Monday, September 19, 2011

From ‘My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana’ by A Devaraja Mudaliar

I said to Bhagavan on one occasion: “You know, Bhagavan, this is not unusual with our people whenever they are in doubt about any course of action, to cast lots before their Gods and get guidance. Will this sort of thing work?”

Bhagavan was pleased to say, “Yes. It will work if they have faith”.

Bhagavan used sometimes to refer to Thevarams also ……. He had reverence for all the three Thevaram saints and admiration for their songs …… Bhagavan considered Thirujnana Sambandar the most powerful manifestation of God’s grace, amongst these three famous saints.

“For everybody it is good to make circuit of the hill [Arunachala]. It does not even matter whether one has faith in this Pradakshina or not, just as fire will burn all who touch it whether they believe it will or not, so the hill will do good to all those who go round it.”

On one occasion when Bhagavan was going round the hill, he saw some luminous bodies moving round with him at about a man’s height from the ground. On another occasion he went into the temple at Adi Annamalai on the way round the hill and heard the Sama Veda being chanted near the inner shrine. I asked Bhagavan whether those who accompanied him on those two occasions saw the lights or heard the sounds, and he said, “No”. It is widely believed that Siddha Purushas (sages with supernatural powers) live on Arunachala and sometimes go round the hill …..

When I consulted Bhagavan, he was pleased to tell me that the Jnani was the highest manifestation of Brahman, that even Avatars would come only after Jnanis, and that after Avatars would come famous idols such as those at Tirupathi, Benaras, Rameshwaram and other holy shrines. In this connection also Bhagavan quoted to me the stanza …. “Not even Brahma, Vishnu or Siva can be regarded as a Jnani’s equal. Who then can be spoken of as his equal?”

I know beyond doubt, from various small things I observed in Bhagavan’s speech and conduct during my long and intimate contact with him, that he was definitely of opinion that, except for those who, like himself, have transcended all limitations or for those who have given up their Varnashrama dharma (social status) and become Sannyasis, it was good to observe caste rules and restrictions. …….. he would not be drawn into discussions on such subjects but would remain silent if people (especially journalists or social reformers or people who might wish to use his name in any political or social activity) came to interview him and pressed him for his views. He was interested only to instruct those who would follow his guidance, and would not get involved in general discussions.

It is also true that Bhagavan did not approve of non-Brahmins reciting the Vedas. …… At the same time, it is also true that all devotees, including non-Brahmins and non-Hindus, used to sit in the hall during the daily recitation of the Vedas and listen to them, and Bhagavan certainly approved of this, although this also is contrary to strict orthodoxy.

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