Sonntag, 14. September 2008

7.4. Sri Ramana's Relationship with Arunachala

Sri Ramana strolling

All his life Sri Ramana referred to the spiritual effect of the mountain. Once when he was asked why he had left his home and come to Arunachala, he answered that he had been drawn there by Arunachala itself. The force could not be denied. “Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala.” Another time, when he was asked about the nature of Arunachala he answered, “For the human eye it is only a form of earth and stone but its real form is Jyoti [divine light].”

There are innumerable other examples which could be quoted, in particular his five hymns in praise of Arunachala, but there is one thing that cannot be denied - if Ramana can be said to be emotionally attached to anything it was to Arunachala.

Sri Ramana also often stated that the mountain is inhabited by supernatural beings (siddhas), who live on the hill in various forms, even as animals and who at times come into contact with human beings. It is also reported that Ramana had several visions concerning Arunachala. This may seem strange, as in general he accorded no significance to visions. Nevertheless he did have them and spoke of them occasionally. As Major Chadwick writes, “Bhagavan … would sometimes tell us that he had seen inside the hill a great city with large buildings and streets. It was all very mysterious. There he had seen a big company of sadhus chanting the Vedas, most of the regular devotees were among the company, he said, and he saw me there. ‘But that’s only a vision,’ someone remarked, ‘All this is only a vision too,’ he would reply, meaning our world. ‘That is just as real as this.’”31

Ramana’s sketch of Aruanchala and Tiruvannamalai

In the end Sri Ramana’s relationship with Arunachala is something which only can be hinted at, but not grasped. His verses to Arunachala whilst being spiritual love poems of enormous emotional depth are also teachings of great wisdom. They are some of the most valuable scriptures which he left. At the hour of his death, on 14th April 1950, devotees sang verses from his poem to Arun-achala ‘Akshara Mana Malai’ (The Marital Garland of Letters). When he heard the singing, tears welled up in his eyes. He died at 8.47 p.m. and at that precise moment a bright shooting star, visible for miles around and seen by hundreds of people, moved slowly towards Arunachala. Whatever meaning is attached to this event, one thing is certain, Sri Ramana was, and still is, united with Arunachala, the hill of the divine light, which for him was nothing other than the Self, “The mystery of this hill is the mystery of the Self.”

31. Sadhu Arunachala: Reminiscences, p. 57. The Arunachala Puranam also tells of invisible saints living inside the hill.

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