Author Topic: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014  (Read 1662 times)

Subramanian.R

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Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« on: September 01, 2014, 08:46:45 AM »
Venkataraman's changed mode of life caused friction.  School work was more neglected than ever, and, even though it
was not now for games but for prayer and meditation, his uncle and elder brother increasingly critical of what seemed
to them an unpractical attitude.  From their point of view, Venkataraman was simply the adolescent son of a middle
class family who should pull his weight and equip himself to earn money and help the others. 

The crisis  came on August 29th, some six weeks after the Awakening.  (The exact date has been fixed as 10th
July 1896, by Gayatri Devi Vasudev, niece of famous astrologer B. V. Raman).  Venkataraman had been given an
exercise in Bain's English Grammar to copy out three times.  It was  the forenoon and he was sitting upstairs in
the same room with his elder brother.  He had copied it out twice  and was about to do so for the third time when
the futility of it stuck him so forcibly that he pushed away the papers and sitting cross legged, abandoned himself
to meditation.

Annoyed at the sight Nagaswami, the elder brother chided him.  He rose to the feet and decided to leave the house
there and then and go forth renouncing everything.  For him that meant Tiruvannamalai and the holy Hill,
Arunachala.

However,  he knew that it was necessary to use a guile,  because authority is very strong in a Hindu household
and his uncle and brother would not let him go if they knew. So he said that he had to go back to school to attend
a special class on electricity.,

His brother said, 'Then take five rupees from the box downstairs and pay my college fees on the way.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 09:00:39 AM »

Venkataraman's aunt was downstairs.  She gave him a meal.  Then he took the five rupees from the box.  There was an
atlas there and he opened it and found that the nearest station is Tindivanam.  But the atlas was an old one and did not
show that a branch line had already been constructed to Tiruvannamalai.  Estimating that three rupees would be enough
for the journey, he took only so much.  He wrote a letter to his brother to allay anxiety and left the two rupees with it.

The letter ran:

I have set out in quest of my Father, in accordance with His command.  It is on a virtuous enterprise that this has
embarked,  Therefore, none grieve over this act, and let no money be spent in search of this.  Your college fees have
not been paid. Two rupees are enclosed herewith.

The whole incident illustrates Sri Bhagavan's saying that his soul, loosened from its anchorage to the body, was still
seeking permanent anchorage in the Self with which he had realized his Oneness.   The subterfuge about the electricity
class, harmless  though it was, would not have been possible later.  Neither would the idea of a quest, for he who has
found does not seek.

It was about noon when he left home.  However, late though, he was, the train had not yet arrived when he reached
the station.  There was a table of fares and he looked up the third class fare to Tindivanam and found it to be two
rupees and three annas.  He bought a ticket leaving himself three annas change.  Had he looked a few lines lower down
he would have seen the name Tiruvannamalai and that the fare to it was exactly three rupees!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.,   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 09:41:03 AM »

The events of the journey are symbolical of the arduous journey an aspirant (sadhaka), make to his goal.  First there
was the favor of Providence in granting the money  and allowing the train to be caught, although he started out late.
Then the provision made was exactly what was needed to reach the destination but the heedlessness of the traveller
lengthened the journey and caused hardships and adventures on the way.

Venkataraman sat silent among the passengers, lost in the exultation of his quest.  Several stations passed thus.,
A white bearded Maulvi who had beeen enlarging on the lives and teaching of the saints turned to him:

'And where are you going, Swami?'

'To Tiruvannamalai.'

'So am I' replied the Maulvi.

'What! To Tiruvannamalai?'

'Not exactly but to the next station.'

'What is the next station?'

'Tirukoilyur'

Then, suspecting his mistake, Venkataraman, exclaimed in surprise. 'What!  You mean the train goes to Tiruvannamalai?'

'A strange passenger, you' rejoned the Maulvi. 'And where did you buy a ticket to?'

"To Tindivanam'.

'Oh dear!  There is no need to go so far at all.  We get out at Villupuram Junction and change there for Tiruvannamalai
and Tirukoilur.'

Providence having given him the needed information, Venkataraman sank once more into the bliss of Samadhi.  By
sunset the train had reached Tiruchirapalli and he began to feel hungry, so he spent half an anna on two country pears,
koyya pazham, that is huge.  To his surprise his appetite was sated almost at the first bite though up till then he had always
eaten heartily.  He continued in a blissful state of waking sleep until the train reached Villupuram at 3 O clock in the morning.

He remained at the station till day break and then wandered out into the town to look for the road to Tiruvannamalai,
deciding to walk the rest of the way.  However the name board was not found.

Feeling tired, he entered a hotel and asked for food.  The hotel keeper told him and immediately lapsed into meditation.
The meal  came, and after eating it, he proffered two annas in payment.  But the hotel keeper must have been struck
by this fine looking Brahmin youth with long hair and gold ear rings sitting there like a sadhu.  He found that Venkataraman
had not enough money, he refused to accept any payment.  He also explained that Mambalapattu, a name that Venkataraman
had seen on a sign post, was on the way to Tiruvannamalai. Venkataraman thereupon returned to the station and bought
a ticket for Mambalapattu, which as far as his remaining annas would take him.

He reached Mambalapattu in the afternoon and from there set out to walk.  By nightfall, he had gone ten miles. Before him
was the temple of Araiyanainallur built on a large rock.  The long walk, most of it in the heat of the day, had tired him
and he sat down by the temple to rest.  Shortly after that, someone came along and opened it for the temple priest
and others to make puja.  Venkataraman entered and sat down in the pillared hall, the only part that was not yet
quite dark.  He immediately beheld a brilliant light pervading the whole temple. Thinking it must be an emanation from the
image of the God in the inner sanctuary, he went to look but found that it was not.  Nor was it any physical light. It disappeared
and he sat down in meditation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 11:06:59 AM »

He was soon disturbed by the cook calling out that it was time to lock up the temple, as the puja was finished.  Thereupon,
he approached  the priest and asked if they had anything for him to eat but was told that there was nothing.  He then asked
to be allowed to stay there till morning  but was also refused.  The pujaris said they were going to Kilur about three quarters
of a mile away, to perform puja at the temple there as well, and that after that he might get something to eat, so he accompanied
them.  As soon as they entered the temple, he was again plunged in the blissful absorption called Samadhi.  It was 9 O clock
by the time the puja was finished and they sat down to supper.  Again Venkataraman asked.  It seemed at first that there would
be nothing for him, but the temple drummer had been impressed by his appearance, and devout manner and gave him his share.
He wanted water to drink with it, and, holding his leaf plate with rice, was shown the way  to the house of a Sastri nearby
would give him water.  While standing in front of the house, waiting for it, he stumbled on a few paces and then collapsed
in sleep or faint.  A few  minutes later,  he came round to find a small crowd looking on  curiously. He drank the water, gathered
up and ate some of the rice that has spilled, and then lay down on the ground and slept.

Next morning, Monday, August 31st,  was Gokulashtami the birth anniversary of Sri Krishna and one of the most auspicious
days in Hindu calendar.  Tiruvannmalai was still twenty miles distant.  Venkataraman walked for some time, looking for the road
to it and and began to feel tired and hungry.  Like most Brahmins at a time when ancient times still held more away than
they do today, he wore gold ear rings, and in his case, they were set with rubies.  He took them off in order to raise money
on them and finish the journey by train. But the question was, where and with whom? 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 11:20:14 AM »

He stopped at random at a house which turned out to be one Muthukrishna Bhagavatar and asked for food.  The sister of
Bhagavatar, must have been deeply impressed by the appearance at her door of a Brahmin youth of beautiful countenance
and shining eyes on the day of Krishna's birth;   she gave him a large cold meal and although, as in the train two days ago,
his appetite disappeared after first mouthful, she stood over him in true motherly  fashion and made him finish it.

There  remained the question of ear rings.  They must be worth twenty rupees but he wanted a loan of four on them
to cover any more expenses he might have on his way.  To avoid arousing suspicion he gave the pretext that he was
on a pilgrimage and his luggage had got lost, leaving him destitute.  Muthukrishna Bhagavatar examined the ear rings
and, judging them to be genuine, advanced four rupees.  However, he insisted on taking the youth's address, and giving
his own so that they could be redeemed, at anytime.  The good couple kept with him till  noon and then gave him lunch
and packed up for him a parcel of sweets that had been prepared for puja to Sri Krishna, but not yet offered to Him.

As soon as he left the house, he tore up the address, having no intention of ever redeeming the ear rings.  Finding
that there was no train to Tiruvannmalai, till next morning, he slept at night at the station. No man can end his journey
till the allotted time.  It was morning of September 1st, 1896, three days after leaving home, when he arrived at
Tiruvannamalai Station.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 11:37:07 AM »

With quick steps, his heart throbbing with joy, he hastened straight to the great Temple. In mute sigh of welcome, the
gates of three  high compound walls and all the doors, even that of the inner shrine stood open.  There was no else inside.
So he entered the inner shrine alone and stood overcome before His Father Arunachala. He embraced the Lingam and there
in the bliss of the Union, was the quest achieved and the journey ended.

Leaving the Temple, Venkataraman wandered out into the town.  Someone called out to ask him whether he wanted his
tuft removed.  The question must have been inspired, for there was no outer sign that Brahmin youth renounced or intended
to renounce the world.  He immediately consented and was conducted to the Ayyankulam Tank where  a number of barbers
plied with their trade.  There he had to his head completely shaved.  Then, standing on the steps of the tank, he threw away
his remaining money -- a little over three  rupees.  He never handled money again.  He also threw away  the packet of sweets
which he was still holding. 'Why give sweets to this block of a body?'  He took of the sacred thread that is a sign of caste
and threw it away, for he who renounces the world renounces not only home and property but caste also and all civil status.
Then he took off the dhoti he was wearing, tore off a strip to serve him as a loin cloth, and threw the rest away.

So he returned to the temple, having completed the acts of renunciation. As he approached it he recollected that the Scriptures
enjoin a bath after having one's hair cut, but he said to himself, 'Why give this block of a body the luxury of a bath?'
Immediately there was a short and sharp shower so that before entering the Temple he had his bath!

He did not re-enter the inner shrine.  There was no need. Indeed, it was three years, before he went there again. 
He took his abode in the thousand pillared hall, a raised stone platform, open on all sides, the roof supported by a forest
of slender, sculptured pillars and there sat in the Bliss of Being. 

Sri Bhagavan's Advent is complete!

It was Tuesday, 1st Sept. 1896.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.       

atmavichar100

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Re: Sri Bhagavan's Advent Day - 01.90.2014
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 10:27:43 PM »
Mr. Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region attended a special function in the ashram honoring the release of the permanent pictorial cancellation.



However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha