24 May 2006

Yogi Ramsuratkumars House

Yesterday I visited the house of the famous (now deceased) saint Yogi Ramsuratkumar.

The house, which is daily open to the public, is located on Sannidhi Street near the Arunachaleswarar Temple, and styled in an old fashioned Indian way with veranda, lots of small rooms leading into one another and a bathroom located in an outside courtyard. The house which is surprisingly large and kept in wonderful condition also contains the original furniture preserved under glass.

Yogi kept his personal and household items, such as old clothes, newspapers, coconut shells, and bedroll all stored in gunny sacks. Many of these stuffed gunny sacks remain at the Sannidhi House, stacked lovingly one upon the other and almost overflowing out of each room.

Those who knew Yogi Ramsuratkumar remember how enigmatic his appearance was, long before his madness was broadly accepted as coming from a divine source. He looked like nothing more than a crazy beggar with bizarre behaviour, wandering around and living totally outside the norms of Indian society.

He was a colourful figure who used to wear whatever clothes he was given, covering himself with two to seven woollen shawls wrapt round his body and a colourful turban over his hair. He wore his clothes till they were dirty and ragged, neither washing or changing and only rarely bathing his body. Even though he smoked, most noticed only the fragrance of sandalwood or roses, emanating from his body.

His pockets would be stuffed with objects: papers, stones, old cigarette boxes, all kind of things destined to be carefully placed at some specific point with intent and reasons known to him alone, and sometimes later picked up, when its function had been fulfilled.

For a long time people were put off by his strange behavior and appearance. But a few saw the Divinity emanating from this strange looking form, or felt the silent vastness of consciousness and tenderness of heart. Some came with troubles and worries, and sitting in his presence, felt their burdens and problems disappear and replaced by a wordless peace and equanimity.

Yogi Ramsuratkumar always refused credit, saying:

'This beggar wandering here and there, tired of wandering but having no home; Arunachalesvara, in the form of this hill, had mercy on this miserable sinner. So he gives thanks, a thousand thanks, to this holy hill, this holy temple. Oh, the magnanimity of the Lord! He has given me shelter for twenty long years. Whereas others who come are enabled to stay only days or weeks . . . For thousands of years the hill has given shelter to so many dirty sinners like me and Arunachala will give us shelter for thousand of years to come.'

For indepth information about this saint please check link at: http://www.arunachalasamudra.org/yogiram.html


Divyakka said...

Your descriptions of the Yogi’s house brought back to memory my visit to him in 1985, probably in that exact same house. He sat on the verandah waving his fan and talking to myself and a friend. It was an awe-striking moment in time!

How intriguing that all his items are kept in stacked-up gunny sacks! I can just imagine the house as you describe it.

He was truly a unique being, who really made us THINK!

Arunachala Living said...

Yogi was a wonderful soul who brought help and succour to those who came to him.