Author Topic: How Sri Bhagavan dragged me into His Holy Presence - M.P.Oct.-Dec. 2010  (Read 1486 times)

Subramanian.R

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(The article is my M.G. Shanmukham)

I own an apology to all the readers of Mountain Path, for not writing this article before, even though I had the good fortune
of being in contact with Sri Bhagavan for 24 years from 1926, until His Mahanirvana Day.  The reason being that Sri Bhagavan
once told me that it is always better that one practices Atma Vichara without any publicity.

The late Sri Devaraja Mudaliar and Sri T.P. Ramachandra Iyer, and other devotees of Sri Bhagavan wanted me to write my
reminiscences and experiences with Sri Bhagavan lest they should be lost to posterity.  Recently Sri Bhagavan Himelf appeared
in my dream and ordered me to write this article and also to revise the Tamizh book Sri Bhagavan's Life and Sayings, which was
written by me through His unbounded grace and published as early as 1930, and further He told me that the book must be handy.

A brief sketch of my early life is necessary to show how Sri Bhagavan dragged me to His Holy Presence. 

I was born at Mayavaram (the present Mayliaduturai) and from my 14th year, I had a religious turn of mind. I was then performing
puja, repeating mantras and reading almost all religious books on Advaita as well as the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.
My ardent desire from my childhood was to become an advaitin and I used to sit before Swami Vivekananda's picture in tears
paying that I might be blessed enough to have the darsan of a Jivanmukta in this life itself.

My first Guru was one Murugappa Desikar at Tiruchengodu, who initiated me into the meditation between the eyebrows in
the year 1922.  I practiced it three times a day, each time for one hour, besides my usual pujas.  After practicing for some time
I developed a sort of a brain fag and a discomfort in the mind. At this time, one Swayamprakasa Yogini Ammal, who had done
penance for 12 years  in the Himalayas, came to our house at my father's invitation.  My father, late K. Gopala Pillai, was a
police inspector and was very religious.  My father and yogini had some spiritual discussions in which I wanted to join but my
father refused to allow me to take part on the grounds that I was too young. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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continues....

I became vexed and was greatly disappointed.  When the Yogini Ammal was alone, I narrated to her my spiritual life and experiences
and prayed for her guidance.  She was immensely pleased with me and said, that meditation between the eyebrows might sometime
lead to insanity.  Meditation must be practiced in the heart.  She was good enough to initiate me into the practice of rupa dhyana
of Sri Venkatachalapathi.  Further she was kind enough to ask my father to help me in all my spiritual pursuits. 

The third guru was one Mahanmiyamachi Swamiar, who lived in one of the caves of on the slope of the hill at Tiruchengodu.  I learnt
about Sri Bhagavan from him.  My father and I would visit the Swamiar once a week.  When I went to his Ashram one day, I found
he was absent, as it happened, for three weeks.  After his return I asked him where he had been all these days.  He said that he
had been to Tiruvannamalai and had the great fortune of to have the darshan of one great jivanmukta by name Sri Ramana
Maharshi, who spoke a few words to him. Darsan of such a great soul will entitle a man to have no birth hereafter.  I was astonished
and from then on the desire to go to Tiruvannamalai became an obsession. I was then studying F.A. class in the Municipal
College, Salem. Four months elapsed.  To my great surprise my father was transferred from Tiruchengodu to Tiruvannamalai as
Inspector of Police in the year 1926. I was perplexed, not knowing what to do.  My desire to go to Tiruvannamalai was so great
that I approached my father and requested him to permit me to discontinue my studies and go with him to Tiruvannmalai on the
pretext that I was weak in Mathematics and told my father that next year,   I would join Sri Meenakshi College at Chidambaram
taking history as my optional subject.    I was expecting a refusal because no father would allow his son  to waste one year
of study.  But wonder of wonders, Sri Bhagavan's grace was there. My father willingly granted my request and permitted me to
accompany him to Tiruvannamalai.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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continues....

With my father and other members of the family, I left Tiruchengodu for Tiruvannamalai.  At Katpadi we had to change from
broad gauge to meter gauge.  Soon after boarding the train, I felt half asleep and half awake.  In that state I had the following
vision. 'I travel to Tiruvannamalai inquiring the way and came to a place where there was a hut.  Inside the hut I saw a tall
gentleman lying on a bench and before him was a kummudi (water pot). As soon as I entered the hut there was blaze of Jyoti
(Light) in the kummudi.'  I woke up.

Soon after arriving in Tiruvannamalai, without informing anybody even by beloved father, I inquired the way to Sri
Ramanasramam and arrived there with some difficulty.  When I entered the Asramam, to my astonishment I saw the same
hut, the same tall gentleman, except that He was sitting on the bench and there was a kummudi in front of Him as I saw
in my vision.

I prostrated before Him and He immediately asked me, 'When did you come?  and 'How is your right hand?'  Wonder of wonders!
There was absolutely no chance of Sri Bhagavan knowing about my fractured right hand.  Further, the very first question put to
me by Sri Bhagavan shows that He knew of my coming. He nodded His head and by a gesture asked me to sit.  I sat before His
Holy Presence for an hour and then left after taking leave of Him. He simply nodded with a smile.  My first contact with Him was
during a hour's stay in His Holy Presence which gave me perfect calmness, peace of mind and coolness of nerves, while the
body felt like a straw.         

From that day onwards, my contact with Him from 1926 to 1950 was continuous and He has done me a lot of good for my
spiritual progress and completely change my outlook on this world and I became a pure advaitin.  By His grace, I was able
to practice His method of Atma Vichara.  He cleared all my doubts then and there by His profound silence and by quotations
from various scriptures.

continued...

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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continues....

My whole family was devoted to Sri Bhagavan.  We had a lot of experience and miracles.  It is sufficient to quote two instances
only to show Sri Bhagavan's greatness, omnipotence and His supreme pure consciousnes (sahaja samadhi state) though He
moved among us as an ordinary man for all outward appearances.  I think it was somewhere in the year 1935 or 1936 I put
a question to Sri Bhagavan in the early morning.  'What is the nature and state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi?' He kept quiet.  I wondered
why I put this question.  In the evening I practiced His method of Self Inquiry before His Presence very intensively.  My mind slowly
became thought-free by the incessant inquiry of Who am I?, and slowly the mind began to meditate on the 'I'-thought alone
subjectively.  The plunge started and the mind became introspective going deeper and deeper meditating on the 'I' thought.
The heart is felt by a soft vibration and the breathing had become very shallow.  The mind tried to drag me outward but at that
moment suddenly some power pulled me inside completely and as a result of it, the ego toppled down.  At that very moment the
body and the world consciousness disappeared totally and in their place, there was an expansiveness with the deep 'I'-'I'
consciousness coupled with an indescribable bliss which cannot be expressed in words. I woke up from that supreme experience
by the sound of Sri Bhagavan's cough.  There was no one in the Hall except Sri Bhagavan massaging His knees.  Bhagavan said,
'Come, we shall have food.'  I felt a supreme peace of mind. After the meal we returned to the Hall and Bhagavan asked me
'What is your experience?' I narrated the whole of my experience. Then Sri Bhagavan said that this is the state to be attainedby constant practice of Atma Vichara and after attaining that state one must go on practicing it continuously till it becomes Sahaja.
He quoted from various scriptures about this supreme state.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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continues....

Another instance was that of saving my sister who was slowly sinking to her death due to congestion in the brain. She
had now become unconscious.  Doctors tried their best and declared there was no chance of recovery and asked my father
to inform all relatives.  My mother, who was very devoted to Sri Bhagavan, shouted amidst her crying, 'O Bhagavan, we have
just left your Holy Presence, what a calamity!  Save my daughter!'  Immediately my mother saw Sri Bhagavan passing by
the side of my sister with His kamandalam (water pot).  At once my sister woke up as if from sleep and asked for water.

Sri Bhagavan, who had  no knowledge of any scriptures and had no guru to initiate Him, attained Self Realization by going
through the fear of death in His 16th year.  He is a born Jnani and belonged to the highest type of Jivanmukta known as
ati-asrami.  Such Jnanis appear rarely in the world to teach some forgotten truth.  Bhagavan revealed the direct method
of atma vichara, contrary to the traditional method of sravana, manana, and nididhyasana.  It requires no restrictions
whatsoever, and can be practiced by all irrespective of the caste and creed.

Sri Bhagavan, even as an embodied soul moved with us as pure consciousness for 54 years and He is still living among us
and His Presence is felt very much by all sincere devotees.  This is a fact of experience.  As Tirumoolar says that the Jnani's
influence at the place of His Samadhi lasts for a thousand years, so the present Sri Ramanasramam is the real abode of
Sri Bhagavan where He is potently present always pure and absolute consciousness even though he is omnipresent,
omniscient, shedding His Grace on all His devotees and visitors.

Devotees and visitors are requested to avail of this golden  opportunity by visiting Sri Bhagavan's abode, the present
Sri Ramanasramam at Tiruvannamalai and receive His abundant Grace.  A visit will surely convince any body.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.