This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine
I was brought up in rather religious surroundings and grew up a religious man. Later when I went to college and abroad my outlook changed. I became an agnostic if not a downright atheist. This condition lasted till my late thirties. All this time, off and on, I tried to regain my faith but to no avail. Somehow the idea of an anthropomorphic God did not appeal to me. I could not see any reason why God created the world. If He wanted to prove Himself to Himself, it seemed rather a poor reason. To create the world as a puppet show and enjoy it as a spectator also seemed ungodly and rather cruel.
Many questions troubled me. What is God? What is life? What is it all about? Scriptures did not satisfy me for they demanded faith to begin with, which I did not have. I studied psychology but there was nothing beyond the unconscious mind. I turned to dialectical materialism but then again I found that its adherents were at loggerheads on trivialities.Turning to existentialism, I found it too morbid and depressing. Finally I turned to metaphysics and mysticism and that is where luck favoured me.
While I was searching for a clue to my problem, by chance I got hold of a book from the library shelf. It was an old edition of Day by Day with Bhagavan. I was not particularly interested when I started reading it, but as I progressed my indifference gave way to astonishment. Well, here at last there was someone who was reaching me. I read on with great enthusiasm and finished the book with a thirst for more. I placed an order to the Ashram Book Depot for all the books about Bhagavan. I had never waited more eagerly for anything than the book parcel. When it came I studied everything from cover to cover drinking deep from this source of true wisdom.
For a couple of months, I was immersed heart and soul in the teachings of Bhagavan. Here at last, all my questions were answered, all my doubts cleared. When I had imbibed his teaching, I planned a visit to the Ashram.
Now I must say a word or two about the visits to the Ashram. There is something in coming to and going from this place. Some mysterious force takes charge of you the moment you decide to go there. I met by chance an old devotee, Prof. K. Swaminathan, who is in charge of Ramana Kendra in New Delhi. He encouraged me to make the visit. I left New Delhi and arrived at the Ashram two days later. It was 2.30 p.m. I sat in the meditation hall facing Bhagavan’s picture. He seemed so much alive. Such a kind and benevolent smile! I could not move my eyes away from him. I had no idea of the time when suddenly the dinner gong was sounded at 7.30 p.m.
I lived in the Ashram for a month, and meditated morning and evening. I found to my surprise that the problems which seemed monumental gradually receded to the background. The past became shadowy. Yesterday’s desires made no sense and made me laugh. Apprehension for the future dwindled to nothing. I felt happy.
A month was quickly over and I travelled back with a heavy heart. I had only one prayer when I took leave of Bhagavan. I wanted to come again. I also prayed to Bhagavan to help me maintain the peace I had found for a long time. Both my prayers were answered. I came again and again. Bhagavan never forsook me in my hours of trials. I never let go of Bhagavan nor does he let go of me!