"You are my father and my mother, You are my friend and companion,
You are knowledge and wealth
You are everything, You are God i," and so on.
Sri Bhagavan remarked with a smile, "Yes, Yes, You are this, that and everything except 'I'. Why not say 'I am You' and finish it?"
(Jan 10th, 1939 Talks P 581)
Self-realization: It is worth seeking for. It is worth striving for. It is worth making a mission of existence on this planet for.
We are not on this planet to become educated, to get things, to make money, to dress up the physical body, to acquire property, to feed ourselves. We are on this planet for the realization of the Self, for that one thing, to go within ourselves. That is why we have come to this planet, and we will keep coming back through the process of reincarnation, time and time and time again, until that awareness grows up into a great big ball, where it is strong enough to move through the rarefied areas of the mind -- if we are comparing awareness to a ball, from a ping-pong ball, to a volleyball, to a beach ball -- and finally we are just there.
The Master is not outside you as you seem to imagine. He is within you, is in fact the Self. Recognize this truth. Seek within you and find Him there. Then you will have constant communion with Him. The message is always there; it is never silent; it can never forsake you; nor can you ever move away from the Master.
Your mind is outgoing. Because of the tendency it sees objects as being outside and the Master among them. But the truth is different. The Master is the Self. Turn the mind within and you will find the objects within. You will also realize that it is the Master who is your very Self and there is nothing but Him.
Because you identify yourself with the body you have accepted objects as being outside you. But are you the body? You are not. You are the Self. There are all the objects and the whole universe. Nothing can escape the Self. How then can you move away from your Master who is your very Self? Similarly you can never be without the Master.
Is there any moment when you have not realized the Self? Can you ever be apart from the Self? You are always That.
August 17, 1938 (p 504 Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi)
The power of the name Arunachala was once directly confirmed by Sri Bhagavan . In 1948, a certain devoteei came to him from Bombay, and with him he brought a notebook in which he had written the name ' Arunachala Siva' many thousands of times. On the last page of this notebook the devotee wrote a prayer to the following effect, 'O Bhagavan, in the life of Sarada Devi (the wife of Sri Ramakrishna) it is written that she has said that if even an animal dies in Kasi it will attain liberation. Therefore, graciously bestow upon be the boon of death in Kasi.' and gave the notebook to Sri Bhagavan.
Bhagavan looked through the notebook and when he came to the last page he read out loud the devotee's prayer: at once he expressed the greatest surprise and exclaimed, 'Smaranat Arunachalam!'
The words 'Smaranat Arunachalam' mean 'by remembering Arunachala', and they occur in the very same Sanskrit verse that says that by dying in Kasi one will attain liberation. Bhagavan then turned to the revolving bookcase by his side and took out a book, probably the Arunachala Mahatmyam. Opening it as if at random, he read out a sentence in Tamil that said, 'One ''Arunachala'' is equal power to one crore ''Om Nama Sivaya''' .
'Om Nama Sivaya' is believed by Saivas all over India to be the most sacred and powerful mantra. After reading out a few other portions of this book that emphasized the unique greatness and power of Arunachala, Sri Bhagavan finally laid it aside and explained to the devotee that not everyone can see Chidambaram, not everyone can be born in Tiruvarur, and not everyone can die in Kasi, but anyone and everyone can think of Arunachala from wherever they may be, and thereby they will surely attain liberation.
"Arunachala, where true knowledge can be acquired without rituals, book learning or elaborate religious injunctions; where even an ignorant person can gain enlightenment by smearing on the forehead sacred ash; where all residents overcome obstacles and obtain the supreme knowledge without conscious effort.
bq. "Thus, just thinking about Arunachala purifies the mind. Likewise, the sight of the mountain purifies the eyes, to speak of it purifies the tongue, and to hear about it purifies the ears. The Supreme Being abides on this earth in the form of Arunachala. The moment one sees it, ignorance is destroyed."
-Swami Annamalai, referring to references to Arunachala from ancient vedic texts
Swami Anamali was Bhagavan's private aid for many years and builder of many ashram buildings. He found his enlightenment with Ramana Maharshi.
Question: What is the significance of Arunachala? Last night there were so many people going around the hill!
Answer: It is not an ordinary hill. It is spirituality Itself. It has a powerful, magnetic pull to the Self. Seekers who come to this place with the intention of realizing the Self will have untold benefits to do pradakshina on a full moon. There is water everywhere under the ground, but there are some places where it is easier to get to. Likewise, the Self is everywhere; there is no place that is without it, but it is also true that there are certain places, certain people, around which the presence of the Self can be more easily felt. In the proximity of this holy hill the presence of the Self is more powerful and more self-evident than anywhere else. Indian mythology speaks of a wish-fulfilling tree. If you find this tree and tell it what you want, your wish will be granted. Arunachala also has this reputation. This is why so many people come here on a full moon night and walk around it. But very few people come here and ask for their complete freedom, for undisturbed peace. All beings are ultimately searching for undisturbed peace, so it is surprising how few people ask directly for it.
Question: Is it faithi in Arunachala that produces results, or is there some inherent power that is independent of my belief in it?
Answer: Arunachala is a light. It shines whether or not you believe in it. It is the light of the Self, and the light of the Self will continue to shine on you whether you believe it or not.
Question: Is Arunachala the only place that is like this, or are there other places? I have heard there are some very powerful places in India and the Himalayas.
Answer: Bhagavan himself said that Arunachala is greater than all other religious places. There are other holy, powerful places in the world, but none have the power of Arunachala. Bhagavan has continued to write about this. There is a huge amount of shakti, or spiritual energy, here. We can take as much as we want, but no matter how much we take, the original amount is never diminished. Even before Bhagavan came here, there were innumerable sages who discovered the power of Arunachala's liberation for themselves. Many came here, realized the Self and attributed their realization to the power and grace of the mountain. Bhagavan always maintained that the power of this mountain was not a matter of belief. He said that if you sit in the shade of a tree, whether or not you believe in the shade, it is a physical fact. He said, "If you go around this hill enough times, it will give you grace, even if you do not want it."
Contributed by a friend, Linda, source: ('Letters from Sri Ramanasramam' by Suri Nagamma, Letter 64)
It is very auspicious to walk around God i. One can create satsang by thinking of Arunachala, and silently walking or turning in a clockwise direction, around themselves, a room, building, the block.
We cannot draw a circle without a centre point. The Lord is the centre, source and essence of our lives. Recognising Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of pradakshina. Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the centre. This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord.
His grace flows towards us without partiality.
By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation. The supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar.
( Verse from the Arunachala Mahatmyamis that Sri Bhagavan selected and translated into Tamil. )
In the second verse of Sri Arunachala Navamanimalai, Sri Bhagavan has explained the meaning of each syllable in the name Arunachala and he has declared that mere thought of this name will bestow liberation. From this we can infer that Arunachala is the jnana-panchakshari, the five-syllable mantra that bestows jnana.
Bhagavan's explanation in "Talks", on 19th June 1936:
Maharshi observed: Pradakshina (the Hindu rite of going round the object of worship) is "All is within me." The true significance of the act of going round Arunachala is said to be as effective as circuit round the world. That means that the whole world is condensed into this Hill. The circuit round the temple of Arunachala is equally good; and self-circuit (i.e., turning round and round) is as good as the last.
So all are contained in the Self. Says the Ribhu Gita: "I remain fixed, whereas innumerable universes becoming concepts within my mind, rotate within me. This meditation is the highest circuit (pradakshina)."
In "Bhagavan Sri Ramana: A pictorial biography" published by Sri V.S.Ramanan, there is another explanation offered too (page 43):
To go around this hill is good. In the word pradakshina the letter 'pra' stands for removal of all kinds of sins; 'da' stands for fulfilling desires; 'kshi ' stands for freedom from future births; '*na8' stands for giving deliverance through Jnana.
One morning last May, Sundaresa Iyer, who used to bring food to Bhagavan while in Virupaksha cave by going about abegging came and bowed before Him. Bhagavan asked him, "Did you go round the hill by way of pradakshina?"
"No," said the devoteei.
Looking at me, Bhagavan said, "Last night when people were going out for giri pradakshina because of the moonlight, he also started to go. But he felt he could not complete the round. When they were starting out after telling me, he went round me quickly. When I asked him why he did so, he said, 'I am afraid I cannot go round the hill. So I have gone round Bhagavan.' 'Go round yourself. That will be Atman i i pradakshina,' I said,"
So saying, Bhagavan began laughing.
Submitted by a friend, Linda