Author Topic: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:  (Read 30925 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #135 on: April 08, 2013, 05:53:42 PM »

125.  Forced Dnners:

This afternoon at 3 O'clock, a devotee from Esanya Mutt came and bowed before Sri Bhagavan . Seeing him, Bhagavan said: 'A
telegram has been received that Swami in Kovilur Mutt is no more. Is Natesa Swami gone? 'Yes. Two days ago. We knew beforehand
that he was sick,' he said. Someone asked, 'Who is Natesa Swami?'  'The deceased who passed away at the Kovilur Math was originally
in charge of the Esanya Mutt.  When Madathipathi (head of the Mutt) of Kovilur passed away Natesa Swami was taken there and was
made the head of that mutt. That is the most important Vedanta Mutt this side. Though he was not very learned, he was a good sadhaka
and so he was chosen.  It might have been about twenty years back.' said Bhagavan.

'Is he the same person, who made Bhagavan get into a  bullock cart? I asked.

No. That was the one who was in the mutt before Natesa Swami.  He was not like this person. He was a powerful personality,'
said Bhagavan.

'When was that? some one asked.

'That was about four or five years after I came to Tiruvannamalai and I was at that time in Virupaksha Cave. It is a funny story. One
day when Pazhani Swami and myself went round the Hill and came near the temple it was   8.0 pm. As we were tired, I lay down in
Subramanya Temple.  Pazhani went to fetch food from the choultery.  He (the head of the mutt) was going into the Temple. As usual
there were many disciples around him. One of them saw me and told them about it.  That was enough.  While returning, he came with ten of his disciples and stood around me. He began  saying:  Get up, Swami.  We shall go.'  I was in mouna then.  So I showed  by
signs that I would not accompany them.  Was he he man  to listen to me?   'Lift him up bodily, lift.' he said to his disciples.  As there was
no alternative, I got up. When I came out, there was a cart ready.  'Get in Swami' he said. I declined and showed them by signs that I would prefer to walk and suggested that he should get into the cart.  He took  no notice of my protestations. Instead he told his disciples
'What are you looking at. Lift Swami and put him in the cart.'  They were ten of them and I was alone. What could I do?  They lifted me
bodily and put me into the cart.  Without saying anything more, I went to the mutt.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,   
                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #136 on: April 09, 2013, 06:22:56 PM »

125. Forced Dinners:

He had a big leaf spread out for me, filled it with food of all kinds, showed great respect and began saying, 'Please stay
here always'.  Pazhani Swami went to the temple, enquired about me and then came to the Mutt. After he came, I somehow
managed to escape from there. That was the only occasion on which I got into a cart after coming to Tiruvannamlai. Subsequently
whenever new people arrived they sent a cart, asking me to go over there place. If once I yielded, I was afraid that there would
be no end to the sort of invitation and so I sent back the cart, refusing to go. Eventually they stopped sending their carts. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #137 on: April 10, 2013, 05:49:31 PM »
125. FORCED DINNERS:

Continues......

Sri Bhagavan continued:

'But that was not the only trouble with them.  Even I did not go to them ,when uninvited, I used to go round the Hill and would
sometimes visit the mutt.  He would then go in and say something to the cook.  At meal time, he would have a big leaf spread
out for me, sit by my side and instruct the cook to serve me food over and over again.  On the other days, he would not eat
along with the disciples in the mutt, but when I visited the mutt, he used to sit by my side for food.  How would I eat all that
was piled up on the leaf?  I used to touch a little of the various preparations.  The balance used to be mixed together by the
disciples and the inmates used to eat it saying, 'It is Swami's prasadam."  Noticing this, I gave up eating from a leaf.  Whenever
I felt like eating there in the mutt, I used to stay in Pachaiamman Temple or somewhere nearby, go the mutt soon after the naivedya
bell was rung, stay near the main entrance and ask them for the nivedana.  They used to bring it, and give it into my hands.
I used to eat without the aid of the leaf.

Salt is not put into the nivedhana, as it is a Siva temple,  Even so, I did not mind it at all.  All that I wanted was to satisfy my
hunger.  As the head of the mutt was staying upstairs, he knew nothing about it for some time. One day, he saw it accidentally,
Who is it that is giving Swami food without salt?'  he enquired angrily. Subsequently, he learned all the facts and left the matter at
that.  The person who died recently was not like that. He was a very peaceful and easy going man.  He used to sit by my side
along with all others and arrange for serving me food in normal quantities, similar to others.'

continued...                   

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #138 on: April 11, 2013, 06:19:48 PM »

125. Forced dinners:

continues.....


'Bhagavan also once lecutured there', didn't he? someone asked.  'Yes', He replied.  'When the person who recently passed
away was teaching some lessons, to the inmates of the mutt, I happened to go there.  They received me with great respect
and made me sit down. ' Go on with the lessons', I said. 'Can I teach lessons in Swami's presence? Swami Himself must say
something,' he replied.  So saying, he got a copy of Gita Saram, made his sishyas to read and requested me to explain it.
As there was no way out, I gave a discourse.'

Ramachandra Iyer's grandfather once took Bhagavan to his place, it seems', said the questioner.  'That was long back, perhaps
in 1896. I was then in Gopura Subramanya Temple.  He used to come to me daily, sit for a while and then go.  I was in mouna then.

So there was no talk or consultation. Even then, he had great devotion to me. One day it seems he invited someone to his
house for a feast.  In the noon, before the meal time, he came to me with another person. One standing on either side of me,
they said 'Swami, let us go. Get up.'  'Why?' I inquired by signs. They told me the purpose.  I refused. But would they go?  They
caught hold of my hands and forcibly pulled me up.  They were prepared even to carry me in their arms. He was tall, stout with a big
belly,  I was at that time lean and weak.  I was nothing before him.  His friend was even sturdier. What could I do? I was afraid
that they might even carry me in their arms if I resisted any further.  I knew they were inviting me with great bhakti. So, thinking
it was no use arguing with them, I walked with them. From the main entrance they took me to the Hall with great respect, spread
a big plantain leaf  and fed me sumptuously and then sent me back.  That is the only occasion where I have eaten, in a family house.

******

Arunachala Siva.                   
 

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #139 on: April 12, 2013, 02:32:26 PM »

126.  Questions with Half Knowledge:

A few days back a meeting of the Vysya Sangam was held in this town.  A number of prominent Vysyas from Andhra State
attended to it. Two days back all of them  came to the Asramam in the morning and one of the chief men among them addressed
Bhagavan thus:  'Swami, God has become Jiva. Will the grief that the Jiva suffers affect God or not?'

Bhagavan did not give a reply immediately but remained silent.  The questioner waited for a while and asked. 'Swami. Shall I
wait until you give me a reply?' Then Bhagavan said: 'Who is it that is asking the question?' 'A jive' said the Vysya.

'Who is that Jiva?  what does he look like? Where was he born?  Where does he get dissolved? If you inquire and find out,
he who is known as Jiva will be found to be God himself.

'Then it will be known whether the grief experienced by the Jiva will affect God or not.  When that is known, there will be no
trouble at all.'     

'This is what we are unable to know, said the questioner.

'There is no effort required to know one's self. You exist during sleep but all the things in the world that you see are not visible
then.  When you wake up you see that you see everything.  But you existed then and exist now.  That which comes on you in your
wakeful state should be thrown out,' said Bhagavan.

'How are we to throw it out?' inquired  the questioner.

'If you remain as you are, it will go out on its own accord. You nature is to BE. If you see the Reality as it is, the unreal will go away
as unreal.', said Bhagavan. 

'What is the method by which this can be seen?' asked further the questioner.

'By inquiring Who am I? and what is my true state?' said Bhagavan.

'How am I to inquire?' asked the questioner.

Bhagavan kept silent.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #140 on: April 13, 2013, 01:47:06 PM »

12. Questions with Half Knowledge:

The questioner waited for a reply for a while and then, saying, 'Yes, this is the method.'  He touched the feet of Sri Bhagavan,
despite the objections of the attendants and went away with all members of the Vysya Sangam.  After they had left, Bhagavan
said to those waiting near Him, 'Don't they know the reply?  They just wanted to test me.  They left that their work was over,
when they touched my feet. What more do they require?'

A rich Reddy from Nellore, who happened to be there said, 'Ananda is said to be Atma.  Ananda is free from sorrow. If so,
when the Jiva experiences Ananda, will he be free from sorrow?  Bhagavan replied:  'There can be Ananda only if there is duhkha
and it is only if a thing is known as duhkha then ananda can be known. If duhkha is not realized, how can Ananda be realized?
So long as there is one who knows, these two will exist. Vastu (the thing that is) is above sukha and duhkha.  Even so, the
Vastu is known as sukha, because Sat is above Sat and asat.  Jnana is above Jnana and ajnana.  Vidya  is above vidya and avidya.
The same thing is said about several things. So what is there to say?' said Bhagavan.  The same idea is expressed in verse ten of
Ulladu Narpadu.       
 

*****

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #141 on: April 14, 2013, 01:46:19 PM »

127. Puja with Flowers:

Recently, a rich lady residing in Ramana Nagar, was getting a basket of jasmine flowers from her garden everyday and
giving them to all the married ladies in the Hall.  Bhagavan observed this for four or five days but said nothing. She did
not discontinue that practice.  One day she put the flower basket on the stool, bowed before Bhagavan and got up.
Bhagavan looking at someone nearby said:  Look, She has brought something.  They are flowers perhaps.  What for?

With some fear, she said that they were not for Bhagavan but for the married ladies and began distributing them.  'Oh,
if that is so, they could as well be distributed at their houses.  Why here?  If someone give flowers thus, all others begin
doing the same thing.  Seeing that, people who newly will think that flowers must be distributed and will buy and bring them.
Then the trouble starts.  I never touch flowers.  In some places, it is usual to present flower garlands.  Hence many people
bring flowers. I have not allowed people to do puja to the feet or to the head. Why do we require such practices?' said
Bhagavan.

With fear and trepidation she said, 'No, I will not bring them any more.'  Bhagavan said, 'All right.  That is good.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #142 on: April 15, 2013, 11:55:15 AM »
127. Puja with Flowers:

continues.....

Looking at those still near Him, Bhagavan went on as follows:  "You know what happened at one of the Jayanti celebrations?
A devotee got a book by name Pushapanjali printed and said he would read it.  When I said, 'Yes', he stood a little behind
and began reading it. He appears to have some flowers hidden in his lap.  As the reading came to a close, bunches of flowers
fell on my legs.  On inquiry, it was found that it was his doing.  He did it thus because he knew I would not agree if he told
me beforehand.  What to do?  Perhaps in his view, it is no puja unless it is done like that.'

During the early days of my stay here, on a Varalashmi Puja Day, one or two married ladies placed some flowers on Bhagavan's
feet, bowed before Him and went away after seeking his permission for Puja.  Next year, all began doing the same thing.  Bhagavan
looked at them angrily and said, 'There it is - one after another, all have started.  Why all this?  This is a result of my keeping quiet
instead of stopping it in the very beginning.  Enough of this.'

Not only in regard to Himself but even in regard to puja to the deities, Bhagavan mildly rebukes devotees about using leaves
and flowers.  I have already written to you in one of my previous letters about the laksha patri puja (puja with one lakh of leaves)
of Ecahmma.  There is another instance.  During the days when Bhagavan used to go round the Hill with devotees in stages, they
camped one morning at Goutama Ashram.  After the men and women cooked, eaten and rested, and were getting ready to go as to
reach the Asramam before sunset, a lady devotee named Lakshmamma, who was born in Tiruchuzhi and was a childhood friend of
Bhagavan and who used to talk to Him familiarly, was plucking and putting in a basket the jasmine and tangedu flowers that had grown
luxuriantly on the trees in and around the cremation ground there.  Bhagavan noticed it and asked similingly, 'Lakshmamma, what are
you doing?  She said, 'I am plucking flowers.'  'I see. Is that your job?  It is all right but why so many flowers?' asked Bhagavan.
'For puja' she said.  'Oh! It won't be puja unless you worship with so many flowers, is that it?' said Bhagavan. 'I don't know. These
trees have abundance of flowers. So I am plucking them', she said.  'I see, As in your opinion it will not be nice if there is a luxuriant
growth of flowers, you are making them tonsured. You have seen the beauty of that growth and you do not like others to see it.  You have watered them and helped them in their growth, haven't you? So you can take liberty of plucking all the flowers and making them
naked so that no one else can see that beauty.  It is only then you will get the full benefit of your puja, is it?' said  Bhagavan.

******

Arunachala Siva.           
         
     

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #143 on: April 16, 2013, 01:51:43 PM »
128. ABHISHEKAM - WORSHIP WITH WATER:

A devotee who has been coming to the Asramam off and on, yesterday, during conversation regarding Bhagavan's stay on
the Hill, asked Him, 'While Bhagavan was on the Hill, it seems some one did abhishekam to Bhagavan  with coconut water.
Is that a fact?'  Laughingly Bhagavan said: 'Yes. while I was in Virupaksha Cave, some ladies from North Inida came., I was
sitting on a platform under the tamarind tree with half closed eyes, without particularly noticing their arrival. I thought they
would go away after a while. Suddenly there was a noise of breaking something,  I therefore opened my eyes and saw
coconut water trickling down my head. One of those ladies had done that abhishekam.  What was I to do?  I was in mouna
and could not talk.  I had no towel even to wipe the water off.  There used to be lighting of camphor, pouring of water on the
head, tirthas, prasads, and several troublesome performances. It used to be quite a job stopping such things.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #144 on: April 18, 2013, 06:00:36 PM »
128. Abhishekam - Worship with water.

continues......

Bhagavan continued:

I myself have seen similar instances some four or five yeas back.  In the room, where Bhagavan takes His bath, there is a hole
through which the water is used to drain out.  Below that, a gutter was constructed to drain the water.  At the time of His bathing   
some devotees used to gather at that place, wipe their eyes, sprinkle water on their heads that came out of the room.  They even
used it for achamaniyam. That was going on quietly and unobserved for some time. But in due course, people began to bring
large vessels and  buckets to gather that water.  Soon there was a long queue. That naturally resulted in some noise, which reached
Bhagavan's ears, and He inquired and found out the facts.  Addressing the attendants, He said, 'Oh, Is that the matter?  When I heard the noise I thought it was something else. What nonsense!  Will you get this stopped or shall I bathe at the tap outside?  If that is done, you will be saved the trouble of heating water for me and there will be no trouble for them either to watch and wait for tirtha.
What do I want?  Only two things, a towel and a koopinam. I can bathe and rinse them at the tap and that completes the job.  If
not the tap, I can have the bath in the streams and tanks. Why this bother?  What do you say?  When Bhagavan took them to task thus, the practice was stopped.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #145 on: April 19, 2013, 02:21:38 PM »
128. Abhishekam (Worship with water):

continues.....

Another thing that happened during those days,l Bhagavan used to go to the Hill in the hot sun after taking meals, in the forenoon.
On His return, when He came to the platform near the Hall, the attendants used to pour water on His feet from the kamandalu
and He used to wash His feet and then go in.  Some used to hide somewhere there, and, as soon as He went into the Hall,
they used to collect that water and sprinkle it on their heads.  Once an inquiry starts, all faults come to light, don't they?
Bhagavan appears to have noticed this also. One afternoon, He saw through window an old and long standing devotee sprinkling
this water on his head. Seizing that opportunity, He began saying, 'There it is!  See that! As I have not been taking any special
notice of ti, it is going beyond all limits.  However long they are here, and however often they hear what I say, these ridiculous
things do not stop.  What is it that they are doing?  I shall henceforth stop washing my feet, do you understand?'

He thus reprimanded them severely. That devotee was stunned, and with shame and grief, went to Bhagavan immediately and
begged to be  excused.

Not only did Bhagavan admonish him like that, but from the next day onwards, He refused to wash His feet there even though
attendants pleaded with Him to retain the existing custom.

...........

Arunachala Siva.             

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #146 on: April 20, 2013, 02:33:16 PM »

129. Tirthas, Prasadas and  Ucchishtam (left over food of Guru):

Long back, when there were not many people in the Asramam, one of the attendants of Bhagavan used to wait until
Bhagavan had finished eating and then used to have his food on Bhavavan's leaf.  Gradually, Asramites and old devotees
(including Muruganar) began asking for the leaf  did not take a serious turn, Bhagavan did not take much notice of it. A plate
had also to be placed before the leaf for washing His hands, that water also used to be taken in like tirtha (holy water).
In due course,  these two practices of the Asramites went beyond Asramam precincts and spread to Ramana Nagar also.

One day the mother of a wealthy devotee came there during lunch time and stood by the side of Bhagavan. Seeing her,
Bhagavan said, 'Why don't you sit down for meals?' She did not do so.  Bhagavan understood the purpose but kept quiet
as if He did not know anything.  On the other side, the grand daughter of another devotee, aged eight, stood with a tumbler
in her hand. Noticing her also, Bhagavan said: 'Why are you also standing?' Sit and down and eat food.'  'No', she said.  'Then
why have you come? What is the tumbler for? asked Bhagavan.  After all, she was an unsophisticated child, and so, not knowing
it to be a secret, said, 'Grandmother has sent me to fetch tirtham.' Bhagavan could not contain His anger any longer and said,
'I see.  That is the thing. This child is waiting for tirtham and that lady for the leaf. That is it. Isn't it?  When He thus asked with
commanding tone, one of the people near Him said, 'Yes.'   'I have been noticing this nonsense  for sometime now,' He said.'They
think that Swami sits in the Hall with closed eyes and does not notice any of these things. I did not want to interfere in such matters
all these days, but there does not seem to be any limit to them.  Tirthas and prasadas out of Ucchishtam (food and water left over
as a  remainder) and people to take turns for them!  Look!  Henceforth, I will not wash my hands in the plate, not even anywhere
about this place. I will not leave the leaf here and go.  I myself will remove it and throw it away.  You understand?  All of you join
together and do these things. This is the only punishment.' 

So saying, and repeating several other things for long time, Bhagavan folded His leaf in His hand.  However much people there begged
Him, He did not give them the leaf, but went up the Hill and, after turning a corner, threw it away and then washed His hands there.

Eventually, the Asramites prayed and assured Him that they would stop those undesirable practices. He said, 'When everyone
removes his used leaf, and throws it away, why should I leave mine?'  Until 1943, after meals, everyone used to remove their leaf
and throw it away.  That practice was changed only after this incident.

After all the Asramites swore that they themselves should remove all the leaves and throw them away along with Bhagavan's leaf,
He reluctantly began leaving His leaf there.  But even today He has been washing His hands outside, near the steps leading into the
Hall. If anybody requested Him to wash His hands in a plate, He would say, 'Will you provide all these people with plates?  If all
others do not have them, why should I require one?' What reply could we give Him?

*****

Arunachala Siva.