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

The supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar.”

This is a verse from Arunachala Mahatmayam. I was introduced to the Arunachala mountains through the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi. Before that it was just some sort of a geographical location. But as I read about it, and the power of the mountain, just the mere thought would fill me with wonder, awe, and a sense of stillness. It had a strange attraction, I would find myself drawn to it.

There was a time I wanted to visit it, but it’s not always easy to reach locations, work, time to travel somehow never created a chance. And I would feel disappointed. I would say well, if Arunachala doesn’t want me , there is no way I can go there. But I was so wrong, the human mind needs a physical presence to be reassured. And as I re-read those lines, I saw the grace and magnitude of Arunachala.

 The grace of Arunachala is such that you don’t need to physically be there. Just beholding it in our mind is enough.

The pictures of Arunachala would draw me and I could spend time just gazing at them. I even discovered a website that has live images of the Arunachala through the day. And I no longer craved to visit the place physically. After all your mind can take you anywhere. Soon enough just closing my eyes and holding the image was enough. One has to sense the power of this mountain to understand what it holds.

Often people go there and they say we felt nothing. But as Ramana Maharishi once said, if you are a wet log of wood takes long to dry and catch fire. Depending on how prepared you are you will catch fire more easily. But rest assured, when you come in contact with the mountain you are being wrung dry, you may not know it right away.

Couple of years back, a friend of mine went to Arunachala, I no longer feel the need to visit it physically, but I asked her to pick up a small rock for me from the mountain. So I have a little part to hold with me whenever the human mind is frail and needs so thing physically to hold. Arunachala came to me. Again grace.

But the rest of the time. It’s easy, I think the mountain resides in all of us. We just need to close our eyes.

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