Author Topic: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:  (Read 2559 times)


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Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« on: February 12, 2013, 09:53:33 AM »
Today, the 12th Feb. 2013 is Munagala Venkataramiah Day. He is known to all Sri Ramana devotees as the recorder of The Talks,
a book of gold as mentioned by Chadwick.

The Talks has been a source of perennial inspiration to generations of spiritual seekers all over the world for more than six
decades now. Its sweetness was first savored in 1936, when extracts from it were published under the little Maharshi's Gospel.
Its extraordinary drawing power and pull places each of us, you, me and everyone of us, in a deep debt of gratitude to the
'recordist' of the Talks. The great ones prefer to remain anonymous and wish to hide their identity behind a pseudonym, be it
'M' (Mahendranath Gupta) to whom we owe the classic Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna or Munagala Venkataramiah, who just called
himself 'Recorder'. But for Major Chadwick, the identity of the recordist might never have been known. It is a vast galaxy of
'chosen ones'. The Muni, Muruganar, Narasimha Swami, Paul Brunton, Munagala to mention a few. Sri Ramana used them as
the pure channels of His power, as communicators of His Teachings.

Destiny's ways are strange. While Venkataramiah's elder brother and three younger brothers went to Veda Patasala, he alone
received English education. Was he not o be cast in the role of interpreter and translator to Bhagavan? But having born in a family
steeped in Vedantic tradition, understanding of the various Advaitic works, which he studied later, was easy for him and was of great
use in his future assignment.

After a brilliant academic career, he worked for several years as a lecturer in Chemistry and later as a head of a government factory
at Madras. Life was proceeding  on an even keel. Even so he felt an urge to read the scriptures. He mastered the ten principal
Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita under Sri Suri Babu Narayan of Bengal. The ground was being prepared. He was
getting qualified for the monumental work to come.

He had first darshan of Sri Ramana, in 1918, when Sri Bhagavan was at Skandasramam, and later in 1927, with his family. But it was only five years later, in 1932, that he was ready to surrender himself to the Sadguru. We have the parallel in the case of Ganapati
Muni who had met Sri Bhagavan round the turn of 20th century, but became His man, His devotee only in 1907. The time has to ripen.

Suddenly without notice, in 1932, his job was terminated. He had a daughter to be married and young sons to be educated. He was
left high and dry and penniless. Apparently fate had dealt its worst blow. In reality, however, it was the greatest good fortune which
caused the event.

(Source: A.R. Natarajan)


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 03:57:12 PM »

One should say it was not only his rare good fortune but that of all seekers of truth too. For it is this 'tragedy' which brought
him to Sri Ramana in a mood of surrender. In his hour calamity, in his period of great distress, for his 'own peace of mind' he
became an inmate of the Asramam. The 'sweet refreshing and enlightening' words of the Master acted as soothing balm to his
troubled heart. To understand his Master's teaching, better he began recording carefully His utterances and explanations. A
new relationship began between Sadguru Ramana and this humble student. The world had to have the Talks with Sri Ramana
Maharshi. It was Bhagavan's benediction on Munagala, and through him, to the entire humanity.

From May 1935 to April 1939, for a period of four years Munagala recorded with reverential attention the conversations of devotees
and visitors with Ramana and His replies. Even more difficult was his role as an interpreter for the words of his Master came steadily
from His direct experience and had to be properly communicated to the questioner and other ardent devotees without any wrong overtones. Munagala was ideally suited for this work for he had thoroughly absorbed the teachings and Ramana's way of expouding
it in the years in which he had been an Asramite. As one goes through the book the whole electrifying atmosphere of the Old Hall is
recreated. We once again sit at Ramana's feet drinking in every word which falls from His lips.

At about the same time Grant Duff, who was closely related to the then Governor of Madras, became a staunch devotee of Ramana.
When he learnt about the injustice perpetrated on Munagala by the Government, he  promptly took up his case of redressal and was
sure to have succeeded in the attempt. Had it happened Munagala would have to go back to his job in the government. The divine
had other plans in store. The Governor concerned went on leave, at this crucial juncture, and the very person who was responsible
for the 'wrongful termination' of Munagala's job became the Acting Governor. He promptly dismissed the petition filed on Munagala's behalf. The incident underscores the fact that we cannot know what is 'good' and what is 'bad'. The distress of Munagala brought him
to Ramana so that we may learn through him how to deal with sorrow, an inevitable companion of life. When  worldly fortunes seemed
to shine again, the strong mercy of Ramana protected Munagala. Much remained to be done and he had become Ramana's property.


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 04:28:54 PM »


Though Munagala painstakingly and whole heartedly worked at his job as the official interpreter of Sri Bhagavan's court in the
Old Hall, he had no attachment to the record maintained by him. When the Asramam management requested him to make over
these notes to them, he gladly did so. He knew that it belonged to all and that each one could turn it for the purification of the mind
as he himself had done.

Having been born in Sholavandan, in Madurai district, he was completely at home in Tamizh Nadu and Tamizh language, though his
mother tongue was Telugu.  This was a great asset not only in his years as the recordist but also for his task as translator of Tamikzh
Vedantic works which he studied under the guidance of Ramana. Authentic English translation of Tripura Rahasyam, Arunachala
Mahatmyam, Advaita Bodha Deepika, Kaivalya Navaneetam followed. So self effacing  was he that he left no record of the beauty
of his intimate and personal relationship with Sri Bhagavan.

Munagala spent several years at Sri Ramanasramam, after Sri Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana, feeling and communicating His                 
continuous Presence. In 1935, he took to the ochre robes but this was only an outward symbol of his true inner renunciation.
Munagala was absorbed in Sri Bhagavan in Feb 1963.

What a  rich and full life. One wonders how his pen was so powerful. On reflection, it is clear that it was not his pen. It was
Sri Bhagavan's mighty power and limitless grace that flowed through in order that we may be redeemed.


(Source. A.R, Natarajan)

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 06:41:30 PM »
Today is Munagala Venkataramiah Day. We are ( I particularly) quoting right and left from Talks. But no one in the
Forum has mentioned a sentence from Talks or quote something from Munagala's life. How can one reach Sri Bhagavan
unless we remember His great devotees and people who have recorded His golden words, sacrificing their lives.

The way to God is only through their devotees.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 07:11:03 PM »
Dear Subramanian Sir

Very nice story. Sri Mungala Venkataramah is a sincere devotee.  I think Sri Ramana wrote "OM NAMO BAGAVATHE SRI RAMANAYA" mantra to her daughter.
Om Namo Bagavathe Sri Ramanaya


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Re: Munagala Venkataramiah Day - 12.02.2013:
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 07:14:16 PM »
Subramanian Sir,

Yes you are right. We owe our gratitude to this great soul. Such great treasure he has given us.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta