Category: Ramana Maharshi
‘Jataka Paarijatham’ is a Tamil Astrology book written by Shri Vedalingabhattar.
There is a verse as below:
ஈராறுக்குடையோன் வாக்கில் இருந்திட சசியும் கேதும்
ஓராறும் மூன்றில் சார்ந்திட கதிர்பார்க்க உதயம் தன்னைப்
பேரான பொண்ணன் நோக்க பெருஞானி ஜீவன் முக்தன்
நேரான சான்றோர் அன்று நிகழ்த்தினர் உணர்வாய் மாதே
Its meaning :
When the owner of the twelfth house is in the second house, Moon and Ketu together in the ninth house with Sun aspecting (seeing) them and Jupiter aspecting the ‘Lagna’ (ascendant), then that ‘Jatakan’ (person having the horoscope) shall live to be a great Jnani and Jivan Mukta!
As an exercise, if we observe Ramana Maharshi’s horoscope, we observe the following:
When we see all the characteristics of being a Jivan Mukta in the horoscope of a great Jivan Mukta - Sri Ramana Maharshi, does this only vindicate that Sri Ramana Maharshi is a jivan Mukta? Doesn’t it also vindicate the veracity of astrology itself?
In India, three places are very famous for Devi – Madurai Meenakshi, Kashi Visalakshi and Kanchi Kamakshi. Sri Seshadri Swamigal who came from Kamakshi’s Kanchi, Sri Ramana who came from Meenakshi’s Madurai and Yogi Ramsuratkumar who came from Visalakshi’s Kashi - all the three were accepted and absorbed by this great Arunachala –hill. So this Arunachaleswara is truly a ‘Maha’ Siva![Mentioned by Sri Sri Swamiji during one of His discourses in Bhagavan Yogiramsuratkumar Ashram in Tiruvannamalai between Nov 22 - Nov 30, 2010]
During Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s time at the Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, a cow by name Lakshmi used to live in the Ashram. Bhagavan Ramana’s mother also lived in the Ashram.
It is interesting to note that Bhagavan Ramana was present during the last breath of both His mother and cow Lakshmi, albeit at different periods.
Bhagavan came and sat next to cow Lakshmi about 6 hours before she breathed her last. However, He did not spend so much time with His mother during her last breath.
When a devotee later asked why Bhagavan spent more time with the cow than with His own mother, Bhagavan quipped, “The cow Lakshmi doesn’t know anyone else other than me!”
People use the term ‘do not poke your nose in this matter’ quite commonly. How did this come about? What does this mean? The source of origin for breath force and mind is the same. One can bring the mind under control through dhyana or vichara. Those who are unable to do this try to control the mind through the control of breath. This is also another means for controlling the mind. Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi, while speaking on controlling the mind through breath control says, ‘a bird confined to a cage tries to fly out. It rises up flapping its wings but on hitting the roof the bird falls down. It tries this repeatedly and returns to the cage floor.’ Similarly, for one who controls the breath, the mind rises but goes back to the place of origin soon after; Just as a caged bird flies up and falls back, if the breath is controlled the mind returns to its place of origin. Some try to control the mind through dhyana or vichara. Yogis control the breath and thus control the mind. Thus, it is possible to control the mind through the control of the breath. The mind and breath move together.For example, let us say that we receive a telegram. Receiving a telegram always brings in negative thought. But once we open it and read through the contents and find that it only announces the arrival of a relative or a friend we heave a sigh of relief! We say, ‘oh, i am able to breathe freely now!’ All along, from the time of the receipt of the telegram till we learnt its contents, our mind was fixed in it and hence the breath controlled. On learning what it contains the mind leaves the matter and the breath begins to flow freely. The mind and breath move together So, the expression ‘do not poke your nose in this matter’ only means ‘do not fix your mind in this matter.’ Some even use the term ‘I shall cut off your nose’ [ if you poke it in this matter]. This also means that he shall not allow the other person to fix his mind [interfere] in the matter. Breath and mind move closely. And, we breathe through the nose. Thus the term ‘do not poke your nose’ has come about.[An excerpt from Sri Sri Swamiji in His discourse on ‘Aksharamanamalai’ of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi]
There are three kinds of ‘diksha’ (initiation). Initiation by touch, initiation by sight and initiation by thought. Ramana Maharishi also speaks of these three ‘dikshas’ in his ‘Aksharamanamalai’.
Initiation by touch:
A hen lays her eggs and sits on it to hatch it. By the touch of the hen the egg is hatched and the chickens come out of the eggs. Likewise, the Guru touches his disciples and this activates the spiritual fervour in them. This is ‘hasta diksha’ (initiation by touch).
Many young boys used to visit Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Suddenly these young boys would stop visiting him. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would feel disturbed and when the boys visited him after a gap would question them, ‘why have you not come here for a long time?’
The young boys would explain, ‘our elders at home do not like our visiting you. They say that by visiting you our studies would be spoilt. They refuse to permit us to come here.’
Sri Ramakrishna would tell the boys to somehow bring the elders at home - the parents or uncle or whoever it was who tried to stop the young ones from visiting him - to him. When those elders came to him, he would touch them while speaking to them. This touch would change their attitude and they would begin to visit Sri Ramakrishna!
Initiation by sight:
The fish lays its eggs in the water and keeps moving hither and thither in the water. But, the fish keeps looking at the eggs laid. Though the very gaze of the fish the eggs are hatched. This is ‘chakshu diksha’ (initiation by look). The Guru looks at his disciple and this triggers off the spiritual fervour in him.
Paul Brunton came to the presence of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi at the advice of Maha Periyava. He had a number of questions to be placed before Bhagavan. Bhagavan said to him that he would meet him in his room. Bhagavãn went as promised and sat gazing at Paul Bruton. At the end of it, Bhagavan asked him, ‘you wish to place some questions before me. What are those questions?’
Paul Brunton said, “No! The need to question does not arise. All my questions have been answered.”
Such is the gaze of the Guru.
Initiation by thought:
A tortoise lays its eggs on land and moves over to the water. Staying in water, its thoughts rest on the eggs laid on the land. By the constant thought of the eggs by the tortoise the eggs get hatched. Similarly, the Guru thinks of his disciple and this takes the disciple higher in his spiritual path.
Once a devotee approached Bhagavan Ramana and said, ‘Bhagavan, I have a lot of doubts. Many a doubt keep arising in my mind every now and then. What shall I do?’
Bhagavan replied, ‘Doubt the doubts. Then everything will be clear!’
Once when Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s mother was staying with him, she fell ill. Bhagavan Ramana, through wonderful kirtans, prayed to Lord Arunachaleswara for setting her health right. In answer to Maharishi’s prayer the Lord cured his mother of her illness.
Below are the kirtans sung by Bhagavan Ramana.
“Alaiyaa varupiraviyathhanaiyu maattra
malaiyaa yezhunda marunde - thalaivaanin
thaalgadhiyaai vaazhumen thaaithaaba maattriye
yaalvaduvu munkadane yaam.
Kalakaa laavun kamala padanjchaarnda
baala nenaiyeenraall paalandhak kaalanthaan
vaaraa vagaiyunkaal vaarisame kaattuva
yaaraayir kaalarume yaar?
Nanaangi yaayongu nallarunna vongale!
jnaanaangi yaalannai nalludalai - jnaanaanga
Magachhei thunpadhathi laikyamaakk kikkollvaai
saagath theemootuvadhen chaatru
Maya mayakkamadhai maattrarunna maamalaiyena
ayaar mayakkattrath thaamadamen - thaayaagith
thannaiyadain thaar vinaiyir thakkaruthaal vaarulagi
lunnaiyalaa lundo vurai!
The approximate translation of the verse is as follows:
Oh, medicine! who have risen as the Hill for curing
recurring births! Oh, Lord! It is Thy duty to cure the fever of my mother
who has sought refuge at Thy Feet!
Oh, One who had smitten death! what is death if only would
Thou bestow Thy Grace on her who has given birth to me, the child,
who has taken refuge at Thy Lotus Feet?
Oh, Arunachala! the blazing fire of wisdom! encase my mother in Thy light
uniting her with Thee! Pray! why cremate her?
Oh, Arunachala! the Hill Supreme! who wipes out Maya [illusion]!
why the delay in assuaging my mother’s fever? Pray, tell me, ‘Is there any other,
besides Thee, in the world who can with a mother’s solicitude turn away
the play of destiny of the suppliant jiva?’
Once Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s disciple Sri Kunju Swamigal visited a Mahan, a contemporary of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai.
That night, Bhagavan asked Sri Kunju Swamigal of his viist. When Kunju Swamigal said that the devotees of the Mahan bowed down to him, Bhagavan enquired if he had also prostrated before the Mahan. Kunju Swamigal replied in the negative and added that he would prostrate to none except Bhagavan Ramana.
Bhagavan Ramana, at once, retorted, ‘Oh! Do you think Bhagavan is limited to this six feet-tall body? He is omnipresent. If you are not interested in prostrating to other holy men, you should not go to their place. However, if you happen to visit them for some reason, you should show the due respect. You should have the ‘bhava’ that it is your own Guru that you are paying your obeisance to, when you prostrate to that holy man.’
Sri Kunju Swamigal was Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ardent disciple. He came to Bhagavan at a very young age, even before being put into formal schooling.
While he was at the Ramanashram, he would often witness a number of learned scholars coming to the Ashram from various corners and discuss and debate on philosophy and other topics quoting from various ancient Texts such as the Brahmasutra, the Upanishads and the Bhagavat Gita.
Kunju Swamigal would get fascinated by the way the scholars quoted and discussed. He once expressed to Bhagavan that he also wished to go out and learn the scriptures so that it would enable him too to participate in such discussions.
Hearing this, Bhagavan smiled and said, ‘I am already removing your accumulated Vasanas (the latent impressions of previous births) and now you want to accumulate further more! ….And then make me remove all of them together!’
Is it not crystal clear from the above incident that once we are at the feet of the Sadguru, it is enough to simply listen to what He says and leave the rest to Him, without trying to experiment anything that is enticing, which would only complicate our journey towards the Supreme?
One of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s most ardent devotees, TK Sundaresa Iyer explains his first darshan of his beloved Guru when he was 12 years old.
It is the year 1908, Bhagavan is still in Virupaksha cave. TKS Iyer climbs the hill and reaches the Virupaksha cave where he sees ten to twelve devotees sitting with Ramana Maharshi and singing songs. As TKS sits beside others, Bhagavan asks TKS if he could sing a song. Immeiately, TKS sings a song composed by Sundaramurthy Nayanar which goes like this –
‘No other support have I, except Thy Holy Feet. By beholding them I shall win your grace. Great men sing your praise Oh! Lord! Grant that my tongue may repeat Thy Name even when my mind strays.’
On hearing this, Bhagavan immediately says, ‘Yes that is what must be done.’ TKS takes this as Bhagavan’s Upadesa and keeps repeating the Holy Name of Arunachala, only to later become a great realized soul!
Truly, a Jnani is the greatest Bhakta and the greatest Bhakta is a true Jnani.