Author Topic: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi  (Read 76188 times)

Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2019, 03:29:30 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Sri Niranjananandaswami (Chinna Swami) II

Later, T. P. Ramachandra Iyer said to me that once there was an altercation in the management and Nagasundaram was involved in it. Bhagavan often muttered under his breath while going up the hill, What can I do? I have given her my word. Ramachandra Iyer could not understand and asked, Bhagavan, what are you saying? Bhagavan replied, When my brother came here, my mother took an assurance from me that I will not leave him and that I will protect him and keep him here with me. What can I do?

When Nagasundaram came to Skandashram, having been beaten by life's trials, he became an ascetic, too. He took to austere living and begged in the streets of Tiruvannamalai for food. By that time, Ramana Maharshi had written Who am I and Five Hymns to Arunachala. These were the prevalent books, on which many devotees meditated or sang from. Nagasundaram contemplated, studied, and lived a reclusive life. Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni had already named Brahmana Swami as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. When he met Nagasundaram, Bhagavan's brother, he could see that Bhagavan was paying attention to him. He, too, therefore wanted to assist in helping him. ―Why don't you take the traditional step of taking sanyasa and donning the ochre robe? He suggested. Nayana also assigned him the name Niranjanananda Swami. The name means ―an imperishable one. Given the complicated name, everybody started calling him Chinna Swami, Junior Swami, as Bhagavan, his elder brother, was the senior Swami.

When Mother Alagammal dropped the body, Chinna Swami was among those who carried the body down the hill and brought it to the thorny, bushy place, which is now Ramanashram. With help from the others, he buried her body in the samadhi. Kavyakantha insisted that he must perform pooja for it. As was customary, a lingam was placed over her body. But while this is usually taken off after some time, they let it remain there. Kavyakantha said, ―You must perform pooja with all rituals because this is not just a tomb. It is a temple of immortality since Bhagavan has liberated your mother and she is no more an ordinary bodily person. She is at one with God. Kavyakantha named the temple ―Matrabhuteshwara, which means ―God in the form of Mother. In this way, Chinna Swami was influenced to take to worship and stayed there doing pooja every day, while Bhagavan stayed on at Skandashram.

One day, Chinna Swami sent word to Bhagavan that he was going to make dosas the next day. It was considered a delicacy and he said he would bring it to Skandashram. Early the next morning, Chinna Swami heard a sweet voice saying ―Is there any food for an athithi? Athithi means a wayfarer or a guest. It was none other than Bhagavan's voice, identifying himself as a guest. The Mother's shrine was the nucleus for the present Ramanashram, and Bhagavan stayed there, never as the owner, but as a guest until his last day. It was always someone else who managed the Ashram. In 1929, after Seshadri Swami passed away, some lawyers told Bhagavan that there were a lot of litigations that had to be managed. Therefore, they advised that someone should be officially appointed as the sole manager of the Ashram. Everyone wanted Nayana to don this mantle but Bhagavan turned to Nayana and said, ―It seems Pichai wants to do this. Let him become the manager and take the burden on himself. Kavyakantha told all his devotees, ―It is Bhagavan's injunction and we should support it. From that day on Kavyakantha's disciples always supported Chinna Swami in his role as manager. In 1930, Bhagavan was asked to execute a will, which stated that the family of Niranjanananda Swami would manage the material aspects of the Ashram and that it would not have any spiritual successor to Bhagavan.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #106 on: October 17, 2019, 04:31:57 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Sri Niranjananandaswami (Chinna Swami) III


Chinna Swami was austere, strict, efficient, and an unrelenting disciplinarian. By 1938, he needed assistance in the Ashram. He sent word to his son, my father, and the whole family to join him. I was two years old when my father brought me to Ramanashram. Chinna Swami was just as strict with his son, my father. He never favored him--so much so, that my father was disappointed with him. Similarly, Chinna Swami rubbed many people the wrong way with his blunt manner, but, as many devotees say, those stories must be looked at impartially and in context. It is important that we see both sides of the character of this man. It is to be noticed that the records of all those who were offended by Chinna Swami's disciplinary action and complained, conveniently omitted their last sentences. I actually interviewed these complainants, including Muruganar, Ramaswami Pillai, Chadwick, Viswanatha Swami, Annamalai Swami, Kunju Swami, Devaraja Mudaliar, Suri Nagamma, and Munagala Venkataramaia among the long list of Chinna Swami's victims. They unanimously agreed, ―Chinna Swami's harshness did affect us and at that moment our egos were deeply hurt. There is no doubt about it. But in later years we understood that it was divine providence and that unless he had treated us like that, we would have continued to be immersed in management activities and would not have pursued our spiritual aspiration.

Muruganar also told me, ―Chinna Swami repeatedly slighted me and even refused me food at the Ashram. I had to go out on the streets and beg for my food. The reason for Chinna Swami's refusal was that he wanted me to continue performing pooja in the Mother's shrine and also assist him with the correspondence in the office. I did not do that, so I had to leave. But Ganesan, I assure you that my going away granted me two spiritual boons. Now I tell you honestly, but for Chinna Swami, I might have still been doing pooja in Ramanashram even today and assisting in writing letters. What are those two boons? I asked him. ―I could get the proximity and presence of Bhagavan at any time, day and night. Had I been committed to management work, I could not have had that. The second boon was that I was so ecstatic, that I wanted to write poems. I wrote forty thousand verses on Bhagavan and Bhagavan's teaching. These were written in silence and seclusion. With external activity this might not have happened. Chinna Swami was a vital instrument in my gaining these two boons.

One of the kitchen assistants told me that Chinna Swami was used by Bhagavan as a washerman's stone only to clear the devotees' ―dirt, their vasanas, and cause them to devote all their attention to spiritual sadhana. To fulfill this role, Chinna Swami perpetually received a dreadful reputation. Balarama Reddiar told me, ―Though there were seemingly shortcomings in Chinna Swami's management, it is a fact witnessed by me repeatedly, that Bhagavan supported him. When I once complained to Bhagavan about Chinna Swami, he instantly corrected me, and I steadily stood by that correction all my life at the Ashram. Bhagavan curtly asked me, ―Have you come all this way to sort out lapses in the Ashram management? Attend to the business, for which you came. Find out whom from inside raises these complaints. Leave the rest to the Higher Power. Be still.

Viswanatha Swami explained to me why all the senior devotees went to Palakothu. He was saying, ―We do that so that we may pursue our sadhana. Bhagavan approved of that. He would ask us, ―In which way you are going to build your hut? And also Bhagavan would suggest to us, ―Go to these streets to beg. That enabled us to be with Bhagavan all the rest of the time. What we are today was possible because of our coming away from the institution. Bhagavan approved of it. Viswanatha Swami was the worst affected. Once he was ill and without food for three days. Coming to know of it, Santamma took him to the dining hall, through the kitchen, and made him sit on the first row, from where Bhagavan was quite visible. Food was served, and when all were about to eat, Chinna Swami came, pulled Viswanatha Swami by the hand and sent him out. Bhagavan was witnessing all this and did not say anything nor object to it. However, it was Viswanatha Swami who assisted Chinna Swami in his last days, when Chinna Swami was bedridden.

Surprised, I asked him, ―How could you do that after being so deeply hurt and insulted? He replied, ―When I was in Dindigul, Bhagavan appeared to me in a dream and asked me to come to Ramanashram. I immediately left for the Ashram. It was 1952, and Bhagavan had already dropped his body. I had no idea why Bhagavan asked me to come. Chinna Swami was terminally ill, and there was nobody to attend him. I felt that this was the purpose for which Bhagavan had asked me to come. I waited on him day and night, nursing and bathing him. One day Chinna Swami held my hands and asked for forgiveness. Chinna Swami spent his last two days looking at Bhagavan's picture, all the time chanting ―Ramana, Ramana. At the time of his death, he stretched out his arms with his eyes closed, his face serene, happy, and luminous. Viswanatha Swami said, ―Bhagavan has absorbed him in the Heart Sky of Arunachala.

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