Author Topic: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)  (Read 3421 times)

Subramanian.R

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Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« on: September 05, 2013, 08:59:10 AM »
Muruganar was thirty years old when he met Sri Bhagvan for the first time in September 1923.  One can say that ordinarily one's
life before Sri Bhagavan enters it is waste.  For, till ten one is caught up in illusions, in the whirl of of the externalized mind.  However,
in Muruganar's case, it was different.  The earlier years were the years of preparation for the work earmarked for him in Sri
Ramana's scheme of things.  Was he not to be the incomparable Tamizh bard of Ramana?  Tamizh genius had flowed in the Sangam
literature  and above all in the devotional songs of the sixty three Saivite poets.  Muruganar had to be ready for the purpose of his
life by acquiring through mastery of Tamizh literature coming down through the ages.  Tamizh became part of his very being by the
sheer dint of his hard work and his close association with contemporary Tamizh giants like Dr. U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer, Raghava
Iyengar and Chengalvaraya Pillai.  His work as a member of the Committee of an authentic Tamizh Lexicon made him a perfect
master.

contd.,     

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 09:20:23 AM »
Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013  (2)


continues....

On the emotional side the Freedom Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi lifted him out of ordinary humdrum life 
and made him yearn for freedom for the millions of his fellow countrymen.  We find him giving expression to this in his Swatantra
Gitam (Songs of Freedom). This work also marks him out as a poet with great potential, a budding genius.

It was at this stage, that a wholly new chapter opened up in Muruganar's life.  His father in law, Dandapani Swami an ardent
devotee of Sri Bhagavan, and an inmate of Sri Ramanasramam, came to his house with a gift of  two works of Sri Bhagavan,
Arunachala Aksharamanamalai and Who am I?.  The Swami's purpose in giving this gift was that Muruganar might truly flower
as poet by Ramana's grace and he said so specifically.  Little did he realize that he was part of the divine drama which had started
unfolding.  For one thing, the choice of the books had a special significance.  While AAMM is the last word in ecstatic devotional
poetry, while Who am I? contains the essence of Sri Bhagavan's direct path of self inquiry for Self Knowledge.  The influence of these
two streams of devotion and knowledge, bhakti and jnana on Muruganar was profound.  We often find that these two streams
of 'Praise' and 'Teachings' are blended and woven together in colorful variety in Muruganar's works.  Also we have the two
Murungar's classics, Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai and Guru Vachaka Kovai have become Stuti and Sastra.  The first one places him
on par with saints like Manikkavachagar, Jnana Sambandhar, Tiru Navukkarasar and Sundaramurti Swamigal.  The second one
reveals that he was a Jnani experiencing the fruits of the Ramana Way steadily and naturally.

The second result of Dandapani Swami's momentous visit and gift was its immediate and overwhelming impact.  The two books
immersed  Muruganar in a passion for Sri Bhagavan.  He intuitively felt that Sri Bhagavan could only be the great God, Siva, the
auspicious one come to teach a new path to Wisdom, to Enlightenment.  The books also triggered memories of his timeless relationship with Sadguru Ramana.  His thoughts ran like thus. Sri Bhagavan was Siva who had come in ancient times to Tiruperundurai to listen
to the compositions of Manikkavavachagar. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 09:38:42 AM »
Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 : (3)

continues....

Though Muruganar shuddered at the thought of being compared to Manikkavachagar, there can be little doubt that he was
cast in the same mold. This is apparent even from his very first composition on Sri Bhagavan, 'Desika Padigam and also his second
important one Annamalai Ramanan.  So striking was the shining similarity between his style of writing and that of Manikkavachagar
that Sri Bhagavan could not help suggesting that he could follow in Vachagar's steps.  This feat became possible by Sri
Ramana's grace. 

The moment Sri Bhagavan made him His own by gazing at him with 'blazing, bright and unwinking eyes' on the 23rd day
of September 1923,  Muruganar's personal life ended.  Afterwards he lived wholly for and in Sri Bhagavan.  Even so due to
a sense of filial duty to his mother, he remained at home till 1926.  Then cutting off all domestic bonds he shifted to Tiruvannamalai
ending the physical separation as well. 

Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni and Muruganar are said to be like twin eyes of Sri Bhagavan, one representing the Sanskrit tradition
and the other the Tamizh, both of which are time honored and hoary.  Sri Ramana of course is the Source, the confluence of all that is
sacred.  Muruganar and Muni were together only between 1926 and 1929.  Their relationship was market by great mutual respect
and high esteem in which they held each other.

In 1928, at the instance of Muruganar, Sri Bhagavan composed His Ulladu Narpadu. While finalizing the order of verses with Muruganar
Sri Bhagavan also sought the advice of Muni.  This helped Muni in translating this work into Sanskrit as Sad Darsanam, which he
did later while at Sirsi.   

Upadesa Undiyar another great work of Sri Bhagavan was also at the instance of Muruganar.  Muruganar was writing Siva's
exploits with Daruka Forest rishis and after coming to the end of the story, he requested Sri Bhagavan to complete it by
writing about Jnana Marga through self inquiry and this was done by Sri Bhagavan through thirty verses of Upadesa Undiyar.
Muruganar was also responsible to make Sri Bhagavan to compose Atma Vidya Kirtanam.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 09:59:11 AM »
Murugnar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013. (4)

Meenakshi, Murugnar's wife (they had no children) also lived with Muruganar in the Asramam.  However, Muruganar treated
her only as another devotee and not as his wife.  Though Sri Bhagavan tried to advice Muruganar to live with her together,
Muruganar did not pay heed.  Meenakshi after some time, left Tiruvannamalai and lived in Chennai, and Muruganar had
left some money to a person to be given  to her as and when she needed for her livelihood.  The Asramam was also sending
some money for her welfare.  Prof. K. Swaminathan also arranged to send her some pension from Sri Ramana Kendra Delhi.   

Till Sri Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana, Muruganar was always in His Presence.  He was fully aware that the Master was not only
in the visible comely form but was universally pervasive.  Yet the magnetism of the presence was too compelling.  As he says
in one of his verses:

No form or feature has He of His own
Yet form and feature to all being gives;
Knowledge and Ignorance, both to Him unknown,
Each human mind from him alone derives.
He brought me into Being...
And He has left me wordless, deedless, prone,
Helpless on death's brink,
Only the vast beatitude endures.

- Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, Verse 1052.

His poetry was like a perennial river with its ceaseless flow. He composed more than thirty thousand verses on a single
subject Sri Bhagavan, in whose bliss he was soaked.  One can say if Sri Bhagavan was an ideal Sadguru, Muruganar embodied
in himself all the virtues enumerated for a disciple in scriptures.  His surrender was complete, his faith total and all consuming.           

Readers of the book "Bhagavan and Muruganar"  (A.R. Natarajan) will find a detailed account of his life with Sadguru Ramana,
his copious writings, the indelible mark on Tamizh poetry and his state of steady wisdom.  The writers of the various articles
have had the rare good fortune of being  associated closely with Muruganar, his life and works.  We therefore find the rich
aroma of authenticity and a natural appeal.   

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Nagaraj

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 10:25:56 AM »
Thanks for the remembrance Subramanian Sir,

What a soul, it equally stuns, on remembering this great soul as Bhagavan as Arunachala.

A disciple of a reputed Swami of South India, Vilakshananda, came to Bhagavan to have his darshan. With some hesitation he started telling Bhagavan about his guru's strict injunction that each one of his devotees should do so many thousands of japa daily and surrender the phala to the guru as their offering and that they were following it without fail.

Bhagavan smiled and observed: "Is it so? It is to be appreciated. So much gain for the guru with no strain on his part!" While Bhagavan was saying this, Muruganar entered the Old Hall. Turning to him Bhagavan said: "Do you know? His guru commands each one of his disciples to perform so many thousands of nama-japa and surrender the phala(merit) to him, as guru kanikkai (offering). After that will there be any balance for the disciples? It looks like one keeping the principal and surrendering the interest to the guru as offering. How do you appreciate this?"

Muruganar with tears in his eyes replied, (perhaps with anguish - Nagaraj): "Bhagavan! Their guru is far better. He at least leaves the principal and demands only the interest. But this guru here (pointing to Bhagavan) is worse. He takes away the principal itself; then where is room for interest? He demands the devotees' mulam(principal) and vaddi(interest) all at once!" Bhagavan gave a benign smile enjoying the poet's joke with deep meaning!

What Muruganar meant was that Bhagavan wipes out the mind and the ego of his devotees.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 10:30:59 AM »
                             
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 10:45:59 AM »
Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013. :  (5)

Muruganar says in Verse 1074 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, about his first meeting with Sri Bhagavan:

Venkata whose Being is Bliss
Overflowing and immeasurable,
Came out quick to meet this slave
And far from laughing in contempt,
Took me up and made me His own
How wonderful His Grace!

*

Once Muruganar said:  'So here I am, unable even for a few moments to endure this light.  How wonderful it is that a woman,
Your Mother, should have carried You in Her womb for nine long months.

*

Verse 339 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai seems to refer to this dramatic first visit to Bhagavan:

To those who come to you, O Lord,
Your Grace is like the ocean vast.
When I, on service bent, had reached
Your Feet, with smiling face you glanced
At me, to my mind's eye
Rare visions, various and wonderful,
Never by a man beheld before !

*

Sri Bhagavan did recognize that Muruganar was an advanced devotee who was ready for an experience of the Self.
At some point of -- Muruganar never mentions exactly when, but it is assumed to be soon after his arrival in Tiruvannamalai
- Bhagavan answered Muruganar's  plea for Grace by directing His divine look at him.  Under Sri Bhagavan's penetrating gaze,
Muruganar lost his worldly delusions  and found himself restored to his natural state of Self Awareness.  As Muruganar wrote
many years later, 'He forgave me my misdeeds and made good my imperfections.  (Sri Ramana Anubhuti, Verse 223). 

Muruganar has described the spiritual dimension of this event in thousands of his verses, but in remarkably few of them does
he give any hint of the physical circumstances in which this momentous encounter took place.  In verse 255 of Sri Ramana
Sannidhi Murai, Muruganar does mention that it took place in Palakottu.  Elsewhere in the same work, in a poem entitled
Keerthi Tiruvahaval, there is a brief tantalizing description of what happened on the decisive occasion:

He took me to the forest with Him on the pretext of plucking leaves to make leaf plates.  There, with great delight, He destroyed
my mind's restlessness by bestowing His glance on me.  In the middle of the night, he subdued my individual consciousness,
granting me the undivided Reality.     
               

contd.,

Arunachala "Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 11:02:08 AM »
Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013. : (6)

It seems Ramana has decided that the time has now come for the world to know about Muruganar's position among the
all time greats in the galaxy of poets. At the time of Muruganar's birth centenary, in 1993 (by Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning,
Bangalore),  many of Muruganar's works were translated into English, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. Books which have been
out of print were being reprinted.  All this would open up new vistas of matchless poetry to those who cannot enjoy the Tamizh
original.     

During the last year of Muruganar on this earth, many great bhaktas of Sri Bhagavan were in Palakottu.  Viswanatha Swami,
Narasimha Swami, Cohen, Paul Brunton and Kunju Swami were there in their little cottages or caves.  Muruganar also moved
to Dr. T.N. Krishnaswami's building across the Asramam.  The whole atmosphere was charged with Ramana's Presence.
Those were memorable years.  Are not last years of a Jnani's life in the body most fulfilling in many ways?   
When he breathed his last in August 1973, amidst the chanting of Arunachala Siva, one could be sure that it was only his body
which had died for his poetry on Sri Bhagavan had immortalized him.

The body was buried and a Samadhi was raised behind Cow Lakshmi's Samadhi on the higher ground.  His is one of
the five samadhis there.

concluded.

Source: Muruganar in Tamizh - Kanakammal
The Inner Circle - Ramana Maharshi Center of Learning, Bangalore.
The Power of the Presence, Part II, David Godman (Ed.)

*****

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 11:05:12 AM »

Dear Nagaraj,

Thanks for the incident you have quoted about guru, japa, interest and principal.  It is one of the many interesting conversations
between Bhagavan and Muruganar.

Arunachala Siva.

Nagaraj

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 04:01:00 PM »
Often, the moment Muruganar entered the Old Hall Bhagavan would commence talking to him. Muruganar would start replying even before prostrating to Bhagavan. While prostrating too he would continue talking. Often, he would even forget that he was lying prostrate on the ground and would just go on talking to him, lifting his head like a chameleon and continuing to reply to his queries. Others in the Hall would be amused at this strange sight. Muruganar narrated this and added: "Viswanatha (Swami) used to jokingly request me to quit such 'lizard-talk'; as my words were not audible to anyone including Bhagavan! What to do? I was not at all aware of such happenings. On such occasions my sole thought would be to reply to Bhagavan immediately and I would forget the environment, everything else, including my body!" Muruganar, the 'shadow of Bhagavan', had the highest devotion for him and would never fail to express this by prostrating to him a number of times and when Bhagavan left the Hall standing up reverentially. But there were occasions when Bhagavan would leave the Hall while Muruganar was composing verses and on returning he would find him still writing. Without going to the couch Bhagavan would stand a while next to the seated Muruganar and pick up the thread of the conversation he had with him before leaving the Hall. The thought that Bhagavan could not stand without great strain, and that he himself should not be seated when his master was standing beside him, would not occur to Muruganar and he would continue talking. The devotees around used to get annoyed over this apparent display of disrespect. Muruganar would realise it only later on when it was pointed out by others!

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 04:02:19 PM »
In the early days, very few devotees stayed with Bhagavan. However, Bhagavan was seldom totally alone. Muruganar had a strong desire to have Bhagavan wholly to himself, at least for a short while. Muruganar never mentioned this yearning to anybody. But can anybody hide anything from Bhagavan? Muruganar's secret wish was to be fulfilled in a totally unexpected way. In those days, Bhagavan and his devotees used to collect leaves from the trees in the forest, to make leaf-plates. Once, while a part was getting ready to go into the forest, Bhagavan gave Muruganar a very significant glance. Interpreting this look as a signal to follow him, Muruganar hurried after Bhagavan. By the time the others entered the forest, Bhagavan and Muruganar had disappeared into the woods.

Bhagavan led Muruganar deep into the forest. At one place, Bhagavan sat down on a log, and asked Muruganar to sit beside him. Muruganar sat, but no words were exchanged. Bhagavan looked directly into his eyes and Muruganar felt the power of Bhagavan's Grace flowing through him like an electric current. He lost all perceptions of time and space, and experienced a joy beyond description. Immersed in this state of bliss, Muruganar was oblivious to the passage of time it was only when he regained his senses that he realised that he must have remained in this state of bliss for hours together. Muruganar has mentioned this incident in one of the poems in the section titled Keerthi Thiruagaval in Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai. This verse expressed Muruganar's gratitude to Bhagavan, for giving him this experience of blissful union with the Self.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Muruganar's Liberation Day - 05.09.2013 (1)
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 04:04:19 PM »
One morning, Bhagavan was preparing to grind the coconut chutney to be served with the idlies at breakfast time. Anticipating Bhagavan's actions. Muruganar darted forward and took hold of the vertical stone that rotates within the cavity of the circular grinding stone. Muruganar started rotating the vertical stone, while Bhagavan settled down opposite and slowly pushed the coconut and other ingredients into the gap.




While this activity was going on, Bhagavan was talking about the early days. He said, "While we were staying on the Hill, Mother often remarked that a grinding stone would be a big help. I invariably replied that, once a grinding stone was acquired, some other appliance would appear indispensable, and there would be no end to such requirements. I used to tell Mother that, by acquiring one object after the other, we will only bind ourselves much more tightly to this earthly life."

Bhagavan's voice had a mesmeric effect upon Muruganar. Though his hands continued their mechanical activity, his mind was far away. He did not even notice that the chutney was ready; he just continued to rotate the stone. To catch his attention, Bhagavan splashed some water onto his face, under the pretext of sprinkling water on the chutney. Even then, Muruganar did not recognise the situation. He assumed that Bhagavan was sprinkling water on the ingredients, and some of the water had accidentally splashed into his eyes. So he just wiped his face with a towel, and continued with his activity. At that point, Bhagavan exclaimed, "What is this? Can't you see that the task is done? Why persist with the grinding when the chutney is ready?" Only then did Muruganar realise what was happening.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta