Author Topic: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.  (Read 7719 times)


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 09:31:46 AM »

Her father Narayana Iyer of Pudukkottai, was a well known medical officer in Tamizh Nadu and a staunch devotee of Sri Ramana
from 1922. In the early years Narayana Iyer was a frequent visitor of the Asramam and was of much help during those difficult
times. As a result,  deep love and reverence for Sri Ramana was ingrained in Gowri Ammal from her childhood. She would always
turn to Him in hour of need. During the last years of Sri Ramana's illness, she settled down near the Asramam in order to be near
Him. This long standing devotee passed away in May 1971.


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2013, 01:27:58 PM »

Chalam is the pen name of Gudipatti Venkatachalam. A stormy petrel noted for his unorthodox views, he was well known in the
world of 'Telugu literature. A staunch devotee of Sri Ramana, Chinta Dikshtulu, who was also a poet, brought Chalam to Sri Ramana
in 1936. Chalam was drawn to Sri Ramana in spite of himself. We find him justifying his visits on some count or other, either it is
the compulsion of his friend or the need for a birthday gift to his daughter, Souris, or his eagerness, or in order to satisfy the demand
of family members and so on. But it is evident that seeds had been sown in the beginning itself. While returning from his evening
stroll, 'Sri Ramana looked and smiled at him for a minute.' That smile had conquered Chalam.

In retrospect, it is clear that he had been chosen for a special assignment at that time itself. It bore rich fruit after he settled down
with his family near Sri Ramanasramam, in 1950. He lived in Arunachala till his peaceful death in 1979, at the ripe age of 85.

In the fifties, he gathered with great diligence and perceptive interest invaluable Reminiscences of 18 old devotees who had spent
several years in close proximity of Sri Ramana. To this he added his own and that of his daughter Souris. These were later published
as Ramana Smruthulu in Telugu. It is a devotional classic, It is such a delight to read these Reminiscences for they unfold the beauty
of life with Sri Ramana.


Arunachala Siva.         


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 01:32:30 PM »

A devotee told Sri Bhagavan: 'My brother is an advocate in Mannargudi. His clientele is very limited. He wants to shift his practice
to another place, in expectation of better luck. He seeks your opinion about it.'

Sri Bhagavan replied softly: Is that so? Why does he not consult an astrologer about it? We could not help laughing. We are only
too ready to drag even a Jnani to our level.

Another devotee complained: ' I am unable to have peace of mind. I am planning to go to Himalayas in search of it.'       

Sri Bhagavan replied: 'You have traveled 250 miles from Madurai and come here. Hows much mental quietness have you got?
Multiply it by the distance from here to Himalayas as to measure the happiness you would go there.' 

Even the questioner could not help laughing. It seemed to me that Bhagavan was reminding us that peace is our true nature.

In a reply to a visitor who remarked, 'I have had enough of these family troubles. My only recourse is sannyasa.'

Bhagavan observed, 'Now you are crying over domestic worries. Then you will have your share of sannyasi's problems.
Mere change of of clothes would not help. Find out the one for whom there is sorrow.'

A devotee from North India wished to keep the leaf in which Bhagavan had taken His food as 'prasadam' citing the traditonal
belief that eating left overs from the Guru's plate would be spiritually beneficial. Bhagavan  advised that everything that one
eats is prasadam, if one does not have the thought that he is the one who is eating.'

Once I sought Bhagavan's special blessings on the ground that all my efforts to abide at the source of the mind had proved futile.
'What is the obstruction?, Bhagavan asked. 'It is my deep rooted tendencies. Your grace is needed,.' I said.

'Your repeated effort is bound to erase them. In fact all sadhana is only to achieve it,' Sri Bhagavan assured. He added, "Leave
God's job to God. You are to do what is in your hands. When the time is ripe, God's grace which is always operating, would be felt
by you also. Grace would work automatically."


Arunachala Siva.       


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 12:47:46 PM »

My husband Dr. Krishnamurthi, the first Asramam doctor, met Bhagavan in 1924.  In one of the Kartigai festivals, he introduced
me also to Him. My husband would rush to Bhagavan immediately after his work in the hospital. He had no thought about the family,
about me and children. Bhagavan was his whole world. I was scared that he would take to the ochre robe, a fear which I could
get over only after Bhagavan assured me in a dream that my husband knew where his duties lay.

All of a sudden, I became extremely unwell. Neighbors and friends felt that I was nearing my end. My husband was away at the
Asramam with Bhagavan. Thennamma ran to the Asramam and gave the message. It seems Bhagavan who was reading the newspaper
at that time went into a trance, for some time. I became normal, miraculously, at the same time. Later when I met Him, Bhagavan
mischievously looked at me, 'It seems it is a new life for you!'

After visiting Skandasramam, Bhagavan was passing in front of our house on the way to Sri Ramanasramam. My eight year   
old daughter Apeetha saw Him and pleaded with Him to come into our house. He cajoled her with a promise that He would do so on
another occasion. He kept His word. This is what happened.

As a gift for the electrical job done in the Asramam, the electrician was given a beautiful picture of Bhagavan.  However, he felt as if
commanded by Bhagavan to hand over the photo to us. He came to me and then went to my husband. How could we accept the present without Bhagavan's permission?  Hearing of this, Bhagavan encouraged us to accept it.  That is how He literally came to
our house.  It was no ordinary picture.  For us, it was the vibrant Bhagavan Himself!

Once Bhagavan was narrating the life of some saint from Tiruthondar Puranam, (Periya Puranam). His voice choked with emotion
and tears kept trickling from His eyes. No doubt He was a Jnani par-excellence but what a heart He had! He used to refer to my
husband as the 'town doctor' and enquired about him even on Nirvana Day.  I could not get His darshan on that day because of long
queue. Bhagavan graciously appeared in a dream and said, 'Amma, how long should I bear the body? Death is natural to it. It is like
a leaf on which the food has been eaten. It has to be thrown away.'


Arunachala Siva.




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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 10:48:47 AM »
Padma Sitapati:

My mother Janaki Matha, had instilled deep love and reverence for Sri Bhagavan in me. I would have visited Bhagavan
innumerable times from my childhood. I will relate just one instance of Sri Bhagavan's miracles for our family.

In his third year my son Janaki Ramanan developed high fever and lost his eyesight. It was a tragedy we could not bear.
My mother came to my house and advised me. 'Don't be afraid. The God of Gods and protector of our family, Sri Ramana,
will surely restore his eyesight. Give your heart to your prayer and see the results.' These soothing words did not sink in.
'How can his eyesight come back?' I thought.

Yet out of regard for my mother, I wrote a letter to Bhagavan, explaining my predicament and seeking His interference to alter
the fate's course. We received a favorable reply from the Asramam. On reading it my mother reassured me that my son's eyesight
would be restored by Bhagavan.

My father, an experienced doctor, was with us, treating my son in the best manner possible. As the months rolled by our faith, except
that of my mother's faltered in the fact of the stark reality. We began to question my mother's blind faith.

It was the day of Kartigai deepam. My mother performed elaborate worship. She came out of the pooja room and told me, 'Padma,
Ramana, our Ramana has restored your son's eyesight. Take him to a temple of Siva this evening and he will be able to see again.'
Half heartedly, we went to the temple. To our amazement and abundant joy, my son prattled, 'Amma, I see Sri Bhagavan before my eyes. I can see.' Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks.

My mother ordered us to go to Sri Ramanasramam immediately to express our gratitude to Bhagavan. However, we could make it only
a few months later. Sri Bhagavan was seated on the sofa when we entered. He listened to the whole story as if He had no part at all
in restoring my son's eyesight. But then it was Sri Bhagavan's way. He would never take credit for His miracles.

In the evening I again went into the Hall and sat near Bhagavan. As it became dark my son said, 'Amma, I can see only Bhagavan's
body, not His face'. Bhagavan heard this and questioned me. I had to tell him that even though my son could now see clearly during
the day, thanks to Bhagavan's grace, he still suffered from partial night blindness. Sri Bhagavan looked at my son and told him: 'Ramana, look at me properly. You can see Bhagavan's head .' By saying this, He completed the miracle wrought by Him. My son could
see Bhagavan fully, clearly, and normally. His night blindness too had been cured.


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 10:01:35 AM »

I would have withered away, unhonored and unsung but for the grace of Sri Bhagavan Ramana. He poured new life into me.
I would give credit for all my achievements to Bhagavan. The Maharshi had an uncanny perception of each person's need and
would lead one along the path best suited to that person.

When my wife died, the whole world looked bleak to me. Everything seemed like an arid desert with no oasis in sight. I would
be reading Bhagavad Gita over and over again. The slightest thought of my wife would sink me into deep sorrow. To overcome
it, I would let my friends force me into giving music concerts. Some of the songs would revive memories of the happy days when
my wife and I used to forget everything in music. My mind was crowded with memories and life seemed empty and meaningless.

One day I left my house without informing anyone. I wandered here and there and reached Sri Ramanasramam. To me it was
like entering heaven on earth. The atmosphere of profound peace which surrounded the Maharshi and which enveloped the place
sunk into me. At long last my mind knew some rest. The majestic silence of Bhagavan ended my suffering and my self concern
about my bereavement.

Paul Brunton and I became friends and time passed happily. One day a friend from Chittoor, Dorai, spotted me. He chided me
for not informing my relatives about my being at Sri Ramanasramam. Noticing that I was unmoved he advised that I was too young
to abandon my home and cajoled me into accepting a recording programme for his firm.

However, I told him firmly that unless the Maharshi gave His consent I would not budge. I had not spoken a single word  to Bhagavan
all this while nor had He to me. But there was some imperceptible yet strong bond of love between us. Also I did not have the
heart to leave the presence of the Sadguru. To leave the majestic master, who filled my heart with peace was unthinkable. Still,
the seeds of desire had been sown. So I was looking for an opportunity to take the Maharshi's permission. When I told Him, He said,
'Yes, you can go. There is still a lot of work for you to do.' I wondered then but I know now.  The recording assignment took me to
the film world where my name and fame came to me in a big way.


Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 10:38:19 AM »

My chosen deity is Sri Rama. He alone brought me to Ramana. Of this I am certain. Let me narrate why.

Till my 32nd year I knew nothing about God or Guru or Liberation. I was a teacher in a school in Thanjavur. All of a sudden
a complete change took place.  I lost all taste for worldly goals. I could see clearly their worthlessness. I felt that the only
thing which matters is to attain the Self since Atman and God alone are eternal. Naturally I began inquiring about the way for it.
A friend of mine suggested chanting from sacred works, Dakshinamurti Stotram, Subrahmanya Stotram and Mukunda Mala.

I started reciting slokas from these works regularly in front of the picture of Sri Rama which had a great attraction for me.
Tears of ecstasy would sometimes trickle down my eyes.

After sometime a revered guru who visited my house initiated me into the sacred Rama mantra. I can say that I was immersed
in repeating His holy name. I used to spend several hours in meditation. There were innumerable ways in which Sri Rama blessed
me and filled me with the joy of His presence.  I used to have visions of Rama's beautiful face in the background of lustrous stars.

After sometime, I happened to read Swami Rama Tirtha's booklet 'The True Atma'. This set me thinking. Am I separate from the
Atman which is the fullness of existence? Are my chantings, worship, japa enough for liberation? Do not the scriptures emphasize
the need for a Sadguru for attaining Self Knowledge? His grace alone can fructify one's effort. Where can I find a Sadguru? How can\
I obtain his grace? I knew only one recourse, and that was to pray to my Sri Rama. I prayed, 'Oh Lord, please lead me to a Sadguru
who is blemishless like you.'

One night I had a rapturous dream. In that I saw two cottages surrounded by a forest and situated in front of a hill.  In one of the
cottages a divine person was seated in 'Samadhi'. I heard a voice urging me to go there saying 'he is Ramana Maharshi, a true Jnani
for whom you have been yearning.'

This dream made such a strong impression on me that immediately on waking up, I proceeded to Tiruvannamalai. I had no doubt
in my mind that it was only my Lord Rama who had answered my prayer. Though I had been to Tiruvannamalai earlier I had worshipped only at the Arunachaleswara temple and none had told me about Sri Bhagavan. This time of course, the sole purpose of my visit was
to surrender at the feet of Sri Ramana.  Wonder of wonders! What I saw before my eyes was the exact reproduction of my dream.
Bright stars formed a halo behind Sri Ramana's head. This convinced me that there was no difference between Rama and Ramana, a conclusion which has been with me ever since.

After a stay of two days, I prayed to Sri Ramana to take me over completely. He smilingly nodded His head. To me it was an
assurance that He had taken over the responsibility for my spiritual welfare. Gradually my love for Him deepened.

As an anti climax sometime later the guru who had initiated me with Rama mantra came to my house, and forbade my visiting Sri
Ramana. He went to the extent of threatening that there would be dire consequences if I did. However, this did not reduce my
reverence for Sri Ramana even a wee bit.

Later my wife passed away. I was 35 years old then. My relatives urged me to marry again and I firmly refused.

I spent a week in Sri Ramanasramam during the Kartigai festival. One day we were just two of us. Sri Ramana and I. I took this
opportunity to open my heart out to Him. In particular I told Him about my guru's warning. Sri Ramana looked at me with eyes
brimming with compassion.  He said, 'The question of the divine force you have been worshipping harming you cannot arise.
In fact it is precisely your prayers and austerities which are responsible for your coming here.' These words were the most soothing

My last years are being spent in the atmosphere of overflowing peace in the proximity of Sri Ramana's shrine. I retired in 1956.
The President of Sri Ramanasramam requested me to serve in the Accounts Department and I gladly agreed. I also teach English
and Tamizh to the students of the Veda Patasala.


Arunachala Siva.



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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2013, 08:38:20 AM »

My marriage was a grand affair for five days. Though my marriage was celebrated in pomp I hardly had any married life worth
the name. Soon after my marriage, my father left home and became a permanent inmate of Sri Ramanasramam. He took to
the ochre robes under the name Dandapani Swami. My husband Muruganar was a Tamizh teacher in Ramanathapuram Mission
School. One day my father visited us and presented a copy of Aksharamana Maalai to my husband. It seemed to me that he read it
purely from the point of its literary excellence.  A few days later he left our home ostensibly for TirukazhukunRam. But on the way
he detrained and reached Sri Ramanasramam. From that day he was totally absorbed in Bhagavan.

Without telling anyone Muruganar resigned his job. Searching for him I reached Sri Ramanasramam. I found him and yet did not
find him for he was wholly Bhagavan's now. Bhagavan asked me also to stay there itself.

In those days, the Asramam comprised of just two cottages set in the most picturesque surroundings. It was in the midst of a small
forest. There was the backdrop of Arunachala in all its majesty. It is difficult to imagine the variety of birds which used to hover around.
The fragrance of the wild forest flowers wafting in the air would add to the enchantment.

Bhagavan would do the cooking and I would assist Him. The inmates were only about ten and we would literally feast on Bhagavan.
Often we would go round Arunachala with Him chanting Akshara Mana Maalai. Sri Ramana would teach me some new Tamizh devotional song each day. He would make me recite it the next day to ensure that I had learnt the same properly.

The visitors, devotees and the inmates would be spending many hours in meditation seated in front of Bhagavan, both in the mornings
and in the evenings. One day I told Bhagavan, 'I feel so bad at not being able to meditate when everyone is taking to it so seriously.
Please instruct me how to meditate.'  Bhagavan looked at me with eyes filled with compassion and said, 'Listen, the Heart on the right
side of the chest is the spiritual center where the Lord dwells. Keep your attention fixed on this Heart. This is the best form of meditation.'

I then asked Him whether there was any particular posture which is conducive to meditation. He replied, 'Any posture is all right.
The important things is to keep the attention fixed on the Heart.'

Santamma who was nearby remarked, 'How lucky you are to receive instructions from Bhagavan Himself!


Arunachala 'Siva.       



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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2013, 01:59:19 PM »


I was very fond of flowers. Once I kept plenty of flowers on my head  and prostrated to Sri Bhagavan. Santamma who was also there
scolded me, saying, 'Are you mad? Your husband has renounced home and still you must come here bedecked with flowers?'

I threw away the flowers immediately. Bhagavan noticed this and asked for the reason. I told Him why I had done so. He was visibly
annoyed and pulled up Santamma, 'So you know how each person should behave. True, her husband has left her. But who are you
to tell her what to do or not to do? Who gave you authority? When I am trying my best to console her, you people seem determined
to make things worse for her.'

One day while all were meditating my thought strayed. I started wishing for a cup of coffee. Bhagavan knew everyone's thoughts.
'While everyone is meditating on the Self, Meenakshi is meditating on the coffee, He said. Just then Manavasi Ramawami Iyer, arrived
with iddlies and coffee for all of us. Sri Bhgavan jokingly said, "Meenakshi's tapas has borne fruit. Please serve her coffee first.'


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Re: They also serve who stand and wait - Little known devotees.
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2013, 09:32:11 AM »
Meenakshi -


Once I found Muruganar sitting all by himself. I seized the opportunity, held his feet tight and pleaded with him not to
abandon me. He sat like a statue. Thereafter, he stopped coming to Bhagavan's Presence. I confessed to Bhagavan what had
happened. He advised me not to force myself on Muruganar. 'You see you could at least see him before. Now you cannot even
do that'. Later He told me, 'Meenkashi, it seems things are to happen this way. Learn to accept it.'

All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with self pity and concern. I wept bitterly before Sri Bhagavan.  He asked, 'Did anyone chide
you?' 'No, Bhagavan, I was only cursing my fate.'

With heart brimming with love, He told me, "Meenakshi, why don't you have faith in my words? What is there in the family life of
which you are so enamored?  Your father has ten sons. None of them is prepared to give him a morsel of food. My protection is
always there for you. Hereafter treat all those who care for you as members of your family. You minimum needs will always be provided

Sri Ramana thus became my protector, my everything.


Arunachala Siva.