Chapter 5. Mahaan.

दर्शनात् अभ्रशदसि | जननात् कमलालये || स्मरणात् अरुणाचले | काश्यान्तु मरणान् मुक्तिः ||

Liberation is certain for the one who remembers Arunachala. Being born in Kamalalaya, seeing Chidambharam and dying in Kashi are other ways for liberation – Skanda Purana.

I discovered this book when I was in my high school. It was a 50-page book. I read the book repeatedly over 100 times in a span of three months. The book changed me once for all.   

I cannot recollect the name of the book nor its author even now. The book had an impact on me. When one is absorbed in a book, both the reader and the book disappear. This was my experience.

All that mattered to me in the book was the master. It was the master who revealed Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi to the world. The master was none other than Seshadri Swami, who attained Mahasamadhi in the year 1929. He was addressed as a elder brother to Ramana.

Seshadri Swami was an expert in shastras and Vedanta. He was initiated into Sanyasa at the age of nineteen by a mystic. The mystic instructed him to go to Arunachala and spend his life. The Swami lived in Arunachala for over forty years and subsequently attained Mahasamadhi. An ashram adjacent to Ramana Ashram in Arunachala houses his Mahasamadhi.

The Swami roamed in the streets of Arunachala during his lifetime. His behaviour was unpredictable. Often people were frightened with his behaviour. Several mystical experiences are associated with the Swami. It is said that he was often found in many places at the same time. While sitting, he preferred to sit in the auspicious Swastikasana. His teachings always emphasised the glory of Arunachala. 

The entire town came together when he attained Mahasamadhi. Mahasamadhi is the state a yogi enters when they consciously make the decision to leave the body. Ramana Maharishi adored Seshadri Swami and was present during the final moments of his Mahasamadhi.

Seshadri Swami was a great mystic, visionary and capable of seeing extraordinary things.

The book dwelt into the life of the Swami, a yogi, and a realised master. He was at the core of existence and provoked me rather deeply.  When the reader and the book are in absorption, it becomes a deep meditation. The thought of Arunachala filled my mind and became a mantra.

In Arunachala Mahatmyam, Nandi says that Arunachala is the heart of the universe and most scared. It is the ‘hridaya’ or heart of Shiva. Here Shiva abides as the glorious hill. Shiva says to Nandi that the true message in Vedanta is to acquire everlasting freedom for those undergoing endless pain. The essence of this message from Vedanta can be realised by all who visit the hill of Arunachala or even think about it from a far distance.

Smaranaat Arunaachale, by remembering Arunachala, one is assured of freedom.

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