Category Archives: Stories

arunuchala hills

Arunanchala hills a mystic powerful experience to unveil the secret of life

Category : Stories

Where are Arunanchala hills located?

Arunanchala hills are located at Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Naidu state in Southern part of India  a.k.a holy hill at Tiruvannamalai is one of the main places for the followers of Shaivism.

The hill is also known by many other names including ArunagiriAnnamalai Hill, Arunanchalam, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam.

Why Arunanchala hills are famous?

At the base of the Arunanchala hills, there is lies one of the five main temple of Lord shiva, named Annamalaiyar Temple.

The Annamalaiyar temple has an monumental tower or gopuram style architecture which is rectangular in form with ground-level wooden doors, often richly decorated, providing access to the main temple.

This temple is mostly renowned for some of the remarkable carvings on the walls. One of the most beautiful carving of  Lord Shiva is found in Annamalaiyar temple in which Lord Shiva is shown as dancing in an elephant’s skin.

Many great saints and sages like Sri Ramna Maharshi who were great passive instrument to radiate the great power of self resided and did their spiritual practices or sadhana in the Arunachala hills.

At the foot hill of Arunanchala hills,  Sri Ramana Ashram situated which draws devotees from all over the world.

Karthigai Deepam (sacred fire light) lit in Annamalaiyar Temple then carried at top of the Arunanchala hills to celebrate the tenth day of the Tamil month Karthikai (November- December) every year.

Sri Ramana Maharshi beautifully described the meaning of this event as

Getting rid of the `I am the body’ idea and merging the mind into the Heart to realize the Self as non-dual being and the light of all is the real significance of darshan (vision of divine) of the beacon of light on Annamalai, the centre of the universe.”

Pilgramage to the  Ashta Lingam, 8 small shrines of the lingams. Also known as Giri Pradakshina in Sanskrit and Giri Valam in Tamil.

Sri Ramana Maharshi explained the meaning of the word pradakshina and how it should be done by a devotee

The letter “Pra” stands for removal of all kinds of sins; “da” stands for fulfilling the desires; “kshi” stands for freedom from future births; “na” stands for giving deliverance through jnana.

If by way of Pradakshina you walk one step it gives happiness in this world, two steps, it gives happiness in heaven, three steps, it gives bliss of Satyaloka(highest plane of consciousness) which can be attained. One should go round either in mouna (silence) or dhyana (meditation) or japa (repetition of Lord’s name) or sankeertana (bhajan) and thereby think of God all the time. One should walk slowly like a woman who is in the ninth month of pregnancy.

Massive celebration of the Maha Shivaratri festival . The day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri – the Night of Lord Shiva.  It is the 13th night (waning moon) and 14th day of the month Phalguna (Magha), which usually falls in either February or March month.

Amazing mystic healing powers of Arunachala hills

It is believed that Lord Shiva declared that

Residence within a radius of thirty miles of the Arnunchala hills shall, by itself, be sufficient to burn off all defects and effect the union of the individual soul with the Supreme even without the initation.

In ancient times Sri Parvathi Devi, Sages like Gautama and Dhurvasa did tapas in arunchala hills and their ashrams still exist there.

Arunachala hills has secret mystic powers that truly bestows the self knowledge( or jnana ) to the real Jnana yogis. People who truly seek self knowledge and  visit Arunachala hills. They always find a way to reach to the self. The Arunachala hills makes itself known through some means or other to unleash the truth within.

Ramana Maharshi said that

 Holy places such as Kailash, Varanasi and Rishikesh are sacred because they are the abodes of Lord Siva whereas Arunachala is Lord Siva himself.

Some of the interesting  verses from Arunachala Mahatmyam are below

Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala.

All stones in that place Arunachala arelingams. 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. To go round it in pradakshina is to perform pradakshina of the world. 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?

By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.

Higher up in the Arunachala hills you will find many caves where many saint and sages achieved the truth of life over the centuries. OM shaped cave in higher hills of Arunanchala still bears the name of 15th century sage Virupaksha Deva who stayed and did his sadhana there. At south-east slope of Arunachala you will find the cave of Sri Ramana Maharshi lived in from 1899 to 1916.

You can still find many siddha purushas  at Arunchala hills who stays in cave there and are deeply engrossed in to their sadhana. Arunchala hill can be a perfect place to deepen your spiritual practice and explore the hidden deep dimension within.

Have you been to Arunachala hills ? Or planning to visit?

Share your own story of visiting Arunachala hills as everyone has had their own unique experience there. 


sivananda joga pune

Spiritual journey memoirs – Sivananda family, India

Category : Stories


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During my Sivananda ashram stay in Madurai, India. On our weekly day off,  we went to visit amazing temples of the Madurai. We meet amazing young Vedanta students, who did Vedic chanting for us. I was so mesmerized by their amazing vocal strength, indeed they must be doing their pranayama practice well. In the end, our Sivananda family chanted Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, from Rig veda

Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe,
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam;
Urva Rukamiva Bandhanaan,
Mrityor Mokshiye Maamritat.

Maha Mrityunjaya is  one of the most powerful mantra, also known as Moksha mantra. It is known to gives all happiness of the world, removes all evils and sins. Destroys tamas and increasesthe Satwa Guna into the being.

In our Sivananda tradation, we often chant Maha Mrityunjaya atleast 5 or 7 times, on special occasions like birthdays.  To pray for good health, vitality and to remove sins. 

I really appreciate the love and blessings of my Masters. Aum Namah Sivaya.


peshwas pune travel

Great historic art work of the Peshwas Royal Court

Category : Stories

On my Pune travel diaries, i visited to Shaniwarwada, and absolutely loved it.

I happen to see an ancient historic painting commissioned by Sir Charles Malet, which was painted by James Wales and Thomas Daniell portraying the conclusion of an alliance of the Maratha Regime with the East Indian Company in 1790 against Tipu Sultan.

This historic painting depicts the scene of the Royal Court of the young Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa ( 1774 – 1795) of the Maratha Empire.

Sawai Madhavrao is seen seated on a cushion throne wearing a typical Maratha Turban decorated by ornamental, jewelled “Shirpech”.

Nana Phadanvis, the chief administrator is on the Peshwa’s left side while Sir Charles Malet in the European costume, is presenting the treaty papers to Sawai Madhavrao.

Sir Charles Warren Malet (1752 – 1815) of the East India Company was the British Resident at the court of the Peshwas in 1795. Here he has just concluded an alliance with the Marathas against Tipu Sultan, signed on 6th August 1790.

Thomas Daniell’s ( 1749 – 1840) largest painting was exhibited in 1805. He completed the subjest began by the Scottish artist James Wales ( 1774 – 1795 ) who arrived at Pune from Mumbai in 1792.

Sir Charles Malet was the one, who introduced James Wales to the Peshwa court. In 1792, James Wales painted a full-length group of the Peshwas receiving visitors with the Chief Minister and attendants.

He planned to expand this into a “Great Treaty Durbar Group” showing Malet concluding a British alliance with the Peshwa in 1790 but died before he could do so. For that his friend Daniell, was commissioned by Malet to realize the work.

This was an opportunity to address modern events, portraiture, costume and custom as well as architecture on the monumental scale of history painting.

It appears that Daniel has assimilated contemporary Indian taste for detail and description ans succeeded beyond imagination to reflect the court of the Peshwa grandeur magnanimity, power, court discipline, custom, ceremonial attire of the young Peswa, his aristocrats, noblemen, remarkable architecture, beauty of the paintings of Hindu theory of evolution, ceiling, huge one piece carpet and so on.

In other words, Daniell created a landmark painting of the defendants of Hindu Kingdom and the house of Peshwa at the commanding center position.


jyoti khatri yoga

Baby bird teaches how to love

Category : Stories

This incident is really empowering in the sense that it has given me the practical experience to be a witness of one of the important yogic principle, which we yogis has to follow – Ahimsa.

Great sage Patanjali has mentioned in Yoga Sutras, a great dealt about Ahimsa or non violence as primordial for all successful relationship in life.

That relationship is not just confined with your family, loved ones, strangers or any other being , but also include your relationship with your higher self within.

How much you are connected to the absolute higher consciousness that you have within. Patanjali yoga sutras doesn’t only tell what true love is but also provide us the method on how to love.

Method is Ahimsa that teaches us how to love oneself and others truly.

Just like the saying goes, if you don’t know how to love yourself , how can you love other person. But the love i am talking about is not the worldly or bodily love, which is not love really but lust or greed depending in the situation. That again goes back to the lowest nature of the human being.

The whole essence of Love is all about not hurting, harming or killing, also known as ahimsa in yoga philosophy.

Let’s focus on the practicality of this yogic method rather than mere theory.

Story goes like this

During afternoon I was just busy doing my work , suddenly i noticed the floor is getting flooded with water. The source of that water is from the tap which was there in the balcony which i was not using as that is officially baby (pigeon bird)hatching zone.

Life starts with a great struggle

When i reached there i saw the pigeon baby was struggling for life in that water. The baby must be hardly a week old as the wings and other parts are still developing its functionality. I just closed the tap and rushed to save him.

The baby bird was shivering and all wet. I immediately bring him in and let him dry. I started the work of removing the water. But the whole drain was choked, so i removed water and cleaned the whole place manually.

While i was removing the water i realized that the second baby bird has died. As, last time i remembered there were two eggs there and mother bird was working hard to hatch them properly. The body of the dead bird was just like flattened skin with no flesh or bones whatsoever like a garment is left, rest is gone. So, i realized that he might have not survived the initial hatching phase of his life.  Surprisingly the nest was not like that of the wooden twigs but of the iron, can check out in video too. May be iron was the base, mother bird might have used something else but i couldn’t find anything else. Whatever  setting was there, now it has gone in the water.

This baby bird is really lucky as he survived that critical stage as well as this water flood accident.

He did fantastic job, i m sure he is fearless with strong fire of  atma shakti (the power of soul or atman).

After one and half hour, his home was ready with coconut husk and he was well dried too. I noticed his mom was also bit uneasy and was waiting for him outside the place where i found him.

While i was carrying him on my hand, on the way back to his rebuilt home. I happen to witness and feel the heart beat of a baby bird. That heart beat was so powerful and i felt like i was able to read what is going on with him. Instantly i felt connected at different level of the body. Though the touch was of physical body but the experience was way beyond that. The warmth of my hands made him feel comfortable and secure.

Power of touch

Be it animal, bird or human, we all are equipped to sense what type of touch it is, when somebody touches us. Just like the touch plays an important role in our yoga philosophy. The gentle warmth of my hand made a direct contact with his body. He was venerable but strong. He put his best fight and nature favored him by sending me to him to save his life.

Action and surrender fruits to the ultimate loved one

In the same way we often encounter countless venerable moments in life. But, all we need to do is to put the best action forward and surrender one self with that higher consciousness within us. An external required help will be sent to us. If we understand the practicality of this yogic principal and implement in our life then one can witness great transformation in one’s personality.

Emotions and gestures part of life

Whole of this time he was sitting on my palm and receiving warmth and energy from down to up direction. He really loved it. When i kept him on his place, he felt happy and relaxed. He expressed that emotion or gesture by peeing and pooping.

When toxins are taken out from the body be it human or bird , it always brings relaxation and joy.  Just like in human world, people feel creative and get great ideas when they are in washroom.  If we know how to love properly then we can definitely feel that relaxation and joy all the time irrespective of time, space and causation.

And yes, Yoga give us the method of how to love. Just practice Ahmisa and you will know it by yourself.

What is Love?

Finally they reunited with happiness of true love. Method of how to love is simple – just don’t harm, hurt or kill where you live. Love is not harming, hurting or killing.

Yogic philosophy is so deep and always hits at root cause, says

Let your mind, action, and speech come together and witness the ultimate power of love by not harming, hurting or killing.

Final notes

As you understand yourself better, you can love better. Love is all about giving selflessly without any restriction and it ultimately leads to freedom. Love makes one aware of the reality or ultimate truth.  All is one, Brahman – the ultimate love or reality.


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