This chapter is taken from The Silent Power – Selections from The Mountain Path and The Call Divine
It was at the end of 1944 that I first heard about Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. I was sitting with a religious teacher, when a visitor said: “Maharshi is Mount Everest and others mere hillocks.” Since then I had a persistent urge to have darshan of Sri Bhagavan.
In the summer of 1946, when I was sitting in the presence of Paramsant Mahatma Raghuber Dayal, a Sufi saint, a fellow-devotee who had been to Tiruvannamalai began to speak about Sri Bhagavan, the Ashram and his experiences during his stay there. Chachaji, (as we used to call the saint) who had listened attentively to his devotee’s narration, spoke very highly about Sri Bhagavan. This only strengthened my desire to have his darshan. But I did not get the opportunity for it — one hindrance or another always came in my way.
Early in April 1950, when I was planning to go to Arunachala, my younger brother, Sri Jagatnarayan, told me that he along with a friend was to leave for Tiruvannamalai the same evening. To me this was a bolt from the blue, as we both could not leave the station simultaneously. I could not speak out my mind, and he left for Tiruvannamalai. He was fortunate to have Sri Bhagavan’s darshan — standing in a queue. He stayed there for a few days and on the return journey somewhere near Nagpur, got the information that Sri Bhagavan had shed the body.
My younger brother again went to Sri Ramanasramam in 1956. On hearing from him about the Ashram and his experiences there, the longing to visit the Shrine was aroused afresh.
It was late in 1957 at the insistence of my wife, that my longing to visit the shrine of Sri Ramana Maharshi was fulfilled.
Since 1957, Sri Bhagavan has been graciously pleased to call us to his Shrine of Grace practically every year.
An accident that occurred at Allahabad Railway station on the morning of January 23, 1972 is worth recording.
With my younger son, his wife and one of my grandsons, I was coming back to Kanpur from Allahabad by Howrah-Kalka Mail. After locating our berths, I was talking on the platform with people who had come to see us off. I could not hear the whistle of the electric engine, and the train began to move. I caught hold of the handle of the compartment to get into it. But I lost the grip and fell on the track. In the meantime the train had gathered momentum. When my son, who was at the other door of the compartment, enquired about me, a fellow-passenger told him that he saw an old man falling down while trying to get into the compartment. My son immediately pulled the chain, but the train stopped only two furlongs away.
As soon as I fell on the track, I saw the face of Sri Bhagavan repeating like a mantra, “Don’t lift the head.” Where I was on the track I cannot say. But I saw the wheels moving faster and faster.
When the entire train had moved beyond the place where I was, I got up though my head and left eye-brow were badly wounded, so much so that my woollen coat had become drenched. The guard who was in charge of the train said that eight bogeys had passed over me and that it was a miracle that I had escaped death. It was all his benign Grace that he saved this body, for what purpose is known to him only. For the first few days after the wounds had been stitched and I was in great agony and pain, I was kept under sedation but I felt Sri Bhagavan sitting by my side and at times moving his hands over the wounds that had been stitched.
My cap and spectacles that had fallen on the track were all received by my people without any damage whatsoever. The same glasses and the same frame I used for years thereafter.
May this head remain at his Lotus feet for the rest of my days on earth.