Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
T. K. Sundaresa Iyer - VI
I spent hours with TKS. Most of the time, he would be silent. He would take me around the hill or up the hill to Skandashram. Sometimes, when he spoke, he would say things of tremendous interest. He once told me, ―Ganesan, when I was with Bhagavan, Bhagavan told me, These Siddha Purushas living in Tiruvannamalai, India, and all over the world, they all come to Arunachala to go around the hill, and they come in the form of light. Bhagavan had shared with TKS and the others that he had seen this light and told them, ―If you have true devotion, you can also see them. TKS said, ―Many of us old devotees have seen that light moving around Arunachala. Bhagavan said, ―Yes. Have a longing, but do not expect, do not put a time frame, do not even say it must be done, and do not have arrogance. Have complete, prayerful humility, and it will be revealed.
I would like to share with you that I have seen this light not once, but three times. The first time I was alone, and the second time I was with a Japanese group. I was sharing with them that this light could be seen; they sincerely asked me, ―Can we also see it? I looked and it was there, all of them saw it, and all of them prostrated before it. About a year ago, I took a devout young couple, Hema and Nochur Venkataraman, around the hill. They had many questions, and when I told them about this moving light, they said, ―Can we also see it? I said, ―It is not in your hands or in my hands. Just pray. Suddenly one of them cried, ―Anna, look! and it was there.
One day, some Vedic scholars, along with TKS, were going around the hill, chanting the Sama Veda. They suddenly saw four or five tigers seated in the middle of the road. Petrified, they stopped chanting. For fifteen minutes, the tigers looked at them and then got up and disappeared. Bhagavan was at Skandashram, and they ran to him and told him what had occurred with them. Bhagavan was not interested in that. All he said was, ―Why did you stop chanting the Vedas? They were Siddha Purushas, eager to listen to your chants. You should have continued chanting the Vedas. This was shared with me by TKS.
TKS told me that inside the mystical Arunachala, there are vast realms. He said that Bhagavan had awarded this inner vision to him. Bhagavan had visions inside the hill and had seen all this thrice and come out. TKS said he had also had that experience. I would like to reveal that I have also had this experience of being inside the mountain of silence. Have faith, trust the Mystery, have devotion, be humble, and surrender. If a person is elder to you even by a day, prostrate to him or to her, and then humility will come, and you will enjoy this spiritual freedom. Prostrating to another person is not enslavement. It is freedom, blissful spiritual freedom.
Bhagavan was very kind. Once, Chinna Swami had a quarrel with TKS because TKS had gone and prostrated before a saintly lady. ―When Bhagavan is here, why did you go and prostrate before another? shouted Chinna Swami. TKS was upset and did not have his food. Early in the morning, when he arrived, Bhagavan was making idlis in the kitchen and saw his disturbed face. He said, ―Come on, sit down, and eat some idlis. TKS replied, ―Bhagavan, I have to rush to the school, I have classes. ―Hey, the cat is out! Today is Sunday, how can you have school? Come on, sit down. Bhagavan brought a leaf and put it there. ―I have made some special sambar. Bhagavan sat next to him and piled up the idlis. TKS said, ―I had never eaten so many idlis in my life! He was a poor man; at home, or otherwise, he would get two idlis to eat. That day Bhagavan served him nearly twelve idlis with sambar, all the while telling him stories.
In the earlier days of his Ashram life, Bhagavan would dry his towel on a rope between two trees. There was a sparrow's nest with three or four eggs there. While Bhagavan was taking out the towel one day, one egg fell down and cracked. Bhagavan felt regretful; he took it up, put a wet cloth around it and said, ―I hope Arunachala will save me from this sin. He put it back and every few hours he would come and change the wet cloth. After a few days he saw that the crack had healed and said, ―Arunachala has saved me, now the mother will be very happy. She will hatch it. The mother bird hatched the egg and Bhagavan took it and showed TKS and the others, saying, ―See how beautiful this is.
There is an old Hindu custom where they hoist a yellow flag to declare that anyone who comes in will be fed unconditionally, at any time of the day or night. Once, they wanted to hoist it in Ramanashram, and TKS was sent to Bhagavan to seek permission. ―Bhagavan, we would like to hoist a food flag. Bhagavan replied, ―What is the use of feeding the body? There should be a Self flag fluttering there. Anyone who enters can have a glimpse of the Self. It should be given unconditionally. As is well known, Bhagavan was available twenty-four hours, day and night, to offer his Darshan.