Author Topic: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:  (Read 33852 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2013, 10:20:26 AM »
91. MAYA (ILLUSION).

.....

The questioner asked again, 'But first of all we must find a Guru who can give us sufficient practice and thereby enable us
to get rid of these gunas, mustn't we?'

Bhagavan said: If we have the earnestness to get rid of these qualities, can we not find a Guru? We must first have the desire
to get rid of them. When once we have this, the Guru will himself come, searching for us, or he will somehow manage to draw us
to himself. The Guru will always be on the alert and keep an eye on us. Iswara himself will show us the Guru. Who else will look
after the welfare of the children except the father himself? He is always with us, surrounding us. He protects us as a bird protects
its eggs by hatching them under the shelter of its wings. But we must have the whole-hearted faith in Him.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2013, 09:58:52 AM »
93. SADHANA:

"Bhagavan says that sadhana must be done to discard all such bad things, but the mind it itself is inert and cannot do anything
by itself -- Chaitanya (Self) is achalam (motionless) and so will not do anything. Then how  is one to perform sadhana?," someone
asked. Sri Bhagavan replied, 'Oho! But how are you able to talk now?'

'Swami, I do not understand that and that is why I ask for enlightenment', he said. Sri Bhagavan replied: 'Alright. Then please
listen. The mind which is inert is able to achieve everything by the force of its contact, sannidhyabala (strength of proximity) with
Chaitanya which is achala. But without the aid of Chaitanya, being immobile, cannot accomplish anything by itself. Chaitanya, being
immobile, cannot accomplish anything without the help of the mind. It is the relationship of avinnabhavam, one dependent on the other,
and inseparable. That is why elders discussed this matter from various angles and came to the conclusion that the mind is
chit-jada-atmakam. We have to say that the combination of Chit (Self) and Jada (inert = mind) produces action.'

Sri Bhagavan has written nicely about this Chit-jada-granthi in His Ulladu Narpadu, Verse 24, as follows:

The body does not say 'I'. The Atman is not born. In between, the feeling 'I' is born in the whole body. Whatever name you give
it that is Chit jada granthi (the knot between the consciousness and the inert) and also bondage and samsaram.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2013, 08:50:17 AM »
116. PRARABDHA:

This morning at 9 'O clock, one devotee addressed Bhagavan as follow: 'Swami! You said yesterday that a Jnani will
perform such actions as are ordained according to his prarabdha. But is also that Jnanis have no prarabdha at all!'

Bhagavan said, in a leisurely way, 'How did they get this body if they have no prarabdha? How do they perform the various
actions? The actions of Jnanis are themselves called Prarabhdas. It is stated that there is prarabdha is there from Brahma right
up to Sadasiva and for the avatars of Rama and Krishna and others also.

As stated in the Sloka BG. IV.8. Iswara assumes a shape when the virtues of good people and sins of bad mingle mingle and become
Prarabdha for Him. He has to establish dharma. That is called pareccha prarabdha (for the acts of other people). The body itself
is prarabdha. The purpose for which that body has come into existence will get done of its own accord.'

Krishna says in Gita IX 9,:  Nor do these works bind me. O Dhananjya, enthroned on high, unattached to actions.

In a similar way, the Jnanis who have attained Self Realization, are also not bound by prarabdha. They do not get affected in any
way by the effects of prarabdha.  Because, the Jnani has no mind to get affected by the prarabdha.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2013, 10:00:10 AM »
142: SIMPLICITY:

....................

...................

Sometime back, a similar incident happened. Some rich people brought a silver cup, saucer, and spoon and placing them
reverentially before Him, said, 'Bhagavan, please use these when you take any liquid food.' Bhagavan examined the things
and passed them on to His attendants. As the attendants were placing them in the bureau in the Hall,  He objected and said:
'Why there?  Let them be kept in the office itself.' 'They were given for Bhagavan's use, were they not?' said a devotee.

'Yes', replied Bhagavan, 'but those are things used by rich people. What use can they be to us? If required, we have our own
cups and spoons. We can use them -- why these?' So saying, Bhagavan told His attendant, 'Look, from tomorrow, we will use
our own cups. Take them out.' A devotee asked, 'What are those cups, Bhagavan?', a devotee asked. 'Oh! Those cups are made
of coconut shells, smoothed and preserved. They are our cups and spoons. They are our own. If we use them the purpose is served.
Please keep the silver articles carefully elsewhere', said Bhagavan.

'Are not those silver articles Bhagavan's own? asked a devotee.

Bhagavan said with a laugh, 'Yes, they are. But tell me, why all this ostentation for us? They are costly. Should we be careless, someone
might steal them. So they must be guarded. Is that the job for Swami? Not only that. Somebody might think, 'after all He is a
sannyasi and so will He not give them if asked?' and then ask for them. It is not possible to say, 'No'. Yet, if they are given away,
those presented them might resent it, as gave the articles for Swami's use only. Why all that trouble? If we use our own cups it does
not matter how we use them or what we do with them.'

So saying, He sent away the silver articles, had His own cups taken out and shown to all present.

.........

Arunachala Siva.           
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2013, 09:25:17 AM »
76. BRAHMOTSAVAM:

On the 28th day of last month (November 1946), corresponding to the Suddha Panchami in the month of Kartika, the Dhavajaorohanam,
(flag hoisting ceremony) was performed in the temple of Arunachaleswara, in connection with the commencement of the festival. In the
evening of the 10th day of the festival, the sacred light is lit on the peak of Arunachala Hill.
.........
.........

During this Dhanur month, in the early morning, Tevaram and Tiruvembavai were chanted in the Hall. ...The recital has just ended
as Sri Bhagavan placed His feet on the ground to go for His bath. As the recitation ended with the words, 'Let us bathe! Get up!'
Bhagavan got up from the sofa, saying, 'Yes!  Here I am, getting up for bath.' We all laughed.

Though the Paramatma who is neither man nor woman, manifested Himself in the universe in the shape of Bhagavan, still in the worship of Lord Arunachaleswara, He addressed the Lord with abala bhava (feeling of a woman towards her husband), I therefore felt indescribable pride at this. Saint Manikkavachagar sang those songs when he got abala bhava towards the Lord. Sri Bhagavan too
wrote His Aksharamana Maalai with the same abala bhava. Do you see how exalted a place is accorded to the abala bhava!


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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2013, 12:53:44 PM »
78. ANDAVANE!

A telegram was received at about  9 am. today informing us that Ramanatha Brahmachari, alias Andavane, expired in Madras last
night (1946). Someone informed me about it as I was entering the Hall.

Ramanatha Brahmachari joined the group of Bhagavan's devotees when quite young, when Bhagavan was still in Virupaksha Cave.
After that he never left Bhagavan except for short intervals of about 15 days in the year. This staunch devotee and life long brahmachari\
went to Madras for treatment and we heard the news of his demise within 15 days. I entered the Hall feeling sad that it had happened
the same way as with Madhavaswami some time earlier and simultaneously gratified that he had left his skeleton like body without
much suffering. Bhagavan said to me: It seems that our Ramanathan is gone.' Once before when Madhavaswami died and Bhagavan told me, 'Madhavaswami is gone' and I asked Him where to? 'Whereto?, Bhagavan replied, 'There leaving his body here.' So I did not ask Him again this time.

In the afternoon at 3 pm. two ladies Uma and Alamu, began singing the Tamizh verses 'Ramana Anubhuti written by Ramanatha
Brahmachari. There is also another song with pallavi, 'Tiruchuzhi Nathanai kaNdene.' That was also written by him. Since the word
'Andavane' came several times Ramanathan himself began to be called Andavane!

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2013, 12:56:28 PM »
84. WHO IS RAMANA?

On the 7th of this month (1947), Dr. T.N. Krishnaswami, a devotee of Bhagavan, celebrated the Jayanti of Sri Ramana in Madras.
It seems a Pandit mentioned in the course of his lecture, on the occasion, that there was a reference somewhere that Bhattapada
(Kumarila Bhattar) would be born in Tiruchuzhi as Ramana. While the devotees in the Asramam were searching for these references,
Sri Bhagavan Himself said, 'Nayana (Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni) said that Skanda (Lord Subrahmanya0 was born first as Kumarila
Bhattar, then as Jnana Sambandhar and in the third birth as Sri Ramana.

The appellation, 'dravida sishu' used by Sri Sankara in Soundarya Lahari refers to Jnana Sambandha, doesn't it? Therefore
Sambandha must have existed prior to Kumarila Bhattar who was a contemporary of Sankara. Nayana said that Sambandha
was of a later date than Kumarila Bhattar, who was of a later date than Kumarila Bhattar. One is not consistent with other.
One is not consistent with the other. Which of the above versions is the authority for the aforesaid lecturer's statement is not
known.'

Surprised at these words which were meant to throw everyone off guard, I said, 'Why so much discussion about it? We may ask
Sri Bhagavan Himself.  Doesn't Sri Bhagavan know who He is? Even if He does not tell us now there is His own reply to the song,
asking 'Who is Ramana?" written by Amritananda Yatiindra while Sri Bhagavan was residing on  the Hill.

Sri Bhagavan replied: 'Yes, yes, with the smile of approval on His face, waited for a while, and then said, 'Amritananda is a peculiar
person. He is very interested in all matters. When I was on the Hill he used to come now and then and stay with me. One day I went
somewhere.; By the time, I returned he had composed a verse in Malayalam, asking, 'Who is Ramana?' left it there and went out.
I wondered what was written on the paper, so I looked at it and found out. By the time he returned I composed another verse and
put the paper back.  It is a reply in Malayalam. He likes to attribute supernatural powers to me. He did so when he wrote my biography
in Malayalam. Nayana had it read out to him, and after hearing it, tore it off, saying 'Enough, enough!' That was the reason for his posing this question to me. He wanted to attribute some supernatural powers to me, as Hari or Yati, or Vararuchi, or Isvsara. I replied
in the manner stated in the verse.  What could they do? They could not answer. A Telugu translation of those verses is available, isn't it?  (It is there in Sri Ramana Leela of Krishna Bhikshu).

Amritananda's question: Who is this Ramana in the Arunachala Cave, who is renowned as the treasure of compassion? Is he
Vararuchi? or Isa Guru? or Hari? or Yatindra?  I am desirous of knowing the Guru's Mahima.

Bhagavan's reply: Arunachala Ramana is the Paramatma Himself who plays about as Consciousness in the hearts of all living
beings from Hari downwards. He is the Supreme Being, It will be clear to you if you open the eye of Jnana and see the Truth,
by entering into the Heart Cave. 

(The Tamizh verses of the two are available in the latest edition of Sri Ramana Nool tirattu, Complete Works.)

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2013, 10:48:52 AM »
85. DRAVIDA SISU:

Yesterday, Sri Bhagavan said that Sankara sang about Sambandha in Soundarya Lahari, referring to him as 'dravida sisu' didn't he?
Last night I took out Soundarya Lahari with a Telugu commentary and saw the sloka written by Sankara about Sambandha which is
as follows:

O Daughter of the Mountain, I fancy that the ocean of the milk of poesy rising out of Thy heart verily caused the milk of Thy
breasts to flow. On swallowing this milk given by Thy Grace, the Dravidian child became a poet among great poets.

The Telugu commentary stated that the words 'dravida sisu' in the sloka meant Sankara himself. On the next day, I mentioned this
to Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan replied, 'The Telugu commentators must have stated it wrongly. The Tamizh Soundarya Lahari stated that
the words 'dravida sisu'  meant Sambandha and not Sankara. And He sent for the Tamizh book and red out all that was written in
it about the reason for Sambandha receiving the title dravida sisu and explained to us as follows:

Sambandha was born in an orthodox brahmin family in the town of Sirkazhi. The parents were Sivapada Hridayar and Bhagavatiyar.
The parents named the child ALudaya Pillaiyar. When the child was three years old, one early morning, the father took him to
to Tiruttoni Appar Kovil. There in the tank, when he was taking bath, he immersed into the tank for repeating the aghamarshana mantram. When the child on the steps, could not see his father, he cried, Father, Father! Parvati and Lord Siva appeared in the sky,
seated on the sacred bull and gave darsan to the child. Siva directed Parvati to give the boy a golden cupful of her breast milk, the
milk containing Siva Jnana. She did accordingly. The boy drank the milk and became free from sorrow and the divine couple disappeared.

Having drunk the milk of Jnana, and feeling quite satisfied and happy, Sambandha sat on the tank steps with milk dribbling from the
corners of his mouth. When the father came out of the tank after his bath, he saw the boy's condition and angrily asked, flourishing a cane, 'Who gave you milk? Can you drink milk given by strangers? Tell me who that person is or I will beat you.

Sambandha immediately replied by singing, ten Tamizh verses. The gist of the first verse is: 'The Man with kundalas (sacred ear rings),
the Man who rides the sacred bull, the Man who has white moon on His head, the Man whose body is smeared with the ashes of the
burning ghats, the thief who has stolen my heart, He who came to bless Brahma the creator, when the latter did penance, and He who
occupies the sacred seat of Brahmapuri, He, My Father is there, and She, my Mother who gave me milk is there!' So saying he described
the forms of Siva and Parvati as he witnessed with his eyes and who gave him milk to drink and also pointed towards the temple
tower.

It was clear from the verses, that the people who gave milk to the child were no other than Parvati and Lord Siva. People gathered round. From that day onwards the boy's  poetic flow began to run unimpeded. That is why Sankara sang, Thava Stanyam Manye...
The commentators therefore decided that the word dravida sisu referred to Sambandha alone. Nayana also wrote of him as dravida
sisu in Sri Ramana Gita.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2013, 01:13:52 PM »
90. The Jnani's Mind is Brahman Itself:

I went to the Hall at about 7.30 this morning. It was all silent inside. The aroma of the burning incense sticks coming out of the
windows indicated to the new visitors that Bhagavan was there. I went inside, bowed before Sri Bhagavan and then sat down.
Sri Bhagavan who was all along leaning on a pillow, sat erect in the Padmasana pose. In a moment His look became   
motionless and transcendent and the whole Hall was filled with lustre. Suddenly someone asked , 'Swamiji! Do the Jnanis
have a mind or not?'

Sri Bhagavan has cast a benevolent look at him and said, 'There is no question of one realizing Brahman without a mind;
realization is possible only if there is a mind;  mind always functions with some upadhi; there is no mind without upadhi.
It is only in connection with the upadhi that we say that one is a Jnani. Without the upadhi, how can one say that someone is
a Jnani? But how does the upadhi function without a mind? It does not. That is why it is said that the Jnani's mind that the Jnani's
mind itself is Brahman. The Jnani is always looking at Brahman. How is it possible without a mind? That is why it is further said that the
Jnani's mind is Brahmakara and akhandakara. But in reality his mind itself is Brahman.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2013, 10:40:32 AM »
91. MAYA:

The same devotee who questioned Sri Bhagavan yesterday again asked Him this afternoon about illusion, Maya: 'Swami, all
the innumerable varieties of things that appear to the human mind to be real, are mere Maya (illusion), aren't they? Will the
illusion disappear if they are all discarded?'

Bhagavan replied: 'Illusion will continue to appear as illusion, so long as the idea that oneself and Isvara are two different entitites
persists. When once that illusion is discarded and the individual realizes that he is Isvara, he will understand that Maya is not something
distinct and separate from his own Self., Isvara exists without and distinct from illusion. But there is no illusion without Isvara.'

'Therefore that illusion changes into pure illusion, doesn't it?' asked the questioner. Sri Bhagavan replied, 'Yes! It amounts to that;
unless the individual self is existent how an one realize Isvara? There is no self, unless the illusion is there. When once the individual
realizes who he is, the evil effects, i.e, 'doshas' of illusion do not affect him. Call it pure illusion, or anything else you like. That is the
essential thing.'

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2013, 01:12:59 PM »
93. SADHANA IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GURU:

Today, I reached the Hall at about 3.00 pm. Sri Bhagavan was at leisure, answering questions asked by some devotees. One
of the questions was: 'Swami, they say that japa and tapas performed in the presence of Bhagavan yield greater results than
usual. If so, what about bad actions done in your presence?'

Sri Bhagavan replied, 'If good actions yield good results, bad actions must yield bad results. If the gift of a cow in Kasi yields great
punya (virtue) to the donor, the slaughter of the cow  there result in great papa (sin). When you say that a little virtuous action\
done in a holy place yields enormous benefits, a sinful action must likewise yield enormous harm. So long as the feeling that you
are the doer, you must face the consequences of your actions good or bad.'

..........

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2013, 12:40:09 PM »
95. Telugu Venba:

The magazine, Thyagi published last month, a review on the recently printed Tamizh puranam called Tiruchuzhi Puranam. In the
review they had included three verses, taken out from the book called Tiruchuzhi Venba Andati, for purpose of comparison.
Encouraged by the Sarvadhikari, I wanted to read the review and therefore took the magazine from Sri Bhagavan about ten
days ago.

The Venba is  poetry with double meanings. Since it is in praise of Bhuminatha (Siva) it is pleasant to hear it sung. I was seated in
the Hall, staring at the magazine. Sri Bhagavan felt that I would not be able to understand it, and go gave me the gist of the three
verses:

Bhuminatha is the name of God in Tiruchuzhi temple and Sahaya Valli, the name of the Goddess.  This local purana is included in
the Skandam undedr the name of Tiirsulapura Mahatmyam.

O Bhuminatha! All the gods in the heavens praised you as a hero unaided, on the assumption that you achieved victory over
Tripurasuras. But you are Ardhanareeswara, half man and half woman; so what would you have achieved in the fight against
Tripurasuras, if you had not been aided by the Goddess Sahaya Valli? The left side of your body is hers. Could you have stretched
your bow if you had not been aided by her?'

You are immobile as you are in the form of a Hill; without the aid of the Goddess Sakti, what could you achieve? Therefore, it is
not true to say you are a hero, unaided. You cannot achieve anything without the aid of Sahaya Valli. That is the other meaning.
There are many other varieties of special meanings included in those writings.

Thus Sri Bhagavan completed the narration, in an ecstasy of devotion.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2013, 12:49:13 PM »
69. BRAHMAN IS REAL -- THE WORLD IS AN ILLUSION:

Sometime ago, a new arrival to the Asramam asked Sri Bhagavan something in English, which I could not follow, being ignorant
of the language. But Sri Bhagavan replied in Tamizh and I give below His reply to the extent that I am able to grasp:

Sri Bhagavn said: "It is said that Brahman is real, and the world an illusion; again it is said the whole universe is an image of
Brahman. The question arises: how are these two statements to be reconciled? In the Sadhaka stage, you have got to say
that the world is an illusion. There is no other way, because when a man forgets that he is the Brahman, who is real, permanent,
and omnipresent, and deludes himself into thinking that he is a body in the universe which is filled with the bodies that are transitory,
and labors under that delusion. Why? Because his vision which has forgotten its own Self, is dwelling in the external material universe
and will not turn inward to introspection unless you impress upon him that all this external, material universe is unreal. When once
he realizes his own Self, he will come to upon the whole universe is Brahman. There is no universe without his Self. So long as a man
his own Self which is the origin of all, but look only at the external world as real and permanent, you have to tell him that all this
external universe is an illusion.  You cannot help it.

.........

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2013, 12:56:43 PM »
96. Ekatma Panchakam:

In my last letter I wrote to you abut Telugu Venba. I felt that it would have been better if Sri Bhagavan had composed some more
verses, but kept quiet for the time being, as I felt I should not ask unless a suitable opportunity presented itself. When I reached
the Hall in the afternoon of the 16th, Sri Bhagavan was talking to a devotee about Venba meter. He saw me and began to explain
the differences between Tamizh and Telugu chandas and said, 'It seems once Guhai Namasivaya Swamy decided to compose at the
rate of one venba per day. That would be about 360 verses in a year. He composed a number of verses accordingly, some had been
lost and a number of verses were printed by his devotees. Quite a number of them are available now.'

'Will not be beneficial to the world if Bhagavan also composes similarly?' said the devotees. 'I do not know why, but my mind
refuses to move in that direction. What am I to do?' replied Bhagavan. 'But they are so few! If some more are composed, and if the
relative chandas is constructed, it will be a new treasure for our language,' I said.

.......
I went out and began writing something sitting in front of the verandah. But you see, Bhagavan is full of kindness. As soon as I left
the Hall, it seems He composed a venba and read it out to the devotees. He saw me in the evening as he was going out, looked at me,
and said, 'Here is another venba I have just now composed. You may see it.'

Overwhelmed with joy, I looked at it and kept it. Bhagavan translated it in Tamizh and told Muruganar, 'Am I well read in Telugu?
That is why I try to avoid writing in Telugu, but she keeps on asking. Therefore I had to write.

Sri Bhagavan composed that night one more Venba. That made it five in all. They may be called Atma Panchakam. But Sri Sankara
has already composed something under the same name. Let us therefore call them Ekatma Panchakam.

Thus was born Ekatma Panchakam in Telugu and Tamizh and that afternoon a lady devotee sang the verses in the Hall.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2013, 10:36:07 AM »
97. BIRTH:

Sri Bhagavan said: 'On one of my birthdays, while I was in Virupaksha Cave, proabably in 1912, those around me insisted on cooking
food and eating it there, as a celebration of the occasion. I tried to dissuade them, but they rebelled saying, 'What harm does it do
to Swamiji if we cook our food and eat it here?' I therefore left it at that......

After cooking and eating, Iswara Swami who used to be with me those days, said, 'Swamiji! This is your birthday. Please compose
two verses and I too will compose two.'  It was then I composed these two verses, which I find in the notebook here. They run
as follows:

1. You who intend to celebrate the birthday, first ascertain as to whence you were born. The day that we attain a place in that
everlasting life which is beyond the reach of births and deaths in our real birthday.

2. Even on those birthdays, that occur once a year, we ought to lament that we have got this body and fallen into this world.
Instead we celebrate the event with a feast. To rejoice over it is like decorating a corpse. Wisdom consists in realizing the Self and
in getting absorbed therein.

Then I asked, 'What did Iswaraswami write?' He said, 'Oh, He! He wrote, praising me as an Avatar and all that. That was a pastime
with him in those days. He used to compose one verse and in return I used to compose one, and so on. We wrote many verses,
but nobody took the trouble to preserve them. Most of the time, we two were alone in those days.

On my request to give me a Telugu translation of those birthday verses, He wrote one and gave it to me.

*******

Arunachala Siva.