This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine
Sunya Baba — Emmanual Sorensen in his purvashrama — refers to himself always in the third person in the article.
It was in the year 1929 that Poet Rabindranath Tagore and his secretaries (Arya Nikam and Amiya Chakravarti) met him and I befriended him at Dartington Hall in Devonshire, England. And it was the Poet’s casual invitation to the simple,’uneducated’ gardener to come to Bharat ‘to teach Silence’ to the ebullient Bengalis, which called him here. He discerned in the simpleton’s Being a quality of Sunya-Santi-Silence and intuitive awareness which was felt to be congenial and appreciated in India. The invitation gave the sadhu-type the needed push or pull, to venture forth simply and solitarily into India, and the proposed 3 or 4 months’ stay stretched into 45 years of Himalayan ananda-grace.The solitary pilgrim in Consciousness had come ‘ Home’. In India he read the Vedas, the Upanishads and the writings of genuine Masters.
He heard of Sri Ramana Maharshi while in Kashmir and Tibet from Lamas, and later from Paul Brunton and Dr. W. Y. EvansWentz. After spending several years in the Himalayas and other sanctuaries, he came to Sri Ramana Maharshi in the year 1936 for the first time and was introduced to the Maharshi by Paul Brunton. He also came three times or more later at a few years’ intervals. He had no problem, no disease, and no quest and so asked no questions. Maharshi, however, did ask him some questions which he has now forgotten.
But the first darshan of the Maharshi remains an unforgettable experience, especially Sri Ramana’s casual, as it were, statement ‘ We are always aware’; and this made a most powerful impact on him. It resounded in his consciousness like a chime and continued to linger in his memory like a mantra or an echo of Sri Arunachala or Dakshinamurti. He also remembers some passages mentioned from the Bible: the phrase, ‘I AM THAT I AM’, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’, ‘Know ye not that you are Gods?’ and the words Jesus exchanged with Nicodemus.
He found Ramana Maharshi’s was pure advaita-experience, and his chief language, radiant Silence, to which only mature souls familiar with solitude could easily respond. When Ramana was questioned by officious officials and was later asked if it had tired him, he said: “No; I did not use my mind”. He was mind-free and ego-free.
As for Sunya, there was from babyhood no sense of guilt, no sin-complex and no ego-pitiful grievance against What Is. Very little friction, imposition or conditioning, and so no ego-importance. Affectionate detachment from forms and things, is natural in the conscious awareness that there is no real division, no real detachment in the Reality we ever are, ego-free and death-free. There is no ambition to ‘become’ this or that and no reaching out for power or self-possessions, security. Yet, there is intuitive Light-awareness, a flair for essence, wholeness and esoteric grace-awareness; a secure contentment in the fundamental all-Rightness of things and happenings as Siva Lila, Self-interplay.