This is an account of a trip I made in 2017 to Tiruchuzhi, birth place of Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi in 1879. In the 1940s the Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai bought the house in which Sri Ramana was born and where he grew up with his family. It is called the Ramana Maharshi Sundaram and is open to visitors. I was travelling with a friend of mine and we had based ourselves in the city of Madurai which was about 45 minutes away by car. In Madurai we had first visited the Ramana Mandarim on Chockkappan Street, close to the south tower of the Meenakshi Temple, the place where Sri Ramana realised The Self in 1896 before making his way a few weeks later to Tiruvannamalai, where he was to remain for the rest of his life.
It wasn’t for a couple of years before I retrieved my Ramana Maharshi book from John, not until after he had died in fact. This was in 2011 which meant I would have lent him my copy of Talks With Ramana Maharshi in 2008 or something like that. I was in his bungalow in Clayhall, East London, clearing out his bedroom with Leigh, his son and my work colleague in the small company we ran together, first in Walthamstow and then in Ilford, going all the way back to 1989. By 2011 the company was entering its last phase of existence which on a business level meant five years of pain before we finally pulled the plug in 2016. We did this by way of going into voluntary liquidation, after which things changed overnight, seemingly rendering the previous 27 years’ work if not completely redundant then something pretty close. Anyway, all that lay in the future, so back to 2011. Continue reading “Face of the Guru”