Monday,December 18 2017

 Sri Ramanasramam

Renunciation does not imply apparent divesting of costumes, family ties, home, etc., but
renunciation of desires and attachment.
-- Ramana Maharshi

The main organisation related to sage Sri. Ramana Maharshi is Sri Ramanasramam, the ashram at the foot of the holy mountain Arunachala at Tiruvannamalai in India , where he lived for just over fifty four years. The mountain is believed by his followers to be the oldest and holiest place on Earth, itself capable of bringing about self-realisation to one who stays there. As Sri. Ramana has said “Who is the seer? When I sought within I watched the disappearance of the seer and what survived it. No thought of ‘I saw’ arose, so how could the thought ‘I did not see’ arise? Who has the power to convey this in words when even Thou couldst do so in ancient days by silence only (appearing as Dakshinamurti)? Only to convey by silence Thy State Thou standest as a Hill shining from heaven to earth.”

Arunachala is one of the oldest and most sacred of all India ’s holy places. Sage Sri. Ramana Maharshi declared that it is the heart of the Earth, the spiritual centre of the world. The Skanda Purana an ancient Indian scripture declares: “That is the holy place. Of all, Arunachala is the most sacred. It is the heart of the world. Know it to be the secret and sacred Heart-centre of Siva.” Many Saints have lived there, merging their sanctity with that of the hill. It is said, and confirmed by Sri Ramana, that to this day Siddhas (Sages with supernatural powers) dwell in its caves, whether with physical bodies or not, and some are said to have seen them as lights moving about the hill at night.

 Sri. Ramana arrived at Tiruvannamalai on 1st September 1896. In 1899 he moved into a cave on the hill itself and thereafter he stayed in one cave or another until 1922 when he moved down to the foot of the hill. There the present Ashram grew up, where he spent the remaining years of his life on Earth. The cave to which Sri Ramana went first and in which he stayed longest is on the eastern slope. It is called Virupaksha after a Saint who dwelt and was buried there, probably in the sixteenth century. It is curiously shaped to resemble the sacred monosyllable OM, the tomb being in the inner recess, and it is said that the very sound OM can be heard within.

When the followers of Sri. Ramana followed him down to his mother’s samadhi (grave) at the foot of the Hill in December 1922 there was only a single thatched shed for Ashram. Through the ensuing years the numbers grew, donations came in and regular Ashram premises were erected — the hall where Sri Ramana sat, the office and bookshop, the dining hall and kitchen, the cowshed, the post office, the dispensary, the guest-room for male visitors (really not a room but a large dormitory for such as wished to stay some days at the Ashram), a couple of small bungalows for guests who made a longer stay — all single-storey buildings whitewashed on the outside in Indian fashion. Immediately to the west of the Ashram is a large square tank with stone steps leading down to the water from all four sides. South of the Ashram the bus road from Tiruvannamalai to Bangalore runs east and west, the road which bifurcates farther west and swings round to circle the Hill. The fronds of coconut palms screen the Ashram buildings and beyond them, imminent, majestic, rises the Hill.

Ancient tradition has it that Arunachala Hill is wish fulfilling and pilgrims have gone to it through the centuries with prayers for boons; but those who feel its peace more deeply do not wish, for the way of Arunachala is the way of Sri. Ramana that sets one free from wishes and that is the great fulfilment. The grace at Arunachala is very potent, vibrant, searching and intimate in its effect. Those who have visited the holy Hill have found a lightness and a happiness in the very air of Tiruvannamalai, an immaculate peace beyond the rough handling of destiny, an immortal wealth despite their loss.

There is great beauty and potency in a visit to Tiruvannamalai. Many have compared it to the recharging of their spiritual battery and the comparison is no less apt now than it used to be. Although Sri. Ramana goes out to all who invoke him; he is no less gracious now than formerly to those who make the effort to come to him at the Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. One feels there that he is pouring out an abundance of grace of which there are all too few recipients.

 “I am not going away,” sage Sri Ramana Maharshi said. “Where could I go? I am here.” He is here at Tiruvannamalai, here in the hearts of his devotees. He is the Awareness, the Inner Guru, the Self that guides to the Self.

For further information click on the following link to visit the Ashrams website-

http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/

Or the Ashram may be contacted at the following e-mail address

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