Brahma, The Creator

This part is taken from Yoga Vasishtam in “Spiritual Stories” as Told by Ramana Maharshi In the course of a conversation a devotee queried, “In Vasishtam it is stated that everything comes upon a person by the desires of the mind and that it is the mind that creates them all. But how is it possible, Bhagavan?” “You ask how! Is this not stated in the story about the ten brahmins? That story is also in the Vasishtam,” said Bhagavan. When asked about it, Sri Bhagavan cheerfully began telling the devotees the story. Once upon a time Brahma, the creator, after performing his duties the whole day, went to sleep at nightfall. When the night was over, he woke up. After completing his morning ablutions, he looked at the sky before beginning his day’s work of creation, and he saw that there were several other worlds. His work of creation was being performed properly so there was no justification for the other worlds to come into existence. “What! The worlds that should remain dormant until I created them have come into existence! How have these worlds come into existence?” Greatly surprised at this, with the power of his mind he summoned one of the suns in those worlds and asked “Sir, how have these worlds come into existence?” The sun replied, “Oh, my Lord, you are the Brahma. What is there that you do not know? Even so, if you want to hear from me, I will tell you.” So saying, he began relating as follows: “Swami, a brahmin living in a city under Mount Kailas, with his wife prayed to...

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.”...