Author Topic: Bhagavan as Ati-Varnasrami  (Read 1797 times)


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Bhagavan as Ati-Varnasrami
« on: January 08, 2010, 01:19:55 PM »
Bhagavan Ramana was an Ati-Varnasrami, the one even beyond
the four normal asramas, stages of life, viz., celibacy, householder-
life, jungle-dweller and an ascetic.  He has Himself said this in the
commission enquiry done in the Asramam, at the time of Perumal
Swami's case.  He has also said Jatabharata and Sukhar were of these types and this has got sastraic approval.

An ati-varnasrami is one who abides in the Self permanently, during
his life time and he need not observe any dharmas of even a
Sannyasi, like tonsuring the head, wearing ochre robe, holding a
staff on hand etc., etc., But Bhagavan Ramana did observe some of
these stipulations.  He wore a white codpiece, but had tonsure on
the full moon day every month, but did not have a staff. He had
to use a walking stick during His later years.

But He was particular that devotees should observe the asrama
codes strictly according to sastras.  Once, Jagadeeswara Sastri's
son was studying in Madurai Vedapatasala.  He had come for
Bhagavan's darshan during holidays.  He was having a flowing
hair ( a la M.K.Tyagaraja Bhagavatar of cinema fame those days)
and a muslin jubba.  Bhagavan Ramana saw him and said:  Oh,
I thought you are someone else.  Oh, how nice is your long hair
and muslin jubba!  Who will believe that you are the son of Jagadeeswara Sastri, a Vedic brahmin, with great scholarship?.. He
spoke with sarcasm.  The son of Sastri went away and came next
morning with a neatly made tuft of hair and a upper cloth as stipulated for Vedapatasala students!

Once He saw G.V. Subbaramayya's girl having two plaits of
hair-do. He told her:  "Oh, it is nice.  Why not you have two more
plaits in front also?" After hearing this, the girl became shy and
Suri Nagamma called her to her side and neatly plaited the hairs
with a single plait and fixed nice flowers too.  Bhagavan observed:
"Now, it is nice, as per Hindu customs!"

Bhagavan Ramana was above caste and caste differences.  But
He observed them inside the Asramam as per the customs of Sanatana dharma.  There were two rows for food in which Brahmins and non-Brahmins sat for lunch and dinner and Bhagavan Ramana used to sit facing both the rows diagonally at the mid point.
Once Viswanatha Swami's brother, who had been to jail in connection with freedom struggle came to see Bhagavan.  Typically
Gandhian, he wanted to sit with non-brahmins.  Bhagavan Ramana
called him and said:  "O, you want to break the customs because
you are above caste!  But would you do it at your home?  Sitting
deliberately in the other row, is also  symbolic recognition of casteism, don't you understand even this?"  Viswanatha Swami's
brother quietly came back to the brahmins's row for taking lunch!

Once Kanchi Mahaswami had come to Tiruvannamalai.  Every one
went to the gate to see him coming on a procession.  No one excepting Bhagavan Ramana and Suri Nagamma stayed inside the
Hall.  Bhagavan Ramana looked at Suri Nagamma in all compassion,
asking (without speaking) the reason.  Suri Nagamma said that she
was a widow without head tonsure, and Kanchi Mahaswami would not see such people as per customs.  Bhagavan Ramana said:  "Hmm.... He is following the dharma of his seat as Head of Math. If I were to be in his place, I would also observe this.  Anyway it does not matter."   Bhagavan Ramana looked at Suri Nagamma one more time, in abundant compassion, as if to give her reassurance that nothing had been lost.

(Source:  Ramana Manam, Ra. Ganapati's Tamil book on Bhagavan
Ramana, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Bhagavan as Ati-Varnasrami
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 07:27:21 AM »

Those in the cities these days may not be able to follow the hindu code of conduct. Infact..people like me who have to run every morning for work..dont even follow the very traditional elements of a festival....we just manage to make a payasam and that in itself is a great accompalishment indeed! I have heard it from my grandmother..that as per our tradition..we r not supposed to travel seven seas.

Theres a story of a gentleman, who once went for a darshan of maha periva. This person was settled in the US for many years. He had the darshan of periva and mentioned it to him that he was following all the required traditions of a vedic brahmin even in the US! He was performing the srardha duties for his parents even there! Maha periva looked at him and said ' Wasnt it enough that you  went you are calling your ancestors also there for your convinience'!


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Re: Bhagavan as Ati-Varnasrami
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 08:23:28 AM »
Dear SLakshmi,

What Maha Periyaval said is correct.  Certain Hindu rituals like Sandhya Vandahanam, annual ceremonies etc., are done as per the time of the day with reference to the Sun, in Hindustan.  What is day
to day is night in United States.  So, doing Sandhya Vandhanam, during American day is incorrect, since it is night in Hindustan.
So also are the sraddha ceremonies.  They are done by the tithi,
the digit from the waxing and waning moon.  These observances
are not possible in United States or Canada.  The Navami of India,
is Ashtami (the previous tithi) in Western countries. 

But Gayatri mantra alone can be chanted anywhere without the
abulations anywhere in the world.  One can continue to wear the
sacred thread anywhere in the world.

Arunachala Siva.