Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi - Attendants  (Read 1075 times)


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Ramana Maharshi - Attendants
« on: February 15, 2013, 10:09:22 AM »
Several cupboards of framed photos of Bhagavan have been placed in the Old Dispensary building, now open for all to see, sit in, and enjoy.  One cupboard is dedicated to Bhagavan's attendants with photos of all attendants in a collage, plus eight individual photos of some of the best-known attendants.  A brief list and notes will be provided as shown below. 
If anyone has any information on these attendant devotees,especially the names remaining without any notes, please feel free to provide such. (All the names and notes will be required to fit on two-three pages so anything provided will have to be kept succinct.) 

Bhagavan's Attendants and Doctors - Photos and Collage
in approximate chronological order, according to Kunju Swami's accounting:

Sri Ramana’s personal attendants in the ashram were chosen by Chinnaswami. Ramana himself never asked anyone to serve him, nor ever sent away an attendant who had been allotted to him. (MP Jayanthi 2005 page 14)
1. Palaniswami (photo and collage) followed the earliest attendants Uddandi Nayinar, Annamalai Tambiran, and Nagalingaswami, and served through the Gurumurtham days until  his death at the Virupaksha cave. He was the first full-time attendant. (Ramana Leela & Self Realization)
2. Ayyasami, 1911-1920, succeeded Palaniswami at the end of the Virupaksha period. He was in Bhagavan's service for four or five years and was described as a very devoted and intuitive attendant. (Call Divine Vol 5 - 1956)
3. Annamalai Swami #1, a popular attendant at Skandasram; he also served up to 1920, before Kunju Swami arrived.
4. Perumalswami, (collage) He initially became an attendant in the late Virupaksha and in the early Skandashram caves period.  Later he attempted to make many problems for the ashram and Bhagavan. (Living by the Words of Bhagavan)  Near the end he apologised to Bhagavan, who told him, "Even if you forget me, I shall not forget you."
5. Kunju Swami, (photo and collage) a well-known devotee from Kerala, one of Bhagavan's attendants from 1920 to 1932.  He lived in the ashram until the end of his long life in 1992, and wrote a book of reminiscences- Enadu Ninaivugal or Living with the Master.  His samadhi is inside the ashram grounds.

6. Ramakrishnaswami, (photo and collage) 1920-1932, an attendant alongside Kunju Swami.  He was personally asked by Bhagavan out of compassion, to become His attendant, saying, "Before, when he worked here, he spent a lot of time outside the ashram on ashram business.  He never came to parayana, nor did he ever listen to the teachings in the hall.  His mind was always extroverted because he was not doing any meditation.  If we keep him in the hall for some time his mind will improve."
7. Annamalai Swami #2, (photo and collage) In 1929 he was an attendant for one month and later a stand-by attendant for Madhava Swami.  He built most of the original large ashram buildings, following Bhagavan's personal wishes and hand-sketched designs.  His close discipleship is recounted in detail in Living by the Words of Bhagavan  by David Godman.
8. Krishnaswami, (photo and collage) an attendant in the mid 1930's, chief attendant in Old Hall; he used to ignore the monkey attacks until, at Bhagavan's behest Chinnaswami reprimanded him for this.  Afterwards he became an avid monkey chaser!
9. Madhavaswami, (photo and collage) A telepathic attendant from the late 1920's to early 1940's. It was suspected, and never denied by Bhagavan, that the white peacock was an incarnation of Madhavaswami, especially due to this peacock picking out all the books from Bhagavan's library which had been repaired by Madhavaswami, and other habits common to both. He was one of the few people who were allowed to massage Bhagavan's body.  He eventually left the ashram and died in difficult circumstances in Kumbakonam where his funeral arrangements were taken care of by Kunju Swami, under personal instructions from Bhagavan.
10. Sathyananda Swami, (collage) 1946-1950, one of the final attendants in the Mahanirvana Room when Bhagavan left His body; one of the two attendants to receive Bhagavan's body into the samadhi pit, becoming smothered in vibhuti, covering his whole body.

11. Sivandaswami, (photo and collage) Bhagavan said to him after he asked for upadesa, "Be true  to yourself."
12. Venkataratnam, (photo and collage); he came to Bhagavan at the age of eighteen in 1942 and remained as one of His attendants until Bhagavan left His body in 1950.  Ratnam's life is related in a book by Neil Rosner, On the Road to Freedom - A Pilgrimage in India.
13. Rajagopalan, (photo)

14. Sadhu Rangaswamy, (collage) came from a local farming family who refused to leave Bhagavan after he arrived at Arunachala as a young man.  He once asked, "What is the way to liberation?" Bhagavan simply replied, "The way you came."  Part of his attendance on Bhagavan coincided with that of Madhavaswami.
15. Vaikunthavasar - (collage) mid-1940's, served Bhagavan after Madhavaswami left and attended at the same time as Krishnaswami.  One of two attendants to receive Bhagavan's body into the samadhi pit.
16. Subramaniaswami (collage - Attendants Group), one of two attendants to receive Bhagavan's body into the samadhi pit.
Natesan  - the Barber, (collage), he shaved Bhagavan's head and beard each full moon for 25 years - his father had served in the same way before him.
Others mentioned as part-time Doctors or attendants by Kunju Swami: (collage)
T.P. Ramachandra Iyer (an Ashram Lawyer); Dr M.R. Krishnamurthy Iyer; Dr Srinivasa Rao; Dr Shankar Rao; Dr Ananta Narayana Rao; (all in collage)

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 10:13:18 AM by Regulus »