Alagammal was separated from her twelve-year-old son Venkataraman when he moved to Madurai to attend school following the death of her husband in the year 1892. Four years later, in 1896, when he was only sixteen years old, her son Venkataraman left home.
When she met him at Pavala Kundru a few years later, he was known as Brahmana Swami.
In the early part of 1916 Alagammal left behind all her worldly ties and went to Tiruvannamalai to live with her ascetic son who was now lovingly and reverentially addressed as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi'.
Ramana Maharshi at that time lived on the Hill in a cave called Virupaksha Guha'. Here there was no source of water or private space to accommodate her needs. However, within a few months of her arrival Bhagavan moved up the hill to a more spacious cave that had been built specifically for him. This ashram was named Skandasramam in honour of Kandaswami, a devotee who had worked tirelessly to create this oasis of shade, clearing the forest growth, moving large boulders and levelling the ground, planting trees and a small garden.
At Skandasramam, Alagammal provided the needed motherly love and nourishment to all of her son's devotees. She started a kitchen and the number of resident devotees grew.
On May 19, 1922, Alagammal attained Maha Samadhi. "Her body was brought down to the cremation ground near Palakottu at the southern foot of the hill. At first the devotees thought to erect the mother's samadhi by the side of the road, which was the prevalent custom.
"Even though Bhagavan remained silent on this point some of the devotees themselves asked to whom the land nearer to the hill belonged. A person working for the Revenue Department supplied the information that the land belonged to Bavaji sadhus (worshippers of Siva) from North India. Some local devotees had donated the land to them and after three days the sadhus had left never to return. The man thus encouraged them to put Alagammal's samadhi in this place. While they were cutting down the cacti and shrubs, Bhagavan remained a silent observer. Mother's samadhi was built in the present location, and the Ashram was to develop around it.
Within a few months' time Bhagavan moved down from Skandasramam to the foot of the hill. His move, prompted by the same power that had drawn him to Arunachala, was now to initiate the transformation of the ancient cremation grounds at the edge of the small town of Tiruvannamalai into the spiritual centre known today as Sri Ramanasramam.
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