Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 386954 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1065 on: June 27, 2015, 09:32:53 AM »
Suri Nagamma Reminiscences:-

If, in Bhagavan's presence, anybody referred to the lives of saints or stories from the Puranas, Bhagavan used
to take out that book concerned and read it aloud.  When there were descriptions of tragedies, He used to be
visibly affected and would shed tears and could not read further. He then would put the book down on the sofa
and say, 'I know they are mere stories. Even so, the body reacts.  It does not keep itself steady.'

One day in March 1949, when I went to the Hall early in the afternoon, Bhagavan was reading the Ramayana
written in Malayalam. After bowing before Him, I got up and looked at the book to find out what it was about.
Noticing this, Bhagavan said, with some enthusiasm, 'This book is Adhyatma Ramayanam in the Malayalam
language. You remember I told you about the message of Rama which Anjaneya conveyed to Ravana.  This
was from this book.  What I am going to read is about Tara Vilapam.'  When He was about to start reading,
G. V. Subbaramayya entered the Hall and sat very near Bhagavan.  Subbaramayya noticed that while reading,
and explaining the whole story, Bhagavan's eyes were filled with tears and His voice became tremulous. It looked
as if the whole drama was being enacted in His presence.  Noticing this, I said, 'Bhagavan appears to have got
transformed into Tara herself.'  Pulling Himself together the Master said with a smile,'What to do? I identify myself
with whatsoever is before me. Is there a separate identity?  Everything is only one Self.' What a great truth there is
in these words. 

When I first began writing the Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, I stopped going to the Asramam in the early mornings
to attend to the Upanishad Parayana being performed in Bhagavan's presence. I used to finish my bath, cooking
and other work before 7.30 am. and then go to the Asramam. By then, Bhagavan would have finished His breakfast,
and gone up the Hill.  We would await His return, myself sitting at the northern side of the dining hall. As Bhagavan
came down the Hill, it would seem as if Lord Siva himself was descending to the earth from the skies. I would never
miss that occasion because it was only in those morning hours, that there used to be discussions on various matters.
Sometimes however, after I had gone home for the night, someone would give Bhagavan a Stotra or Bhagavan
Himself would write a verse.  Then Bhagavan used to pass it on before Veda Parayana to one of His attendants
saying, 'Keep it carefully.  We must show it to Nagamma in the morning. We do not know if she will be coming
now or not.'  Somehow on all such occasions, I would feel like attending the early morning Parayana and
coming back afterwards to attend to my cooking work.  Seeing me coming Bhagavan would remark, 'I was just
now saying that these papers should be given to you and here you are.  How did you know about it?' I would
reply, 'I cannot account for it but somehow I felt like coming at this time. That is all.'  Bhagavan would then
hand the papers to me.  He used to say that such coincidences did occur in the case of several other people also.

Arunachala Siva.                     


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1066 on: June 27, 2015, 09:45:37 AM »
Kunju Swami Reminiscences:-

At about 11 am. after the lunch bell went in the Asramam, the residents of Palakottu returned to their huts.
After finishing His lunch Sri Bhagavan would come to Palakottu to visit us.  All of us would be waiting there
to have His darshan. Sri Bhagavan would inquire about our welfare and make us, who had taken refuge in
Him, feel happy by His motherly affection and solicitude.

During my stay in Palakottu I invariably went to the Asramam to attend the daily parayana.  Although I was
no longer Sri Bhagavan's attendant, in my early years in Palakottu I still managed to speak to Him at least
once a day.  But when the Asramam expanded in the 1930's, the number of visitors increased so much,
there were occasionally days when I could not speak even a single word to Him. On such days during parayana,
I would deliberately leave out a line of the text I was reading from. Sri Bhagavan, who would always listen
attentively to the parayana, would immediately correct the mistake. By making mistakes in this way I would
get the satisfaction of having Sri Bhagavan say a few words to me.  I would use a similar trick when I wanted
Sri Bhagavan to write in my parayana notebook. While copying, I would leave out a line in the middle. Sri
Bhagavan would invariably notice it and correct it for me.  Sri Bhagavan made such entries in my book. I still
keep that notebook with me and preserve it as a treasure.

On one occasion I wanted to paste a picture of Arunachala in the front of this notebook.  Sri Bhagavan, who
was compassionate incarnate, somehow came to know my desire. He took the notebook and drew a beautiful
picture of Arunachala on one of the pages with His own hands. This picture of Arunachala appeared for many
years on the cover of Mountain Path.

Arunachala Siva.                 


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1067 on: June 28, 2015, 07:14:47 AM »

Kenneth Rose writes in the book The Light of the Self, a memoir on visit to Sri Bhagavan Ramana.
The following is an extract, from in Mountain Path, July-Sep 2009:

As I sat in front of Bhagavan's couch in the Old Hall during the long quiet periods between meals,
I began to trace out the place where my sense of being myself emerged from the background of the
true Self.  It was not easy, since the stream of images and thoughts that constitute the mind gushed
up ceaselessly like a fountain from a hidden source. But occasionally, the stream would suddenly vanish
and a clear expanse of awareness free of the stains of images and thoughts would unfurl itself crisply like
a white banner in my awareness.  Then I knew with intuitive directness and certainty that the Self is more
real than the mental and physical worlds, which otherwise seem to be the true and final boundaries of the

Other times during meditation, I felt as if a door had opened out beneath my mind, and I passed over into
an alternative reality, which is infinite in all directions.  This change in consciousness was sudden, and the
barrier between the prison of Aham, the false self, and the freedom of Atman, the true Self, appeared like an
insubstantial film or coating, no more durable than a bubble.  Then currents of Bliss from the hidden source
of life, Brahman, pierced me like golden waves of light, and in the cave of my heart, Atman, the true Self sang
me awake and a wine of Prema, of divine love, intoxicated me.  I felt extraordinarily light* , as if I could float off
at any moment like a leaf lofted by a light summer breeze.

These moments of illumination were elusive, and I fell quickly back into my ordinary mind, which was colored by
a basic theme of dissatisfaction, edged with anxiety about illness, loss, and death. But at least I had seen the other country, the country without tears.  And now that Sri Bhagavan was my Guru, even if He was no longer present in a physical body, for I sensed that I was being inwardly guided in the practice of self inquiry by Sri Bhagavan, who
had promised His devotees that death of His body was not the death of His Presence, which would ALWAYS BE

(*  The Unbearable lightness of the Being - J.D. Salinger)

Arunachala Siva.   


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1068 on: June 28, 2015, 07:29:17 AM »

From Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick) writes, in Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace,
Volume 6, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai:-

"Those who expect Bhagavan Ramana to hand them Self Realization, as if it were some tangible thing, are
surely sadly deluded.  How can anybody give one what one has already got?  All He can do is to help one to
remove the ignorance that hides it.  It is like going to lake with a cup and sitting by its side praying to it to
fill the cup with water.  You may sit there for a thousand years but it is certain that unless you lean forward
and dip the cup into the water yourself, nothing will happen.  Even then you have to make certain that the
cup is not already full of with lot of rubbish.  Most cups are!

"How then to obtain the perfect state?"  -- you may ask.  You may as well ask, "How to empty the cup of rubbish?"

Bhagavan Ramana tells one other thing.  He says "BE".  Just be your real Self, that is all. 

"Certainly it sounds all right," you say "but when one tries to do it, it does not seem easy.  Has He no method?"

Method!  Well what exactly do you mean by method?  Sitting on the floor and concentrating on the navel?
Or blowing the wind out of alternative nostrils?  Or repeating some incantation 10 million times?  No, He has not
got any method.

All these are no doubt good in their way and help to prepare one.  But Bhagavan does not happen to teach them.
That is all!

"Then what am I to do?"

"You must just BE," He says.  And to BE, you must know the " I that is."  To know the "I that is", just go on
inquiring, "Who am I?"  Don't take any notice of anything except the "I", throw everything else like the rubbish
out of the cup.  And when you have at last found the "I",   "BE."

All talk.  All empty words.  "There is nothing to find.  Nothing at all is except the "I".  Why worry about anything
else?  Just BE, now and always, as you were, as you are, and as you ever will be. 

It sounds so easy, doesn't it?  Bhagavan Ramana says that it is the easiest thing in the world.  "Ayye adi sulabham,
anma viddhai....". I really don't know. I have not yet found it.

The fact is that all our hidden tendencies  start to pop up their heads, which one never suspected were there at all.
But it is all for the good.   Bhagavan Ramana says that they all have to come out.  But let them come out, not take
charge.  Don't give way to them. This practice is not really easy, as we all know.

(And that is where we all seek Bhagavan Ramana's abundant Grace, Karunaiyal ennai anda nee enakku un
kakshi thanthu arulilai enRaal ..... Sri Arunachala Padigam, Verse 1.  The Guru who has told us the Goal shall
also show us the way out.)

Arunachala Siva. 


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1069 on: June 28, 2015, 09:33:35 AM »
Kunju Swami Reminiscences:-

Everyone knows what great stress Sri Bhagavan lays on atma vicharam, self inquiry.  He wrote in Atma Vidya
Kirtanam, 'Self knowledge is an easy thing, the easiest thing there is.'

Yet, surprisingly, not once of His own accord did He ever ask any devotee to follow this method. He could have
ordered the practice of self inquiry, and all the devotees would have blindly and willingly followed.

Let me give some examples.  Yogi Ramaiah, who was very close to Sri Bhagavan for many years, used to practice
hatha yoga.  Sri Bhagavan approved of the Asramam providing him with a special diet that was part of his
yogic regimen. Sri Bhagavan would visit him in his cave in Palakottu and Yogi would accompany Him on His walks.
Yogi was quite free to be with Sri Bhagavan whenever he chose. Yet there is nothing on record to show that
Sri Bhagavan ever told him to do atma vicahram instead of pranayama on hatha yoga.

Mudaliar Patti's son, Tambiran Swami, was a Veera Saiva and followed the practices of this sect.  He would collect
flowers from the garden only at noon. Then he would perform a puja at the tank in Palakottu, making a lingam
out of the flowers, and worship the same lingam with more flowers. Day after day, Sri Bhagavan would watch
this without making any comment.

Tambiran Swami  was a very weak and slow moving man. By the time he had finished his cooking and had his
meal after this late puja, it would be evening. Sri Bhagavan once joked, 'Poor God. He has to wait so long for
naivedya food and offering since the puja itself takes so long to complete.'

Bhagavan never once told him, 'Why do you waste your time like this?  You could spend your time better by
doing self inquiry.'

Sri Bhagavan never once asked close devotees whether they meditated or did self inquiry.  His teaching was
the highest, but it was left entirely to us to practice it or leave it.

Dandapani Swami came to see Sri Bhagavan when the latter was still living in Skandasramam. After a couple
of days he said to Sri Bhagavan that although he had a large family, he was renouncing all worldly activities.
He also said that he was taking Sri Bhagavan as his sole refuge and requested him to give him some upadesa.

Sri Bhagavan responded, 'What upadesa? It is only remaining in the Self as Self.' Dandapani persisted
with his request and asked Sri Bhagavan several times for some specific upadesa.  Knowing that he would
not give up asking him, Sri Bhagavan eventually asked him what practices he had been doing in the past.
Dandapani Swami answered, 'I know nothing, but I have performed ten million Rama nama japa.'

'That is enough', said Sri Bhagavan. 'What more is needed? It will be enough if you can continue that
practice without a break.'

When Dandapani Swami then asked Him how to do japa properly, Sri Bhagavan replied the three kinds
of japa, with lip movements, uttering mantra orally but without any lips movement, and uttering the
mantra with only mind itself as the mouth.

Thus it can be seen that Sri Bhagavan never specifically recommended pure atma vicahram to anyone.

Arunachala Siva.                 


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1070 on: June 28, 2015, 10:01:13 AM »
Cow Lakshmi Liberation Day - 28.06.2015.

Today is the liberation day of Cow Lakshmi. Cow Lakshmi attained liberation in the presence of
Sri Bhagavan on the month of Ani (Jyeshta), Sukla paksha twadasi (12th day of waxing moon digit).
It was the day of Visakam star, on that day. 

Devaraja Mudaliar says about Cow Lakshmi:

Sometime in 1926, four years after Sri Bhagavan came to live at the foot of the holy Hill beside the samadhi
of the mother, Arunachalam Pillai of Kumaramangalam, near Gudiyatham, entered the Asramam with a cow
and her young female calf and offered them to Sri Bhagavan in token of his devotion. Bhagavan tried to
dissuade him, pointing out that there were no proper facilities at the Ashamam for looking after the cow and the
calf. He told him that since he had already presented them to Bhagavan, that was enough, and he could
now take them back with him and look after them not as his but as Bhagavan's.

Shantammal says:

(In 'Eternal Bhagavan' in Ramana Smrti Souvenir) has reported that the villager was prompted to do
this by a dream. Viswanatha Swami (The Mountain Path, 1975, p. 207) also mentioned this motive.

She further says:

In the 1920s a villager had a dream in which he was told to offer his next calf to Ramanasramam. After its birth
he brought both his cow and the calf to Bhagavan. At that time the jungle around the Asramam was dense and
extensive enough to contain leopards and panthers. The Asramam people were therefore unwilling to accept the
offer, but the villager took his dream very seriously and refused to take the calf away.

Devaraja Mudaliar also says:

Seeing his insistence and the devotion behind it, Ramanatha Brahmachari, who was then living near Bhagavan
and who passed away a few years before Him, after many years of His gracious company, declared energetically,
'I will look after the cow and the calf.'

Ramanatha Brahmachari touched his chest and said:  I will look after the cow and the calf.

So it was that, owing to the insistent devotion of Arunachalam Pillai and the unusual vehemence of Ramanatha Brahmachari, the cow and the calf came to live at the Asramam. (The Cow, Lakshmi, pp. 7-8)

Bhagavan Himself was not initially willing to accept the offering.

Bhagavan described the incident:

You know what happened when they came here with the cow and the calf?

'Why all this for us?' I asked.

Arunachalam Pillai replied, saying, 'I have for a long time been thinking of presenting Bhagavan with a cow.
I am now in a position to do so. I have brought it after a good deal of trouble by boat and rail. Please keep
it, Swami.'

I said, 'You have done your duty in presenting it to us. Who is there to look after it? Please keep it with you
on our behalf.'

The owner of the cow replied, 'I will not take it away even if you cut my throat!'

Hearing this Ramanatha Brahmachari was piqued and said with great zest that he himself would look after the cow.

'All right. Hang it round your own neck!' I said.

As the calf came to us on a Friday, we named her Lakshmi.

Ramanatha somehow tended the cow and the calf for two or three months. Lakshmi was very playful, jumping
about as she pleased, and while so doing, she ruined all the vegetable plants we were growing. If anyone chided
her, she used to come to me for protection. I used to tell the Asramites that if they so desired they could put up
a fence to protect their plants. Poor chap! Ramanatha could not put up with all these troubles from the other
inmates of the Asramam and so handed over the cow and the calf to a keeper of cattle in the town with some
stipulations. I do not remember his name.'

A devotee said, 'His name is Pasupati. He is a Kannadiga [person from Karnataka]. Lakshmi's mother passed
away after a short time. The arrangement was that if Lakshmi gave birth to a male calf it should be given to
the Asramam, and if it were a female calf, he should retain it.'

Bhagavan said, That might be so. About a year after that he came here with Lakshmi and her calf for a bath
on an eclipse day. He saw me first, had a bath in the Pali tank along with the cow and the calf and then they
went home together. At that time Lakshmi saw the whole of this Asramam. Remembering the route carefully,
she began coming here every day. Lakshmi used to come in the morning and go away in the evening. She used
to lie down by the side of my couch. If food was available, she would insist that I alone should give it to her. She
would not take anything other than the hill plantain.'

A 'hill plantain' is an exotic banana that only grows above a certain altitude. I think that Bhagavan means that
she preferred hill bananas to ordinary ones. She happily ate a wide variety of human and animal foods. (David Godman)

Someone said, 'Every evening before leaving she used to go round the hall, it seems'? Bhagavan replied,
'That is the thing. We had no bell in the dining hall then. We do not know how she did it but everyday exactly
 at the appointed time for meals she used to come and stand before me. We used to look at the clock and find
that that was just the time for meals. Her coming was the signal for us. She used to return to town daily most

Lakshmi came away permanently to the Asramam in 1930, and that she had had three calves by then, and that,
as per the agreement, all the calves had been given to the Asramam. When she was pregnant for the third time, one
evening she was unwilling to leave Bhagavan and go home. Like Nandini of Vasishta, she was shedding tears and
lay close to the couch.

(Nandini is the name of a divine cow in Indian mythology. She was the daughter of Kamadhenu, whose name is also mentioned later in the chapter. All cows are supposed to be descended from Kamadhenu and Nandini. Stories about Nandini and Kamadhenu appear in many Puranas and Yoga Vasishta. - David Godman.)

Bhagavan was visibly affected.

Softly passing His hand over her face He said, 'What! You say you can't go away. You only want to stay here?
What am I to do?'

Looking at the others, He said, 'Look, Lakshmi is weeping, saying she cannot go away. She is pregnant and may
have confinement at any moment. She must go a long distance and again come here in the morning. She cannot
refrain from coming here. What is she to do?'

At last Bhagavan somehow coaxed her and sent her away. That very night she delivered. At about the same
time Pasupati had some domestic difficulties. Unable to bear the burden of this Lakshmi with all her vagaries,
he brought her and her three calves and presented them to Bhagavan. Lakshmi lay at Bhagavan's feet and would
not rise. Placing His right hand on her head and pressing it, He asked if she would like to stay here permanently.
She closed her eyes and lay still as if in a trance. Noticing that, Bhagavan pointed out to the others that she
appeared as though her responsibility for her calves was over, for they had been placed in Bhagavan's charge.

Suri Nagamma - Letters from Sri Ramanasramam - 24th July 1948.:
When I narrated this story to Bhagavan he agreed. 'Yes,' He said 'that was so. After Mother came to stay with me
regular cooking and meals started and after Lakshmi came, cattle and dairying became established. Subsequently,
for three or four years Lakshmi was presenting us with a calf every year on Jayanti day. Afterwards, that practice
stopped. Altogether she had nine deliveries.

(David Godman - from his blog.)

Arunachala Siva.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 10:33:11 AM by Subramanian.R »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1071 on: June 28, 2015, 10:56:48 AM »
Suri Nagamma Reminiscences:

Sometime in the winter of 1947, my brother D.N. Sastry came to the Asramam with his wife for a holiday.
One day he wanted to go to Skandasramam with his friends. My sister in law said she would accompany him.
Afraid that she would not be able to make it, he went there without her and left for Madras the same night.
My sister in law wished to stay on a little longer at the Asramam and so he left her with me. I assured her
that I would do my best to help her to visit Skandasramam. So the next day morning we both went into the Hall
and sat in front row. Bhagavan asked whether my brother had left. I informed the Master that he had gone alone
leaving his wife here. 'That is all right,' said Bhagavan.  In the course of the conversation, I said, 'My sister in law
wanted to see Skandasramam with my brother yesterday but he declined to take her with him because of her weak
health. She is very anxious to go there.'  Sister in law was looking at Bhagavan with appealing eyes. His heart
melted at that and turning towards me, He said, 'Why worry? It is all right if you take her there. He must have
been in a hurry.  You may go there tomorrow itself. 'Yes. I shall take her there myself. But then I am afraid she
may not be able to up the Hill. I replied. Bhagavan with a smile said, 'How strange. I have taken many people
much older than her to the very top of the mountain. Can you not take her even to Skandasramam? Some of
them were over 80 years of age. What is the difficulty in taking her up?  Start in the morning before it warms
up. Go in a bullock cart to the front side of the Hill, where you have the steps and then walk up slowly step
by step.  Stay there until it is cool in the evening before descending the same way. That is all.  Take some
thing to eat.'  My sister in law was highly pleased. She was all smiles. She got the necessary  strength and I got
the necessary courage.

Next morning we started in a bullock cart. Chinnaswami was kind enough to give us a packet of iddlies.
Two students of the Patasala came with us to help. Lakshmamma and two other ladies also accompanied
us from President Venkataraman's house. We started climbing up the steps slowly, visited Virupaksha Cave
and other caves on the way and reached Skandasramam by about 10.00 am. Learning from Bhagavan
that we would be there whole day, some more devotees joined us there. Some brought rice cooked with
spices, uppuma, and buttermilk. We sent back the students of Patasala ahead to the Asramam to tell
Bhagavan that we all had arrived safely.

We stayed on the Hill until about 3.00 pm. and started coming down. We reached the foot of the Hill
and got into the bullock cart along with Lakshmamma . We reached the Asramam, when Veda Parayana
was just over and Na karmana was being chanted.  When that was over, Bhagavan looked up and said:
'Have you all come back? It seems that there was quite a crowd.'

Then Bhagavan gave us permission to go home and everybody agreed that this great fete was possible
only with Bhagavan's grace. My brother on hearing the news, was greatly surprised.

Arunachala Siva.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1072 on: June 29, 2015, 07:39:54 AM »

1. Gurumurtham, is about 3 KMs from the Asramam.  This is where Bhagavan Ramana and Uddandi Nayanar
stayed for about 6 months, when there was acute water scarcity on the Hill.

2. He stayed in Pachiamman Kovil, is about 2 KMs into the town, where there is a temple for Uma,
Pachaiamman, the green-hued mother.  Bhagavan Ramana and Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni were staying
for about 6 months.  Here is where, Bhagavan Ramana 'dictated about 300 verses of Uma Sahasram,
through the medium of  Ganapati Muni, in about 4 hours time, between 8 PM and 12 Mid night.
Since Ganapati Muni was to stage the poetry reading of Uma Sahasram in the Big Temple, next morning.
Four disciples were taking down and the speed was tremendous.  Kavyakanta Ganapati
Sastri, did not make any alterations in these last 300 verses, even Muni, though made many corrections
in the first 700 verses.

3.  Isanya Desikar Matam, where there is a Samadhi for Isanya Desikar.  He was a Jnani and an ardent
devotee of Annamalai-Unnamulai.  Bhagavan Ramana used to praise him for his penance.
Here presently the adminstrators of Kovilur Math and their families stay.  Bhagavan Ramana was dragged
and placed on a bullock cart to this place for food one day by the then Math President.

4.  Virupaksha Cave, on the Hill, where Bhagavan Ramana stayed for 16 years.  It is where Varkala Narayana
Guru met Him.

5.  Skandasramam, where Bhagavan Ramana stayed for 6 years, where Mother Azhagamma joined Him and
where He was given hot rice and rasam, by Mother everyday after a long break of two decades.

6. Patala Lingam Shrine earlier stayed inside the Temple.  Where Bhagavan Ramana stayed for 27 days
without food. Seshadri Swami brought Him out through one Mudaliar.  This Shrine was renovated by
Madam Talyarkhan in 1949.

7.  Summit of the Hill, where one hears Samaveda at nights.

8.  Palakottu, about 1 KM into the forest, behind Mother's Temple, where stalwarts like Chadwick, Osborne,
Annamalai Swami and others stayed in cottages. Bhagavan Ramana used to visit this to see these devotees.

9. Manakkula Vinayakar Street - Here there is Samadhi for Sri Sadhu Om.

10.  Behind Cow Lakshmi's Samadhi - Here there are five Samadhis for Viswanatha Swami, Kunju Swami,
Ramaswamy Pillai, Rajeswarananda and Muruganar.

Arunachala Siva. 


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1073 on: June 29, 2015, 07:55:00 AM »

From Marleen Boers' article from Mountain Path, July-Sep 2008:-

I first heard about Bhagavan when I was only in a teenager.  My mother had bought a copy of Heinrich
Zimmer's The Way to the Self which contained a photograph of Bhagavan that fascinated me and gripped
my heart.  It was a loose Dutch translation from the original German work and contained long winding complicated
sentences. Still the book was devoured by me.  Later I suffered a sense of emptiness, a sense of nothingness and I concluded that God is infinite and there exist nothing besides God in the universe.  A year later, I happened to get
the autobiography of Arthur Osborne and found the same idea expressed there.  This book also contained Bhagavan's photograph.  I had then been reading something about Sufis and Sri Ramakrishna.  Around 1960s, I concluded that Bhagavan Ramana was my Guru and I decided to visit Sri Ramanasramam.  In November 1968, I came to the Asramam, after visiting Belur Math of Sri Rama Krishna.  I felt that it was my home right away and feeling attraction to the
holy Hill of Arunachala.  My second visit was in December 1970, when I had been stationed in Karachi.  In December 1970, I was to be transferred to Washington D.C. and I wanted to pay a visit to the Asramam, since it would be
difficult to reach the Asramam once I settled down in Washington.

In early 1972, Sri V. Ganesan suggested to me to buy a small plot of land in Tiruvannamalai.  I consulted
Mrs. Osborne and she also said so.  In Sept 1972, an offer came for a plot of land and in the winter of 1972/73, the registration of the plot was concluded. In 1974, I was transferred to Bombay and my visits to the Asramam were
easier.  It was at that time I was introduced to Maurice Frydman and through him to Nisargadatta Maharaj.   When
Maharaj asked me, "Who is your Guru?", I pointed out Bhagavan's picture behind him and he nodded approvingly.

In 1975, the foundation of my house was completed in Tiruvannamalai.  The construction got delayed due to
trouble given by the contractor and in 1975, I resigned my job and finally put down my roots in my home at Tiruvannamalai.  Sri V. Ganesan helped me in getting entry visa and residential permit by standing guarantor
for me.  In 1978, already living in Tiruvannmalai, I visited Nisargadatta during his last days. 

What I slowly learned through the years is that I really know nothing -- apart from the fact that I AM - and I cannot do anything of my own, there is no free will, everything is pre-destined, which leads to surrender to Bhagavan Ramana.
I am at peace at the core of my being listening in silence and enjoying the view of Arunachala Siva, a symbol of
nondual Reality.

Bhagavan has said:  What has to happen will happen.   It happened just as Bhagavan said.  What more to say?

Arunachala Siva.           


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1074 on: June 29, 2015, 09:26:08 AM »
Kunju Swami Reminiscences:-

Sri Bhagavan's non interference extended to our personal lives too, apart from the method of spiritual practice.
Unless asked directly, He would not tell us what to do, what not to do, where to go and so on.  Nayana was very
much respected by Sri Bhagavan.  But when he was about to leave to Sirsi, never to return to Arunachala, Sri
Bhagavan did not say, 'Why should you go? You can stay here itself.'

Muruganar, another devotee, used to go out for begging for his food while the Asramam was serving food to
hundreds of people  Sri Bhagavan never asked him why he took the trouble of begging when he could eat in
the Asramam itself.  Sri Bhagavan was utterly detached from these things, for nothing ever affected Him.

Once when Niranjanananda Swam, was being physically lifted and carried away by a group of people who were
threatening to kill him, He was absolutely unperturbed. He did not even turn His head in their direction.
In the evening when Niranjanananda Swami came back unharmed and sat in front of Sri Bhagavan, He took
no notice of his safe return. Of course, His grace that saved Niranjanananda Swami that day - but that is
a different matter altogether.

In spite of His detachment of what is happening around Him, if someone walked in after a twenty year absence,
Sri Bhagavan would immediately recognize him and would often give a detailed account of what that person
had been doing and saying on his previous trip twenty years back!

This attitude of aloof detachment may possibly have arisen out of His samatva bhava, His feeling that, as all are
phenomena appearing in the Self, all people and all things are equal, and of the same nature.

Arunachala Siva.               


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1075 on: June 29, 2015, 09:33:38 AM »
Suri Nagamma Reminiscences:

Subsequently, in 1949, when my sister in law wanted to to circumambulate Arunachala Hill on foot, my
brother did not object but told Bhagavan about it beforehand. A group of devotees started one morning
taking their car also, in case my sister in law could not manage the whole distance.  By Bhagavan's
grace, she completed the circuit without getting into the car.  That evening, Viswanatha Swami remarked
with gleeful surprise, 'If your sister in law had not only walked up to Skandasramam but has also walked
round the Hill, saying Mookam karoti vachalam; pangun langhayate girim -- Guru's grace enables the dumb
to talk and the lame to cross over a hill, has come true in Bhagavan's presence.' I admitted that it was
all due to Bhagavan's grace. I have witnessed quite a number of such extraordinary events.  I feel that
they are not mahimas (miracles)  but merely manifestation of the bond that exists between the Guru and
his devotees.   

Arunachala Siva.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1076 on: June 30, 2015, 09:29:57 AM »
Kunju Swami Reminiscences:-

Sri Bhagavan was asked on one occasion, 'You have written, in Atma Vidya Kirtanam',  'Self Knowledge is an
easy thing, the easiest thing there is'.  Other people say it is the  most difficult thing to get. Can one get
this Self Knowledge so easily, and unaided?'

Sri Bhagavan pointed out that the final words of the verse read, 'Grace, too, is needed.'

This, He said was the key to understanding the whole verse.

The grace of the Guru works in different ways. In scriptures the working of grace is compared to the ways
in which fish, tortoises, and birds cause their eggs to hatch.  The ancients believed that the mere look
of the fish was sufficient to bring life to its eggs. The tortoise, they believed, stayed at some distance from
its eggs, and by the power of its presence and by its intense concentration on them, caused its eggs to hatch.
The third category, the birds, need to have physical contact with their eggs. Sitting on them, they incubate
them by the warmth of their body.  In this analogy it is the fish which is the most powerful.  By their mere
look, their eggs hatch.

This is how Sri Bhagavan's grace worked. He did not need to initiate or transmit grace by touching devotees,
nor did He even seem to need to concentrate on them. A single look was often enough to transform whomever
His gaze fell upon.  All those who have experienced that look of grace can testify to the tremendous impact it
had on them.  That silent look transmitted His highest teachings.

A devotee once complained that Sri Bhagavan gave the highest teachings to everyone, irrespective of their
limitations.  That particular devotee thought that beginners should be given preliminary exercises, along
the lines prescribed by traditional Gurus.  He even offered to teach these people himself and initiate them!
It is a measure of Sri Bhagavan's greatness that He said that He was not interested in handing out half truths
and lesser teachings.  What mattered to Him was the dissemination of the purest truth, and for that we
shall be eternally grateful.

Arunachala Siva.             


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1077 on: June 30, 2015, 09:43:59 AM »
Suri Nagamma Reminiscences:-

Since 1940, I have been taking jowar flour instead of rice.  After I came to the Asramam, I prepared puffed
jowar once or twice and gave it to Bhagavan.  He would send for some salt and chilli powder, have them
added to it, and after distributing the mixture to everyone in the Hall, have a small portion of it Himself. As
He appeared to relish it,  I later prepared puffed jowar frequently and brought it to Him.  Noticing this,
Bhagavan said, 'Why do you bother yourself about it?  Once in a way it is all right but not frequently.'
Hence I stopped preparing it for sometime. Once I received jowar from the year's new crop, I roasted it
and as I was pouring into a vessel, Venkataratnam, who was then one of Bhagavan's personal attendants,
came in.  Seeing the puffed jowar grains which were white like jasmine flowers, he said, 'How nice!
Bhagavan likes them very much.'  I told him that I was thinking of taking them to Bhagavan but was afraid
He would chide me again. Venkataratnam said that since I had not brought any to Bhagavan for quite some
time, He might not mind having some. I asked him to try the preparation but he declined saying he would
not have it till after Bhagavan had it.  I too did not feel like eating them beforehand. Placing them in a portable
container, I went to Bhagavan's Hall that afternoon and placed them before Him. Bhagavan said smilingly,
'Oh! You have brought them again?' Summoning a little courage, I replied, 'About a year has passed since
I brought them to you last. This jowar grain is from a fresh crop. When spread on a plate the grains are
white like jasmine flowers. While I was thinking of taking them over to Bhagavan, Venkataratnam came and
told me that Bhagavan likes them very much. Neither of us wanted to taste them beforehand. So I have
brought them here. Bhagavan may now say whatever He likes. The cost is practically nothing, not even two
annas and I should be given an opportunity to serve Him at least occasionally.'

Bhagavan's heart melted like butter.'That is all right,' He said. 'I really like this very much.  I was only anxious
that you should not strain yourself unduly. Not that I do not like it. When I was living on the Hill, I sued to eat
all sorts of food grains.  Jowar is tasty and healthy too.  Modern people will say, 'Ayyo! Why do you give this to
Swami? We must give Him laddoo and jilebi.'  However they are not tasty as these food grains.' So saying,
He had them mixed with groundnut kernels, salt, chilli powder and ghee and distributed the mixture to all
the people present, eating them with great relish a small portion of it Himself. It was like what Lord Krishna
did when Kuchela offered Him beaten rice.

Arunachala Siva.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 10:03:34 AM by Subramanian.R »


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1078 on: July 01, 2015, 07:48:28 AM »

Sri M.V. Ramanachalam, is the son of Sri Venkatarama Iyer, a staunch devotee of Bhagavan Ramana.
He merged with Bhagavan Ramana in the year 2003.  Here is an incident from his memoirs.

Once I met Bhagavan near the old bathroom and prostrated. I followed Him at a distance and when Bhagavan
suddenly looked back, I prostrated once again.  The same thing happened, a third time.  Then Bhagavan
Ramana turned and told me one namaskaram would have been more than enough.

On another occasion, I happened to be following Bhagavan while walking past the canal.  After passing
the crow's Samadhi, He suddenly stopped and I prostrated to Him.  Bhagavan then waved His kamandalam
towards the Hill, and asked me to do namaskaram to Arunachala and to have faith in Him.

Once He gave me a printed copy of Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam after duly correcting in His own handwriting
a small printing mistake. He in fact, wrote that correct letter on a piece of paper, and pasted it.  I believe that He
did that work in all copies of the printed book!

(Source: Mountain Path, Jan-March 2008)

Arunachala Siva.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1079 on: July 01, 2015, 09:27:35 AM »

Ella Maillart writes:

(From Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume VI, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

According to my actual understanding, it would be foolishly daring of me, to write something about Bhagavan
Ramana Himself, the mode of life of a sage being an abysmal mystery but for those who enjoy a similar state of consciousness.

'How and to whom can be described what is experienced within by one who is desire-less, whose sorrow is
destroyed and who is commented with repose in the Self?"

                                                 - Ashtavakra Gita

But with reference to the standpoint of the common man, I would like to make a remark that might interest
a few of my friends at home a remark that might interest a few of my friends at home. That remark is borne
out to write what I felt strongly at Tiruvannamalai.

Even supposing that such great ones as the Maharshi could be really inactive, that they simply sat among
us but were otherwise lost to our world -- neither mediating, praying, nor receiving the respects of their devotees
- even were such an impossible case possible  - I say their activity is tremendous; they are the salt
of the earth, their influence spreads out far away and is unconsciously felt even by workers hardly ever
giving a thought to such sages.  Something intangible emanates from these realized men; rather, what they
stand for permeates the land they inhabit.  They sanctify the place through their Presence.A kind of equilibrium is
brought into being the mind of the people.  Whatever happens, good or bad - in the daily life of these men,
everything seems to be in order because the Sage is there.

Arunachala Siva.