3 January 2007

Nine Entrances

There are nine entrances to Tiruvannamalai and as the town is approached from any of these roads, Arunachala can be seen from a distance of over 15 miles. Some of the most sublime and inspirational views of the Hill are those that are seen from a distance. Certainly most who come are strangely moved by the Hill's haunting beauty and believe it possesses a grandeur surpassing all other mountain ranges and holy sites.

The famous Paul Brunton, who did much to introduce aspects of Indian spiritual thought to the West and was largely responsible for popularising the saint Ramana Maharshi, wrote:

'I stand at the door and look up at the Hill of the Holy Beacon; Arunachala, the Sacred Red Mountain. It has become the colourful background of all my existence . . . It is somehow inescapable in this place, but the strange spell it throws over me is more inescapable still. I begin to wonder whether this queer, solitary peak has enchanted me.'

'This lonely hill holds me in a powerful thrall, despite the fact that I have seen others, infinitely more attractive. This rugged piece of nature, with its red laterite boulders tumbled about in disorderly masses and glowing like dull fire in the sunlight, possess a strong personality which emanates a palpable awe creating influence.'

No comments: