My Trip Alone To Ramanashram -Tiruvannamalai
Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya
A miracle of miracle,
A miracle that can be called the greatest,
Of all miracles that takes place in His presence,
Is the miracle of His presence in one’s life!
This write up is a letter to my friends who always accompanied me on trips to seek Arunachala, where we basked in His Grace. They were great times that are etched out in memory. Though we are scattered geographically, but in each possible conversation, Arunachala makes Himself present. So I couldn’t help but put down in words this trip alone to rush to His Feet. It is just a simple sharing of the beauty of the ordinary, in the midst of the grandeur of the extraordinary, ‘Arunachala’
I boarded the bus to Pondicherry enroute to Thiruvannamalai at 8.30 AM on 6/10/2011 and reached Ramanashram at 1.45 PM. Since the meal timings had elapsed, I walked up to Shri Sheshadri Swamy asharm for food that the canteen provided. I did a quick namaskar to Shri Seshadri Swamy and fed on a little curd rice. On returning I did a namaskar to Bhagavan Ramana and retired to my room for an afternoon nap.
In the evening, I made to the Arunachalaeshwara temple in order to gain darshan of the Mother (Goddess Unnamulai), since the day, 6/10/2011 happened to be Vijayadasami. Had a quick darshan and scurried to the ashram. I should admit that this time, there was almost a whirlwind in the mind, that I sought the Feet of Arunachala for quelling its turbulence.
Anurupa, called me up from Kolkata which, she did all the three days of my stay from time to time to check on my comfort. At night, I had a quick shower and too eagerly submitted myself to the embrace of sleep owing to the tiredness of the journey, a developing throat ache and the unrest in mind.
Hot Water for bath-Bhagavan’s care
In the morning on 7/10/2011, I woke up with the throat ache that had considerably developed. Around 6.15 A.M I went for my bath. When I opened the tap, there was no water. I waited for a few minutes and sought the help of a person, who said that the motor was switched on and courteously informed that I would find water shortly. I quickly scurried to the bathroom to find the tap gushing out a stream of air, instead of water. Well now I was getting alarmed as I was getting late for the Puja in Bhagavan’s shrine at 6.45 A.M and the breakfast at 7.00 AM, as the meal times had to be strictly adhered to at the ashram.
I helplessly looked down from my room (which was on the first floor), to find an old man brushing his teeth at a tap that gushed out water. I picked up my bucket and rushed down. When I opened the tap, water gushed into my bucket. Surprise of surprises the water was hot, at a perfectly even temperature, ideal for bath, without the need for the mixing of cold water!
This is the first time ever that I had a bath with hot water in the ashram, for you all know that Bhagavan simply occupied our minds tremendously that ‘comforts’ meant just minimal needs. In fact this is the first time ever that I came to know of a tap that ran out hot water, that too right below my room! (Guys if you can remember, this was the room that was allotted to us when we made it (by His Grace) the first time.)
What could I say about His motherly care that ‘Sathyamangalam Shri Venkatasubaiyar, (believed to be Arunachala Himself who sang the praise of Bhagavan in ‘Shri Ramana Sthuti Panchakam’) put down in His ‘Ramana Satguru Rayane,’
“Annai Oppavan,”- “The one who is like one’s own mother!”
Well, He cared more for my throat than I did!
Deeply touched by the Master’s care, I walked into the book stall of Ramanashram to pick up pointers to wisdom from the Master’s bounty. As I flipped through the pages randomly, I came upon an apt explanation to my experience. It was Bhakta Prahalada’s words to his friends on confirming the care of Lord Vishnu, who were frightened out of their wits to chant the Lord’s name owing to the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu. They were worried about their livelihood which depended on their ruler who demanded his name to be chanted and not ‘Namo Narayana’
Prahalada explained that the ruler of the entire universe was Lord Vishnu who truly catered to the needs of all. The above anecdote was narrated by Bhagavan who had in fact furthermore clarified the point that at the birth of the body, the Lord endows one with the necessary needs until the time the body has to drop off. So there was no cause to worry.
Later in the evening, I narrated the account of Bhagavan’s Grace to Anurupa and jocularly remarked that it would have been good had Bhagavan arranged someone to help me with the water up as I had to pant for breath in transporting it. Lo! The next day, a lad volunteered to transport the water against my denials! Can words define His Grace?
What could be a blessing than to rely on Him and Him alone? He is more than a mother when He extends His care to His devotees. Where is the need to be concerned of one’s sustenance when sheltered in His all-enveloping care?
What miracle can surpass His presence in one’s life? Is He not the greatest miracle that can happen to one?
To be continued
More to follow on my trip alone-the turbulent sate of my mind and the Master’s Grace which made an intellectual understanding of His teaching, an experience.
Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya.