In early 2014 I gave a series of talks on Ramana Maharshi. I covered many aspects of his life, his teachings and his devotees, but I also made a point of visiting all the places in Tiruvannamalai where he had lived and taught. In each place I narrated incidents that had occurred in the era that Bhagavan had lived there. Here are the videos, in chronological order.
The first place he stayed, after his arrival in 1896, was the Arunachaleswara Temple. He stayed in many places within its precincts but perhaps the most famous location was the Patala Lingam shrine, where this talk was filmed.
After spending about eighteen months in the Arunachaleswara Temple, he moved to Gurumurtham Temple, a small temple on the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai. It was here that he was discovered by his family.
After about a year in Gurumurtham he moved on to Pavalakundru, a small shrine located on the top of a rocky outcrop closer to the centre of Tiruvanammalai. It was here that his mother finally caught up with him and unsuccessfully pleaded with him to return home.
Around 1901 he moved to Virupaksha Cave, a few hundred feet up the eastern slope of Arunachala. This was his main base until around 1915, but he also lived in other places during this era.
In 1902 he briefly stayed in the Guhai Namasivaya Temple compound, located about half way between Virupaksha Cave and the Arunachaleswara Temple. It was here that Sivaprakasam Pillai met him and recorded the teachings that are now contained in Who am I?
On several occasions during the first decade of the twentieth century he moved to Pachaiamman Koil Temple, which is just outside Tiruvannamalai. These moves were usually prompted by outbreaks of bubonic plague during which all the occupants of Tiruvannamalai town were forced to relocate outside the town borders.
The material I filmed at Skandashram (where Bhagavan lived from 1915-22) was not of a good enough quality to make a film, so this next film focuses on the Mother’s Temple, where Bhagavan lived from 1922 to 1928. It tells the story of how Bhagavan moved from Skandashram to Sri Ramanasramam and how an ashram grew up around the grave of Bhagavan’s mother.
From 1928 to the 1940s Ramana Maharshi lived in what is now called ‘The old hall’. It was here that most of the surviving dialogues with him were recorded. In the 1940s the hall became too small to hold the crowds that were thronging to see him, so he moved outside into a temporary thatched structure that was called ‘The Jubilee Hall’. In 1949 he moved to ‘The new hall’, an annex to the temple that had been constructed over his mother’s samadhi.