11 September 2014

Relocation of Swami Nityananda primary Ashram

I have not been posting information on Swami Nityananda over the last several years. However due to recent news which will make a difference to some people in the Tiruvannamalai area, am posting the following information which appeared in local newspapers this week: 

"Swami Nityananda announced here on Tuesday (September 9, 2014) that he's moving out of his 20-acre ashram in Bidadi, on the outskirts of Bangalore and settling down in his Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, facility about 204 km away from here. 

On Tuesday morning, Nityananda told his devotees that not just him, the entire team of Nityananda Dhyanapeetham will shift to Tiruvannamalai. 

Nityananda said he would finish his current commitments in a few days, as it would require a few days to make preparations for setting up residence at Tiruvannamalai. "It is not just me who will be moving but the entire team, including accounts, publications, IT and others. The whole team will operate from Tiruvannamalai," he said. 

"Whenever legally required I will come back to Bangalore to attend proceedings. I also wanted to rest after all that has happened and I think Tiruvannamalai is the best place for that. But I will continue to do all the spiritual activities from there," he said." 

7 September 2014

Development of Arunachala Samudra Website

Thanks to the generous support of a sponsor of Arunachala Samudra, I was able to recently arrange the upload of the beautiful divination programme Arunachala Oracle. The programme is based on the same premise as the Leaf of Impartiality (utilised in India for many hundreds of years) and is a system with which one tries to access the will of Divine Providence. 

Currently I am busy researching material in respect of new uploads in the following sections of the Arunachala Samudra website: 

Arunachaleswarar Temple 
Spirit Centre 
Sacred Power 

Depending on financing, I will also introduce new visuals and graphics in the Temple and Girivalam section. Whilst enlargement and improvements continue on Arunachala Samudra, I am also working with my webmaster to make this definitive Arunachala website available in (to begin with) Telegu. 

For more information about how to sponsor the continuing development of Arunachala Samudra, please get in touch with me by email, my contact is at the top left column of this page. 

Postings on my Arunachala Blogs August 4, 2014 to September 5, 2014

Below are links and short extracts of postings on my various Arunachala Blogs from Monday, August 4, 2014 to Friday, September 5, 2014:- 

Arunachala Grace 

An Ordinary Day in a Temple Town: Video of an ordinary day at Arunachala. Many scenes from the Arunachaleswarar Temple and sadhus in the area.

2014 Ganesha Chaturthi Arunachala, Photographs: Photographs of Ganesha Chaturthi as celebrated at Arunachala.

Greenland Ashram -- Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Celebrations of Festival at Greenland Ashram. Information about progress in the development of this Ashram. Photographs.

Sri Nannagaru at Arunachala: Narrative and photographs of the August-September visit made to Arunachala by Sri Nannagaru.

Ramana Ashram Radio Channel: Information and link of new radio channel service being offered by Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai.

Dialogue on Puja Flowers: Function and importance of the part of flowers in worship.

August 2014 Supermoon at Arunachala: Explanation of the extra large moon in August. Photographs of girivalam devotees.

Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple, August 8, 2014: Photographs of the August 8, 2014 Pradosham at the Big Temple, Tiruvannamalai.

Sri Nannagaru on a previous Arunachala visit: Narrative and video of a previous visit to Arunachala by Sri Nannagaru.

Greenland Ashram Update August 2014: Photographs and information about progress of development of new Arunachala countryside ashram.

NH66 Petition for Road Completion: Information about an online petition to speed up construction of the NH66 Krishnagiri-Tiruvannamalai Higway.

Walk on Samudram Lake with Bhagavan: Narrative about a Samudra walk made by Ramana Maharshi with some devotees

Arunachala Birds 

The Stately Peacock: Symbolism and legends of the peacock. Photographs, video and links.

Arunachala Land 

Zoning regulations for Tiruvannamalai apartments: Short explanation of the regulations governing apartments in this area. Photographs of new apartment building.

Arunachala Mystic 

Linga Bhairavi -- Feminised Male Aspect of the Divine: Photographs of this unusual statue. Information about its esoteric significance.

Video of Swamis and Sadhus, Arunachala: Beautiful video dedicated to the many sadhus, saints and undoubtedly also secret saints, here at Arunachala.

Life of Shirdi Sai Baba: Short narrative on the life of Shirdi Sai Baba and photograph of his statue at a Temple dedicated to this saint off the Arunachala girivalam roadway.

Swami Vellaiyananda--Life and Tales: Biography of a now deceased famous Swami of Tiruvannamalai. Photographs.

Arunachala the Greatest Monolith: Dedication to Arthur C. Clarke. Discussion about the monolith in the famous “2001: A Space Odyssey” and explanation of monoliths. Photographs. 

Goddess Mariamman and Kasi Swami, Temple Founder: Village patriarch at his small Shakti Shrine. Photographs.

Moola Mantra: Explanation of the Moola Mantra. Sanskrit and English translation. Video.

5 September 2014

An Ordinary Day in a Temple Town

The below video was shot in 2003, but is very topical, and everything looks much the same now as it does in the film. Below the film I have listed various activities and the time they appear on the video. Its a well shot film and gives an accurate idea of an ordinary day at this Temple town. 

0.00 Sadhus chanting at Ganeshan Temple, Pallakottu Tank with scenes off the girivalam roadway 

2.35 Sadhus bathing in Tank, sadhus 

3.40 Sadhus feeding Ramana Ashram 

3.45 to 5.10 Ceremony Arunachaleswarar Temple 

5.50 Creating Deepams Mahashivaratri, Arunachaleswarar Temple 

7.25 Rukku Temple Elephant 

7.45 Puja at Ramana Maharshi’s Samadhi, and Mother’s Shrine Ramana Ashram 

9.27 Big Temple 

9.30 Ladies, street scenes 

10.05 Hanuman actor performing on streets 

10.40 Bullock cart and street scenes 

3 September 2014

2014 Ganesha Chaturthi Arunachala, Photographs

The below photographs are of the recently concluded 2014 Ganesha Chaturthi Festival here at Arunachala. 

Sindhoor Ganesha with golden dress, Arunachaleswarar Temple

Ganesha at Mandapam opposite Agni Tank, Chengham Road, Arunachala

Day of Ganesha immersion, parade heading for water body

One such water body, Tamari Nagar Tank, Arunachala background

Greenland Ashram -- Ganesh Chaturthi 2014

Greenland Ashram set in the Arunachala countryside near Periyapaliyapatu Village is nearing completion. The below photographs are of a function held on Ganesha Chaturthi (August 29, 2014) at the Ashram to celebrate completion of several of the accommodation buildings. 

Greeland Ashram has been started by a married couple who are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Their aim is to create an Ashram in the Arunachala countryside which offers support and order for visitors to concentrate on sadhana and spiritual enquiry. 

Cow puja and homam celebrated on Ganesha Chaturthi, 2014

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sadguru of Ashram Founders

Ashram calf who attended with its Mother for the Cow Homam

Several of the Ashram buildings have been completed

Siva Siddhar Mona Swami

Swami in attendance to give his blessings

Darshan of Arunachala from nearly completed Greenland Ashram

Sri Nannagaru at Arunachala

After a long absence from Arunachala due to health reasons, Sri Nannagaru was finally able to come to Tiruvannamalai and stay at his Ashram from August 22nd to September 2nd, 2014. While in residence he gave a number of speeches to his many devotees, most of whom had followed him from Andhra Pradesh. 

Devotees mostly from Andhra Pradesh

Swamji gave a number of speeches whilst at Tiruvannamalai

As is his usual custom Sri Nannagaru conducted daily interviews in his room. One morning Sri Sundaram, the President of Ramana Ashram came to visit Sri Nannagaru. They talked about the importance of Ramana Ashram publishing and disseminating the works of Sri Ramana Maharshi throughout the world. Sri Nannagaru requested that the President authorise the publication in Telegu of “Be As You Are.” The book, edited by David Godman, is a collection of conversations between Sri Ramana and seekers who came to his ashram for guidance. 

Sri Nannagaru and Sri Sundaram, President Ramana Ashram

“Be As You Are,” is one of the most widely read book on the seer’s teachings. Dialogues with Ramana are arranged by the following topics; The Self, Enquiry and surrender,The Guru, Meditation and yoga, Experience, Theory. 

 “The collection of conversations between him and the many seekers who came to his ashram for guidance contains the essence of his teaching. His concern throughout his long life of imparting his experience to others was to convince his listeners that self-realisation - or enlightenment - is not an alien or mysterious state, but the natural condition of man. This state can be easily discovered by undertaking the self-investigation clearly described in these talks. The lucid instructions to each section provide further illumination of this greater seer's message.” 

Sri Nannagaru

Sri Nannagaru asked that the Telegu publication of the book be expedited as in his opinion it is the best introduction to the teachings of Sri Ramana. Sri Sundaram promised that his officers would start to make arrangements for the book’s Telegu publication immediately on return to the Ramana Ashram office. 

To find out more about Sri Nannagaru, you can visit his website at this link here, and to read about the experiences of many of his devotees please visit a Blog put out by Bangalore devotees at this link here

22 August 2014

Ramana Ashram Radio Channel

Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai have launched their own radio channel to play songs, sacred chants, commentaries and readings from the works of Sri Ramana Maharshi and other saints glorifying Arunachala. 

In the words of Ramana Ashram: 

“Voice of Arunachala” is an Internet radio station broadcast from Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India. Sri Ramana Maharshi has written a verse meaning “This is Arunachala, Ocean of Compassion, one thought of whom bestows liberation. 

Arunachala Mahatmyam states that “Arunachala Hill is the center of the Earth and the Heart of Lord Siva. We hope to bring the atmosphere of the ashram within the earshot of listeners anywhere in the world. Listeners are welcome to send suggestions for the improvement of the program." 

To find out more about the availability of the radio channel, please visit the ashram at their link here

13 August 2014

Dialogue on Puja Flowers

In a posting on my Arunachala Land blog I wrote about the types of flowers used in Tiruvannamalai during puja in Temples and at home. To read that posting and view many photographs of the flowers, go to this link here

In the Anusana Parva (Section XCVIII) of the Mahabharata there is a beautiful and informative narrative explaining the function and importance of flowers in the worship of the Divine. In it Bhishma addressing Yudhisthira refers to a discourse between Manu and an ascetic named Suvarna. In that discourse Suvarna asks Lord Manu to answer (for the benefit of all creatures) why deities are worshipped by flowers, how the practice originated and the merits attached to the observance. Manu responds to Suvarna’s request by telling him that the topic relating to the mertis attached to the gift of flowers was expounded in a dialogue between Vali and Sukra. In that dialogue, Sukra said: 

Penance (indicative of the duties of the four orders of life),first sprang into life. Afterwards came Dharma (or compassion and other virtues). In the interval between started into life many creepers and herbs. Innumerable were the species of those. All of them have the deity Soma for their Lord. 

Lord Soma

In Hinduism the god Soma evolved into a lunar deity--interestingly Monday in Sanskrit is called Somavaram. Full moon is the time to collect and press the divine Soma drink. The moon is also the cup from which the gods drink Soma, thus identifying Soma with the moon god Chandra. A waxing moon means Soma is recreating himself, ready to be drunk again. 

Soma's twenty-seven wives are regarded as the star goddesses, the Nakshatras daughters of the cosmic progenitor Daksha who told their father that he paid too much attention to just one of them, Rohini. Daksha subsequently cursed Soma to wither and die, but the wives intervened and the death became periodic and temporary, and is symbolised by the waxing and waning of the moon.

Some of these creepers and herbs came to be regarded as amrita and some came to be regarded as poison. Others that were neither this nor that formed one class. That is amrita which gives immediate gratification and joy to the mind. That is poison which tortures the mind exceedingly by its odour. 

Know again that amrita is highly auspicious and that poison is highly inauspicious. All the deciduous herbs are amrita. Poison is born of the energy of fire. Flowers gladden the mind and confer prosperity. Hence, men of righteous deeds bestowed the name Sumanas on them. That man who is in a state of purity offers flowers unto the deities finds that the deities become gratified with him, and as the consequence of such gratification bestow prosperity upon him. O ruler of Daityas, those deities unto whom worshippers offer flowers, uttering their names the while, become gratified with the offers in consequence of their devotion. 

The deciduous herbs are of diverse kinds and possess diverse kinds of energy. They should be classed as fierce, mild, and powerful. Listen to me as I tell thee which trees are useful for purposes of sacrifice and which are not so. Hear also what garlands are acceptable to asuras, and what are beneficial when offered to the deities. I shall also set forth in their due order what garlands are agreeable to the rakshasa, what to the uragas, what to the yakshas, what to human beings, and what to the pitris, in proper order. 

Flowers are of diverse kinds. Some are wild, some are from trees that grow in the midst of human habitations; some belong to trees that never grow unless planted on well-tilled soil; some are from trees growing on mountains; some are from trees that are not prickly; and some from trees that are prickly. Fragrance, beauty of form, and taste also may offer grounds of classification. The scent that flowers yield is of two kinds, agreeable and disagreeable. Those flowers that emit agreeable scent should be offered to the deities. 


The flowers of trees that are destitute of thorns are generally white in hue. Such flowers are always acceptable to the deities. 


One possessed of wisdom should offer garlands of aquatic flowers, such as the lotus and the like, unto the Gandharvas and Nagas and Yakshas. Such plants and herbs as produce red flowers, as are possessed of keen scent, and as are prickly, have been laid down in the Atharvana as fit for all acts of incantation for injuring foes. Such flowers as are possessed of keen energy, as are painful to the touch, as grow on trees and plants having thorns, and as are either blood-red or black, should be offered to (evil) spirits and unearthly beings. 

Indian Coral Tree

Such flowers as gladden the mind and heart, as are very agreeable when pressed, and as are of beautiful form, have been said to be worthy of being offered to human beings. Such flowers as grow on cemeteries and crematoriums, or in places dedicated to the deities, should not be brought and used for marriage and other rites having growth and prosperity for their object, or acts of dalliance and pleasure in secrecy. Such flowers as are born on mountains and in vales, and as are agreeable in scent and aspect, should be offered unto the deities. Sprinkling them with sandal paste, such agreeable flowers should be duly offered according to the ordinances of the scriptures. 

The deities become gratified with the scent of flowers; the yakshas and rakshasas with their sight, the Nagas with their touch; and human beings with all three, viz., scent, sight and touch. Flowers, when offered to the deities gratify them immediately. They are capable of accomplishing every object by merely wishing its accomplishment. As such, when gratified with devotees offering them flowers, they cause all the objects cherished by their worshippers to be immediately accomplished. Gratified, they gratify their worshippers. Honoured, they cause their worshippers to enjoy all honours. Disregarded and insulted, they cause those vilest of men to be ruined and consumed. 

August 2014 Supermoon at Arunachala

In this third quadrant of 2014 we have already experienced two perigee “supermoons” in consecutive months; July and August. The just completed (full moon) of August 10, 2014 was the second of the three “perigee” moons, nowadays known as “supermoons”. Such moons are around 15% bigger and 30% brighter than an ordinary full moon. The recent supermoon of August 10, was the largest of the three, presenting a moon that was only 356,896 kilometers (221,765 miles) from Earth. The third and last supermoon of this sequence will be on September 9, 2014. 

To find out more about Supermoons, please visit this link here on my Arunachala Mystic Blog. 

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 August moon from behind the Earth viewed from International Space Station

Unfortunately as it was wet and cloudy at Arunachala on the night of August full moon, we were not able to get a good view of the much awaited supermoon. However the rain did not deter pilgrims from performing girivalam throughout the day and night of this just concluded full moon. 

Pilgrims on girivalam in the afternoon of full moon day

Pilgrims on north side of Arunachala on their girivalam

Next full moon India: Tuesday, 09 September 2014 around 7:08 AM 

8 August 2014

Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple, August 8, 2014

Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple attracts large numbers of devotees

Beautiful Nandi taking darshan of the Lord at the Siva Sannidhi

Nice the crowds are being advised to sit down . . . good darshan for all

7 August 2014

Sri Nannagaru a previous Arunachala Visit

Words from the Guru 

Bhagavan said, ‘You have intelligence and devotion. It is these that have brought you here. They will reform you and improve you. Your intelligence, devotion and ardent desire will enable you to attain peace. Devotion establishes contact with God. If you have that contact always, all sins will be washed away. Forget about the false ‘I’, devotion to God itself will reveal to you the Truth.’ 

It is enough if you have great devotion to God. Devotion purifies the mind and the purified mind turns inward. When this happens, the mind merges in the Heart. The result is that you experience Truth. It is peace, bliss; it is being. The moment this is realised one becomes free. The key to this is going beyond the mind. It is the mind alone that torments and which has to be conquered. 

Sri Nannagaru

When one has God as the centre of his life he does not feel any sorrow. When there is a liking for something, we do not feel any hardship in doing a job. He who takes the sorrows of daily life in a joyful attitude is the real sadhaka. Only a sadhaka attains the goal or siddhi - siddhi means the knowledge of what already exists. One who is not a sadhaka can never become a siddha. 

The fruits of one’s action are to be given to the society, it is real worship. He that cannot love his neighbor cannot hope to love God.True belief and abidance in the Self is surrender. Surrender is the beauty of the Self. If one loves the God within, one purifies the intellect. If you are devoted to God, God gives you the boon of liberation, as well as mundane success. If one acts with a purified mind, abiding in the Self, the reward is God’s grace. 

The below video was made over three years ago and follows Sri Nannagaru during a car circumambulation of Arunachala. As is his custom he stopped at some Temples and Shrines, including Kubera Lingam, at which place he gave a discourse in Telegu. Later in the video Guruji is seen visiting Ramana Ashram. 

Sri Nannagaru at Arunachala

Sri Nannagaru is scheduled to visit Arunachala between August 22 and September 2, 2014. Approximately 2,000 devotees are expected to follow him from Andhra Pradesh to Tiruvannamalai. As of yet a definite programme has not been announced regarding darshan and discourses. 

Sri Nannanagaru has been in poor health for several years and for this reason did not visit Arunachala for the 2013 Deepam. As the journey from his native place is very strenuous it is not known when Sri Nannagaru will again attempt the trip to Tiruvannamalai. For this reason for those eager to take his darshan, it is advisable to take full advantage of the Guruji's upcoming visit to Arunachala. 

To learn more about the teachings of Sri Nannagaru please visit his Website at this link here and Blog at this link here

Greenland Ashram Update August 2014

Yesterday I visited with Kiran and Philippe to take photographs of the development of their Greenland Ashram. Progress is rapid and the Ashram is expected to be open and fully operational within the next few months. 

See below for a pictorial representation of progress in the Ashram development as of yesterday Wednesday, August 6, 2014. 

Lord Ganesha with friend near gate of Ashram

Greening already underway on the 6 acre Ashram grounds

Variety of plants and succulents, including this Japanese Lotus

House occupied by Greenland Founders till their quarters are completed

Wonderful Arunachala darshan available at Greeland Ashram

Multitude of tasks underway at Ashram, Kiran co-Founder at left giving her support

Philippe, co-Founder of Ashram with manager Damodara

One of the residential cottages nearing completion

Founders' private residence under construction at Greeland

Most of the cottages at Ashram nearing completion

Greenland Ashram is situated around 12 km from Ramanashramam 4 km off the main highway to Bangalore. 

Sathya Sai Nagar Enlightenment Road 
Periyapalliyapattu Village Post Tiruvanamalai, 
Tamil Nadu, India - 606 704 

For more complete information visit Greenland Ashram website at this link here

NH66 Petition for Road Completion

Mr. Shekar Ramamurthy has started an online petition pertaining to speeding up work on the NH66 Krishnagiri-Tiruvannamalai Higway. 

The Petition reads: 

“The 170 Km stretch of NH66 between Krishnagiri and Tindivanam is the main connecting route to Tiruvannamalai from Bangalore, Chennai and Pondicherry. This is also the highway used by people coming from other parts of Tamil Nadu. It is used daily by thousands of people, from the villages along the route and for inter-state travel. Every month during full-moon around 5-6 lakh devotees visit Tiruvannamalai, for making circumambulation (girivalam) of Sacred Hill Arunachala and most of them use NH66 to reach Tiruvannamalai. 

Potholes on part of the roadway

The Holy Arunachala hill attracts spiritual seekers from across the globe. Several thousand foreign tourists come to Tiruvannamalai every year to visit the Ashram of the great sage Sri Ramana Maharishi and other holy places around the Arunachala hill. They use the NH66 for reaching Tiruvannamalai from Bangalore or Chennai Airport. The road condition has been very bad for several years. The road widening project, for making it a 2-lane highway started 2 years back. According to the May 2014 report of NHAI, the 2-laning contract has been awarded to Transstroy India and the project is expected to complete by September 2014. Many trees lining the road have been felled, but the work is nowhere near completion and in the last few months there is no sign of any work taking place on this highway. 

The road condition is so bad with huge pot holes that even the government transport buses use an alternate road wherever possible, like Krishnagiri-Vellore-Polur. Most of the traffic tries to use alternate routes which increase the travel distance by 40-50 kms, making the travel time longer and results in fuel wastage. The Government needs to prioritise this project and get it completed quickly.” 

To support this cause and sign the petition please visit this link here

5 August 2014

Walk on Samudram Lake with Bhagavan

Regular readers of Arunachala Grace will have noticed how often I write about the Samudram Eri, which is located almost directly south of the reclining aspect of Arunachala. For me this is one of the most beautiful and inspirational places at Arunachala. Below is an evocative narrative of a Ramana devotee describing his visit to the flooded Samudram Eri with Sri Ramana and teachings that were given by the Sage at that time. 

"The Samudram Lake at the foot of Arunachalam and near Sri Ramanasramam is a very extensive one, the summer rains nor the winter monsoon in Tiruvannamalai rarely fill up this tank except once in a way when it overflows. 

Thus it overflowed once long ago. The sight of it was very grand and the overflow at the outlet was as wide as a river. The tank really seemed a sea (Samudram). Bhagavan told us that it was called “Samudram” because a certain local ruler had this tank constructed as a miniature sea to give an idea to his Queen of what a sea would look like; for she had never seen one and she a carrying queen now desired to. 

The overflow of the Samudram Tank in Tiruvannamalai is such a rare event and people thronged to see the sight. Afterwards they came to Bhagavan and talked about it. 

One morning after breakfast the devotees in the hall expressed to Bhagavan a desire to visit the Samudram. Bhagavan was human enough to accept the suggestion and all of us went for a stroll to see it. The tank bund is over two miles long and we walked from the Asramam to the tank about a mile and then the whole distance of the bund. The presence of Bhagavan and his words were more interesting to us than the brimming tank and the grand view of the lake at the foot of the holy Arunachalam. Bhagavan talked of many things, of which I remember, at this distance of time, only two topics of interest. 

Photograph taken about 10 years ago of flooded Samudram Eri

At one place, Bhagavan pointed out a palmyra tree which had decayed at the grip and embrace of a parasite banyan tree. Some bird had dropped the seed of the banyan into the palmyra and as the banyan began its growth the palmyra got stuck, and cloven and stunted in its growth. Drawing our attention to this phenomenon, Bhagavan remarked that is just the effect of the look of Grace of the Jnani. One look into a soul and the whole tree of vasanas gathered through cycles of births is burnt down and decays. 

Then the reality of the Atman is experienced. In the analogy, the tree of vasanas is the palmyra and the look of the Guru, (the seed of Grace) is the banyan. Thus Bhagavan explained to us the effect of contact with a Mahapurusha. The Supreme Jnana that is obtained by the touch of the Satpurusha, can never be obtained by the study of any number of scriptures or by any store of punya karma (virtuous deeds) or by other sadhanas. Then when we were actually at the outlet of the overflow at the end of the lake, we all marvelled at the width of it which was as wide as a river. We stayed there for sometime and then returned. 

On the return walk, we happened to pass the sluice, at the middle of the bund. Pointing to it Bhagavan remarked, “look at this small outlet as opposed to the big one at the end. But for this small hole through which trickle the stream of water, the huge contents of the lake would not be helpful to the vegetation. If the bund breaks it would be a regular deluge and the entire crops would be destroyed. Only if served, properly regulated through this sluice, are the plants helped to growth. So too, is the Brahmic Consciousness. Unless the Bliss of this consciousness is gifted through the grace of the Guru, in seasoned outlets, the soul cannot be helped to vasanakshaya (the destruction of the tendencies of the mental mode); for in this process, the Atman abiding as such in its oneness with the Brahman, is established in the Astipada (the state of being) of the Guru. Holding on to its aspect of sat-chit the work of vasanakshaya proceeds as and when the thought forms arise to propel the mind into action i.e. in its rajasic nature. This work of vasanakshaya becomes possible only in the proximity of the Guru.

Samudram Eri (bund on right) during Sri Ramana's time

Hence the Guru himself is like the sluice and irrigates the souls with the grace out of His kripasamudram needed for the abidance as the Atman and doing the vasanakshaya. Whereas, if the bund is broken the full force of the whole lake rushes through sweeping everything before it. This resembles a sadhaka receiving the full force of Brahmic Consciousness without the intervening and mitigating grace of the Guru’s sluice and so physically dies without the benefit of effecting the destruction of the vasanas."

[T.K. Sundaresa Iyer--Call Divine April 1, 1958] 

31 July 2014

Postings on my Arunachala Blogs July 12, 2014 to July 31, 2014

Below are links and short extracts of postings on my various Arunachala Blogs from Saturday, July 12, 2014 to Thursday, July 31, 2014:-

Arunachala Grace 

2014 Firewalking at Arunachala: Photographs and information, legend of the Fire Walking ceremony at Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Adi Pooram at Sri Rajarajeshwari Temple: Photographs of the Goddess during the 2014 Festival.

Vallaikappu (Bangle) Ceremony: Pictorial history of the 2014 Bangle ceremony at Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Adi Pooram at Arunachaleswarar Temple Schedule: Information about the timings of the upcoming Vallikappu and Fire Walking ceremonies at Big Temple.

Yogi Ramsuratkumar Siddhi Sthala: Pictorial narrative of the place that Sri Yogi Ramsuratkumar attained samadhi.

God’s Fool: Tale about purity and innocence by Kahil Gibran. 

Adi Pooram Festival 2014, Flag Hoisting: Pictorial narrative of the beginning of the 2014 Festival at the Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Arunachaleswarar 2014 Adi Pooram Celebrations: Invitation and Programme for the Adi Pooram Festival at the Big Temple.

Ayyankulam Tank Immersion July 2014: Photographs and information of the idol immersion at tank at the end of Aani Brahmotsavam Festival 2014.

Greenland Ashram: Photographs and information about a new Ashram in the Arunachala countryside.

Aani Brahmotsavam 2014: Information and photographs of the start of Festival at the Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Reverence for Divination: Story of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna and his brother Ramkumar and powers of divination.

Arunachala Oracle: Information and link to a divinatory Oracle recently uploaded to Arunachala Samudra.

Devilottara text—Spiritual Teachings of the Sadguru: Devilottara a dialogue conveying the highest spiritual teachings between Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati. 

Sri Nannagaru's 2014 Guru Poornima Address: Link and information regarding live streaming address from Guruji Sri Nannagaru.

Guru Poornima Arunachaleswarar Temple: Photographs of Guru Poornima crowds at the Big Temple.

Arunachala Birds 

Happy Time—The Importance of the Bird Bath: Information and photographs about different kinds of garden bird baths.

Arunachala Land 

Ring Road, Pictorial History July 2014: Reports and photographs charting the progress of the Ring Road at Tiruvannamalai.

The Mountain of Medicine July 2014: Information and pictorial report of the current state of the Mountain of Medicine at foot of Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai.

Arunachala Mystic 

Aadi Masam 2014: Escoteric and spiritual significance of the period of Aadi Masam. Links.

Similarities between two great Mahans: Reader’s email noting the 12 significant similarities between Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.

2014 Supermoons: Report and significance of three supermoons scheduled for July 12, August 10, September 9, 2014.

Arunachala Oracle: Information about a new divinatory programme on Arunachala Samudra

2014 Fire Walking at Arunachala

A large number of devotees turned up for the Firewalking Ceremony which occurred in culmination of Adi Pooram betwixt the days of Wednesday and Thursday (July 30 and July 31, 2014). The walk itself was undertaken by devotees of the Divine Mother who had observed special procedures over the previous 30 days (including fast) in order to prepare themselves for the ‘test of devotion’. 

The Goddess is brought to the front of her Shrine to watch the firewalk

Those who participated were ordinary householders. In some cases devotees were given a mantra to recite during their fire walk. Before the ceremony the devotees prepared for the firewalk by bathing at the Brahma Tirtham.

Devotees waiting to perform 2014 firewalk

The actual ceremony occurred on the paved courtyard in front of the Unnamalai Amman Shrine, inside the compound of the Big Temple. 

Devotees performing 2014 firewalk

As to the history of the firewalk, a Tamil legend narrates the story that in Singavaram there is a Temple to Sri Ranganadha. Here a king named Kandhan, after suffering a defeat, performed a fire walking ceremony in worship of Draupadi (from the Mahabharata). Draupadi, pleased with the worship, appeared before the king and promised that whoever should worship her as he had done would remain unscathed and also obtain whatever they prayed for. From that day onwards the fire-walking festival is observed with great enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu.