Time is around 1 pm.
I am told that the formal Samadhi ceremony will commence at around 3 pm.
I decide to go into the town to visit Sri K Natesan. Sri Natesan is a contemporary of Swami Ramanananda. He is in his nineties as well, and is perhaps a few months elder to Swami. Sri Natesan has been a long time resident of Ramanashramam, and is a disciple of Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni. Indeed it would not be an overstatement that he has Ananya-Bhakti to Bhagavan and Nayana alone. And it is to him that we owe the debt of receiving the complete works of Nayana. He has spent a lifetime of effort tracing all of Nayana’s writings, and has undertaken the Herculean task of bringing them all to print. The complete works of Ganapati Muni will be over 12 volumes. Of this nine have been published so far – all by Sri Ramanashramam. It may be said that the training in proof reading that Sri Natesan got under the eye of Sri Ramana, has made him a nonpareil editor of Sanskrit writing. Indeed, one of his most shining moments was, when as a youngster, he found a proof-error in a manuscript that had been earlier proof-read by Sri Ramana! Ramana Maharshi is said to have given him a look of affectionate wondrous appreciation!
Sri Nateshan stays now in his brothers residence, a hundred year old house near the great Arunachaleshwara temple. It is a house that has heard the resonating chant of Vedas for all these hundred years. I find Sri Nateshan in his room, in the terrace. He is happy to see me, as am I to see him. He is not keeping the best of health and is convalescing here. We have a long chat.
Heres a picture that I took of him reading out a Tamizh verse of Muruganaar, to me.
Returning from his house, I stop for a moment to take this picture of the hill.
The arch seen in the picture leads to Agni Teertham, the pond that is near Agni Lingam. Someone once mentioned to me that the water here comes from the spring near Skandashramam, and goes from here to the water tank in the Arunachaleshwara temple.
I reach the Ashram at around 3 pm. The Samadhi ceremony has commenced.
The body of Swami Ramanananda, in Padmasana posture, is kept outside Sri Ramaneshwara Mahalingam hall, in the open. A crowd has gathered, and Swami’s poorvashrama kin are gathered next to the body. Priests chant sanskrit shlokas and the rituals are performed.
Heres a picture.
To be contd….