In the winter ‘season’ there are many who come to Tiruvannamalai to attend or to give satsang. When Indians come to Tiruvannamalai to walk ’round Arunachala they are able to have darshan of God at many temple and shrines. When westerners come during the season, they are able to attend satsang with many different teachers.
We have heard a number of these teachers. Some we are happy to go to again and again. Some we are happy to never go to again. Some teachers attract many westerners, some mainly Indians, a few attract both. Ganesan is one of these few that attracts both westerners and Indians.
Ganesan is different from most other teachers in Tiruvannamalai. He had direct experience with Sri Ramana. He is Sri Ramana’s grandnephew. He was with Ramana as a child and was 13 years old when he died. Ganesan has made a particular effort to contact and to get to know those who had deep spiritual experiences with Sri Ramana. His experiences with Ramana, stories he heard from his family (who ran Ramanasramam during Ramana’s life and afterwards), and intimate knowledge of Ramana’s devotees give Ganesan a unique viewpoint.
The other two men of Ganesan’s generation are Sundaram, the President of Ramanasramam, and Mani, who seems to be the operations manager of Ramanasramam. Of these, Ganesan is much closer to the actual teaching of Sri Ramana.
Ganesan is humble in his approach. He speaks of ‘sharing’ rather than teaching. He in no way wants to do anything that would put him ‘above’ anyone who comes to see him and listen.
Satsang his held this year in his house. It is in a compound just west of Tiruvannamalai out Bangalore road. (Any rickshaw driver can take you. They all know where he lives.)
When you get to the gate you can see the sign. Even here ‘sharing’ is mentioned, not teaching of satsang.
Through the gate is the compound and the house. Satsang is held on the porch.
Chairs are set out, with a chair and table for Ganesan in the corner. There usually are free handouts on a table near the entrance. These have Ramana teachings that Ganesan wants us to read, contemplate and to meditate upon.
An altar with a big picture of Sri Ramana is on the wall, facing where Ganesan sits.
The porch usually fills up before 9:30 with the chairs occupied and people seated on cushions on the floor. Before the start, we can all hear Ganeshan chanting the ‘108 Names of Ramana’ from within the house.
When he comes into the space, he usually sits for a few moments and meditates, then chants, “Om Bhagavate Namo Sri Ramana” three times.
Then he starts to talk.
Ganesan talks at a most simple and straightforward level in which the basic teachings are clear.
As he talks, many stories are interspersed within his words. Many of these have never been published anywhere. Some of these are of what some would consider miracles, or siddis. Ramana did not want these kinds of stories distributed, since he said that these ‘powers’ were just of the mind and were a distraction from real deep practice.
Often people bring video cameras into the space. As long as they are not to obtrusive Ganesan says nothing to discourage this.
Ganesan usually talks for about one hour, usually without any questions. If there are questions, he will answer them.
We find Ganesan’s ‘sharing’ to be very worthwhile and will attend if at all possible.
After Ganesan’s sharing this day, we returned to our house on the southwest side of the mountain.
We have moved from this house now, but still love the view of the mountain from that house. Here it is.
Om Bhagavate Namo Sri Ramana