Ramana ashram and Arunachala
Any visit to the abode of spiritual masters is always enriching and enlightening. Our visit to Sri Ramana ashram, Virupaksha cave and Skandashram on Arunachala hill at Thiruvannamalai was no exception. The first time I read about Ramana Maharshi was in the book “Secrets of Spiritual India” by Paul Brunton. In this book, Paul Brunton has described his personal experiences with spiritual masters and godmen in India. He has talked about Ramana Maharshi in glowing terms.
Friends suggest visit to Thiruvannamalai
When I was planning a trip to Chennai in February to attend the marriage of Bokka’s daughter (Bokka is our hostel mate from Delhi College of Engineering), my friend Ramana Rajgopaul suggested that we visit Thiruvannamalai as well. When I mentioned about this plan, S. Natrajan, another friend from Delhi hostel and a follower of Ramana Maharshi, got in touch and provided very useful information.
The words that would describe the feelings as we entered Ramana ashram premises were silence, peace and piousness. There were many devotees but no commotion. The darshan at the temple and the samadhi and everything else was happening in a very orderly manner. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in the abodes of spiritual masters where even after they are long gone, their teachings and legacy remains. The followers of these masters did not engage in noisy and pompous rituals. They went about the expression of their faith in a quiet and private way which would not trouble others as well as the environment.
Everyone who we talked to insisted that we go up Arunachala hill and visit the original abode of Ramana Maharshi as well as the cave where he mediated. Fortunately we started early in the morning and went up the mountain path from behind the ashram. Noticed that an NGO had taken efforts to maintain the vegetation on the hill.
The visit to Skandashram and Virupaksha Cave once again brought back the same feelings experienced while visiting the ashram. We did spend some time in meditation at the cave.
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