Author Topic: Suri Nagamma Relates How Once Kunjuswami’s Trip To Tirupati Has Been Cancelled  (Read 6562 times)

ramana_maharshi

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During the period Bhagavan was living on the hill a Malayali devotee brought Kunjuswami who was then very young and told Bhagavan, “Swami, this little boy came to us saying he did not want his mother, father or his native village and stayed with us. Even in his childhood he had great vairagya (absence of worldly desires or passions).

Quite a smart lad. But what is the use of his staying with us? We thought it would be good if he were to stay with a holy person like you and so have brought him here. Please allow him to stay with you.” Thus they entrusted him to Bhagavan and went away.

From that tender age itself, he was very obedient and docile and so Bhagavan began calling him, “Kunju,Kunju.” Subsequently all others began calling him by the same name; and that ultimately became his permanent name.As he grew up he showed remarkable intelligence.

The number of Bhagavan’s personal attendants also gradually increased, as also the devotees when Bhagavan shifted from Skandasramam to the present place. Dandapani
Swami was looking after the management of the Ashram at the time. He was in charge of the kitchen also.

At that time Bhagavan was working in the kitchen like an assistant under him. If Dandapani fried the ingredients for chutney,Bhagavan ground them suitably; if rice and dhal were soaked in water overnight, Bhagavan ground them into iddli paste the next morning. That kind of work was being done by Bhagavan at the time.

Once it so happened that when Bhagavan was grinding rice and dhal for iddli his hands got blistered. Noticing it,Kunjuswami with great humility, requested Bhagavan not to grind. Bhagavan did not listen to him. He begged of Dandapani not to entrust that work to Bhagavan, but it was of no use.

At the same time, Dandapani got a basketful of tamarind leaves, fried them lightly with chillies and gave the whole lot to Bhagavan for grinding into chutney. Bhagavan began grinding it in spite of the blisters on the hands. Unable to contain his anguish, Kunjuswami told Bhagavan, “Please don’t grind it. If you do, I will not eat that chutney.” Without minding his protest, Bhagavan completed the grinding and
got the chutney ready.

When it was served during meal time,Kunjuswami declined to eat it. Bhagavan noticed it and from then onwards whenever anyone came to see him he sent for Kunjuswami and asked him, “May I talk to this person?” Other times he used to enquire, “May I go out to answer calls of nature? May I take food?” and the like. That way he began taunting Kunju by asking for permission for everything.

When his attendants asked him, ‘What is all this,Bhagavan?”, he said, “Yes. I must act according to his directions; otherwise he might even decline to take food. If he asks me to stand, I must stand; if he asks me to sit, I must sit. I must act according to his instructions in every respect.

He has refused to eat the tamarind chutney just because I did not stop grinding when he protested. That is the way with these people. They come here as sadhakas and then try to boss over us. Things will be all right if we act according to their instructions.”

Hearing all that, Kunjuswami felt deeply grieved and crestfallen and in his depressed state of mind, resolved to go away on pilgrimage for some time. Accordingly, he approached Bhagavan for permission to go to Tirupati.

Bhagavan did not say yes or no to his request but instead began giving him some work or other to keep him busy all the time and thereby effectively prevented him from asking permission to go.

Suddenly one day Bhagavan started for giripradakshina (circumambulating the hill) and asked Kunju to accompany him. Afraid of raising any objections and hoping against hope he would get permission to leave after the giripradakshina was over, he packed his clothes and took them with him so as to go to the railway station straight,without returning to the Ashram.

Observing this Bhagavan purposely began walking much slower than usual, with the result by the time they approached the town towards the end of their giripradakshina the train had already steamed out of the railway station. Looking at Kunju with a smile Bhagavan said, “Kunju, there is the train by which you wanted to go. Hurry up. Go and catch it.”

When all the devotees present laughed at this, Bhagavan said, “That is not it. When he was a little boy someone — perhaps his Guru brought him to me and entrusted him to my care. Now he says he will go away from me. Where will he go? In case his Guru comes and asks me, ‘Where is my sishya?’ What reply can I give?” That was the end of the story and the idea of his going on pilgrimage was given up. It only shows how he was tied down by the grace of Bhagavan.

Subsequently, the devotees respectfully submitted to Bhagavan, “Kunju is feeling extremely sad. That is why he wanted to go to Tirupati for getting some peace of mind. How can he stay on here if Bhagavan does not forgive him?”

With a laugh Bhagavan said, “How queer! All that I said was in a lighter vein. After all what wrong has he done? He could not bear the sight of the blisters on my hands getting worse by my continuing to do the grinding work and so tried to dissuade me. Nothing very wrong.

Tell him to give up all these foolish ideas about pilgrimage. What can I say if his Guru turns up and asks for his sishya?” After that Bhagavan’s attitude towards him became perfectly normal.

Relating to me this incident Kunjuswami said, “Amma! After this incident, I have gone to several places on pilgrimage but could not find any peace of mind until I came back to Arunachala. This is Bhagavan’s grace.” Kunjuswami is staying in the Ashram to this day.

Source: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI


Subramanian.R

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Dear prasanth,

Nice anecdote.  Even to take pity on the ailment of the Guru
and to do something like not taking chutney, is also ego's play.
Bhagavan Ramana set right such angularities with great care towards
His devotees.

Bhagavan took Kunju Swami deliberately for a stroll on the Hill and
delayed the return so that Kunju Swami had to miss the train.
He told him:  "That elderly man has entrusted you to my care.
How can I allow you go away like this.  Tomorrow, if that man comes and asks me, what reply can I give?"

Bhagavan's abundant compassion got revealed by such numerous activities of Him.  One when Suri Nagamma came late [it was
Cow Lakshmi's annual liberation day], Bhagavan Ramana asked
the kitchen workers to keep some food ready and also the special
preparation of sweet pongal prepared for the occasion, for Suri Nagamma.


Arunachala Siva.
 

SLakshmi

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Prasanthji,

Beautiful! Never heard about this anecdote. Sri kunju swamigal is one of those rare gems that simply basked in sri bhagavan's grace. What punya he must have done to get this kind of grace from sri bhagavan!

Subramanian.R

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Kunju Swami's reminiscences titled Enathu NinaivugaL first came in
Tamizh in 1980.  His further reminiscences were recorded by Sri V.
Ganesan in his book Moments Remembered. The original Tamizh
book was rendered in English under the title Living with the Master
in 1992 by Sri K. Subrahmanian.  All these titles cover the important
incidents in Kunju Swami's life with Bhagavan Ramana.

Kunju Swami decided to take the first words of Bhagavan to him as
His Upadesa.  Bhagavan was heating some flour on a tin bowl to make a gruel to feed four pups.  The pups were running towards
the hot gruel and Bhagavan told Kunju Swami "to catch"  Pidi, in
Tamizh.  Kunju Swami caught the pups so that they may not touch
the hot gruel and harm their tongue.  Then after some time, Bhagavan said: Leave them one by one.  Ovvunraha Vidu, in Tamizh.
Then the pups had the gruel and one of them passed urine on the
ground.  Bhagavan said: Clean up. Thudai in Tamizh.

Kunju Swami took them as three upadesas.  First catch all the likes and dislikes.  Then leave them one by one. And finally clean up the mind and ensure Chitta suddhi. 

Kunju Swami after a few days of stay with Bhagavan Ramana decided to leave Him and do sadhana at home in Kerala.  He and Ramakrishna Swami left Tiruvannamalai.  After a few days in
their homes, all the mischiefs occupied their minds and they had only regression in their sadhana.  Both came back. And they asked Bhagavan Ramana, the reasons for their downfall in their homes.

Bhagavan Ramana then told them to go through Kaivalya Navaneetam, I. 83 to 93.  Kunju Swami now understood the Truth
of living in the Presence of the Guru.



Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Kaivalya Navaneetam, I. 83-93

83:  On hearing this, the disciple, loyal to the instructions of the
Master, discarded the five sheaths and the blank, realized the Self
as "I am Brahman", went beyond that and remained as Perfect Being.

84:  At the glance of the Master who was Grace incarnate, the worthy disciple sank into the Ocean of Bliss and merged as the undivided
Whole, as pure Consciousness free from body, organs and all else,
with mind made perfect and he became the true Self, unaware while awake.

85: After the blessed disciple had remained in that state for a long time, his mind gently turned outward.  Then he saw his glorious
Master before him.  His eyes were filled with tears of joy.  He was
full of love and fell at the feet of the Master.  He rose up, came round the Master, and with folded hands spoke to him.

86: Lord, you are the Reality remaining as my inmost Self, ruling
me during all my countless incarnations!  Glory to you who have
put on an external form in order to instruct me!  I do not see how
I can repay your grace for having liberated me.  Glory! Glory to
your holy feet!

87: The Master beamed on him as he spoke, drew him near and said lovingly:  To stay fixed in the Self, without the three kinds of obstacles obstructing your experience, is the highest return you can render me.

88:  My Lord!  Can such realization as has transcended the dual
perception of "You" and "I" and found the Self to be entire and all pervading fail me at any time?

The Master replied:  The truth that I am Brahman is realized from the scriptures or by the Grace of the Master, but it cannot be firm in the face of obstructions.

89:  Ignorance, uncertainty and wrong knowledge are obstacles resulting form long standing habits in the innumerable incarnations of the past which cause trouble, and then the fruits of realization slip away. Therefore root them out by hearing the Truth, reasoning and meditation.

90: Checked by incantations, fire will not scorch. Likewise defective realization will not put an end to bondage.  Therefore devote yourself to hearing the Truth, reasoning and meditation and root out ignorance, uncertainty and wrong knowledge.

91:  Ignorance veils the Truth that the Self is Brahman and shows forth multiplicity instead; uncertainty is the confusion resulting from lack of firm faith in the words of the Master; the illusion that the evanescent world is a reality and that the body is the self is wrong knowledge.  So say the Sages.

92:  Hearing the Truth is to revert the mind repeatedly to the teaching.  That thou art. Reasoning is the rational investigation
of the text, as already heard. Meditation is one-pointed-ness of mind.
If everyday you do these, you will surely gain liberation.

93:  The practice must be kept up so long as the sense of knower
and knowledge persists. No effort is necessary thereafter.  Remaining as pure, eternal Consciousness, untainted like the ether
and thus liberated while alive, one will live forever, as That -
after being disembodied also.



Arunachala Siva. 
 

Subramanian.R

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Kunju Swami's reminiscences are unique in the sense that there are
certain anecdotes about devotees who came to Him in the very early
years i.e even before Munagala Venkataramaiah recorded the Talks.

One such devotee is Sundarambal.  She was married very early
and was living with her husband but with continued ailments like
head ache etc., Her husband therefore permitted her to stay with her
parents when no such ailments appeared!  She got attracted to the
Yoga marga and reached that pinnacle of Yoga with the result she
was constantly in stupor.  She came to live in Tiruvannamalai, first with Echammal and later in a small hut near Guhai Namasivaya Temple. Her benevolent husband was sending enough money through Money Order for her livelihood.  Bhagavan Ramana explained her
the Vichara Marga and advised her to abstain from this yoga marga business.  Bhagavan told Kunju Swami to take her for a stroll in the Hill, and also to keep talking to her,  to relieve her stupor and to
become normal.  She used to ask very meaningful questions to Bhagavan Ramana and got His replies.  Once Kunju Swami was asked to tell her the story of Chudala from Yoga Vasishtam.  She used to take bath in cold water and leave her long hair without combing and soon she developed long matted locks.  She was therefore called Jatini Sundarambal.   She once fasted for 21 days and during those days she used to talk only to Bhagavan in a low weak tone. She finished her fasting and on 22nd day arranged for a bhiksha for Bhagavan and devotees.  Once she went for a pilgrimage to North India and then to South India and from that trip she never returned.   


Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Another such early devotee was Varkala Sri Narayana Guru [His 155th
anniversary was celebrated recently.]  He belonged to low caste and worked for removal of casteism even before Mahatma Gandhi.  But
he never hated Brahmins.  He was well versed in Vedanta and had a good knowledge of Sanskrit.  He came to see Bhagavan in 1917.  He
had disciples and a Math of his own in Kanchipuram.  When he came to have darshan of Bhagavan who was in the Hill.  He looked at Bhagavan and became speechless at His state.  Bhagavan also looked at him and after some time, Bhagavan came out of the cave and sat before Sri Narayana Guru and asked him in Malayalam whether they can take food.  Sri Narayana Guru said:  Aha, I can sit with you and eat, in Tamizh.  Bhagavan took his usual cold rice etc., and Sri Narayana Guru took his food which consisted of buttermilk and rice and fruits and payasam. 

Bhagavan Ramana then stood up and went for a stroll.  Sri Narayana Guru continued to be astounded by Bhagavan's state in the Self.
He wrote a 5 verse composition titled Nirvritti Panchakam.

The rough transtlation:

Here is a Person, who never asked my place, my caste, my age,
what I am doing, how much I am earning!
He never asks wherefrom I had come and whereto I was going!
He is the embodiment of Knowledge, total vacuum in observing
differences like I and You.
He is ever thoughtless and His state is beyond description.
I this Narayanan, pray to Him to confer such a state to me!

After returning to Varkala, Sri Narayana Guru wrote another 5 verse composition called Municharya Panchakam.

In 1928, He passed away.  Bhagavan on coming to know the news sent Kunju Swami to Varkala to attend to his Samadhi functions.

Sri Narayana Guru used to call Bhagavan, a King Cobra.  Whenever devotees went to see him in Kerala, he used to ask:  Have you
not seen Maharshi?  If you have not seen Him staying in Tamizh Nadu, your life is wasted!

         

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Kunju Swami narrates the story of VaLLimalai Sachidananda Swamigal
who came to visit Bhagavan in 1912.  His original name was Ardhanari and he was a cook in Mysore Maharaja's palace.  He suffered from acute colic pain and at the instance of one Muruga devotee, Nalla Kothan, he went to Pazhani and prayed to Muruga and got cured by the abhishekam milk.  From that day, he devoted his entire life in praying to Muruga and spreading the songs of Tirupugazh of Arunagiri Natha.

On 21.12.1912, he came to see Bhagavan.  He says:  I joined the crowd waiting to see Bhagavan Ramana coming from the Cave.
A few minutes later, I saw Him, with a loin cloth and a walking stick.  He saw me and I saw Him.  Suddenly He appeared to me
as Pazhani Murugan. My hairs stood at the end, and I shed copious tears.  Then I quietly sat down.

He stayed there for 2 months and learned to read Tiruppugazh
with the help of Bhagavan.  He learned the grammar, metre, and the pronunciation of Tamizh.

Once when Bhagavan and a few others were going round the Hill,
VaLLimalai Sacchidananda Swamigal was singing one Tiruppugazh
[Vedichi Kavalan Vahuppu], which ends as vedichi kavalane... in
every stanza. Everyone repeated it.  Some Telugu devotees were  there and they did not understand the poem but were nevertheless singing.  Bhagavan smiled at one of them and asked in Telugu:
Ememi kavalane, enthenthu kavalane...[What are the things you want and how much do you want?].  The Telugu devotees [it was late morning and the devotees were hungry] said: Idli kavalane,
Vadai Kavalane.  Suddenly in the middle of the jungle path some
one brought iddlies and vadais and hot coffee in large quantities!
Everyone ate and drank to their heart's content!

Vedichi Kavalane means in Tamizh Lord or Protector of Vedichi,
the huntress  VaLLi.  In Telugu, kavalane means "wants!"

This VaLLimalai Sacchidanda Swamigal brought Ganga water all
the way from Kasi, because Mother Azhagamma expressed desire to bathe in it.

VaLLimalai Sacchidananda Swamigal performed a number of pujas
on Bhagavan's Mahanirvana Day and also on His Jayanti days.



Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Once there was one Sri Amritananda who is from Jaffna of Sri Lanka.
He was called Yazhpani since he was from Jaffna, Yazhpanam in Tamizh.  He was staying with Bhagavan Ramana in the Hill.

Once there was huge famine in Jaffna because of drought. Sri Amritananada decided to do Kumbhabhishekam to a Mairamman
Temple in the forest of the Hill, to bring prosperity to the area.
He collected money from a few persons in Tiruvannamalai.  He also
planned to arrange for poor feeding. Lime fruits, coconuts, jaggery,
and other things were stored near the temple and the Jaffna man
was put in charge.  A large number of poor people - men, women and children had gathered there on the previous night itself.  After midnight, they felt very thirsty as it was mid summer and heat was unbearable. Children cried, and people suffered a great deal.  The Jaffna man was moved by the suffering of those people.  He took a  big vessel, poured out the coconut milk into it, squeezed the lime fruits into it and added jaggery and plenty of water and gave this to people to satisfy their thirst.  The poor were relieved and became happy. 

Next day, those who came for the function saw a lot of broken coconuts and squeezed fruits.  When Jaffna man was asked to explain, he said: "A few needed for the Kumbhabhishekam are here.  With the rest I conducted the Kumbhabhishekam last night itself.  The worship of people is worship of god, is it not?"

Everyone admired him for what he had done.  Nobody dared to criticize him.  Bhagavan on hearing the news, said: "He was such a highly evolved soul."


Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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There is an interesting anecdote about Mr. Gopal Rao in Kunju Swami's
reminiscences.  There is not much about him in any other records like
Talks and Day by Day.

A few months later than the arrival of Kunju Swami, Gopal Rao came.
He was an active man.  One day he got up very early, earlier than Sama
Iyer and prepared rasam and rice and joined us in singing devotional songs.
Sama Iyer got up as usual as 4 a.m., had his bath and went into the kitchen, where he found that the rasam and rice had already been prepared by someone.

He came and asked us who had done it.  We did not know and so we kept quiet.   When he asked Gopal Rao, he said he had done it.  The rasam that day was excellent. We said that Gopal Rao could prepare rasam and rice every day and the rest could be prepared by Sama Iyer.  He agreed and did likewise.  When we down to the present Asramam, Gopal Rao ran the Asramam efficiently.  He was responsible for the construction of the Old Hall.  After spending some years in the Asramam, along with Iswara Swami, he started a Brahmachari Asramam in the corner mantapam of Sri
Arunachaleswara Temple.  He used to live on bhiksha and see Sri Bhagavan daily. 

Viswanatha Swami, Ramanatha Brahmachari and others used to stay in the Brahmachari Asramam.  Later he set up a Khadi shop and got involved in Khadi work.  But he always came to the Asramam to Sri Bhagavan. 

He passed away in Erode at the age of 76.



Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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There is one anecdote about Soldierswami, in Kunju Swami's reminiscences.
This is not available in any other records like Talks and Day by Day.

Soldierswami was a soldier who had retired from the army.  After his retirement, he became a Village Officer in Vaniyambadi, near Vellore.
He had been coming and visiting Sri Bhagavan even before my arrival
at Skandasramam.  Then he continued to stay at Skandasramam permanently.   He felt that he was the bodyguard of Sri Bhagavan!
He would get up in the morning, take his bath and then dress like a soldier,
salute Sri Bhagavan in the style of a soldier, and stand guard at the entrance
to Skandasramam.  He would carry a stick as if it were a gun!  He would not eat with others.  His feeling was that one should not eat with his Master.  He would take the food on a leaf and go and eat alone.

After Sri Bhagavan's Mother attained Nirvana, it occurred to Soldierswami that Sri Bhagavan might go on a world tour!  In preparation for this,
he bought 10 horses with all his money and brought them up to the Hill!
When we learned the reason, we Sri Bhagavan why the horses were on the Hill.  Sri Bhagavan felt sad at the hardship they must have undergone in climbing the rocks.  He suggested that they could be kept near His Mother's
Samadhi.  Soldierswami took them there and ate sometimes with Chinnaswami who lived in a shed near the Samadhi and sometimes in
Skandasramam.  In time, owing to lack of proper care, the number of horses dwindled.  As he could not properly feed the remaining ones, he sold them all.  His health also deteriorated.  His son came and took him to Vaniayambadi, where he passed away.  When Sri Bhagavan heard the news, he spoke in glowing terms of his virtues and utter devotion.


Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Again there is a mention about Sri Sankarananda in Kunju Swami's reminiscences.  He was from Andhra.  He used to do japa for hours
standing in water.  He would be lost in himself.  He could not engage
himself in any work  He used to come and see Sri Bhagavan often.
Wherever he was, he would forget his surroundings.  He was mostly
in Laya Samadhi, which was not recommended by Sri Bhagavan.

Sri Bhagavan asked us to take him round and talk to him about the path of
Self Enquiry.  He became all right after a while.  He became an ardent
Vedantin.

It was he who took Chinnaswami to Rangoon [in Mayanmar] several years later.

[Chinnaswami went to Rangoon to buy teakwood for Mother's Samadhi
buildings and other constructions in the Asramam.]



Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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KUNJU SWAMI WANTED TO READ VEDANTA PATA:

Kunju Swami writes in his reminiscences:

A few days after my return to the Asramam, I told Sri Bhagavan
of what had happened at Peraiyur.  I said:  "People from our Asramam
are asked a number of questions on Vedanta when they visit mutts.
It will be a reflection on the Asramam if we can't answer such questions.  So I asked Krishnananda of Tirukoilur Mutt to teach me
Vedanta.  He said he would teach me as fast as possible in the
traditional way if I went to Tirukoilur.  I am planning to go to Tirukoilyur."

Sri Bhagavan laughed and said:  "Now you want to study Vedanta.
Later Siddhanta, Sanskrit, Nyaya sastras., etc., etc., If you learn
how to be in your Self, that amounts to learning everything.  What
Vedanta did I study?  If you are in the Self, the echo you hear from your Heart will be in tune with everything.  This is what is called
Divine Voice."

Immediately I lost all interest in studying Vedanta.  I have been able to answer questions by listening to the Voice within.  This is due to Sri Bhagavan's Grace.  Sri Bhagavan has said in Atma Vidya:

When you haven't understood yourself,
What's the point of understanding other things?
When you have understood yourself,
What else is there to understand?

[Bhagavan Ramana also says the same thing in Verse 31 of ULLadu Narpadu.]           



Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Kunju Swami recollects about his Teacher in Kerala.

Malayalam Kuppandi Swami was the one who taught me Vedanta,
when I was a boy and spoke to me about Sri Bhagavan.  When I
was serving Sri Bhagavan, he came to see Him once.  He was
delighted to see me.  He did giripradakshina for 48 days consecutively.

He showed Sri Bhagavan the palm leaf manuscripts he had with him.
He had written matters relating to Vedanta in excellent Tamizh.  Sri
Bhagavan said: "Even though he is a Malayalee, he has written so beautifully in Tamizh on the palm leaf!   He appreciated his work very much.

When he was about to leave, he took my hand and put it in Sri
Bhagavan's hand and said: "This boy's father is a good man.  He
entrusted him to me hoping that he would be a Vedantin.  I taught
him Vedanta for some time.  I could not continue it as I had to go
on a pilgrimage.  He has come to you because of the good deeds
he had done in his previous birth.  Hereafter, you are his refuge.
Please look after him."

He prayed to Sri Bhagavan with great feeling, prostrated before Him and left on a pilgrimage.  I never saw him afterwards.  My heart melts whenever I think of his love for me.

[This is the reason, why Sri Bhagavan Ramana did not leave Kunju
Swami to go Tirupati and took him for a stroll and made him miss
the train.]


Arunachala Siva.     

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NAMASKARAMS TO OTHER GURUS

Kunju Swami writes in his reminiscences:

Once with Bhagavan's permission, I started on a pilgrimage and went to Kovilur Math.  The head of the mutt, Mahadevaswami, was once the head of the Isanya Mutt in Tiruvannamalai.  {Kovilur Math is one of the few maths that adopts Vedanta and not Saiva Siddhantam}.  He used to visit Sri Bhagavan frequently when he was in Tiruvannmalai.  {Bhagavan was once literally lifted and placed in
a bullock cart to visit Kovilur Math in Tiruvannamlai and was fed  there}.  He was ever kind to us. He used to send to Sri Bhagavan
on Diwali day a bottle of oil, soapnut powder and a new kaupinam,
etc., He instructed his successor, Natesa Swami to continue this tradition and it was followed.

Mahadevaswami helped us with money in constructing Skandasramam.  Some objected to his giving money for constructing something not connected with their mutt. To this, he said:  "We and our mutts are subject to certain restrictions and control.  But Sri
Bhagavan and His state are supreme and beyond any human control.  We should consider it as our good fortune to serve such a Sage.  If you don't approve of my giving money from mutt funds, I will give my personal money."  Such was his devotion to Sri Bhagavan. 

When I returned to the Asramam after spending some days at Kovilur Mutt, Sri Bhagavan asked me in detail about what I did, where I went and so on.  I said: "Mahadevaswami made kind enquiries about Sri Bhagavan and the Asramites.  The day I went there, Raja Sri
Annmalai Chettiar and his relatives came to visit Mahadevaswami."

Sri Bhagavan asked me what Chettiar did there.  I said that he prostrated with great reverence before Mahadevaswami and accepted Vibhuti prasad from him.  Sri Bhagavan asked:  "Did you prostrate before Mahadevaswami?" When I said no, Hew asked me why.
I said, I don't want to do namaskaram to anyone except Sri Bhagavan.

Sri Bhagavan said:  "What an intelligent, wise fellow!  Is your Bhagavan only within this body on the sofa?  Is He not elsewhere?
If a person is devoted wholly to one person, he should go nowhere.
If you go to another place, you must do what other people in that place do.  Whenver and wherever you prostrate, you should think of your Guru or your favourite god.  If you do like this, your namaskaram will reach the person you have in mind.  That is the proper thing to do."

I realized my mistake.  From then on, I think of Sri Bhagavan whenver I do namaskaram to anyone.



Arunachala Siva.