Bhagavan Ramanar in ArunAchalam
Bhagavan reached ThiruvannAmalai on first of September 1896. When he left his house in Thiruchuzhi he did not know where ThiruvannAmalai was. He left home with a few Annas( the smallest denomination of Indian currency on those days) . Earlier he had heard about Thiruvannamalai, when someone visiting his father mentioned it. He got a prompt from his inner conscience to go to Thiruvannamalai. He went to Madurai nearest railway station and boarded a train going northwards from there. An elderly Muslim gentleman in the train enquired of him where he was going. Venkatraman( as he was called then ) replied that Thiruvannamalai. The gentleman told that the train will not take you to Thiruvannamalai but you can get down at a station called Thindivanam and find out how to go to Thiruvannamalai.
Venkatraman slept in the train for some time. When he woke up, the Gentleman had gone. It appeared that he was Godsend. Perhaps ArunAchalEswarar himself might have come in human form to direct Venkatraman to Thiruvannamalai.
From Thindivanam Venkatraman reached a place called Keezhur. There he visited the temple dedicated to veeretteswarar .By that time he had neither money nor strength to walk further. He was tired and hungry.
He accepted Bikshai(ALMS) from one Muthukrishna Bhagavathar. He pledged his ear studs with the Bhagavathar and got four Rupees. Somehow he boarded a train and reached Thiruvannamalai.
For a few days he stayed in the thousand pillar mandapam in ArunAchalEswarar temple. He did neither speak to anyone nor ate anything during these days. No one offered him any food.
He did not feel the need also.
But a few mischievous children started troubling him. They pelted stone at him. Heckled him. To escape from them, he went down to the ‘Pathala linga’ underground room in the temple. In those days the Pathala linga room was in very bad condition ;infested by all kinds of creatures like snakes, and scorpions.
But Venkatraman did not bother. He remained there for many days without water and food. There also the children did not allow him to be peaceful.
Seshadri Swamigal who was famous at that time in Thiruvannamalai came there as god sent and rescued Venkatraman from the children.
A few days after ,local citizens took him forcefully from the pathala lingam and located him in the Lord Subramania temple within the ArunachalEswarar temple campus. They force fed him. He was sitting unaware of any of these happenings. He opened his mouth only when they force fed him. He did not speak.
That was the time he was begun to be called as Brahmana sanyasi. That became Ramanar after a long time.
After his experience with death at Madurai in his Uncle’s house, he has never used any name. Even in the note he left behind at his house he left for Thiruvannamalai, he did not sign nor write his name.
Years later when the administrators of Ramanasramam prepared a will, he refused to sign any name. His firm belief was no one has a name other than Brahmam. Everybody is part of that brahamam .The will was contested in the judicial courts then. Bhagavan Ramanar ( as he was called by that time) was to be called to be present in the court of law. But good sense prevailed and then British Government appointed a special Judicial Commission who visited Ramanasramam to enquire into the matter. The Commission had to accept BhagavAn’s oral agreement with the contents of the will and the line drawn at the end of the document was accepted as evidence of Bhagavan’a concurrence .It was an epoch making judicial event. Of course he knew that he was being addressed as Bhagavan Ramanar
He would have responded even if he was called by any other name. He knew that no name is ‘HE”.
Bhagavan Ramanar in ArunAchalam