Author Topic: Ramamani -Mountain Path, July-Sept. 2013. - By R. Srikanth  (Read 1599 times)

Subramanian.R

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Ramamani -Mountain Path, July-Sept. 2013. - By R. Srikanth
« on: November 24, 2013, 11:51:38 AM »
Ramamani - A Man of Faith and Quiet Decency:-

My uncle, Ramasubramanyan, also known as Ramamani was born in March 1932, to N. Nataraja Iyer and Kamalambal.
He was the eldest of their three children and was born on the day his grandparents completed a recitation of Rama
Pattabhisheka (Coronation of Lord Rama) from the Ramayana, which accounted for his being named Ramasubramanyan,
in honor of Lord Rama and Subramanyan.  In his childhood his nick name was Rama.

My grandfather, Sri Nataraja Iyer, also known as 'Station Master', first came to Sri Bhagavan in 1935.  He wrote books for
the Asramam under the name N.N. Rajan by which he was more commonly known.  His first visit made such a deep impression
that he applied for a transfer to Tiruvannamalai.   Both my grandparents became steadfast devotees of Sri Bhagavan and
never let go of an opportunity to be in Sri Bhagavan's presence.  As a result Ramamani and his siblings had the good fortune
to grow up close to Sri Bhagavan and as a boy he used to recite devotional hymns in Sri Bhagavan's Presence.

My grandfather wrote an article about those happy times for Mountain Path. (Suffer Little Children, January 1966).  He wrote
there, 'He used to joke with my two sons, and would also sometimes touch them.  My second son was once offering some
fruit and the Maharshi laughed and took hold of his hand.  My elder son, who was then six years old, used to recite Sanskrit
verses as prayers both in the Asramam and at home.  If he said them too fast Bhagavan would tell him to go slowly;  and when
he recited them at home he would sometimes have a vision of Sri Bhagavan and say to me: Father, Bhagavan is telling me
to go slowly.  It was a wonderful experience to see my child gifted with such visions when I myself had no such experiences.
The children are grown up now but all three still enjoy lasting benefits from the touch and blessings of Sri Bhagavan.'

Ramamani and my father Ramanan had their upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony) at the Asramam.  Sri Bhagavan had
blessed the sacred threads before the ceremony.  After the ceremony, Sri Bhagavan explained how to tie the kaupinam
(loin cloth), and had even adjusted my uncle's kaupinam.

After three years of such peace and happiness my grandfather received an order from Southern Railways and was transferred
to a place near Madras. However, the order was stayed for six months in circumstances which he attributed to Bhagavan's
Grace, but eventually he left with his family to take up the new position.  Interestingly, 'Before taking leave of Sri Bhagavan,
he placed before Him a short note praying for some instructions for his future sadhana, but Sri Bhagavan simply put it under
His pillow implying thereby that he needed no instructions.'  (Mountain Path, Introducing N. Nataraja Iyer, April 1969.).

continued....

Arunachala Siva. 

   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramamani -Mountain Path, July-Sept. 2013. - By R. Srikanth
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 01:21:13 PM »
continues......

Ramamani was blessed with keen intellectm and a sharp memory.  He was a voracious reader and would often finish reading
a book overnight.  He frequently had to be reminded that he had missed his meals during his reading.  He read a lot of books
from the Asramam publications and often aptly recollected and quoted from them.  One can sense this erudition from the time when,
as Editor of Mountain Path, he revealed his learning in articles with apt quotes from the scriptures to support his arguments.

He studied at a college at Kumbakonam and had taken a keen interest in Physics which he read about extensively even when
well into his 70s, and he could talk vividly about the various theories and developments in the subject.  Though a science student,
he was a gold medalist in the English literature competitions of the college.  His award-winning essay on the global implications
of nuclear energy was somehow prophetic in that here he deliberated how countries would try to dominate world politics with
their nuclear prowess, and how disarming the nuclear weapons would be the key to world peace.  He was surprised to note
that many decades later, that the world scenario was exactly as he had predicted.

Ramamani had the good fortune of being at the Asramam during Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana.  A day before the momentous event,
Alan Chadwick, sensing the moment approaching, had written a one word post card to his father, Nataraja Iyer: 'Come'.  As he
could not obtain leaver from work, for that day, he sent his son, Ramamani, immediately to the Asramam to represent the family.

Ramamani began service in the Asramam by working on Asramam publications.  He typed the entire Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
for its publication in 1955-56.  If one sees the copy now preserved in the Asramam archives, it is neat and practically error free.
He also started assisting Arthur Osborne in the mid-1960s and later Lucia Osborne with the work on Mountain Path, and other
Asramam publications.  If was when he was serving at the Asramam that he received an appointment with the Postal and
Telegraph Department and he went on to serve with them in various positions and cities for rest of his career.

Ramamani served on the editorial board of Mountain Path, in the 1980s and after his father's passing away, he was the editor
of Mountain Path from December 1995 to December 2002.  He well understood the sacredness of the job, and would often pray
that he have strength to do it right.  In an editorial for the magazine he wrote: 'The world resembles a huge work room. And
we are all members of the universal work force, either as consenting volunteers or conscripts under an unwritten law.  Broadly
speaking, everyone has some allotted work to do, irrespective of his status of life.' (Mountain Path, 'Who Does it All?' Jayanti,
1996.).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramamani -Mountain Path, July-Sept. 2013. - By R. Srikanth
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 12:48:28 PM »

continues...

He would spend several hours sitting in meditation before Sri Bhagavan's picture, at home, and he cherished the memories
of those years working in the Asramam till his last days.  He would often talk about how special and blessed were the people,
young and old who visited the Asramam.  He strongly believed that Sri Bhagavan would always bring the right people to the
Asramam.  His loyalty to the Asramam was unquestioned.  In his article for Mountain Path, "Material Problems in a Spiritual
Center", he wrote: " And last, a thrilling remark from Sri Bhagavan's own lips on critics and others who engage in uncalled for
activities:  'They come here to bathe, but they do not use water but put mud on themselves!'
On another occasion He said that people come to the Asramam for purification and sadhana but before long get involved
in Asramam affairs.' " (Mountain Path, October 1971).

Ramamani eventually retired from service with the Bangalore General Post Office.  He remained a bachelor and when not at
the Asramam, he lived with his brother Ramanan, and the latter's family in Bangalore who were deeply religious and observed
all the necessary rituals and obligations enjoined by the Sastras.

Right from his childhood he actively participated in the family's Devi worship.  Wherever he may have been due to work
commitments or when residing at the Asramam, he would return to be with the family during the annual NAVARATRI celebrations.
During his later years, in spite of frail health  he would be ready for morning and evening puja during the ten days of the
Navaratri festival where, right up to his last year, he continued with his exceptional memory to guide the family during the puja.
During his last two Navaratris, when the family was in two minds about conducting the puja (due to my father's health issues),
Ramamani was resolute in his belief that the Mother would take care of it.  And needless to say, She did and the puja went
smoothly with all their elaborate ritual.  Such was his faith.

As a person, Ramamani was always very calm and unassuming.  He had a dry sense of humor that would invariably bring forth
chuckles fro whoever listening.  His voice would choke with emotion when he spoke about Bhagavan. His vivid descriptions about
Bhagavan and narration of related anecdotes were always great moments for the family.  He could easily re-create the scene
for his listeners even with his simple explanations.

Ramamani led a noble life, and demonstrated the importance of Saranagati to Bhagavan.  He advocated a cheerful acceptance of
life's events, maintaining that Bhagavan would always take care of His devotees.   His humble attitude can be summed up from the
same editorial  quoted earlier, Jayanti 1996. He ended the editorial thus, "The answer to the question 'Who does it all?" is not
far to seek.  Vedanta makes things clear and gives no scope for any doubt.  He does it all.  He does it all the while."

Ramamani passed away suddenly at 9.25 pm. on 5th January 2013, while sitting in front of Bhagavan's  photo when he
breathed his last.  It was a fitting departure indeed for a person who from an early age had dedicated his whole heart and mind
to Sri Bhagavan.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.