The Ayyankulam Tank, Tiruvannamalai where Ramana Maharishi became a Sannyasin

The Ayyankulam Tank, (close to Arunagirinatha Temple) east of the huge  Arunachaleswar temple, Tiruvannamalai  is  a holy tank for two reasons 01. Theerthavari rituals ( 5 times a year) and Amavasya Tharpanam for the pithroos (forefathers)  are held here . 02. The temple tank's close link with Sri Ramana Maharshi , a famous spiritualist and philosopher is well-known. It was here Ramana went through a complete metamorphosis and one could see a change in his persona  as well as toward like at unbelievably very young age. Yes, he became an ascetic - a  sannyasin and began to see the artificial mundane world in a different perspective.  Before  saint Ramana, Arunagiri was  the most well known saint and scholar in Tamil in the area. He was born in Tiruvannamalai, about 500 years ago, in the 1500s and became a saint and philosopher in the later years. 

Ayyankulam west. Tiruvannamalai town.

Sri Ramana Maharishi, Thiruvannamalai.

''Have faith in God and in yourself; that will cure all. Hope for the best, expect the best, toil for the best and everything will come right for you in the end''.Ramana Maharishi                                                                                             (


 If you follow the spiritual journey of Sri  Ramana Maharshi.  Ayyankulam Tank, close to the Arunachaleswar temple in Tiruvannamalai of Tamil Nadu was intertwined with  his  early days of childhood  were and his spiritual awakening

Arriving at Tiruvannamalai before noon on 1 September, 1896,  despite several odds while travelling “Venkataraman''(his original name)  he went to  the Arunachaleswarar Temple and  and then to  the Ayyankulam tank, east of the temple

Driven by spiritual ecstasy and contentment in a world that is ephemeral and transitory,  on the banks of the Ayyankulam tank  young Venkataraman cast off everything he had with him including his dress and money after getting tonsure ( removing all hair on the head) from a barber.  He was just wearing Kaupina (a long piece of cotton cloth covering the genital area; Komanam in Tamil)  to maintain modesty and simplicity. 

Theerthavari, Ayyankulam, Thiruvannamalai,

The young boy went one step farther and removed  the yagnopaveetham (sacred thread), indicative of Brahman birth and threw it away. He thought the  sacred thread could also cause a sense of superiority in him . Now, far removed from all caste distinctions, he was euphoric as he was a humble servant of the almighty. 

Upon his return to  Arunachaleswara Temple, there was a heavy downpour and the young saint became wet. It looked as if the  Heaven itself provided  the holy bath and absolved  him of the sins he committed before. Though he never formally took sannyasa following certain rituals before that, his father took the need steps to make his son an ascetic after washing away all remnants of his prior life .

This incidence reminds  me of Mahatma Gandhi and how he took an avatar in Madurai city when he was on a visit in 1921. Taken aback after seeing the strange attire the famous racist  former PM and India baiter Winston Churchill called Gandhiji on his visit to London to attend the Round Table conference,  a ‘half-naked seditious fakir’, but his iconic  avatar and loin cloth became the archetypal  symbol of the common man and his spiritual strength in heading civil disobedience or Satyagraha. Gandhiji  on September 22, 1921, had abandoned his usual attire - his western dress and began to wear loin clothes in order to identify him with India's poor. A subtle message to the british was: Indian natives became poor because of persistent 
colonial exploration of India and its natural resources.