Six Verses in Praise of Sri Bhagavan (At the Feet of Bhagavan – 38)

BY T. K. SUNDARESA IYER We adore that ‘Ramana’ whose totality is Awareness; who is the embodiment of all Knowledge; who has neither birth nor death; who is the prop of all existing life-force; who accepts service rendered by spiritual aspirants; with whom there is none to compare; to whom none is superior; who shines in our soul as Knowledge just as the Sun shines in the sky and on whom all the worlds depend for their existence; to Him we offer our obeisance. Those who worship the Graceful Feet of Sri Ramana Bhagavan, who is the incarnation of Lord Subrahmanya residing in Arunachalam, will be blessed with the virtues of mind-control and restraint of outgoing senses. He will thus be enabled to look upon pleasure and pain with equanimity; the restless mind getting one-pointed will bloom into Blissful sphurana (Awareness). He who meditates ever on Om Ramanaya Namaha is free from the fear of Death. When death approaches and the Self is veiled, meditation on the sacred syllable of ‘Ramana’ rescues us from death by putting an end to Death itself. Verily the Self in the Heart appears as the five elements, as the sun, moon and stars, as angels and different deities; as the vast space and as the origin and source of all this. Let us adore the Self as ‘Ramana’. ‘Ramana’, the Pure Self, whose Grace emanates from its seat — the Heart, whose Grace plays upon His serene face, and is directed through His most beautiful eyes, blessing all who turn to Him. Hearken! I shall tell you about the Golden Abode of Wisdom...

My Little Ones (At the Feet of Bhagavan -37)

Arunachala, the Single Lamp of Love, Was lit and shines in Ramanachala. This lights itself again in a million hearts; It glows and glows, consuming the dirt and dross in all. I too was lit in that Light that day; It glowed as the ‘I’…’I’ of the Heart; But the accumulated dirt of ages would not let it shine- Perhaps it is dim or flickering there. I would this pot were broken; But to live to see that Light shine in clear pots; That is, indeed, the pleasure I enjoy; I see the lamp of Ramanachala in my little ones; I shall not mention names, for they’ll be shy. I see my little ones and enjoy the lamp of love, The Love lit by Ramanachala, May His family increase, May His Light flourish, May It ever proclaim Itself in Its unseen effulgence- That is ever my heartfelt...

Thiruvannamalai – Arunachalam (At the Feet of Bhagavan -36)

The Lord enshrined in the great Temple here is known by the name of Arunachaleswara* (Tamil: Annamalaiyar). The Mother Uma enshrined in the Temple is known as Apithakucha Nayaki (Tamil: Unnamulai Amman). The Lord has in truth no name, no form; He embodies Himself in name and form, so that His devotees may easily see and love Him. The Tamil land has indeed the fortune to be studded with sacred shrines of the embodied Lord; this has enriched her culture and made her glorious. Of these great shrines, Tiruvannamalai is unique in that Brahma and Vishnu sought the furthermost limits of Arunachala, while He stood as a huge column of Fire. The failure of their efforts brought the two primal Gods to realize the truth of their own Being, and rid them of the sense of doership. The day these Gods first worshipped Arunachala is known as the Mahasivaratri Day. * The problem of scientific and common sense transliteration of Sanskrit and Tamil words is very hard to solve. In this volume, whereas usually the normal scientific method has been adopted, in the case of certain words like ‘Maharshi’, ‘Vishnu’, etc. which have become so familiar in their common form, it was felt that to change the spellings would be pedantic. When words have been used a number of times in this book, it has not been found necessary to translate them every time or to adhere to the diacritical points of their correct spellings. Tamil forms of semi-anglicised words like ‘Ashram’ have been dropped. Mother Uma covered Siva’s eyes with her palms, and the result was a huge...

Questions and Answers (At the Feet of Bhagavan -35)

Q. When was the ‘Truth Revealed’, ‘Ulladu Narpadu’ composed, and what was its cause or purpose? A. ‘Ulladu Narpadu’ was not specially written to constitute a systematic treatise on Truth, but was first composed as stray stanzas by Bhagavan between the years 1923 and 1927. When some aspect of Truth was discussed and explained, it was couched in verse form, and when these amounted to 40 verses, they were arranged into a systematic treatise with reference to the subject-matter of each stanza. Strangely enough, there was found to be a sequence and continuity of thought in these; the whole work then came to be admired, read, re-read, digested and discussed by various persons, who commented on them from various points of view. Q. When and for whom was the ‘Spiritual Instruction’, ‘Upadesamanjari’ composed? A. This book does not contain the direct words or writings of Bhagavan. But one devotee, Sri Natanananda, who noted down his discussions with Him later expanded them into a short treatise. * These questions were received by post at the Ashram, and the replies were drafted by the author, Sri T.K.S. Bhagavan went through this carefully line by line and approved of the whole. So it came to be included as part of Sri Bhagavan’s own work. The book was compiled at about the same time as ‘Ulladu Narpadu.’ Q. I should like to know when the Maharshi broke His vow of silence. Was it when He opened His mouth to Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni to inform him that if one repeats a mantra and watches whence it springs, that is Tapas? Please clarify. A. It...

The Ribhu Gita (At the Feet of Bhagavan -34)

Ribhu was a great Seer (rishi); his name finds mention in a few Upanishads like the Tejobindopanishad, the Narada Parivrajakopanishad, and the Varahopanishad. He is reputed to have obtained Divine Knowledge direct from the Supreme Lord Himself, and then to have taught it to several disciples, such as the Sage Nidagha. His teachings to him are contained in the ‘Ribhu-gita,’ which forms a section of the ‘Siva-rahasya’ but to the best of our knowledge this section has not yet been printed in Sanskrit; we have a rendering into simple and easily understood Tamil verse by Sri Lokanatha Swamigal, also known as Bhikshu Shastri. This Tamil rendering was often read before Sri Bhagavan, and Tena Patti’s recitals were the most inspiring. As Sri Bhagavan often used to refer to or quote from it, the Ribhu-gita finds mention in all works relating to Him. Long after Ribhu had taught Nidagha, he desired to learn how his old disciple fared. Disguised as an ignorant villager, the Master asked Nidagha what the procession was; and was told that the King was going in procession seated on the elephant. Ribhu next asked, “And which is the elephant, which the King?” The disciple replied, “Why, the one below is the elephant, and the one above is the king!” Feigning not to understand the terms ‘above’ and ‘below’, the disciple was made to demonstrate so that the disguised Sage might understand them. Chiding the supposed villager as a hopeless ignoramus, Nidagha got on the back of the Master, and said: “Now ‘I’ am above; and ‘you’ are below.” Next, alas! the poor villager could not understand...

The Divine Ruler (At the Feet of Bhagavan -33)

Sastha worship is unique in itself, in that the mere mention of the name of Sastha is awe-inspiring and brings before the mind’s eye a vision of the Absolute and the relative, of the unmanifest and the manifest, of Knowledge and of Grace, of Hara and Hari, Siva and Sakti (Creative power) and the culminating Inmost Knowledge (swarupa-jnana) born out of unity in diversity. In the background of this unity the diversities are seen as mere variations not apart from it. This is the grand Truth proclaimed by Hari-Hara’s Son, which He beckons us to realize for our release from the bondage of the world (samsara). In the Knowledge and Grace of this unity is experienced the Bliss of pure Being. In the Knowledge and Grace of this unity of Siva and Sakti is experienced the vision of Skanda, the destroyer of primal Ignorance. In the Knowledge and Grace of this unity of Hari and Hara is experienced the vision of Sastha, the bestower of supreme Good. Hari screens Himself with His Vishnu-Maya and leads His souls towards dynamic activity, not for His own sake, but that the souls may evolve. In the perfection of their evolution, He throws away the veil, and also helps the evolved souls to cut asunder the Knot of primal Ignorance (hrdaya-granthi). All doubts are set at rest, and the oneness of the Self and the All (Brahman) is experienced. Herein is the aspect of Sastha’s Grace: He teaches, instructs, communicates and governs the Supreme Knowledge, establishing the fundamental unity of the individual with the manifested world, and of the manifest and its abidance...