Author Topic: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam  (Read 29197 times)

SLakshmi

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2010, 07:25:57 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Even i make it a point to visit the adi-annamalai temple during girivalam route. You are right, it is less crowded and one can have an undisturbed darshan of annamalaiyar from here. Also this temple is so very peaceful..and very beautiful...

As mentioned...excellent photos and description...!

Ramanarpamastu


viswanathan

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2010, 07:55:35 PM »
Dear  Mr.Najaraj,
                               After going through your post on the subject, I would like share some of MY VIEWS(please note the word MY ViEWS )on the reason  we are attached to a  particular place/diety/guru.We, the followers of Bhagavan consider Arunachala as sacred hill  and  quote   various works such as Arunachala Mahatmiam  in praise of the hill.In my opinion, every place in earth (all of which are created by god) is sacred and it is the mind (Ego) which boasts that a particular place is more sacred than other or a particular is more powerful than other guru.In india, each place has some historical/spiritual significance and saints have composed  songs in praise of that place/deity and the people from that place claim that  their place is the  holiest place in earth, may be that it is  Mount Kailash,Aoydha,Kasi,Tirupathi ,Kanchi or Sabarimalai. There are also people amongst us who claim that Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati is more powerful than Muruga of Tiruttani or Ayappa of Sabari malai or arunachala .Another view deep in the minds of devotees is that Giri Pradakshina should be done only on Full moon day and not on other day.In this context,the people of North Arcot District(to which I belong) have special attachment to the hill and they used to go around the hill  very often without any attachment to a particular day such as  Full Moon day.The hill assumed more importance after the arrival of Bhagavan in 1896. Later,Arunachala  got further  publicity  from celeberities such as Mr.Rajanikanth  and now people visit the hill in lakhs on full Moon day.I have heard people telling that pradakshina  should  be done only on full moon day.Before the hill got publicity from celebarities, devotees used to go around the hill as and when they wish and on Karthigai deepam day ,every body will go around the hill.In fact, Bhagavan used to do pradakshina very often as and when he liked and at times pradakshina will extend to days.I know  that many of the devotees of Bhagavan used to go around the hill all the 365 days in a year and one among them I assume was Mr.Michel James.To conclude, I wish to state that every hill is holy and every place is holy place and it is our mind which only  differentiates one from the other.When ever I visit Bhagavan samadhi, or for that matter visiting any temple,  I do 108 Pradakshina  and while doing so I try to maintain silence by turning the attention inwards and it gives me  peace of mind.  Also, 108 pradakshina   helps me to keep my body healthy by way of exercise.While doing  Pradakshina,I am not expecting moksham or favours from god since I strongly believe the theory  of Karma and also Bhagavan’s teaching that everything is preordained and what is destined to happen will happen and you cannot stop it. .In this context,I reproduce from Guru Ramana the following article on Happiness and misery in Creation.It may be noted that this article do not find place in any ashram publication except Guru Ramana By Mr.Cohen.It is one of my favorite articles.

HAPPINESS AND MISERY IN CREATION
4th May, 1937
A book is being read in which a question occurs whether
the world was created for happiness or misery. All eyes turn
to Sri Bhagavan for the answer.
Bhagavan. Creation is neither good nor bad; it is as it is. It is
the human mind which puts all sorts of constructions
on it, as it sees things from its own angle and as it suits
its own interests.
A woman is just a woman, but one
mind calls her “mother,” another “sister,” and still another
“aunt” and so on. Men love women, hate snakes, and are
indifferent to the grass and stones by the roadside. These
connections are the causes of all the misery in the world.

Creation is like a peepul tree: birds come to eat its fruit,
or take shelter under its branches, men cool themselves
in its shade, but some may hang themselves on it. Yet
the tree continues to lead its quiet life, unconcerned with,
and unaware of, all the uses it is put to. It is the human
mind that creates its own difficulties and then cries for
help.
Is God so partial as to give peace to one person and
sorrow to another?
In creation there is room for
everything, but man refuses to see the good, the healthy
and the beautiful, and goes on whining, like the hungry
man who sits beside a tasty dish and, instead of stretching
out his hand to satisfy his hunger, he goes on lamenting.
Whose fault is it, God’s or man’s
? But fortunately for
man, God, in His infinite mercy, never forsakes him. He
always gives him new chances by providing Gurus and
Scriptures to guide him to find the errors of his ways
and ultimately gain eternal happiness.
Visitor. We know that the pleasures of this world are useless
and even painful, yet we long for them. What is the way
of ending that longing?
Bhagavan. Think of God and attachments will gradually drop
from you. If you wait till all desires disappear to start
your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait a very,
very long time indeed




Nagaraj

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2010, 09:28:12 PM »
Dear I,


Your post is thought provoking! Completely agree with all your words sir. Infact, I would go to the extent of saying one should be even able to see God/Self and holiness even in dirt, filth, excreta, and all the other worst things the mind can grasp. Basically, when one gets attached to one place, he is identifying the Self with one of the Pancha Bhutas, as Air, Water, Ether, Fire and Earth in a very subconscious level. Basically it’s an intuition of the Self which cannot be measured or understood.

 :) I too belong to the North Arcot district, and I usually do the circumambulation any day and I don't attach any special significance to Purnima or Karthigai deepam day or any other day. The day I am there is sum all special days out together, I feel.   

Initially, certain 'places' or 'objects' trigger this intuition which ‘leads’ one to an extreme attachment to that 'place' or 'object'. After all even if one claims of not knowing the Self, even then Self cannot be an object of not knowing one-Self, and hence such intuitions which are called as ‘grace’ is initially triggered. I believe such intuition would slowly begin to 'manifest' itself in every 'places' or 'objects' Seemingly-different from self, for in reality, 'every place(s)' is the ‘same-place' or every 'object is the ''same-object' till finally it 'leads' to the understanding of being Self in all 'place' – ‘as being that place’ or 'object' as ‘being that object’. Those places or objects, filth, dirt, excreta, holiness, God, beauty, etc... Are all the same-Self, one-Self.

.....Is also still only the knowledge of mind.

Like how the same women we address as Mother, Aunt, Friend, names, in the end, we are addressing our Self as the other, That other is I-itself. When I talk to you, I talk to myself, and when you talk to me, I talk to myself,  When I say something to you, I say it to myself and when you say something to me, I say it to myself only.

Sir, in the end, don't you think, we, in the end have to only talk what they(myself) wants to hear, and they(myself) only talk what they(myself) want to talk, and we(myself) only hear what we(myself) want to hear.

When I love somebody, I am loving myself and when I hate somebody, I am hating only myself. When I am irritated or frustrated with something or somebody, that subject of irritation of Frustration - Somebody or something is just myself!

Sir, in a different post, you had mentioned, JK says..., actually, don't you think, it is only you that is saying and not even JK? and eventually it is I who is telling that! But we have to say 'JK says, or Sri Ramana says, Krishna says' because that is what they(Self) want to hear!

This again is just the mind!

But, the intuition is great. This intuition is the only power or grace by which the mind is able to melt or realise its True nature - Its limitedness and therefore humbled.

Humbled.

and

Salutations to Sri Ramana
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 09:56:02 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2010, 10:04:23 PM »
Dear I,

Yes. Even we think to do girivalam,it isnot possible unless Bhagavan calls us. It is my experience. I could not go to Annamalai for various reasons. At that time I used to motivate others to do girivalam. I feel satisfaction when they narrate their experiences.
At last Bhagavan called me and I did 5 times. It took 3.30 hours. Before going there I practiced to walk without slipper whenever I leave my house to market. I took the outer path only. Each time it was a new experience. I was thinking I never have a chance to go there but still to day how I did.. it is His grace only. Bhagavan said each stone and pebbles on the path is like a diamond and gems. He said many siddhas may pass in various forms. We should not disturb them. It is individual's faith that is all. As the experiences are still with me as fresh as it is.  Once we reached at 8 p.m. It was an ordinary day and we were 3 people wanted to go for girivalam.
When we were talking ourselves inside Arunachala temple one gurukkal told suddenly, why do you want to go to night. You have darshan of swami now and tomorrow you can do. We thought, as if Bhagavan is giving some instructions so we dropped the idea.
Before we came out of temple, suddenly there was a thunder bolt, and started raining. But it was not a rainy season. It was unespected. We thought it was good we did not go for girivalam. It rained whole night. And electricisty was cut. Next day morning the sky was so clear  and we took our giri valam at  4.30. a.m. After few miles in middle of the road one big tree uprooted and blocked the whole road. We told ourselves, it was Bhagavan only gave the instruction through the gurukkal. In that was He only
calls us, gives grace.
Ramanaduli
The corporation people were finding difficult to remove the trunk with cranes. We told ourselves,

We never know in what way Bhagavan graces us. Truly blessed event, Ramanaduliji. We can't grasp these things, they last as impressions of grace of Bhagavan. These memories, when we recollect them, we are closer to Bhagavan and we can feel His presence and those beautiful eyes.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 02:58:21 PM »
 Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

 Thank you.

Nagaraj

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 03:13:19 PM »
Dear I,
Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

I personally see nothing wrong in attending to natural calls! Why to put the body into struggle for our spiritual sadhana? Let the body do it's job and let us be focused in ours - Self. Infact, when some people came to Ramanashramam from burial ground after performing rites for a dead body and asked for some food, and when the Ashramites asked them to go have bath and then have their food, Bhagavan insisted them to serve food immediately and that such formal bath is not required. Why give so much importance to body and its activities.

The body is an inert thing. It is only 'I' that matters.

There is no special rules for anything as to it is only this way it has to be done. The intention only matters. Many soldiers in the Mahabharata war realized during the war, right in the battle field whilst killing others and merged into Krishna.

I also feel that it is only the body that is doing Girivalam and not really 'You'. So to torture our bodies from its natural activities is also violence. We have first practice Ahimsa with our own self.

Any activity or puja which result in uplifting ourselves can be performed, for some it may be performance of Puja in temple, For some it may be helping the needy on the way, for some it may be doing Parayana on the way, and different for different people. If you are inclined in going into temple and performing puja and if you feel grace penetrating from what you do, then why not?

I feel fully complete just by visiting Ramanashramam and I am never impelled to go to the main temple and have the darshan of lord specially!

I follow a very simple scale, if what I am going to do, if it will give me happiness and also the others, without troubling anybody, then I will go ahead and do it.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

viswanathan

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2010, 05:33:58 PM »
Dear I,
Yes , Thank you , Sir. As far as I could, I performed the Giri Pradskshina  meditatively.
 However, I wished to know from you that is it right to attend to natural calls  while one is performing Giri
 Pradakshina ?.Besides, I also wished to know that is it necessary to perform Puja in all the temples
 that are on the Girivalam Path ? 

I personally see nothing wrong in attending to natural calls! Why to put the body into struggle for our spiritual sadhana? Let the body do it's job and let us be focused in ours - Self. Infact, when some people came to Ramanashramam from burial ground after performing rites for a dead body and asked for some food, and when the Ashramites asked them to go have bath and then have their food, Bhagavan insisted them to serve food immediately and that such formal bath is not required. Why give so much importance to body and its activities.

The body is an inert thing. It is only 'I' that matters.

There is no special rules for anything as to it is only this way it has to be done. The intention only matters. Many soldiers in the Mahabharata war realized during the war, right in the battle field whilst killing others and merged into Krishna.

I also feel that it is only the body that is doing Girivalam and not really 'You'. So to torture our bodies from its natural activities is also violence. We have first practice Ahimsa with our own self.



Dear Mr.Nagaraj,
                      Your reply as above to the query by Mr.Anil regarding attending to nature's call during pradakshina is very rational ,mature,thought provoking and in line with Bhagavan's teachings and cleared many of my doubt which was lingering in my mind.I sincerely thank you for your reply..Few years back, I took one of my relative for Pradakshina at TV malai..The relative was old, had diabetics and in view of that i have suggested to him to wear chappals to protect his feet from damage while walking.In the course of the Pradakshina,we happened to meet a young highly educated sadhu well versed in sastras and he told us that my friend should not do pradakshina with chappals on since the hill is lord Siva.The advice by Swamiji raised a qdoubt in my mind  whether Bhagavan and his devotees during the stay at various places in hill such as Virupakshi cave and Skandasramam etc came down to the plains whenever  they had to attend to call of nature.I put this doubt to one of senior devotee who told me that devotee were attending to nature's call at hill itself.In this context, i wish to narrate an incident that took place in Bail in indonesia.Bali is predominantly a hindu majority state in Indonesia and there are very famous hindu temples which are open to tourists of all faiths.These temples are visited by tourists from all over globe and the tourists are not asked to remove shoes while going inside temple.I asked the guide (who was a Bali Hindu) how come in hindue temples, visitors are allowed with shoes.He replied that what is important is purity of heart and it does not matter one were shoes or not while entering temple.His reply was a great eye opener to me.
                   In northern India,  many temples allow devotees to enter inside Garbagraha and for that matter in kasi any body can touch Lord Viswanathar and do abishekam.There is no bar on caste/dress code etc and it is one place where we can find real oneness.It is only in South India ,we are more rigid in ritualistic practices and devotees are not allowed inside garbagraha(However, i find that in many temples in Tamilnadu , devotees pay money to priest and enter inside Garbhagraha).
                    I strongly believe in Swami Vivekananda's quote :"Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy-by one, or more, or all of these-and be free, . This is the whole of Religion.Doctrines,or dogmas,or rituals, or books, or temples,or forms,are but secondary".[/u]
Viswanathan

Nagaraj

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2010, 06:25:42 PM »
Sir, thank you for your acknowledgement, by your wise words, it is a confirmation and blessings to sadhakas like me are going on the correct direction.

The Bali incident mentioned by you is really the essence of this verse from the Gita -

In the Gita, it is said -

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Sir, please do correct me if I may be wrong, but still I would say, oneness is just not experienced only in north indian temples alone.  Many of my uncles also have the same opinion regarding the temples in south india, that it is famous for its rigidity and priests accepting money, and they eat away the mantrams etc... It is beautiful this way. As it is.

There is fullness even here. I personally would give my opinion to my uncles in a gentle way that we should learn to see oneness even in rigidity. In the end rigidity etc... are also just a product of our past knowledge and only we are being rigid in the end!

Temples in north India are beautiful and it feels nice to go inside the garbha griham and at the same time the temples in south India too are beautiful and emanate the same oneness by stationing one outside the garbha griha and having the darshan of Lord. To me it has been one and the same. It exists the way nature demands it to be. But Tarkavaadis over the ages have always had such arguments. Some of my uncles say that people in North India have more Bhakti and there are more Pravachakas and down in south, it is only for money. It is still beautiful that way. As it is. And there is no dearth of essence on either side. The arrogant priests in South Indian temples teach us a very valuable and most important lesson by their conduct. Infact we are all in some ways indebted to them. They are also our Gurus

Sir, I do not mind paying money to have darshan of Lord, if that is what I want, i.e. a good darshan. When I go to any of the famous and hence overcrowded temples, I pay some hundreds at the temple and by that I get to be there fore some time and enjoy my self with the darshan of the Lord. I see no wrong. Infact, I see it that the Lord himself allows and it is His leela, To give such bribes also is one way of deliverance from ego - ie basically "Not to Question Anything" Things are moving in an already ordained way. Who am I to say what is right or wrong. We may have to take thousands of births even for not giving a bribe that which is ordained!

Which is clearly illustrated by Bhagavan, he never discouraged "Brahminism" and "revolutionaries" at the same time. It is beautiful as it is.

When such arguments came forth in my home, that the Lord encourages corruption in his kingdom; my mother gave an interesting reply, she said, "so what if he is taking money and money and only money? he is taking crores and crores from all people who have made black money, thats why he takes a very nice share" He  snatches money from those who have in abundance and I see no wrong in that"

There is a beauty even in "corruption".

Lord Shiva looks good only with Vibhuti Triputi and Lord Vishnu looks good only with Tiru naamam. But we try to question this and want Lord Shiva to put Thiru Naamam and Lord Vishnu to put Bhasma Triputi!

Salutations to Sri Ramana
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 06:28:54 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: My Trip - Ramanashramam & Inner Girivalam
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2010, 11:55:04 AM »
I remembered this in the context of the subject being discussed and I thought its a good sharing amongst us

An elderly philosopher once explained that the the architecture of the temple has a lot to do with the customs and the proximity of the devotees to the God or Goddess inside. A temple built the south indian way - with the sanctum sactorum, ardha mantapam etc was built with the idea of keeping the devotee at certain distance from the main area of worship. Where the architecture did not have this kind of division, going near the deity and perhaps even touching was allowed.

This was also more a need of protection to the temple from invadors especially in the North. Which is why the system of facilitating the devotees to have easier access to the deity so that personal bond could be built and they would rush to the rescue if the deity or the temple were in danger of being mauled by the ruthless invadors.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta