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Messages - Balaji

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961

By Sri K.Natesan

Between 1935 and 1945, though employed off and on in various places, I often quit jobs and left for holy places without informing anyone. Eventually I would end up back at Ramanasramam. Once on my return Bhagavan asked me which places I had visited. I replied that I had been to Tiruttani, Tirupati, and Padaiveedu (Renukamba Kshetram). Then the Maharshi pointedly asked me what was in my mind at that time. Straight away I gave a spontaneous answer in the form of the following verse from Ramana Gita:
Lord, not on Swamimalai, nor on Tiruttani Hill, nor on top of Venkatachal (Tirupati) do you now dwell. In reality you are in Arunachala!
The Maharshi smiled.
On the occasion of my wedding on July 5, 1942, T. N. Venkataraman, now the [late] President of Sri Ramanasramam, came straight to Vellore from Karaikudi to attend the ceremony. The train passed through and stopped at the Tiruvannamalai station, but T.N.V., along with his eight-year-old son, stayed on the train and came straight to my marriage. When T.N.V.'s father, Chinnaswami, heard about it he began to scold his son and criticised him for going to Vellore to attend the wedding. Bhagavan overheard this from the Old Hall and said, "Why is he shouting? Ambi (T.N.V.) has gone to attend his friend's marriage. There is nothing wrong in this."
After I got married I came to the ashram with my new wife and did pranams to Bhagavan in the Old Hall. My wife, Jnanambal, was already deeply devoted to Bhagavan and had had his darshan even as a girl of eight.
That day, after leaving the Old Hall, my wife and I went and visited Major Chadwick in his cottage. I had known Chadwick since his arrival in the ashram in 1935. He congratulated us on our marriage and remarked about the appropriateness of the bride's name, saying, "Jnana you wanted and Jnana you have gained."
Major Chadwick was one of the very few souls who moved closely with Bhagavan. One day he called me and requested me to show Sri Bhagavan a piece of paper in which he had given a definition for Self-realization. Sri Bhagavan read it and appreciated it very much. Chadwick wrote:
Self-realization: It is the death while yet alive of that which lives after death.
In the earlier days some people used to sleep in the Old Hall. Once I slept there near the southern door at the west side of the hall. I did not get up even after 5 a.m. Bhagavan came near me and touched me with his right toe saying, "Get up. Day has already broken." I immediately got up and had the darshan of Bhagavan. This is called Visvarupa darshanam, the first darshan of the chosen deity in the morning.
There was Veda Parayana every evening at the hall in the presence of Bhagavan. He would be mostly indrawn at that time. Following the Veda Parayana, from 7 to 7:30 p.m., recitations of the Maharshi's works in Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, and Malayalam would take place. Devotees like Ramaswami Pillai, Kunjuswami, T.K.Sudaresa Iyer and some others used to take part in it. In the earlier days I was also participating. During Tamil Parayanam I noticed Bhagavan appeared quite unconcerned with things around him, though he remained fully attentive to the recitation. He wouldn't hesitate to correct our pronunciation of the verses, as he was particular to obey all the rules of prosody. Once I recited incorrectly the last verse in "Arunachala Pancharatnam" and Bhagavan pointed it out to me, demonstrating how it should be pronounced. He was satisfied only when I repeated it to him correctly.
Once when I was in Madras, T.P.Ramachandra Iyer's father was writing a letter to the ashram. In it he was including a certain Sanskrit verse. Because he was not familiar with the Sanskrit alphabet he asked me to write it for him. I did so, and when the letter reached the ashram and Bhagavan saw the verse he looked up and told the devotees in the hall, "Oh, now K. Natesan has gone to Madras."
Bhagavan was so keen and alert that he could recognise even my Sanskrit handwriting. I felt blessed to be remembered by him, even though I was away from the ashram.
Another time I was sitting before Bhagavan and Vaidyanathan Stapati was showing Bhagavan the sculpture he was making of him. The Stapati asked Bhagavan for his opinion as to whether it was a good likeness of him. Bhagavan said, "I can't say. Only Natesan knows."
Vaidyanathan Stapati looked at me and Bhagavan said, "Not that Natesan, the barber Natesan." He considered the barber to be the best authority on artistic representations of his body.
After retirement from service I have come back to the ashram to serve the devotees. The ashram President, Sri T.N.Venkataraman, being a close friend of mine since 1934, found me very useful to the new devotees since I could function as both a receptionist and an instructor. The president had entrusted me with the accounts of the Mountain Path magazine, etc. I served in the office until 1987. I ceased to work in the office due to glaucoma and cataract. Again, by the grace of Sri Bhagavan, I was completely cured of my eye trouble and normal sight has been restored. Since I am getting aged, the ashram president was kind enough to accommodate me as an old resident devotee in the ashram.
I realize that I do not have the power to relate in writing what the Maharshi is, or what he has done by living in our midst, or what he will be to future generations. Let all those who aspire for liberation and eternal happiness turn to him for guidance and grace, and then, I am sure, his unique mission to mankind will be known in the hearts of the seekers.
To try to introduce Sri Ramana Maharshi to the world at large is just like trying to introduce the sun to the solar system. Sri Maharshi is Self-effulgent like the sun. The Masters who appeared on earth before the advent of Sri Maharshi have shown several paths to get a vision of God or gods. But the Maharshi, by his unique, direct method of Self-enquiry 'Who am I?', has shown that realization of the Self alone is God-realization. And it is he that shines forth as the Self. Today the whole world has come to realize the greatness of the Maharshi on account of his direct path to realize the Self.
At one time the world was attracted like a magnet by the Atmic force of Gautama Buddha, and at another time the world was drawn by the pure, selfless life of Jesus Christ. At present the life and teachings of the Maharshi have spread widely to all the corners of the world as the Supreme Light of Advaita Brahman. It is my belief that the Maharshi has now become the Universal Master.
 

962
In 1908, from January to March, Nayana lived with the Maharshi at the Pachaiamman Temple. One early morning Nayana and other disciples were all sitting in front of the Maharshi who was, as usual, indrawn. The Muni saw a sparkling light come down from the sky and touch the forehead of the Maharshi six times. The Maharshi also was aware of what was happening. Immediately the Muni had the intuitive realization that the Maharshi was none other than an incarnation of Lord Skanda. The seer-poet, Nayana, gave expression to this revelation through his famous eight verses, "Ramana Asthakam", beginning with "Yanayatra.." This was later included in the "Forty Verses in Praise of Ramana" that was compiled by Bhagavan himself after Nayana's passing in 1936.
When Nayana had known Bhagavan for some years he questioned him one evening as to whether he was correct in recognising him as Skanda and extolling him in the Ramana Gita as Lord Subramanya. Though the Maharshi heard the question he remained silent. Nayana then mentally prayed to Bhagavan to answer his question at least by the next day. Consequently, when Nayana went to him the following day, the Maharshi looked at him and said, "Ishwara Swami (a devotee of the Maharshi) wrote a verse in praise of this Vinayaka (Ganesha) image sitting in a niche in the Virupaksha Cave. At his request I also wrote a venba verse on that Pillayar (Ganesha)." Then Bhagavan explained the meaning of that venba to Nayana. In the verse, Bhagavan entreats Lord Ganesha to look after him, because he is a younger brother who has come after him. Nayana was much gratified to hear this as he felt it was a confirmation that the Maharshi was an avatar of Skanda.
On April 16, 1922, when the Maharshi was still living in Skandashram, Nayana composed the following verse in praise of Bhagavan:
May the ascetic, wearing only a white loin-cloth, who once used to ride on the celestial peacock and has now come down as a man on earth, reign over the world as its unique Master!

963
The easiest Sadhana
One of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s most ardent devotees, TK Sundaresa Iyer explains his first darshan of his beloved Guru when he was 12 years old.

It is the year 1908, Bhagavan is still in Virupaksha cave.  TKS Iyer climbs the hill and reaches the Virupaksha cave where he sees ten to twelve devotees sitting with Ramana Maharshi and singing songs.  As TKS sits beside others, Bhagavan asks TKS if he could sing a song.  Immeiately, TKS sings a song composed by Sundaramurthy Nayanar which goes like this –
‘No other support have I, except Thy Holy Feet.  By beholding them I shall win your grace.  Great men sing your praise Oh! Lord!  Grant that my tongue may repeat Thy Name even when my mind strays.’
On hearing this, Bhagavan immediately says, ‘Yes that is what must be done.’  TKS takes this as Bhagavan’s Upadesa and keeps repeating the Holy Name of Arunachala, only to later become a great realized soul!

Truly, a Jnani is the greatest Bhakta and the greatest Bhakta is a true Jnani.


964
Sri Kunju Swamigal was Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ardent disciple.  He came to Bhagavan at a very young age, even before being put into formal schooling.
While he was at the Ramanashram, he would often witness a number of learned scholars coming to the Ashram from various corners and discuss and debate on philosophy and other topics quoting from various ancient Texts such as the Brahmasutra, the Upanishads and the Bhagavat Gita.

  Kunju Swamigal would get fascinated by the way the scholars quoted and discussed.  He once expressed to Bhagavan that  he also wished to go out and learn the scriptures so that it would enable him too to participate in such discussions.

Hearing this, Bhagavan smiled and said, ‘I am already removing your accumulated Vasanas (the latent impressions of previous births) and now you want to accumulate further more!  ….And then make me remove all of them together!’
Is it not crystal clear from the above incident that once we are at the feet of the Sadguru, it is enough to simply listen to what He says and leave the rest to Him, without trying to experiment anything that is enticing, which would only complicate our journey towards the Supreme?


965
Obeisance
Once Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s disciple Sri Kunju Swamigal visited a Mahan, a contemporary of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai.

That night, Bhagavan asked Sri Kunju Swamigal of his viist. When Kunju Swamigal said that the devotees of the Mahan bowed down to him, Bhagavan enquired if he had also prostrated before the Mahan. Kunju Swamigal replied in the negative and added that he would prostrate to none except Bhagavan Ramana.

Bhagavan Ramana, at once, retorted, ‘Oh! Do you think Bhagavan is limited to this six feet-tall body? He is omnipresent. If you are not interested in prostrating to other holy men, you should not go to their place. However, if you happen to visit them for some reason, you should show the due respect. You should have the ‘bhava’ that it is your own Guru that you are paying your obeisance to, when you prostrate to that holy man.’


966
Arunachala / The greatness of feeding People at Arunachala
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:54:18 PM »

SANAKA requested Brahma to enlighten them about the benefits derived from conducting annadana (feeding of the poor) at Arunachala.

Brahma replied: There is no good deed equal to annadana in the three worlds. Annam (rice) is the basis of prana (life-breath). Hence one who gives annam gives his prana. For this reason one who desires his own welfare should offer annam to the needy and the poor. If this is performed at Arunachala, he attains great merit and becomes the ruler of all the worlds. Neither Vishnu nor I can measure that merit. Even the giving of wealth and jewellery as charity cannot equal the merits obtained by annadana at Arunachala.

Once a king named Singadvajan, descendent of the famous Surya vamsa, ruler of the Dravida country, and known for his valour and generosity, was giving away jewels and diamonds to learned brahmins. In addition he gifted away everything that he possessed. He however did not perform annadana even once. When he died he was taken to the abode of devas. He was succeded by his son, Chitrakethu who excelled his father in might and valour. He too like his father gifted away land, jewels etc. But he too failed to perform annadana.

One day Singadvajan happened to meet the Sage Narada, the foremost of rishis, in the celestial region. Sage Narada said: O King! The feeding of the poor (annadana) supercedes all other gifts made on earth. It bestows knowledge of the Self, as the Supreme Lord dearly loves the one who performs annadana. You donated everything but you did not perform annadana. He who feeds the poor, is offered nectar in the heavens.

As requested by Singadvajan, Narada approached his son Chitrakethu on earth. Chitrakethu welcomed the Sage. After duly accepting his respects, Narada informed Chitrakethu that although his father Singadvajan gifted away everything he had not performed annadana. He alone who had fed the poor and the needy shall receive ambrosia in heaven. Hence Chitrakethu should perform annadana so that his father shall receive the ambrosia. The king decided to perform annadana.

However, the king wanted to know as to where on this earth annadana should be performed so that it shall bestow merits on him and his father. Narada informed him that the merit one obtained by feeding a lakh of people elsewhere cannot equal that of feeding one person in Kasi, and the merit gained by feeding just one poor brahmin at Arunachala will out-weigh that of feeding a crore at Kasi. Particularly if this was done on a dwadasi day (i.e. twelfth day counted from the day of new moon/full moon), it would be equal to the merit obtained by feeding the poor throughout the year.

After listening to the wise words of Sage Narada, Chitrakethu performed annadana everyday at Arunachala. By this act of the son, the father in the celestial region received nectar and in due course passed on to the various upper regions and finally merged in Siva. Hence everyone should endeavour to perform annadana, particularly at Arunachala, for it not only benefits the person who does it, but also bestows great spiritual merit upon his kith and kin.




967
General Discussion / Re: we are missing a point.
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:46:04 PM »
Dear Forum Members

Very Very nice posts regarding planning of future and Sri Kunju swamis history.

968
Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: January 17, 2013, 12:00:26 AM »
Sri Ramana in Arunachala Hill

969
Bhagavan story in Tamil

http://archive.org/stream/RamanaMaharshi-kalaimani/RamanaMaharshi#page/n0/mode/2up

970
By Sri Ramanachalam

My father was M.S. Venkataraman of Madurai, who was a few years younger to Bhagavan. He and Bhagavan lived in the same house which was situated close to the Vaigai River. He would join Venkataraman and his friends in their nocturnal escapades. After sneaking out in the dead of the night the boys would go to river bank and practice 'chilambam' (a martial art using long bamboo poles). Once when my father returned my grandfather caught him, tied him to a tree in front of the house and caned him. Venkataraman was watching. Later when my father heard about the young Brahmana Swami dwelling in Virupaksha Cave at Arunachala he paid a visit to him out of curiosity. But the moment he stepped into Bhagavan's presence he began to shed copious tears. To his amazement he found that there was nothing there of the former Venkataraman, his playmate. When he was about to leave, Brahmana Swami asked him in subdued tone, "Is that tree still there in front of your house?"

971
There are two Mahans in our country. One is Ramana Maharshi and the other Gandhiji. The Maharshi gives us Peace. Gandhiji does not allow anyone to remain in peace. Both do so for the same reason, for the spiritual freedom of India. — Smt.Sarojini Naidu (1938).
 

972
General topics / Re: Naming Baby
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:29:48 PM »
Madam

The names given by Atmavichar is nice.  I  have seen this  name  from this forum Krpasindhuh - The merciful One.

973
General Discussion / Re: Book on Lord Shiva
« on: January 14, 2013, 11:20:13 AM »
Dear Anand sir

http://fr.scribd.com/doc/45892574/Stories-From-Thiruvilaiyadal-Puranam-3

974
General Discussion / Re: Book on Lord Shiva
« on: January 14, 2013, 11:18:45 AM »
Dear Anand

This site may be useful to you

http://shaivam.org/english/sen_thiruvil.htm

975
Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: January 14, 2013, 01:41:39 AM »
Sri Ramana ashramam Bookshop

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