Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arunachala Guru

The Guru is God

I would like to share with you all an incident that happened today when I visited my guru Sri Nannagaru who is a well known devotee of Ramana and a jnani.

At the end of a fifteen minute interaction when it was time to go I saluted him and said " I consider you as God, my guru."

The saint smiled lightly and said "Cherish that emotion and protect it diligently." His eyes seemed to say that that one emotion was enough for my sadhana.

I instantly remembered Bhagwan's views that verily the Guru is God and the verbal confirmation of the same emotion by my living guru made me feel awe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arunachala Dream

I had a dream about Arunachala just before I saw it for the first time last year.

It was a surreal dream.

Here is a mail that I had sent to one of my friends about my longing for Arunachala.

"hi xx,

i believe strongly that a person who has seen the hill from close
quarters and has the grace to do girivalam is a highly evolved being
in the cosmic sphere.

This hill has no religion, no caste, no creed.

It is just a magnetic hill which attracts souls, effaces their karma
and perfuses them with divinity. The supreme divine knowledge that
cannot be got even by a crore of births is made attainable by the
gracious glance of the hill.

i long for the day when my eyes will set my eyes on this magnificent
mountain of light. I have never seen it but it has occupied my
conciousness for the past few months now and decorates my desktop, my
cellphone screensaver. i have not asked anything from the hill. my
devotion to it is mysterious. it just came and captured my mind when i
first glanced at its photo in a book.

i have dreamt of it, i have smelled the flowers which grow on its
slopes, i have felt the dampness of mysterious streams which punctuate
its myriad caves, i have rolled on its dust filled mountain paths and
have stood on its peak one with the cosmos.

after the dream i have never been the same.

panting and waiting for the time i will lay my eyes on the mounatin of


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Arunachala on the Head of Ramana

Arunachala Darshan 32

Grasshopper commented about the Mountain's sillhoutte visible on Bhagawan's head in a previous post and that made me remark that I would be posting about those darshans soon.

So here is the first darshan of Arunachala on the head of Sri Bhagawan.

The first photo is of Bhagwan in the early years.

The next is the close up of Bhagwan's hairline with Arunachala resembling the Elephant or Ganesha.

The third is a picture taken by Mr Dev Gogoi which highlights the same contour.

More Darshans to follow!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arunachala Geology

The Age of the Mountain

Recently an anonymous visitor to the blog asked me whether any scientific research was conducted on the age of Arunachala. I promised him/her that I would soon respond with a post and this a fulfillment of the same.

To first understand the age of Arunachala we should first know the basic geological concepts according to contemporary knowledge.

Roughly about 4.6 billion years ago a cloud of interstellar dust which was revolving around its own axis forming a rough sphere, globbed together to form what we know as Earth today. The formation of the Solar System too followed th same procedure but was perhaps a mere 0.2 to 0.1 billion years before the formation of the Earth.

The primitive Earth thus formed was divided into the early eons of the Hadean and the Archean.

The Hadean period is the first period where Earth was mostly molten, but there was rock formation and this is been recently proved in the Isua Greenstone Belt in the Greenlands where the rock dates about 4.4 to 3.8 billion years. Similar structures of rocks could be seen in other places like Jack Hills region of Western Australia and a few other places.

This is how a Hadean Landscape would have looked like at 4.4 to 3.8 billion years ago.

These rocks of the Hadean period represent the most primitive crust of the Earth. Any new rock formations or sediment depositions would have occured on this primitive crust only.

As the Earth cooled, the rocks became more bigger, hills formed, mountains formed and slowly life began to appear as we know it in a few million years.

Hence in contemporary geology if we can identify stones or sediment formations that are thought to have occured during the Hadean or the following Archean period we will know that we are dealing with an ancient piece of nature.

Coming to Arunachala, an unknown American geologist is famed to have said "Arunachala should 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. This rocky mass of granite may be dated back to the earliest epoch of the history of our planet's crust, that epoch which long preceded the vast sedimentary formation in which fossil records of plants and animals have been preserved. It existed long before the gigantic saurians of the pre-historic world moved their ungainly forms through the primeval forests that covered our early earth. It was contemporaneous with the formation of the very crust of earth itself. Arunachala was almost as hoary and as ancient as our planetary home itself"

From this we can place his analysis to mean that Arunachala was perhaps 'born' in the Hadean/Archean period which ranges from 4.4 to 3-8 billion years.

Geological experiments in and around Tiuvannamalai have revealed that the rock (charnokite) which makes up Arunachala covering is older than 3.5 billion years old ( Geological Survey of India) and

Banded Iron formations around Tiruvannamalai area are thought to be about 3 billion years old.

(Mineralogy and chemistry of banded iron formations (BIF) of Tiruvannamalai area, Tamil Nadu,Journal of Earth System Science,Volume 98, Number 2 / July, 1989.)

It is thus evident that even scientific conclusions do place Arunachala Age to be beyond 3.5 billion years and perhaps the range would be 4.4 to 3.5 billion years old.

In lay man's terms, Arunachala can be as old as the Earth itself!

But Arunachala is the unborn.

How can the Source have an Age? How can time limit the Mountain from where time was born?

I have actually modelled a fiction novel around this concept and would request my readers to bear me with patience till the book comes out.

I am sure once anyone reads the Theory they will not be dissapointed.

So for the true Age of Arunachala...please bear with me in patience for some time.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Arunachala Richard: The Explorer of Arunachala

The man who plays in the bosom of Arunachala

Last year when the pull of Arunachala was growing on me and it was just a matter of time before my eyes would behold the sweet and magnificent Hill for the first time that I stumbled upon a blog during my websearch for Arunachala.

The blog was richardarunachala.wordpress.com and was maintained by a couple living in Tiruvannamalai.

The couple, Richard and Carol, who had left their previous memories and life back in the West and had come to settle down for good in the bosom of Arunachala, gave such beautiful descriptions of Arunachala in the blog that it increased my want to see the Hill much more.

The more I read into the blog the more was I charmed by the simple observations and the plain heartedness in the postings. I was also very grateful for the blog in showcasing unknown beautiful paths and photos of Arunachala. I wanted to know about this man who approached Arunachala with such ease and love.

Richard, a sixty plus ardent devotee of Arunachala, was a practitioner of the Zen ( Ch'an ) Buddhism for nearly twenty five years. His experiences were peaceful and nice but never too deep. It was then that he was introduced by his spiritual teacher Nome of the Society for Abidance in Truth to Ramana. Though at first Richard could not understand what Advaita philosophy meant, he knew in his heart that it was the Truth.

A couple of years of practice gave birth in him an idea to experience the Truth the way Ramana and Nome had experienced. This gave birth to regular Self Enquiry and meditations during the Brahma Kalam ( The Time of God ) from about 4.00 AM. This period was the beginning of a new chapter for him for he felt that his real spiritual practice began from here and all previous endeavors were just preparatory for the same.

Years later...the call from Arunachala came.

"If you hear the call from Arunachala...you must go....for it is the most Silent place in the cosmos" said Poonja Papaji.

Richard and his wife Carol ( who had always wanted to visit Arunachala ) signed up with a group accompanying Nome to come to Tiruvannamalai. On arriving they decided to stay in Guest House in the town rather than with the group in Ramanaashram. From the rooftop of the Guest House Richard communed in Silence wih Arunachala.

On the third day he came down the steps with a thoughtful mood. He looked at his wife and said "We could stay here"

And those simple words were the beginning of an entirely new chapter in Richard and Carol's life.

Richard soon retired from active service in 2007, set up an account at a
California office of State Bank of India - so fund transfers to India
would be easy and spent three painful months of real work to dispose a lifetime of items, books etc.

And then Richard and Carol came to Arunachala.

Richard says "When we got here, I found I was very interested in getting to know more about Arunachala, and several times each week, found myself on the Inner Path, walking round the hill, and wondering what was up all the side paths I kept seeing everywhere."

Initially Richard began to note his experiences of Arunachala in a friend's blog luthar.com but soon realized that he needed a blog which would exclusively deal with this and so richardarunachala.wordpress.com was born.

Within a year the blog which talks of the couple's experiences averages a whooping 5000 hits per month. And it is still going strong.

When I think of this couple and their enthusiasm and love in exploring Arunachala I am reminded of two children playing in the bosom of Shiva. It is like what children do on their Father's lap. It shows a certain amount of Love, Closeness and Ease. I can picture in my mind's eye Arunachala smiling at them with Love and unravelling
It's many secrets so that they can shower it on common people like me.

In Richard's own words

quote "I have found that many love Arunachala, and seeing photos of Arunachala reminds them of the love that is in their heart. I have also found that most do not
use the inner path, and when they start going on it, they generally love the peace they find on this route of the mountain. I have found that the appetite for pictures of Arunachala is great, almost like the interest of new parents in photos of their baby and child. So I use the blog to encourage people to come to the Inner Path. Then when they are at the Inner Path, so step off it and explore for themselves some of the wonderful places you can easily get to. There are so many places around the hill that seem filled with peace. I hope that the blog draws the few that are interested in such peace to these places.

When I started this, there was little focus. Since I have started this exploration and writing about the exploration, I have found that others are not writing about the Inner Path and other places on Arunachala. So there is a particular need and interest in this material. By this exploration and writing a feel that I am serving Arunachala. And this service is a joy. And after one year of exploration, I now have more places, not fewer places, to explore next.

The exploration is practice, walking with quite mind, focused on Existence. The exploration is joy, finding out more about Arunachala, which is a love or both myself and my wife. The exploration (and writing about it) is also a sharing of a spiritual love with others who feel the same. This is such a blessing." unquote

Arunachala is richer in my mind today because of many contributions of various people I have come across on the internet and in Tiruvannamalai.

Of them Richard and Carol rank among the first and among the best.

Arunachala Richard and Carol

Om Arunachala Namaha