11 May 2007

Arunachala Power

Even though the same consciousness pervades the Universe, in Sri Arunachala Ashtakam [by Sri Ramana Maharshi Bhagavan] explains the Power of Arunachala and how the Hill acts upon the 'individual'.

"Thou art Thyself the One Being, ever aware as the self-luminous Heart! In Thee there is a mysterious Power (Sakti). From it proceeds, the phantom of the mind emitting its latent subtle dark mists, which, illumined by Thy Light (of Consciousness) reflected on them, appear within as though whirling in the vortices of prarabdha, later developing into the psychic worlds and are projected without as the material world and transformed into concrete objects which are magnified by the outgoing senses and move about like pictures in a cinema show. Visible or invisible, O Hill of Grace, without Thee they are nothing!"

Sri Arunachala Ashtakam (Verse 6)
[Ramana Maharshi]

"Though it is the only One, yet by its wonderful power it gets reflected on the tiny dot 'I' (the ego) otherwise known as ignorance or the aggregate of latent tendencies; this reflected light is relative knowledge. This, according to one's past karma now fructifying (prarabdha), manifests the inner latent tendencies as the outer gross world and withdraws the gross external world as the subtle internal tendencies; such power is called mind in the subtle plane and brain in the physical plane.

This mind or brain acts as the magnifier to that Eternal One Being and shows It forth as the expanded universe. In the waking and dream states the mind is outward bent and in sleep it is inward bent; with the mind as the medium, the one Supreme Being seems diversified in the waking and dream states and remains withdrawn in the sleep state. Therefore you are only That and cannot be otherwise. Whatever the changes, the same one Being remains as yourself; there is nothing besides yourself."

[#323; Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi]


Anonymous said...

Hail to Thee! O’ Arunachala!

1. Countless lifetimes past
Was I Thy votary fast
Thou were my Source my all
As the world’s allure did pall

2. But forgetful wretch that I art
I allow’d myself from Thee to part
Drifting from Thy holy refuge
Ag’inst my mind’s deadly deluge

3. And toss’d and turn’d, steering alone
On seas whose fury Thou had’st borne
Claiming victory’s freshness at every crest
To be dashed next moment in the tempest

4. Wandering lost in the desert of desire
Chasing the mirage of purpose’s sire
Where fulfillment fanned flames first
As saltwater does a castaway’s thirst (Footnote-1)

5. Strutting in ignorance of ignorance (Footnote-2)
In the darkness of Primal arrogance
Till at last with spirit vanquished
I called out desperately anguished

6. Pleading for surcease and relief
Petitioning powers with dim belief
Sinking, knees bent in fatigue and failure
I prayed despondent, in abject surrender

7. Lo! You blazed silent and still
As the Beacon from Eternity’s Hill
A blinding flame cool and bright
From my Heartcave in thoughtless delight (Footnote-3)

8. Reminding me of our eternal connection
Silencing my senses with the recollection
Of the port of safety that always existed
In the depths of my being where “I” is fixated

9. Beguiling my mind with Thy innocent smile
Thou did’st feed me Thy nectar free of guile
Bewitching my heart in the dead of the night
You transfixed and consumed me in Thy Light (Footnote-4)

10. Never again my gaze shall I turn
From Your Beacon that does ego burn
Nor leave for long Thy Name, that chant
That thrilled my being as honey to an ant

11. Gripped since in the jaws of Your Gaze (Footnote-5)
Guided hence through life’s maze
Thou let me win and lose with freedom
And revel in Thee with sporadic abandon

12. Thy Leash’s on my neck, Your Hill is the peg
Now letting me range and graze as far as I beg
Tasting bitter herbs and lush sweet grasses
And drinking the waters of faraway places

13. Enough this spurious freedom! This fake liberty!
This granting of pleasures sweetened by adversity (Footnote-6)
Tighten Thy Leash and destroy my range
Bring me home no foreigner strange.

14. O’ “I Am” revealed, shining forth as all
How could Thou let this delusion fall?
Can the One be confused as the Many?
If Thy will did not veil this epiphany (Footnote-7)

15. Verily by Thy Hand does this Delusion prevail
Show Thy Mercy and remove mankind’s travail
That brother may not slaughter brother
And Thy Holy Lands be not torn asunder

16. Standing silent, Thou put to shame
Scholarly intellect’s vain-glorious claim
To grasp Thee with duality’s meager span
“Be Still”, Thou said “And know That I Am” (Footnote-8)

18. Didn’t Thy Elder Prince, Divinity’s Fruit winner
Beg Immortality’s Nectar from the Cave Dweller
That we may taste the flavor of liberation
In crumbs from their table of deliberation (Footnote-9)

19. Such Thy Greatness, what merit does now shower
The favor of Thy disdain on this hapless beggar
O’ Lord! Grant my eyes Thy eternal Light
The glorious blaze that puts fear to flight

20. Ego hast made a janitor of me, the king
Granting me a refuse cart for the hauling
Bestow now the Grace of Thy sweet fragrance
And destroy the stench of this foul existence (Footnote-10)

21. O’ Dancing Beggar of the Cremation pit
By Your command I stand, a spendthrift
Cast now upon me Thy Graceful Glance
Ere I squander this soul’s inheritance (Footnote-11)

22. Thy Will addicted this mind to pleasure
Now luring me if You wait your leisure
This soul will drink Maya’s stagnant water
Like sand swallowed by the crazed traveler (Footnote-12)

23. Which parent lets a child play with fire?
Can Thou see me fall, standing as my Sire
Play no longer this mischievous game
Lest the world speak of You in shame.

24. Kama devour’d Vishwamitra in a trice
Can I win freedom then from this vice?
You who consumed Kama in a stray Glance
Are my refuge, O’ Lord, my only Deliverance (Footnote-13)

25. Dazzle me not with Maya’s peacock fan
Lurking b’neath is Thy serpent’s fang
Stand forth my Lord blazing bright
Consume me in Thy Eternal Light (Footnote-14)

26. My vasanas crash on me evermore
As surging waves on the ocean shore
Borne by the weight of my Karma
They shatter my resolve of Dharma

27. As an infant building castles of sand
I struggle in my Sadhana to stand
O’ Saviour of Parvati’s sand idol
Enfold me in Thy Arms Bridal (Footnote-15)

28. O’ Lord of all beings, worlds and lands
Weighted by failings, condemned I stand
I come seeking Thy sanctifying Grace
Turn me not away from Thy Embrace

29. O’ Hunter of souls, Divine Archer beyond compare
Was errant Thy Gaze as Thy Arrow shot here
And grazed my heart with this unhealing wound
Now Knowledge reigns not with Ignorance unswoon’d (Footnote-16)

30. Or is it Thy sport, that You prefer
To see this soul move in dazed stagger
Grasping by turn at scripture and worlds
In vain quest for relief as agony swirls

31. Be Still and Surrender Thou said
‘Tis easy for Thee to speak from Thy bed
When even surrender is by Thy command
Who shall bow to whom, I pray demand

32. O’ Beloved of the Unsuckled One!
I beseech Ye! Hear me, Your son
Cast Your snare, hunt and trap Your prey
Feed on this mind in Your own Mystic way (Footnote-17)

33. Boldly in his father’s lap does the prince play
Even so have I spoken with liberty today
O’ Eye of my eyes, see my heart and take no offense
Enfold me in Thee and sweet liberation do dispense (Footnote-18)

34. Grant these ears, this tongue Thy glorious Name
The mysterious sound that pervades my frame
Grant my taste, my touch Thy Lotus Feet
The sweet softness that makes my heartbeat

35. Grant my thoughts, my desires Thy steady Gaze
The clarity of vision that guides through the maze
Grant my speech, my hands Thy Healing spell
The sacred power that does delirium dispel

36. But if this plea, Thou does not hear
For my want of strength or purpose clear
Still hast Thou granted me a way to Thee
A path simple and clear to where Thou Be

37. This Leash on my neck tethered to Thy Hill
Is all I need to bring me to Thy Will
Thus going round and round and round as I graze
Thy Name in my heart and Thy Hill in my gaze (Footnote-19)

38. Tightening the Leash with every turn
Shortening my range until I burn
Naked and innocent in Thy glorious blaze
At Thy Feet and Hill under Thy watchful Gaze

39. When I and Thou shall be no more
And all is Thee and I evermore
Where Silence dances its sacred Dance
In Eternal Action and Eloquence

40. Thus as I pleaded to Thee in fervor
Lovingly did Thou come to my succor
And as fear and bewilderment did rise
When Maya threatened to cloud my eyes

41. Mercifully Thou loosened its terrible grip
And with gentle care did not let me slip
Commanding my birth in Thy votaries lineage
That I may be guided by Thy firm parentage

42. Guiding my sire’s footsteps to bring me to You
In my twenty-second year, to hold Thee true
While You revealed my Self free of any vice
Crushing my mind so my heart may realize

43. That Life and Death was your puppet
And I, only a guest at your banquet
That indeed I was never ever born
‘Cos everything moves in You as One

44. The sinner and the saved are indeed in You
As are the diseased and healthy too
In You are the prince and the pauper
As are also the judge and the robber

45. The infant and the ancient move as one
In You my Lord! O’ Five-faced One
One indeed is the lover and the loved
As are also me and my wife beloved (Footnote-20)

46. My children and I are but one
As are my parents and I their son
My siblings and I are but one
Playing in innocence for Your fun

47. My friends and my enemies are none
Other than You my Lord! O’ Holy One
Thy Feet are my crown, Thy Name on my tongue
Mute is my throat for other praise to be sung

48. And all I had ever given or received as mine
Was already assured long before my time
I was only the instrument in Your eternal game
Were I not there, action would occur all the same

49. And my only free will was either deny or surrender
To Thy Supreme Will that ruled all here and yonder
And that there is no victory to have since
Than to abide as “I” and nothing else hence

50. Knowing that You have given all this as a gift
To enjoy, experience, and share to uplift
That I be the custodian, your trustee
These gifts used for You, this life as a fee

51. Revealed have Thou the nature of Maya
As naught but the surf of Thy Leela
When all action is but Thy movement
Where is room for my achievement?

52. Oh! Glorious indeed is this infinite freedom
Neither sunset nor sunrise in this kingdom
Gone the incessant drumbeat of the worldly race
Vanish’d as the morning mist before Thy Face

53. When even Death is at Thy Feet abiding
Why need I worry about the morning?
Fearless do I stride amidst men with bowed crown
Favoring none with fawning smile or scowling frown

54. All lifetimes are now dreams for me
Stretching ever onwards to infinity
Truly there is neither bondage nor liberation
The thought of either is fevered delusion

55. No world, no galaxy, nor heaven nor hell
Nothing save “I” exists with none other to tell
And in this glorious silence of unitary existence
Occurs eternal cycles of creation and destruction

56. Springing forth eternally as dream thoughts within Me
Where satisfaction and frustration are but dreams to see
Can I sport in aught else, having tasted the Bliss of My Self?
Who bathes in foam when spring waters pour off the shelf?

57. Gone the doubts of petty existence
Who is there for their persistence?
Neither are these thoughts denied
Who remains for them to be belied?

58. Let them stand or fall on their own accord
Attention to them I can no more afford
I did’nt call them forth so sustain ‘em I can’t
Let the power that birth’d ‘em meet their want (Footnote-21)

59. Indeed in this state divine powers do accrue
But none remains to wield ‘em, that is true
Gone forever is the fantasy of omnipotence
As also the dark nightmare of impotence

60. Gone the prayer as well as the supplicant
Consumed by a matted hair mendicant (Footnote-22)
No blazing light here nor darkness of ignorance
Nothing save Consciousness’s Blissful Existence

61. Still dream creation needs action to fulfill
So this dream body is moved by Thy Will
While I remain as “I” and this as this
Silent I AM, none to claim as his.

62. Paltry indeed is the common tongue of duality
That speaks of MY state in terms of plurality
Indeed no word can exist when all is One
Nothing but Silence indeed is MY tongue

63. Undifferentiated and pristine I remain supreme
But to say even this is verily to blaspheme
Who is there to describe MY condition
Where redemption exists not nor any perdition

64. Unbound by good and evil do I freely roam
Neither fortune nor calamity shakes my bones
No auspicious date or time for me exist
Indeed in Me does all creation persist

65. All duties, roles and action are as play to me
Unfettered by their results I now walk free
Intoxicated by Bliss, in Thee do I drunkenly roam
To passersby, the lights are on but nobody’s home

67. If duality has to be assumed for creation perchance
Then let it be said that this is Thy Cosmic dance
Where creation, expansion and dissolution
Cycle endlessly in harmonious perpetuation

68. Galaxies arise spontaneously from the Self
Shooting like spray from a rocky shelf
Untouched by all action is this Consciousness
As the ocean beneath the cyclone’s viciousness

69. No slothful slumber of blankness is My state
Though outwardly I may assume that fate
Vibrant in incessant action I do remain
Eternally moving in Stillness all the same

70. Simple indeed is the path to Thee
No effort needed to simply Be
Indeed that is where I always am
To believe otherwise is delusion’s span

71. But to those enamored of complex stratagems
Let them hear and practice these eternal gems
As lived and instructed by Thee, Guru Ramana
So all may be free from the burden of their vasana

72. Sitting in any posture of personal comfort
Practice diligently with single-minded effort
Watch the tides of thy breath as they rise and fall
And soon the mind will be held in its thrall

73. And as each thought, image and sound
Rushes forth to parade around
Ask who it is that watches
And know I as the witness

74. Watching thus the witness until you’re adept
Then realization dawns that this too is a concept
Verily a thief ‘tis in policeman’s garb
Moving in circles to outwit the mob

75. Discard even the watcher, and now remain
Silent and Still as “I”, your eternal domain
Fleeting as quicksilver on a metal plate
Will the first glimpses be of this State

76. Be not seduced by visions mighty and grand
Or even hope for them as marks of your stand
Why would you limit the Self to blazes of light
When that which you seek lies beyond sight

77. No milestone exists nor compass to navigate
No yardstick of duality to fathom this state
Discard all methods of the intellect and seize thy fate
Know Being by Experience direct, as thy eternal state

78. Like wafting fragrance of the night’s jasmine
Effort on this path shall permeate your being
Until meditation proceeds as the undercurrent
Of activity regardless the distracting moment

79. Be unperturbed by the passage of time
Time is memory and no concern of thine
When all creation stands on the “I” thought
Past, present and future are empty as nought

80. If any disciplinary aid should thou seek
Discard the consumption of animal meat
Food is the fuel and substance of the mind
This discipline is a useful one thou wilt find

81. The doing of kriya’s and karma’s thine
Chanting of mantra’s and songs divine
As crutches they are to the limping lame
These acts do focus the mental frame

82. Each in its own time has its rightful place
As sequential steps in the spirit’s pace
Neither greater nor lesser are they behold
Each seeker’s need do they uniquely mold

83. But stay not thou in kindergarten forever
Since indeed bidden art thou to rise yonder
‘Cos action’s power can only yield fruits
But never the insight that severs the roots

84. And what be the fruit of action?
Except the seed of more action
Commanding the birth of future lives
Busy as bees attending their hives

85. The joy you get from all worldly actions
Arises from the Self as a blissful reaction
On subsidence of the performing entities
Letting you taste Being free of identities (Footnote-23)

86. Confuse not source of the Bliss so obtained
With all the preceding actions that reigned
As a wind-blown tree, that fell as the crow alighted
By fools believed, as by the bird’s weight blighted (Footnote-24)

87. Begin not the pursuit of happiness thru’ action
Like wounding oneself for the relief of a lotion
Be not a dog chewing bones, bleached in the sun
And reveling in the taste of its own bleeding gum

88. But action performed sans attachment
Has no capacity to shackle thy raiment
Indeed doership is bondage’s essence
It’s absence is liberation’s presence

89. Surrendering all actions to God as an offering
In one stroke wilt thou put an end to suffering
When all actions are but the Lord’s domain
Thine is blessed freedom in that which remains

90. As passengers on a train are we all
With loads of karma in our carry-all
Imbeciles groan with loads on their head
As the train with loaded rider rolls ahead

91. The wise one, with luggage at his feet
And the burdened cretin, in his seat
Indeed the same destination do they reach
But their attitude decides the fate of each

92. Good it is to chant the Holy Sound
Better it is to whisper it around
Greater still is the mental chant
Yet supreme is it to Be the Chant

93. Seeking the sound of the chanted mantra
Using Self Inquiry’s method as the tantra
Ask whence from the chanter springs forth
Rejecting all mental forms as of little worth

94. Diligently seek thee the source within
And on finding it, do subside therein
Only by such effort shall true Tapas reign
So promises Ramana of Virupaksha fame

95. All scriptures are but maps of the way in
To the state of Being lying in thee within
Erudite fools argue and contest the map
While the simple sage drinks Being’s sap

96. The scholar lost in libraries under the sun
Spends his days relearning the number one
His years of erudite effort rank not above
A single moment of self-dissolving Love

97. Varna’s, ashrama’s, castes and creed
Are but divisions of the mental breed
On knowing Brahman a Brahmin is he
Knowing all else a Chandaala he be (Footnote-25)

98. Yet without a teacher’s Grace
Impossible it is to see His Face
Verily the teacher as the Guru
Is the Self known as “Ulluru” (Footnote-26)

99. But for the ardent seeker struggling with fate
The Guru will arrive and guide him to His State
This is an incontestable Truth, have faith my son
Indeed the Guru and the Self are but one

100. Pushing him from without as the Self pulls him in
Never doubt the Guru is the Self’s inseparable twin
Ego’s destruction is assured in the Guru’s maw
As the fate of the prey caught in the tiger’s jaw

101. Blessed is he on whom falls the Guru’s Gaze
He has received the key out of Maya’s maze
Surrender your all at the Sat Guru’s Feet
Hurry my son, reclaim your Heavenly Seat

102. Gentler by far than the mother that bore me
Is my Guru Ramana standing before me
Radiant as a million suns, cooler than the full moon
His Gaze has stolen my heart, my ego’s in a swoon

103. Having crazed me with love He sends me to roam
In lands of the lost and blind far from home
Cloaked in a healer’s garb, I now stand at the post
While residing beneath, it is He who heals the host

104. Who but Ramana of Patala Linga fame
Residing at Arunachala in Guha’s name (Footnote-27)
Speaks today in me in the English tongue
As this verse bubbling forth to be sung

105. O’ Lord perfumed by Vaachakar’s lilting prose
Wreathed by the garlands of Muruganar’s verse
I offer Thee this crazed rant with heartfelt devotion
O’ Wearer of Kannappan’s spittle as a body lotion (Footnote-28)

106. Praise be the Blessed Feet of Guru Ramana
That crowns my head, standing as Vaamana (Footnote-29)
Praise be the Holy Hill of Arunachala
Hope’s Eternal Beacon called Sonachala

107. Praise be Mother Allagama’s holy shrine
At the feet of Aruna Hill, forever Thine
Praise the Divine Effulgence of Karthikai’s Beacon
The Eternal Light that to all seekers does beckon (Footnote-30)

108. To Thee I offer humbly my faltering praise
With trembling voice and tears on my face
Fathered by the sun, this moon child stands
As Ravichandran bowing with folded hands(Footnote-31)

1. Desire is an endless desert, that burns without end. Man in ignorance chases the mirage of desire which is referred here as the sire (father) of purpose. There can be no purpose without the birth of desire. The very fulfillment of all desires first increases the thirst for more even before the fulfillment is experienced.

2. There is no ignorance as dense as the ignorance that does not know of its own existence.

3. In the month of Karthikai (November) millions gather in Thiruvannamalai to celebrate the ceremony of the lighting of the sacred beacon on the summit of the Holy Arunachala Hill. This flame which is visible for miles around symbolizes the appearance of Shiva as an infinite pillar of Fire before deluded Vishnu & Brahma. The flame also represents the revelation of Divine Knowledge of the Self which shines as I…I…I within the cave of the spiritual heart (authoritatively declared by Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi).

4. This refers to the vision of Grace beheld by the poet.

5. The grip of the Satguru’s Grace is compared in the scriptures to the grip of the tiger’s jaws on the the throat of its prey. Once in its hold the disciple is never forsaken even if he may try to free himself.

6. The scope of human pleasure is entirely based on the simultaneous experience of pain, like a dog which chews on a dry bone and smacks its chops with pleasure on tasting the blood from its own lacerated gums.

7. The delusion of Maya, of plurality superimposed upon unity, is possible only by Divine Will and hence only Divine Grace can remove this delusion.

8. All operations of the intellect and the mind is based on the platform of duality. Our knowledge through the instruments of the mind can be relative only and hence can be transient, impermanent and flawed at best.

9. The Elder Prince (or “Jeyshta Rajan” in Sanskrit ) is a reference to Lord Ganesha or Ganapati, who as the first-born son of Lord Shiva won the Fruit of Divine Knowledge in a contest between him and his younger brother, Sri Muruga. In that story, the sage Narada brought a single Fruit of Divine Knowledge to Shiva and the two children (Ganapati & Muruga) of the Universal Father began clamoring for it. Since the entire fruit had to be consumed by a single person to ensure the receipt of the benefit a contest was setup to determine which of the 2 divine children would win it. The rule was that whoever circled the entire universe first would be awarded the fruit. While Sri Muruga set off on His Universal circumambulation, Lord Ganapati thought for a moment and then circled his parents Lord Shiva & Mother Paravati. He then proceeded to claim the fruit on the grounds that since the entire Universe lay within his parents, he justly fulfilled the stipulation of the contest! Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi is frequently referred as the veritable personification of Muruga and Sri Kavyakanta Vasishta Ganapati Muni (or Ganapati Muni for short ) was often considered as a manifestation of Lord Ganapati. Sri Ganapati Muni sought the secret of immortality from Ramana the Cave Dweller at Virupaksha Cave. The substance of their dialogues and discussions have been the source for the most authoritative texts on the spirit and practice of Atma Vichara (Self Enquiry).

10. The pristine kingly state of perfect union with the Self is our natural birthright. By falling into the delusion of Maya cast by Divine Will we have lost our natural state and become equivalent to Chandaalas (janitors). By considering our bodies as our selves we walk around dragging this excrement filled body like a refuse cart. So great is our delusion that we even decorate this refuse cart with fine clothes, jewelry, cosmetics and perfumes etc. In this manner we walk around in a drunken stupor eager for others to appreciate the pathetic grandeur of this sick existence and envious of the apparent majesty of our fellow persons equally deplorable existence. Only the Divine Grace of Arunachala Ramana can save us from this most pitiable of states.

11. In the next ten verses there is no distinction between Arunachala Ramana and Arunachala Shiva. One of Arunachala Shiva’s many forms is that of a wandering beggar or mendicant. He is also known as a Dancer dancing on the cremation grounds symbolizing the triumph of Self Awareness over “I am the Body” awareness. His decree has made the poet a spendthrift squandering his energies on worthless pieces of perishable materialism. The plea is for Divine Grace to intervene before the soul’s wealth is squandered.

12. The next 3 verses addresses the pitfall of sexual desire for the Sadhaka. So powerful is the instinctual force of this biological urge that it spares no one. Rather than pretend to be able to hold this tidal wave in check, the poet pleads for Arunachala Shiva’s Grace as only He can burn this immensely powerful vasana and spare the Sadhaka.

13. Kama is the God of Love in Hindu mythology. The story of Vishwamitra and Kama was that Sage Vishvamitra was immersed in Tapas to gain knowledge of the Self when he fell prey to the seductive beauty of the heavenly nymph Menaka assisted by Kama. On a separate occasion Shiva was immersed in deep Tapas and in His state had withdrawn all creative energy into Himself. The universe was beginning to atrophy due to the withdrawal of this sustaining power. The lesser gods and rishis had come together to seek a way out of this dilemma, however none dared approach Shiva and disturb his absorption in the Self. So they approached, Parvati, the young daughter of Himavan, who had emotionally pledged herself to Shiva and requested her to approach Shiva. Parvati walked up towards Shiva, her approach heralded by the perfume of the flowers in her hair and the tinkle of the anklets on the feet. Kama hiding behind Parvati let loose his flowery arrow of love on Shiva. The arrow struck Shiva’s chest and a ripple of desire spread in the vast Stillness of Shiva’s Consciousness. Immediately the full focus of the power of Shiva’s inward Gaze was directed on the source of the desire and in an instant Kama was reduced to ashes.

14. Maya is many splendoured like the iridescent colors of a peacock fan. But behind its seductive and chimaeric attractions lies the venomous fangs of the serpent of Samsara. The unwary disciple plays with Maya at the risk of his own doom. Arunachala Shiva is beseeched to come forth and reveal His Glory in Full rather than toy with the Sadhaka by displaying His Glory as a reflection in Maya.

15. Even though Kama was reduced to ashes by Shiva’s glance, the karma initiated by Kama’s arrow had to bear fruit and Shiva fell in love with Parvati and married her. The entire Universe was now vibrant with the creative sport of love that now thrilled within the Divine Couple. One day in a fit of playfulness Parvati snuck up behind Shiva and covered His Eyes sying “Guess Who?”. Instantly the Universe was plunged into darkness bereft of the Light from Shiva’s Eyes. Chaos reigned and catastrophe was everywhere. Shiva instantly opened his “Third Eye (the Eye of Knowledge)” and order was restored. However what was an instant on the timescale of Shiva was eons for the universe. Aghast at the destruction that Her mindless playfulness had caused, Parvati separated from Shiva to perform penance as atonement. One day as she was worshipping Shiva in form of a sand lingam on the banks of the river, waters suddenly began to rise and threatened to wash away the lingam. In desperation Parvati clung to her lingam in a fierce embrace and prayed for Shiva’s protection . Lo. The Lord came forth and the waters receded. Parvati’s penance was complete and she was re-united with Shiva to reside eternally as the left half of His body at Arunachala in the form known as “Ardhanaareeshwara”, the Half-Female Lord.

16. Arunachala Shiva is the Divine Commander-in-Chief, the General of Generals and Archer beyond compare. The destroyer of the Three cities of Tripura with a single arrow is asked how is it that the arrow shot in the poet’s direction did not strike true. Was it an accident or was it by design. This refers to the stage of spiritual evolution of the sadhaka or bhakta when he/she has realized the futility of the way of the ego and has firmly embarked on the quest for union with the Self. But despite this, old vasanas (habits and tendencies) still retain their hold and drag the bhakta back into the world. The agony of this stage is acute since the bhakta can no longer find any pleasure in old habits and yet is unable to refrain from being dragged into these pursuits.

17. The Unsuckled One is Apeethakuchambal, the consort of Arunachala Shiva. (Annamalai, Lord of Unnamulai).

18. Even though the entire world bows in fear before an Emperor, the newborn prince fearlessly plays with his father (the Emperor) and boldly pulls his beard and moustache with his tiny hands (much to the father’s delight). Arunachala Shiva is beseeched to consider the tone of familiarity in these complaints and laments as a father would his son’s complaint and not take offense.

20. Even when all other paths to union with the Self prove to be too arduous to the bhakta, there is still the simple path of Giripradakshina. Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi used to always insist that everyone perform this very unglamorous of all spiritual exercises. However He would also insist that the Giripradakshina is a pradakshina of the mind around the Self which is the Giri. Hence this act can be done at any physical location not just at Thiruvannamalai. Distance does not exist where Arunachala is concerned.

21. Another appellation for Shiva. Shiva has 5 faces. His Name is the 5 letters of the Panchakshari Mantra "Na" "Ma" "Chi" "Va" "Ya".

22. In the beginning is Pure undifferentiated Consciousness. Thoughts are a marvelous property of Consciousness and constantly rise like bubbles within a heated cauldron of water. Each bubble is dependent on an infinitesimally thin film of water to sustain its form. Similarly each thought is dependent on the sustaining light of Consciousness’s attention to exist. If attention is directed elsewhere then that thought instantly withers and disappears just as a bubble that is burst. Since the entire Universe is created out of the thoughts in Primal Consciousness thoughts are a fundamental principle of the Creativity of Consciousness. The statement of describing Being as a State of Thoughtlessness is true but carries within the pitfall that is the result of attempting to describe it by language. Everyone immediately assumes that thought is the enemy and has to be gotten rid off, thus creating an irresolvable paradox. It is the false ownership of thought that has to be gotten rid off. This accomplished, who cares whether though comes or goes.

23. Shiva is also known as a wandering mendicant with matted unkempt hair.

24. In the beginning is Desire in the form of a thought. The instant this thought arises it clamors for the Attention of Consciousness without which it’s existence is impossible. The minute it receives this Attention it instantly spawns a legion of progeny thoughts-identities each with the sole purpose of supporting, amplifying and fructifying the original parent thought-identity. Example: Thought-identity “I want a car”-à leads to a legion of thoughts-identities that supprot & amplify the parent thought-identity and operate to fulfill the parent thought-identity “I want a car”. Then one day the car is obtained and the parent thought-identity is fulfilled. Instantly the entire legion of progeny thoughts-identities as well as the parent thought-identity collapse since there is no longer any basis for their existence. AND IN THAT INSTANT OF COLLAPSE HAPPINESS IS EXPERIENCED AS PURE BEING WITHOUT ANY THOUGHT/IDENTITY.

25. The perpetual error is in thinking that it was the action of all the though-identities that preceded the collapse as the source of happiness and launching on a fresh round of desire-action-fulfillment cycle. This is equivalent to baking oneself in the noon-day sun in order to appreciate the coolness of the shade.

26. Varna & Ashrama are social stratifications in Hindu religious orthodoxy intended for progressive spiritual growth. Over centuries this has been corrupted to lock people into strata of power, privilege, servitude and bondage. A Brahmin is he who knows the Self (Brahman) else he is no better than a lowly Chandaala (sewage janitor)

27. “Ulluru” a Tamil word compose of “Ull or Within” + “Uru or Self” = Self Within. Also the Aboriginal name given to Ayer’s Rock in Australia which is considered by them as the “Center or Soul of the Universe”.

In the early years after arrival at Arunachala the young boy Venkataramana (later known as Ramana Maharishi) was found lost in a trance of Samadhi oblivious to the infestation of insects that had produced dreadful wounds on his thighs and buttocks. Guha is another appellation for Lord Muruga or Lord in the Heart-Cave (Guhesha). Ramana Maharishi was considered by some as Lord Muruga.

28. Vaachakar was a Saivaite saint (one of the 63 Nayanamaars or Saints of Shiva) who was famous for his divine prose and poetry in praise of Shiva. Murigunaar was the famous poet-disciple of Ramana Maharishi. Kannappan was also one of the 63 Nayanamaars and was an illiterate prince of a forest hunting tribe. One day on coming upon an abandoned Shiva lingam while hunting, Kannappan’s devotional spirit was awakened and he proceeded to worship the lingam. Lacking any utensils as well as any prior knowledge of appropriate custom, he proceeded to worship based on his pure devotional emotion. Proceeding down to the river he filled his mouth with water that he spat onto the lingam to wash it free of dust and dirt and then lovingly anointed it with the choicest pieces of meat carved from the animal that he had hunted.

29. Vaamana was an incarnation of Vishnu who confronted the pride and arrogance of a king by assuming the form of a dwarf and seeking the boon of as much land as could be spanned by his three strides. When the king laughingly obliged, Vaamana proceeded to span all the worlds with his first stride and the Heavens with his second.. Turning to the king he asked if he had any place left for the third stride. The king, by now realizing that the Lord Himself was before him, bowed and offered his own head (that is his own ego) for the third stride.

30. “Allagama” is the Mother of Ramana Maharishi whose Samadhi is at the foot of Arunachala in Ramanaashramam. In the Tamil month of Karthikai (November-December of the English calendar) a gigantic beacon is lit on the peak of Arunachala symbolizing the fire of Self Awareness.

31. Ravi = Sun; Chandra = Moon. Ravichandra Sharma is the formal Vedic name bestowed upon the boy elsewhere known to the world as Ravi Ramamoorthy Iyer.

Arunachala Living said...

Hi there:

So far have not been able to identify the above verses. It would be great to get full information on the above so I can post some of it on the Blog with helpful supporting information.

Meenakshi Ammal