15 August, 2012, Tiruvannamalai.
Sri Ramanasramam today opened their new library. A small ceremony was held for the opening. Photos of this are shown in this post.
Construction on the new library started about 18 months ago. Its completion marks the first element in new Ramana Ashram building projects that started at that time. The other major project is the building of many additional guest rooms. (This is shown in Update on Rooms at Ramanasramam), which will be done in a few months.
Entering into Ramanasramam.
Monkeys on the roof, a common sight here.
In the new hall there is a group of Tamil woman, singing. A sense of quiet joy is carried by the singing.
As we turn towards the new building, Arunachala is ahead of us, towering above.
Here we are. The round building is unique at the ashram. It seems to be quite an attractive design.
The entrance to the first floor. This is mainly used for music, dance, and other performances.
The ramp to the library is on the left side.
People are waiting at the top of the ramp. Sundaram – Sri V.S.Ramanan, the President of Sri Ramana Ashram – is standing in front. He will be the first official person to enter to new library.
He stands at the door.
Inside, the library is quiet, books lining the new shelves.
Racks of periodicals line the entryway.
Naturally, a picture of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi sits near the entrance.
Before entering into the library, J.J., the librarian, shows respect by pranaming Sundaram.
Sundaram enters to the applause of those gathered here today. The library is now open!
A small pooja is done. Sundaram offers incense to the library altar.
Pictures of Sri Ramana line the altar.
A plate is offered to Sundaram with sandalwood paste, vibhuti and kumkum. He dots it to his forehead.
Small candies are on the plate to take as ‘library prasad’ for today’s opening.
As always, this plate is offered to everyone who is here.
Then J.J. starts giving Sundaram a tour of the new library.
First they stop at Ramana’s picture. Sundaram gazes at it.
Then they start a walk though, with J.J. explaining each item.
Here is a reading area.
There are Ramana pictures scattered around.
I am not sure what the story is with this old clock. J.J. stopped there, and was obviously talking about it.
They continue close discussions as they proceed on the tour.
Others look around too.
Sundaram and J.J. are followed by a small group.
J.J. explains that the shelf numbering is set up in a serpentine fashion, so one goes into one row of shelves, and as they turn into the next row, the numbering is continuous.
Looking down into the performance hall.
There is much empty space on these shelves, room for many more books. The old library’s shelves were tightly packed with books.
A man sits at a table by a window. It looks like he is testing it. Is it level?
On one shelf is a picture.
It is Krishnamurty. There is a quote. I can’t quite read it.
The library has its first serious customer, this child engrossed in a book.
Near the entrance J.J. points out the periodicals.
Now they head to the librarian’s desk, by the entrance. They are going to check out the first book.
The librarian writes on the book’s card.
And stamps a due date in the card in the book.
It is due on 5 September. That is in about three weeks.
The book is “A Treasure of Quotes,” by Dada J.P. Vaswani.
Then Sundaram starts giving out envelopes, I am sure to people who were instrumental in getting this project done.
They would first pranam.
Then he gives them an envelope.
He has a few more words with J.J. before he leaves the building.
Then he exits.
Looking around the library for a few minutes. There are newspapers posted. These will get great use. Tamils are big newspaper readers.
And Tamil ones, too.
The library floor is at the tree-top level. Coming up and down you feel like you are in the trees.
I go take a better look at the performance hall.
It is a wonderful space. They already have been using this for performances.
Looking out towards Ramanasramam.
You can see the craftsmanship on the entryway roof. Nice job!
In the New Hall, the women are still singing.
And Ramana looks on, as still and unmoving as Arunachala.
This new building is a great addition to Ramana Ashram, and its location means that the library will be much more available to those who come to the ashram. There are many precious books in here, now ready to be perused by Ramana’s devotees.
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