Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Swami, what is the colour of your exalted loincloth?

You are the one,
devoid of the dualistic division
that knows oneself as as object.
Because you are wearing your Self,

in which objective knowledge is not possible

as your loincloth, you,
the nature of pure consciousness,
do not know what the beautiful colour of that loincloth is.

Muruganar had a friend, V.S. Chengalvaraya Pillai, who was a distinguished commentator on Tamil devotional literature. At some point Chengalvaraya Pillai had a dream in which he visited Bhagavan in Tiruvannamalai and had his darshan. The contents of the dream, which he noted in his diary in the 1930s, were recorded in a biography that was written by his children:

I went to Tiruvannamalai, where a multitude of bhaktas were assembled. Everyone was worshipping by performing pradakshina of Swami. When my turn came, a devotee of Sri Ramana called Muruganar instructed me to pay homage to Swami, and to ask him what the colour of the loincloth he was wearing was.

I, in my turn, fell at the feet of Swami, weeping, and cried out: 'Swami, what is the colour of your exalted loincloth, the one spoken of in the phrase, "He wears Himself as a loincloth"? May you show your compassion and clarify this matter!'

Immediately, he replied, 'That is not known even to me,' and asked me to repeat the line again twice.

He listened to me and then asked, 'Where is that wonderful line found?' and I replied, 'It is in the 'Tiruchazhal' [line four of verse two], in the Tiruvachakam'.

'That is good. You must remain mindful of that,' he said.

~ lines 447-50 and some commentary from Ramana Puranam

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