Author Topic: History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam  (Read 1934 times)

ramana_maharshi

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History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam
« on: May 16, 2010, 09:21:16 AM »
History

The recitation of the Vedas, morning and evening, at Sri Bhagavan’s shrine started under very interesting circumstances.

Initially, some Pundits began coming from the town and reciting the vedas before Sri Bhagavan, thinking,perhaps, that it was edifying for them to do this in the august presence of the Maharshi. Although everyone liked this, it wasn’t performed with any consistency,depending mostly on the whim of the priests. The Sarvadhikari thought that the Ashram should have regular daily parayanas. With this in mind, a Vedapatasala was established in the Ashram around 1934/35.

Krishna Ghanapatigal was the teacher at the Ashram Vedapatasala almost since its inception. The students, much like today, would come twice a day to recite before the Maharshi. Sri Bhagavan often commented on the value of listening to Vedic chants.He would sit alert and absorbed throughout the duration of these recitations.

The years, 1936-37 saw a spurt of building activity in the Ashram. A new dining hall and an adjoining large kitchen were constructed to the north of the old dining hall. These were declared open by Sri Bhagavan Himself on 1st September 1938. A large store room was also constructed just to the east of the new dining hall. The Vedapatasala which was situated in a thatched shed west of the old hall, where the present dispensary is situated, was shifted in 1938 to a pucca single storied building well to the east of Bhagavan’s hall.

Krishna Ghanapatigal was the teacher for almost forty years till his retirement in 1980. After attending the morning Vedic chanting along with the boys he would teach the boys till eleven. The teaching would resume at about 2 p.m. and continue till about 4 p.m. After Vedaparayana at 5 p.m. in front of Bhagavan he used to retire to his home for the night.

He was very orthodox in his ways. In the dining hall, the practice was that only after serving the Brahmins, the non-Brahmins and Sri Bhagavan were served. During the second serving, as the food had already once been served to non-Brahmins, it was considered polluted. Krishna Ghanapatigal felt unhappy and gently made this known to Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan immediately instructed that Ghanapatigal should be served food separately inside the kitchen, before food was served in the dining hall. He did not stop at that.Thereafter for some days before entering the dining hall for lunch, He would enquire whether food had been served to the Vedic teacher!

After Bhagavan’s Nirvana in 1950, the patasala was temporarily suspended, due to paucity of funds.In 1953, due to great efforts taken by Major Chadwick (Sadhu Arunachala), an ardent Western devotee of Bhagavan, the Ashram Vedapatasala and Sri Chakra Puja at Mother’s Shrine were revived.

Early Students

Seshadri Sastrigal and Padi Agraharam Ramu were the first to join Ashram Vedapatasala when it was started around 1934/35. Later on Krishnamurthi (kittu) and Subramanian (Appichi), who went on to become the Ashram chief priests, became its students. When Seshadri once handed over a mug of water to Sri Bhagavan to wash His feet after returning from the Hill,Sri Bhagavan said, “Never do anything without being told. Attend to the work for which you have come.”

In those days Patasala boys had to help the cooks serve food to devotees. Whenever Seshadri halted before Bhagavan a little more than he did for others Bhagavan chided him, “Don’t play, go to the next leaf.” Once Sri Bhagavan asked for some more buttermilk, which was unusual with him. Seshadri went inside the kitchen and brought a bucket of buttermilk, which was kept separately.Bhagavan after tasting it found it sour and asked for the reason. One of the cooks reported that it was buttermilk meant for the servants. Bhagavan asked, “We have so many cows. Isn’t the milk which we get enough for all of us, why can’t we serve the servants the same buttermilk too?”


It was customary for the Patasala boys to take turns and perform puja at the Mother’s Shrine. One Karthigai Deepam Day, while Seshadri was showing the arati somehow the curtain in front of the Mother’s Shrine caught on fire. After quickly dousing the fire he took the arati to Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan took the vibhuti with great devotion and applying it on his forehead asked in jest, “What? Has the chokkapanai been lit in the morning itself?” (Chokkapanai is a sort of bonfire lit atop a pole at every Siva temple in the evening of Deepam Day) How Bhagavan came to know about the fire was a wonder!

Source: http://sriramanamaharshi.org/pdf/Saranagathi_eNewsletter_February_2009.pdf

Subramanian.R

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Re: History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 09:30:28 AM »


I met the son of one Vedic teacher of Sri Ramanasramam Veda
Patasala, during my recent visit.  He is a puny, little boy with a
long name, Gowrisankar Chandrasekhar Vrupaksha!  Last year,
his Upanayanam ceremonies were held in the frontal portion of
Mother's Temple.  This little boy was given the dwija status, the
second birth for a brahmin, with proper observance of the Upanayanam
ceremonies.  When he stood for bhiksha, saying "Bhavati bhiksham
dehi", all the visitors joined in giving bhiksha to him.  He was having
a nice jet dark tuft of hair and looked like what we see Sri Sankara
in some drawings.  He was a short boy, wearing a half dhoti.  People did asirvatham, by giving money on his hands and he promptly gave
them to his father.  Sri V.S.Ramanan and others were personally
attending and supervising the Upanayanam function.  His father
told me that he would put him in a Coimbatore Patasala.  Later,
he was brought to Sri Ramanasramam Veda Patasala under the due care of Bhagavan Ramana.

He was playing cricket in the small open space in front of Ramaneswaram Lingam Temple. I asked him whether he is doing
Sandhyavandhanam regularly.  "Yes uncle", he said with a beaming face.  My wife said:  His face looks as if he is already Sat.

Arunachala Siva.     
 

ramana_maharshi

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Re: History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010, 09:47:50 AM »
Dear Subramanian Garu,

ThankQ so much for sharing this news sir.Its always pleasant to hear anything regarding guru ramana and ramana-ashramam.

BTW,my body's full name is "Jalasutram Venkata Rama Surya Prasanth" which i think is close to no of alphabets in "Gowrisankar Chandrasekhar Vrupaksha" :-)

My upanayanam was performed a day before marraige in June 2007 and though i did most of the customs to be performed in that function i was having no clue of what i am doing nor anyone cared to tell me the significance.

Most of the people are only interested in photograph session and videos in the marraige.

Only after marraige with grace of my wife i was changed and became religious and known significance of upnanayam and instantly got attracted by bhagavan ramana.

Subramanian.R

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Re: History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 10:46:12 AM »

Dear prasanth,

Nice to hear about your Upanayanam.  In Virupaksha's Upanayanam,
no photographs were arranged by the Vedic teacher, the boy's father.
However, the Asramam authorities took some photographs.  The
visitors to the Asramam nevertheless took a lot of clicks in their
cell phones.

My Upanayanam was done when I was 15.  A few black and white
photographs were taken.  There was a prarthana to go to Tirupati
and give a tonsure before Upanayanam.  In those photographs,
I appear tonsured.

Arunachala Siva.   

ramana_maharshi

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Re: History Of Vedapatasala In Ramanashramam
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 12:11:07 PM »
Dear Subramanian Garu,

Nice to hear that your Upanayanam was performed at age of 15.