A Much-Awaited Event!
A Jnana Yajna on Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s Saddarshanam by Swami Brahmananda, one of the senior-most disciples of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, from Nov. 11-18, was a much-awaited event for spiritual seekers of the capital. A packed auditorium rose in unison as Swamiji was welcomed with the traditional Purna Kumbha and arati to the chanting of the ‘Yatimatra.’ Accompanied by Swamini Gurupriyananda, Swami Prakarshananda, Swami Chidrupananda and Swami Durgeshananda, the inaugural lamp was lit as Vidit Chauhan sang a melodious invocation to Lord Ganesha In her short, precise welcome note, Smt. Prarthna Saran described Swamiji as legend in Karnataka, under whose able leadership the Chinmaya Mission was well-established throughout the state with many flourishing centres, dynamic grassroot activities, schools and even a reputed hospital. As the applause subsided, Swamiji, in his deep and harmonious voice, began with his trademark bhajans that set the tone for the discourses. Swamiji started the lecture with an explanation of the traditional path taken by a seeker in the Guru Shishya Parampara wherein the student lives with the Teacher who imparts the Knowledge. During this time, the doubts that arise in his mind are cleared by the Guru. However, there are the Avadhoots like Sant Gyaneshwar Maharaj, Swami Nityananda Baba and Ramana Maharshi who neither had teachers nor studied any texts, yet they realized the Truth. At the young age of sixteen, Venkataraman (the childhood name of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi) experienced the highest Knowledge and attained Samadhi Sthiti, but there was nobody to tell him that what he had experienced was the ultimate Truth. Totally shaken, he only knew that he was not the body. He lost interest in school, friends, and relatives. He left home and went to Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. He had a deep inborn devotion for the holy mountain of Arunachala which is worshipped as a Jyotirlinga – the very embodiment of Lord Shiva. He surrendered at the altar of Arunachala and never left. To thousands of people, he became the guiding light. He advised them to not go anywhere in search of the Truth, but to go within, to go source of the ‘I’ and enquire, ‘Who am I?’ This was his primary teaching. Switching to lighter note, Swamiji pointed to the altar of Ramana Maharshi on his left, and to Pujya Gurudev’s on his right, and said “One never spoke and the other never stopped speaking (about the Truth), but within, both were the same. They both reveled in the Truth, the Silence within.” Swami Brahmananda requested all devotees to bring their copies of the text so that he could unfold the profound meaning of the 40 verses on the ‘Vision of the Truth’ – the divine words of Shri Ramana. He concluded by pointing to a striking similarity. “Just as the 40 verses of Hanuman Chalisa are about Hanuman”, he said, “this text too is a Chalisa – about the Supreme Self!”