Saturday, December 6, 2008

Arunachala Siva and binoculars

Legend has it that on the great Northern slope of Arunachala,
underneath a magnificent banyan tree, near an inaccessible rock,
Arunachala Siva sits.

Yes, it is true. Call him by whatever name you want.

God sits on the Mountain Arunachala on the northern side of the
slope underneath a banyan tree.

Ramana Maharshi discovered the tree in his wanderings on the hill
but could not go near it for he was bit by a swarm of hornets and
had to return back. On his death people all over Arunachala saw a
magnificent light emanate from the ashram and go and join itself in
the Northern slope of the Hill.

Many people have tried to find 'SIVA' and the legendary vada valai
vriksham (The Great Banyan Tree)but have failed miserably during the

I wondered if 'SIVA' could be seen with modern gadgets like the
powerful binoculars that I have for the location of the Tree is so
inaccessible that none have been able to reach that far except for

As I circumbulated the hill and finally reached the place from where
one, if blessed, could see the Great God on the northern slope. This
area of the pradakshina path is called Ramana Bridge. It is from
here that Ramana used to point out the exact location of the Tree.

I scanned the rugged slope interpersed with hundereds of trees,
boulders, ravines and deep gorges. I looked for a great tree, a flat
rock and a resplendant Siva. But try as I might I could not
see 'SIVA'.

A local who was guiding us smiled and said " Sir, not everyone can
see Siva. You have to be blessed for that."

Not giving up I took out my terrestrial telescope and scanned the
hill. I saw trees jutting out from rocky crevices and hidden caves.
I saw birds flying in the far distance and the early morning sun
decorating the leaves of the trees with a magnificent splendor.

But I did not see Siva.

It was then that I remembered a saying

"Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala. The
mystery of the Hill is the mystery of the Self."

To search for Siva, the binoculars has to be turned within.

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