Monday, August 03, 2009

Thiruvannamalai & Usmaan Bhai . . .

It all started when I suddenly decided about going to Thiruvannamalai, a sacred place for the Hindus and the worshippers of Lord Shiva. I have never been there so far, and all of a sudden, during a telephonic conversation with my girlfriend, while answering to her question about going somewhere to relax, I said ‘I’ll go to Thiruvannamalai’. I didn’t know what prompted me to say so, and so it all started when I suddenly decided about going to Thiruvannamalai.

I started from Chennai on Saturday night around 8:30 PM, and reached the place at Sunday early morning around 3:30 AM. Throughout the journey, it was irritating to the core by the idiotic movie clips shown with full sound, and to my surprise, the people found it very interesting, and on top of it, they were sleeping peacefully in spite of the deafening sound! I thought of telling the driver about the sound, which I usually do, but this time, decided against it, as there were a lot of people sitting on the floor and it’s impossible to cross all of them from my last seat. I thought, ‘Okay. This is a nice beginning’.

But, while nearing Thiruvannamalai, all the irritation slowly disappeared, and I became a sort of curious. I dunno why, but I also felt in peace. Got down the bus around 3:30 AM, and started walking towards the mountain. There were no one on the road, and it was very windy. While walking towards the temple, I saw some beautiful illustrations of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri YogiramsurathKumar (Visiri Swami) on the wall towards my left.

After a while, reached the temple, and the gopuram was magnanimous. It was then I thought about a very young Venkataraman, reaching the temple and prostrating before the lord, saying ‘O father! I have reached you’ and immediately attained the holy state of Samadhi, and began showering millions of people with his grace, Sri Ramana maharshi. I slowly walked around the temple, and reached the other side.

While walking, in a particular spot along the road, I saw a name board called ‘Sri Sai mess’. I immediately decided to begin my journey around the mountain from there, and after switching on Sri Rudhram in my mobile, started my journey.

The total distance to be covered is 14 Kilo Meters. It is said that one has to walk all the fourteen kilometers, barefooted, to complete the mountain pradhakshana. It was a wonderful experience, hearing the manthras from Sri Rudhram and to walk in utter silence on the deserted road, thinking about the holy mountain and the temple and the various sages and great souls who had lived there.

Along the route, there are temples of the astha lingas - the eight lingas, and while crossing them, I offered my salutations. A young saint was also walking along with me, on the other side of the road, and throughout most of the journey, he was walking just ahead of me. Even in the darkest parts of the journey, he was there walking just ahead, non stop, and by keeping an eye on him, I was able to walk freely. He stopped near a temple, near the end, and stayed there.

I began my walk at 4:15 AM and completed it at 7 AM. I entered the temple. It was huge, to say the least. I saw the temple elephant, and there were a few monkeys as well. The following is taken from the authentic temple history, which is called Arunachala Purana.

‘'All stones in that place [Arunachala] are lingams. It is indeed the Abode of
Lord Siva. All trees are the wish-granting trees of Indra's heaven. Its rippling
waters are the Ganges, flowing through our Lord's matted locks. The food eaten
there is the ambrosia of the Gods. When men move about in that place it is the
earth performing pradakshina around it. Words spoken there are holy scripture,
and to fall asleep there is to be absorbed in samadhi, beyond the mind's
delusion. Could there be any other place which is its equal? “

I went straight to the temple of the main deity there, Sri Arunachaleswara (Lord Shiva), and to my surprise, I saw the lingam as it is, without any ornaments or garlands. The Lingam appeared very old, with a lot of cuts on the surface, and it was a bit smaller in size too. The darshan lasted for about ten seconds, when the priest pulled my hand and asked me to leave. It was a wonderful darshan.

After getting the darshan of Shiva, I went and visited all the remaining gods and goddesses, and then with a satisfaction, came out of the temple.

I had to meet one another person there. I called and confirmed his presence, and off I went to a small village called ‘Manaloorppettai’ which is about 30 kilo meters from Thiruvannamalai to meet the person, named ‘Usmaan Bhai’.

I went to his home, and he greeted me in. When we sat, he started to talk about the mountain, and the god, and general philosophy of Hinduism. He then spoke about Ramalinga Adigalar, who is popularly called as ‘Vallalar’, whom this man is a staunch devotee.

Usmaan Bhai casually asked me to bring a small amount of sand, from outside. When I brought him the sand, he picked some of it in his fingers, and keeping it between his forefinger and thumb, asked me my mother’s name. Then, he offered his closed fist to me, and when it opened, there was a Rudraksha! The sand had disappeared !

He again did this, and it was a lemon this time. He asked me to wear the Rudraksha and keep the lemon in my home. Guessing the kind of respect in my mind towards him, he suddenly dismissed these miracles as frauds, and started to engage me in casual conversation.

Yes. This man is called ‘Usmaan Bhai’ and is a famous siddha. He can bring anything from his hand, and is a very famous doctor too. He specializes in giving medicine to people who don’t have children, and it works for them all the time. He also cures people of various disorders by giving ayurvedha medicines. Overall, he has many supernatural powers, but is a very humble, down to earth person.

After spending nearly 2 hours with the great man, I bid my farewell. He insisted on coming with me to the bus stand, in spite of my protests, and took me to one temple also. After me getting in to the bus, he left for his home.

For further details about Usmaan Bhai, read the following link, by Charu Nivedita.

It is true that Usmaan Bhai can cure any illness. But, above everything, he successfully cultivates the thoughts about the all pervading lord in to our minds, and turns it towards the lord. A great soul indeed!

My eventful Thiruvannamalai trip concluded with meeting the powerful Siddha. This is the first ever time I went to the holy mountain, and it was indeed a great experience.

PS:- The image courtesy –


Lanunannu said...

Made a very very interesting read

Tamilwiki said...

Rajesh, Great writeup. Arunachala is THE oldest mountain on earth, archealogical data confirms this. There are many sacred places of lord shiva all over India, they are all abodes of Lord Shiva, whereas, Arunachala bears significance for it is Lord Shiva himself.

Arunachala Mahatmyam says, Arunachala is a secret kshetra. Because it is this place that bestows jnana and because most people have so many other desires and do not truly want jnana, Arunachala has always remained comparatively little known. But to those few who seek jnana, Arunachala always makes itself known through some means or other.

It great to know that you went for a Giri Pradakshina. Because Arunachala is the 'fire of knowledge' (jnanagni) in the form of a hill, the outgoing tendencies (vasanas) of the mind are automatically scorched when one goes round it. When damp wood is brought close to a fire, it will gradually be dried, and at a certain point it will itself catch fire. Similarly, when the mind which is soaked with worldly tendencies goes round the hill, the tendencies will gradually dry up and at a certain point the mind will become fit to be burnt by the fire of jnana.

Anonymous said...

very fabulous..... Really you made it very interesting to read!!! great........

The S c o r p said...

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