Monday, March 26, 2007

Brief Life Sketch of Bhagavan Ramana - 05

Hare Krishna Friends,

Wish you all a very Happy Sri Rama Navami. Let us continue with the account of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

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The first place of Ramana's residence in Thiruvannamalai was the great temple of Arunachaleshwara himself. For a few weeks he remained in the 1000 pillared mantapam. But can the foolish world understand the greatness of Sages? Some wicked people and mischievous children pelted stones at him as he sat in meditation and started troubling him. Though indifferent to them, Sri Ramana shifted himself to obscure corners and even to an underground vault known as Patala-lingam where no one dared to go even in day-time as it was so dark. Undisturbed he spent several days in deep absorption. He was established in oneness with the Reality – the state transcending the knowledge of the world and body- how could there be hunger and thirst to such a body? On the damp ground where Sri Ramana was sitting were many ants, termites, mosquitoes, flies and centipedes. They began to eat away the lower side of His thighs and blood started oozing out. The oozing blood clotted, pus formed, and mixed with the mud, thus sealing the body to the ground. Yet He was not disturbed by this, for He knew nothing of it. Do we not read stories in the puranas about Rishis such as Valmiki who were immersed in tapas while ant-hills grew over their bodies and birds made nest and lived on their heads? By living thus before our eyes, Sri Ramana has proved in modern times that these stories were not false!

There was at the time in Thiruvannamalai a great soul by name Sri Seshadri Svami. Those who did not know him took him for a madman. Some good folk understood his exalted state and revered him. He was able to recognize the genuine greatness of the Jnana of Sri Ramana. One day, having just come of the Patala Lingam, Sri Seshadri Svami informed Venkatachala Mudaliar, a devotee of his, “There is a small Svami inside, go and see”; so saying he walked away. Though it was day time, Venkatachala Mudaliar took a lantern and along with some others entered the Patala Lingam. They called Sri Ramana loudly, but as there was no response they lifted His body. Alas, because the body was sealed to the earth and was now forcibly separated, blood rushed out through the fresh wounds! On seeing this they were awe-struck. Carefully and gently they brought the body out and kept it in the vicinity of Subrahmanya temple. Even then Sri Ramana did not regain body-consciousness, but remained in Samadhi.

From then on there was some one or other to take care of Ramana. The seat of residence had to be changed frequently. Gardens, groves, shrines - these were chosen to keep the Svami. Some devotees, prompted by their conviction that Sri Ramana was God in human form, engaged themselves with great fervor in His service. Once in many days, whenever He opened His eyes, they would feed Him with a little milk, crushed bananas, or liquid food. The outward activities of Sri Ramana such as taking food and answering to the calls of nature went on just like those of a sleeping child. On those occasions when His eyes did not open for some days, they would themselves open His mouth and try to pour in at least a small quantity of liquid mixture. The Svami himself never spoke. Not that he took any vow of silence; he had no inclination to talk. At times the texts like Vasistham and Kaivalyanavanitam used to be read out to him.

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Hari Om,


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