Sakthi Vikatan - 23 Aug, 2011    Edited May 5, 2018                                       



                                                                                       Saranagati = Surrender 



        Ramasamy Iyer pleading with Ramanar to cure his stomach ailment.

Ramanar provides an ambiance of peace and tranquility. When you come down from the mountain, there await problems. Diseases flare up. Up in the mountain, there is nothing and yet there is no hunger. Why is that so? A profound trust and faith in Bhagavan pervade you. First it is love, later trust and still later his teachings take a hold on you. Proximity to him brings the thrill to the visitor. His mere touch generates ecstasy. His glance turned on the self-enquiry with mental tranquility and peace.                                                                                                                 
There are no mental worries about gains and losses, the family situation, one’s own health issues, the other’s treachery and your own future behavior. Of the dry leaves floating in the river, you are one flotsam. I forded the river with no mishaps. The remaining time will move on its own beat. There is the stability of peace. That peace takes you to the state of nil expectation and helps raises strongly in your mind the question of ‘Who Am I?’ Then, it is not a mere question chasing an answer. Going on a path of righteousness, find where the thoughts originate and where the I-thought is strongest. The site of origin of these is the mind. When the mind dissolves back in the Self, there is no I-thought or any other thought.
The aspirants in search of Truth seek the Mahāns, who blesses them with Diksha by touch or sight. In the Mahan’s presence, the mind becomes tranquil. It stands there not knowing what it came to ask for. He surrenders the body, mind and soul with opposed palms and takes whatever is offered.
Śaranāgati is destruction of hubris, elimination of ego… Asceticism is abandoning ego to die. All else is disguise. That ascetic won’t sport ochre clothes, gold Rudrāksha, silver Tulasi garland, red stone bracelet with an inlay of diamonds, luxuriant coiffure, wooden footwear… Asceticism is not appearance. It is virtuous behavior. It is not accumulation of wealth. It is wellness with complete relinquishment. It is not dashing to a woman for consortium (when no one is watching). It is an uninterrupted state of ecstasy.
A mere touch by Mahan opens many doors. Inside, there is a raging fire. (True Tapas burns up the Ego in the practitioner.) ‘This is the real thing!” You will discover the Truth. ‘Is this the mode of death (in the future)? Is this a change of place (after physical death)?’ You get great answers to these questions. Great tranquility lifts the weight from your heart. The self-realized do not have fear of death. Those who attained Jivan Mukti (corporeal liberation) in their rapture show scintillating eyes. They continue to remain that way. They continue with their work.
They continue to be householders. They may wander with nothing to call home. They may be beggars, paupers or princes. They indulge in sexuality. They cook and eat. They may forego eating. They may wear rags or robes. They may be garrulous or silent. No matter what they are, their personae reveal Truth. The tiger licks the cub to make it a tiger. The erstwhile cub becoming a tiger carries on the tradition. Jñāṉa Parampara (Succession of Gurus) functions on this line of spiritual succession (Not familial or cognate succession). Not all can hope for this attainment. One in 10 million people get this greatness of acquring spiritual knowledge. It does not happen in one generation. They receive knowledge in this life time, help grow that knowledge and are reborn in the next birth with augmented spiritual potency or power. There are some who know themselves, observe silence, which morphs into Jñāṉam, lead a life with their families and die. They die Jñāṉis, unrecognized by others. The devotees of Ramaṇar have stories to tell that helps you apprehending something in yourself. You will discover what search (for spiritual knowledge) entails and the minutiae of how to search. Their lives are a portrait. It takes skill to read and understand the portrait before devising a path.
Maṉavāsi Ramasamy Iyer came to Virūpākṣi cave with a friend. He was an overseer in the Public Works Department.
His was a busy life. He had the penchant to get Darśan of Mahāns for mental peace and tranquility. His friend, while returning home, commented that he saw nothing new, the visit was a waste of time and he had no intention of making a return visit. Ramasamy Iyer did not reply to his friend. Next time he came alone. A spiritual quest is not a joyous outing with friends and family. Meditation classes and self-enquiry gatherings cause inconveniences. This is a matter of karma and individual effort. It must be in an individual basis. The next time Ramasamy Iyer came by himself, it spelled ease on his mind. He felt a new sense of purpose and tranquility, and thought his troubles lightened. He concluded it was a happy place. He came often to Virūpākṣi cave and sat before Bhagavan; it gave him a peace of mind.             

    Visiting many places, irregular and vapid meals caused him a stomach ailment. It interfered with his sleep, causing fatigue, headache… These ailments interfered with his work too. His productivity suffered.

It came to a state that his supervisor almost felt Ramasamy Iyer’s salary went to waste. Ailment, mental fatigue, harsh comments from co-workers and intolerant wife with regards to his ailments drove him despondent. He kept coming to Ramanar in the hope he would give him respite and possibly a cure.
One day, as Ramanar tried to enter the Virūpākṣi cave, Ramasamy Iyer waylaid him and said crying, “I came here many times trusting you. I surrendered to you. Why did you not cure me of my ailments?” “Am I a doctor, a Mantra-meister? I don’t know anything,” said Ramanar. “No, I surrender to you. I fell at your feet. I took refuge in you. You must save me,” said Iyer. Ramanar stared at his eyes and said, “You have nothing to worry about. Everything is back to normal. You may go.” Ramanar swept his hand (in a manner of brushing off the ailments). Iyer felt a sudden miraculous relief, betterment and wellbeing.
Next day it was Āḍipperukku (the festival of the Kāvēri floods). Ecchammāḷ, a woman devotee brought several kinds rice preparations. Iyer insisted he could not eat any of them. He preferred rice gruel. The resident devotees compelled him to sit for the meal. Ramanar invited him to sit opposite to him. Ramanar saw him eating. Iyer ate Tamarind rice, Lemon rice, and Coconut rice one after another fast and with gusto (as if he never ate for days).
He used to have stomach pains and bloating eating any new food. But he had no problem eating different rice preparations. That night he slept well. That devotee’s illness vanished, thanks to Bhagavan. It is difficult to delve inside (your mind, heart and Self) while suffering an illness. Disease is an impediment. Once he was cured of his illness, his mind was at ease. One day, when he sat under a tamarind tree, Ramanar stared at Iyer; something entered Iyer. Something transpired. What? No one knows. Gradually the mind slipped from its ectopic place and went inside his SELF and saw who he was. Ramasamy realized the Self. This was usually a stepwise process to reach (the stage of attainment of) Self-realization. Enter the Guru: it happened in one sweep, one piercing look of Bhagavan.
Guru sits his devotee before him, turns his mind inward and makes him fixate into himself (Heart, இருதயம் or Self) in a stepwise manner. Trust in Guru and Śaranāgati served the supreme purpose for Iyer.
Let us get Darśan.