Sonntag, 14. September 2008

5. 1 In the Small Temple of Gurumurtam and in the Mango Grove


If one realizes one’s true nature within one’s heart, it is the plenitude of being-awareness-bliss without beginning or end.

It was because of Uddandi Nayinar that Annamalai Tambiran first noticed Ramana. Tambiran used to wander about accompanied by a crowd of followers singing sacred hymns from the Tevaram. He collected alms, fed the poor and served at the tomb of an adina-guru at the small temple of Gurumurtam near the village of Kilnathur, one of the eastern suburbs of Tiruvannamalai. One day, as he was walking past the Illupai tree he saw the young Swami sitting there and was deeply impressed, from that day on he accompanied Uddandi Nayinar. Finally they both suggested to Sri Ramana that he should move to Gurumurtam. There he could meditate undisturbed as the place was secluded and in addition offered better protection from the cold. Ramana agreed and in February 1897, not quite six months after his arrival at Tiruvannamalai, he left the temple area and was brought to Gurumurtam by Tambiran and Uddandi.

At times Tambiran, due to his devout but excessive veneration, became a nuisance to Sri Ramana. One day he made preparations to render homage to his new guru like to one of the idols of the goddesses in the temple (abhishekam). He obtained flowers, oil, sandal paste, milk and other ingredients and actually wanted to pour this over the head of his “living god”. To prevent this, Ramana took a piece of charcoal and the next day, before Tambiran arrived, wrote on the wall in Tamil, “This [food] alone is the service [needed] for this [body].”

When Tambiran arrived with his meal, Ramana pointed to the written words on the wall, then to the food as “this” and on himself as the (second) “this”. So Tambiran was forced to abandon his plan. Through this incident people learned that the silent Swami was educated and able to read and write.

Amongst the admirers who had started to visit Ramana regularly, was a highly-placed official called Venkataramana Iyer. When he realized that the Swami was able to write, he felt he must find out his name and where he came from. But Ramana, despite repeated questioning, remained silent. Iyer finally explained that he would not leave until his questions were answered, even if that meant that he would have to go hungry and get into trouble because of his lengthy absence from his office. This moved the young Swami and he wrote down the words, “Venkataraman, Tiruchuli”. The place, however, was unknown to the official. So Ramana reached for the Periyapuranam, which was lying at his side, and pointed out Tiruchuli as the name of a village, whose temple was honoured in the famous hymn by Sundaramurti (one of the 63 Tamil saints). Thus, not only the official but Tambiram and all those present discovered his name and his origins. From now on Ramana was no longer nameless and unknown.

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