Author Topic: Incidents Related To Early Days Of Ramana Maharshi During His Stay At Ashramam  (Read 1320 times)


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Puja was performed regularly each day at Alagammal’s tomb (samadhi), ending at midday. As it was too hot to return to Skandashram a small hut was built which was used for cooking and the return journey to the Ashram was delayed until the evening. Eventually Chinnaswami decided to stay there permanently and lived in the hut along with Dandapaniswami. Due to the fact that some of the food now had to be brought here, there was at times not enough to eat in Skandashram. This led to differences of opinion,which Sri Ramana settled with his usual diplomacy.

Sri Ramana’s followers soon noticed that he visited his mother’s samadhi each day. They therefore started to wait for him there. One day he was invited to a lavish meal by a devotee. A large number of townspeople also turned up and the meal turned into a feast which continued into the evening. As nightfall had set in, Ramana was unable to return to Skandashram, so he remained at the foot of the hill overnight. The following day the same thing happened again. In addition, Ganapati Muni had joined them and gave an enthralling lecture which lasted late into the night. Over the days that followed Sri Ramana was always detained for some reason until it was too late to return to Skandashram.

Finally Kunju Swami and Gopal Rao were asked to look after Skandashram. For a week they waited for Ramana’s return in vain.As they did not like to stay up there without their master they came back down and from that time on the Ashram was left empty. A short time later the deserted Ashram was broken into.Amongst other things the thieves removed a clock and a wooden plank which Ramana had used. When he heard about it, he said,“It is good. Nobody need go there to look after the place anymore.”

This marked the beginning of Ramanashram. Sri Ramana once expressed it thus, “The same shakti (power) that had brought me from Madurai to Tiruvannamalai brought me down here from the hill.”

In the early years Ramanashram consisted of just a few huts. The so-called Old Hall, in which Sri Ramana lived day and night until 1949, was built in 1928.
It was here that the many meetings with visitors and devotees took place. The Old Hall, which measures 40 feet by 15, is not very spacious and contains only Ramana’s sofa and some bookcases.

The impression which is sometimes given, that the Ashram came into being around the Maharshi without his participation, is therefore absolutely wrong, as Annamalai testified, “It was Bhagavan, and Bhagavan alone, who decided when buildings should be built, where they should be built, on what scale they should be constructed,what materials should be used, and who should be in charge of the construction.”

Sri Ramana not only took great interest in the various building works, gave advice and instructions and each evening asked for a progress report from Annamalai Swami, he also liked to participate in the work himself. He evidently felt more comfortable on the building site outside, than on his couch. He would have liked to have participated more fully in this physical work, if only his devotees had allowed him. But they thought it inappropriate for him to do strenuous physical labour. In addition, he also had to care for the increasing numbers of visitors, who often came from afar for the sole purpose of having his darshan. Once when he was visiting the building site, his attendant Madhava Swami announced the arrival of new visitors, Sri Ramana replied jokingly that a new warrant had been issued for his arrest and it was now time for him to return to jail.

One of the most important and lengthy building projects was the erection of the new temple over the mother’s samadhi. The project was started on 1st September 1939, exactly 43 years after Sri Ramana’s arrival at Tiruvannamalai. Again he showed great interest in the construction work. Exceptionally it was not he who did the drawings but a master temple builder, who brought with him several stonemasons experienced in temple construction.

The temple building placed an enormous strain on the Ashram finances. Chinnaswami obtained the best teak wood from Burma and wanted to use only the highest quality material. At times there was not enough money to pay the workers, but then, unexpectedly,donations would be received.

Feroza Taleyarkhan, a member of an aristocratic Parsi family,reports how she raised considerable funds for the mother’s temple and the New Hall on behalf of Chinnaswami. Ramana, however,was insistent that the collections should not be done in his name.

Feroza Taleyarkhan also played an important role in the renovation of the Patala Lingam and in the purchase of Ramana’s birth house in Tiruchuli (Sundaram Mandiram) and the house in Madurai (Ramana Mandiram) through Ramanashram.

The construction of the temple took nearly 10 years. It was called Mathrubhuteswara (God in the form of the mother) and was ceremonially opened in March 1949. The official ceremony (kumbhabhishekam) lasted for four days. On the last evening but one before the feast, the Sri Chakra Meru was installed in the inner shrine.

Major Chadwick reports how Ramana himself supervised the installation,“It was an extremely hot night and with three charcoal retorts for melting the cement adding to the heat, it must have been intolerable inside the airless cave of the inner shrine, but for about an hour and a half Bhagavan sat there telling the workmen what to do. On the last night of the function he went in procession,opening the doors of the New Hall and temple and passing straight up into the Inner Shrine, where he stood for some five minutes with both hands laid on the Sri Chakra in blessing.”

Source: Ramana Maharshi: His Life A biography by Gabriele Ebert


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Bhagavan Mother Azhagammal attained liberation in 1922.  The
building of the temple commenced only in 1939.  It took further
many more years to complete and do the consecration.  It shows
how Bhagavan Ramana left everything to the Almighty without
any voluntary efforts towards that Temple.

Bhagavan Ramana says in Sri Arunachala Padigam Verse 9:

"O Thou, the Content of Beyond!  To clasp Thy feet to free oneself
totally from the bondage of worldly attachment; Among those who
lack the supreme wisdom of discretion, I am the foremost!
The burden of delivering me, Thou undertaking as Thine.
Grace me that my effort and actions cease completely; for Thee,
the Sustainer of everything, what can be a burden? Supreme Lord!
Parted from Thee, (due to delusion of mind), the burden and
bondage of worldly samsara, bearing on my head, as if it is my own, thereby the misery and grief that was mine so far, Oh, enough
of it!  Arunachala, the Supreme Brahman!  Deign no more to keep
me away from the refuge of Thy feet, but bless me with Thy compassionate glance of Grace!"

Bhagavan Ramana lived as a living example of this verse.

Arunachala Siva.