Author Topic: Seeking Arunachala  (Read 11812 times)

vinita

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Seeking Arunachala
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:29:10 AM »
took some photos during my visit to Arunachala which i would like to share at:

http://vinita.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/02/seeking-arunachala.htm

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 08:57:20 AM »
very nice, ty  :)

vinita

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 11:27:42 PM »
More than 25 years back i was introduced to the Ramana Kendra off Lodi Road in Delhi. The Kendra has a meditation hall with a huge portrait of Ramana Maharishi. Behind him is a wooden form of Arunachala.

i was drawn to the eyes of Ramana Maharishi. For some reason my eyes would always water when i looked at his portrait.

i was also drawn to Arunachala. Those days every Saturday or Sunday there used to be a Satsang. I remember some beautiful songs sung in praise of Arunachal. Though i could not follow the words, the melody was very haunting. All this generated an inner longing to visit this sacred hill.

That longing came to fruition on 30th January this year....almost 28 years after i first came to know about Arunachala.

i was introduced to Mr Palani Velu as if by sheer good fortune and he was kind enough to accompany me for the last 70 kms. of my journey to Thiruvannamalai. He told me that he had been doing Pradikshana since 2002 at least twice every month and specially on Purnima.

We decided to do Pradikshana at 4 a.m. the next morning.

On the night of the 30th i had gone to the temple of Arunachala and had a beautiful darshan of Arunachaleshwar, Parvati Devi and other deities. Felt very moved in the temple. Maybe that was the reason why i could hardly sleep.

Not used to getting up at 3 a.m. i threw up. Though i had had a very light dinner at the Ashram, my stomach was completely emptied. i remembered how Pradikshana had to be done on an empty stomach. After taking a head bath i was ready and excited at the prospect of starting the walk.

Mr.Palani Velu reached in time and both of us started from the Seshadri Ashram at the appointed time. My first glimpse of Aruchala was when we came to a clearing and saw a large imposing hill half clouded at the peak. Though dawn was some hours away, there was still some faint light which made the dark clouds lighter at the edges. i could only fold my hands in reverence at this sight.

Initially there were a number of trucks on the main highway but then the road turned into a queiter part and we could walk with less of disturbance.

We visited all the lingams on the way. i think the first one was Yama lingam and the last one the Agni Lingam.

After covering about 10 kms. i found that my feet became very sensitive to the gravel on the road. Gradually the sensitivity increased and each step became a source of discomfort. The discomfort turned into pain and all my consciousness then turned to the feet. i realised how tied i was to bodily comfort. The last 3-4 kms. were covered at a crawling pace.

Mr. Palani Velu was always by the side. i am truly grateful to him for accompanying me and guiding me all along the way. i think i saw a bit of Siva in him.

When we entered the gates of the Ashram i knew that the Pradikshana had finally been concluded. Though i felt a sense of relief the thought crossed my mind that i would like to do it all over again...and again...and again...

Yes, this has to be the power of Arunachala.......




munagala

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 11:38:35 AM »
Dear Vinita,
Congrats on your first Giri Pradakshina.

My personal opinion is that we can do giri pradakshina with slippers or shoes and after having food.
I did go without shoes couple of times but the mind was always on the path and the discomfort.

Now a days I take breakfast or some fruits before I start and with shoes/slippers.
Probably we are not used to walking barefoot.

Bhagavan also says that we need not torture ourself for attaining God or to attain self-realization.

Regards,
Sambu

vinita

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 05:54:13 PM »
Dear Sambu,

i think it is important to go through the discomfort so that it makes us conscious of the fact that we are too much attached to the body.

if only i could have surrendered to the pain and not identified myself with it, it would have been so much the "better".

i suppose it needs a lot of sadhana to reach that stage....or alternatively, a hardenng of the sole ;D

we city bred creatures are much too spoilt :P

best wishes... :)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 07:42:16 PM »
Once Bhagavan and a devotee were walking on the Hill.  It was
blistering hot.  The devotee could not walk even ten metres.
Bhagavan Ramana gave His towel and said: "Please stand on this
for sometime and then walk."  Slowly the devotee bore the heat and
walked barefoot and from that day, he never walked with slippers on. When some other person asked this devotee, he said: "You do
not know.  Bhagavan has given me 'ravi raksha' (protection from the
heat of the sun!).  Bhagavan Ramana never wore slippers in His life,
even during His days in Tiruchuzhi and Madurai.  Once another
devotee had a thorn stuck to his sole and he was limping.  Bhagavan Ramana told him, to lift his leg and slowly take out the thorn.  He
then asked Bhagavan: "O Bhagavan! Are you not having thorns in
Your sole?"  Bhagavan Ramana said: "Which thorn are you mentioning?  Today's or yesterday's or last week's?  The devotee raised the leg of Bhagavan Ramana and saw on His sole countless thorns sticking all over His sole.

Of course, it takes one birth or several births for us to be like Him.
In today's world where Gurus distribute wooden slippers, used
by them, to devotees, for 'pada pooja' and all that crap, Bhagavan
Ramana is unique, the One without a second!

Arunachala Siva.     

munagala

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009, 07:57:24 AM »

Walking without slippers, fasting, taking bath in cold water etc will strengthen the mind to some degree.
But they are not indispensible for self-realization.

King Janaka attained self-realization when he still a king.
Buddha sacrificed everything to attain self-realization.

We cannot be indifferent to pain as Ramanar and Sadasiva Brahmendra were.
Once we reach their level we can also be like them.

I believe that we have to accustom ourself to all types of life styles.
Walking without slippers on some occassions and living in an a/c room on other occassions is not going to benefit us spiritually.
We have to let go all comforts at once or keep your comforts and not be attached to it mentally.

Regards,
Sambu


Subramanian.R

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2009, 10:50:39 AM »
Dear munagala,

Yes.  You are correct.  Nothing is required to realize the Self excepting desiring the Self.  This is the only desire that Bhagavan
has prescribed.  All other desires have to be left as and when
prarabdha is finished.  Bhagavan Ramana willing, I am planning to
visit Tiruvannamalai in March 2009.  I know the heat, I know the
power cuts in Tamil Nadu during those times and I know that I have to walk without sandals.  But Bhagavan Ramana will take care and
give me enough strength to put up with all these.  Saint Manikkavachagar says in Siva Puranam, " With His grace, I shall prostrate His feet."

Arunachala Siva.

vinita

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 11:44:32 AM »
i feel fortunate to have u sharing your thoughts on this. yes, if we are free of attachment to comforts whether we walk with slippers or barefoot is of no consequence. but then we are attached to comforts at this particular stage of our journey.

let me share with u some fears that i had when i first thought of doing girivalam. i thought of the thorns and wondered if i would have the strenght to go on if my feet bled or if the thorn irritated me. since i like to indulge in fantasy i even thought that i would hurt myself on broken glass imagining that such things do keep lying on the road.

actually while visiting one of the lingams during the girivalam i did find a number of glass pieces strewn around. somehow i saw them in time and could negotiate them without getting hurt.

however, it is possible that one could hurt oneself. i do want to progress to a stage when even if it hurts physcially the surrender is so complete that such things do not matter.

dunno whether it will happen in this lifetime or the next or the next.

afterall these are only the first few faltering steps on a journey which may be a long one.

munagala

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 03:20:56 PM »
Dear Subramanian,

I have performed Girivalam without slippers in the month of May in mid day.
This was before I became a follower of Master's teaching.

After reading Bhagavan's teachings I decided wearing sandals or not is immaterial to spiritual growth
and then I started wearing sandals during girivalam.  :)

When given choices I always pick the easier route  :)
I guess these are personal preferences.  Let us do whatever pleases us but not miss the central theme of our struggle.  8)

Regards,
Sambu

Ganesh_b01

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009, 11:12:47 PM »
Dear Vinita,

your snaps were really good, I liked the monkeys, the dog and the peacock very much. Always there is some innocence in the animals which we lack because of our intelligence. It was nice to read your experiences.  read in some book - Once a devotee came to meet Sri Ramana Maharshi. Ramana Maharshi asked him to do Girivalam. The devotee started the Girivalam next day at around 3:30 am or so. after finishing the Girivalam, he came and prostrated to Bhagwan. Bhagwan asked him if he had finished the Girivalam and he acknowledged and told Bhagwan that his foot had a lot of burns and cuts because of the girivalam and that he found it very difficult to finish the Girivalam. Bhagwan asked him to do the Girivalam again, So he set forth again and came back and prostrated to Bhagwan.  Bhagwan asked him about Girivalam, this time the devotee said that it was much easier this time and that he did not have any problem at all.

Bhagwans grace is not describable.

How fortunate all those devotees are who were able to really see him physically in flesh and bones and got the opportunity to talk to him and listen to his necter like voice full of love and grace. Oh Bhagwan I love you.

Ganesh_b01

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009, 11:34:33 PM »
Even thinking about Ramana Maharshi and Sadashiva Brahmendral, I get goosebumps. In which birth or how many more births I will have to take to become one with Ramana Maharshi or Sadashiva Brahmendral. I can just cry and pray to Bhagwan for now.

munagala

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2009, 07:26:13 AM »
It is true that it might take one birth or many births to attain the state of Bhagavan.
Let us not be negative about the timeline. Who knows? Your vasanas may be good and you would get realized in this birth.

Nisargadatta Maharaj attained the state of samadhi after 3 years of practice of self-inquiry.

Once Mr.Ganesan ( I guess he is cousin of current president of the Ashram) visited Nisargadatta and the latter said he would put
Mr.Ganesan in the same state as Bhagavan if he stayed with him for just 3 days.

Vivekananda says if someone had the will he can attain perfection is a very short time.

It all depends on how well we have understood the path and following the path without any deviation whatsoever.

Regards,
Sambu

Subramanian.R

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 11:55:32 AM »
Dear munagala,

No doubt each one has to make sincere efforts making surrender and
self enquiry as twin engines.  But it all depends also on the carrybag
of merits and demerits that we have on our back.  Sri Sadhu Om, who
spent only 5 years with Bhagavan Ramana living in His body, was
asked by someone as to how he could interpret Ramana with greter insights than others, Sri Sadhu Om replied:  "To say, that I had spent five years is itself certificate for my impurity.  It needs only
one look of Bhagavan, if your carry-bags are okay!"

Arunachala Siva.     

Disciple

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Re: Seeking Arunachala
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 12:04:25 PM »
Pranam,

As the thread of this post has taken a new turn, I would like to relate a story I had read.....

Once the Sage Narada was going around the earth singing the praises of the Lord Narayana. He came across a man doing sadhana and asked him what he desired, as he would be meeting Lord Narayana soon. The man said that he had been doing intense tapas for a long time and wanted to know when he would become one with the Lord. Sage Narada assured him of an answer from the Lord and went ahead on his way.
A little further Narada came across another man doing sadhana and asked him also what he desired. The second man also wanted to know when he would attain the Lord.
Narada returned to earth after some time and came across the  first person and told him that the Lord had said he would attain liberation in the next birth. The man flew into a rage and said that he had been practising his sadhana very intensely and had undergone great hardships and tapas. He was furious that he was not going to achieve his goal in this life time and so he told Narada that he was going to stop all his practices and he felt that he had wasted his time undergoing all the hardships, and from now onwards he was just going to indulge and enjoy life. 
Narada then came across the next person who was meditating under a tree. Narada told him that he would achieve liberation after as many births as there were leaves on the tree he was sitting under. The man was overjoyed and started dancing in ecstasy and told Narada that the Lord at least had told a definite number to his number of births.
Such was the person's surrender to the Lord that he became liberated at that very moment.

This story gives us good teaching as to the attitude one should have towards sadhana and the importance of surrender.

Om shri Ramana