These are verses that Bhagavan either composed on Arunachala or translated from Arunachala Mahatmyam , the Sanskrit text that narrates the stories about the gods and sages who have been associated with the mountain. I have added some supplementary quotations myself after three of the verses. These additions are in italics. Touching [His] Holy Feet on [our] eyes, let us meditate in the heart upon Maha Guru Ramana Murti, the formless [Reality] who assumed a [human] form with jnana and grace as His two eyes and who, being a refuge to those who come to him desiring to know what is the Reality, dispels the delusion of ignorance of [His] devotees. It does not matter if you have not understood the final import of the peerless four Vedas ; it does not matter if you have not practised any of the four yogas glorified by the people of the world; it does not matter if you have not worshipped Lord Vishnu or Lord Siva; it does not matter if you have not praised Devi, Ganapati or Subramanya.
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By seeing Chidambaram, by being born, in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation. The supreme knowledge Self-knowledge , the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar.
This is the fifth of the seven verses that Sri Bhagavan selected from the Arunachala Mahatmyam and translated into Tamil. Such is the assurance given by Lord Siva in the Arunachala Mahatmyam about the power of the mere thought of Arunachala, and this assurance has received striking confirmation from the life and teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.
And this thought of Arunachala so worked in his mind that at the age of sixteen a great fear of death arose in him and turned his mind Selfwards to drown forever in its source.
In his writings Sri Bhagavan has repeatedly confirmed the mysterious power that the thought of Arunachala has over the mind. In his Tamil Collected Works , under the picture of Arunachala, there is a verse that can be considered as his dhyana sloka verse of contemplation upon his Sadguru , Arunachala Siva.
Can the net of your grace ever fail? But only in the tenth verse of Sri Arunachala Patikam does Sri Bhagavan actually reveal how the thought of Arunachala works in the mind to root out the ego. In this verse he sings:. I have seen a wonder, a magnetic hill that forcibly attracts the soul. Arresting the activities of the soul who thinks of it even once, drawing it to face itself, the One, making it thus motionless like itself, it feeds upon that sweet [pure and ripened] soul.
What a wonder is this! O souls, be saved by thinking of this great Arunagiri, which shines in the mind as the destroyer of the soul [the ego].
Thus in this verse Sri Bhagavan reveals how the thought of Arunachala works within the mind to arrest its activities, to attract its attention towards Self and thereby to make it still. In other words, Arunachala is truly the non-dual reality that transcends time, space, name and form.
Hence, many of the verses in The Five Hymns to Arunachala , being very mystic in nature, can well be interpreted as applying to the nameless and formless Self, rather than to the name and form of Arunachala. In Talks , talk no. In order to understand more fully the importance that Sri Bhagavan attached to the name and form of this hill, it is necessary for us to take a broad view of his teachings.
That is, they will also be forms. Even if we think that God is formless, that very thought about God itself is a form — a mere mental conception. The futility of trying to conceive God as being formless when we are unable to know ourself as the formless Self, was well illustrated by a dialogue that Sri Bhagavan once had with some Muslims.
It is recorded on p. Being the perfect spiritual Master that he was, Sri Bhagavan knew well how important and necessary is the form of God for the human mind, which is ever attached to forms.
And from his own personal experience he knew the unique power of the form of Arunachala, a power that cannot be found in such abundance in any other form of God, namely the power to turn the mind towards Self and thereby to root out the ego. Though Arunachala appears outwardly as a hill of mere insentient rock, the true devotee understands it to be the all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful Supreme Lord, who is guiding him both from within and without at every step and turn of life, leading him steadily and surely towards the goal of egolessness.
Of all the names of God, the name dearest to the heart of Sri Bhagavan was Arunachala. Who can understand your greatness? There are many incidents in the life of Sri Bhagavan that illustrate his great love for the divine name Arunachala, but perhaps the most striking occurred during his last moments. About twenty-five minutes before he left his body, the assembled devotees began to chant Aksharamanamalai.
Hearing the name of his beloved Arunachala, Sri Bhagavan opened his eyes, which shone with love, and tears of ecstasy rolled down his cheeks. Though Sri Bhagavan never gave mantra diksha nor formally accepted anyone as his disciple, many devotees believe that Arunachala is the nama -mantra that he has bestowed upon the whole world. When a Guru formally gives a mantra to his disciple, he explains to him the meaning and significance of each letter of the mantra and tells him the fruit to be gained by meditating upon that mantra.
In the same manner, in the second verse of Sri Arunachala Navamanimalai Sri Bhagavan has explained the meaning of each syllable in the name Arunachala and he has declared that mere thought of this name will bestow liberation.
From this we can infer that Arunachala is the jnana-panchakshari , the five-syllable mantra that bestows jnana. Moreover, tradition tells us that when a mantra is given by a jnani and when he explains the significance of each syllable of that mantra, he is actually putting his own power into that mantra. Therefore, if any devotees of Sri Bhagavan wish to have a mantra, they can very well, take Arunachala to be the mantra openly given to them by him.
The power of the name Arunachala was once directly confirmed by Sri Bhagavan. Therefore, graciously bestow upon be the boon of death in Kasi. Bhagavan then turned to the revolving bookcase by his side and took out a book, probably the Arunachala Mahatmyam. After reading out a few other portions of this book that emphasized the unique greatness and power of Arunachala, Sri Bhagavan finally laid it aside and explained to the devotee that not everyone can see Chidambaram, not everyone can be born in Tiruvarur, and not everyone can die in Kasi, but anyone and everyone can think of Arunachala from wherever they may be, and thereby they will surely attain liberation.
From this incident we can understand how unhesitatingly Sri Bhagavan encouraged devotees to have absolute faith in Arunachala. If devotees of a sceptical frame of mind came to him and asked him how mere thought of Arunachala could bestow liberation, he used to explain the allegorical significance of this saying, since that alone would satisfy their mind.
An example of this can be found in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi , talk no. But if devotees came to him with simple, child-like faith, he would strengthen their faith and confirm the literal meaning of this saying, since he knew from personal experience the great power of the name and form of Arunachala.
In India there are countless holy places kshetras that are sacred to Lord Siva or to some other name and form of God, and many of them are more well-known and popular than Arunachala. Yet there is a verse in the Arunachala Mahatmyam, which has been selected and translated into Tamil by Sri Bhagavan, that says:. Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself!
It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala. Whenever Sri Bhagavan asked about the special sanctity of Arunachala, he used to explain that other holy places such as Kailas, Kasi and Chidambaram are sacred because they are the abodes of Lord Siva whereas Arunachala is Lord Siva himself. See Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi , talk no. However, as the above verse of Arunachala Mahatmyam says, Arunachala is a secret kshetra.
Because it is this place that bestows jnana and because most people have so many other desires and do not truly want jnana , Arunachala has always remained comparatively little known. But to those few who seek jnana , Arunachala always makes itself known through some means or other. The unique sanctity and power of Arunachala -kshetra was once confirmed by an incident that happened in the life of Sri Bhagavan.
Because of his great love for Sri Bhagavan, a certain devotee wanted to take him to his native place, Chidambaram. But rather than directly ask Sri Bhagavan to come to Chidambaram, he began to ask him if he had ever been to see Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram Temple.
When Sri Bhagavan replied that he had not, the devotee began to describe the greatness of Chidambaram, saying that it was the most sacred Siva- kshetra in South India, that so many saints and sages had lived there and had sung in praise of Lord Nataraja, and so on and so forth. Sri Bhagavan listened to all he said with patient interest, but showed no signs of wanting to visit Chidambaram.
Since the four elements, earth, water, air and fire, finally have to merge in space, space is the principal element. Though Arunachala is generally considered to be one of the panchabhuta-lingams , Sri Bhagavan used to point out that It is truly not a lingam of ordinary fire, which is one among the five gross elements, but is a lingam of the fire of knowledge jnanagni , the fire that burns the ego to destruction.
Since the five elements are thus only the creations of Sakti, she is superior to all of them. Therefore, more important than the place where the elements merge, is the place where Sakti herself merges. Because Sakti is dancing in Chidambaram, Lord Siva has to dance before her and thereby make her become motionless. But in Arunachala Lord Siva remains ever motionless achala , and hence Sakti automatically and effortlessly merges in him through great love.
Therefore, Arunachala shines as the foremost and most powerful kshetra , because here Sakti, who has seemingly created all this manifold appearance, herself merges into the Lord. So for those mature aspirants who seek to put an end to the false appearance of duality, the most powerful help is to be found only in Arunachala- kshetra.
Subsequently, on 24th June , Sri Bhagavan summarized this reply of his in the form of a verse, which later became the first verse of Sri Arunachala Navamanimalai.
In this verse he says:. Though he is truly motionless by nature, in the court [of Chidambaram] Lord Siva dances before Sakti, thereby making her motionless. But know that [in Tiruvannamalai] Lord Arunachala shines triumphant, that Sakti having merged in his motionless form. First published in The Mountain Path , , pp. In this verse he sings: I have seen a wonder, a magnetic hill that forcibly attracts the soul.
Dr Hafiz Syed In Talks , talk no. The Unique Sanctity of Arunachala In India there are countless holy places kshetras that are sacred to Lord Siva or to some other name and form of God, and many of them are more well-known and popular than Arunachala. Yet there is a verse in the Arunachala Mahatmyam, which has been selected and translated into Tamil by Sri Bhagavan, that says: Arunachala is truly the holy place.
In this verse he says: Though he is truly motionless by nature, in the court [of Chidambaram] Lord Siva dances before Sakti, thereby making her motionless.
Arunachala is the greatest place of all holy places! It is more glorious than all other holy places! Know that it is the Heart Center of the earth. It is a holy place filled with secrets. In that holy place, the Self abides as the resplendent shining hill called Arunachala!
By seeing Chidambaram, by being born, in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation. The supreme knowledge Self-knowledge , the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar. This is the fifth of the seven verses that Sri Bhagavan selected from the Arunachala Mahatmyam and translated into Tamil. Such is the assurance given by Lord Siva in the Arunachala Mahatmyam about the power of the mere thought of Arunachala, and this assurance has received striking confirmation from the life and teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. And this thought of Arunachala so worked in his mind that at the age of sixteen a great fear of death arose in him and turned his mind Selfwards to drown forever in its source.
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