Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam: Part 4 – Culmination

by

The final day of the Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam is here, 25 August, 2013! Today the temples at Ramanasramam will be renewed. This is the day that the crowds will be the largest and most festive. Because of the crowds, this post shows more than most people who where actually there could see (since Carol and I were both there taking pictures from different locations).

This report is the fourth and last of this series, showing you some of this holy event. To see earlier posts, click on one of these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Here is a schedule for the day’s events. It starts at 5:30 am.

The first two days we arrived right at the beginning. Today we get there about 8 am. People have started to gather, and find places from which they have a good view of the Kumbabishekam.

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There are a number of police on the grounds. Here are two police women on the roof of the ashram.

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The temple towers, Vimanam, have the platforms from which the ceremonies will be performed, and long yellow and red flower malas hanging down on all four sides.

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The Kalasam, inverted brass pot-like structures, sit atop the Vimana that are over the inner sanctuaries of all Indian temples. They are now installed, after being blessed by the rites done yesterday. These Kalasam provide a special purpose; after the completion of the Kumbabishekam, it is said that a devotee can worship and receive the benefits of the God just by viewing these Kalasam. Devotees do not even need to enter the temple.

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People have found good places to sit and wait. The big event will be in about two hours.

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There are chairs behind these people. These are reserved.

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People are sitting on adjoining buildings to get a better vantage point. Here they sit on a wall above the temple offices.

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Inside the New Hall, the stone image of Ramana is as nicely decorated as we have ever seen.

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In Ramana’s Samadhi, priests sit and wait.

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People also wait on top of all the buildings in Ramanasramam; if there is a view of the roof of the temple, there are people gathered and waiting.

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In the yagasala, the Karta is leading a homa (fire sacrifice). He holds a basket of items that are destined for the fire.

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Many people sit and watch the proceedings. The crowd is so thick that it is hard to move through it to take these photographs.

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The homa continues.

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Remains of earlier poojas are laid out on the rice flower designs on the floor of the yagasala.

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Sacrificial fires blaze in all the fire pits.

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On the altars are a number of Purna-Kumbhas, covered with flower malas.

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On the ashram grounds, people sit and wait. Some have started to sit in the reserved chairs under the big tree in the parking lot.

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On the temple is a beautiful peacock. Some people say that Ramana is Murugan. Maybe having Murugan’s vahana (mount) present for the ceremony is evidence of this?

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The gate is closed on way to the dining hall (where the stairs to the top of the temple are located). I try to get in to take photos for the blog, but they will not let me in. You have to have a special pass, and I don’t have one. They direct me to the top of a nearby building.

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Here I am on the building. There is a good spot for me on the front wall where I can sit, and where I have good visibility of the temple roof and two of the three Vimanam.

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Across from me, on the top of the dining hall, are other photographers. They had “Yellow Passes” so they could be on this building.

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Below me is Carol in her blue saree. She took most of the photos that are in this post, since she was at ground level.

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On the temple roof I can see a platform with video cameramen, and the Vimana that is above the New Hall.

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Here are the two Vimanam that I can see. The one to the right is the one above the Mother’s shrine.

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Inside the temple, final preparations are being made.

Ganesha is bright with oil, ready to be dressed.

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Carol notices the statue of Ramana behind his Samadhi. It is now golden, instead of polished stone!

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Men carry big malas for the final decorations.

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Now, outside, the first priests have ascended the Vimana.

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The videographers are ready.

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At ground level, many people have come. Here is a woman and two children, I would guess her grandchildren. This is a special day, and people want to bring their children if they can, so they can witness this special celebration.

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The photographers on the dining hall roof.

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A flurry of activity is seen outside the yagasala. The procession is ready to start. I see Carol with her camera, ready for action.

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Here comes the procession, led by the nadaswarams and drums.

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The Ramanasramam president, V.S. Ramanan, leads the procession.

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Here comes the first of the large Purna-Kumbhas, sitting on top of a priest’s head. Another priest walks in front carrying a basket which he uses to strew the path with flower petals.

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More priests come carrying Purna-Kumbhas.

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They walk through a thick crowd.

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Big Purna-Kumbhas are carried on the head, smaller ones in the hands.

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The young boys from the Veda Pathsala also get the honor of carrying Purna-Kumbhas and playing a part in this special procession.

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The last of the Purna-Kumbhas go by.

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I see more activity on top of the Vimana, but it will still be a few minutes before the procession arrives.

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The procession goes around the temple. Here they are at the back wall.

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A large crowd has gathered to watch the Kumbabishekam.

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Here are two sadhus. It looks like the one on the left is hold a big brass item in his hand. A reader says:

“I want to point out that it is actually a metallic representation of a Flag. … These sadhus are devotees of Lord Muruga and the person is holding the flag of Lord Muruga. The flag has a symbol of a Cock on it.”

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The procession has completed their pradakshina of the temple. They are coming around again.

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This time they head into Ramana’s Samadhi.

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And do pradakshina of Sri Ramana’s Samadhi. The horns lead the procession.

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Followed by the drums, then many priests (and students) carrying Purna-Kumbhas.

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One group of priests goes up to Ramana’s Samadhi and puts down their Purna-Kumbhas for later use.

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Back to the roof of the temple, where now there is activity.

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The Purna-Kumbha has arrived at the Mother’s shrine Vimana.

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A pooja has started. One of Ramana’s family is offering pranams.

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Down in the temple, the procession is rounding the Mother’s shrine. Again, horns lead the way.

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Then come the priests carrying the Purnha-Kumbha.

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Behind Ramana’s Samadhi, a special Purna-Kumbha awaits the coming abhishekam.

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More Purna-Kumbhas are on a table in front of the Samadhi. The new golden Ramana figure is in the background.

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Priests and Purna-Kumbha have arrived to the Vimana above the New Hall.

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The pooja continues above the Matrubhuteswara, Mother’s temple.

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Below, Purna-Kumbhas have been set out at each moorthy in the temple. Here is one in front of Siva Nataraja.

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The priests are holding a brush of sacred grass against the Kalasam and chanting.

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A priest places his hand on the Kalasam.

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A priest picks up the Purna-Kumbha. It is almost time for the Kumbabishekam.

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Cones of sacred grass are set out on the Kalasam. I guess these will spread the benefit of the holy water to all parts of the Kalasam.

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Now is the moment! Priests hold up their hands, signaling to the crowd.

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Holy water pours over the Kalasam. It is now renewed, and ready to send out its spiritual energy for the next 12 years.

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Flowers are offered to the Kalasam. There are so many people on the platform, I worry that it might collapse.

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A camphor light is offered to the Kalasam. Again priests hold up their arms to signal the crowd.

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After offering the flame to the Kalasam, it is offered to Arunachala.

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And then to all on the platform.

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My friend, Saran, the best of the Arunachala guides, saw me with my camera, and offered to climb higher up on the roof so we could get photos of the Vimana above Ramana’s Samadhi.

The Kumbabishekam is complete. Camphor flame is being offered now. V.S. Ramana and other senior members of the family are present. The Karta is performing the ceremony here.

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The platform above the Vimana over the New Hall is emptying out now. The priests are all climbing down the stairs.

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Here are the three Vimanam on the temple roof. You can see that many people are on the roof. They all had special passes to be able to be there.

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A wide angle shot of the area, taken by Saran.

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The last offering to the Kalasam above Ramana’s Samadhi. Now the action will move to the temple level.

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Inside Ramana’s Samadhi, it is packed with devotees.

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Ramana’s Samadhi has all the decorations and clothes removed.

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A number of Purna-Kumbhas sit and wait for the next event.

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There is another procession, led by the reed-horns.

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V.S. Ramanan and other family members stand near the Samadhi.

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The priests have gathered around the Samadhi.

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Another family member waits for the abhishekam.

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Outside the is a nadaswaram concert, on the porch of Ramana’s Samadhi.

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Here is a video, so you can listen if you want.

Nadaswaram and Drum concert

The priests prepare for the abhishekam.

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Now the holy water is poured on Ramana’s Samadhi. This completes the whole cycle of the spiritual renewal of the temple.

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Flowers are being tossed on Ramana’s Samadhi.

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Then a camphor flame offered to it.

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Now comes the time the crowd has been waiting for. Holy water is being sprinkled onto them.

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They hold their hands out, hoping to get blessed by the holy water.

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Finally Ramana’s Samadhi must be dressed with its new clothes.

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A priest looks on. I think he feels blessed to have participated in the most special holy occasion.

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Outside, the yagasala is empty.

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It looks like “the party’s over.”

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Nearby, at the Samadhi of one of the previous ashram presidents, a priest waits, holding a Purna Kumbha. I think that before the day is over, this will be offered to the Samadhi, so all are blessed today.

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Inside Ramana’s Samadhi, the crowd does a last pradakshina around the shrine.

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We were blessed to be able to watch and photograph this holy event, so we could share it with you. The next Kumbabishekam will be in 2025. Maybe you can come next time. These are the highest of holy days.

Here is a link to the 15 minute Ramanasramam video the made of this event, Maha Kumbhabkshekam 2013.

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20 Responses to “Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam: Part 4 – Culmination”

  1. Sandy Naidoo Says:

    Dear Richard, I am a South African Indian of Tamil descent & only just discovered your blog. I am enjoying reading about all your adventures in India. I am learning so much! We do not practice so many of the “functions” that you attend there, and I find these very interesting.
    Here in SA the Tamil community start the one month “fast” (no meat, alcohol etc.) for Purtassi ( 17Sept – 17 Oct). It is in honour of Lord Vishnu. Please could you find out more about this from your wonderful friends there & do a blog about this. Would love to know how it’s done there.
    Looking forward to reading more.
    Carol wears the sari beautifully!

  2. twopaisa Says:

    Yes, I did not imagine that a casual viewpoint of some devotees would snowball into a meaningless argument and a discourse on Hindu rituals. As for Bhagwan, it is not possible for people to guess his state of mind or how he would act in a particular situation. But he was firm on certain ground rules until the end. Food was to be shared equally with all, there was no room either for waste or anything expensive, and there was to be no request by anyone for donations. Beyond that it is nearly impossible to follow him since he acted differently based on the maturity of the person he was dealing with. Yes, he spoke about japa to some. But he also pointed all the idols to Annamalai Swami and said that God was not any of them. Likewise he explained the Gita, the Bible and other books to some who asked questions about them. But he told others that reading such books was itself a vasana that must be eradicated. The problem arises today when someone uses a particular incident or answer of Bhagwan to establish his own point of view. The only truth is that we will never know unless we also abide in that state. Again, thanks for the detailed coverage of the event.

  3. Krishnamuthy - Gmail Says:

    Dear Richard, Thanks so much for all the trouble u have taken and sending the pictures taken on the kumbabishekam from the beginning till the culmination day. May Arunachala bless u in every way.

    Krishnamurthy. .

    Sent from my iPod

  4. maryjoma Says:

    kashluck: Calling them ‘dieties’ would be more accurate.

    No anger, what you are propagating is not from Hinduism so I can’t relate to them or comment upon them.

    The thousands of people who were there for the Maha kumbha abishekham understood the Hindu practices. They knew the significance of each ritual. It wasn’t “superstitious beliefs and practices” for them. That is something I have heard Christian missionaries and propagandists say. Again I can’t comment on it.

    The gold is your experimentation. It is not rooted in Hindu shastras or culture. So I I can’t comment upon it.

    All I know is that Richard and Carol took some amazing pictures to bring the ceremonies alive to us. Thanks Richard/

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      In terms of knowing the Hindu practices, these are well known by many Indians and some Westerners. There are many Westerners, certainly including myself, with only limited or no knowledge about them. As we photograph various Hindu and Indian/Tamil rites and ceremonies we try to understand what we can, to show it and to write about it. There are still so many elements I do not know about. There were many questions I had during this series where I asked for clarification in a post.

      As we photograph and show rites like the Kumbabishekam we try to do several things. The first is to show it in enough detail so that a reader has the chance to become absorbed in it if they are so inclined. The next thing is to present them to people, like ourselves, who have limited understanding of them, but are interested. That they are unfamiliar expressions of an ancient culture adds to the interest.

      Another thing, particularly with things like the rites of passage we show, is to record them and preserve them to some small extent, since it is my feeling, having watched the cultural changes in my own life, that these ancient cultural rituals may start to disappear as India changes – and India is in the midst of the greatest change in its history. Already it is different for a city dweller than for a villager. I hear from urban Indian readers now how some of the things I show here are like things from their own (lost) past, lost as their family, maybe one or two generations ago, moved from the village to the city.

      The last reason we write this blog is as a service. It is our seva. This is something we can give back. We have been blessed with much grace, and it seems appropriate and natural to want to give something back. This is something we can do.

      Thanks for your comments. Be patient with those who are ignorant (like me). That they read and comment shows that they share an imporant interest with you.

  5. kashluck Says:

    Maryjoma, Yes. It has been longwinding from my side as too! Thanks to Richard and others too who have been reading.

    To keep it short:

    (1) Idols: i was just asking if there was an english equivalent to the word “murthi”. You would notice that i have used the word “murthi” only thereafter.

    (2) We will continue with our individual understanding of energy. I am not confused. But to explain will be another long winding post!

    (3) I am not talking about religion, but about spirituality.

    (4) One may choose whichever spiritual path he/she may be comfortable with. The important thing is to avoid superstitious beliefs and practices. One must be able to validate and understand why he is doing a certain practice, rather than blindly doing it just because someone said so. It is also important to be humble and not to demean other paths..

    (5) Gold: If you are able to feel energy, you can do this experiment to validate:
    (a) Feel the energy level of 2 gold ornaments (bangles, rings, necklaces etc), before meditating.
    (b) While meditating, keep one ornament inside the meditating area, and the other one outside the meditating area.
    (c) After you finish the medtation, feel the energy of both the ornaments. Is there a difference in the energy level of both?

    You can also experiment with the the energy level of your body after meditating – with gold inside the meditating area, and again without gold in the meditating area.

    Note: To get a correct result, It is important to have an open mind while doing this, without any preconceived idea of the end result. Otherwise, the energy generated by your thought could manipulate the end result. (It is a known fact that thoughts are powerful).

    (6) Yes, one must do seva and have bhakthi to evolve in the spiritual path. It is also a must that we do physical and inner purifications. Divine energy too can be disasterous if the receiving persons physical and etheric body is unclean. Eg., Asuras receiving divine blessings and later misuisng the power.

    (7) Do not hate someone because that person is doing wrong in spiritual practices or in other aspects of life. Actually, that person needs help and guidance. As a spiritualist, show compassion and help/guide them to the right path, instead of hating them.

    Karma doesn’t happen on it’s own, but because of our own actions. If we hate somenone, it will come back as karma of others hating us. If we show kindness and compassion, it will come back to us as being loved by many

    May we all have good health, wealth and happiness.
    May we all have proper, rapid, and safe spiritual progress.

  6. maryjoma Says:

    Kashluck; The gods in Hindu Temples have all been energised or enlivened. Hindus feel very insulted when you call them idols. I hope you will remember for next time.

    The rock creations you mentioned are different. There are several of them. Mt. Kailash, Vaishnoo Devi, Tirupati, actually all over India. They became enlivened because of a saint or siddar and in order to keep the energy there, pujas are done. The Vivekananda Rock may have the waves of the ocean, bay and sea lashing upon it 24 hours a day to keep it pure. You may also be confusing the energy coming from the oceans as coming from the rock memorial. Water is Shakti

    As for not wearing gold during meditation. This is the first time I have heard of it. Hindu women have traditionally worn the mangalsutra and prayed or meditated. So have Goddess Parvati and Sita. So what you are saying is not from Hinduism. I can’t comment upon it.

    I also don’t know what you mean by silky smooth energy and gross energy. Again it must be from another religion. Lord Shiva’s energy is strong, swift and decisive. You can feel Him, see Him all the time in the Arunachaleswarar temple and on the Girivalam path. It can also be like in Kedarnath.

    Lastly what the Hindu scriptures say is that there are many preliminary steps called yamas and niyamas that have to be practiced before one embarks upon meditation or not identifying with the body. The senses have to be calmed and the outer energies harmonized before one can start on the inner journey.

    The outer energies can be calmed only by doing puja, girivalam, charity, and seva. I have heard many people say, “I am fed up with the world so I will start on the inner path.” The inner path is not an escape from the outer. It is when karmas have been lived through, the senses have been calmed and everything is in balance, that is when the journey to the self can begin. Otherwise, we will create huge problems for ourselves in the form of diseases, accidents and enmity. These karmas get awakened in us and if we don’t have a loving relationship with God on the outside, we will not be able to deal with these problems on the inside. We wouldn’t know how to turn to God for help. That is why temple worship, bhakti yoga, is so important.

    I hate it when people pick and choose from different paths as though it were a buffet table. I always tell them dig one well 100 feet deep rather than 10 holes 10 feet deep. With the first way you are more likely to find water.

    Anyway, that is it for me. Thank you for reading these long-winded replies.

  7. kashluck Says:

    Maryjoma, thanks for your understanding and clarfication on going to ashram. Yes, we can have reverence to our Guru in our heart without having to go to a place which we may feel uncomfortable.

    I think there is no equivalent word in english for “murthi” which is an indian word. Am i right? Propably that is why the word “idols” is being used. Anyway, idols become murthis only when they are energised with divine power.

    One place which is full of divine energy is the Swami Vivekananda rock at Kanyakumari in south india. If a person is sensitive to energy, he/she can feel it on the rock. The meditation hall there is amazing as well. I don’t think any rituals are conducted on the rock or inside the meditation hall. Yet it is full of divine energy!

    Bhagwan Ramana meditated in a cave, where no rituals were performed. Even today we feel the energy in that cave!

    You don’t have to be wary of place where no rituals are conducted, nor assume that all the places where ritulals are performed are divine. Have an open mind. I presume you are sensitive to energy. Before going to an ashram/temple or any such place, just feel the energy of the place……. if it is silky and smooth, it is divine energy. If it is gross, then you know that it is not divine energy.

    Metals attract energy, gold being very good at that. That is the reason why murthis in temples are being adorned with gold. The gold adorned by the murthi will anchor the divine energy of the place and will radiate to the persons visiting that place.
    While meditating, it is better to remove gold and other metal objects from our body. Reason being, the downpour of divine energy while meditating will be absorbed by the metal in our body, instead of our aura. (Personally, i do not wear/use gold as gold mining is one of the causes of air pollution. It would be better that it remains below the earth and energise mother earth).

    Ramana Maharishi and the great ones have clearly stated that they are not the physical body. We too are not the physical body but the ” I AM”. I am trying my best to follow those higher teachings and am gradully moving away from rituals and identifying with the physcial body. A great being used the physical body of Bhagwan to enlighten us about our true nature. I try to align with that great being, rather than focussing on the physcial body, which was an instrument.

    May all of us know the true purpose of our life and evolve further rapidly and properly.

  8. maryjoma Says:

    Kashluck: Your are right. Saying “don’t expose your ignorance” was very harsh. I retract it.

    As for “don’t go to the ashram”, I must clarify what I meant. I meant don’t go to a holy place, any holy place, with an aversion for the people running it or how the place is. Your thoughts must be pure. The good thing about Hinduism is that there are alternatives for reaching the goal. Like worshipping Bhagavan in your heart. That is what I meant

    Secondly, I have problems with the use of the word idols. Hindu images are called murtis. They are enlivened, not mere statues or ‘idols’ as Christian propaganda machines would like to call them.

    As for “There are many ashrams and places where there are no ritulas or idols, and yet the diving energy is very potent.” I would need more info to comment on it. Personally I would be very wary to go into an ashram or place of worhip where no rituals are being conducted. It means to me that the place is being propped by something else and I don’t want to get into it here.

    Two paise, some devotee may also have donated the silver and gold for protection or for a prayer fulfilled. This kind of armour is donated by devotees who have the means and need the protection. I know a friend in government service donated a lot of precious metal for the Ganesha in the Arunachaleswarar Temple at a time when he was facing horrendous harrassment at work to the point where he and his family were receiving death threats for doing his job sincerely. His mother advised him to donate a pure silver and gold kavacham to Ganesha and the problem ended soon after. Ofcourse, people who can’t afford this much gold and silver can always do seva for the temples or feed people or do a lot of japam. This government officer had the means. Him giving away a little money would not have done anything for him as he had to create a vacuum in him as large as he could afford. So he gave a portion of his inheritance.

    Also, Bhagavan may not have liked all this fuss when he was alive but it says in one of the books that he asked for a shivalingam to be put on top of his samadhi and all the rituals to be done according to the shastras. That is what is being done. I love what they are doing at Sri Ramanasramam. I can’t afford to worship Lord Shiva or Bhagavan in such a grand scale at home, so I love it when they do it in the temples.

    I could see Bhagavan smiling in one of photographs on Richard’s blog and it says in the Ramanasramam newsletter that Garuda was seen circling the sky at the time of the kumbhabhishekam. It means Lord Vishnu sent his vahana to accept the offerings. Lord Vishnu stands for prosperity. So may be we will all be prosperous materially and spiritually (and be healthy). That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

    • twopaisa Says:

      Maryjoma, it is interesting to see the extent of assumptions you make in order to justify pouring gold over Bhagwan’s statue. I have not seen the request from Bhagwan asking for rituals to be done over his samadhi. I will assume it is true for your sake. Even then the shastras do not require gold. But more importantly does it mean every action being done at the ashram is done per his wishes? You also say it could be because of some donor which I am ready to believe. So now, which is it? Was it done to satisfy Bhagwan’s wishes or the wishes of a wealthy donor? There were several instances in his life when Bhagwan refused to accept gifts from kind donors that he considered expensive, including a silver walking stick. Now we pour gold over his statue thinking he wanted it! As for going or not going to the ashram, leave it to the individual. If everyone has to be free of anger before entering an ashram, all our ashrams will be empty. Even Bhagwan did not make such suggestions. Just because we know a thing or two about Hinduism we must not take it upon ourselves to preach to others.

  9. kashluck Says:

    Let us practise loving kindness.
    Let us practise non-injury, both physical and verbal.

    Twopaisa, as Maryjoma suggested you may try to understand the significance behind ritulas. If after researching, you still feel that things could be better just pray with loving kindlness that things change for the better, instead of harbouring feelings of anger and hatred.

    Maryjoma, You asked twopaisa to burn away anger. However, Comments like “don’t expose your ignorance’ “don’t go to the ashram” etc., tend to imply that you have not burnt away your anger towards twopaisa. Instead of harbouring anger, you may pray with loving kindness that twopaisa be blessed with clarity of thought and better understanding of things.

    Rituals are only tools for us to evolve. We should try to understand the deeper meaning and evolve further, instead of getting stuck with rituals. Same goes with idol worship.
    There are many ashrams and places where there are no ritulas or idols, and yet the diving energy is very potent.

    Let us first change ourselves by way of changing our thoughts and keeping our enrgy body clean. The world will change.

    • twopaisa Says:

      It is amazing how people jump to conclusions. When a question is raised, people get uncomfortable and accuse the questioner of anger and hatred! Unfortunately, the question remains and will not go away. I don’t wish to discuss irrelevant issues like the significance of rituals since the issue was not about rituals at all. You are also on a high horse when you wish another to be blessed with clarity of thought and better understanding of things. Let us work on our own clarity and understanding. A few of us who have been devotees and visitors to the ashram for a couple of decades are asking this question. It cannot be wished away. Either of you can answer directly if you can. But dismissing the questioner(s) as ignorant and adopting a holier than thou posture will not work. And one more thing. One does not always have to be a yes-man to all decisions at the ashram in order to prove sincerity to Bhagwan. Over the years, I have met many serious devotees who have disagreed politely but firmly. Something to think about.

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      I wish that we could put the discussion about who is right behind us on this blog. We are all here because we love Bhagavan Ramana. Maybe we can follow his example, when someone came to him with a question, he did not argue with them. he just took them deeper; for example, if they did Japa, he did not argue with their approach, but instructed the seeker to find our from whom is the Japa?

      For me, when I find myself thinking, about a discussion, “I could have said this or that,” sometimes I can see that it is just ego talking, and use this as a basis for more Self-inquiry, rather than just continuing to support the claims of an imaginary ego.

      Finding differences is the disease of the mind (to misquote from the fourth Patriarch or Zen). I make the most sp[iritual progress when I look to see what is always the same.

      May we all revel in what is always the same.

  10. maryjoma Says:

    Two paise: There weren’t the crowds then that there are now. People didn’t have as many karmas then that they have now because they lived devout lives. If you don’t understand the Hindu scriptures and liturgy, don’t expose your ignorance.

    Besides, deal with the anger within you that is coming up for burning. Don’t direct it at a sacred institution like Sri Ramanasramam. It is sacred for the rest of us.

    If you don’t like the ashram don’t go, it is as simple as that, Bhagavan is every where, in you as well. Worship him there but dont spoil the good name of this sacred institution for the rest of us. Have a great day. OK

    • twopaisa Says:

      It is not anger but sadness and disbelief that things have come to this sorry stage where things Bhagwan detested are being carried out in his name. May be you should read of some of the day to day accounts during his life time before jumping on anybody who questions such dubious activities carried out in his name. Don’t be angry with them. Those who ask such questions may be long time devotees who have more genuine concern for the ashram than others. Think about it.

  11. maryjoma Says:

    Two paise: There is a very deep spiritual reason for everything object in a Hindu temple. Everything that is done there is divinely sanctioned. While Bhagavan may not have worn gold, in the temple the gold serves to hold the shakti of the diety, keep it strong and flowing to bless us. Many view abhishekams as a waste of milk, sandlewood, honey, yogurt etc. Little do they know that abishekhams serve the very powerful purpose of keeping the energy of the diety clean and pure. Let’s say the person before you in the darshan line has a major murder karma he committed in a previous lifetime and it has come up for burning because in this lifetime he has done all the spiritual practices of chanting, japam, annadanam and given generously in charity, sometimes the diety will just take away that karma without the person ever experiencing the consequences of a really bad act. That karma will be on the diety. In order that the next person in line or the priest who touches the diety is not affected by that karma, abhishekams are done. The big temples do abhishekams every day, twice, thrice, five times at the sandhi times – when night turns to dawn, dawn to morning, morning to noon, and so on. These time are full of negative energy and so that we are not affected by them, the Hindu scriptures prescribe abhishekham. If you cant do abhishekham, then light a lamp and wave a couple of incense sticks, if you cant do that, sit down and repeat the mantra – either Om Namah Shivaya or the Gayatri Mantra, so you are protected. I really suggest people understand the Hindu scriptures before running down a sacred institution like Ramanasramam. Bhagavan is still there. Do you think he will allow something to happen it if it weren’t in our best interests? Think about it.

    • twopaisa Says:

      So for more than 30 years, the existing stone statue of Bhagawan was not good enough. And he allowed it even though it was not in our best interests. Now suddenly it dawned on somebody to pour gold over it to give it ‘energy’ and make it a ‘sacred’ institution. Why drag in Bhagwan for all the ignorant actions of human beings? Time and again he himself admonished the actions of people in the ashram during his life time. Nothing has changed.

  12. Art Palmer Says:

    I felt sort of ‘at home’ watching Richard’s visual presentation of this Holy event. Gratefully blest.

  13. twopaisa Says:

    Good methodical coverage of the kumbabishekam. Thanks. Though I never thought I would live to see a golden statue of Bhagawan of all people. Yuck! Such a contradiction that reduces him to current day babas and swamis. I wonder whether people these days even have a faint idea of what he taught and how he felt about wealth and waste. Well, I guess the show must go on with upgraded attractions.

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