Author Topic: Recollections -Vilacheri Ranga Iyer - Mountain Path, April - June 2016:  (Read 3353 times)

Subramanian.R

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PART I :

(Recently Vilacheri Ranga Iyer's Note Book was recovered from the Asramam Archives.  Ranga was a
childhood friend of Bhagavan and in later years he came to Bhagavan for solace and guidance.  At one
point Ranga's astrology chart showed a difficult period would soon appear in his life. Bhagavan insisted
that Ranga stay at the Asramam and be near Bhagavan at all times.  We have retained the original flavor
of the text as much as possible.)

*


My mother asked Palaniswami, who was standing near Bhagavan, if Bhagavan would take fruits.  Bhagavan
at once stretched out His hand and my mother peeled off the skin from a banana and placed it on Bhagavan's
hand.  Bhagavan graciously ate it.  When next she asked Palaniswami if Bhagavan would walk, Bhagavan
walked a few paces.  Many years afterwards, Bhagavan referred to this occasion and with a smile told me,
'I even thought of speaking to your mother then, but was afraid whether if I did so, she might be
emboldened to drag me away by force to Madurai.  I used to speak a word or two in those days to Palaniswami'.

One day Bhagavan told me, 'It was only your mother that came and saw me here first.  Even my mother
came only afterwards.  Your mother came around 1898, when I was at Pavalakunru.  She was shocked
to find the state in which my body was and cried and exclaimed, 'has your father's great hospitality  and feeding of the poor brought about this and turned you into a Saint.'  She could not bear to see Bhagavan,
unwashed and with matted hair, sitting on the rocks.  She got down, took the train and joined us at
Villupuram and told us of the pitiable sight she saw.  Referring to this Bhagavan asked me, 'You all stayed
away at Villupuram and sent only your mother. You thought why go and see the mendicant fellow?  Is it not so?  I replied, 'Bhagavan apparently felt that we could not bear to see Him in such a state and so did not give
the conviction then that He was God, an Avatar and a Jnani. She could not come.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     





           

Subramanian.R

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One evening Bhagavan took me to the top of the Hill and showed me all the places of interest there,
including the spot where the beacon light is lit up annually.  After sunset we climbed down and slept
for the night at the seven springs cave. I laid myself down at Bhagavan's feet. In a little while I saw
Bhagavan everywhere in that place. After a while it ceased.  I told Bhagavan what I saw.  He remained
silent.  I imagined that was like Krishna giving Viswarupa Darshan to Arjuna.

It seems one day when Bhagavan was roaming near the Hill from the foot to the top, from morn till eve,
when he felt hungry, an old woman with grey hair came that way with a pot of gruel (kanji), gave it to
Bhagavan and asked Him to drink it and that subsequently she disappeared.  So Bhagavan said, "It occurred
to me whether she could have been Mother Parvati!"

Once when Bhagavan and I were going round the Hill, Bhagavan told me, 'Don't think this is just a Hill
of stones.  It is a nest of caves in which reside many great Saints.'  I replied, 'That is apparently why
you tell us going round the Hill is so important! '

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
   

Subramanian.R

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Bhagavan told me the following:  "Once when I was in Skandasramam and they were celebrating my
Jayanthi, many people came up from the town.  With them came a mongoose too.  I imagined it was
probably a pet reared by one of the visitors.  But it came straight to me, got on my lap, stayed there for
sometime, then went inspected the room where things had been collected for the Jayanthi celebrations
and the kitchen and then went away up the Hill.  It was of a golden hue.  I did not know which great saint
came like that. Saints come in any form they like'. I thought within myself, 'Crows, monkeys, squirrels,
sheep, cattle, all dumb animals are somehow able to discern the greatness of Bhagavan and go to Him
for darshan.  Only men with their reasoning faculty are not able to recognize His true worth.

One day I told Bhagavan, 'Bhagavan has no grace for me.'  Bhagavan replied, 'Your statement is like
that of a man who, standing in the huge floods of the Ganga, complains he is thirsty and desires a bottle
of tap water may be sent to him from Thanjavur.'  Bhagavan's Grace is always flowing.  Those who are
at thirst for Jnana can always go to Him and get their thirst quenched.  Bhagavan is always ready to give
guidance to each devotee according to their fitness.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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I used to pester Bhagavan frequently with my questions.  So, one day Bhagavan said, 'you are always
asking questions.  Some devotees come, sit beside me an d realize what alone has to be known and will
go away.'  I replied, 'What is to be done?  If you have a dunce for your son you will have to din and din
to his ears and teach him.' Bhagavan laughed and remained silent. I realized that many people became
jivan muktas by having Bhagavan's darshan.  Who can describe Bhagavan's greatness?

One day Bhagavan told me that he was where speech was not. Thereupon, I asked Him, 'Why then do you
speak?'  'Out of compassion, I have to speak'  He replied.  I realized then that Bhagavan was Dakshinamoorthy
and speaks only out of compassion for us.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Once a friend had come with us from Madurai to see Bhagavan.  He was a great observer of all external form
of Achara (good traditional conduct).  Bhagavan told us that a dog used to remain always before Bhagavan
in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, and that when  it was pregnant, the Asramam people would not allow it to deliver
its litter at the Asramam, but drove it away and thereupon it went up the Hill, brought forth its pups, stayed
a while there and except when suckling its little ones, used to come as before to Bhagavan and stay in His
presence.  When  I and the above friend went out for food along with others in the Asramam, after the food
has been served, one of the pups came along and sniffed my friend's leaf plate.  He laughed and did not touch
his food.  Bhagavan also laughed and related him the following story:  Once Dattatreya took one of his disciples
with him and went to meet his Guru.  On the way he told his disciple, 'My Guru may come in the guise of a
Fakir.'  After mutual greetings, all the three sat for taking meals.  The Guru took out a piece of bread from his
bag, soaked it in a bitch's milk, freshly drawn just then, took out a portion of it himself and gave the rest to
Dattatreya.  Dattatreya in turn took out a portion and gave the rest to his disciples. The disciple was disgusted
and could not take the  bread.  The disciple confessed the truth.  Thereupon Dattatreya took a little out of the
bread in his Guru's mouth, gave it to his disciple and asked him to eat the same. 

After narrating the above Bhagavan asked my friend to eat the food on the leaf plate before him and my friend
ate accordingly.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Once Bhagavan's mother told me the following:  'While we were at Skandasramam, I went out one day,
when I left Bhagavan was inside lying down.  When I returned I saw Him sitting on the cot outside.
But when I entered inside I saw Him there also lying as when I left.  I told Bhagavan what I saw, He
laughed and said, 'Why didn't you tell me at once.  I would have got the thief!'  This is one of the visions
vouchsafed to His mother by Bhagavan.

One day I asked Bhagavan, 'How many more lives would I have to pass through before I could attain
Jnana?'  Bhagavan replied, 'There is no such thing as time or space. In the course of an hour during sleep
we have dreams in which we feel we have passed through many days and even years.  On the cinema screen
you see pictures of a film 1/8 inch broad transformed into big mountains, vast oceans and huge buildings.
The world is not outside.  As we see the tiny pictures on the film reflected on the screen through lens, so
(in the same manner) we see the small world that is in the mind as a big world outside through the lens
of our eyes.'

One day as Bhagavan and I were climbing the Hill,  Bhagavan told me 'You are always wishing for this and
that. I on the other hand do not wish anything.'  He added, pointing out to the place where buildings of the
Asramam now stand, 'Bhaktas want to raise buildings here.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Once I observed a Muslim talking to Bhagavan. I imagined he was having a talk on religious and philosophical
matters.  After he left Bhagavan told me, 'You are sorely troubled as you have debts. I have', he added
laughingly, 'a debt of Rs 500 because I have bought some soaps, mirrors etc., in shops, besides grocery
in provision stores!'

I learned that the previous Sarvadhikari (Manager) of the Asramam had contracted all these debts.  I was
greatly distressed to hear.  So I went to Madras and told a rich bhakta of the state of affairs. He came to
Tiruvannamalai, scolded the shop keepers for having on credit things to a man who proposed to act for the
Asramam, and settled the claims by paying Rs. 250.

Once when Bhagavan and I were conversing, Bhagavan told me the following:  'There was once a Saint to
whom crowds used to go under the impression he had wonderful powers. He used to tell hem he had no
such powers and that therefore they need not come and disturb him.  Observing this, one bhakta took it
upon himself to explain to all who came there, 'this Saint has no powers.  You need not come here.'
This pleased the Saint. He fell for this subtle form of flattery.  Some have been freed.  Some have a desiire
for fame.  Silarukku Peerasai; Silarukku per aasai. Some people are greedy; some cover fame.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

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Once when I came to Skandasramam from Madurai,  I saw a monkey who came there with a host of monkeys
behind, went to Bhagavan, sat on His lap, embraced Him, grinned and appeared as if it was telling Him
something. Then Bhagavan turned to me and said, 'He is telling me he has been crowned king by the monkeys
today.  Look at these monkeys sitting on the parapet wall.  This one is his royal queen.  The next one is queen
No. 2.  The next one is his commander in chief.  The next are his army!'  There were about hundred of these
monkeys and they created a big row, climbing and jumping from tree to tree and  breaking branches in  their
jubilation.  Bhagavan stroked the head of the King fondly saying, 'The lame boy has had his coronation.
He came to me to tell me the grand news.'  He then told me, 'When I was at Virupaksha Cave, this monkey,
a small one then, was badly bitten by the monkeys and left behind.  He fell down at my feet with many bite
wounds on his person.  I took pity on him, attended to his wounds and tended him for a time.  It then struck
me he may one day become a king of the monkeys.  That has happened now.  Ordinarily a monkey touched
by men will not be taken back into the  monkey fold.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

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One day at 4 a.m. Bhagavan woke me up to go to Pandavatheertham to swim and disport ourselves
there. Hearing this a Dikshitar who was sleeping nearby began scratching the floor.  Bhagavan asked him
to see if it was a spindle.  Thereupon the Dikshitar explained Bhagavan was referring to the dream which
he had just then.  It seems he was then dreaming that he was in his own village.  That Avani Avitttam
(month and star when the sacred thread ceremony performed) was approaching and that to spin yarn
for making sacred threads, he was searching for his spindle.  The previous day I told Bhagavan, 'Jnanis
know the past, present and future.'   Bhagavan  replied, 'That is a very small matter.  They know what occurs
in the waking, the dream and other worlds.   But all the worlds are only as real as this world.  God has
given all Knowledge to men, withholding from them the only Knowledge of the future, even of the next
minute.'

One day one Bhakta told another, 'If you have Bhagavan's darshan often, he will make you a mendicant.'
The latter, who was a great Bhakta and who knew everything, pretended to be frightened and came to
Bhagavan and complained, 'It seems, if I came to you frequently, you will make me a pauper.  I am getting
a salary of Rs 1000 per month. What is to become of my wife and children if I lose this appointment?'
Bhagavan replied,  'Those who come to me will get each of their wishes fulfilled.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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One day I told Bhagavan, 'My father has no bhakti.  He never went to temples or sacred places and rivers.
But my mother was a great devotee. My father used to get attacks of malaria fever frequently. In these
fevers my fathers used to tell me, 'Look here, there is Parameswara on the Bull and camphor is being
waved before him. Have darshan.'

Thereupon Bhagavan related the following story: 'In a certain kingdom the queen was always going to
the temples, bhajan parties and uttering the name of God.   The king never took part in all this.  The queen
was greatly concerned over this indifference of the king and prayed to God to convert the King to her ways.

'One day when she returned late after visiting the temples and taking part in bhajans, and entered the
bedroom, the King was sleeping on cot, but the room was resounding with the name of God, Ram Nam.
Carefully observing where from the sound of the name of God came, she discovered it came from her
husband's heart.  Thereupon, she at once sent for the minister and told him that the gods had granted
her prayer that the King should have bhakti.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

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Re: Recollections -Vilacheri Ranga Iyer - Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 10:48:19 AM »
"The next morning puja, worship and naivedya should be done in all temples, attended with music, and that
every house in the town should also celebrate the event with flags and music, as if it was a great day for
great rejoicing. The minister ordered accordingly and the next morning the King saw all this rejoicing and heard
all the music and worship in the temples and asked the minister why all the music and worship in the temples
and asked the minister why all that was happening.

"The minister told him of the Queen's statement and order.  Thereupon, the King asked the Queen how she
came to know of the bhakti.  The Queen told him of how she heard Ram Nam proceeding from his heart the
previous night.   The King was greatly vexed that his secret bhakti had been made public and wanted to
commit suicide, drawing his sword from its scabbard. The Queen sought his forgiveness and pacified him.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.