Sunday, December 2, 2007


To understand the power of Arunachala, it is first necessary to understand the relationship that existed between Arunachala and Bhagavan. To Bhagavan, Arunachala was Mother, Father, Guru and God - it was his all in all, his own Self.

Sri Bhagavan often said, 'God, Guru and Self are one and the same,' and to him Arunachala was all three of these. In verse forty-eight of Aksharamanamalai he refers to Arunachala as his God, in verse nineteen as his Guru, and in verse five of Atma Vidya Kirtanam (The Song on the Science of Self) as 'Annamalai, my Self'.

Truly, Arunachala is Ramana and Ramana is Arunachala. The two are inseparable. Arunachala is Ramana in the form of a hill, and Ramana is Arunachala in human form. The oneness that Sri Bhagavan felt with Arunachala is disclosed in many of his verses.

When a devotee enquired about his true nature, he replied, 'Arunachala-Ramana is the Supreme Self who blissfully abides as consciousness in the heart-cave of all souls beginning with Hari (Lord Vishnu)�.'

The same name, 'Arunachala-Ramana', which he used while referring to himself, he also uses while addressing the hill in the last verse of Aksharamanamalai, and in verse ninety he calls the hill 'Ramana'. When Sri Bhagavan composed Sri Arunachala Pancharatnam (The Five Gems) in Sansksrit, a devotee composed a concluding verse in which he said that these five verses were an Upanishad revealed by Srimad Ramana Maharshi. Later, when Sri Bhagavan translated this hymn into Tamil, he adapted this concluding verse and substituted the name 'Arunagiri-Ramana' for the name 'Srimad Ramana Maharshi', thereby indicating that it was Arunagiri (Arunachala) itself in the form of Ramana who sang this hymn. From all this, it is clear that Sri Bhagavan experienced no individuality or existence of his own separate from Arunachala.

Though Bhagavan Ramana has left his human form, he will always remain shining here in the form of Arunachala, giving guidance and solace to his devotees. Therefore, the power of Arunachala is the power of Ramana - the power of the Sadguru's grace.

O Arunachala, ocean of grace in the form of a hill, bestow grace upon me!

(Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai, verse 17)

~ Michael James, from an essay called The Power of Arunachala

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