Author Topic: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:  (Read 1624 times)

Subramanian.R

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Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« on: March 13, 2016, 02:35:37 PM »
(The above article appeared in Mountain Path - Jan. Mar. 2016 issue.)

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A detailed commentary by Muhavai Kanna Muruganar.

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Homage to the Supreme Self, Sri Sadguru Ramana:

It is said that, to reveal the meaning of the Tiruvachakam, the noble Sri Manikkavachagar simply pointed
to the Divine Hall of Chidambaram, before himself merging as one with it and disappearing.
(What did he mean by pointing out at the Divine Hall?  He indicated that the meaning of Tiruvachakam is only He.  'Itharkku poruL ivanE...')

This is something that should give us much food for thought.  If one were to ask Bhagavan Sri Ramana, who
gave us in grace Akshara Manamalai, what its meaning was, there is no doubt that He would have remained
silent, pointing to Arunachala, and revealing that its meaning was Arunachala Itself.

When we consider the story of Bhagavan Sri Ramana's life, it is seen to be a tale of divine grace, in which
'the flashing forth of Arunachala'  - Arunachala Sphurna appeared in Him as His very nature  'from the innocence of youth', entirely swallowed up His body, possessions, His very soul and caused  Him to exist
as one with its very own Self.

That there was in Him at first some trace of dualistic awareness is demonstrated in His words, 'I have left
in search of my Father according to His command.   (From the Note left by Venkataraman at His house in Madurai.).  However, as soon as He laid eyes on Arunachala, He attained the transcendental state in which
He remained as Self alone, as exemplified in the words, 'When I sought in my mind who the seer was,
I perceived Him standing there with no trace of the seer,'(Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 2,1.1.) and remained absorbed for a long period of time in His natural state, kevala nirvikapa samadhi, as the very form of Arunachala (unalloyed, pure Being), 'which allows nothing to manifest, other than Its own nature as the Self.'
(Tayumanavar, hymn 14, Akara Puvanam - Chidambara Rahasyam.).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 09:16:59 AM »
Later, He gained the realization that, although grace and the world are not different, the Self manifests in
two different ways, and thus was able to attain the state of Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the experience of
consciousness free of divisions, in which, even on the worldly level,  He still perceived everything, without
distortion, through the eye of grace.  It was at this juncture that this first work, appeared as the expression
of that experience.

Already His awareness, His energy, His mind, His voice, everything has been swallowed up by Arunachala
on His arrival there, even as 'the day consumes that darkness of night', and the name 'Arunachala' 'Arunachala!' flashed forth from Arunachala's Gracious Presence which shines as pure being.  What meaning then could there be to those 'flashing forth' other than that Arunachala Itself, the fullness of the Real?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 11:51:39 AM »
Further, the qualities displayed in the strength of Bhagavan's austerities,  His attainment of the Supreme,
are evidenced in such utterances as, 'Entering my home, You dragged me from it and made me dwell as
a prisoner in the Cave of your Heart';  'Removing my dark delusion, you held me in thrall to your Reality
with the magic collyrium of your Grace';   'Enchanting me as if with magic powder, you revealed your Siva
consciousness, plucking away my Jiva consciousness';   'Grasping me as the ghost (Brahman) which does
not let go of me, so that my ghost nature (the ego) left me, you made of me a ghostly one'.  'What austerities have I performed, that you should take me as the target of your grace?'   

If we examine such utterances carefully, we can see that His experience was not that of many other great
sages.   According to the expression, 'If one worships Lord Siva, practicing austerities over many eons of time,
right understanding may dawn to some degree', such sages exerted themselves over long periods of time
to gain spiritual maturity through the acquisition of grace gained only with great difficulty.  Then, through
their own efforts, coupled with the Sadguru's glance of grace, they understood the inner meaning of the
Mahavakya teachings, 'Brahman am I',   'He am I',  'Siva am I'.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 09:27:09 AM »
Finally having performed arduous austerities on paths such as 'the way of the ant', 'the way of the bird',
and 'the way of the monkey', (all of which require some form of effort on the part of the sadhaka),
('pipilika marga', the way of the ant, 'vichamga marga', the way of the bird, 'markata marga', the way
of the monkey),  they attained the state of union which is the meaning of the word  'art' (in the Mahavakya
'Thou art That').

Whilst this was so in their case, in the case of Sri Ramana, however, it can be said with certainty that even
in His dreams He never thought about, desired or strove to attain anything, be it true knowledge, the
attainment of liberation, teachings, or the grace of a guru, and that, rather than saying 'He became'
Arunachala, it is more appropriate to say, 'He was transformed' into Arunachala.  Moreover, when He
exclaims in tones of praise and wonder, "Say to me, 'Without knowing the truth of Thou Art That thus
much did you attain.  This state that you have attained is the final truth",  it becomes clear that He is
addressing Sri Arunachala, in the second person, as the one who granted Him in grace the direct experience
of Brahman that arose in Him suddenly 'in the way of the cat' (which holds the kitten firmly by the neck).
(In Bhagavan's case there was no need for Him to seek the Lord by any of the previously mentioned means.
It was Arunachala who took hold of Him and did not let go, as a cat grasps her kitten by the loose skin at
the neck. This is called Marjala Nyaya - the way of the cat.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 03:32:21 PM »
Having had this new, unexpected and wondrous experience of coming to dwell simply as That', in which
He was thus swallowed up by he vast effulgence of grace, He at that time took up the inquiry, 'Who am I?',
desiring to refine His understanding of, and become firmly established in, His nature and form, it was this
same inquiry that in later times He taught as Atma Vichara  to the followers who paid homage to Him.

Thus, the subject of this work, is Arunachala, the unmoving reality whose nature is being consciousness bliss.
It is the space of consciousness (Chidambaram) which transcends word and thought.  Who are those who
are capable of perceiving the essence of that nature which is known only through divine silence (mauna)!
The firm conclusion established by the experience of the great sags is, '(Who can speak of its greatness and to
whom?)  When That (Reality) comes about, they will be only That.  That alone can speak of its greatness).
(Tayumanavar, Hymn 14. Akara Bhuvanam, - Chidambara Rahasyam, Verse 22,14).


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 09:50:34 AM »
Therefore it is a certain fact that only those who possess the fitness for dwelling in that immovable state are
the fit ones to communicate that state.

The great soul, Sri Murugnar, is one who, through the grace of his guru, is possessed of a great strength
and ability to take one and complete the tasks that are extremely difficult to accomplish.  Worshipping the
feet of his guru through that grace itself, and relying upon the power of grace, he has embarked upon the
great, rare and good endeavor of discerning the recondite meaning of this work of grace, Sri Arunachala
Aksharamana Malai.  That one such as he has achieved a truly miraculous success in his endeavor, is not
to be wondered at.  No other excellence need be desired of this work, other than that it was composed by       
by Muruganar with the grace of Sri Ramana as his eyes.

However, there is one further point worth mentioning.  This commentary was composed at a time when
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, the author of the source text, still inhabited His radiant, divine bodily
form.  Being in Bhagavan's divine presence,  Muruganar was able to compose it having clearly ascertained
the author's intended meaning for every single word of the text, so that there was not the slightest discrepancy
between the text and its commentary.

As with the commentaries on the Prasthanatrayam and many other commentaries on works imbued with
grace, doubts assail in the minds of those who study them in a number of places regarding the congruence
of meaning between the text and the commentary.  However this commentary possesses the unique excellence
in which the possibility has been entirely eradicated that it might appear to anyone, ever, that there was a lack
of congruence between itself and text. 

Arunachala Siva.             
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 02:44:42 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Arunachala Akshara Manamalai - Sadhu Natananandan:
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 10:25:31 AM »
Until today, this work, Sri Aksharamana Malai, has been considered as ordinary example  of the genre of
hymns of praise, worshipping Sri Arunachaleswara in its own distinct fashion as the form of the Supreme,
and, as such, has been used for regular recitation (Parayana). But now, due to the brilliance of the learned
Sri Muruganar's commentary, it shines out as a distinguished, authoritative treatise, and has endeared him
to the hearts of all devotees. It is no exaggeration to say that this Commentary has mad of him one who
is rich in grace, who dwells with Sri Ramana, his guru and god. It is certain that this commentary will be greeted with great delight by the wise and learned.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.