This is the first of a series of articles where I will talk to sadhus.
Today’s three interviews were brief. They will get better as Ramesh, a local Tamil friend, and I improve our skills.
The first is Raman.
He is from Tiruvannamalai. He worked at a chai shop all his life and was not married, so has no family.
He became a sadhu in 2008, had a house and gave it up. For spiritual practice he tries to keep his eyes open and learn from Arunachala and other sadhus.
The next is R. Purusothaman.
He is from Erode, about 225 km SW of Tiruvannamalai. He was never married. He only went through the 7th standard and did earthwork, like digging and construction.
He speaks Tamil, Telegu and Hindi. He became a sadhu in 2009 and came to Arunachala because his mind and heart told him to come here. For practice he reads things like Bhagavad Gita, and the book below. Can anyone tell me what this is?
Below is B Jagathesan, from Gudiyarttam, near Velore, about 115 km from Tiruvannamalai.
He was never married. He has one sister. He was a tailor.
When he was young he had a nerve problem and had to sleep. During the sleep he had a dream, filled with light, where God called him. So later in his life he became a sadhu (in 2000). When he became a sadhu he shaved his head. He has not cut his hair since then. In 2006 he got Mukti. Before this he would meditate for 20 hours a day.
As Jagathesan talked, the other sadhus were listening closely to what he said.
Here is a video of the talk with Jagathesan. It is in Tamil.
The sadhus of Arunachala are varied, as you can tell from these three. I do not think any of them had taken sannyasin, vowing renunciation. I have heard that some are old men, “thrown away” (to use an expression from a Tamil friend) by their family. Clearly some are deeply sincere. They possess little, have no home, and live on what is given to them. This is not an easy life. I don’t think I could do it.