Our guiding light and inspiration has been Shri. V. Dwaraknath Reddy – a humble, simple, caring and giving person.
Dwaraknath Reddy was born in 1924, in a rural agricultural family living in Pulicherla village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. He studied at the Rishi Valley School, (founded by J Krishnamurthy), graduated from Madras University and went on to get a post-graduate degree from the Louisiana State University in America. With just a modest capital he founded the Nutrine Confectionery Company, which became one of the most successful companies in that field.
At the height of his success in business he handed over the family-owned company to the younger generation and gave himself totally to the pursuit of spiritual enquiry. In 1983 he settled down near Ramanashram in Tiruvannamalai, pursuing the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.
It is his words, deeds and life that inspire and guide the Ramanarpanam Trust.
In His Own Words :
“I know too well the face of Death. He has been a frequent visitor to this family. He came calling for those I said were too young, and he came to clasp those I said were not too old. I have remained the survivor, but the first visitation that shattered my youthful complacency was reminder enough - my turn will come. There was no despair, only an awakening. The law of life includes death. Law means justice, equal and consistent, always and for all. I should never again be caught confused and victimized, frightened and helpless. I must be consciously aware of the laws that govern creation and I must harmonize with them.
That resolve stayed with me. Self-enquiry was my inner life and it became my strength and support. Outwardly my work was laid out. I had to fill the gaps left by the departed, care for the young, build up a nascent family-owned industrial enterprise, earn and provide. Success came. Wealth grew. At the same time my quest after ultimate values endowed me with detachment and peace inwardly and dynamism outwardly.
Thus in 1983, when the younger generation seemed equipped to take over the management of factory and family, I quietly sought retreat at Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala). The great sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, had spent most of His life there. His words filled my being and my longing; He was to me the indisputable proof and fulfillment of the wisdom and the promise of all scriptures. Therefore a home near Ramanashramam was my natural destination. Staying alone and without any involvement, I arrived at an age of late seventies. Growth of business had enhanced the value of my “residual wealth”, left as mine after I had done my duty towards members of the family. All of them were reasonably prosperous. I saw no merit, no righteousness, in bequeathing my share again to sons and daughters and grand children as a matter of course; instead, I sought to give it the status of virtuous tradition. It belonged to Bharath, my country, in which millions lived in poverty. An uncaring society negligently denied them support to live with dignity. Willing hands could find no work, willing minds had no access to education, healthy bodies turned feeble through starvation and insanitation, and the sick had nowhere to turn.
I made a trust out of my personal funds, grateful to Ramana Maharshi for guiding me on this path. It is named “Ramanarpanam Trust”. A problem still remained. For any enterprise on that scale, a sound plan of action is essential. Goals must be clearly identified, priorities must be set, ambition and prudence must be balanced, duties and demand must co-exist, and there must be management that is committed, dedicated and answerable. The cause must be the master, the Trust the willing servant. How was this to be ensured, while evidently I could not be a participant, given my age and my life of introspection?
There is this little but profound narration in The Song of the Bird by Anthony De Mello:
On the street I saw a naked child, hungry and shivering in the cold. I became angry and said to God, “Why do you allow this? Why don’t you do something?” God did not reply. That night he said, quite suddenly, “I certainly did something. I made you.”
I suppose I likewise burst out, “Bhagavan Ramana, why don’t you do something?” And he gently said to me, “I did. I gave Anita as a daughter to you.” I slowly understood what it meant.
In creation there are no islands in isolation. In mankind, there are no individual pools, separate from the streamof humanity. Cosmic happenings are an interwoven web of one fabric, and not separate, unrelated strands of random events. Long before I even knew the direction my life may take, Bhagavan’s integrated plan had seen to it that when my material wealth grew, and my mind could offer it to the needy, I had also been blessed with a daughter who had grown in service and could use it scrupulously and intelligently for the welfare of the downtrodden. I had the answer. The problem was solved. I would entrust Anita with the sacred task of turning this welath into worship.
This Trust will be recognized by its fragrance, the sweet fragrance of selfless love. The acceptance of this offering by the needy is all the blessings I seek in return.” And so the The Ramanarpanam Trust was born, as the offering, or “arpanam” of a devoted “sadhaka” to his spiritual master, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
OUR PATRON TRUSTEE
SHRI. V. DWARAKNATH REDDY
How to gain the capacity for selfless love? How to fill this dry and parched shell with the milk of kindness? By striving for knowledge and praying for Grace – how else? So let us come to feel more and more within us how all this is one, by applying the spiritual words we have heard to our personal experience, by contemplating the real or unreal nature of our pleasures and possessions. Love must remain the substratum upon which activity is super-imposed. The world will reward us with an awareness of the effulgent Self if we humbly go to it with selfless love. The perfect one, whoever he is, is not known by outward signs. He is ever natural, and sees naturalness alone everywhere. To those that have misunderstood themselves to be cripples, he will reveal the potent power of their own limbs. He tempts us with crutches only to make us walk on our legs. He rids us of our self imposed defeatism.
LOVE AND TRUTH
How shall we place him? A Humanist? An emerging Poet? Lover of Nature? Word-Artist? Seeker of Truth? Actually he is all of them and more.
- Late Shri M.P.Pandit, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, said about Shri Dwaraknath Reddy
One striking note is his passion for Love seen as the face of Truth. No experience leaves him bitter. Even death reveals to him another side of life. What is the strength of his appeal? Beauty of style? Power of thought? Above all, it is the authenticity of his experience, psychological and spiritual, that touches the reader and makes him as humble as the writer himself. Everyone is certain to benefit in the culture of his soul by reading him.
NO BIRTH, NO DEATH
TIME AND ME
Life does not begin at the navel, How then can it end buried in gravel? This body’s history cannot unravel the truth of my soul’s winding travel. Many are the life-times I have seen, many the forms in which I have been. The vistas of space are there to roam, but the quest has failed, bliss is at home. The myth of endless time has claimed an eternity falsely proclaimed; Time is in me, I am not in time, I am the self, this is the truth sublime.”
THE REAL POSITION
The thing that should put us on guard is not sorrow but happiness, not failure but success, not disappointment but fulfillment. Our real position is improved not when we borrow but when we repay a debt. Yet hastily we consider ourselves gainers when we borrow and losers when we pay back. (Gentle Breeze, Rustling Leaves, p134)
BE QUIETLY DYNAMIC
FAITH AND TRUST
Trust yourself. Have faith in yourself. This faith will not make you what you are not, but it will enable you to be the best you can be. Such trust implies that you do not doubt your own faculties. When you abide in the unshaken faith of your sovereignty over the workings of your mind, there will be an automated obeisance. What is needed will be delivered, provided you do not block its path with obstacles constructed out of anxieties and tensions. A calm mind creates. A furious mind frustrates. (Gentle Breeze, Rustling Leaves, p129 - Book written by Dwaraknath Reddy)
It opens very much like the Shvetashwara Upanishad of Krishna Yajur Veda - in the hushed silence of the hall where the top most philosophers
HARVEST OF LOVE