Thiruvannamalai Arunachelswar Temple, Giri Valam (Parikrama of the holy mountain of Lord Shiva) and Ramana Maharishi Ashram are the places you must visit If you are seeker or even want to learn about the Eastern philosophy or Spirituality.
The town of Tiruvannamalai is 120 miles southwest of Chennai. It is situated on the Villupuram and connected by Bus, Train and any one can also go in cab. After passing beneath the arch which announces the name of the Ashram, a large open courtyard flanked by shady trees, one of which is a 400 year old Iluppai tree. Above him to the left arise two towers in the traditional Dravidian style of temple architecture. One surmounts the Matrubhuteswara Shrine, erected over the tomb of Sri Maharshi’s mother, and the other is over the New Hall.
On entering the New Hall, you see a life-sized statue of Sri Maharshi and a large yogasana, or couch, beautifully carved from a single stone and polished to look like black marble.Sri Maharshi used the New Hall and the couch for only the few months leading up to his Mahanirvana.
Skandasramam is a lovely tree-shaded hermitage on the Hill overlooking the Big Temple is where Bhagavan lived from 1916 to 1922. Virupaksha Cave has the shape of the sacred “Om” and contains the samadhi of Sage Virupaksha. Bhagavan Sri Ramana lived here from 1899 to 1916. Asharam also has Sri Maharshi’s Samadhi, Dining Hall, Gosala and Vedapatasala. Also you find Guest rooms used by devotees of Ramana Maharishi and the explorers of spiritualism in its purest form in Thiruvannamalai.
Ramana was not a guru in the classic sense of a teacher who gives instruction on a regular basis or gives mantras during initiation. In fact, if the seeker wanted to practice repetition of a mantra rather than the “who am I?” method of self inquiry, he recommended repeating the pronoun “I” or the phrase “I am” rather than repeating sacred Sanskrit words or the names of gods. This focused the person’s mind on “being itself” or the mystery of their own awareness rather than an external object or word.
However, Ramana did give informal initiations using a special glance, or touch, or in dreams. Lex Hixon writes:
… although the Guru , or teacher is within everyone as primal awareness, an illuminated sage can push us in the direction he described as inward in the sense of being more primary, or primal. Ramana could give this initiatory push by touch or by glance. Seated in silence, he would suddenly turn, fix one with an intense gaze, and the person would become directly aware of the right-hand Heart (the spiritual center of one’s awareness) and its vibrant current of primal awareness. Those who experienced the power of Ramana’s gaze have reported that the initiation was so clear and vivid that they could never again seriously doubt that the Guru was none other than their own primal conscious being.
(Coming Home, The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions by Lex Hixon, Jeremy P. Tarcher – Martin’s Press, New York, 1989, p. 46)
Once a cow and the calf were entrusted to a devotee in the town. The calf became the famous cow Lakshmi. She grew up and had three calves within a few years. She would come daily to the Ashram to have her meals, graze on the Ashram land, enter the Hall and sit contentedly near Bhagavan. In the evening, she would go back to the town as other women did. Once Lakshmi came into the Hall. She was pregnant at that time. It was after lunch time when Bhagavan was reading the newspapers. Lakshmi came near and started licking the papers. Bhagavan looked up and said: “Wait a little, Lakshmi.” But Lakshmi went on licking. Bhagavan laid his paper aside put his hands behind Lakshmi’s horns and his head against hers. Like this they stayed for quite a long time. I stood nearby looking at the wonderful scene. After some ten minutes or so, Bhagavan turned to me and said: “Do you know what Lakshmi is doing? She is in Samadhi.” I looked at her and tears were flowing in streams down her broad cheeks. Her breathing had stopped and her eyes were fixed on Bhagavan. After some time Bhagavan changed his position and asked: “Lakshmi, how do you feel now?” Lakshmi moved backward, as if reluctant to turn her tail towards Bhagavan, walked round the Hall and went out.
In the summer of 1896, Ramana went into an altered state of consciousness which had a profound effect on him. He experienced what he understood to be his own death, and later returned to life.
He also had spontaneous flashes of insight where he perceived himself as an essence independent of the body. During these events, he felt himself to be an eternal entity, existing without reliance on the physical body or material world.
In 1912 Ramana had a kind of second death experience. One morning, around 10 a.m. he was on his way back from the temple tank at the Pachaiamman Shrine together with his companions Palaniswami, Vasudeva Sastri and others. There they had taken an oil bath. The sun was by now burning hot and the ascent to Virupaksha Cave was causing additional strain. When they came near the Tortoise Rock, which is a huge boulder on the path, Ramana was suddenly overcome by a bodily weakness. He supported himself against the rock. His skin turned dark and his companions thought he was going to die.
Vasudeva Sastri reports, “While all else stood at a distance weeping, I suddenly embraced him. I was a bachelor at the time and had the liberty to do so. No one else used to touch Swami’s body. He was in that state for about ten minutes, I think, and then gained consciousness. I jumped about with joy. ” Why this weeping? You thought I was dead? If I am to die, will I not tell you beforehand?’ Bhagavan said, consoling us.
Ramana described his experience as follows, “Suddenly the view of nature in front of me disappeared and got covered up like a sheet of white cloth. ” j All around me was the view of the white cloth. My head was reeling. The circulation of blood and the beating of the heart stopped, and my body began to get dark in colour, same as what happens to a dead body, and as that slowly increased, Vasu thought that I was really dead and began to weep, and embraced me. The change in my body’s colour, Vasu’s embrace, the shivering of his body, and the talks of the others around me “” I was conscious of all these. I was also conscious of my hands and feet getting chill, and the stopping of the beats of my heart, but I had no fear in me. The flow of my thoughts and the consciousness of myself were not lost and I was not worried about my body’s condition.I sat cross-legged in the padmasanam pose [lotus seat]. I was not leaning on the rock behind. The circulation of blood stopped but the sitting posture remained intact. All that lasted for about fifteen minutes. Suddenly energy permeated throughout my body. The circulation of blood and the beating of the heart commenced. The black color of my body disappeared. I began to perspire profusely from all pores in my body. I opened my eyes, got up and said: “Come on. Let us go.’ We then reached the Virupaksha Cave without any further incidents.
Source: Ramana Maharshi: His Life A biography by Gabriele Ebert
This Second death experience by Sri Ramana is what Mastro Illayaraja explains in the Must see video. No one have died and came back alive in the recent time and had witnessed by others. Bible Character “Jesus” that never existed as per Archaeological and historical researchers went through the come alive experience say, we cannot take it seriously as it is mythology and no proof of existence. In case of Ramana Maharishi these were documented experiences in front of the witnesses.
Also Super Star Rajinikanth goes on teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi on how he demolished the arrogant westerner George who came to Ashram to show his smartness and test Sri Ramana was taught a lesson and blessed him after evaporating the ego. Check out the video below in combination of Tamil has subtitle for anyone to understand easily. Do visit Thiruvanamalai Arunachaleshwar temple and Ramana Maharishi Ashram to learn more and get blessed.