30th of December,1879, was an auspicious day on the Hindu calendar. It
was the day of Ardra-Darshanam, a day when the image of Lord-Shiva
in his dancing form is taken out in a procession every year in celebration
of His grace.In the village of Tirucculi, in Madurai district, in southern
India a second child was born on this day to Alagammal and Sundaram Aiyer.
He was named Venkataraman.
was when he was sixteen that Venkataraman met a relative and when asked
where he had come from, the realtive replied ‘Arunachala’. The word excited
him and overwhelmed he wanted to know where it was. The answer he got
was that ‘Tiruvannamalai’ was ‘Arunachala’.
said to himself..Now death has come, what does it mean? Who is it that
dies? The body dies.And at once he lay down stretching himself, holding
his body stiff and holding his breath as if in death. He said to himself
Well, this body is now dead. It will be carried to the burning ground
and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body, am I dead? Am I
this body? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality
and even the voice of ‘I’ within me apart from it. So I am the spirit
transcending the body. The body dies but the spirit transcending it cannot
be touched by death. That means I am the deathless spirit.