a perennial source of Sat-Sangh inside the premises of Sri Ramana Ashram. Out of respect for his devotion to Mahatmas, we dedicate our regular post on Aksharamanamalai to Sri Gowrishankar Mama. Coincidentally it speaks about life in Arunachala. It was as if Lord Arunachala, called him back from Srirangam to Arunachala before absorbing him in Himself.

95. வாவென்று அகம் புக்கு உ ன் வாழ்வு அருள் அன்றே
என் வாழ்வு இழந்தேன் அருள் அருணாசலா
Vā/ven/draham/bukkun Vāzh/varu/landrē/yen Vāzh/vizhan/dē/narul Arunā/chalā.
Arunachala! On the very day that you bade me come, and, taking me with you, entered the home of the Heart, granting to me a life of unsurpassed bliss in the realisation of the Self, I entirely lost the jiva consciousness of my fragmentary individuality, which is the source of sorrow and delusion. That is the power of your grace.

It is so ordained by the all-powerful Lord that through its very nature (mind) consciousness rushes towards the external objects of sense through the channels of the sense organs at very high speed, like a flood of water when the sluice gates are opened. Therefore unless the Lord takes someone into the Heart and establishes him there through his grace, there is not anyone who possesses the ability to swim against that flood and arrive there relying merely upon the power of his feeble self. This is what is illustrated in the words, ?Saying, ?Come!? The truth of the Lord entering the Heart is clearly stated in v. 97, which begins, ?vīṭuviṭ.? This should be taken into account here. Since Sivam existence is the underlying reality and jiva existence is an appearance superimposed upon it, these two can never exist simultaneously in the mind of anyone. This is the idea conveyed in the words, ? On the very day you gave in grace your life [to me], I lost my own life.? The Heart shines as the supreme empty expanse of consciousness, due to the absence of the principle of egoity (āṇava malam), which takes the form of the ego, in which the conscious and the insentient are combined. In that Heart the ocean of bliss of Brahman, eternal, uninterrupted and unsurpassed, abides free of any object, as the true Self, flourishing as ultimate peace. Since for Bhagavan, who has attained that [higher bliss], there is no loss in losing this [lesser bliss], he says, ?arul? ? ?[That is the majesty of your] grace.?

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 25, 2017, 02:30:41 PM »
Dear Atmavichar sir

Very nice your posting regarding Sri Annamalai swami, LBWB.

Water flowing through a channel carries off great heaps of sand ;
So mountain masses of the ego are washed away by  Grace.

T.K. Sundaresa Iyer, walk with Bhagavan to the Samudiram Lake

Those born out of wedlock, those who have renounced  their religion, those illegitimately born of widows, those of low  caste, murderers, those who have lost limbs, fierce savages and those who dwell at a great distance, if they but once with righteous intention fix their thoughts upon Mount Arunai, abode of compassion, the result will be liberation.  Not only these but also wild beasts, plants, trees, lotus flowers and related species, all will gain liberation either by looking upon it, or germinating and growing there.

Arunachala Puranam


Sri Ramana never wore shoes, not even during the hottest months. Rangan, a former classmate, reports, ?When Bhagavan and I climbed up to the top of Arunachala, a thorn pricked my foot.
Noting that I was lagging behind, Bhagavan removed it. A few yards later a big thorn pricked his foot. When I looked at his foot there were so many unremoved thorns in it. Then I examined the other foot, but the position was not different. ?Which one will you remove, the new thorn or the old ones??, he queried. He broke the thorn by pushing his foot to the ground and started walking again.?

Ramana Maharshi: His Life - A Ramana-biography by Gabriele Ebert

Heart of my being, seen outwardly as one
In human form, to draw my human love,
Lord Ramana, Guru, the risen Sun,
Self Manifest, the Guide of all who rove
Lost and alone
In tangled thought and vain misgivings.

face to face with Maharishi, Arthur osborne

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 17, 2017, 11:40:35 AM »
Ganapathi Muni

Ramana Maharshi  Be As You Are  by David Godman

Q: However often Bhagavan teaches us, we are not able to understand.

A: People say that they are not able to know the Self that is all pervading. What can I do? Even the smallest child says, I exist; I do; this is mine.? So, everyone understands that the thing I is always existent. It is only when that I is there that there is the feeling that you are the body, he is Venkanna, this is Ramanna and so on. To know that the one that is always visible is one' s own Self, is it necessary to search with a candle? To say that we do not know the atma swarupa [the real nature of the Self] which is not different but which is in one's own Self is like saying, I do not know myself.?

Q: The present experiences are the result of past karma. If we know the mistakes committed before, we can rectify them.

A: If one mistake is rectified there yet remains the whole sanchita karma from former births which is going to give you innumerable births. So that is not the procedure. The more you prune a plant, the more vigorously it grows. The more you rectify your karma, the more it accumulates. Find the root of karma and cut it off.

Be as you are David Godman

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:09:21 AM »
2017 Mahakumbhabhishekam Arunachaleswarar Temple Update

Consecration of peripheral shrines (shrines of accompanying deities) in Sri Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai was held on Thursday February 2, 2017.

The consecration of the Sri Arunachaleswarar Shrine will occur on February 6 but rituals began on the last week of January. On January 31, the 12 kala homam began in the 108 Yaga Kundams set up in a yagasalai complex inside the temple.

The pots containing holy water placed by the homa kundams, the holy fire to make offerings, were taken in procession by priests to the shrines such as Kambathilayanar Sannidi, a shrine of Lord Muruga, Pathala Lingam, Gopurathilaiyanar Sannidi and Sambandha Vinayagar Sannidi. The priests then poured the holy water from the Vimanams of the shrines to perform consecration.

Q: But we are worldly. There is the wife, there are the children, friends and relatives. We cannot ignore their existence and resign ourselves to divine will, without retaining some little of the personality in us.

A: That means you have not surrendered as professed by you. You must only trust God. Surrender to him and abide by his will whether he appears or vanishes. Await his pleasure. If you ask him to do as you please, it is not surrender but command to him. You cannot have him obey you and yet think that you have surrendered. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to him. His is the burden, you have no longer any cares. All your cares are his. Such is surrender. This is bhakti. Or, enquire to whom these questions arise. Dive deep in the Heart and remain as the Self. One of these two ways is open to the aspirant 

Be As You Are  by David Godman

A few days later I asked, Scientists have invented and produced the aircraft which can travel at great speeds in the sky. Why do you not give us a spiritual aircraft in which we can quickly and easily cross over the sea of samsara? Bhagavan replied, The path of self-enquiry is the aircraft you need. It is direct, fast, and easy to use. You are already travelling very quickly towards realisation. It is only because of your mind that it seems that there is no movement. In the years that followed, I had many spiritual talks with Bhagavan but his basic message never changed. It was always: Do self-enquiry, stop identifying with the body and try to be aware of the Self, which is your real nature.

 face to face ith Ramana Bhagavan Annamalai swami

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: January 14, 2017, 12:38:16 AM »
Old Hall Replica, Tampa , Florida

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: January 14, 2017, 12:34:23 AM »
from the newsletters Newyork Ashramam Jan 2017

The Old Hall Rises in the New World

When Srimati Kalyanamathy Rathinasamy said that she wanted to bring Sri Bhagavan to Tampa, we understood that the Bhagavan she was intending to bring was already residing within her own heart. Yet, her aspiration was to have him manifest physically in the best way she saw possible by replicating the very building in which Sri Bhagavan resided for over 20 years  the blessed space now known as The Old Hall of Sri Ramanasramam.

THE devotees of the Tampa Sri Ramana Satsang and those of Arunachala Ashrama, New York offered to assist her so as to make her dream come true. Her husband, Dr. Palani Rathinasamy, shared her aspiration and spared no effort to realize her vision, supporting and encouraging her at every step. Sri Ramanasramam provided unreserved assistance with their advice, photos and measurements of all the elements that make up the Old Hall. Sri V. S. Mani even hand-carried to the USA a piece of floor stone from the original Old Hall that was recovered from the 1986 reconstruction of the original Old Hall. This stone was embedded into the new hall's floor near Bhagavan's couch so all devotees who prostrate before Him in Tampa might place their head on stone that Bhagavan once consecrated with his holy feet.
 Smt. Mathy & Dr. Rathinasamy
Smt. Mathy & Dr. Rathinasamy

The President of Sri Ramanasramam graciously wrote:
Smt. Mathy and Dr. Rathinasamy, Thank you for inviting us to the Inauguration function of The Old Hall Replica today in Tampa, Thursday, the 29th December 2016. It gives us immense joy to know that the replica hall has come out very well and almost resembles the Old Hall here, one of the most sacred places to Sri Bhagavan's devotees. Our congratulations to you and your team on behalf of the Ashram. It shows the dedication, effort and hard work of the entire team.
We wish the function all success. We are certain that the replica hall will continue to be a source of the guiding presence and inspiration of our Master Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
We seek His Blessings and Grace on the entire team of devotees.
Yours in Bhagavan,

President, V. S. Ramanan
James Hartel of New York produced designs for the contractor and oversaw all the woodwork construction; he traveled to Tampa several times to consult with the contractor and even worked on the construction himself.
When Suri Nagamma encountered many obstacles in the writing of her Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, she was told by a wise friend, śrēyāṁsi bahu vighnāni (Good works encounter several obstacles). And so it was with Mathy's dream of replicating the Old Hall in Tampa.
 new 'Old Hall' inside view
click to see a larger image

Every step on her path met with countless road blocks and delays. But Mathy and Dr. Rathinasami calmly weathered them all with the faith that Bhagavan would somehow get the work done, not on their timetable, but on His. And done it was, in a remarkable fashion.
Right up to the night prior to the griha pravesham and inauguration, January 29th, work was in full swing. The following morning, when the 80 devotees from the Sri Ramana Jayanti Retreat in Tampa arrived, all were spellbound by the likeness to the blessed Old Hall sanctified by the presence of Sri Ramana and most particularly by the palpable presence of Bhagavan which they now experienced. It felt as if the Master had chosen to reside in His new abode in Tampa for the purpose of making our minds subside. More than one person commented that the moment they walked into the Old Hall they became totally disoriented, that their minds blanked out, their body numbed, and that they remained in total peace. Coming back to themselves they realized that, in reality, they had not been 'disoriented' but, rather, they had become reoriented to their true Nature. The state that they had previously experienced was now understood by them to be the disoriented one. Sri Bhagavan's presence was felt intensely by so many on that first day as the Ganesha Puja and homa were performed. This was followed by the chanting of Aksharamanamalai and other works.

To the gathering in the new Old Hall that morning Mathy spoke a few quiet words of welcome to the devotees and expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Bhagavan for fulfilling her humble desire to bring His presence to Tampa. Dr. Venkat Ramanan, President V. S. Ramanan's son, welcomed the devotees and expressed his gratitude to the Tampa satsang, Mathy and Dr. Rathinasamy. Dennis Hartel of Arunachala Ashrama also offered a few words of recognition to those who worked so hard to produce this living monument that will serve to transmit Sri Bhagavan's grace to seekers here in North America.
 new 'Old Hall' outside view
click to see a larger image

Incidentally, a model of a small white cow was used symbolically to enter the hall first, and the image of that cow reminded devotees of Bhagavan's cow Lakshmi who would brazenly enter through the south door of the Old Hall unmindful of all the devotees sitting before her as she marched straight to her Master's sofa.

The following Saturday morning, December 31st, all the retreat attendees returned to the the Old Hall and resounded it with the singing of Aksharamanamalai, Ramana Sadguru and other hymns in praise of Bhagavan and Arunachala. These were interspersed with graphic readings of incidents that had occurred in the Old Hall during Bhagavan's lifetime. The teachings and scenes described gripped the devotees as if they were actually happening before their very eyes, so much was the Divine Presence felt during those few hours.
To those who have never visited Sri Ramanasramam, or to those who may not, for any reason, be able to do so in the future, and to all devotees of Sri Ramana old and new, we unreservedly recommend a visit to this Old Hall replica, a most remarkable building from which the grace of the Master is bound to penetrate the hearts of sincere seekers for years to come.

There are no facilities there for guests but access to North America's Old Hall is easily arranged by calling or emailing Mathy or Dr. Rathinasami 813.685.8843 / mathy at
Also, photos of the new Old Hall and Tampa Retreat programs can be accessed online at:

Sri Ramana Maharshi's 137th Jayanti Retreat in Tampa
THIS year the Jayanti retreat began on the morning of Thursday, 29th December. About 80 devotees traveled to attend from the East Coast to the West, from Canada to South America. It was a joyous gathering of brothers and sisters united under the gracious glance and loving presence of Bhagavan Ramana.
Each morning of the retreat began at 6 AM with Morning Veda Parayana. A half hour of readings by various devotees followed. From 7:15 to 7:45 Sri Lalita Sahasranam Stotram was recited, silent meditation then continued until 8:30. Most evenings we listened to the Evening Veda Parayana at 5 PM followed by meditation till 6:30. After meals and free time, devotees gathered again for chanting and more silent meditation.

In the afternoons there were several presentations. Dr. Venkat Ramanan captivated all with his talk on the significance of the Old Hall. There were video interviews, taped by Rohit Vaidya in November 2016 at Sri Ramanasramam, of President Sri V. S. Ramanan, Sri V. S. Mani and Michael Highberger. The computer room staff at the Ashram did an excellent job of editing the President's interview; the other two interviews were edited by Rohit himself. On another day, Dennis Hartel gave a presentation with numerous photos to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Arunachala Ashrama, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi Center in the USA and Canada.
On Thursday morning, devotees traveled to the new Old Hall, about 10 miles from the Franciscan Center. As described in the previous article, during the morning hours all gathered for the inauguration pujas, talks and songs. Lunch was served in the Vishnu Mandir, a few minutes walk down the street. At 3 PM the Jayanti Puja at the Hindu Temple of Florida (next to the Vishnu Temple) began. A beautiful bust photo of Bhagavan, another of Arunachala, a large stone from the Holy Mountain and a Siva Lingam were the objects of worship. Eleven devotees chanted the Rudram and other mantras, an elaborate puja was performed by the head priest and prasadam was distributed. This event on the first day of the retreat invariably serves to open and purify the hearts of the devotees so that the Master's grace may enter their hearts unimpeded in the following days.
Devotees attending the Sri Ramana Jayanti Retreat, Tampa, FL

As our retreat neared its end, the New Year was just arriving. Most of the devotees joined together in the shrine singing Bhagavan's and Muruganar's works and other chants. The children of the retreat stood together in front of us and delightfully told us the life story of Bhagavan. At 11:30 PM Aksharamanamalai began, singing the Arunachala Siva refrain after each verse. While our voices rose in harmony, firecrackers exploded in the sky from across the Hillsborough River and New Year arrived. Bells rang, prasad was distributed and Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva, Arunachala!continued till well after midnight. Devotees lingered on, embraced in the glow of the New Year ushered in with the vibrant presence of Bhagavan and the warmth of friendship.

The devotees attending the last four retreats, or any one of them, continue to be amazed by the meticulous, thorough planning and execution of all the inspiring elements of these Ramana Jayanti Retreats in Tampa. Rohit Vaidya and his dedicated team of sevaks cannot be praised adequately for all they have done to create an Ashram-like home for the devotees and seekers traveling to Tampa from all parts of this hemisphere. May Sri Bhagavan himself ever abide in their hearts and in the hearts of all.

General Discussion / Re: Articles,Interviews,News
« on: January 12, 2017, 12:17:00 AM »
Live Video Streaming
Sri Bhagavan Jayanthi 12/01/2017

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