…geological finding of the core age of Arunachala as 3.8 billion years old….one of the oldest rock formations on earth….Hence the Holy Hill of Arunachala is the oldest natural shrine in the world.
For 54 years after His Enlightenment, Bhagavan Ramana was accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, to both rich and poor, mighty and humble, scholar and ignorant, even to animals and birds.
Of all the saints who adored Arunachala in many hymns, the child-like Jnanasambandar’s songs are remarkable.
….Major Chadwick..an ardent Western devotee…writes….
Bhagavan would wander out on to the Hill a few times a day, and if any attachment to anything on earth could be said of him, it was surely an attachment to the Hill. He loved it and said it was God Himself. He used to say that it was the top of the spiritual axis of the earth; there must be, he said, another mountain corresponding to Arunachala at exactly the opposite side of the globe, the corresponding pole of the spiritual axis…..
……Bhagavan’s face took on a special glow! Bhagavan told his devotees of the numerous miracles which took place on the Hill. He told them about his own life on the Hill, the various caves dotting the Hill, the greatness of the banyan tree on the northern slope of the highest peak, about the siddhas [Self-Realized astral beings] who dwell on the Hill and about the priceless herbs that grow on it that cure even incurable diseases
Another meaning of Arunachala is …. ‘A-runa-achala’ means the achala [hill] which makes runa [bondage] non-existent.
Sage Nandikeshvara tells Markandeya Rishi the assurance given by Lord Shiva:
By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation…..
The whole Hill is sacred. It is Shiva Himself. Just as we identify ourselves with a body, so Shiva has chosen to identify Himself with this Hill. Arunachala is pure Wisdom (jnana) in the form of a Hill. It is out of compassion to those who seek Him that He has chosen to reveal Himself in the form of a Hill visible to the eye. The seeker will obtain guidance and solace by staying near this Hill.
- Bhagavan Sri Ramana
Bhagavan quoted from the Arunachala Puranam, pointing to an important verse which says: ….If all the holy places are comparable to a body, holy Arunachala is like the face and the Lord of Sonagiri is like the eyes of the face.
…Even though the Hill is only 2682 feet high, it dominates the landscape….
Devotee Masthan Sahib …..When Masthan Swami died, Bhagavan gave instructions that he should be buried as a saint, using the rituals laid down in Tirumular’s Tirumandiram. These same rules were followed when Bhagavan and his mother were interred. Masthan’s samadhi shrine subsequently became something of a pilgrimage centre since many people reported that requests addressed to the samadhi were usually granted.
Bhagavan used to say ‘Kailasa is the abode of Shiva; Arunachala is Shiva Himself.’
To give verbal instructions it is necessary for the Guru to be in human form, but to have Satsang and subtle inner guidance He may be in any form. That is Guru Kripa. There is no difference between God, Guru, and the Self.
- ‘Guru and His Grace’ in Maharshi’s Gospel
The Arunachala Hill….is an isolated hill, about fifty miles (80 km) inland from the Bay of Bengal. ….a conspicuous object for many kilometres around. The Arunachala Hill is referred to as the oldest hill on Earth, thus older than the Himalayas, and is regarded as the heart of the earth owing to its sanctity. The Deccan plateau, particularly the Eastern Ghats, is known to be one of the oldest lands on earth. ……In Arunachala, the rock is found to be 2.55 billion years old.
It would appear that among other mountainous belts, the Deccan Plateau in Southern India including Tiruvannamalai is one of the areas of little or no tectonic activity, i.e. seismological; these belts have not changed their characteristics drastically over a long period of time. ……This Hill is of igneous rock….
The Western seeker Paul Brunton….writes ……
A geologist friend of mine from America who visited me lately proclaimed Arunachala to have been thrown up by the earth under the stress of some violent volcanic eruption in the dim ages before even the coal-bearing strata were formed. In fact, he dated this rocky mass of granite back to the earliest epoch of the history of our planet’s crust, that epoch which long preceded the vast sedimentary formations in which fossil records of plants and animals have been preserved. It existed long before gigantic saurian of the prehistoric world moved their ungainly forms through the primeval forests that covered our early earth. He went even further and made it contemporaneous with the formation of the very crust of the earth itself. Arunachala, he asserted, was almost as hoary and as ancient as our planetary home itself…..
It would appear that Bhagavan was quite certain about a corresponding Holy hill exactly on the side opposite Arunachala, on the other side of the globe. The following extract from a book by Sadhu Arunachala (Major A. W. Chadwick) .....Chadwick writes …
Bhagavan used to say that Arunachala was the top of the spiritual axis of the earth. He said ‘There must be another mountain corresponding to Arunachala at exactly the opposite side of the globe, the corresponding pole of the spiritual axis.’ So certain was He of this, that one evening He made me fetch an atlas and see if this was not correct. I found, according to the atlas, the exact opposite point came in the sea about a hundred miles off the coast of Peru. He seemed doubtful about this. I pointed out that there might be some island at this spot or a mountain under the sea…..
……there is a sacred mountain at the other end of the axis in Peru, South America. The Inca Indians worshipped this mountain and established a very sacred spiritual city there called Machu Picchu.
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi always insisted that the Holy Hill of Arunachala was the spiritual axis of the world, even in a physical sense …..So it was his strong view that another Holy Hill existed diagonally across the globe ……This itself was remarkable since He normally did not take very rigid positions except on matters concerning the Self and the Heart …..it appears that Bhagavan may not have supported the conclusion of the research done by Major Chadwick (that an underwater mountain may be a candidate), since He seemed convinced that a land-based mountain existed at the other end of this ‘spiritual axis’.
Machu Pichu is about 100 miles away from the exact ‘opposite’ pole of the spiritual axis of the earth. ….The Incas worshipped the Machu Picchu Mountain itself as sacred ….the Divine Mother is worshipped as Goddess of the Universe in both cultures. In Machu Picchu the Godess of the Universe is worshipped as ‘Paachamama’, the manifestation of the Divine Mother, a name that bears a striking similarity to the name ‘Pachaiamman’ used for Parvathi in South Indian shrines. (In the early 1990s, during a plague, Bhagavan Ramana spent many months at the Pachaiamman Temple at the foot of the Hill, outside the town of Tiruvannamalai. )