Author Topic: Writing in Light - 5  (Read 1607 times)


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Writing in Light - 5
« on: April 18, 2009, 11:23:03 AM »
C.G. Welling, the professional photographer from Bangalore
and Belgaum, took what is perhaps the finest series of pictures
of Bhagavan Ramana.  There are only nine or ten of them.  Each
is marked by great elegance, simplicity and beauty, as distinctive
as a signature!  The props are minimal.  A plain, dark background,
walking stick, tigerskin, and rugs.  And Bhagavan himself filling the frame.  He is at His most beautiful physically, silver hair and not
yet sacrificed to the barber's razon (as it was every full moon day).
It was perfect meeting of photographer and subject.  While a careful
attempt to record Bhagavan Ramana's voice resulted in an inexplicable failure -- the pristine silence, on the other hand, was
faithfully captured -- He was extremely cooperative in front of the camera, as obedient as a dutiful child, as solicitious as a doting parent.

When Welling was about to take His pictures, Bhagavan Ramana asked if there was sufficient light.  Mr. Welling said:  "Bhagavan!
You are the Light!".  Later Welling presented Bhagavan Ramana with the results of his work in the shape of a hefty photo album, measuring 11.5" X 15.0" and more than 1.5" thick.  It contained his portraits of Bhagavan, His sister Alamelu, and Chinnaswami (both of which are framed and displayed in the Asramam dining hall), and views of Tiruvannamalai, including a study of the various shrines and gopurams in the Big Temple.  They are all tidy compositions, clear
and straightforward, and executed with a technical mastery that is amply evident in the warm-toned prints.

His depiction of Bhagavan Ramana called the "WELLING BUST' -- there are two of them, one tilted, the other straight -- have become the universal favourite of devotees thorughtout the world.

[The Welling Bust, particularly the photograph where Bhagavan
Ramana's held is not tilted, is the most popular photograph of
Bhagavan Ramana.  This is in the coverpage of Collected Works
Tamil (recent edition) and the Collected Works of Arthur Osborne
in English.  It is the favourite photo on the writing desk of many
devotees.  This photo is available in colour as well as black & white in the Asramam, in various sizes, various wallet size to larger ones.   
Sri Ramanasramam also confirms that this is the most sought after
photograph of Bhagavan, apart from the one where Bhagavan was about 21 year old young lad. (Who am I? period - 1900-01).  There is poem on this Welling Bust in one of the recent issues of Mountain Path.  A large size photograph in which Bhagavan is sitting before lunch leaf, with all items served, this is a colour photo, is seen in the Dining Hall.]

(Source: As stated above. Part I)

Arunachala Siva.