Author Topic: Written in the Light - 2  (Read 1376 times)


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Written in the Light - 2
« on: April 17, 2009, 04:50:00 PM »
Dev Gogoi continues....

There are a handful of portraits and group photographs from the early
pre-1922 period.  Whether alone or surrounded by devotees, Bhagavan Ramana appears distinguished by the aura of absence from this world.  These formal moments, frozen from a daily flux hard to imagine in its particularities, are also stamped by a strong cultural and geographic specificity.  In the obscure interior of South India,
at the heart of the Tamil tradition, something had happened.  Something was happening.  Like pictures from the Wild West,
notwithstanding the versimilitude of the visual record, the reality
was vaster than then lens that strove to recapture it.

The oldest original negative in the Asramam's possession, is a glass plate, 14 cm by 20 cm, showing Bhagavan and His devotees at
Virupaksha Cave in 1911.  It is in good condition.  There are 28 persons in the photograph.  The photographer must have taken more than one hour to set everything up.  The crowning moment of exposure, could actually last a second or two. [ This photograph can be seen in the 8 volume book, Arunachala's Ramana. Boundless Ocean of Grace.]

Soon after Bhagavan Ramana came down from the Hill to live by His Mother's Samadhi in 1922, somebody made what looks like a casual snapshot.  A rare and precious view of what was then a barren wasteland and upon which Sri Ramansramam grew into being.  The
Mother's Shrine, a simple coconut-thatched shed, is visible in the left background.  In the right background, Bhagavan Ramana is seen standing in a relaxed posture, reading something He is holding on His hands.  In the middle distance, the lower reaches of Arunachala rise
bereft of trees.  The original image is a tiny 4 cm X 6 cm print , yellow with age.  A helpful writer has captioned it in ink, upon the image area,  The Maharshi and His Hermitage!  There are two other prints
like this one, the three obviously belong together.  In one, Bhagavan is enjoying a swim in Pali Tirtham?

(Source: As stated in Part I)

Arunachala Siva.