Yoga Vasishtam

This part is taken from “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi Yoga Vasishta is a dialogue between Sage Vasishta and Sri Rama during which advaita is expounded illustrated profusely with stories. Sri Bhagavan referred to Yoga Vasishta frequently and has even incorporated nine verses from it, in his Supplement to Forty Verses. Brahma, the Creator The Charm of Self-realisation Alms for a King Universal Equality One Pointedness The Siddhas’...

How The Tiruvachakam Was Written

This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi MANIKKAVACHAKKAR WAS GOING from one place to another until he came to Chidambaram. While witnessing Nataraja’s dance he started singing heart-melting songs and stayed in that place itself. Then one day Nataraja, with a view to make people know the greatness of Manikkavachakar and to bless the people with an excellent collection of hymns, went to the house of Manikkavachakar in the night, in the guise of a brahmin. He was received cordially and when asked the purpose of the visit, the Lord smilingly and with great familiarity asked, “It seems you have been singing hymns during your visit to sacred places of pilgrimage and that you are doing it here also. May I hear them? I have been thinking of coming and listening to you for a very long time but could not find the required leisure. That is why I have come here at night. I suppose you don’t mind. Can you sing? Do you remember them all?” “There is no need to worry about sleep. I shall sing all the songs I remember. Please listen.” So saying Manikkavachakar began singing in ecstasy. The Lord in the guise of a brahmin sat down there writing the songs on palm leaves. As Manikkavachakar was in ecstasy he hardly noticed the brahmin who was taking down the songs. Singing on and on, he completely forgot himself in the thought of God and ultimately became silent. The old brahmin quietly disappeared. At daybreak, the dikshitar (priest) came to the Nataraja temple as usual to perform the...

Manikkavachakar

This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi Manikkavachakar was born in a village called Vaadavur (Vaatapuri) in Pandya Desa. Because of that people used to call him Vaadavurar. He was sent to school very early. He read religious books, absorbed the lessons therein, and became noted for his devotion to Siva, as also his kindness to living beings. Having heard about him, the Pandya king sent for him, made him his Prime Minister and conferred on him the title of “Thennavan Brahmarayan” i.e., Leader among brahmins in the south. Though he performed the duties of a minister with tact and integrity, he had no desire for material happiness. His mind was always absorbed in spiritual matters. Feeling convinced that for the attainment of jnana, the grace of the guru is essential, he kept on making enquiries about it. Once the Pandya king directed the minister to buy a few good horses and bring them to him. As he was already in search of a guru, Manikkavachakar felt that it was a good opportunity and started with his retinue, carrying with him the required amount of gold. He visited all the temples on the way and reached a village called Tiruperundurai. For about a year before that, Parameswara had assumed the form of a school teacher and was teaching the poor children of the village seated on a street pial, near the temple. He had his meal which consisted of only cooked green vegetables, in the house of his pupils everyday by turn. Well aware of the mental maturity of Manikkavachakar, Iswara anxiously...

Sundaramurthi’s Bond of Servitude

This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi Sundaramurthy was born in the sacred place Tirunavalur in Thirumunaippadi region in the Siva Brahmana caste called Adi Saivam, to a Siva priest named Chadayanar alias Sivacharya and his wife Isaijnaniyar. He was named by his parents Nambiyarurar. One day, while he was playing in the street with a toy cart, the king of the place, by name Narasinga Muniyar, saw him and took a fancy to him. He requested the father, Sivacharya to let him have the boy. The father agreed and the boy was brought up by the king as his foster son. Even so, the brahminical usages regarding thread ceremony and vedic instructions were carefully observed and he became well-versed in all the arts. When he came of age, his marriage with the daughter of a relative by name Chatangavi Sivacharya was decided upon, and invitations were issued to all relatives for the function. Sundaramurthy went through the usual premarital ceremonies a day before the marriage, and on the marriage day, properly dressed as the bridegroom accompanied by his relatives, he went to the bride’s father’s house in Puttur village, quite early in the morning on horseback. On reaching the bride’s house, he alighted from the horse and sat on the wedding seat in the marriage pandal in accordance with the usual custom. Drums were sounded and the arrival of the bride was awaited. Just then, Lord Siva approached the marriage pandal in the garb of an old brahmin, and announced, “All of you please listen to what I have to say.”...

Swami is Everywhere

This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi An American lady unaccustomed to squatting on the floor, somehow managed to sit in the hall by stretching her legs towards Bhagavan’s sofa. One of the attendants suggested to her that she sit cross-legged. When Bhagavan saw that, he said smiling, “When they find it difficult even to sit down on the floor, should you force them to sit cross-legged also?” “No, no! As they do not know that it is disrespectful to stretch their legs towards Bhagavan, I merely told them so, that is all,” said the devotee. “Oh is that so! It is disrespectful, is it? Then it is disrespectful for me to stretch my legs towards them. What you say applies to me as well.” Saying this in a lighter vein, Bhagavan sat up cross-legged. Even though the rheumatism in Bhagavan’s legs rendered them painful and stiff after ten minutes of being folded, he continued to sit cross-legged stretching them from time to time, saying that it might be deemed disrespectful. Even after the visitors took leave he kept his legs folded saying, “I do not know if I can stretch them. They say it is not good manners.” The attendant stood by Bhagavan’s side crestfallen and repentant. Bhagavan, full of compassion, stretched out his legs as usual and began telling this story. Seeing that sundaramoorthy was going away on a white elephant which had come from Kailas, the Rajah of Chera whispered in the ear of his horse the panchakshara mantra and got upon it to go to Kailas. Avvaiyar, who...

With The Moon in His Crown

This part is taken from Periapuranam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi The venerable Sundharamoorthy was born in the amsa of Aalaala Sundara, who emanated from the reflection of Lord Siva, the Somasekhara (with moon in his crown). He acquired the friendship of the Kerala king, Cheraman Perumal Nainar, in the course of his wanderings as a pilgrim, and together they both went to Madurai on pilgrimage. The Pandyan king as well as his son-in-law, the Chola king, extended a very warm welcome to them and expressed their happiness at being their hosts. Sundaramurthy worshipped God Sundareswara, the consort of the goddess Meenakshi, and sang hymns in praise of the Lord with his poetic skill. Accompanied by the Chera king he visited and worshipped at the sacred shrines of the south, namely Thirukuttralam, Tirunelveli and Rameswaram. From there he visited the sacred shrine of Thirukkedeswara in Lanka Dwipa (Ceylon) and offered worship. There he remembered Thrisulapuram (Thiruchuli) which is the Muktinagar (city of salvation) and proceeded thither. As they approached that city, the crowds saw them both resplendent as though the sun and the moon appeared at the same time. Sundaramurthy was happy to have the darsan of Lord Bhuminatha and offered worship with the song beginning ‘Oona uyir Puhalai‘ and was overwhelmed with devotion. He decided to stay in that holy place for a while, and resided in the Mutt on the bank of the river Kowndinya. One night during his stay there, Lord Siva appeared to him in a dream with a ball in his hand (ball is the symbol of kingship) and a crown...