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Ramanashram Arunachala Mt.Climb To Caves

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Published on Jan 8, 2011

This video and photo montage.
A two hour climb up and back down.
Tiruvannamalai Tamil Nadu

Click for Dinner at the Ashram - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

See a related video montage on M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen of Sri lanka at
http://www.youtube.com/user/sufibooks...




Arunachala : The Spiritual Center of the world

Each of the spiritual centers of India has its own character and its own line of tradition; and among them all it is Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala) that represents the most direct, the most formless and the least ritualistic of paths, the path of Self-enquiry, whose gateway is silent initiation. This is expressed in the old Tamil saying: "To see Chidambaram, to be born at Tiruvarur, to die at Banaras or even to think of Arunachala is to be assured of Liberation." "Even to think of" because in the case of the direct path physical contact is not necessary. Hence, it was no accident that the Maharshi made Tiruvannamalai and its sacred Arunachala Mountain his home.

When the Maharshi attained Self-realization through a swift, spontaneous act of Self-enquiry while yet a lad of sixteen, he left home and set out as a sadhu for Arunachala. He remained there for the duration of his life. At the time of his passing, more than fifty years after his arrival, a bright star was seen moving slowly across the sky and sinking behind the peak of the holy mountain. This was a clear indication not only of his devotion to Arunachala but also his Oneness with it. Through his compositions, his sayings and his life the importance of Arunachala as a spiritual center has once again risen to eminence. The Maharshi called Arunachala the spiritual Heart of the world. Aruna, which means 'red, bright like fire', does not signify the mere fire that gives off heat. Rather, it is Jnanagni, the Fire of Wisdom, which is neither hot nor cold. Achala signifies hill. Thus, Arunachala means the 'Hill of Wisdom'

Tiruvannamalai, at the foot of Arunachala, is a town of medium size, 120 miles southwest of Chennai, an ancient village with a large and splendid temple. Certain yearly festivals draw large crowds of pilgrims to Tiruvannamalai from all over South India. This is especially so at Karthigai (known also as Deepam), which usually falls in November. On this occasion a beacon light of clarified butter (ghee) is lit at nightfall on the summit of the mountain. At the Ashram itself, of course, the greatest festivals are the anniversaries of the birth and passing of the Maharshi (Jayanti and Aradhana), which fall respectively at the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Although associated with the most simple and direct spiritual path, Tiruvannamalai is not the most famous of India's holy places, for the direct path can never be the most popular. It is more austere than some other paths and hence it is perhaps rather for the intrepid few than for the many. Indeed, the method of Self-enquiry had almost gone out of use in recent centuries. It was the Maharshi who revived it, gave it a new directness, simplicity and universality and made it accessible to all seekers through his grace and guidance.

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