Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 200559 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #480 on: October 11, 2014, 01:41:52 PM »
Iyengar Swami's Devotion and Dedication:

Ramaswamy Iyengar of Kumbakonam came to Sri Bhagavan much earlier than I.  He was devoted to Him from his youth.
A brahmachari, he used to wear only a koupina.  But whenever, he came to Tiruvannamalai, he would wear a towel.
He thought it was discourteous to be dressed like Sri Bhagavan in His Presence.  He had established a Ramanasramam in
Kumbakonam and he used to celebrate Sri Bhagavan's birthday for ten days on a grand scale.  The birthday celebrations
were marked by pujas, poor feeding, and music concerts. Once I went and spent ten days there during the Jayanti period.

He would never stand or sit near Sri Bhagavan.  He would always stand at a distance. On arrival at the Asramam, he would
prostrate before Him at the entrance to the Hall.  And he would do the same before leaving.  He would see Sri Bhagavan
from a distance on His way to or from the Hill.  Before Sri Bhagavan returned from the Hill, he would roll on the ground
on the spots touched by His feet.  He would dust the sheets on Sri Bhagavan's sofa. 

On a full moon day, he arrived in the Asramam and stayed in Palakottu with me.  He would see Sri Bhagavan everyday
when He passed through Palakottu.  He got big earthen ware pots and arranged for the preparation of three kinds of pickles
and filled the pots with them and sent them to the Asramam. Sri Bhagavan appreciated them very much and said: 'His
disciples are rich landlords. He does not have any financial problems. As he is an Iyengar, he is capable of doing everything
very well.  He is very good.'

Iyengar felt a little uneasy in the evening on the next full moon day.  He passed away around 4.30 the following morning.
He was cremated at Tiruvannamalai itself and his ashes were taken to Kumbakonam and a Samadhi was constructed over
them.

Kunju Swami's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #481 on: October 11, 2014, 03:18:55 PM »
The Lizard Devotion:

Muruganar regarded Sri Bhagavan with as much reverent awe as loving devotion.  To Muruganar, Bhagavan's smallest
wish was a command to be carried out without the slightest delay.  When in Sri Bhagavan's presence, Muruganar would
be sitting with his eyes wide open.  He would be so absorbed in his contemplation of Sri Bhagavan's captivating form that
he would be unaware of anything else.  In fact, whenever Bhagavan happened to look for Murugnar, in order to get some
writing done, the other devotees would wake Muruganar from his trance and draw his attention to the fact that Bhagavan
wanted his assistance.

Once, Muruganar had just prostrated to Sri Bhagavan when Bhagavan asked him some question regarding some literary
work.  Still lying on the floor, Muruganar just lifted up his head alone and answered Bhagavan's query.  Only after giving
Bhagavan a detailed  account of the matter did he get up from the floor.

Viswanathaswami who was in the Hall, at the time, was quite amazed by Muruganar's behavior.  When Muruganar left
the Hall, Viswanatha Swami followed him outside and, said to Muruganar: 'What is this? Your behavior is strange indeed!
When Bhagavan spoke to you, do you not have to stand up and listen to him with respectful attention? How can you lie
on the floor, with your head raised, like a lizard, while  Bhagavan is talking to you?'

Muruganar was very much upset when he heard this.  In a faltering voice, he said, ' You are right.  I should not have
spoken to Bhagavan while lying on the floor. But when Bhagavan speaks to me, I forget everything else except the fact
that Bhagavan is asking me a question and that I should answer it immediately.  In the urgency of the moment, I cannot
think about whether I am standing or lying down. What can I do?' Seeing how deeply upset Muruganar was, Viswanatha Swami
realized the depth of his feelings, and could not say anything further.  However, he could not resist the temptation to tease
Muruganar for what he termed his 'lizard devotion.'  (Like a lizard Muruganar raised only his head and answered Sri
Bhagavan!)

Kanakmmal's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #482 on: October 12, 2014, 02:12:12 PM »
Maha Puja Day and Sri Bhagavan's verse in Telugu:

About the time of Mahapuja on May 19, I was having jatasoucham (pollution from child-birth) because my brother
had been blessed with a son.  I inquired of the Asramam whether I could attend Maha Puja with pollution.  In their
reply on May 14. the Asramam wrote:

'Merely for the reason that one has got jatasoucham, one need not postpone the journey.  It is a pilgrimage that
cleanses all.'

On the Maha Puja Day, Sri Bhagavan composed a verse in Telugu saying:

'Originally Arunachala Linga came into being in the month of  Dhanus  under the star Ardra. Only the day on which Hari
and other deities worshipped the Lord Siva as He emerged from the Linga is Siva Ratri (Siva's Night) in the month of
Kumbha.'

(This is from Arunachala Mahatmyam and Sri Bhagavan had already made in Tamizh.)

The next day, I composed another verse on the birth of Sri Bhagavan in the same meter as the above saying:

'That same, sacred day when originally Arunachala Linga came into being, at Tiruchuzhi, as the fruit of the penance
of Azhagu and Sundaram, was born the incarnation of Skanda, Bhagavan Sri Ramana.'

G.V. Subbaramayya's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #483 on: October 12, 2014, 02:23:15 PM »
Veerappa Chettiar's Service:

Rao Bahadur Veerappa Chettiar was a hereditary trustee of Sri Arunachaleswara Temple.  He had done a lot for the temple
during his trusteeship.  During the Kartikai festival he would supervise arrangements day and night. He used to arrange
music concerts also. He would bring a few musicians to the Asramam and ask them to sing in Sri Bhagavan's Presence.

Once Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar sang before Sri Bhagavan.  He was accompanied by Pudukkottai Dakshinamurti Pillai
on the ganjira and Sundaram Iyer on the ghatam. The concert lasted from 3.00 pm. to 7.00 pm. Sri Bhagavan, who usually
went out at 5.30 pm. never stirred that day.  The performers and the listeners were enthralled by Sri Bhagavan's presence.

Then Kumbakonam Ramaswamy Iyengar praised the artistes with great enthusiasm.  Iyengar, who had established a
Ramanasramam at Kumbakonam, used to celebrate Sri Bhagavan's birthday on a grand scale every year. He used to
organize music concerts; so he knows the musicians.  When the artists came out of the Hall after prostrating before Sri
Bhagavan, Iyengar applied sandal wood paste on all of them and gave them tamulam. Sri Bhagavan who observed all this
through the window, was delighted at Iyengar's enthusiasm.  The artists went back filled with joy.

Kunju Swami's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #484 on: October 12, 2014, 02:43:37 PM »
Why leave Madurai at all?

Once, a young man came to the Asramam. He was about 20 years old.  He entered the Jubilee Hall and made his way
through the crowd  of devotees, to stand before Bhagavan with folded hands.  Bhagavan looked at the youth, with a
gracious smile.  The young man asked, 'Bhagavan! While one is engaged in Nama Japa, is it better to say 'Rama' or
'Krishna' or could one combine both, and say Ramakrishna? Bhagavan replied: Every name is equally potent.  You chant
any Name singly or in combination.  Whether you say, Rama or Krishna or Ramakrishna, the effect is the same.  What is
important is the degree of mental concentration you are able to achieve and sustain.

Next, the youth asked, 'Is it alright to do such japam in one's house itself, or is it necessary to leave home and go to an
Asramam or some secluded spot?'  Bhagavan said: There is no need to leave the home and look for a suitable spot.
Spiritual practices can be carried out wherever convenient.  Your house is as good a place as any other.

Then he asked: If that is so, then why did Bhagavan leave Madurai and come to Tiruvannamalai?  Was not Madurai
a good enough place'

Bhagavan sat up straight and said, 'So, this is what you have in your mind, is it?  You are wondering why I should have
left home, if one place is really as good as any other place. But you should note one thing. I did not go around asking people,
'Should I stay here or should I go somewhere else?  I just did what I felt like doing. If you also have a strong feeling that
you should leave home, why don't you do so?  If your conviction is strong enough, you will not feel the need for other
people's approval  or support.

The young man stood silently for a few moments, as he appeared to be at loss for words. Then he left the hall.

After the youth left the place, Bhagavan said to the followers:  'This boy has no confidence or the courage to face the
consequences. He is afraid that, if he were to leave the security of his home, he might not be able to fend for himself.
It is only weak minded people who go around asking for other people's advice. The strong wiled one just do what their
heart says is right. Such strength of character is a God given gift.  Total self reliance is not possible without His Grace.

Kanakammal's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #485 on: October 13, 2014, 04:36:39 PM »
On my arrival at this time, I heard the stunning news that Sri Bhagavan had discontinued going to the kitchen. It seems
that the kitchen workers failed to carry out Sri Bhagavan's directions regarding the surplus buttermilk, that resulted in
wastage. From that day Sri Bhagavan despite apologies and entreaties never stepped into the kitchen.  This report fell upon
my heart like a thunderbolt because it meant deprivation of a rare privilege.  Thereupon I wrote a Telugu poem Pakasala
Vilampam (Lament of the kitchen). In early hours of the morning, the poet goes into the kitchen to work as usual. He finds
the place plunged in darkness and silence,. As he looks disappointed, there appears before him a vision of the Culinary
Goddess, who describes herself as devotee of Sri Bhagavan and recalls the glory and privilege which she enjoyed while the
Lord with His daily used to honor her with her with daily visit.  Now with tears streaming from her eyes she bewails the
sudden withdrawal of grace from her Bhagavan. The relish has gone from the chutneys, sambar and pickles and other
preparations. The interest in vegetable cutting and other cooking has disappeared.

Sri Bhagavan seemed to enjoy the poem and read out and explained to others.  But He laughed and said:

'Things happen as they must, and they cannot be changed.'

Bhagavan Ramana's Reminiscences.

G. V. Subba Ramayaa,

Arunachala Siva.     
 
           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #486 on: October 13, 2014, 04:44:00 PM »
Seshadri Swami merging with Sri Arunachala:

When Seshadri Swami was ill, Veerappa Chettiar came and asked Sri Bhagavan about the proper construction
of Samadhi for the saint.  Sri Bhagavan took out Tirumoolar's Tirumandiram and asked some one to copy out
the portion relating to Samadhi Construction and gave it to Chettiar.  According to the instructions, Chettiar
constructed the Samadhi in twenty days. On 21st day, 14.1.1929 Seshadri Swami merged into Arunachala.
Chettiar and others requested Sri Bhagavan to be present at the Samadhi Celebrations and He agreed and was
there for full six hours till the very end.  The only other similar ceremony Sri Bhagavan attended was His Mother's.

Kunju Swami's Reminscences.

Arunachala Siva. 
     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #487 on: October 13, 2014, 05:42:23 PM »
Varanasi Subbulakshmi Ammal:

Subbulakshmi Ammal was a devotees of Bhagavan. She hailed from Nellore of Andhra Pradesh.  She was widowed
at a very young age and lost all interest in worldly matters. She decided to dedicate herself to spiritual pursuits.   
She was always doing Nama Japa and meditation. 

At a young girl she had come to Tiruvannamalai. When she was 31 years old she again came on her way back from
Rameswaram. She came in a group and the group halted at Sri Ramanasramam and she sat in meditation for along time.
Then they all took leave of Bhagavan.

On her third visit she stayed in Bhagavan's presence before leaving for Kalahasti. That night she dreamt that a priest
of her acquaintance came and told her 'Tiruvannamalai is the right place for you, Bhagavan the Omniscient One will show
you a way to Liberation.   Go to him and surrender.

So she came back to Tiruvannamalai and took a house for rent. She daily visited Bhagavan.  He graciously cleared
her doubts. The Asramam authorities asked her to stay inside the Asramam, to which she was reulctant. However when
soon an Asramam job for cooking was offered she readily agreed.

Subbulashmi Ammal loved Bhakta Vijayam and she read it regularly, Once she had a doubt that Panduranga used
to dine with the saint Namadeva and Namadeva conversed with Him!

One morning when Bhagavan was sitting on the sofa, she went up and asked: It is said Namadeva used to talk     
freely with Panduranga.   Is it really possible?

Bhagavan said: What is written in the book is true.  Everything depends upon imagination.  Once the devotee
becomes absorbed in Self, he stops thinking of 'God as being separate himself.  But until such a state one must
keep the faith alive.  God has to grant the devotee's every prayer to coax him to stay on the path of Self Realization.
Once the Realization is attained and the devotee merges with Supreme Being the individuality of himself and God's
will be there.

Subbulakshmi Ammal left the place with great clarity.

Kanakammal's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #488 on: October 14, 2014, 02:46:33 PM »
Kanji and Aviyal:

It was the June 16, 1941.  There was a fresh spurt of activity in the Asramam kitchen.  All lights were on from the small
hours of early morning.  The Asramam rules were relaxed for the women workers so that they were busy in the kitchen
along with men even from 3.00 am.  Sri Bhagavan Himself for once crossed the threshold, peeped inside the gave instructions.
What was all about?  Kanji and Aviyal were being prepared for breakfast!  The news spread like wildfire.  The dining hall wore
a festive appearance as we sat in rows and special cups were provided for all devotees.  Kanji and Aviyal were the main items
served. Sri Bhagavan gave lead for the proper way of sipping the Kanji with Aviyal.  Unlike the usual practice, these two
items were served repeatedly and in unlimited quantities.  Sri Bhagavan said that to do justice to these special dishes, we
should forego coffee for the moment.  For Himself, He gave up even His kashayam (medical drink) to increase the intake
of Kanji.  A few of us rose to the occasion and abstained from coffee. But for others, of course, coffee was also served. After
others left the Hall, Sri Bhagavan turned to me and said, 'It seems you were responsible for today's preparations. So you
should emulate me and do full justice.' He called for more cups. I said that my stomach was over full.  But Sri Bhagavan
assured me saying, 'Do not fear, it will not do any harm.  Within half an hour it will be digested.  And you will feel more than
the usual appetite.

I then wrote a poem, Amrita Panam:

'People have to drink Kanji; but today by Sri Bhagavan's Grace, I have drunk Kanji with Aviyal. What they call Amrita is
nothing but this. O Krishna! you were feasted Kanji in Vidura's house. Was its taste equal to this, O Lord!'

G.V. Subbaramayya's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.       
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #489 on: October 14, 2014, 03:55:16 PM »
How Sri Bhagavan stopped going round the Hill?

Whenever we went round the Hill, with Sri Bhagavan we would ask someone to look after the kitchen work and another
to look after the Asramam.  Those who had accompanied Sri Bhagavan earlier would stay back to give a chance to others.

Once Narayana Rao was in charge of the kitchen. He was a boyhood friend of Chinnaswami.  He was very good in
English. He was a majestic figure.  If Chinnaswami occasionally criticized his cooking, he would say, 'I am a Rao.
You dare teach me cooking!' 

During moonlit nights, we used to eat puri, potato and snacks in the evenings and then go round the Hill. We used to
carry something to eat on the way and return early next morning.

Once after eating snacks, we were ready to start on our giri pradakshina. Chinnaswami asked Narayana Rao to look after
the Asramam that day.  Rao said, 'You are all in the presence of Sri Bhagavan all the time. I was able to go with Him only
after I finish my my work in the kitchen.  I want to go with Him now.  I do not like this 'turn' business.'

There were heated exchanges between Chinnaswami and Rao who finally said, 'I will leave the Asramam.'

Chinnaswami said, 'All right, you can go if you do not want to be here.'

The matter reached Sri Bhagavan's ears. When we were all ready, we said to Sri Bhagavan that we could start.  Bhagavan
was silent for a while and said, 'You all may go.'  Again we said, 'Food has been packed.'  He said, 'Eat after you return'
We were all stunned.  Sri Bhagavan said, 'There is a controversy because I go round the Hill. You please all go round the
Hill without me.' He said these words calmly but firmly. Sri Bhagavan did not go round the Hill afterwards.  Even earlier some
devotees had felt that Sri Bhagavan should stop going round the Hill as He had used to feel a little tired on His return.  Such
devotees were happy at Sri Bhagavan's decision not to go round the Hill. 

Narayana Rao felt unhappy that he was the cause of Sri Bhagavan's stopping giri pradakshina. He left the Asramam in sorrow
and went and stayed in Pavala kunRu but came and saw Sri Bhagavan frequently.  The head of Isanya Math invited Rao to
his math.  He took sannyasa at Kovilur Math and called himself Narayana Swami.  Even then he would come and see Sri
Bhagavan.  He stayed in a number of Maths and passed away in early 1990s.

Kunju Swami's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #490 on: October 14, 2014, 04:12:41 PM »
Tiruvalluvar and Avvaiyar:

Tiruvalluvar was one of the greatest of Tamizh poets.  In his immortal Tirukkural, he has recorded the wisdom of ages.
The greatness of the Tirukkural lies in the fact that the highest philosophical truths and the most pragmatic advice about
everyday life and values have been presented in pithy verses, each verse being no more than 1 3/4 lines in length.

Once when there was a discussion in he Hall about Tirukkural, Bhagavan who was listening to this discussion turned
to Muruganar and said, 'Has not Avvaiyar condensed the essence of Kural even further?'

Muruganar replied, 'Yes, indeed! Avvaiyaar has composed a poem of amazing brevity and unmatched beauty.

The poem  is as under:


ஈதல் அறம் தீவினை விட்டு ஈட்டல் பொருள்
காதல் இருவர் கருத்து ஒருமித்து - ஆதரவு
பட்டதே இன்பம் பரனை நினைந்து இம் மூன்றும்
விட்டதே பேரின்ப வீடு.

Muruganar added, 'Whereas Valluvar had dealt with the three subjects of Virtue, Wealth and Happiness, Avvaiyar had included
Realization also in her four line poem.'

Kanakammal's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #491 on: October 15, 2014, 02:44:18 PM »
Na Karmana:

The next morning, after the mantra, Na Karmana Na Prajaya etc., was recited, Sri Bhagavan observed that the former
half propounded Sadhyo-mukti (immediate deliverance) and the latter half Krama mukthi (Gradual Deliverance). Sri
Bhagavan added in the phrase Paramamita Para means Brahmayuh (Brahma's life period).

The next day, referring to Sitaramanjaneyam, Sri Bhagavan explained that Amanaska-yoga did not mean loss of Prajna
(Awareness). It only meant that the mind became one with Swarupa (Self).

The next evening, someone referred to a passage in Prasnopanishad, sarvam pasyati, sarvah pasyati, and requested its
elucidation.  Sri Bhagavan explained saying, 'It only means that the seer, the seen and the sight are all the Self and not
other than the Self.  One sees the Self as Sarva, all.

G.V. Subbaramayya's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva,     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #492 on: October 15, 2014, 02:53:43 PM »
Lord Subrahmanya

An incident occurred a few days later. A new visitor to the Asramam  was telling Bhagavan that he had been worshipping
Lord Subrahmanya with great devotion for ten years.  But the Lord had not chosen to appear before him. The devotee
was obviously in anguish and might have expected Sri Bhagavan to give him some advice.  But Bhagavan merely nodded
His head and said, 'Is that so?' Muruganar who was sitting in the Hall became emotional and said to the devotee, 'Sir!
Your prayers have been effective indeed!  Look before you! Who is this,, in front of your eyes?  The devotee opened his eyes
and gazed at Bhagavan. Within minutes his eyes filled with tears of ecstasy and he exulted, 'Yes, My prayers have been granted!
My Subrahmanya is right here! I am fortunate indeed!'  He later said, 'Thank you sir, I looked at Bhagavan and saw Lord
Subrahmanya with His two consorts.  Bhagavan is none other than Lord Subrahmanya!'

Kanakammal's Reminscences   

Arunachala 'Siva.

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #493 on: October 15, 2014, 04:07:14 PM »
Laya Samaadhi:


Sankarananda was from Andhra.  He was an officer in postal deparment.  He used to do japa for hours together
standing in water.  He would be lost in himself. He could not engage himself in any work.  He used to come and see
Sri Bhagavan often.  Wherever he was, he used to forget his surroundings. Sri Bhagavan asked us to take him round
and talks to him about the path of Self inquiry.  He became alright after a while.  He became an ardent Vedantin.
It was he who took Chinnaswami to Rangoon several years later, for purchasing good teak wood for construction
of Mother's Temple.

Kunju Swami's Reminiscences.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #494 on: October 16, 2014, 01:31:21 PM »
Echamma's nephew's wedding:

There was a happy event in the Asramam.  Echamma's nephew Krishnamurti and his bride, after their wedding, came for
Sri Bhagavan's darshan and blessings.  Sri Bhagavan had gone out just then re-entered the Hall.  He sat straight on the
couch with His feet remaining on the ground.  The young couple at once prostrated at His Feet while He rained Grace
upon them.  Due to the exceptional devotion of Echamma, this was but to be expected.  I only wished I had a camera
to photograph the blessed scene!

G. V. Subbaramaya's Reminiscnces.

Arunachala Siva.