Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 200674 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1140 on: July 14, 2015, 10:36:35 AM »
T.P. Ramachandra Iyer Reminiscences:

Some aspects of Bhagavan's character never changed, irrespective of who He was dealing with. He abhorred
waste of any kind; He was unusually considerate to the animals that lived near Him, and He could always be
depended on to insist that any food donations  be shared out equally among all those who were present in
the Asramam.  These habits were deeply ingrained and they were never influenced by the fluctuating minds
of the people around Him. Another habit, which was equally constant but less well known, was His insistence
that the Asramam should never ask visitors or devotees for money.  Instead, He expected the Asramam to
be run on voluntary contributions., Chinnaswami was aware of Bhagavan's attitude to money, but he could
not resist occasionally asking for money when money was needed.  I witnessed one dramatic episode of this
kind in the 1940s.

The Mother's Temple was being built in the Asramam, but there was an acute shortage of funds. Money was
needed immediately. At that time, one devotee called Chhaganlal Yogi came from Bombay for the first time.
When Chinnaswami saw him, he told me, 'We need Rs. 50,000 for the temple. So, why don't the three of us
go to Jamnalal Bajaj and ask him for the money?' You should introduce me to Chhanganlal Yogi so that we
can begin.'

Chhaganlal Yogi found the proposal to be unacceptable, But since he was a newcomer he had no alternative but
to accept it. However, we had to cross the hurdle of informing Bhagavan. Chiinnaswami never came before
Bhagavan to speak. On this occasion, he called me to tell Bhagavan about our journey. 'How can I tell Bhagavan
about such a thing? You must also come with me,' I said.

Since he did not even have the courage to convey information in my company, I collected some other devotees
and went to see Bhagavan while He was having His afternoon rest. Bhagavan, who was alone in the Hall,
was gazing into space. We stood before Him for some time, but He did not even bother to look at us.

Each one of us wanted one of the others to speak. Eventually, Mouni Swami spoke on our behalf, telling
Bhagavan what we had come for. For a long time, Bhagavan did not reply, but at last he turned to us and
said, 'I have already told you not to beg in my name. Now I am telling you again. Be satisfied with what you
have. What is to happen will happen. If you now go and ask for money, will not the donors ask you whether
you took my consent or not and whether I gave you permission for this?  What do you intend to tell them
if they ask questions like this?'

Chhaganlal Yogi had found the excuse he was looking for. 'Unless we tell them that you have consented to this,
none of them will give even a paisa', he said.

What could they do?  One by one,m they slipped out of the Hall and Chinnaswami's journey was canceled.

After this incident, Bhagavan remarked, 'Did all these buildings in the Asramam come up as a result of my begging?
It all happened in the way it had to happen. Nothing happens purely as a result of personal effort.'

contd.,

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, The Power of the Presence, Part II) 

Arunachala Siva.                       
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 12:08:52 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1141 on: July 14, 2015, 12:06:17 PM »
T.P. Ramachandara Iyer Reminiscences:

The temple was eventually constructed over the Samadhi of Bhagavan's Mother on a grand scale. It was a massive
and impressive building that was constructed in the traditional way by skilled temple workers. Though Bhagavan
fully supported the building project in all its phases, it seems that He did not envisage that such a building would
come into existence at the time the Mother passed away.

In later years, Bhagavan once remarked, 'I suggested that the body be buried silently before dawn. But things
happened in the way they had to happen.  See how many constructions have come up where a body was buried
silently!'

There was one other occasion when I heard Bhagavan say that the development of the Mother's temple was all
part of the unfolding destiny.  A new palanquin, which was meant to take the deity around the Mother's Temple,
had been brought and placed before Bhagavan. It was shown to Bhagavan and then taken away.  I asked
Bhagavan what it was.  'Oh, don't you know?, He replied. 'It is the palanquin for the deity.  They will carry
Mother's idol around the temple in it.'  After pausing for some time, He added, 'Not only that, they are also
getting an umbrella for the deity.'

I wondered aloud. 'Umbrella! What umbrella?'

'The same kind of umbrella that is held over Lord Arunachaleswara during His processions. Here it is to be
held over the deity in the temple. Chinnaswami is completely obsessed with the Mother and decorations
for Her. But everything will happen as it is destined to happen. Let us be mere onlookers.'

contd.,

(Compiled by David Godman, the book, The Power of the Presence, Part II)

Arunachala Siva.             
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 12:10:08 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1142 on: July 14, 2015, 12:45:40 PM »
T.P. Ramachandra Iyer Reminiscences:

An incident that took place during the construction of the temple once precipitated an astonishing show of
grace of Bhagavan. It clearly shows how Sri Bhagavan was aware of all our thoughts and it also shows how
He could respond to our prayers if our devotion and faith were strong enough.

In 1945, Bhagavan either dislocated His big toe or severely sprained it. The Asramam doctor recommended that
Bhagavan restrict His movements for one month. He was advised only to walk between the dining room, the Hall
and His bathroom. Towards the end of that period, Venkatarama Iyer and I went up to Him and greeted Him as
He was leaving the dining room. When Bhagavan asked what we had come for, we asked for His permission to
go to Skandasramam.

'All right,' He said, 'you can go'. Then, turning towards Rangaswami, His attendant, He asked with wistful eagerness,
'Shall we also go?' Rangaswami was horrified.  The sun was at its hottest and Bhagavan's toe had not fully healed.

'How can you do it, Swami?' he asked. 'You are not yet cured and you are still very weak.'

Bhagavan looked at us like a helpless child and asked, 'Won't you take us along with you?'

'Bhagavan,' I answered, 'if you want to accompany  us, who could deny himself such a pleasure?  But what
about your physical condition.  How can you possibly come?'

'It seems that they will not take me,' Bhagavan regretfully said to Rangaswami.

Venkatarama Iyer and I began to climb the Hill towards Skandasramam. When we looked behind us, we
saw that Rangaswami and Bhagavan were also coming up the Hill.

Rangaswami called out to us, 'Don't worry, we are not coming with you!'

When I saw Bhagavan coming towards us, I assumed that He had decided to resume His daily walk on the
lower slopes of the Hill, After accompanying Bhagavan and Rangaswami for some time, we left them in
order to continue our walk to Skandasramam. Rangaswami ran up to us and said, 'After Bhagavan goes back
to the Hall to rest, I shall come with you. Please don't go any further. Stay somewhere near here and weait
for me.'

We climbed a short distance up the Hill and sat there in a shady place.  An hour passed but Rangaswami
did not arrive. Eventually we saw a man coming up.  As he approached us, we saw that he was the
Skandasramam watchman and that he was carrying food for a Sadhu who lived there. As he passed us,
we asked him whether anyone else was climbing the Hill. He said  'No', in a somewhat uncertain tone,
so we stopped him and asked him again. After some hesitation he said in a whisper that Bhagavan was
coming up the Hill, accompanied by Rangaswami.

Bhagavan in that hot sun! I asked Venkatarama Iyer to sit there while I ran down to meet them.  When I
found them I saw that Bhagavan  was tired and that He was also sweating profusely in the hot sun.
He was crawling slowly over the stones and he sharp edges of the pebbles were rupturing the skin on
His palms and feet. In His month of inactivity Bhagavan had lost the habit of walking, so much sop that He
was finding it extremely difficult to climb the Hill. His big toe had not yet healed properly.. But even so, He
did not agree when we proposed to take Him down the Hill. Since He was determined to carry on, Rangaswami
and I caught hold of Him on either side and helped Him to climb the Hill.  After a long struggle,we reached
Skandasramam at 3 pm. By then Bhagavan was utterly exhausted and He lay down on a stone slab gasping
for breath.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence.' Part II)


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
                       
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1143 on: July 14, 2015, 01:14:04 PM »
T.P. Ramachandra Iyer Reminiscences:

An Asramam worker who was whitewashing and cleaning Skandasramam came, prostrated before Bhagavan
and said, 'What a fortunate day for me!  The all merciful Bhagavan came up the Hill all the way to give me darshan.'

I thought that Bhagavan wouod recover if we gave Him something to drink but what was available in such
an isolated place?  The man said that he would go down the Hill and bring something but Bhagavan stopped him
and asked, 'Is there no porridge in your bowl?'  The man went and saw that there was nothing left in his
bowl except a few dried pieces that were sticking to the sides. He had drunk the remainder earlier that day.
We wet the sides of the pot, mixed the dried porridge with water and gave the resulting liquid to Bhagavan.
It revived Him and He soon recovered.

Down the Hill, in the Asramam, the doors of Bhagavan's Hall were opened at 3 pm. When it was discovered
that Bhagavan was not there, people ran in all directions looking for Him. One of them came to Skandasramam,
arriving just as Bhagavan was narrating the story of how He used to beg for His food in town.

The man who had come up looking for us, went back down the Hill to inform those in the Asramam that he
had found Bhagavan. The man who was whitewashing left temporarily.  He went down the Hill and came back
with some puffed rice and dhal for us to eat.  Seeing Bhagavan had obviously made him very happy.

Bhagavan turned to him and said, 'I came for you. Your prayer brought me here.'

I was astonished that Bhagavan had gone to so much trouble in the heat of the day, merely to answer a prayer!

'What was his prayer?' I asked.

'Don't you know?' inquired Bhagavan.               

Then He narrated the whole story.

A Hall was being built for Bhagavan in front of Mothers temple. Four days previously the Asramam priests had
decoded to do a puja to bless and sanctify the four pillars that had recently been erected there. On that day,
with the doctor's consent, the temple architect had taken Bhagavan and had made Him sit before the pillars.
A big crowd collected there to watch.  Our hero, the whitewashing man, was also seen in the crowd.

After the puja, when Bhagavan was going away, it seems that he thought, 'Those who build this temple are
important people, so Bhagavan came to see their work. How will Bhagavan see my word and devotion to
Skandasramam?  It is a long distance for Him to walk. Why should He come now?'

After narrating this story Bhagavan answered his prayer by inspecting his work.

A little later He came back and said to us, 'A message will soon come from the Asramam asking me to come back.
Let us ignore it. We can spend the night here. At 1 am. after the moon has risen, we can slowly go down to the
town, see the newly white washed temple gopuram in moonlight and then go back to the Asramam without making
much noise.'

Bhagavan spoke like an absconding school child involved in a great conspiracy!
               
(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence.' Part II)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1144 on: July 15, 2015, 07:36:03 AM »


The whole purpose of Sadhana is to remove the unwanted falsity,called ego, and the Truth shall reveal itself.
This process is called Chidda Suddhi.  Again, the latent tendencies may rise at anytime and ruin us.  I am given
to anger very easily in life. But in normal times, there is no sense of anger in me.  But it rises its hood in no time
and harm others and harm me too.

A slight provocation is all that is wanted to push your hypertension by twenty points!  Bhagavan Ramana says:
It is like the serpent inside the ant hill.  It does not come out.  But you have to catch it when it just comes out,
before harming the children playing around the ant hill.  That is the exact moment, when one should
ask: For whom this anger is? 

Once two devotees were asking Bhagavan Ramana, as to how to control the anger.  Bhagavan Ramana explained this.
But they could not understand.  Soon both went into the kitchen to prepare some evening dinner.  There was a
small fight.  One said:  Do you know who I am?  Another retorted:  Do you know who I am?

Bhagavan Ramana entered the kitchen just then!  Both became very ashamed.  Bhagavan said:  See, see,
this is the moment in which you should catch this anger and crush its neck.  In the Old Hall, when you were asking
this question, there was no anger in you.  So you did not understand.  Now you realize.

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1145 on: July 15, 2015, 07:42:10 AM »

Once in the Old Hall, there was a chimney lamp, what the British called as Hurricane Lamp, which is lighted at
nights for some light in darkness.  There is a base, a hole through which kerosene is put, then there is a wick
and the operating system. There are holes around it for the air to pass through.  There is a glass enclosure around
the wick. There is again a metal cap at the top. 

Once a bee entered the lamp when it was not burning.  It went through the small around the wick. It flew all around
the wick up to the top.  It peeped through the glass enclosure, but no way out! It stings the glass but does the glass bother about its sting? It is not able to come out.  It fumes and sweats.  No way out.

Finally, the bee found the hole from which it came.  It crawls through that hole and finally comes out to the
Pure Space.  Freedom.  Freedom all through!

Our mind is like this little bee. It comes from the hole Heart. If it has remained there, then there is no problem.
It comes out due to its inflated arrogance.  It wanders all over the world, the chimney glass enclosure.  No pleasures.
Only pains and sorrows. It tries to sting the world.  But the world does not care.  Still no way out.  At last, it comes to
know that it has come from the Heart.  It has to be go only into the Heart, and then enjoy the Pure Space and Wisdom.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1146 on: July 15, 2015, 11:21:36 AM »
T.P. Ramachandra Iyer Reminiscenes:

What else do we want except to be with Him?  However, the plan was not carried out because as soon as it
became known that Bhagavan was on the Hill, all the people in the Asramam came up to see Him. At 6 pm.
a big crowd had assembled.  We were very disappointed that our overnight programme could not be carried
out, but in a last attempt to salvage it, we asked all the devotees to go down to Ramanasramam. None of them
moved!

'It is getting dark', I said. 'There are some snakes here. So please go back to the Asramam.'

'When our lamp (Bhagavan) is here, where is the darkness for us?' said Rukmini Amma.

I tried to frighten the devotees with the stories of tigers and wolves. I tried to tell them that being stranded
on the Hill in total darkness with no food would be dangerous, but no one was inclined to believe me. Or
if they did, they were prepared to risk all the dangers so long as Bhagavan was with them.

Bhagavan knew that it was pointless to argue anymore. He got up and went down via the eastern slope of
the Hill. We reached the Asramam about 9 pm. that night.

Bhagavan's visit to Skandasramam, took place on 27th September 1945. Devaraja Mudaliar's description
of the visit is also there in his 'Day by Day,' and it reveals what a unique event it was.

'It is a marvel that Bhagavan did this trip all on foot in this way, the more so because His left big toe had become
either dislocated or badly sprained on 26th August, and as a result thereof, He is still having some paikn there.

'Since Bhagavan left Skandasramam, (in 1922), He had gone there two or three times within about a tear or two
after His settling down here.  But after that, i.e. for nearly 22 years now, He has never gone there till today.'

(T.P. Ramachandra Iyer Reminiscences - concluded).

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence', Part II).

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1147 on: July 15, 2015, 11:51:14 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Prelude:

David Godman's Prelude:  Bhagavan tells Rangan that he has too many doubts and that he is asking too many
questions. Bhagavan then remarked, 'Some people come here, sit before me and silently grasp the sole thing
to be known. Then, without saying anything, they go away.'  Lakshmana Swami belongs to this rare category.
When he realized the Self in Bhagavan's presence, he had been with Bhagavan, on two separate visits, for
less than four days. He had asked no questions and had not even spoken to Bhagavan. After his experience
he went back to his ashram room, without speaking to anyone about what had happened.

Many people have reported dramatic experiences when Bhagavan looked at them, or merely smiled at them.
When Lakshamana Swami's climatic experience occurred, he was not even in the same room as Bhagavan.
He was sitting outside the door of the new hall, looking in through the open doorway.

***

When I asked Lakshmana Swami how he had managed to earn Bhagavan's grace so quickly and so fully,
he smiled and replied,'I finished all my work in previous lives. I was ready.'

Bhagavan sometimes spoke of a three fold division of spiritual seekers. Some are like gunpowder, which will
ignite with a single spark. Some are like charcoal, which needs a little heating before it will catch fire. The
remainder are like wet wood, which needs a long period of drying out before it is ready to be ignited.
When Lakshmana Swami arrived at Ramanasramam in the latter half of 1949, he was fully ready for the
divine spark.

***

I was brought up in my paternal grandfather's house in Gudur, Andhra Pradesh.  My father, Bangaraiah, died
when I was less than two years old and I have no memories of him at all. He had been a minor landowner in
the area, but the income from his land was not sufficient to support us. After he died, my mother had to take
an unskilled job in a local mica factory to supplement our income

I attended the local primary school and later on the District Board High School. I had no interest in the
subjects that were taught. I managed to pass the exams only because of my useful ability to remember
the texts after reading through once or twice. However, I had an aptitude for drawing and I fund that I could
sketch realistic portraits without training or practice and in the subject of art I topped the class. I was also
an enthusiastic participant in games.  I never did any socializing with other boys.

I had no interest in traditional religious practices when I was young. My mother used to take me to the local
temples, but even at a very young age, I knew intuitively that performing rituals in front of the stone statues 
was pointless. I once asked my mother, 'God sometimes talks to devotees. How can a stone speak?'
My mother replied, 'God only speaks to priests when a curtain is drawn in front of the image.' My next
question was, 'How does a stone manage to eat all the food offerings that are given to it?' I received a
variation of the same answer: 'The priests feed the offerings to the god when the curtain is drawn.'

Even though I was very young, I could not believe that such things were possible, so I grew up with little or
no interest in religious practices.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence', Part II)               
             
Arunachala Siva.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 12:04:07 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1148 on: July 15, 2015, 12:59:15 PM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

In my 17th year, while I was still at school, an inexplicable incident occurred that changed my life. I was sleeping
in my family's house when an unknown malevolent force appeared to descend on me. I awoke with a tremendous
pressure bearing down on my chest and my immediate reaction was that some unknown evil force was trying to
kill me. Immediately and spontaneously the Rama Mantra, 'Rama, Rama', erupted from within me with a great
sound. I did not decide to say it, it just naturally burst out of me with a great force.  The evil presence, which
could not compete with its power, vanished immediately.  I had never repeated this mantra before, nor had it
ever occurred to me that this mantra had any power.  Prior to this remarkable incident, I had been utterly skeptical
about all matters pertaining to religion, but my lack of belief could not withstand this direct, first hand experience.
Concluding that there must be some power in the mantra, I began to repeat it on a regular basis. At the same time
I also started doing pranayama, yogic breathing exercises.

I had to accept that the spontaneous eruption of this Rama Mantra had somehow saved me, but my mind could
not understand how it had happened. I felt I needed some kind of explanation as to why this Mantra had been
so successful in countering the evil force. I thought of all the people I knew, hoping that my mind would come up
with someone who could give me a satisfactory explanation but there was no one in my circle of friends or
relatives whose judgement I really trusted.  In the end,  I decided to keep quiet about it.  Though it was a
remarkable event that saved me from death, I discussed it with no one.

Soon after this strange incident my lifestyle began to change. I started getting up at 3 am. every morning
in order to go for a long walk along the railway tracks. My destination was a bridge that spanned the local
river.  While it was still dark, I would jump or even dive into this river and have an early morning swim.
I had never swum before and my lack of experience almost resulted in my death. One morning I got sucked
into a whirlpool, but had enough presence of mind not to fight it.  Instead, I allowed myself to be sucked into
it. It spun me down to the bottom of the river, then pushed me out sideways, and I surfaced in a stretch of
calm water. On a subsequent day, I got my foot caught in a hole in the railway track and only managed to
extract it a few minutes before a train passed by.  This was and still is a very busy line ( Gudur is a station
where the Kolkata-Chennai and Delhi-Chennai rail routes meet and hence it is a busy line ) and on one of
my morning walks I found the mangled corpse of someone who had been less lucky that I in avoiding an
oncoming train. I left the body where it was since I did not want to be blamed for the incident.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book 'The Power of the Presence', Part II)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1149 on: July 15, 2015, 02:50:04 PM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences - Story:

I was not taking these dangerous early morning walks simply because I felt a need for exercise.  When I emerged
from my morning swim, I would sit in meditation, practicing pranayama and doing japa of the name of Rama.
Occasionally, for variation, I do pranayama while I was still submerged in the water.  This daily programme lasted
for about 2 hours.  At around 5 am. I would walk back to my house. I was once bitter by a poisonous snake as
I was walking down the the track and had to hack away the poisoned flesh with a sharp stone, but nothing ever
deterred me from going there every day.  This compulsion to rise at 3 am. to swim and meditate lasted for several
years.

The meditation and the pranayama brought about a certain amount of mental peace but they did not bring any
answers to some of the philosophical problems that were beginning to engage my mind. I was beginning to ask
myself questions about the nature of the world and my relationship to it, and I became acutely aware that I
was not in a position to resolve these problems by myself. This inability  to find satisfactory solutions generated
a sense of frustration in me. With no one to guide me, and having no ability to work things out for myself, I
decided that my problems could only be solved if I had a vision of God. When that vision failed to appear, my
frustration increased.

I did not want to give in to the sense of futility that was creeping up on me so, to counter it, I began to increase
the amount of meditation I was doing.  In addition to my early morning activities, if I had free time during the
day, I would sit under a tee in a local park and do japa of the name of Rama.I had not told my friends about
my early morning meditations or my increasing interest in God. I wanted to keep it to myself. When they asked
me why I was spending so much time sitting under the particular tree, I told them that it was a health giving
tree, and when sunlight passed through the leaves, it
became enriched with vitamins.

While my friends may not have noticed much differences in my behavior, my family certainly did. They greeted
my new lifestyle with mixed feelings. Though a certain amount of devotion is acceptable in most Hindu households,
the alarm bells go off when boys start to show too much interest in the religious life. Very few parents want their
son to grow up to be a Sadhu. When it looked to my relatives as if I might be heading that way, they tried to
arrange an early marriage for me. A girl who came from the family that my elder brother had married into was
selected for me. Both families were keen to go ahead with the marriage. But I refused to listen to any of their
arguments. I insisted, point blank, that I had no intention of marrying one.  In the end  they had to accept my
decision.                   

I passed my final school exams a few months later, much to the amazement of my friends, I decided to continue
my studies at the V.R.College in Nellore, which is about 24 miles north of my home town. I chose botany,
physics, and chemistry as my subjects. In years, I paid little attention to the subject I was supposed to be
studying and I preferred instead to read spiritual books such as Bhagavad Gita and works on Advaita Vedanta. I
retained the habit of getting up at 3 am. and going for swim. The river Pennar ran through Nellore and I found
it to be an ideal place for swimming, even though it had a dangerous current.  One boy, who looked to be about
19, drowned while I was there. I tried to save him but I could not reach him in time. Though I was by then a
good swimmer and never in any danger myself, the drowning of this boy, just before I reached him, made a deep
impression on me. This incident made me acutely aware that death is inevitable for all human beings, and that
it may occur at any moment. I understood that nothing in this world is permanent, including life itself. I resolved
that I would live without any attachments and I further resolved that I would transcend the human condition
completely by realizing the Self.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence.', Book II)

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1150 on: July 15, 2015, 04:20:23 PM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

In the summer vacation of my first year at college I returned to Gudur and had my first major spiritual experience
there. The big artificial lake that borders the town had dried up completely.  I found the dry lake bed to be a good
place to go to perform my pranayama exercises. Usually, I went to a small hillock that in winter was a small island
in the lake.

I was sitting there one evening in the padmasana position just as darkness was beginning to fall. As I began
my pranayama exercises, the mind suddenly became concentrated, focused and utterly still.  There was a
flash of light within me. It persisted and I became aware of an inner divine light, shining in all its magnificence.
The light encircled and engulfed me and within a few seconds I lost all consciousness of the body. There was a
total inner stillness.  Paramatman, the Supreme Self, shone within me in its fullest glory and splendor.  The
effulgence of Atman within me impressed on me the fact that Atman is God Himself in this temple of the
physical body.  My joy knew no bounds because I realized that Atman had become my Guru.

The experience was a brief one but it gave me a glimpse and a foretaste of the goal that I was aiming at.
I tried on many occasions to repeat this experience but it never returned. I reluctantly came to the conclusion
that I would never be able to establish myself in a state of permanent Self awareness through my own efforts.
I realized that a Guru in a human form was necessary,and that the formless Atman could not, by itself, bring
about my realization.

Though I reached this conclusion I had no idea where I could find such a competent Guru. The desire to
meet one was there, but I could do nothing about it. I went back to my college to begin my second year]
and soon fell back into the usual routine of swimming and meditation and half-hearted studying. The only
difference was that I dropped the practice of pranayama. I picked up the Raja Yoga of Vivekananda and
I started to do these exercises in order to control my mind and keep it free from unwanted thoughts.
At the end of these four years, I decided that my mind was sufficiently quiet for me to dispense completely
with this aid. For the next three years my sadhana was exclusively the japa of Rama.

In the college, on the last day of my second year, there was a congregation in and around the main lecture
hall. I could not enter the hall but looking over the heads of students, I could see that my English professor,
G.V. Subbaramayya was giving a lecture. I could see the portrait of Ramana Maharshi to which he was pointing out.
The words  'Ramana Maharshi' was ringing in my ears. Up to that moment, I have never heard of Sri
Ramana Maharshi. Immediately I felt an irrepressible longing to see Him. I had no details of His location
and I was not then aware of how I could go about finding Him and seeing Him. I should have asked Prof.
Subbaramayya and I missed the chance because it was the last day of the academic year. I returned home
to Gudur with no useful information about Sri Ramana Maharshi. As I was returning to Gudur by train the
following day I saw a small booklet entitled Sri Ramana Maharshi, on sale at the book store of railway platform.
I eagerly purchased it. I opened the first page and read the following verse in Sanskrit composed by Sri
Ramana Maharshi Himself:

In the interior of the Heart Cave the one Supreme Being, Brahman, shines as 'I-I' verily the Atman.
Entering into the Heart with a one pointed mind, either through Self Inquiry or by diving within or by
breath control, abide thou in Atmanishta (the state of being firmly established in the Self.).

I had already learned enough Sanskrit to understand the meaning. This one verse made a deep and immediate
impression on me. There was no question of memorizing it.  As soon as I read the verse it, all the lines
were immediately imprinted on my heart.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence', Book II)

Arunachala Siva. 
                         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1151 on: July 16, 2015, 06:58:07 AM »


Once Varanasi Subbulakshmi Ammal, after reading Sri Bhakta Vijayam, the stories of Maharashtra saints
of ardent bhakti for Lord Panduranga, (Krishna), asked Bhagavan Ramana:

"Bhagavan!  It is said that Namadev had dinner with Lord Panduranga and also danced with him.
Are these stories too?" 

Bhagavan Ramana said:  "Why any doubt?  They are all true. Lord came in human form, ate with him and
danced with him.  But once a devotee becomes absorbed in the Self, he stops thinking of God being separate
from himself.  But until he reaches that stage, God has to grant the devotee's prayers, to coax him to stay on
the path of Self realization.  Upon Self realization, his individuality is lost and he merges with the Supreme Being. 

(Source:  Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume 6, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannmalai.) 

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1152 on: July 16, 2015, 07:02:22 AM »


T.K. Sundaresa Iyer, was from Tiruvannamalai and he used to see Bhagavan Ramana, even from his boyhood
days, at Virupaksha Cave.  He used to sing Sundarmurthy Swami's Tevaram song:

"There is no other refuge for me, I have come to your feet...."

Bhagavan Ramana used to reply:  "Yes. There is no other go."

Later, he got a job as teacher in local high school of Tiruvannamalai and continued his sadhana.  Once, he got
vexed thinking that there was no progress and thus stopped seeing Bhagavan Ramana for about three months.
He started suffering the separation and grew restless.  After 3 months, he again went to Bhagavan Ramana for
darshan.  He explained the reasons.  Bhagavan Ramana smiled and told him: "Alright. You said you have no
profit in seeing me.  But have you not now understood the loss of not seeing me?"

Sundaresa Iyer was given the task of writing a preface to the first edition of Collected Works.  Bhagavan
approved his preface with one correction.  Iyer has also written a book called "At the Feet of Bhagavan."     

(Source: Reminiscences of Kunju Swamigal.)

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1153 on: July 16, 2015, 09:38:35 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

I learned from this small booklet that Ramana Maharshi lived in an Asramam just outside Tiruvannamalai.
I located this town on a map, but at this time in my life I was not in a position to make a pilgrimage there.

My laziness at the college finally caught up with me and I twice failed my second year exams. I went back
to staying with my family in Gudur, but life was far from congenial. I was under renewed pressure to get
married and spent a lot of time arguing with my family over this issue. I stood firm and again refused to
consider marriage. I spent most of my time in solitary places, to avoid the quarrels. Most of my time
was spent in meditation.  There was no necessity of finding a job because I had a small income from
inheriting a share in my grandfather's house. My portion of the house was rented out and I gave the
income to my family.

A year went by in which I did little except meditate.  Towards the end of 1948, my mother insisted that
I must make a large contribution to the family's budget. A job was found for me in a local mica company
where I worked as a clerk-typist, for about 5 months. At the beginning of 1949, I resigned my job and
persuaded my mother to accompany me on a trip to Sri Ramansramam.  One of my aunts had already been
to see Bhagavan and she reported to me that He was an old man who would not live much longer. She
described Him as "a ripe fruit about to drop off the tree." This spurred me into action, making me realize
that I did not have much time if I wanted to see Bhagavan.

My pilgrimage to Ramansramam began at the local train station in Gudur. While I was waiting for the train
to arrive, my mother started talking to two women who were also waiting for the same train. It was soon
discovered that they too were heading for Ramanasramam. They were accompanying Sathyananda Swami,
a long time devotee of Ramana Maharshi.  When this Swami was informed that we were on our way to
Tiruvannamalai and that we were planning to visit Ramanasramam for the first time, he invited us to join
his party. I was delighted by this fortuitous turn of events. I felt that Bhagavan Himself had sent of His
devotees to guide us on His asramam.

The journey took all day and it was well after dark when we finally arrived in Tiruvannamalai. We spent
the night at a choultry and the following morning we walked to Ramanasramam in the company of
Swami Sathyananda.  Instead of approaching the Asramam by the main road, we ended up arriving
through the back gate, located between the kitchen and the store room. As we were climbing the steps
that led up to the gate, we saw Bhagavan walking slowly in the direction of the cow shed. Bhagavan
noticed us, stopped for a few seconds to look at us, and then carried on with His walk. Entering through
the back gate had thus proved to be very fortuitous because it enabled us to have a brief and almost
private darshan of Bhagavan at a time, when the Asramam was immensely crowded.

I soon discovered that we had arrived at an inconvenient time. The Asramam was overflowing with
visitors who had come from all parts of the country to attend the consecration and opening ceremony
of the temple that had been constructed over the Samadhi of Bhagavan's Mother., The main consecration
ceremony due to  take place a few days after our arrival.

Because we had arrived with a devotee who was well known to the Asramam management, there was
no problem in getting accommodation, but speaking to Bhagavan proved to be more difficult.  I wanted
to speak to Him about the experience of the Self I had had in the dried up lake in Gudur. But I never
got a chance because there were always large crowds of people milling around Him.  I had to be content
with having a darshan in a large crowd of devotees.

contd.,

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book,'The Power of the Presence', Book II)

Arunachala Siva.     
                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1154 on: July 16, 2015, 10:15:03 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences /Story:

On one of the days of my visit I was standing by the main Asramam well. Bhagavan was sitting nearby on a bench
outside the Hall where He usually slept, listening to a group of brahmin boys chant extracts from the Vedas. As
I looked at the scene in front of me the world completely lost its solid, substantial reality. I became aware that
everything I was perceiving in that scene was nothing more than a dream like projection.  This experience gave
me the certainty that everything in the world, including the body of Bhagavan that I was concentrating on, was
unreal. As I gazed the scene I had the knowledge and the experience that the real Ramana Maharshi  was not the
dream body I saw before me, it was the formless, effulgent Self that I had experienced on the dried up lake bed
in Gudur. This experience soon passed away though, leaving me in my former state.

I divided my time between sitting me with Bhagavan at the times He was available and sitting in solitary meditation
on the Hill. I only stayed three days on this first visit, but that short period of time was enough to convince me
that Bhagavan I had found the Guru I had been seeking.m I decided to change my japa from 'Hare Rama' to
'Hare Ramana' since I felt that I could avail myself of my Guru's grace by chanting His name,  I read the Telugu
version of Who am I? which was on sale at the Asramam book store while I was there, but I did not feel inclined
to take up the practice of Self inquiry at the time because I was more accustomed to do japa. 

After three days I left my mother at Ramanasramam and went back to Gudur. I wanted to devote myself full time
to meditation but the atmosphere in my house was too oppressive for proper concentration. I decided instead
to go to a village called Govindapalli ,which was nearer the coast and about 15 miles from Gudur. Though some
relatives were staying there, I just wanted to stay in a quiet place where I could meditate. I selected a quiet
spot, away from the village and about 3 miles from the sea. My relatives helped me to build a small hut,
which I paid for out of my own funds.

(Compiled by David Godman, in his book, 'The Power of the Presence', Book II)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.    ,