Sri Sadhu Om 


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Sadhu Om



Sri Sadhu Om was born in 1922 in Punnai Nalloor (also known as Maariyamman Koil) near Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, India. From an early age, he was drawn to the Divine. His yearning for spiritual knowledge was so strong that by his fourteenth year, he was composing many verses and songs in Tamil.

In 1942, he first read the Life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

In June 1946, he came upon a copy of the magazine 'Sri Ramana Vijayam' and learned of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Wanting to have Sri Ramana's darshan, he asked his friends about the rules and requirements for this at Sri Ramanasramam.

His friends referred him to  Janaki Mata who was staying in Ganapathy Nagar, Tanjore. In her house, the assembled lady devotees sang the Aksharamanamalai.  Janaki Mata gave him a copy and he learned all the verses by heart and sang them for  Janaki Mata the very next day, in a new raagaa.

On 6th July, 1946 (a Saturday), Sadhu Om went with Janaki Mata to meet Sri Bhagavan. Everyone went into the hall where Sri Bhagawan was sitting and prostrated before him.

When Sadhu Om went up to prostrate before Sri Bhagavan, he saw only Sri Bhagavan's empty seat. Thinking that Sri Bhagawan had gone out without his noticing,  he prostrated before the seat.

When Sadhu Om got up, he saw a dense mass of light appear which gradually took the form of Sri Bhagavan's physical body. In this way, Sri Bhagavan revealed His Nirguna Sath Swaroopa for Sri Swamigal on his very first visit.
 
Sadhu Om then gave Sri Bhagavan the paper containing his poem 'Kuyil Vidu Thoodhu' (the title of the poem means "message sent by a bird which always sings sweetly) and he bagan singing the poem to Sri Bhagavan. Sadhu Om was so overcome with emotion that part way into the poem, he could not go on any further. Sri Bhagavan read the rest of the poem himself and then changed the title to 'Kuyilodu Kooral' (meaning "narrating along with kuyil").

Sri Bhagavan then asked Sadhu Om to take the poem to Sri Muruganar who was living in Palakottu. This created a close bond between Sri Muruganaar and Sri Sadhu Om.

A couple of weeks later, Sadhu Om went to back to Sri Ramanasramam to have darshan of Sri Bhagavan. He sat on  rock on Arunachala composing poems on Sri Bhagawan under the title, 'Vetkai' [Divine longing]. After composing the 7th poem, he realised it was breakfast time, and he quickly went to the Ashram dining hall. 

He entered the dining hall and seeing that Sri Bhagavan was eating there, he sat in front of Sri Bhagavan, and started eating. When Sri Bhagavan finished his breakfast, he got up from the seat. Seeing this, Sadhu Om also got up, although he had not finished eating. Sri Bhagavan looked at Sadhu Om and said, 'Vandha Velaiyaip Paar' (Look after the business for which you have come).

Sadhu Om then sat down, but since he had gotten up while eating, he was reluctant to continue eating. Sri Bhagavan was, after washing his hands, was walking alongside the dining hall. Seeing that Sadhu Om was reluctant to eat, he repeated the words, 'Vandha Velaiyaip Paar'. Hearing these words, Sadhu Om started eating again.

As Sri Bhagavan went near the entrance and was about to pass over the threshold, Sadhu Om turned back and looked at Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagawan also looked at Sadhu Om and uttered the same words, 'Vandha Velaiyaip Paar', for the third time in succession.


At this point, Sadhu Om realised that the words were Sri Bhagavan's upadesa for him, to look after the business for which he was born in this world. He added this incident in as the 8th poem in the his 'Vetkai' series.

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An invitation once came to Sri Sadhu Om from an earnest seeker in the U.S.A., "Will you not come to the West and guide us?"

His attitude is shown clearly in his reply, which ran as follows:

"...It is therefore unnecessary for the Reality to run after the world. Moreover, according to the great truth discovered and revealed by Sri Ramana Bhagavan, a good person leading a simple yet highly spiritual life and passing away unknown to the world does far more good to the world than all the political and social reformers and all the platform-heroes of philosophy. A truly enlightened life will surely help earnest seekers even though they may be living in a remote corner of the world and even without any physical contact, communications, magazines or writings. This is Sri Ramana Maharshi's method of teaching the world through speech-transcending Mystic Silence, the greatest Power. Is it not up to us to follow the footsteps of our Guru, Sri Ramana? ... So why should I think of going anywhere? As He who has guided me to His home is the Father, Lord and inmost Self of one and all, does He not know best how to guide home earnest seekers, wherever they may be? Why then should an ego rise with the thought 'I should guide people'? If such an 'I' were to rise, would it not be a self-conceited attempt to belittle the Grace of Sri Ramana, the one reality? Therefore, the thought of going to the West or the East, or here, there or anywhere else, has never occurred to me and will never occur to me!"

~ from the Preface to the Fourth Edition of Sri Sadhu Om's The Path of Sri Ramana

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Sri Sadhu Om often said that no true disciple of Sri Ramana can be a guru, because Sri Ramana alone is the guru of all who are attracted to his teachings. Whenever anyone asked him whether it is not necessary for us to have a 'living guru', Sri Sadhu Om used to laugh and say, "guru alone is living, and we are all dead", and he explained the real guru is not a physical body but is the ever-living spirit, the infinite consciousness of being that exists within each one of us as our own true self.

~ Michael James

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Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu Om by Michael James, from Ramana's Muruganar, compiled and edited by A. R. Natarajan

Sadhu Om's Sadhanai Saram:
The Mountain Path, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 1984
The Mountain Path, Vol. 21, No. 3, July, 1984
The Mountain Path, Vol. 21, No. 4, October, 1984
The Mountain Path, Vol. 22, No. 1, January, 1985
The Mountain Path, Vol. 22. No. 2, April, 1985


Sri Bhagavan's Feet
Sri Ramanarpanamastu