He is born on December 30th at 1.00am in Tiruchuli to Alagammal and Sundaram Iyer. They named him as Venkata Raman. Once When he was about six years old, made paper boats with some important papers of his father and floated them in water. When his father came to know about this, Raman had to face his fathers anger which made him to leave home. Their family searched for him for a long time and found him hiding behind the statue of Goddess in the temple. His father died(February 1892) when Raman was around 12 years old. Raman and his elder brother was taken by his father’s first brother to their home to Madurai for their studies.
Enlightenment of Ramana
Once Raman went to Dindigul for his cousins birthday. At evening around 7 pm every one went to temple leaving Raman at home to study. So Raman after studying went to sleep. As every one came home Raman is not opening the door, so his elder brother jumped inside and somehow opened the door. Every one tried to to wake him up but all their efforts went in vain . Every one feared something happened to Raman. Next morning When Raman woke up he is surprised to see every one sitting around him and he had no idea of what happened when he is asleep.
In Madurai at night after every one went to sleep around 11 am Raman used to arrange pillows as if he is sleeping and went out by jumping the wall. While going he used to put a stone on the wall of his friends house indicating he went to play by the river Vaigai. All his friends used to do the same and played till morning 3 am and went back to sleep.
Once Raman asked his relative where he is coming from and his relative replied he is coming from Arunachalam which is in Thiruvannamalai. Raman felt some attachment with the name. A few days later Raman studied Peria puranam which contained 63 Shiva devotee stories. Since that day he started to know Shiva. As he grown up, his brother got married and staying in Madurai. Once Raman was sitting alone on the first floor in his brothers home, then suddenly he felt like he has fallen sick and he is going to die. He felt “if any way I am going to die, lets see how death feels like”.Then he realized body is different and he is different as he can witness body leaving. He is 17 year old when all this happened.
From that day he is trying to know what he is . Others noticed he is not being normal and scolded him to study and if he remains like this he can leave the house an go to some forest.
Journey to Arunachalam
One day when his elder brother saw Raman not studying and meditating, He said “in-spite of telling you to concentrate on your studies you are not listening to any of us. People like these don’t deserve a house”.
Raman felt, why trouble his brother and decided to leave to Arunachala and be with his Shiva. Raman stood up and said “I have some special class and need to go”. So his brother told him to take 5 rupees and pay his college fees while going to school. Raman thought Shiva gave him money also and wrote a letter saying ” this is going to meet his father. Don’t try to search for this. Your college fees is not payed. Rupees 3 is taken, 2 Rupees is kept here only” and left.
Raman boarded train to Tindivanam, the nearsest station of Thiruvannamalai. In the train a Moulvi told Raman there was a newly-opened line to Tiruvannamalai from Villupuram. So Raman got down at Villupuram .
Raman was feeling hungry and went to a hotel and had his meal. The hotel Owner rejected money after seeing his condition. Then Raman went to the railway station and purchased a ticket to “Mambalapattu” as he fallen short of money to take the ticket to Tiruvannamalai. Reaching Mambalappattu, Raman decided to walk for Tiruvannamalai . As he reached Tirukoilur while walking he went to the temple Arayaninallur and sat down Meditating. Raman saw Priest is distributing prasad and asked for prasad but priest denied.
The temple drummers asked Raman to come along with them as are leaving to other temple in kilur where they can get some prasad, Raman walked along with them 2 km but there also temple priests denied giving prasad to Raman. Seeing this the temple drummers gave some of there share to him and showed the way for drinking water to nearby street.
Raman while walking fainted and woke up next morning. People who crowded around him gave him some water. After that he went in-front of “Muthukrishna Bhagavatar” house and asked for some food to eat. They took him inside and the lady of the house gave him food, what all she cooked for festival “Krishnashtami” and told him to leave in afternoon after eating lunch. As Raman found it difficult to walk further decided to go by train and asked the head of the house to give him 4 rupees for gold earrings he had. So he pawn his earrings for 4 rupees. They gave him address slip to come back to take earrings but Raman tore that slip after he came out of the house as he don’t need them any more. The lady of the house gave Raman the packet of snacks and food while leaving.
Raman slept that night at Tirukoilur railway station near kilur. Next morning he boarded the train. After few hours he came to Thiruvannamali station.
Life at Arunachalam
Raman then headed towards Mountain Arunachala. As he went to the temple all the doors were open including Garbha gudi (inner cellar where the Shiva Lingam is there) with no one around surpricingly.
Raman directly went into the inner cellar and cried with joy hugging Shiva Linga. He then came out and took a dip in the temple pond. A barber in the temple approached him asking if he would remove his hair. Raman agreed and removed his hair, gave him some money. He then threw away his food packet, clothes, Sacred thread and left over money into that pond and wore only small piece of cloth and sat in meditation.
Raman sat like that for many days. Some Temple visitors thrown stones at him, being disturbed he went to the pathala lingam temple which is pitch dark inside and sat behind the Lingam and went into Samadhi state. Insects and big ants started eating his thigh flesh resulted in oozing blood and he is all covered in dust. He was there in that state for some months.
One day a lady saw him and informed others. Sheshadhri swami called four people to take him out seeing this boy sittuation. Raman is in samadhi state as he is unaware what is happening with his body they all lifted him as it is, they dint disturb his samaddhi. As they are carrying him all the insects, ants crawling and blood clots made them terrified. They gave him some abhishekam theerth after he opened his eyes. Raman again went into samadhi state at that place. People started throwing stones at him and mistreating him. Some warned him to leave the place. So Raman changed many places in and around the temple and facing trouble.
Uddandi Nayanar had special interest in him and wanted to help him. Uddandi Nayanar waited to speak with him for 2 months as Raman was in Samadhi State. He took Raman to Gurumutham where no one can disturb him. Once Tambiram a devotee of Raman created trouble Performing abhishekam on Raman while he is in Samadhi which irked Raman. He then wrote on the wall “This alone is needed this”. Meaning food alone is needed for this body to be alive. So They came to know that Raman can Read and write. Every one wanted to know Raman’s whereabouts. But Raman never spoke to any one since he came to Arunachalam.
Iyer made Raman to tell his whereabouts by demanding that he wont leave and eat anything until Raman tells his whereabouts. Then they Slowly made Raman to bath and shave forcibly and cut the long matted hair of Raman. Palaniswami, Uddandi, Tambiram took care of him and Meenakshi used to get the food for him. Slowly Raman started getting fame and his family met him. Raman died of cancer in 14 April 1950 in Tiruvannamalai.