Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 380689 times)


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1170 on: July 18, 2015, 03:20:44 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminscences /Story:

'Bhagavan', I asked, 'how am I to rise above my present animal existence?  My own efforts in that direction
have proved futile and I am convinced that only a superior power can transform me. This is what has brought
me here.'

Bhagavan replied with great compassion: 'Yes, you are right. It is only by awakening a power mightier than the
senses and the mind that these can be subdued. If you awaken and nurture the growth of that power within you,
everything else will be conquered.  One should sustain the current of meditation uninterruptedly. Moderation in
food and similar restraints will be helpful in maintaining the inner poise.'

It was this gracious advice of Bhagavan that gave me a new direction to my spiritual career.  A new faith was
kindled within me and I found in Bhagavan the strength and support to guide me forever.

On another day, when I questioned Him about the problem of brahmacharya (celibacy), Bhagavan replied: ''To
live and move in Brahman is real Brahmacharya. Continence, of course, is very helpful and indispensable to
achieve that end. But so long as you identify yourself with the body, you can never escape sexual thoughts and
distractions. It is only when you realize that you are formless pure awareness that sex distinction disappears for
good. That is brahmacharya, effortless and spontaneous.'

I also asked Him about the nature of  the spiritual heart. 'When did you first discover the heart to be on the
right side?  Did you find it there even in Madurai?'

'Yes', replied Bhagavan, 'it became clear then. But don't bother about the center in the physical body, even
though we have to accept it to explain the functioning of the individual. Let your attention be rather on the
source of consciousness in yourself.  It is only after the springing up of the 'I' thought, after it identifies itself
with a body, the problem of the center arises.  You have to go to the very source of the 'I' thought, where there
is no limiting 'I' thought and no problems.'

To a devotee who thought that this method would lead to a destruction of the mind and who consequently felt
that the Self realization meant that he would cease to exist, Bhagavan once remarked, 'Many fear that with the
destruction of the mind, they themselves cease to exist. But manonasa (destruction of the mind) is nothing to
be feared. What we conceive of now as mind is only a combination of rajas and tamas.  By their elimination, the
mind becomes pure. Such a mind is one's own Swarupa (real nature). The activities of one whose mind has been
purified by Self attention will continue to be done. He will even appear to do the work with greater attention and
involvement. Yet he is unaffected and always stays in the felicity of non dual bliss.'


(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 #1171 on: July 19, 2015, 07:18:35 AM »

On 23rd April 1946, a Muslim youth came to Asramam with two or three friends.  From the way he sat down,
I felt that he wanted to ask Bhagavan Ramana, some questions.  He began asking in Tamizh:

Question:  "How can one know Allah?  How can one see Him?"

That was the purport of his questions.  As usual, Bhagavan Ramana said:  "If you first find out who is that is
questioning, you can then know Allah."

The young men said again:  "If I meditate on this stick, thinking it is Allah, can I see Allah?"  How am I to see Allah?"

Bhagavan said:  "The real thing, which is never destructible, is known as Allah.  If you first find out the truth about yourself, the truth about Allah will present itself."

That was enough to dispose of him.  He went away with his friends.  Soon after they left, Bhagavan remarked to
those by His side:

"See, he wants to see Allah!  Is it possible to see with these eyes? How could these eyes ever perceive?"

KaNNukku KaNNai KaNN enri KaN unai,
KaNuvthu evar par arunachala!

You are the sight within the eye and without the eyes You see. Who can see You but Yourself, O Arunachala!


Eye of the eye You are, and without eyes You see.  Who can
see you, O Arunachala!


You are the all-seeing Witness, seeing all sights and seen by none.  Who can see You?  If is for You to see me
and give me Your Grace, O Arunachala!

            (Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

(Source:  Suri Nagamma's Letters from Sri Ramansramam.)

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1172 on: July 19, 2015, 07:23:26 AM »

Devaraja Mudaliar's writings in Day by Day, entry dated 25th April 1946:

A visitor asked Bhagavan:  "When I try to be without thoughts, I pass into sleep.  What should I do about it?

Bhagavan Ramana:  Once you go to sleep, you can do nothing about it.  But while you are awake, try to keep
away all thoughts.

Bhagavan Ramana then quoted the Gita and said:  "We should not sleep very much or go without it altogether,
but sleep only moderately.  To prevent too much sleep we must try and have no thoughts or chalana (movement
of the mind).  We must eat only Sattvic food and that too only in moderate measure, and not
indulge in too much physical activity.  The more we control thoughts, food and activity, the more shall we be able
to control sleep. But moderation ought to be the rule, as explained in Gita, for the sadhak on the path.  Sleep is
the first obstacle.  The second is said to be vikshepa or the sense objects of the world which divert one's attention.
The third is called kashaya or thoughtless mind, where the mind is in laya. about previous experiences with the
sense objects.  The fourth, which is ananda, is also called an obstacle because in that state is a feeling of separation
from the source of ananda, enabling the enjoyer to say that I am enjoying ananda.  Even this has to be
surmounted and the final stage of Samadhana or Samadhi has to be reached when one becomes Ananda or Reality,
the Sat Chit Ananda. 

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1173 on: July 19, 2015, 10:49:13 AM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences - Story:

Four months after my arrival at Arunachala, my parents came there to have darshan of Bhagavan and to take
me back home.  Though they did not succeed in this latter intention, they were somehow consoled by Bhagavan
before they returned.  He asked them if it were possible to wean a person like me from a course I had taken with
all my heart and soul.

Bhagavan told my parents that it would be right for them to try to discourage me from taking a wrong path,
but He added, 'Since the course he has taken is intrinsically good, you should not worry abut what will happen
to him.'

My father was a cousin of Bhagavan. Though he has four or five years older than Bhagavan, he had known Him
very well as Venkataraman in the days before He left home for Tiruvnnamalai.  At the time of this first visit, he
had already heard from others about Bhagavan's spiritual greatness, and he had also gone through His teachings
in Sri Ramana Gita.  However, he had not been sure of what his reaction would be on seeing Bhagavan. He decided
to go to Him with an open mind and judge for himself what He was. The moment he sighted Bhagavan in  the stone
mantapam across the road from Sri Ramanasramam, he was overpowered by a sense of genuine veneration.

He fell at His feet in adoration, saying, 'There is nothing of the Venkataraman whom I knew very well in what I
see in front of me!'

Bhagavan replied with a smile: 'That person disappeared for every a long time ago.'

My father then explained that he had not visited Bhagavan before because he felt that he had not generated enough
dispassion and non attachment to approach such a great sage

Bhagavan replied, 'Is that so? You seem to be obsessed by the delusion that you are going to achieve these things
in the distant future. If you recognize your real nature, the Self, to what can it be attached?  Dispassion is our real

Since the Asramam buildings were being repaired, Bhagavan was staying in a huge stone mantapam on the
other side of the road from the Asramam.  Devotees had His darshan there, but at meal times, we all moved
back over the road and ate our meals under the shade of huge mango tree that was located on the Asramam's
land. Water from the Asramam well was stored in big pots under this tree because it was the coolest place in
the neighborhood.  At meal times, we enjoyed the shade of the tree and the grace of Bhagavan which, like a
cool breeze, blew off our torments.


(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 #1174 on: July 19, 2015, 11:07:01 AM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Bhagavan advised me to engage myself in non stop japa, day and night, except during hours of sleep. He
also encouraged me to study His teachings. I subsequently studied Sri Ramana Gita, in His presence,
drinking in the import of every verse in it. In addition, I also had the good fortune of listening to Bhagavan
explain the meaning of His hymns to Arunachala.  This was done in a very informal way. During His morning
and evening walks I would follow Him and listen as He expounded in great detail the significance of each
inspired verse.

Early one morning, when there was no one else near Bhagavan, He suggested that we both might go round
Arunachala and return before the others could notice His absence and begin to search for Him. He took me
by the forest path and suggested that Sankara's Hymns in Praise of Dakshinamurti might be taken up for
discussion on the way.  We walked quickly and within three hours we had completed our walk.  We ended up
sitting at Pandava Tirtham, a tank located a little to the east of the Asramam. In the early days of Sri Ramanssramam,
Bhagavan often used to bathe in this tank.

I shall not pretend I understood everything that Bhagavan said in explaining the import of the hymn. The
spiritual exhilaration of being alone in His company was quite enough for me.

On the morning after Bhagavan's forty third Jayanti, my attention had been particularly gripped by a radiant
personality who stood out in the gathering of devotees. He was, as I came to know, Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni.
At once I saw that he was not merely a learned man, he was also a poet and a tapasvin.  His broad forehead,
bright eyes, aquiline nose, charming face, and beard, and the melodious ring in his voice, -- all these
proclaimed that he was a rishi to b ranked with the foremost of the Vedic seers. I soon had the privilege
of meeting him because Bhagavan thought that it would be beneficial for me to study under him.

I had learned by heart, even before coming to Bhagavan, the three portions of the famous Taittiriya Upanishad,
which nowadays are chanted every morning before Bhagavan's samadhi. When I expressed to Bhagavan  my
aspirations to learn the import of this Upanishad, He directed me to Ganapati Muni, familiarly known as Nayana,
who was then living in the Mango Tree Cave, on the eastern slope of Arunachala.  This cave had been Bhagavan's
summer residence during His early years on the Hill.  It was a cool spot, located in the shade of a big mango tree,
with a clear spring of water, a little above it. I went to the cave and waited at its outer precincts.


(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 #1175 on: July 19, 2015, 12:57:08 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Within a few minutes Ganapati Muni came out. There was the fragrance of tapas in his presence and in the whole
atmosphere.  After sitting in silence for a few minutes,  I asked him for the explanation of a passage in the
Taittiriya Upanishad, that embodies the experience of the sage Trisanku. It begins 'Aham virkshasya rariva',
and means, 'I am the force operating behind the Tree of Existence'.  Nayana gave such a lucid and illuminating
explanations of it, I decided there was no need to ask him any further questions. Every word coming out of his
mouth had scriptural clarity and sanctity.

Even though he was a great scholar and tapasvin, he used direct to Bhagavan all those who went to him, saying,
'To learn from Him first hand has a special effect.'  And Bhagavan, on His part, used to send those who approached
Him with questions on traditional worship to Nayana, as he was the accepted authority on the subject. Such was the
relationship between the Master and His famous disciple. I had many opportunities to notice the special regard
Bhagavan had for this learned poet-disciple who, from his early youth, dedicated his whole life to tapas.

In 1920, Nayana lived for four months in a small tiled room facing Ganapati temple of Palakottu. During that
period I had the rare privilege of sharing his room and serving him.  He was a very simple man with few wants,
so i was a pleasure to serve him.  It involved no physical or mental strain at all.  Having a natural inner poise, he
was always relaxed, despite his brilliance and quick wit.  Everyone felt the warmth of his friendliness and the air
of purity and peace about him.

It was no wonder therefore that Bhagavan Ramana, despite  His equal vision, had some special regard and love
for him.  This expressed itself in many ways.  During the early years Bhagavan used to go alone, without any
attendant, for His short afternoon stroll through Palakottu. At these times He would often drop in on Nayana
and spend a few minutes with him.  The familiarity with which Bhagavan moved with His intimate devotees was
heart warming.  But, ultimately, it was neither what He did nor what He said that mattered. It was His glorious
presence, shining all around, that attracted us all to Him.


(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 #1176 on: July 19, 2015, 01:18:22 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Bhagavan was opposed to any sort of waste or extravagance. 'How do you light the fire in your charcoal stove?' He
asked me one day.

I told Him that I used a bit of old rag rolled up and dipped into kerosene. Smilingly, He scolded me for wasting kerosene
when the fire could easily be lit with some of the dry twigs and leaves lying around, or with bits of waste paper.

On another occasion He saw sine small bits of paper, about one inch by six, lying on the floor of Nayana's room and
asked him if they were of any use to him. Nayana replied that they were waste pieces.  He had been cutting some
sheets of paper to a uniform size.  These strips were the left over scraps.

Bhagavan said, 'I can stitch these pieces together and make a little notebook the size of a thumb and use it for
writing something in.'

Nayana beamed with pleasure at this economy, but I, to save Bhagavan the trouble, offered to do it myself.

Perceiving my motive,  Bhagavan remarked, 'All right, but you are to show me the stitched notebook and the use
you make of it.'

When I undertook to do so,  Bhagavan dropped the matter since He had confidence in my sincerity. As soon as
Bhagavan had left I made a tiny notebook out of the bits of paper and wrote down in it the 108 verses of the
Indra Sahasranama Stotra and its seven concluding verses that were composed by Ganapati Muni in 1929.
This work contains a thousand names of Indra culled from the Rig Veda.  Nayana composed this literary names,
adding no other words.  'Indra' refers here, of course, to the Supreme Being, not to Indra of the Puranas, who
rises to a godly state by merit and again falls from it.

Bhagavan had appreciated the deep, spiritual significance of these names when they had been read out to Him
during the composition of the work.  The next morning, when I showed Bhagavn the tiny notebook with the Indra
Sahasranama written in it in small script, He scrutinized, as was His way, not only the contents but the stitching
and the general appearance as well. He then exclaimed, 'You have kept your promise and made the best use of
the bits of paper.'

Unfortunately, I somehow lost that precious notebook that was handled and perused by Bhagavan. I need not
say how glad I shall be if this lost treasure is found.


(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 #1177 on: July 19, 2015, 03:31:49 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

One evening Nayana asked Bhagavan about the forests which at that time still existed on and around Arunachala,
saying that he had been in forests in other parts of India but not here.  Bhagavan, full of benevolence, at once
offered to take him to see them.

He said with a radiant, almost boyish smile, 'Nayana, there is not an inch of ground on Arunachala, that has not been
trodden by these feet during the time when I was living on the Hill, especially during the Virukpaksha period. I have
been up all the hills and down all the valleys.  I have roamed about in the interior regions where no forest guard
would dare to go.'

On a cloudy day, a few days later, I went to Bhagavan after lunch as usual.  He was sitting alone. As soon as
He saw me He asked what Nayana was doing and whether i would suit him  to go for a walk in the forest.  I replied
that Nayana was writing something but he would jump with joy and gladly drop it if he heard of Bhagavan's proposal.

'Go and tell him then, and be ready', Bhagavan said. 'I will slip out of the Asramam unobserved, so as to avoid a
crowd, and meet you near your room.

Bhagavan joined us a few minutes later and the three* of us wended our way towards the forest, led of course
by Bhagavan,  the born leader through uncharted regions,  physical as well as spiritual. We entered the second
forest path, cutting through the cattle fair ground west of Palakottu.  After passing the beautiful little temple of
Draupadi, Bhagavan took us on to the third forest path that skirts the slopes of Arunachala at varying heights.
We passed through a dense forest where creepers entwined trees and bushes. There were a few streams, some
of them flowing and some dried up.  As we proceeded along the winding, rugged path, enjoying the beauty of
the scenery and the ever changing aspects of the changeless Arunachala, the clouds cleared away and let the
sunlight in for a few minutes.  Knowing that Nayana could not stand the heat of the sun on his head because
of a yogic experience he had had a few years ago before, Bhagavan took us to a spreading tree that stood at the
edge of a forest pond.

'See Nayana', He said, 'this is the tree known as ingudi, which is famous for its cooling shade and medicinal
properties.  It is described in Sakuntala (of Kalidasa) and other famous Sanskrit works.  We call it Nizhali in
Tamizh because its shade wards off the effects of the hot sun very quickly.'  And five minutes under the shade
of the tree proved it to be so.

As soon as the clouds gathered overhead again, giving enough shade for Nayana to proceed, Bhagavan took us
deeper into the forest. He found a very pleasant place for us to rest on the bed of a dried up stream, shaded by
a huge rock.  We did not speak much.  In such circumstances, one does not feel like disturbing the eloquent silence
of Bhagavan by indiscreet talk or even thought.  His silence was His teaching, and none of us wanted to interrupt it.

Time passed unnoticed in the gripping presence of the Lord of Silence.  Eventually Nayana suggested that it was
getting rather late for Bhagavan's return to the Asramam.  Bhagavan remarked that if we waited a little longer,
we could take advantage of the afternoon breeze.  He added that the breeze would make our return walk very
pleasant. A few minutes later, the breeze did indeed start. At about the same time, we heard of someone moving
through the bushes to see who it was, I saw Muruganar's head above the bushes and announced his presence
to Bhagavan. Bhagavan, who was a marvelous actor, placed His finger along the side of His nose, as was His habit
when surprised, and expressed astonishment that Muruganar could have penetrated so deeply into the forest and
discovered us.  Muruganar by this time caught the sight of us and heard our voices. A few minutes later, he joined
us and prostrated at full length before Bhagavan, his face flushed with emotion. Bhagavan immediately asked him
how he head manged to find us in such an unfrequented spot, where even a forest guard would find it hard to do so.

* Annamalai Swami also accompanied them, according to David Godman, in his book 'Living By the Words
of Bhagavan'.


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

Arunachala Siva.                     
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 04:29:27 PM by Subramanian.R »


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1178 on: July 20, 2015, 07:23:40 AM »

On 10th May 1946, Krishna Jivrajani said to Bhagavan:

During Sadhana I feel that something is going up. Is that right or should it go down?

Bhagavan:  Never mind, whether something goes up or down. Does it exist without you?  Never forget that.
Whatever experience may come, remember who has the experience and thus cling to "I" or the Self.

Jivarajani:  Suppose there is some disturbance during meditation, such as mosquito bites, should one persist
in meditation and try to bear the bites and ignore the interruption or drive the mosquitoes away and then
continue the meditation?

Bhagavan:  You must do as you find most convenient. You will not attain mukti simply because you refrain from
driving the mosquitoes away.  Nor being denied mukti simply because you drive them away. The thing is to attain
is one pointedness and then attain mano nasa. Whether you do this by putting up with the mosquito bites or
driving the mosquitoes away is left to you.  If you are completely absorbed in your meditation,  you will not even know
that the mosquitoes are biting you.  Till you attain that stage why should you not drive away them away?

(Recall Bhagavan Ramana staying inside the Patalalingam shrine for many days and when He was lifted and brought
out, the devotees found His thighs oozing blood with insect and scorpion bites and there was puss formation too!)

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

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1179 on: July 20, 2015, 07:26:51 AM »

A Muslim visitor put some questions to Bhagavan Ramana, on 20th April 1946.

Question:  The Lord has created all this, has He not?  What was created first?  It is said light or sound was
created first.

Bhagavan:  All these things which you say have been created, have to be seen by you say that they exist.
There must be a seer.  If you find out who that seer is, then you will know about creation and which was created first.

Question:  Can we call anything created, like this piece of wood, for example, by God?  It is said that it is very wrong
to do so.

Bhagavan:  Even the piece of wood, does it exist apart from God?  Can we confine God to any time or place, since
He is everywhere and in everything?  We should not see anything apart from God.  That is all.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1180 on: July 20, 2015, 11:50:37 AM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Muruganar explained in a voice choked with emotion that he had been present when Nayana had expressed his
wish to see the forests.  He had heard Bhagavan offering to take him for a walk and had decided that he too
would like to come with Bhagavan into the forest. Since that day, Muruganar, who lived in the Arunachaleswara
Temple in town, had been coming daily to the Asramam as early as possible in the afternoon since he believed
that this was the time when Bhagavan would undertake the walk. On the day of our expedition Bhagavan was
absent from the Hall when he had arrived.  He soon ascertained that no one in the Asramam had any knowledge
of His whereabouts.  Wasting no time, he went straight to Nayana's room in Palakottu and found it locked.  He
asked the temple watchman where we were and was told that earlier in the afternoon Nayana and I had seen walking
with Bhagavan in the direction of the cattle fair ground. Some intuition had then made him choose the path he did.
Finding was a remarkable feat, for we were about two miles from the Asramam when he found us.

All the three of us returned with Bhagavan to the Asramam, unaware of anything but Bhagavan's grace, the
only reality, which shines through all forms of movements and plays hide and seek with us all.

The grace that Bhagavan was constantly emanating had been felt by mature devotees even in the late 1890s
when Bhagavan was silent, unheralded, and largely unknown. The visit of Achyutadasa, who was one of the
earliest devotees to discern Bhagavan's greatness, clearly illustrates this.  Achyutadasa had been known as
Abboy Naidu before he renounced the world.  He was skilled in playing upon the mridangam, and had composed
Tamizh kirtanas of great merit, which are both devotional and advaitic.  Having heard of about Sri Bhagavan, he
went to Gurumurtam temple in which Sri Bhagavan had briefly lived during the closing years of the 19th century.
He sat in front of Sri Bhagavan, who was immersed in nirvikalpa samadhi, and waited.

When Sri Bhagavan opened His eyes, he paid his respects to Him, massaged His feet and exclaimed with great
devotional fervor, 'One may be a great scholar, an author or a composer and everything else in the world.
But it is indeed very rare to come across anyone actually established in the Self like you'.  He then announced
to his own disciples that there was 'something very rare at Tiruvannamalai', meaning Sri Bhagavan.


(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 #1181 on: July 20, 2015, 01:43:45 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Bhagavan's  power occasionally impressed or subdued even those who were very skeptical about His state.
Vilacheri Mani Iyer, who was a senior schoolmate of Bhagavan, is a good example of this.  At school he
was noted for his physical strength and for his rough dealing with anybody whom he disliked. His nickname,
Pokkiri Mani (Rogue Mani) shows what most people thought of Him.  He never went to any temple to worship,
nor had he ever bowed down before any god or man. A few years after Bhagavan had settled down in
Tiruvannamalai, Vilacheri Mani Iyer took his mother to the temple at Tirupati.  He only went on that trip because
his mother needed someone to accompany her. His mother wanted to alight at Tiruvannamalai, which was on
their way, to see Venkataraman whom she had known as a small boy in Tiruchuzhi.. But Mani Iyer did not agree
saying that it was not worth the trouble, so they went direct to Tirupati.  On their way back to Madurai , the mother
again pressed her son and he had to yield to her request. But he agreed only on condition that he was allowed to
take Venkataraman back home to Madurai.

He said, 'It is not for darshan to this bogus sadhu that I am alighting at Tiruvannamalai, but to drag Him by His
ear and bring Him back to Madurai.  I am not a weakling.  I shall succeed where His uncle, mother and brother
have failed.'

'All right, do as you please,'  answered his mother.

They both alighted at Tiruvannamalai and went up the Hill to Virupaksha Cave where Bhagavan was then
staying.  The mother bowed to Bhagavan and sat down quietly.  But the son, who remained standing,
looked and looked at Bhagavan , and got more and more puzzled as he did so. There was no trace of the
ordinary boy Venkataraman whom he had known.  Something quite unexpected had happened.  Instead
of seeing his old friend, there was an effulgent Divine Being seated in front of him, absolutely still and silent.
His heart melted for the first time in his life, tears rolled down his cheeks and his hair stood on end. He fell
prostrate before Bhagavan and surrendered himself to Him. He became a frequent visitor and a staunch
devotee of Bhagavan.

He began to follow Bhagavan's teachings but he soon felt that he was in need of a more tangible method than
the Vichara - 'Who am I?' - and asked Bhagavan several times for a different technique.  Initially, there was
no response.  But one day, when he went out for a walk on the Hill with Bhagavan, he stood before Him and said,
'I won't allow you to return unless you give me some suitable upadesa.'

Bhagavan replied, 'What is there to teach, Mani?' Instead of saying 'Siva, Siva,' and keeping quiet, why do you
ask for this and that?'

Mani Iyer fell down at Sri Bhagavan's feet with great joy and exclaimed, 'I have received my upadesa and

From that moment, he took up the japa of 'Siva, Siva' day and night. In the course of time it became one with
his prana.  He was totally transformed and his face shone with a divine radiance.

When Mani Iyer felt that his end was near, he stayed with Bhagavan, for a few days. Every morning he rolled
his body round Bhagavan's Hall. When Bhagavan tried to stop him, he said,'I do not know how else can I
express my gratitude for what Bhagavan has done to me!'

He passed away a few days later.


(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 #1182 on: July 20, 2015, 03:10:31 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences / Story:

Those who were spiritually highly evolved had no difficulty in recognizing Bhagavan's grace.  One such man
was Sri Narayana Guru of Kerala.  He was well known both as a social reformer and as a man who had attained
a high state through intense tapas.  He once visited Sri Bhagavan at Skandasramam.  After paying his respects
to Sri Bhagavan, he sat silently watching Him.  He saw many people, both young and old, paying their respects
to Him and passing on, while Bhagavan Himself sat silently with unwinking, wide open eyes. On this day, Bhagavan
took no particular notice of anybody. He did not inquire where any of his visitors had come from.  There was
no overt welcome for anyone, but all the time Bhagavan was beaming joyfully while the audience partook of His
grace.  At lunchtime, Bhagavan invited Sri Narayana Guru to eat with Him and the other devotees.

Later that day, Sri Narayana Guru took leave of Bhagavan, saying, 'May the same be here also.'

He was asking that he might also be blessed with the same Self realization that Bhagavan had attained. Sri
Bhagavan responded with a gracious smile.

After reaching Kerala, Sri Narayana Guru wrote five verses in Sanskrit, calling them Nirvritti Panchakam,
Five Verses on Inner Felicity), and sent them to Bhagavan.

1. He alone enjoys the inner felicity of the One Self of all who refrains from inquiries about the name,
native land, caste or clan, calling and age of others.

2. He alone enjoys the inner felicity of the One Self of all who does not ask anyone to come, to go, not to
go, to enter within, or where one is going.

3. He alone enjoys the inner felicity of the One Self of all who does no inquire anybody who he is.going,
arriving from or where and who he is.
4. He alone enjoys the inner felicity of the One Self of all, who has no notion of differentiation such as I,
you, he, that, within or without, existence or non existence.

5. He alone enjoys the inner felicity of the One Self of all who remains the same with the known and
unknown and is free from distinctions such as oneself and others and the assertion even of non difference.

In later years Sri Narayana Guru used to be greatly pleased whenever any of his disciples visited Sri Bhagavan.
On their return he would listen with delight to all the details of their visit.


(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 #1183 on: July 20, 2015, 04:47:46 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences /Story:

At the end of 1948, a tiny growth about the size of a peanut was noticed on Bhagavan's left elbow.  It gradually
grew in size and became painful to the touch. ......  When the tumor grew further into the size of a small lemon,
the doctor in charge of the Asramam dispensary removed it surgically......  A month later,when the temple erected
over Bhagavan's mother's samadhi, was consecrated, He looked fit and well... Soon after the celebrations, the
tumor returned.... On March 27th it was removed surgically by eminent doctors from Madras... The affected tissues
showed that the growth was a sarcoma, a form of cancer......... The third operation was conducted on 7th August, 1949.
Bhagavan showed total indifference to the pain, oozing of blood.... On December 1949, a fourth operation was
conducted.  The doctors concluded that if it reappeared, they could do nothing about it.....

Homeopathy was then tried for a few weeks, but it could not arrest the progress of the disease. Another tumor
appeared adjoining the left armpit and it grew rapidly. Two Ayurvedic physicians of repute then tried their
treatments, but with no success.  The whole of the left upper arm became one horrific swelling.  The constant
oozing of the blood through the wound made Bhagavan anaemic.  As the poison from the sarcoma spread
throughout His body, it soon became clear that His end was near.

Bhagavan remained unconcerned throughout this long period of pain and sickness. He had no personal inclination
for any kind of treatment. Whenever a course of treatment was decided by the Asramam management, He abided
by it, rather to please the devotees than to get cured of the disease.  He often said, 'It is for us to witness all that
happens.'  His behavior during the last year of His life was a perfect illustration of this.

When devotees were puzzled in December 1949 as to what further treatment to try, one of them approached Bhagavan
and asked Bhagavan and asked what should be done,

Bhagavan smiled and observed, 'Have I ever asked for any treatment?' It is you who wanted this and that for me,
so it is you who must decide.  If I were asked I would always say,as I have been saying from the beginning, that
no treatment is necessary. Let things take their own course.'

All the doctors who attended upon Him were struck by His superhuman indifference to pain and His absolute
unconcern even during and after surgeries.  Bhagavan took everything lightly and retained His sense of humor
throughout. His casual remarks often made the doctors and attendants laugh
despite their anxiety.           

The above portion is largely abridged by me.


(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 #1184 on: July 20, 2015, 05:20:31 PM »
Viswanatha Swami Reminiscences /Story:

A few hours after the serious operation of August 1949, Bhagavan decided to give darshan to the many devotees,
who were waiting anxiously outside the Asramam dispensary,  even though He had been advised not to go outside
for many days.  He was as serene as ever and even smiled from time to time. At noon next day, as soon as the
doctors had left, He returned to the Hall where He always sat, saying that He should not occupy the dispensary
and inconvenience the patients who needed to go there for treatment.

The seventy first birthday of Bhagavan was celebrated in His presence on January 5, 1950.  Bhagavan sat up
for hours, morning and evening, in the midst of His devotees and heard many hymns newly composed by
His devotees.  The elephant of the Arunachaleswara Temple came and stood before Him for a while and after
bowing to Bhagavan, it took leave of Him by touching His feet with its trunk. A queen from North India who
had come to the Asramam took a motion picture of Bhagavan and the elephant.  The atmosphere was full of joy.
The Master also heard the Vedic chanting.

Prayers and chanting of hymns for Bhagavan's recovery went on for months at the Asramam. When Bhagavan
was once asked about their efficacy, He remarked with a smile, 'It is certainly desirable to engage in good
activities. Let them continue.'

When the devotees prayed to Bhagavan to set His health aright by His own potent will, He replied, 'Everything
will get all right in due course.' And then He asked them, 'Who is there to will this?' He could not desire or will
anything, having lost the sense of separate individuality in the universal consciousness.

Bhagavan kept His usual daily routine until it became physically impossible for Him to continue it. He took His
morning bath an hour before sunrise, sat for darshan at the fixed hours, morning and evening, went through
the Asramam correspondence and supervised the printing of the Asramam publications.  Everything received
attention,  despite ill health.

More than a year before His Mahanirvana, Bhagavan quoted and rendered into Tamizh verse, a sloka from
Srimad Bhagavatam: (Skanda XI. 13, Verse 36). 'Let the body, the result of fructifying karma, rest or move
about, live or die; the sage who has realized the Self is not aware of it, just as one in a drunken stupor is not
aware of his clothing.'

Later in 1949, He picked up and expounded on a verse from Yoga Vasishtam: 'The Jnani who has found himself
to be formless pure awareness, is unaffected  though his body be cleft with a sword.  Sugar candy does not
lose its sweetness even when it is broken or crushed.'

The above portion is abridged.

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

Arunachala Siva.