Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 392784 times)


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1155 on: July 16, 2015, 10:54:50 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

I moved into this hut and spent most of my time in meditation. Milk was sent once a day from the village,
but I prepared the rest of the food myself, cooking it on a small fire that I would build by the side of my hut.
I still kept up the habit of getting up at 3 am. and going for a swim. Sometimes I swam in a tank near my
hut and sometimes in a small river that flowed nearby.  In the evenings, I often walked to the beach and swam
in the sea.

The local people had been very cooperative in the matter of building the hut, but many of them had advised me
not to live on the spot I chose because there was supposed to be an evil spirit that inhabited the area. I was not
worried about things like that, so I settled down to do my sadhana, 'After staying there for a few days, I heard
a great noise that sounded as if all the trees in the vicinity were being blown down by a great wind. I went out
of the hut and looked around me . I saw the trunks of all the local trees were bending down to the ground and
then springing back up again. Since there was no obvious natural explanation, I decided that it was this local
spirit that was trying to frighten me.  These spirits are harmless so long as you do not fear them, but if you
become afraid, some of them are so strong, they can easily kill you. I ignored it and went back to my meditation.

My meditation proceeded well.  The constant repetition of my Guru's name made my mind very quiet. On a few
occasions it became absolutely still. When this happened the question Who am I? would spontaneously arise
inside me. Whenever this happened, as if in answer to the question, my mind would automatically sink into its
source, the Heart, and experience the bliss of the Self. I never made any conscious attempt to practice Self inquiry.
The question Who am I? simply appeared inside me, whenever my mind became completely free from thoughts.

My stay in Govindapalli lasted about five months. At the end of that period I contracted severe case of malaria
and had to be taken back to Gudur. The doctor said that I was likely to die. He informed my relatives, many
of whom then came to see me to pray their last respects. I had no intention of dying. I had a strong determination
that I would not die until I had seen my Guru again. I placed a picture of Ramana Maharshi by my bedside and
willed myself to stay alive long enough to see Him again. I meditated on this picture throughout the ordeal.
Whenever I looked at it, I felt as if Bhagavan Himself was laughing or smiling at me. I am convinced that it
was the power and the grace of Bhagavan that kept me alive and enabled me to make a full recovery.

I was in bed for 2 months. Towards the end of that period I became a little despondent about my apparent
lack of spiritual progress.            .                 

As soon as I was able to walk I told my family that I wanted to return to Tiruvannamalai to have Bhagavan's
darshan. Both my mother and brother tried to convince me that I was too weak to travel. But I refused to
listen to their advice. There were some heated arguments about the matter but when it became clear that my
family would not give me permission to go, I walked out on them, vowing never to return to their house
again.  As I left I drew three long vertical lines on the door frame of my family house. This is a traditional
symbol that indicated to my family that I had no intention of ever returning to their house again. When my
brother finally realized that I could not be persuaded to stay, he very reluctantly gave me Rs 60 to take care
of my immediate expenses.


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

Arunachala Siva. 


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1156 on: July 16, 2015, 11:56:12 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences/Story:

I set off for Ramanasramam immediately and arrived during the Navaratri celebrations of 1949.  The second
day of my visit was Vijayadasami, the final day of the festival. In the afternoon, I stood in front of the
Matrubhuteswara Temple, waiting for Bhagavan to appear.  He came out of His small room, accompanied
by Swami Satyananda, entered the new hall that was in front of the temple and took His seat on the stone
sofa. There were only a few devotees present at that time. I went up to Bhagavan and made a full prostration
in front of Him.  When I stood up, Bhagavan looked at me intently for a few moments. I withdrew and went
to look for a place where I could do Self Inquiry and not be disturbed by other devotees. I selected a pillar
that was outside the door that Bhagavan had entered through and sat down in front of it. Though I was
outside the hall, Bhagavan could still see me from where He was sitting. Shortly afterwards, I saw Muruganar
taking a seat close to Bhagavan. I noticed that other devotees were entering the hall. After a few minutes,
Muruganar came and sat down next to me.  A few other devotees came and sat near us. I closed my eyes
and began to do Who am I? , the quest of the Self.

Within a few minutes I found that all thoughts had disappeared except the primal 'I' thought., The question
Who am I? then spontaneously appeared within me.  As it did so, the gracious smiling face of Ramana Maharshi
appeared within me on the right side of the chest. There was something like a lightning flash that resulted in a
flood of divine light shining both within and without.  Bhagavan's face was still smiling on the right side of my
chest. It seemed to be lit up with a radiance that exceeded innumerable lightning flashes rolled into one. The
bliss and joy these experiences gave me brought tears to my eyes. A torrential flow welled up within me and rolled
down my face. I was unable to control them in any way. Finally, the 'I' thought went back to its source, the internal
picture of Ramana Maharshi disappeared and the Self absorbed my whole being. From that moment on, the Self
shone alone and the 'I' thought, the individual self, never arose or functioned in me again.  It was permanently
destroyed through the grace of my Guru in His holy presence.                     

I remained absorbed in the Self, without body consciousness, for about 3 hours.  The experience was so intense,
even when I opened my eyes, I found I was incapable of either speaking or moving. The realization had caused
an immense churning within the nervous system, so much so, that when the body consciousness returned, I felt
extremely weak.

When I was finally able to register what was going on around me, I noticed that everything was perfectly normal.
Bhagavan was still sitting on His couch and all the assembled devotees were pursuing their normal duties and
activities.  My tears and loss of consciousness had not attracted any attention at all.

I remained where I was for another 3 hours because I was incapable of movement of any kind. I remember
hearing the dinner bell and the noise of the Vijayadasami procession as it went around the temple, but I was
too absorbed in the Self to contemplate either eating or joining the celebrations. At 9 pm. I finally rose to my
feet and very slowly made my way back to my allotted place in the men's dormitory.       

The following morning I still felt very weak. Thinking that I might feel better if I ate some food, I started to
walk towards town to see if I could get a meal at one of the hotels there. Unfortunately, I over estimated my
strength. Before I could find a place to eat, I had an attack of dizziness and collapsed on the street. A friendly
passer by, took me under his wing, ascertained that I needed food, and then guided me to a hotel that was located
on the south side of the temple. I felt much stronger after the meal and I had no difficulty returning to the

Later that afternoon, I went up to Bhagavan in the darshan hall, prostrated before Him, and handed Him a note
via His attendant Venkataratnam.  The note, which I had written in Telugu, said, 'Bhagavan, in your presence and
by the quest Who am I?, I have realized the Self.'   

Bhagavan read the note, looked at me for a moment, and then His face lit up in a radiant smile.  For sometime
we just looked at each other.

Bhagavan broke the silence by asking me where I had come from.

'Gudur', I replied.

'That is in Nellore district, is not it?' inquired Bhagavan.

'Yes', I answered.

This was the only conversation I ever had with Bhagavan. After giving Him these two brief replies, I did not speak
again for another 13 years!         

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


Arunachala Siva,.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1157 on: July 16, 2015, 03:14:48 PM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

As i returned to my place in the Hall, I heard Bhagavan tell Venkataratnam to keep my note on a shelf that
was behind His sofa.

Accommodation was in short supply at the Asramam.  After four days, I was asked to leave to make room for
other visitors who wanted to see Bhagavan.   I decided to look for accommodation in the surrounding area,
since I planned to stay permanently.  I had no intention of going back to Gudur.  Before I left home my family
agreed to send me the rental income that came from my half of my grandfather's house. The amount was more
than enough to live on. Raja Iyer, the local postmaster, helped me to find a small thatched house about 250
yards from the Asramam. I shared it with a boy called Raghavan who was already living there. Since I had money
and he did not, he agreed to do all the cooking if I bought the provisions for food.

One of the first  people to visit me in my new house was Venkataratnam, Bhagavan's attendant.

On his first visit he said, 'In all the years I have been Bhagavan's attendant, I have never seen anyone present
a note like this before. I am experienced enough in the ways of Bhagavan to know that the beaming smile He
immediately gave you was proof that the claim was genuine. Bhagavan made no comment to me about your
note and the message it contained, but He did ask me to check up on you to make sure that all your needs are
being taken care of and that you are properly looked after.'

From that day on, Venkataratnam became a regular visitor. He would come and sit with me whenever his services
were not required in the Asramam., and on one occasion he embarrassed me by trying to massage my feet and legs.

Bhagavan was giving darshan every day from 9 to 11 am. and from  3 to 6 pm. At those times I would go and
sit with Him in the Asramam. Around midday I would walk to town and eat a meal in a hotel, and at the end
of the afternoon darshan I would sit for an hour on the lower slopes of Arunachala.  I had no further interaction
with Bhagavan, but every time I went to see Him in the Hall, His face would light up and break into the same
radiant smile He had given me on the afternoon I had presented Him with my note.

After about three months in Tiruvannamalai, I moved to Palakottu.  I found a small room I could occupy by
myself and moved in. I paid one rupee a month rent to the watchman of the Ganesh Temple that bordered Palakottu
Tirtham and I engaged a young girl to bring a cooked lunch to me since I no longer felt like making the daily trip
to town to eat.

A woman called Marakatha Mataji also tried to feed me, but her attentions were a bit of nuisance. She had a great
liking for Sadhus and she spent most of the money she earned on feeding them. When rich visitors came to the
Asramam, she would offer her services as a cook. She was very good at her job and her employers, including at
least one Maharani, were always satisfied with her cooking. She often used to make sweets for her employers,
and when she did so, she would always contrive and keep a few for the Sadhus near the Asramam. Any cash payment
she received would also be converted into sweets for Sadhus. At distribution time, she always tried to give the
recipients a big kiss along with the sweets. I became a favorite of hers and she frequently tried to ambush me
with a sweet and a kiss as I was leaving the room. If I knew she was there, I would stay in my room in the hope
that she would give up waiting and go away, but she had enormous patience and sometimes I had to put up with
her ministrations. She also tried to kiss Bhagavan on many occasions, but her habits were well known and His
attendants had strict instructions to keep her away from Him.


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

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1158 on: July 17, 2015, 07:30:27 AM »

In India, devotees go to temples like Tirupati and Pazhani and tonsure their heads, take bath and then
pray to God.  Tonsuring the head means sacrificing the beauty and also sacrificing the ego. The Ascetics in
India, used to tonsure their heads, symbolic of sacrificing their egos. 

Bhagavan Ramana in Tiruvannamalai, after vising the temple and embracing Siva lingam, came out.
One barber providentially asked Him whether he could tonsure His head.  He agreed.  (Of course,
the hairs grew fast and during Patalalingam temple days, He again had long hairs.  The tonsuring of head,
He started again after some years.  The Ascetics used to tonsure their heads, on Full Moon Days, and Bhagavan
Ramana also had this practice.

He mentions in Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai, Verse 85:

Mottai adittu enai
vetta veliyil nee
nattam adinai
en arunachala!

Stripping me bare of all attachments of "I" and "mine", thus rendering me pure, You in joyous bliss, dance
in the transcendent expanse of my Heart, Your sovereign right.  What a wonder is this, Arunachala!

The mind that, by grace of Arunachala, has been rid of all its possessions and all its latent impressions,
expanding as an infinite space of Pure Consciousness and extending everywhere, is full of Itself as Space of
Consciousness.  The individual self that comes in the way of totality has been shaved off.  The ever-victorious
Arunachala exults over the successful completion of His work of stripping off - His sovereign right -- and performs
an ecstatic dance in that Supreme Space.  (Vetta Veli is supreme space).

                        (Tr. and Commentary by T.R. Kanakammal)

Nattam - ecstatic dance.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1159 on: July 17, 2015, 07:33:28 AM »

Cuddalore Somasundaram Pillai and his family were all ardent devotees of Bhagavan Ramana.  They settled
down in Ramana Nagar, a small colony near Asramam, and were visiting the Asramam, daily.  Uma, the daughter
of Somasundaram Pillai used to sing songs composed by herself, and sang them in Bhagavan's presence.

One evening, Uma who was sitting in the Hall and singing, suddenly came near Bhagavan Ramana and told Him:
" Bhagavan!  I am not here.  There is nothing here.  I am seeing Void, there is nothing else!"  Bhagavan Ramana
who listened to her thoughtfully told her: "Find out who is seeing the Void!"   Uma did not reply.  She went
back and sat peacefully. 

Next morning, Bhagavan Ramana mentioned the Kaivalya Navaneetam verse and told her:  "When you had said,
you are seeing Void, I told you to see who is seeing the Void.  You will soon find out that That is seeing the Void
and you are That."

Uma smiled and kept quiet.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1160 on: July 17, 2015, 10:47:05 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Bhagavan's health was deteriorating very quickly and the darshan hours were often drastically curtailed.
He had a sarcoma in His arm and the toxic by products were spreading to the rest of His body. Several
operations had failed to check the damage.  After one such operation, He gave darshan lying on a couch
outside the Asramam dispensary. His eyes were nearly closed as I approached Him, but as I stood before
Him, Bhagavan opened His eyes and gave me His usual radiant smile. I was so engulfed by this smile,
I forgot to give the customary namaste greeting Him with palms held together in front of the chest,and
the Asramam manager had to remind me to do it.  After I left Bhagavan relapsed into His former state.

Though  I never sought to attract Bhagavan's attention He always seemed to know if I was in His vicinity,
even if He could not see me. On an earlier occasion, when Bhagavan was giving darshan in the new hall,
His view of me was completely obscured by a newspaper that one of His attendants was holding, He
immediately asked the attendant to remove the news paper and then beamed His usual smile at me.

As the darshan hours became less and less, I began to spend more and more time sitting quietly in my room.
I did pradakshina of Arunachala once a week, and I still sat on the mountain every evening, but my life was
beginning to enter a new phase. I would spend hours and hours each day, sitting in my room in a thought-
free state,. in which I had no awareness of either my body or the world. This tendency to withdraw into the
Self became stronger and stronger as the weeks and months went by.

By April 1950, it was clear to everyone that Bhagavan was about to give up His body. The cancer had debilitated
Him to such an extent, He could barely move. About a week before His passing away, I was walking around
the Mother's Temple, the one which was being consecrated on my first visit to the Asramam. On my way round
I stopped to look at the statue of Ganesa that had been recently garlanded. As I gazed at the same, it began
move in its niche.  The head and shoulders started to rock backwards and forwards, and each time it rocked
forwards, the head of Ganesa moved nearer and nearer to mine. I suddenly realized that if I stayed there
any longer, the garland would slip from the statue's neck onto my own. I did not want to be garlanded in this
way, so I moved away from the statue and continued my walk around the temple.

A week later, on the evening of April 14th, I was cleaning my room in Palakottu  when a picture of Bhagavan,
which was normally kept on a stool in the corner of the room, fell to the ground. I put it back in its usual
place, making sure that it was not in a position that would cause its overbalance again. A few minutes later,
it fell to the ground for a second time. I felt intuitively that this was a sign that Bhagavan had left the mortal
coil or was about to leave it. I felt a strong urge to go to the Asramam, but before I could leave I lost
awareness of the world and I became wholly absorbed in the Self for a period of about 2 or 3 hours. Consciousness
of the world returned shortly before 9 pm. when I heard a great noise coming from the Asramam. I knew then
for certain that Bhagavan had already left the mortal coil. I rushed to the back gate of the Asramam the nearest
gate to His asramam, only to find that the police had already locked it.

By the time I made my way into the Asramam, by the front gate, Bhagavan's mortal remains had already been
moved from the room where He had left His mortal coil. It had been put on display outside it. Later that night,
when most of the grieving devotees had left, it was taken inside the new hall.


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

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1161 on: July 17, 2015, 11:56:15 AM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences /Story:

I had seen Bhagavan for the last time earlier that day.  On that occasion, as we looked into each other's eyes,
I experienced such a strong wave of ecstatic bliss, I became completely oblivious of my surroundings.  Now,
seeing Bhagavan's mortal remains, I experienced very little emotion.  People were crying all around me, and
my first reaction was that I too should shed a few tears for my Guru.  But no tears came. I was unhappy that
Bhagavan had His mortal coil, but at the same time, I was unable to cry or participate in the sorrow of the
other devotees because I knew that nothing had really happened. I knew that Bhagaan was the Self before
He gave up the mortal coil and I knew that He was same Self afterwards. Filled with this awareness that nothing
had really happened, I left the thousands of grieving devotees and silently returned to my room.

Most of Bhagavan's devotees left the are within a few days of the funeral, but since I had no urge to go anywhere,
I remained in my room in Palakottu.  In the weeks and months that followed, my health began to deteriorate.
I spent most of my time in my room in a state of deep samadhi in which  it was impossible for me to pay any
attention to the body's needs. When the girl who cooked for me brought my midday meal, I often ignored it.
Sometimes, I ate it, but mostly I gave it back to the girl to eat herself. After several weeks of living like this,
my body began to waste away. I started ti get attacks of dizziness when I stood up and my digestive system
started to malfunction.  One attack of food poisoning left me so weak, I discovered that I did not even have
the strength to pull a bucket of water and pulled, the weight of the water pulled me into the tank. In my weakened
state I was lucky to survive at all. One Sadhu I knew succumbed to cholera and died, and there was an epidemic
of malaria in the area that was also claiming many lives.

I ignored all these events and continued to sit quietly in my room. While I was inside I only ever wore a kaupina,
but none of the thousands of mosquitoes that shared the room with me ever bothered to bite me. The only other
occupant of the room was a squirrel that used to sit on my lap when I was in Samadhi. I used to keep some
peanuts near me, and whenever I emerged from Samadhi, the squirrel would eat a few out of my hand.


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

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1162 on: July 17, 2015, 12:16:39 PM »
Lakshmana Swami Reminiscences / Story:

News of weakened condition reached my relatives in Gudur. Despite our previous quarrels, they were still
concerned about me. They asked me to return to Gudur where I could be properly looked after, but I refused
to leave. Sometime later, my mother and brother came to visit for a few days. When they discovered the extent
to which I was neglecting my body, they renewed their attempts to get me to come back to Gudur. My brother
offered to build a hut for me where I could live alone and also undertook to provide me with food. I again refused
saying that I did not want to leave Arunachala.

I spent a total of 9 months in Palakottu, mostly just sitting quietly in my room. Towards the end of this period
my skin turned yellow and it stayed that way for the next three years. Around October 1950, I finally admitted
to myself that I was no longer capable of looking after my body. I had no one to take care of me, and I was
never aware of my body for long enough to do the job myself. Reluctantly, I decided that I would accept my
brother's offer, to go back to Gudur and let my family look after me.

David Godman's notes about Lakshmana Swami's later years:

Lakshmana Swami spent most of the next three years in Samadhi, living in a small hut that his family
built for him. Because of his ascetic life style,-- he was sitting in Padmasana for twenty hours a day and
rarely eating - he attracted a large following.  He tried to avoid everyone by remaining locked inside his hut.
But when he announced that he would meet people who wanted to see him twice a year, he was mobbed by
tens of thousands of people. When he finally began to live a more normal life,in the late 1950s, eating normally
and going for walks, the visitors mostly stopped coming. Most of them thought that he had fallen from his
previous high state. From the mid-fifties on, he lived a secluded life in a house near Gudur, that had been provided
for him by a devotee from Nellore.  He began to meet with people on a regular basis, in the 1960s but he
always preferred to live a private solitary life. Around 1990, he moved back to Tiruvannamalai. Nowadays*,
he rarely meets people who want to visit him, and in the last few years it has only been possible to see him
on five designated public darshan days.

* written in 2001.

Some of the materials for compilation of David Godman are also taken from a Telugu biography titled Yogeeswara
Sri Lakshmana.

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

Arunachala Siva,


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1163 on: July 17, 2015, 01:12:57 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Sri Viswanatha Swami, (1904-1979) was a distant relative of Bhagavan.  His father, a cousin of Bhagavan, had been
brought up by Bhagavan's Mother in Tiruchuzhi.  In his youth Viswanatha was an active Gandhian, but his political
activities petered out after he came under the influence of Bhagavan, in 1921. From 192 until 1950, he spent most
of his time either with Bhagavan or with Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni.

Sri Viswanatha Swami was a good Tamizh and Sanskrit scholar.  In addition to translating several Ramanasramam
publications from English and Sanskrit into Tamizh, he also trasnalted works by Swami Ramadas and Mahatma
Gandhi. Towards the end of his life he was the editor of Mountain Path, the journal published by Sri Ramanasramam.

Sri Viswanatha Swami was one of the most widely respected of Bhagavan's devotees.  In fact, when Bhagavan passed
away,a committee which had been formed to manage the Asramam recommended that he  and Muruganar should be
allowed to remain in Sri Ramanasramam for ever, without any work being assigned to them, because they best
embodied the spirit of Bhagavan and His teachings.

Although Sri Viswanatha Swami was happy to record the experiences that other devotees had with Bhagavan,
he was rather reluctant to write about himself.  This reluctance stemmed partly from his inner humility and
partly from an inability to communicate in words the nature of the transformation that Bhagavan  effected on
him.  He once wrote: 'Sri Bhagavan's most powerful presence completely annihilated my ego. I can not say
anything more.'

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


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1164 on: July 17, 2015, 04:25:11 PM »
Viswantha Swami Reminiscences /Story:

My first darshan of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, was in January 1921, at Skandasramam.  Located on the eastern
slope of Arunachala, Skandasramam looks from a distance like the very heart of the majestic hill. It was,
and still is, a beautiful, quiet spot, with a few coconut and other trees,, and a perennial, crystal clear spring.

When I first saw Bhagavan, I saw in Him something quite arresting which clearly distinguished Him from all
others I had seen.  He seemed to live apart from the physical frame, quite detached from it. His look and
smile had a remarkable spiritual charm.  When He spoke, the words seemed to come out of an abyss. One
could see immaculate purity and non attachment in Him and His movements. I sensed something very refined,
lofty and sacred about Him. In His vicinity the mind's distractions were overpowered by an austere and potent
calmness. In His presence the unique bliss of peace was directly experienced.  This  I would call Ramana Lahari,
'The blissful atmosphere of Ramana'. In this ecstasy of grace one loses one's sense of separate individuality
and there remains something grand and all pervading, all devouring. This indeed is the spirit of Arunachala
that swallows up the while universe in its gracious effulgence.

When I first saw Bhagavan, He was standing on the open space in front of the Asramam building.  The very sight
of Him thrilled me.  Something very subtle, seeming with its center in that body, shone forth, without limitation,
engulfing everything else.  Needless to say I felt swallowed up by it,  I stayed for a week with Bhagavan in that
atmosphere of utter purity and serenity. I heard from Him how He had come to Arunachala, irresistibly attracted
and  swept off His feet by a tremendous benevolent force; how, deep down within His heart, He was one with
that power. I also learned that after His arrival at Arunachala, He had been almost oblivious of His body and
surroundings.  I was told that it was only later on that He gradually regained the use of His senses, enabling
Him to look outwards and commune with others when they approached Him.

On my first visit there were about 10 devotees living with Him, including His Mother and younger brother. One
of them was Vallimalai Murugan who, for a while every morning, sang the Tamizh sons of the Tiruppugazh with
great fervor. These well known songs, the remarkable outpourings of the famous Saint, Sri Arunagiri Nathar,are
songs in praise of Subramanian. When he sang, Bhagavan used to keep time by tapping with two small sticks
on the two rings of an iron brazier of live coal that was kept in front of Him. Fumes of incense spread out in
rolls from the brazier, suffused with the subtle holy atmosphere of Bhagavan.  While Bhagavan's hands were
tapping at the brazier in this way, His unfathomable look of grace gave one a glimpse of the beyond in silence.
It was an unforgettable experience.


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

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1165 on: July 18, 2015, 07:36:23 AM »

On the afternoon 23rd May 1946, Bhagavan Ramana was explaining the following to Mr. Poonja, a Punjabi,
upon his question:

" I ask you to see where the "I" arises in your body, but it is really not quite correct to say that the "I" rises
from and merges in the Heart in the right side of the chest.  The Heart is another name for the Reality and It
is neither inside nor outside the body.  There can be no in or out for it.  Since It alone is.  I do not mean by 'heart'
any physiological organ or any plexus of nerves or anything like that, but so long as one identifies oneself
with the body, and thinks he is in the body he is advised to see where in the body the "I-thought" rises and
merges again.  It must be the Heart, at the right side of the chest since every man, of whatever race and religion
and in whatever language he may be   saying "I", points to the right side of the chest to indicate himself.  This is so
all over the world, so that must be the place.  And by keenly watching the daily emergence of the "I-thought" on
waking and its subsiding in sleep, one can see that it is in the heart on the right side."

(Source:  Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace,
Volume 5. Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

Arunachala Siva.         


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1166 on: July 18, 2015, 07:40:27 AM »

A temple priest from Dwaraka, after visiting Pondicherry, came to the Asramam to see Bhagavan Ramana.  He asked in Sanskrit:

"I wish to get Sakshatkaram of Krishna.  What should I do to get it?"

Bhagavan Ramana said with reference to the priest's question,

"I do not want to disturb his faith, but wanted to tell him, Just leave it to Sri Krishna -- even this Sakshatkara
of Krishna."

Bhagavan Ramana added:

"What is your idea of Sri Krishna and what do you mean by Sakshatkara?"

On this the priest replied: 

"I mean the Sri Krishna who lived in Brindavan and I want to see him as the gopikas saw him."

Bhagavan Ramana replied:

"You see, you think he is a human being or one with a human form, the son of so and so, etc., whereas he
himself has said:  I am in the Heart of all beings, I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all forms of life."
He must be within you, as within all. He is your Atman or the Atman of your Atman.  So if you see this entity or have Sakshatkara of it, you will have Sakshatkara of Sri Krishna.  Atma Sakshatkaram and Sakshatkaram of Sri Krishna
cannot be different.  However, to go you own way, surrender completely to Sri Krishna and leave it to him to grant the
Sakshatkara you want."

(Source:  Arunachala's Ramana, Boundless Ocean of Grace,
Volume 5.  Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1167 on: July 18, 2015, 12:21:06 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

There was also a devotee from Chidambaram, Subramanya Iyer, who often sang with great fervor the hymns in
praise of Arunachala written by Bhagavan, songs in praise of Bhagavan written by His devotees, and hymns from
Tiruvachakam.  One morning when he began a song with the refrain 'Ramana Sadguru, Ramana Sadguru, Ramana
Sadguru Rayane!,' Bhagavan also joined in the singing.  The devotees were amused and began to laugh at
Bhagavan Himself singing His own praise.

While they were expressing their amusement, Bhagavan commented, 'What is extraordinary about it? Why
should one limit Ramana to a form of six feet?  Is it not the all pervading divinity that you adore when you sing
'Ramana Sadguru, Ramana Sadguru'? Why should I not also join in the singing?' We all left lifted to Bhagavan's

Before beginning their day's work, the inmates of the Asramam would get up at dawn and sing some devotional
songs in praise of both Arunachala and Bhagavan Ramana. During one of these sessions, after Niranjananada Swami
had told Bhagavan that I could recite hymns in Sanskrit, Bhagavan looked at me expectantly. Seeing that it was
impossible to avoid it, I recited a few verses.

When I had finished Bhagavan gently looked at me and said,'You have learned all this. Not so in my case.
Before I came here I knew nothing and had learned nothing. Some mysterious power took possession of
me and effected a thorough transformation. Whoever knew then what was happening to me? Your father
who was intending in his boyhood to go to the Himalayas for tapas, became the head of a big family. And I,
who knew nothing, have been drawn and kept here for good! When I left home in my seventeenth year, I was
like a speck swept away by a tremendous flood. I knew neither my body nor the world, whether it was day or
night.  It was difficult even to open my my eyes - the eyelids seemed to glued down. My body became a mere
skeleton. Visitors pitied my plight because they were now aware how blissful I was. It was only years later that
I came across the word 'Brahman' when I happened to look into some books on Vedanta which had been
brought to me. I was amused and said to myself, "is this (experience or state) known as Brahman?'

One of the earliest of Bhagavan's devotees, Sivaprakasam Pillai, has referred to this early ignorance at the
beginning of Sri Ramana Charita Ahaval, his brief Tamizh verse biography of Bhagavan. In that work, he
called Bhagavan, 'One who became a knower of Brahman without knowing even the term Brahman.'


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

Arunachala Siva.                             


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1168 on: July 18, 2015, 12:47:21 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences /Story:

Finding that I knew a little Sanskrit, Bhagavan asked me to take a copy of Sri Ramana Gita and give it to my
father. I did so, and it was only after going through it that my father understood Bhagavan. At that time I
had not studied the contents myself. It was only at the end of 1922 that I happened to go through the thrilling
verses in praise of Bhagavan Ramana that comprise the eighteenth chapter. I was so profoundly moved by them,
I made up my mind to return to Bhagavan for good. I had already been thinking of dedicating myself solely to
spiritual pursuits.  It was the reading of Sri Ramana Gita at this critical juncture of my life that made me decide
that my spiritual future lay with Bhagavan.

I returned to Bhagavan for good on the evening of January 2nd 1923 and surrendered myself at His feet.
Just a fortnight before that date, Bhagavan had come down the Hill to live near His Mother's Samadhi.
His Mother had been liberated by Him in May 1922, but it was not until December of that year that He took
a full time residence near Her Samadhi.  The new Asramam was in a primitive state at that time. There were
only two huts made of coconut leaves, one being the living quarters and the other kitchen. I entered the hut
where Bhagavan was staying and saw Him reclining peacefully on an elevated  dais.

As I bowed and stood before Him, He asked me, 'Did you get the permission of your parents to come here?'

Bhagavan must have sensed that I had run away from home, without telling anyone. I had not informed my
family because I knew that my father would have never given me permission to live full time with Bhagavan.
I tried to evade the question by telling Bhagavan that since He Himself had irresistibly attracted me to His
feet, it was not necessary for Him to ask such a question. With a smile Bhagavan advised me to inform my
parents of my whereabouts so that they would not worry about what I had done. I wrote to my father the next
day and saw his letter to the Asramam inquiring about me the day after.

I soon discovered that the power and the presence of Bhagavan were so strong, there was no necessity to undertake
any formal kind of sadhana. I shared in the work of the Asramam in Bhagavan's elevating company. I studied His
literary works and I heard His replies to the various questions put by visitors.  But all these activities were
incidental.  The most important thing was His mere presence, the spiritually uplifting company of Bhagavan.     
As Bhagavan says in Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham: If one associates with sages, where is the need  for any other
rigorous sadhana?  No one looks for a fan when there is the pleasant southern breeze.'


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

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1169 on: July 18, 2015, 02:51:44 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

During the course of my stay with Bhagavan, I happened to find a collection of hymns in praise of Sri Ramana,
recorded in a big bound notebook.  Going through it I came across a Hymn of 108 Names of Bhagavan Ramana,
composed by a man called Sankarananda Bharati of Uttarakashi, who had stayed with Bhagavan, on the Hill.
Going through it I found the name of Sringadri Mathadhisa Bhavitah, which means, 'One who revered by the
head of Sringeri Math.; and asked Bhagavan what it meant.  He told me that reference was to Sri Narasimha
Bharati Swami of Sringeri, who, many years before, had intuitively recognized Bhagavan's high state.  This
man retained his high regard for Bhagavan.  If devotees from Tiruvannamalai came to see him, he would generally
ask them, 'How is Bala Yogi of Tiruvannamalai? Is He well?'

As Bhagavan was telling me this, I was ttansported back in time to the days of my youth and childhood. When I
was five years old I had met Sri Narasimha Bharati Swami and received some prasad from hid hands. At that time
I did not know who he was. Although I was very young, I still remember being impressed by his dignity, his lustre
and his spontaneous love.

Years later, when I was thirteen, I happened to be looking at a beautiful collection of Sri Sanakra's works in my
father's library.  Finding one of the books to be of a different size, I took it out and saw that it bore the title,
'Bhakti Sudha Tarangini'  (Waves of the Nectar of Devotion), As I opened the book, I found in the frontispiece
the majestic and lovely figure of the Swami who had given me the prasad in my sixth year and saw that he was
the famous Sri Narasimha Bharati Swami, the head of Sringeri Math.  Though so many years had passed, the impress
left on my mind was so vivid, I spontaneously recognized his identity. I went through his short biography in English
at the beginning and his thrilling hymns in Sanskrit in praise of various aspects of divine splendor. I immensely
enjoyed the superb devotional poetry. It pleased me to think that this man, who had introduced me to the spiritual
life by impressing me with his saintliness, should have had sch a high regard for Bhagavan.

A week after I arrived, I got the permission of Bhagavan to live on madhukari, that is, begged food.  After giving   
me permission, Bhagavan reminisced about His own experiences of living this way:

'I have experience of it myself. I lived on such food during my stay at Pavalakundru ( a small hillock in the town
of Tiruvannamalai). I did it to avoid devotees bringing me special rich food.  It is altogether different from
professional mendicancy.  You feel yourself independent and indifferent to everything worldly. It has a purifying
effect on the mind.'

In the day I arrived at the Asramam to stay for good, I noticed that there were many devotees visiting the
Asramam.  They had all assembled for the forty third birth day of Bhagavan, which was due to be celebrated
on the following day. I wanted to ask Bhagavan some questions, but I did not want to trouble Him, while all
the crowds were milling around Him. It was not until after they had left I approached Him with my problem.


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

Arunachala Siva.