Author Topic: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple  (Read 14753 times)

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« on: January 22, 2012, 08:41:30 AM »
Dear GuruBandhus,

Few queries

a) Planning to visit Tiruvannamalai during republic day as I get string of holidays. As I will be there for only one day, I would like
    to  know the timings of Ashram and temple, which is open at what time etc etc details. Can any one please share. Iam planning to leave from Tirupati and reach Tiruvannamalai 26th evening.Me alone.

b) To do pradakshinam around the hill, do we have to go empty stomach ? Sorry if this question has pained anyone of you. But hmm what to do ...had to ask :( . Will I be able to do empty stomach just wondering !!!.

c) Got the  book of Glory of Arunachala(still not completed).From that came to know that there are lot of Tirtha's around the temple like Brahma Tirtha etc, in whcih one should bath before doing pradakshinam. Are these Tirtha's still there ?
If I want to do pradakshinam early in the day say 4.30am, will I be able to stand the cold after having bath
at any of the Thirta's ?
Will the temple be open so early in the day ?

d) Also I will get a string of holidays during MahaSivaratri(Feb 20th I guess). During this time how long temple darshanam will take ?. Will we be seeing lengthy queues of that of similar to Tirupati ? Iam planning to visit along with my son(9 yrs old). Will it be difficult ?. Three years ago he was bit afraid at the queues of Shiridi.So wondering how it will be during Arunachala temple visit during Sivaratri. Can any one please throw some light.

Thanks in advance

Swayam
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 08:44:03 AM by swayam »

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 12:58:39 PM »
Dear swayam,

The normal procedures are as under:

1. One can go eating some food or snacks, no problem. But while doing pradakshina, do not eat anything or munch.

2. Go without any slippers or shoes. One should do pradakshina with bare feet. One can go in the early morning. But
now Tiruvannamalai is also some what chill in the morning. So start by 6.30 am. It takes about 4 and a half hours.
Walk slowly.

3. The tirthas (tanks) are all mostly dry. Do not try to bathe in them.  However, the small shrines of 8 lingas are open right
from 7 am. You can visit each Siva Linga and pray.  You can give some small alms to the beggars there near these temples.

4. Regarding visiting Arunachaleswara Temple, you have to spare a separate forenoon. You should start by 6 am and enter the
temple by 6.30 am. If the days are not Fridays and Tuesdays, the crowd will be somewhat less.  To see the main deities
Arunachaleswara and Apeetakuchambal and other deities,  it will take about 2 hours.

Arunachala Siva. 

   

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 02:39:58 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Subramanian Sir

Thank you for  your prompt reply.For sure will remember your points.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya


Sreeswaroop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 03:09:54 PM »


Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya!
Dear swayam,

May Bhagavan’s Blessings be realized by you at Arunachalam!

Further to the guidance of Subramnian ji let me add:

1.   The timings of Ashram and other information is available in the official website www.sriramanamaharshi.org

2.   On reaching Ashram in the evening please visit the bookstall and purchase  the book – Guide for Girivalam. You will get all the necessary information for the fresher from it . As advised, please try to walk slowly  on the left side of the path, avoid talking irrelevant  and always focusing attention on the hill of Arunachala.

3.   It is advised to walk in meditation which is not feasible for the fresher. Hence always walk with chanting or doing japa.

4.   You will be able to do it empty stomach, no doubt. But  as advised by Subramanianji, have your breakfast beforehand if you feel  so and start at about 6.00 am or later. So that you will get the view of the holy hill. You have to observe the hill from different points  while doing Girivalam. From different points it gives us different forms of darshan.

5.   You may comfortably forget about bathing in the thirthas for the first time. 

6.   If you have not made arrangements for your accommodation, please contact Ashram immediately (through  Email – details available in the web site).

7.   You will get all the other information during the first visit.

May Bhagavan bless you!



Child of Arunachala

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 02:57:21 PM »
Dear Swayam,

The website http://www.arunachaleswarar.com/  will give you a lot of information.

a) There is train from Tirupati to Tirvannamalai

b) As others have suggested here, doing Girivalam at 6.00 a.m is great. You would have fasted all night and by the time you complete your girivalam it will be time for brunch. But use common sense. If you have health issues, by all means drink water or tea or even munch on something.  Bhagavan used to do Girivalam over three days and have a travelling kitchen with him. They would stop in the forest, cook, eat and rest before their resumed walking.

Walk slowly with your mind on Arunachala. Walk on the left side of the road so the siddhars can walk on the right and you can have the blessings of both the siddhars and Arunachala.  At the same time, watch out for traffic. A lot of accidents have happened on that road. 

Lets face it. We all live in the city and are not used to walking barefoot on concrete for 14 kms.   My theory is that Arunachala will not mind if you wear chappals if you have to but keep your mind pure. That is important. Arunachala is a very compassionate God.

(c) skip taking a bath in the tirthas on your first visit.

(d) take incense, agarbatti and matchbox so you can light it at the various lingas that you will pass.  Some people take mud lamps, ghee in a packet, thiri and matches and light them at each lingam. It makes their first girivalam very special.   I don't anymore.

(e) be sure to feed the sadhus (anyone who wears orange robes, wears rudraksha and vibhuti). The rest are all orange beggars.  There are a lot of poor women outside Esanya Lingam. They get very little because by the time people reach the last lingam, they have finished they cache of change and food. So may want to keep your best for the last lingam.

(f) be sure to feed the dogs (bhairava) and monkeys (hanuman) on the way.  You will find crows too. They all like biscuits.

(g) the Arunachaleswarar temple will be crowded on Shivaratri but I have found if you keep you mind on Arunachala, the crowd will not affect you. Arunachala will find you ways in and out.  So the most important thing is to keep your mind on Arunachala.

Have a safe and lovely Girivalam.

Child of Arunachala

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 11:59:08 AM »
OmNamo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Dear Swaroop and Child of Arunachala,

Thanks a Zillion for those wonderful suggestions. Will keep them in mind. Feel blessed to be in this wonderful forum

May Bhagavan bless us all.

OmNamo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya


swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 11:11:04 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Reached Tiruvannamalai around 8.30pm on 26th Jan.
Actually got Guide to GiriPradakshina couple days before my visit and read the same during my bus journey from Tirupati to Tiruvannamalai.
After getting down in Tiruvannamalai, On way from BusSTand, some foreign tourist( I thought) asked for lift, so just asked him
whether he had done girivalam and asked him is that his first visit, he looked at me smiled and said, Iam coming here for 7th time !!.
Checked-in into Sri Seshadri Swami Ashram.

Got up next day, had a cup of coffee and started around 6.45am from Sri Ramanashram. Such a calm and quiet place(AShram), so far never visited in my life.

Visited each of the lingams and as suggested offered bananas and agarbatti's at each Lingam.
After Esanya Lingam, visited Arunachaleswara temple and by the time I came out, I was very tired.
The journey from there to Indra Lingam(would have easily missed it, thanks to shops around) to Agni Lingam and to Sri Ramanashram was little tiring. But by His grace, I was able to complete.

I was thinking  on the way I will get some spiritual experience or I thought I will become spiritually emotional.
Hmm nothing happened of that sort. May be I am too excited during my first visit, trying to do everything perfect.
Is  my first visit to Arunachala/Bhagavn Ramana akin to monkey being given a garland. May be after committing so many sins in my life, me getting this chance to visit Arunachaleswara itself is a big discount given to me by Him.

After having lunch slept for 1 hour( I shouldn't have done this,may be I should have spent that 1 hr also in Sri Ramanashram), afterwards went to Sri Ramanashram. Roamed around in the ashram and visited the book shop, purchased few books, Who Am I, Be As You Are, Mountain Path of this quarter.  By that time the evening Abhishekam on Bhagavan Ramanamaharshi's Samadhi has started.

It was tea time, as I entered the dining hall could see all the photos of devotees of Bhagavan.

After that visited Samadhi again and Sat there and listened to the vedic hymns recited, Is it Rudram-Namakam-Chamakam ??, not sure. While I was sitting there I could hear from behind someone reciting the same along with Brahmins who were reciting, when I turned back, I was surprised to see that it was a foreigner reciting the same with such clear diction, if we don't look at his face and just listen to him, we will never be able to tell its a foreigner. Felt like touching his feet but didn't want to disturb his recitation.

Prayed to Him to allow me to visit during Sivaratri

I was telling  my son, today morning that I did pradakshina around Arunachala hill which is 14km.
He said, "you did only one pradakshina, generally we do 3 times right "  :).

Thanks to every one for all the info.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Child of Arunachala

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 02:13:13 PM »
Dear Swayam,

I am so happy for you that you did a first girivalam.  Have no expectations. Arunachala will give you everything.

There are some people who do girivalam every day. I met one Indian man who had done close to 500 in the few years he has been in Tiruvannamalai. The shastras say the siddhas, sun, moon, even Hanuman, have done countless girivalam to reach their exalted states. So here is a goal for us to aspire for.

Did you have your mind on Arunachala as you walked? You didn't say!

Regards,

Child of Arunachala


Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 03:45:45 PM »
Dear Swayam.

I am happy that you had visited T'malai and Asramam and Seshadri Ashram and also had done giri pradkashina.  It is a good
beginning.  Sri Bhagavan is a magent, He will attract you again and again.

Since you are from Tirupati, I think you are a Telugu person.  In which case, you must have bought some more books in Telugu too.

Agni Lingam, is very close to Asramam, but on the eastern side and you have to go into a lane, among various shops. Because of this, many people miss it. 

Do not keep giri pradakshina and darshan of Arunachaleswara Temple on the same day. Because the
temple itself would take 2 hours for a detailed visit.  Keep it for the next day in the early morning.

Arunachala Siva.

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 04:19:54 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Dear ChildOfArunachala garu, Subramanian garu

That was a good quesiton. Did i have my mind on Arunachala ?, I tried my best. Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

Yes that was a mistake to keep temple visit as part of Giri Pradakshina( was tyring to be smart I guess, ended up foolish :-) ).
Next time will be careful.

Yes HE is a magnet, especially His eyes/gaze just rivets on you. I feel his Self gets reflected through his eyes, thats why they look so young and MAGNETIC.

Is there any book where all the experiences of different devotees have been recorded/published, something like Reminiscences of Bhagavan Ramana ?. I see that each devotee has come up wit his/her own. But there is no collection of such Reminiscences OR Did I miss it when I visited the bookstall.

Yes Iam a Telugu person but working in Bangalore. I asked for Lekhalu by Suri Nagamma, I was told its under printing and will be available in another couple of weeks. Although the english version of the same is available, somehow felt that may be I should stick to original version.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 05:18:58 PM »
Dear Swayam,

One of the advices given to me by a great sage living in Asramam was to read the reminiscences of devotees about Sri
Bhagavan. There are said to be 18 to 20 reminiscences.   This should be taken up at first so that we may understand the many facets of Sri Bhagavan's life and then go into self inquiry or self surrender earnestly.  I remember some names.

1.  Records of Munagala Venkataramiah (Talks)

2. Reminiscences of Sri Bhagavan by Devaraja Mudaliar and also his Day by Day with Sri Bhagavan, records.

3. Reminiscences of Suri Nagamma and also her letters to her brother.

4. Reminiscences of   Smt. T.R. Kanakammal.

5. Reminiscences of Arthur Osborne - you can find this in Be still, It is the Wind that is Blowing.

6. Reminiscences of  Lucia Osborne, available in 10 parts in Mountain Path issues of 2010-2012.  This is recently found in
the Archives and published but yet to come  in book form.

7. Reminiscences of Kunju Swamigal, who lived upto 90 years. one of the earliest devotee. ( Living with the Master)

8. Fragrant Petals - Articles in brief of reminiscences of various devotees.

9. Ramana Smriti -     - do-

10. Silent Power -     -do-

11. Self Realization by B.V. Narasimha Swami - history of Sri Bhagavan's life and his own reminiscences.

12.  Reminiscences and his own life in Tiruvannamalai - by S.S. Cohen  (Guru Ramana)

13. Reminiscences of Major Chadwick (Sadhu Arunachala)   - The book is titled Sadhu's Reminiscences.

14. Reminiscences of M. Shodousky - (Mouni Sadhu) titled In Days of Great Peace.

15. Three chapters of A Search in Secret India - by Paul Brunton. The thee chapters alone has come out as a book.

16. Hill of Fire - Moncia Bose

17. Hunting the 'I' - Lucy Cornelssen - Brief history about Sri Bhagavan and also her experiences.

There could be a few more.

First write a e mail  to Asramam and ask for individual price plus courier charges to Tirupati. They will inform you.,
You can get them by courier, whatever you choose. 

Arunachala Siva.

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 12:20:51 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Sir, that seems to be an exhaustive list. Thanks much sir.

Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi, is another book I found while browsing.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 12:42:37 PM »
Dear Swayam,

Yes. Face to Face - published by Ramana Kendramu, Hyderabad, give glimpses of about 160 (in revised  edition 220) devotees,
who had darshan of Sri Bhagavan and their views and experiences.  This gives brief account of such devotees and not exhaustively.
But this is also a good book  to read.

Arunachala Siva. 

swayam

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012, 08:00:39 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Thank you sir for that info.

This quarter Mountain Path has one such wonderful reminiscence  , while coming back from Tiruvannamalai, I happened to read this article and thats the root behind this enquiry about reminiscences. The article that came in this quarter magazine, I don't know how to describe it, Just struck a chord in me. Thanks to Bhagavan for making me read that article.Just leaves anyone with a sense of awe!!!.

Also the editorial about how careful one should be while reading books about Mahatmas is also very good, as there is every chance that we can miss the real message. I think without Bhagavan's grace no one can understand any spiritual book. We only have to pray for Bhagavan's grace to make us attentive enough when we are reading such books.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai Ashram and temple
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 12:44:52 PM »
Dear swayam,

The current Mountain Path editorial mentions about one Tinnai Swami, who with a single world from Sri Bhagavan, stayed
in Tiruvannamalai (not in the Asramam but outside) for decades. Sri Bhagavan had merely said: Iru in Tamizh, meaning Be.
The devotee understood the instruction of the Guru and remained in the town for many many years and on a Kartigai deepam
day, he merged with Arunachala. This Tinnai Swami's life story has come as an article in one of the issues between 2010 and 2011.

Arunachala Siva.