15 June 2006

Palakothu tank and Annamalai Swami

This is a photograph of the Palakothu Tank where many sadhus lived during Ramanas time. In those days there used to be a colony of varying types of residential structures which housed such personnages as Muruganar, Lakshmana Sharma, Paul Brunton and Annamalai Swami.

Annamalai Swami was born Sella Perumal in 1906 in a small village in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. In 1928, when he was 22 years old, he travelled to Tiruvannamalai to meet Ramana Maharshi
who, at that time, lived at the base of Arunachala. He became the Maharshi's personal attendant and was given the name Annamalai Swami (Annamalai is another name for Arunachala) with duties to oversee the ongoing construction at the ashram.

It is believed that in 1938, ten years after his arrival in Tiruvannamalai, Swami Annamalai realized the Self. Five or six years later, sometime in the mid-1940s, Bhagavan instructed him to leave the Ashram and engage in intense sadhana.

Following his departure from Sri Ramanasramam, Annamalai took up an austere life in his own hut in Palakottu. He would occasionally meet the Maharshi on his walks, but never again in the fifty years that followed did he re-enter Sri Ramanasramam. A few years later he built the Sri Annamalai Swami Ashram and lived there until his death on November 9, 1995.

If you look at the picture on the top of this entry you will see at the end of the Palakothu tank a white wall, this wall is one of the perimeter boundaries of Annamalai Swamis own Ashram. A couple of years ago the Trust overseeing the Ashram donated its land and all buildings thereupon to the adjacent Ramana Ashram. So perhaps one could say that Annamalai Swami did in fact finally rejoin his Master at Ramana Ashram!


Divyakka said...

Such a beautiful tank! You did not mention how far the Palakothu Tank is from Ramana Ashram?

Arunachala Living said...

It's right next to it. At the background of the photo you can see a white wall. That wall is now the perimeter boundary wall of Ramana Ashram. It used to be the wall of Annamalai Ashram before they donated their Ashram as a free gift to Ramana Ashram.