bharatayatra March 2013

You go, when he calls.....
a visit to Ramanashram and Arunachala Shiva temple
at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, for Mahashivaratri, march 2013
An excerpt from "Who am I?" as spoken by Shri Ramana Maharshi -
Devotee: What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?

Maharshi: That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I', 'I', one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and the third.

- From - "Naan Yaar (Who am I?)"

[From -]

The call came sometime in February from friends in Hyderabad inviting me to visit Tiruvannamalai with them and to visit Shri Ramanashram, sometime in the first weekend of March. I checked out the calendar, and tried to explore if we could go on the second weekend... and surprise of delightful surprises, it was the weekend of a magical series of days. Saturday of Shani pradosham, followed by a quiet Sunday that would see the beginning of Mahashivaratri, and through the midnight to the other day to enter Monday, that would excitingly be, Somavati Mahashivaratri. Such a coincidence of days would be hard to meet up with later, and I enquired with my friends, if the Mahashivaratri weekend would be better. Naturally, as excited at the opportunity as I was, they agreed.

On 9 March, I reached Chennai airport and met up with Laxmi Narayana Rao alias Ravi and Ramana Rao Sistla and we drove down to Tiruvannamalai via Dindivanam. It took us about 4 hours and plus, considering the excellent road and the splendid vehicle and driver. We drove non-stop, except for a coffee stop enroute. It was just the beginning of four exciting days and none could be better. A descriptor of these four days would be sufficient for many pages of bharatayatra. Will write separately.

The aspect of the "You go, when he calls..." came about because I was seeking information and solace in Arunachala Shiva over the previous five years or more, and in Shri Ramana Maharshi over the previous four years. Several aspects came about. Somebody would speak about Arunachala Shiva and /or Shri Ramana Maharshi and it would set about some levels of excitement within me. I knew that there was some pull, and there was something that would set up a higher level of happiness when I would read about Tiruvannamalai or about Ramanashram.

Several occasions came about, or journeys nearabout. I traveled to Kanchipuram and stayed for a number of days, without being able to go ahead to Tiruvannamalai. Similarly, I traveled to Kanya Kumari and Rameswaram and Madurai and returned by train. I could have easily gone to Tiruvannamalai and returned to Chennai. But, it was not to be.

The book, "Who am I?" was following me all about. Different people, different book stores and web pages started jumping up in front of me. Pritvi, my daughter, brought me one of the earliest copies, with the conviction that either I would read it sincerely, or as she may have presumed, that I needed the book desperately. Whatever, I grabbed at it eagerly. Mr. G. S. Ayyappan, Dr. K. Narayanan and others came about and strengthened my resolve.

But, it was finally to be a great meeting of friends in Navi Mumbai on 7 January 2013, with Dr. Arvind Jha, Dr. Neetin Desai, Dr. Rakesh Singh, Dr. Krishnat Yadav, Dr. Caesar Sengupta, Neerav Majithia and others that I met Laxmi Narayan Rao (Ravi) and Ramana Rao Sistla from Hyderabad. It was a meeting, as other meetings go, and there was nothing for us to get excited about. Later, we broke for going ahead to another place for snacks and tea. As I would do always, I took out my books on Rudra and the small pocket copy of "Who Am I?" and distributed them. Both, Ravi and Ramana, were thrilled and that was it, I thought. They were surprised to know that I had never been to Tiruvannamalai.

And, thereabout, came the telephone call in February 2013 itself. In one month. And we agreed to meet and travel and share in the happiness. Who are we, or  who am I, to challenge the call? If he calls, you go..."

Everything was magical after that. The visits to Ramanashram, barefoot trek to Skandashram and Virupaksha Cave, visits-puja-darshan and offerings to Arunachala Shiva at Tiruvannamalai temple, the 15 kms trek - Girivalam - around the sacred Arunachala, and the meetings and books and discussions at Shri Ramana Ashram. He called, and therefore, we are.... 

With Anna Hazare and Praveen Pardeshi at the Training of Trainers Workshop for Joint Forest Management

Shree Kshetra Khandoba Devasthan, Paal, Satara District

Shree Narayani Dham, Lonavala

No comments:

Post a Comment