Sri Vidya Havan
Sri Vidya Havan will be performed on Friday March 21, 2014 at Sri Ramanasaramam. This is an elaborate worship of the Divine Mother as enjoined in the sacred scriptures. The priests offer oblations in fire concluding with Purna Ahuti symbolic of total self-offering.
The Divine Mother
Hindu scriptures say that the Divine effulgence of the Supreme Lord Shiva manifested in a cosmic female Form to confront and destroy very powerful demons promoting unrighteousness in the universe. Sages were overwhelmed with gratitude at the compassionate intervention by the Divine Mother. They composed liturgies on Her glory and established procedures for the proper worship of the Divine Mother.
Sri Ramana Maharshi and the Divine Mother
Sri Ramana Maharshi composed a verse in Tamil which states the warning given by the Divine Mother to wicked people. In “the collected works of Sri Ramana Maharshi” under the heading “The glory of Arunachala” the Divine Mother is quoted by the Maharshi as giving the following stern warning to wicked people:
‘This is always the abode of pious devotees. Those who do evil to others here will, after suffering ills, be destroyed. Wicked persons will be completely bereft of their powers to do evil here in the twinkling of an eye. Do not fall into the burning fire of the anger of Lord Arunachala who has assumed the form of a hill of fire.’
Sri Ramana Maharshi’s interest in Meru Prasthara Chakra
We find the following in a book written by Sadhu Arunachala(Major Chadwick)
“Bhagavan was deeply interested in the construction of the Shrine built over his Mother’s tomb. He attended every function in connection with it, placing his hands in blessing on the various objects that were to be enclosed in the walls. At night, when no one was about he would walk round and round the construction consecrating it. That he should take such a demonstrative part in anything has a very deep significance. It was extremely rare and has been doubted by many, but I myself was an eye-witness to these things and can vouch for their truth.
He took a personal interest in the cutting of the Sri Chakra Meru in granite which was installed in the completed temple and is regularly worshipped. This is about one and a half feet square and proportionately high. At the time of the Kumbhabhishekam, on the penultimate night before the sacred water was poured over the images, he personally superintended the installation in the inner shrine. It was an extremely hot night and with three charcoal retorts for melting the cement adding to the heat, it must have been intolerable inside the airless cave of the inner shrine, but for about an hour and a half Bhagavan sat there telling the workmen what to do.
On the last night of the function he went in procession, opening the doors of the new Hall and temple and passing straight up into the Inner Shrine, where he stood for some five minutes with both hands laid on the Sri Chakra in blessing. I happened that night to be at his side the whole time; this was unusual as I deliberately avoided taking prominent part in such things, preferring to watch from the back. Strangely, something made me keep by him on this occasion and on account of this I was able to understand his deep interest in the Temple and especially in the Sri Chakra. It was because of this knowledge that I was instrumental after Bhagavan’s passing, in persuading the Ashram authorities to institute the Sri Chakra Poojas six times a month. The explanation for this unusual action on Bhagavan’s part may be found in the necessity that Siva must be always accompanied by Shakti. The world would stop otherwise. On the only occasion when such a Pooja was performed shortly after the dedication of the Temple during the life of Bhagavan, he refused to go for his evening meal but insisted on remaining a witness of it until the end. When someone remarked how magnificent it had been and it would be a good thing if such Poojas could be performed regularly, “Yes,” replied Bhagavan, “but who will take the trouble?” The trouble is being taken now and it undoubtedly has the blessings of Bhagavan.
I do not think that anyone who has written about Bhagavan and the Ashram has remarked on the extraordinary fact that here we have a Temple dedicated by a Jnani; there cannot be very many such, and there must be some very deep meaning in it. A great many devotees who come to the Ashram have only time for the Samadhi where Bhagavan was interred. I do not pretend myself to understand why he did it or what will be the consequences, but it is certain that having been consecrated in this way it must for ever be a very sacred spot and from it spiritual power must radiate all over India.”
Sri Ramana Maharshi inspires sacred hymns in praise of the Divine Mother
Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer a devotee and a long term associate of Sri Ramana Maharshi writes in “At the Feet of Bhagavan”
“Devotees of Sri Bhagavan are aware only of his famous ‘Upadesa Saram’ and a few isolated verses as His contributions to the ‘Language of the Gods’(Sanskrit). So it is necessary to place on record His contribution to the famous ‘Uma Sahasram’ — thousand verses on Uma, the Divine Mother sung by His great disciple, the learned Sri Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni. This story shows the Maharshi as the joint author of this composition.
Sri Bhagavan was then living in the Pachaiamman Temple, the abode of Maragathambal, on the north eastern slopes of Sri Arunachalam. In those days the Maharshi would sit and sleep in a hammock slung between two stone pillars and be rocked as a darling child by His loving pupils.
Sri Kavyakanta had composed 700 stanzas on Uma in some thirty different meters, and had announced to his devotees in various parts of the country that this poem would be dedicated on a certain Friday in the Shrine of Sri Uma in the great Temple of Sri Arunachaleswara. Over a hundred persons gathered at the Pachaiamman Temple so as to be present on the occasion. Now these Sanskrit verses were not a mere intellectual display by Sri Kavyakanta, great as he was in Sanskrit composition. Proof of his great intellectual capacity may be had from the very fact that in the presence of the heads of the UdipiMaths he composed extempore in a single hour the hundred verses of the ‘Ghantaa sataka,’ giving the cream of the teaching of the three main schools of Hindu Philosophy.
His ‘Uma Sahasram’ is different from other compositions in that it is pasyanti vak, i.e.revealed by the Divine Mother in Her own words to one who is adept in the Kundalini Yoga.
At about 8 p.m. on the evening before the dedication day, after supper, Sri Maharshi asked Sri Kavyakanta whether the dedication would have to be postponed to some other Friday, as 300 verses were still to be composed to complete the thousand. But Sri Kavyakanta assured Bhagavan that he would complete the poem immediately.
The scene that followed can hardly be believed by one who did not actually witness it. Sri Maharshi sat silent and in deep meditation like the silent Lord Dakshinamurthy. The eager disciples watched in tense admiration the sweet flow of divine music in Sanskrit verse as it came from the lips of the great and magnetic personality of Sri Kavyakanta. He stood there delivering the verses in an unbroken stream while disciples eagerly gathered the words and wrote them down. Oh, for the ecstasy of it all! Life is indeed blessed if only to experience those divine moments.
The ‘Sahasram’ was finished in several meters Madalekha, Pramanika, Upajati Aryagiti, etc. For a while the disciples present enjoyed the deep ecstasy of the silence pervading the atmosphere, as Sri Kavyakanta concluded with the normal type of colophone. Then Sri Bhagavan opened His eyes and asked, “Nayana, has all that I said been taken down?” From Sri Ganapati Muni came the ready and grateful response, “Bhagavan, all that Bhagavan inspired in me has been taken down!”
It is thus clear that Sri Bhagavan inspired the final 300 verses of the ‘Uma Sahasram’ through the lips of Sri Kavyakanta, without speaking a word, as usually understood, or rather in the silence characteristic of the Silent Sage of Arunachala. It is noteworthy that whereas Sri Kavyakanta revised the first 700 verses of this monumental work some six times, he did not revise any of the last 300. This being Sri Bhagavan’s own utterance, there was no need to “polish them.” These 300 verses are to be considered as Sri Bhagavan’s unique contribution to Sanskrit poetry.