This part is taken from “Remembering Ramana” by Chagganlal Yogi
It happened in the month of December 1938. The dark clouds of disbelief and ignorance filled my life. I was simply dragging a weary existence. Under such circumstances, I had the good fortune of having the darshan of my Master for the first time. I saw Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in person. On account of his mere darshan the sun of spiritual wisdom appeared on the horizon, driving away the darkness of disbelief and delusion and illuminating my heart with the light of devotion. Since that blissful moment the gracious gleam of light in my heart has ever been growing into a bigger and brighter flame.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi occupies the front row even among the great rishis of ancient times. Such a person’s darshan drives away impurities of mind. Mind thus purified, turns towards the Truth, as a matter of course. The first darshan of my Self-abiding Sadguru cast such a spell over me that I went on a pilgrimage to Sri Ramanasramam once or twice a year for his holy darshan without fail.
He never initiated anyone as his disciple and never agreed to be anybody’s master. Yet like numerous other devotees of Sri Bhagavan, I too, of my own accord began to regard him as my Guru.
Shortly after this self-accepted discipleship, I happened to come across a Gujarati poem by Dhira Bhagat, a well-known, poet and jnani of Gujarat. The poem was entitled Guru-swaroop (meaning “characteristics of a Guru”).
The following lines charmed me the most:
The flowers they lay at His lotus feet
Though lovely, sweet they be;
With form or scent they cannot tempt,
Beyond temptations, He.
These lines provoked a host of thoughts in my mind: “What wonderful self-control this Guru of Dhira had! So many devotees went to him and covered his holy feet with the most fragrant flowers, but what of it? He had such complete control of his senses that he did not even care to smell them! What of my Guru then? Shall I ever be fortunate enough to find out his reaction to such a situation? When he does not even accept garlands or flowers, how will it ever be possible?”
Several months thereafter, I went on my usual pilgrimage to Sri Ramanasramam. One day during my sojourn there I was sitting among the devotees in the hall with my eyes turned to Sri Ramana, who was as usual seated on a sofa. A lady just entered the hall with a charming full-blossomed rose in her hand. She courageously stepped forward1 and ignoring the Ashram rule of ‘no flowers to be offered’, went straight to Sri Maharshi and held the rose close in front of him as a gesture of her offering. Sri Ramana, on his part, accepted the flower with a swift movement of his hand and indicated thereby his appreciation of her singular boldness and devotion. Instantaneously my eyes were fixed on the flower. I was asking myself, “What will he do now? Will he smell it or leave it?”
It is a common experience that the moment a man gets a flower in his hand, he spontaneously takes it to the nose in order to enjoy its sweet fragrance. Here at last I got the long sought for opportunity to find out Sri Bhagavan’s greatness. My curiosity therefore rose to a pitch and my eyes shuttled for some time from the rose to my Master’s nose, and vice versa. “What a lovely rose!” He exclaimed, and then raised the hand that held it.
“Oh my! Is he going to smell it after all”? I wondered, just for a fraction of a moment. But the hand rose higher than the nose and it reached the eyes which were softly pressed with the flower. He then laid aside the flower, of course unsmelt. My heart began to overflow with boundless joy. For some time I was floating in the ocean of divine bliss.
It may seem to be a trifling incident to others, but for me it paved the way to ardent devotion. It happened when my devotion for him was just beginning to grow.
It was the first of a series of incidents which resulted in my intimate experiences of his grace. Each one of these contributed to my ever-widening vision of Sri Ramana’s state of perfect bliss, serenity, total liberation during his life itself and perennial divine consciousness.
Without break I always remember this Sadguru of mine, whose spiritual stature is indeed immeasurable.