Author Topic: Our Bhagavan-Stories  (Read 391511 times)


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #990 on: June 07, 2015, 08:42:51 AM »

Every year, wherever he was, Sri Pillai used to come to Tiruvannamalai for
Kartigai Deepam.  Once he started from Chidambaram for his annual trip,
and there was disruption due to heavy rains and the bus and train services
were disrupted due to floods.  In his zeal to reach Tiruvannamalai, he set out
on foot. On the way, he found the bridge he had to cross had been washed
away.  So he returned without being able to cross the river.  He felt
miserable that he wouldn't be at Tiruvannamalai for Maha Deepam. He wept.
At that time, he saw from where he stood, the Arunachala Hill and the light on
the top! 

Sri Pillai understood that taking pity on a devotee, Arunachala
Ramana had given him darshan of Arunachala and the Light on
the top. 

After a few years, Sri Pillai permanently settled down in the
Asramam.  With the help of devotees, Sri Pillai cleared the path to Skandashram.
He would go to the town on his cycle several times during the course of the
day, to serve devotees.   People so affectionately called him, Cycle Swami.

In the Ashram, he planted a variety of plants and fruit trees, the gardens in
the Ashram, speak of his valiant efforts.

Till his merger with Bhagavan in 1994, he used to get up early in the mornings
and chant verses before the shrine of Bhagavan Ramana.  He also explained to
sincere devotees, the path of Jnana shown by Bhagavan Ramana.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #991 on: June 07, 2015, 09:31:46 AM »

Mastan Swami was a Muslim, also from Desur, a vilage near Tiiruvannamalai,
like Ahilandamma. It is Akhilandamma who brought Mastan Swami to
Bhagavan Ramana.  From the young age, Mastan Swami liked Saivism and
was mixing with Sadhus and Sannyasis. He used to tonsure his head, apply
Vibhuti and also wear ochre robe. He used to sing some songs of Tevaram
right from his young age.

His parents surprisingly did not object, but only wanted him to marry!  He was
a weaver by profession and he had woven and presented many koupinas to
Bhagavan Ramana.

David Godman writes in his Power of Presence, Volume 1, page 81:-

Mastan Swami was one of those rare devotees, who experienced the Self on
his first meeting with Bhagavan. Mastan gave a brief description of what happened
on his first meeting when he later spoke to Kunju Swami.

"When I came to Bhagavan, He was seated like a rock outside the Virupaksha
Cave.  His unwavering gaze was filled with grace, compassion and steady wisdom.  After giving me a look, He opened the gate of my Heart and I was also established
in His state.  I stood like that for 8 hours, absolutely without fatigue, but filled
with total absorption and peace.  Bhagavan in those days, used to open our Heart,
with a simply gracious look and it transformed us.  There was no need for any
question since He made us, by His look, like Himself. (Mountain Path 1979, p.154)

When Mastan Swami died, Bhagavan gave instructions that he should be buried
as a saint, using the rituals laid down in Tirumular's Tirumandiram.

Arnachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #992 on: June 07, 2015, 09:44:59 AM »

Sivapraksam Pillai merged in the effulgence of Siva on the 29th day of Dhanur
month, in the year Sarvajit (1948).  His relative Manikkam Pillai used to come
for darshan of Bhagavan often and in the year 1944 he submitted the work
Sri Ramana Sadguru Maalai of Pillai to Bhagavan Ramana.  Devaraja Mudaliar
who was impressed with Pillai's works had already got some works copied in his personal note book.  He desired to have this Ramana Sadguru Maalai printed.
A print order of 1000 copies would have cost Rs. 100 those days. Devaraja Mudaliar had only a spare amount of Rs 40 with him.  He told the Office that about 400
copies could be printed with that money. However, the Office took his Rs 40 and
added the necessary amounts and got 1000 copies printed!  Mudaliar's joy knew
no bounds.  Bhagavan Ramana wanted Mudaliar to write a preface.

When Mudaliar expressed his incapacity to write in classical Tamizh, Bhagavan
told him to write it in English and He Himself translated it into Tamizh!

Sri Ramana Sadguru Malai:  (Excerpts)

1. Ramana Saduguru!  The "I" knows the body and the world,
that is made up of five elements.  The "I" is aware of the objects
of the sense perceptions through the five sense organs.  The "I"
thinks of the objects perceived by the five senses through the brain
in the body.

2.  When I was enjoying the world instead of finding out the Truth, by inquiring enthusiastically who this "I" is, you appeared and revealed within my mind,
"You are not the body.  You are of the form of Self-Consciousness.  then you said:
"If you have the desire to destroy the I-am-the-body ego, think unceasingly that
you are not the body but the Self.  If you think in this way, this thought will destroy
the ego and will also finally disappear.  Then you will shine as Perfection."

4. Ramana Sadguru!  Supreme Self!  Like a deer trapped in a net, not knowing
the way to escape, I fell at your feet again, saying, "Your feet alone are my refuge.
By answering, "There is no need to get agitated."  You freed me from fear and
saved me.  In this way, you became my Lord, my father and my mother.

9.  My mind does not subside in the Heart.  Instead it rises as the "I", escapes
and wanders about with a great desire to perform karma.  I do not know the
reason for this.  If it is due to my past karma, then when will this obstructing
karma end?  Ramana Sadguru!  If I die, will I get your grace, in my next birth?

11. Handsome Ramana Sadguru!  Through your grace, I realized that I am Consciousness, not the body that dies.  I should think of myself without losing this Realization.  To lament instead, "My body has grown old.  What will happen if
I lose this state," is a waste of time.

21. Ramana Sadguru! Lord, there is no shortfall in your grace. This is certain. There
is no doubt at all about this. Without, being near you and serving you, how can I destroy my association with my mind?  It is only the strength of my fate that
prevents me from getting this good fortune.  Lord, when will this powerful karma
be destroyed?

22.  Peaceful Ramana Sadguru!  Even after taking refuge in you, I did not give
up my evil traits.  O Pure One!  I lament over the wrong deeds I commit.
However, I am ashamed both to speak of these (deeds) before you and to
crave your forgiveness.  Consequently, I am in trouble, like an ant caught in the
middle of a stick that has both its ends on fire.

        (Tr. David Godman, The Power of the Presence, Volume 1).

Arunachala Siva. 


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #993 on: June 08, 2015, 09:16:51 AM »

Just as a mother has to put herself in the state of the child, when
she speaks to it, in the same way, the Jnani, in order to settle
amicably the issues that arise through no desires of his own, has
to assume the state of those who approach him.  The following
stories of Bhagavan Ramana highlight this attitude of Him.

1. A non-brahmin once questioned Bhagavan.  Referring to to one
of the names of Siva - "Obeisance to him who is a brahmin" - that
occurs in Siva Ashtotaram, he asked, "Why should the Lord be
described only as a brahmin?"

Bhagavan had to pacify him by saying, "Why should you imagine
yourself to be a sudra?  Ideas of differentiation such as 'I am a
Brahmin' and 'I am a Sudra' arise only from ignorance.  In the
real state, no differerence of any kind exist."

The questioner became satisfied.

2.  On another occasion, a devotee said that his father had given
him the Sakti Panchakshari mantra.  His father, who was known
as Mantreswara (Lord of Mantras) had told him that it was the means to liberation.  The son came to Bhagavan and questioned
Him about it.

Bhagavan agreed saying, "This mantra is indeed the way to liberation."

When the son raised a further question:  "If this is so, then are
you also practicing the same mantra?"  Bhagavan had to say in
reply "Yes, yes, the same mantra only."

The attitudes and assumptions of the devotees that manifested
in Bhagavan's presence determined the response.

(Source:  Sri Ramana Darsanam, Sadhu Natananada.  Tr. into
English with commentaries, David Godman, Sri Ramanasramam,

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #994 on: June 09, 2015, 09:32:27 AM »
When Sri Bhagavan was still living in Skandasramam, Echammal, a brahmin devotee,used to feed Him daily.  She also took
brahmin sannyasins into her home and gave them bhiksha in the traditional way.

Two disciples of Narayna Guru, Govindananda Giri and Achyutananda Giri, once came to visit from Kanchipuram.  After staying
a few days in the town, the two came to live with Sri Bhagavan.  They were both well built, fair complexioned and learned.
Taking them to be brahmins, Echammal invited them to her house.  Neither party informed Sri Bhagavan about this arrangement.

On the day that they had to go for bhiksha, Govindananda and Achyutananda informed Sri Bhagavan of the invitation. Sri
Bhagavan immediately realized that there might be a problem. If Echammal discovered that they that they were non brahmins,
she might withdraw her hospitality. This would be a great embarrassment to the sannyasins.

To warn them indirectly, Sri Bhagavan asked with a smile,'Do you know how to do parishechanam?'

Govindananda and Achyutananda were quick to take the hint.

They answered, 'Yes Bhagavan.  We observed this practice in North India where the sannyasins do parishechanam before eating.'

The meal went off without incident. Sri Bhagavan kept from Echammal all her life this secret of the non brahmin sannyasins
to whom she had offered bhiksha in her house.

(Kunju Swami's Reminiscences.)

Arunachala Siva.       


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #995 on: June 09, 2015, 09:50:05 AM »
In contrast to the incident of Echammal feeding non brahmin sannyasins, there were occasions when Sri Bhagavan sided
with the ultra orthodox.  When the Asramam Veda patasala was started, in 1938, Sri Krishna Ganapatigal was appointed
as its teacher. He was very orthodox. In the dining room at that time, it was the practice to serve the brahmins first.
Only afterwards would Sri Bhagavan and the non brahmins be served.  Once the food has been served to the non brahmins
from the serving bucket,an orthodox brahmin would consider the remaining food in the bucket to be polluted. Such a person
would not therefore take a second helping from the same source.  Sri Krishna Ganapatigal was very unhappy about the practice
of the Asramam's serving methods because he could not ask for extra food when he wanted some. He went to Sri Bhagavan
and explained the problem. Sri Bhagavan accepted it as a valid complaint and made arrangements for Ganapatigal to eat
separately in the kitchen. Not only that, He made a point of inquiring before He entered the dining room whether the patasala
teacher had been fed properly.  This went on for several days until Sri Bhagavan was satisfied that the arrangements were
in place and would be permanent.

(Moments Remembered)

Arunachala Siva.       


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #996 on: June 10, 2015, 09:03:59 AM »
After spending a few days at Kovilur Math, I returned to Sri Ramanasramam.  Whenever I returned after visiting
a place, Sri Bhagavan used to ask me in detail about my visit.

He inquired about my trip to Kovilur Math and I told Him, 'Sri Mahadeva Swami inquired about Sri Bhagavan's
well being and about the Asramites with great love. On the day of my visit, Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar also came
with his associates.'

Sri Bhagavan asked 'What did Chettiar do?'

I replied,'He tied his upper cloth around his waist and with great humility did ashtanga namaskaram to
Mahadeva Swami and received Vibhuti from him.'

Then Sri Bhagavan asked, 'Did you do namaskaram?'

'No', I replied hesitatingly.

When Sri Bhagavan asked, 'Why not',I explained my attitude to Him.  'After obtaining the good fortune of
prostrating to Sri Bhagavan, how can I prostrate to anyone else?'

Sri Bhagavan looked at me and said, 'Aha!  You are not the one who knows Bhagavan well. You are a very wise
man!  Is your Bhagavan only this five feet long body on the sofa? Is He only inside this building and not
anywhere else? One who has such ekabhakti should not travel elsewhere. If one goes to other places, one
must behave by observing the traditions of those places.  Wherever and whomever one prostrates to, if one
does it either meditating on the Guru or on one's chosen deity,the prostration will reach them. This is the only
proper way.'

I realized the mistake and from then on, whenever I happened to prostrate to someone, I always thought
of Sri Bhagavan.

(Kunju Swami)

Arunachala Siva.       


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #997 on: June 10, 2015, 09:10:40 AM »
The Monkey and the Man:

Once in Pachiamman Kovil, a few monkeys were sitting in front
of Bhagavan Ramana.  Bhagavan was telling them about Atma
Vidya, how to overcome the mind-body complex etc.,  Kavyakanta,
the faithful disciple was also sitting before Bhagavan Ramana.

Viswanatha Swami came there and then smilingly told Bhagavan:
"O Bhagavan!  What is the use of teaching Atma Vidya to monkeys?
What would they understand?"

Bhagavan Ramana looked at him and replied:  "O, monkeys will
not understand them!  I am also telling about Atma Vidya, day
in and day out to you all.  Have you understood them?"

Viswantha Swami laughed.  Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni roared
in laughter and fell on the ground and rolled with laughter to
his heart's content!

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #998 on: June 10, 2015, 12:12:15 PM »
The Mother's temple was being built in the Asramam, but there was an acute shortage of funds.  Money was needed
immediately. At that time, a devotee called Chhaganlal Yogi came from Bombay for the first time. 

When Chinnaswami saw him, he told me (T.P.R.), 'We need Rs 50,000 for the temple. So, why don't the three of us
go to Jamnalal Bajaj and ask him for the money? You should introduce me to Chhaganlal Yogi so that we can begin.'

Chhaganlal Yogi found the proposal to be unacceptable but he was a new comer, and was feeling rather shy,he
felt that he had no alternative but to accept.  Chinnamswami himself arranged for his luggage to be sent, but
before we could depart we had to cross the hurdle of informing Bhagavan.  Chinnaswami never came before
Bhagavan to speak.  If he needed to give information to Bhagavan he always used to send someone else to
convey it. On this occasion, he called me and asked me to tell Bhagavan about our journey.

'How can I tell Bhagavan about such a thing? I asked.'You must also come with me.'

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

Each one of us wanted one of the others to speak.  Eventually Mouni Swami spoke on our behalf telling
Bhagavan what we had come for.

For a long time, Bhagavan made no reply.  But at last He turned to us and said - 'I have already told you
not to beg in my name.  Now I am telling you again.  Be satisfied with what you have. What is to happen
will happen.'

'If you now go and ask for money, will not the donors ask you whether you took my consent or not and whether
I gave you permission for this?  What do you intend to tell them if they ask questions like this?'

Chhaganlal Yogi had found the excuse he was looking for.

'Unless we tell them that you consented to this, none of them will give even a paise,'he said. 

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

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

(The temple was eventually constructed over the samadhi of Bhagavan's mother, on a grand scale.)

(The Power of the Presence - Part II)

Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #999 on: June 11, 2015, 09:09:07 AM »

Ramaswami Pillai or popularly known as Cycle Ramaswami Pillai among Ramana devotees, merged
with Bhagavan on 14.01.1994, at the ripe age of 100.  He first met Bhagavan Ramana during his
college days in Virupaksha Cave.  This must be around 1916-17.  Thus he was one of the oldest devotees
like Kunju Swami.  Ramaswami Pillai used to keep a bi-cycle and all odd jobs that Bhagavan Ramana
or any other devotees had given him in the town, he used to rush in that bicycle and complete them
swiftly.  Hence the prefix 'Cycle.'

Ramaswami Pillai's Samadhi is there along with another 4 Samadhis behind the Cow Lakshmi's Samadhi,
as you cross over the "rakshnai" protection wall, constructed by Annamalai Swami.  There is a
Siva Lingam above the Samadhi and there is only small Tamizh poem,narrating his liberation,
perhaps by Sri Sadhu Om.

Ramaswami Pillai hailed from Chidambaram.  He got a picture of Bhagavan Ramana from one of his
teachers in Chidambaram who also told him a lot about Bhagavan.  Pillai wanted to meet
Bhagavan at once.

When he saw Bhagavan Ramana, in Virupaksha Cave, stretching His legs and reclining majestically,
he observed:  "Like a great lion king who camps in forest to hunt dangerous animals, He was sitting
majestically on the Arunachala Hill, which invites people like us to have our animal-like mind destroyed."

Once he had the opportunity of spending a night at Virupaksha Cave, with Bhagavan.  A devotee told
Sri Pillai that he would have to go without supper that night, since Bhagavan lived on one meal a day
(lunch) at that time, and no food was brought or prepared at night. Sri Pillai did not worry about it and
he wanted to stay with Bhagavan.

Unexpectedly, around 8.30 PM, Ramanatha Brahmachari came with one half of a coconut and some
sweet pongal.  Bhagavan said: "As there is nothing else to eat, mix sweet pongal and the scrapped
coconut, add water and warm it, and drink it as a gruel."

When this was ready, Bhagavan asked: Do we have sugar or rock candy?  There was nothing left.
Bhagavan said: Then, we can add a little salt. Even that was not available.

Around 9 PM, there was a knock on the door. Wonder of wonders!  At that odd time, drenched in rain,
came two young men, with rock candy and some bananas.  These were pounded and added it to the gruel. 

Bhagavan Ramana said:  "I will share this gruel with you and break my 365 days of upavasa, fasting
at night!"

Sri Pillai was thrilled and almost shed tears.

( Kunju Swami's reminiscences.)

Arunachala Siva,


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1000 on: June 11, 2015, 09:23:28 AM »
People who were devoted to other gods and gurus, would often come to see Sri Bhagavan and prostrate before Him.
Because of their faith or because of Sri Bhagavan's power, they would often see Him an image of their own
particular Master or deity.  Tiruppugazh Alamelu Amma, for example, a woman from Madurai, was devoted to
Lord Subramanyam alone. She would accept no one else as her Master and she had decided that no one else should
appear before her as her Guru.  As she was always singing the Tiruppugazh she came to be known as Tirupugazh
Alamelu Amma.  She was a native of Madurai and only came to Tiruvannamalai when her father was given the job
of Deputy Collector there. Her father had had Sri Bhagavan's darshan and was quite impressed.  But when he
invited his daughter to come on his next visit to Sri Bhagavan, she declined.  That night she had dreamed of
Sri Bhagavan. In her dream the form of Sri Bhagavan disappeared and in its place, she saw the form of Lord
Subramanyam.  As a result of this experience, she went to see Sri Bhagavan on the following day and sat before
Him.  Initially she saw only the holy form of Sri Bhagavan but as she continued to gaze at Him, she saw Him
as Lord Subramanyam and surrendered totally to Him.

After this experience she used to come for Sri Bhagavan's darshan quite frequently. On these visits she like to
sing Aksharamanamalai in front of Him.  When she reached the verse 44, instead of singing in the usual way:

'O my Arunachala!  You said 'Turning back, daily see the 'I' with the inner eye. It will then be known.'           

She would alter the pronunciation a little and sing:

'O my Arunachala! You said, 'Daily see with the inner eye,the Kanda who returned. It will then be known.'

(The Power of the Presence, Part II)

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1001 on: June 11, 2015, 09:27:55 AM »
Verse 44 of Aksharamanamalai quoted above, the pronunciation change makes the two different meanings:

tirumbi ahanthanai - turning back, daily see the 'I' with the inner eye.

tirumbia kandanai - 'daily see with the inner eye  the kanda who returned.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1002 on: June 11, 2015, 09:44:10 AM »
Kunju Swami's Reminiscences:

Once I went to Sri Santhalinga Matha at Peraiyur, near Coimbatore, for the Kumbhabhishekam of the Peraiyur
Temple, which was being performed by the Nattukottai Chettiars. At their invitation, sadhus from Kovilur
Math, Sadhu Swami and his group from Pazhani and other learned sadhus had come and were staying in the
Math. Some of them were known to me since they had previously come to have Sri Bhagavan's darshan.
After the function, we had our meal and then started conversing.  The sadhus who had known me earlier
introduced me to other sadhus, saying that I had come from Sri Ramanasramam.

On hearing this, the other sadhus said, 'Since we have all come together, let us discuss something.'

They first asked me, to explain akhandakara vritti (unbroken experience). As I could remember clearly the
explanation of Sri Bhagavan had given when devotees raised this question, in His presence, I quoted the
appropriate verse from Ribhu Gita and explained it.  Then the sadhus asked me about prati bhanda
(the three obstacles, ignorance, doubt and wrong knowledge).  This too I explained with a verse from
Vedanta Chudamani.  The sadhus were pleased with my explanation.

It occurred to me that I should study Vedantic texts and Sri Krishnanada Swami the head of Kovilur Math,
who was there. said that the sixteen important texts in Tamizh would take 3 months to one year to complete.

I asked Bhagavan on my return, whether I could go to Tirukhalar (where they wanted me to go) to study
these texts.

Bhagavan replied with a mocking smile - 'Now you are going to study Vedanta, then it will be Siddhanta,
then Sanskrit, and then polemics...'

And He kept adding more and more subjects, I stood before Him dumb founded.

Seeing my depressed look Sri Bhagavan said, 'It is enough if you study the One.'

He added:  'If you learn to remain within your Self as the Self, that will amount to learning everything.'

I left the idea of studying Vedanta texts for good.. 

Arunachala Siva.         


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1003 on: June 12, 2015, 09:26:14 AM »

This is a story of Bhagavan and also His teachings:-

Once some devotee asked Sri Bhagavan, when He was looking at the Hill through the window: Bhagavan!
Are you looking at Arunachala?  Sri Bhagavan replied: I am looking at Atma.

This answers the questions. Sri Ramana has said that Arunachala is Atma. He said that Arunachala is the
purport of the  maha vakya Tat tvam asi. Though the Hill is the incarnation of Siva, Sri Bhagavan always
looked at it as Self. The Self is all, The Self of all.

When Westerners who came to Him asked whether they should convert to Hinduism, Sri Bhagavan said:
Why? Is not Atma common to all? Why should you change to Hinduism to realize Atma? You can be a good
Christian and attain Self realization!

He never approved conversion. He never approved wearing an ochre robe and becoming a sannyasi.
Because Atma can be attained by anyone without these external changes. What is needed is faith and
sincere self inquiry. 

Once one Rama Sastri came and asked Him whether he can change his Rama mantra chanting to
Ramana mantra chanting. He said: Why? Is Ramana different from Rama? Do continue Rama mantra.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« Reply #1004 on: June 12, 2015, 09:37:20 AM »

Rangan - Sri Bhagavan's childhood friend:

The story is like this. Rangan told Sri Bhagavan: Bhagavan! This place is wonderful. Your company gives me
immense peace. I would like to stay with you for ever.

Sri Bhagavan said: Ranga, this Hill will appear quite nice only when seen from far off. If you come closer you
will find that it would be different. You can go to Madurai and then come back when the game is over......

Rangan in fact returned to Madurai and fortunately with Sri Bhagavan's grace, he got a job of commission agent
for lorry bookings and earned quite a good money, conducted his daughters' marriages and lived a peaceful life,
having darshan of Sri Bhagavan  once a while.

Arunachala Siva.