Ramana, bound by devotees-3 (Post No.8371)

Ramana, bound by devotees-3 (Post No.8371)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8371

Date uploaded in London – – – 20 July 2020   

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

3.  Sri Ramanasramam

The famous arch of the Asramam.
By Rajachandra (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0

creative commons via Wikimedia commons.

The Mother’s body was interred in a samadhi at the foot of the hill, with a thatched roof over it. Bhagavan used to come down from Skandasramam daily and spend some hours at the Samadhi. One day, in Nov-Dec, 1922 he came down but did not return! The others found that he would not move, and they too came down. This was the beginning of the Ramanasramam. Mother is its heart. Bhagavan said that the Power that brought him to Tiruvannamalai brought him here!

Bhagavan and Mother.

Photo copyright Sri Ramanasramam. Gratefully acknowledged.

  • It was here that a beautiful temple was erected over the Samadhi of Mother, and the deity named “Matrubhuteswara”- Lord who is Mother! It took 10 years for completion – Bhagavan had not allowed collection of money in the name of the Asramam.
  • This is perhaps the only temple in India erected by a Jnani for his Mother. Ramana took active interest in its construction at every stage. The account by Major Chadwick is worth reading.
  • It is here that C.K Subramanya Iyer, the Tamil scholar came and got transformed into Muruganar. All the core teachings of Bhagavan we owe him: he was instrumental in persuading Bhagavan to compose the ‘Reality in Forty Verses’, Upadesa Undiyar. 
  •  He himself composed/ recorded Guru Vachaka Kovai. He wrote the Ramana Sannidhi Murai. The first item here-Ramana Puranam- is important because most of it was written by Bhagavan himself, correcting and adding to what Muruganar had written!
    • It was here that Paul Brunton came and wrote about Ramana in the book that made Bhagavan widely known in the world.
    • Ramana was accessible to all, sitting in the Old Hall. People could talk to him without any formalities, ask questions, raise doubts and converse. From the commonest villager to the members of Royalty could come to him. Some of the questions and talks and the general events have been recorded by devotees in three books.
      • Here came the cow Lakshmi, to whom also Bhagavan granted  “Vimukti”, as he had done to Mother. And he did something for Lakshmi which he did not do for Mother: he composed a verse in honour of her liberation, indicating the details of the day, star, etc and clearly stating that it was the “day of her liberation” ” vimukta naal”. “விமுக்த நாள்”.
    • He had a goshala and dining hall constructed. Feeding of the devotees increased in scale.
      • It was here that Arthur Osborne came, preceded by his wife and children! Osborne later wrote some of the most authentic literature on Ramana, and made them known all over the world.
    • It was here that Bhagavan attained Mahanirvana.

Some of the more human, and more humourous aspects of Bhagavan’s nature were noticed here. Perhaps the most significant of these was that he gave up ‘Giripradakshina’- of which he was very fond- for the sake of devotees. Since he used to take his own time for it, some times lasting 2/3 days, he did not want visitors to get disappointed at his absence! In fact this is the mysterious aspect of his life. He was never in the habit of welcoming any one, or giving permission to leave- though people would keep him informed. Whether he spoke or not, he was particular that no one should be denied access to him: he could be seen! He was particular about it even on the last day!

Some of the more specific things he did for devotees can be recalled here:

  • Once, one of his old school-mates from Madurai came. He had some bad period as indicated in astrological calculations. Bhagavan asked him to stay in the Asramam, not to go outside the gates! If he had to go somewhere, he would send someone with him to ensure that he went to just that place- which he would have told Bhagavan- and returned straight to the Asramam. He thus spent the year at the feet of Bhagavan!
    • Once Bhagavan had nursed a monkey, which had fallen from the tree, became lame and had been turned out of its group. It was called ‘nondi paiyan’- the lame boy! (Bhagavan never addressed an animal as ‘it’. It was always he or she). After Bhagavan attended on it, it was accepted back into the fold. In due course, it became the King of the tribe!
  • Rajaji, Rajendraprasad and Dr. Radhakrishnan had all visited him. Rajaji said that he liked Advaita concept,but being a Vaishnavaite, he found it embarrassing to reconcile! Bhagavan told him that every one had his karma! Rajendra Prasad did not open his mouth at all! And Radhakrishnan too did not ask any questions. People remarked how the learned professor, noted for his lectures, sat silent in the Presence! And all three of them became India’s First Citizens!
    •  At that time, there was a controversy whether Bhagavan was a Guru! He did not make any claims, accepted no one as a disciple, gave no initiation, showed no other external signs of being a guru! Major Chadwick and Arthur Osborne, each in his own way, made Bhagavan admit that he was indeed the Guru. Their recorded experiences are important.
      • Once, Osborne had to go to Madras to take up a job for his livelihood. He took with him a big portrait of Bhagavan. Bhagavn joked: “See, he is taking Bhagavan with him” On reflection, this is not a joke at all!
      • Bhagavan has revealed for all devotees three means or “physical supports of Grace”
    • There is Arunachala the Hill, which Bhagavan has said is Lord Shiva himself.
      • There is Mother’s Shrine- Matrubhuteswara temple which was consecrated by Bhagavan himself with his own hands. Bhagavan was intensely attached to it.
      • There are his “Collected Works”. In the Preface to the first edition, written by T.K.Sundaresa Iyer, a humble school teacher, at the instance of Bhagavan himself, Bhagavan added, in his own hands the words CERTAIN that the study of it would confer devotion and lead to liberation.

What more could a true devotee aspire for?

Srimad Bhagavatam means: “The blessed story of Bhagavan”. Yet, when we open it, we come across stories of devotee after devotee! Ramayana is the story of Rama and Sita! Everything revolves round them. But Bhagavatam is the story of devotees! In every instance Bhagavan came down for the sake of devotees! It is the devotee who brings out the glory of Bhagavan!

Likewise, we see in the earthly history of Bhagavan Ramana that he descended from his high state of Samadhi to confer blessings on devotees and show them the way for Liberation in the dark days of Kali! Every incident connected with his life is on account of somebody or the other! Blessed are the devotees on whose account we got such spiritual wealth!

The Divine can be understood only through the devotee! Sri Ramakrishna used to say: Bhagavatam-Bhakta- Bhagavan ! 


Some of the descriptions here may be idealistic! Time has touched everything and changed some beyond recognition, for the liking and taste of old devotees! The huge crowds, the hurly-burly, the business atmosphere everywhere, the construction of too many modern buildings not in accordance with the spirit or style of the place, the continuous encroachment and defilement of the Hill itself – these are all painful for the old devotees to bear! For those who have gone round the Hill in moon light or even starlight, walking on the mud road 45 years ago,  walking on the tar road, or concrete pavement under glaring electric lights is not at all pleasant- a pilgrimage has been made a picnic! The path has become a busy road, killing the old peace and quiet.

2. Devotees would be telling how they prayed to him for something and got relief, or some other ‘miracles’. Bhagavan never encouraged such talks. He never claimed credit for such things and would invariably attribute them to “Automatic Divine Activity”.
 Arthur Osborne’s family came to Tiruvannamalai during the Second World War, when Arthur was a prisoner of the Japanese in Bangkok. Adam, his son of 3 years, prayed to Bhagavan to bring back his father! At the end of the war Arthur came back. He was entering the Asramam for the first time. On seeing him. Bhagavan remarked to Adam and others in the hall:’ So Adam’s prayer has been answered; his Daddy has come back safely’. Bhagavan uttered these words in English, and Osborne understood that it was for his sake, as Adam knew Tamil!

  • Arthur Osborne,

    • Taken from johnyml.blogspot.in/2014. Acknowledged with thanks.

      Many people have written about Ramana, and more continue to write. It is only Arthur Osborne who has revealed the inner secret or essence of Bhagavan’s guidance: Bhagavan’s teaching is simple and direct- any one could talk about it. It is only the tremendous power of Bhagavan’s Grace that would enable any one to practise it!

 Thus we see that Bhagavan’s earthly life after his Madurai Experience was solely devoted to the welfare of the devotees. It is they who bound him with love, and confined him to his abode at Arunachala.

tags — ramana, devotees-3

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